Counting Our Blessings, Christmas, 2011

I decided to share a Christ­mas let­ter with you count­ing bless­ings for 2011. May it inspire you to count your own! :)


I pray this let­ter finds you and yours enjoy­ing a peace­ful, if not joy­ful, sea­son, and that you are look­ing for­ward to a bright new year!

Since the hol­i­day sea­son is a time to remem­ber back over the year and count our bless­ings, I decided to write my Christ­mas let­ter to you as a way to enu­mer­ate and share some of what this past year has inspired my own grat­i­tude. I truly have dis­cov­ered that no mat­ter our cir­cum­stances, there is so much for which to be grate­ful, There is a prin­ci­ple of abun­dance that comes to mind as I think about the impor­tance that grat­i­tude plays in gen­er­at­ing pros­per­ity; it goes some­thing like this: to have more abun­dance we must be grate­ful for the abun­dance we have! And it is with that inten­tion that I send hol­i­day greet­ings to you, my loved ones and friends.

G.A.D. Nut­cracker, 2011 — The Prince (Andrew) & Clare (Jes­sica, age 11)

First on my mind, since we just returned, is my grat­i­tude for our son, Andrew, who is indeed a bless­ing to many. Daniel and I spent four days with him and his pre­cious fam­ily in Florida par­tic­i­pat­ing in his annual pro­duc­tion of The Nut­cracker. What a tal­ented, cre­ative man he is! Every­thing he touches shines with the atten­tion that only a true artist can give — his school, The Guil­foil Acad­emy of Dance (GAD), his home, his stu­dents, even B. Andrews, his line of skin care prod­ucts, all of it shines! Of course he does have super sup­port with Brett and Mag­gie, his imme­di­ate fam­ily. They are a big part of his suc­cess. It makes my heart glow when I see my chil­dren being so well-nurtured and loved!

We had our small Christ­mas din­ner in the home of our daugh­ters, Mon­essa and Jaque­tta, along with my brother and our three pre­cious grand­chil­dren, Nico­las, (9), Isabella (6), and Kai (3). What a sweet time we had together! I am so grate­ful for the way I see Source mov­ing through their lives too! Mon­essa is radi­ant with health and aware­ness of ways to make a dif­fer­ence in the world around her. As a pro­gram pro­ducer for our local NPR sta­tion, she shares local sto­ries of inter­est with our com­mu­nity, and is proac­tive in our com­mu­nity in the effort to bring the pro­duce of local farm­ers into our local mar­kets and eat­ing establishments.

Jaque­tta works for me. We’ve worked together for almost six years now! Words can­not express the grat­i­tude I feel to be able to work so inti­mately with my own daugh­ter! My new book came out in Feb­ru­ary launch­ing a busy career time for us as we spread its mes­sage via sem­i­nars, work­shops, and the Inter­net. Jaque­tta is one mem­ber of the dyna­mite team that has come together to sup­port the work we’re doing.

God has sup­plied me with the best team imag­in­able! I am hum­bled by the qual­ity and capa­bil­ity of those who have come together to help me spread the word. My thanks­giv­ing for them is beyond mea­sure! The best thing about our team, in my opin­ion, is that they each believe and prac­tice the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of Real­ity that I write about in my book, Guid­ing Prin­ci­ples for Life Beyond Vic­tim Con­scious­ness. I can­not express the amount of grat­i­tude I feel in watch­ing those around me take this work and apply it to their own lives! I am hum­bled and grate­ful for the mir­a­cles I’ve wit­nessed in the lives and fam­i­lies of those around me.

Our inter­net guru, Zack, and our mar­ket­ing direc­tor, Danielle are among those I feel a spe­cial amount of grat­i­tude for today. Closely fol­low­ing them in praise, is the group of sup­port­ers and will­ing con­trib­u­tors who have part­nered with us in cre­at­ing our new com­pany, called REALign­ment Edu­ca­tional Project, LLC. This com­pany was cre­ated for the sole pur­pose of edu­cat­ing and pro­mot­ing the mes­sage I have been given the honor and priv­i­lege to share. We are a com­pany that invites oth­ers to join with us to sup­port our efforts through dona­tions, and by becom­ing actual mem­bers! These are indeed excit­ing times.

My work, which I find increas­ingly dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate from my per­sonal life, is a God-given bless­ing in itself. I am brought to my knees in grat­i­tude when I think about the tremen­dous honor I feel in hav­ing been given the oppor­tu­nity to use my voice and words to share what for me has been life trans­form­ing. And, know­ing me so well, Source gave me a life of diver­sity! I am so grateful!

I am grate­ful too for the tremen­dous plea­sure of watch­ing our chil­dren, one by one find their way to a bet­ter under­stand­ing of life. Dur­ing the last year, sev­eral of our chil­dren have been involved in sup­port­ing the process I teach! Can you imag­ine what a thrill it is to have one’s own fam­ily embrace the work one does? My heart is full indeed.

And of course, my pre­cious hus­band, Daniel is my anchor and num­ber one sup­porter. He is a vital part of our team, doing every­thing from prop­erty main­te­nance to stag­ing events to finan­cial plan­ning and now he has even started pro­vid­ing child­care! He and our daugh­ter, Brooke, are in charge of a pro­gram we are devel­op­ing that teaches chil­dren the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of Real­ity. I am so grate­ful for Daniel’s will­ing­ness to join ranks with Brooke, who not only was raised with these prin­ci­ples (being our daugh­ter!), but who also has expe­ri­ence and skills of her own to share from her work with kids as a sum­mer camp coun­selor for nine years.

