“I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection.  For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the view of eternity and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others.  This is my choice.”
– Mike Ericksen, Upon Destiny’s Song

This has been a year of many blessings in my life.  Before this year I never used that word to describe the good fortune I’ve experienced. I always associated that word with God bestowing something good on someone of the Christian faith and, since I neither consider myself a Christian or a Believer, I thought the word blessing wasn’t applicable to me. This year has opened me up to a new attitude toward and understanding of what it means to be blessed, and I have started to claim and own that word.

The blessings in my family are too numerous to count and I am eternally grateful for my good fortune and the love, patience and good humor my husband shares with me every day. Sadly, it is not hard to recognize suffering in the world among individuals and within families.  I don’t know why some are so fortunate and some struggle.  I have certainly experienced loss, pain, shame and disappointment, but I do not take for granted the sheer luck I have had and the sacrifices many have made on my behalf to get me to this place. I am very aware that not everyone has the resources and relationships I have that have helped buoy me in dark or lean times. I don’t think it’s always possible for everyone to win the race of life when we all don’t start at the same line or have a clear path to the finish. I know I am blessed.

I was a very observant child. I wanted to figure out how people found happiness and success. What was it about them that I could learn in order to have those things too. As an adult I have tried to surround myself with people who bring me joy and inspire me to work harder to be a better wife, parent, neighbor and contributor in my communities in order to make the world a better place. WUUC has been a huge part of that journey for me. It’s not hard be around WUUCies who aspire to constantly learn and experience new things. It’s not hard to be inspired by WUUCies who live a life of service to our church and others. It’s not hard to find ways through WUUC to make the world a better place — locally or globally, intimately or expansively, in small bits or on long-term projects. It’s not hard to receive love and support from WUUCies who are willing to share your burdens and celebrate your joys. It’s not hard to find ways in which you can share your knowledge and experience with youngsters discovering their world or young adults striking out into the wider world. The opportunities to serve and be served are endless at WUUC. In all of these ways, I have been blessed.

In 45 years, I have figured this out for sure — what will be most important in the end is who I have known and who I have allowed to know me. I have much to learn and much still to contribute. WUUC has given me experiences I might not have had on my own and exposure to folks who know better and do better than I from whom I can draw inspiration. I know I am blessed. And for that, I am grateful. I wish you the same.