The only constant in life is change.

I don't like change. I like things steady and sure, a bit mundane. A bit boring.

I'm not so sure that I can say it's been that this year.

Pondering several times what to write. Not writing what I wanted to write. Writing what I wanted to write and then deciding not to share it, has been oddly therapeutic.

I told someone that I've been most proud of the articles that I haven't written this past almost year. I'm proud of the things that I've done but more proud of what I haven't done.

As I celebrate another birthday, I can only be grateful for the blessings that I've had in my life.

I started out with awesome parents, and probably thanks to them I have the guts to be who I am today and I'm able to function at all this year. They're both gone now, but there was one thing that my dad drilled into my thinking. It was the idea that I could do anything. Whether I really could or not, he never gave me the impression that I couldn't.

My first business was making doll lamps. He promptly built a shelf across our picture window so that I could display them, and they actually sold. I think he was pretty proud of his little girl. Ironically he's been the one that I've wished I could talk to this year, but also glad that I can't. I was glad that he didn't have to worry about me. On the flip side, I wish he could have seen what I've been doing alone this year. He would have been busting his buttons.

But life has been good in blessing me with 6 great kids. Yeah, I know, you all think that your kids are awesome too. Sometimes when the chips are down, you realize pretty quickly who you can count on and who has your back. I've tried really hard this year to just be a mom and grandma. And the peace I've felt while snuggling the grand babies that have arrived this year and the toddlers and the preschooler and the time I've spent with the older granddaughters has been a salve for the soul.

The friends that have listened, and listened, and listened and listened this year, have been "quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." They've opened their homes, their hearts, they've growled at the appropriate times, given me a hug when I needed it, prayed for me, given me story tips and talked me through some of the darkest times. They've let me cry, freak out, panic, laughed and shaken their heads with me, but most of all they have prayed, and for that, I'm more grateful than you'll ever know.

I've lived in five different towns officially over the span of my lifetime. I started out in Vinton and I couldn't be happier that I came full circle. Sometimes I shake my head at how the town hasn't changed a lot since I was born, but I also love that part of Vinton too. There has never been a sweeter town to be part of than Vinton. I am honestly glad that for this part of my life that I am here. I was pondering if I were in another town...and shook my head at how that wouldn't have been good. Or if I were in another of the towns it still would not have been good.

It's a year that I'll be glad to see end. And I honestly can't wait to see what next year will bring. I'd say it couldn't be worse, but I know better. On the flip side, I'm excited to see what it will bring. I'd love to have another grand baby epidemic like this year, 3 is a good number for one year!

I have my health, I have my kids, I have my awesome grand kids, and I have my friends, what more can you ask for? Oh, I've got a wish list that I ask God for just about every day. Will I get any of those wishes granted for my birthday this year? I really don't think so, but then, my timing isn't His timing, and I know that. But He's always on time, so I'm not too worried about details like time.

As I start another year, and officially turn another year older, I realize the greatest gift a girl could ask for, I've already gotten. Thanks for all of you who have made my life better. You are all the best!

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Comments (3)

By: Carol A Geater on June 10th 5:42pm
Happy Birthday Valerie! Isn't it great to know that God is right beside you every moment! I'm sure He has some fantastic things in store for you. Enjoy every single day.
By: Rose Rouse on June 10th 6:06pm
What a great and honest article!
By: Gerald Bates on June 10th 8:11pm

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