yes, I’m grateful

Because the opportunity becomes more and more rare now that 4 of my 5 children are considered by the world to be grown-assed adults, anytime I have the five clowns in one place and appearing to be somewhat put-together (hair and makeup for the girls) I must take their picture of the five of them together.

They know.

They usually are prepared.

So that when I grab my camera and say, “Kids! Get together, please.“, they quickly do. The children of the mamarazzi are pros at indulging their camera-armed mama this way.

How else would I be able to get a shot like this?

I look at it and I can’t help but feeling a lot of love. This. This is good. Oh, and I have the best, damn looking family!

True story.

I want to say I am blessed. I feel like I am blessed. Quite a few people tell me that I am blessed when I share this picture on Facebook because I just have to share the most recent picture of all five of my kids together because the last one of all five of them together is from over a year ago! Five beautiful, smiling, healthy people I call my children, how could I not consider myself blessed?

But I hesitate just a little.

I recently read a piece written by Scott Dannemiller that basically calls out Christians for the over-use of the word blessed, especially in reference to the material good fortune that some enjoy. No, I am by no means a good Christian at all…anymore. I haven’t been to church for over five years for so many reasons. Still I too consider myself to be “blessed”

  • that my husband is working regularly…finally
  • for when I get to work and am not cancelled because of low census and my per diem by choice status
  • for the home that we have…the white-walls, rental property that we call home. It’s likely that we will never, ever be home owners again but, be it ever so humble, we have a home
  • for my car, my 8 year old car…at least we have one reliable vehicle that the circus living under this Big Top can count on.
  • for so, so many material goods that we have to enjoy and play with here under the Big Top.
  • for a stocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer even if the clowns living here still wail that THERE’S NOTHING TO EAT!!!

Sometimes it feels like we don’t have much and that we are far from prosperous but the reality is that we are so rich, so much more rich than so many literally anywhere else in the world or even down by Library Park here in Manteca.

Yes, we are bles…wait a minute! Dannemiller has a point, a very good point. What makes me more special than those who don’t have a home, a car, a job, a stocked pantry and refrigerator with not-so delicious-good stuff to eat?


Nothing at all.

Read his essay.

Think about it.

But kids are not material. No, of course not. Still my kids are all pretty happy, healthy, beautiful, smart and talented individuals. It might be easy to say that yes, I am blessed.


So I am more blessed than the friend who is struggling just to get pregnant and has suffered multiple pregnancy losses? God loves me more? Seriously? Me?!

Three of my children have literally come thisclose to death but to imply that we are blessed because they didn’t die insults dear friends of ours who have buried their babies, their precious children. Not a day goes by where I don’t give thanks that Zoë pretty much walked away from getting hit by that truck. Watching Jodie dance I almost always cry thinking what could have happened five years ago. And Daniel…my life, my passion, my career is caring for tiny babies born with slim odds of survival and positive outcomes and mine is one of the positive ones, one of the truly lucky ones…I HAVE to be thankful for that. I am! Every day! I am so very thankful! But to say that I am blessed, that my children are would imply that God favors us more than my friend whose son who woke one morning with a raging headache and was dead by dinner time from meningococcal meningitis…or my dear friend who is grieving as the anniversary of her preemie baby’s death at age 6 months while still in the NICU is approaching.

I seriously doubt God loves me or my children more than them. Trust me, I am by no means more faithful nor more Christ-like.


I am not blessed.

But I am fortunate…lucky…so damn lucky.

I am grateful.



4 thoughts on “yes, I’m grateful

  1. Maybe we do use the word “blessed”incorrectly. I just read the essay, but I do know that but for the Grace of God I might be one f those people at Library Park. I thank God every day for my life. I guess we should use thankful and not blessed. I don’t go to church regularly either, but I do believe in the “golden Rule” and the Ten Commandments. 🙂

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