Together, Daniel and Brooke are find­ing ways to pass on to other par­ents and chil­dren an approach gleaned from Daniel’s pro­found expe­ri­ence and suc­cess at win­ning the con­fi­dence and coöper­a­tion of the kids he works with by teach­ing them self-responsibility.

I am over­whelmed with grat­i­tude and glad­ness for the oppor­tu­nity I’ve been given to wit­ness, and par­tic­i­pate in a ‘Big­ger Plan.’ It awes me when­ever I see the plan unfold­ing so effec­tively and pre­cisely in my own life and in the lives of those around me.

Weav­ing together the cre­ative abil­i­ties and impres­sive skills of fam­ily mem­bers, Our Cre­ator has taken us as a fam­ily, and turned us to use for His own per­fect pur­poses. And our pre­cious chil­dren, who are out in the world doing their own thing, are liv­ing lives full of heart and pas­sion for life; they are liv­ing out their part of the ‘Big­ger Plan.’ I am immensely grate­ful to be a part of this family!

Both of my sib­lings, David and Kathie have par­tic­i­pated in sem­i­nars with me this past year, and have shown sin­cere enthu­si­asm for my work. I count on them to see me with a cer­tain degree of lev­ity for they do not hes­i­tate to tell me what they “really think!” So there sup­port is deeply mean­ing­ful, and I am delighted by it, and grateful.

Even health chal­lenges have brought us gifts! I have wit­nessed beau­ti­ful exam­ples among fam­ily mem­bers of deal­ing with seri­ous health issues with grace and accep­tance. I appre­ci­ate all the ways those around me inspire me to reach for a higher per­spec­tive. I love my fam­ily for what they teach me about myself and life.

There have been heart­breaks this past year as well — and even for those I am grate­ful, not because they hap­pened, but for the gifts they brought forth. For all the many chal­lenges we have faced, how­ever, our fam­ily has received even more bless­ings, and I give sin­cere thanks for the con­tin­ued well-being of each of my loved ones.

The Sab­bath Day of Rest is some­thing for which I have come to feel a deep appre­ci­a­tion this past year. Daniel and I spend the whole day every Sab­bath with our daugh­ter and grand­chil­dren. We go to church together as a fam­ily where the chil­dren are exposed to an early ori­en­ta­tion of look­ing up, rather than out at the world. After­wards, we go out to eat some­where (we take turns choos­ing where) and then we spend the after­noon enjoy­ing some out­door activ­ity where we can all play like chil­dren. It’s a glo­ri­ous time that I feel con­fi­dent will be remem­bered by our grand­chil­dren all their lives.

I am sur­prised in some ways, but deeply grate­ful that I have come back to my roots as a South­ern Appalachian woman who gar­ners com­fort from the Bible. Chris­tian­ity is my lin­eage altho I left it early in life to explore other resources. I have found much to my sur­prise and delight that the Bible ver­i­fies to me many of the ancient truths that I spent so many years dis­cov­er­ing from other sources. To dis­cover con­gru­ence where I was told I would not has been a won­der­ful boon to my life, and has brought me even closer to God. Truth is always true no mat­ter its source. I love Christ, and his words, and merg­ing them with my way of per­ceiv­ing the world ener­get­i­cally works beau­ti­fully for me. I am grate­ful that I get to have my own per­sonal rela­tion­ship with Christ. We are each promised a rela­tion­ship with Source that works for us! A bless­ing indeed!

I have dis­cov­ered the lit­eral truth of the Bib­li­cal verse, “God is Love,” in my life. I have come to under­stand love as the one true sol­vent for every ill­ness, every predica­ment, and every hurt, be it emo­tional or phys­i­cally caused. And some­times love means to walk away, let it go, watch some­one suf­fer the con­se­quences of their choices, and trust that Source knows how to han­dle them bet­ter than I. Every time I release a loved one into the hands of Cre­ator, I grow from see­ing what can be accom­plished when I get out of the way! What a relief! What a bless­ing NOT to have to be in charge!

I am grate­ful for all three hun­dred and sixty five times this past year that I spent con­nect­ing with Source in my morn­ing prac­tice. He starts my day, and the ben­e­fits from that have been incred­i­ble! It is there that I am reminded over and again to return to sur­ren­der and grat­i­tude for my life as it is today. (I for­get so eas­ily!) My per­sonal rela­tion­ship with Christ is my great­est bless­ing, my great­est asset. From that con­nec­tion comes every­thing I offer to the world. Any­thing good that comes through me is from that con­nec­tion while the blun­der­ing and awk­ward stum­bling is all mine.

The best part of our life jour­ney for me is dur­ing those times when I remem­ber from whence it all comes. Remem­ber­ing that cen­tral fact allows us to con­sciously open to the flow of our Cre­ator. I believe that this is the true secret of life, don’t you?

There is one last bless­ing I want to men­tion here this morn­ing and that is my grat­i­tude for you! You are among the sparkling jew­els in my life; your pres­ence, whether phys­i­cal or over the ethers of the inter­net, nour­ishes and inspires me in some way, and I want you to know that I notice, and send prayers of grat­i­tude for you often.

My hope is that you found your­self reflect­ing on your own bless­ings from the past year as you read this. What­ever time of year it is, it is always a good time to count our blessings.

Thanks for shar­ing with me in a cel­e­bra­tion of my blessings.

Merry Christ­mas,


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