Café Johnsonia is a food blog by mom-of-three Lindsey Johnson. Her blog is a balance between healthy family meals and decadent desserts. Lately she’s been exploring gluten-free cooking. And best of all, her photography makes you want to lick your computer screen, it’s so gorgeous.
We love her and know you will, too. She has graciously agreed to take part in our "12 Days of Gratitude" series featuring some of our favorite bloggers musing on the concept of thankfulness. See below:
Today I am full of life, love, and joy.
For so many years I would wake up dreading what the day would bring. I couldn't face what my life had become. I was a slave to my misery. It was a horrible way to live.
I can honestly say that I love life today. I really mean it too. I do. The journey I'm on is a good one.
I love my sweet little kids who wake me up too early and keep me up too late. The kids who (sometimes) turn their noses up at the food I make. The kids who have ruined my great-grandmother's furniture that I dearly love ... the kids who make me laugh at the funny things they say. The kids who amaze me with the way they look at the world and they way they love me.
I love my husband who loves me despite the months and years of battling my harsh inner critic and demons that have kept me from being the kind of wife he has needed and wanted. I love him because he sees the best in me when I haven't been able to -- which has been more often than not.
I love my friends and family. I love that I'm no longer afraid to love them and say it aloud. I love that they have been there to buoy me up and cheer me on in my continuing journey.
I finally love myself.
That is something I've never been able to say either.
Over the years I convinced myself that I was nothing -- less than nothing. I can't even tell you the horrible things I would say to myself. Thoughts do lead to action, or lack of action. And it was so true for me and the self-brainwashing I did.
I became as ugly as I told myself I was.
Nothing I ever did was going to be good enough. Nothing anyone else did was going to be enough. It didn't matter how many times someone else told me differently, I wouldn't believe them.
It came from realizing that God loves each of His children. That each one matters more than we could ever know or understand. That I matter. That YOU matter.
One day I decided to look at the world and find light and goodness instead of the negative. And you know what? I FOUND IT.
I found the goodness and light I sought.
I saw God in everything -- the clouds and sky, the mountains, gardens and streams, people, art. I heard Him in music, laughter, and tender words. He is in everything. He is everything. God is goodness and light. He was what I was seeking.
When I looked at the world that way, I started to feel loved by God again. I looked at people and saw them in a different way -- the way I think the Heavenly Father sees them. They were people with hopes and dreams, trials and challenges. And they were people that God loved. And I was one of them.
All the negative nit-picky things I would see about other people and myself melted away. And all the things that used to bug me bugged me less or not at all. It was replaced by joy and love.
It stopped mattering how my hair looked or if my shoes were old. It stopped mattering that I couldn't afford to have luxuries I had wanted so badly. It stopped mattering that people I loved had let me down in the past. The only things that mattered were the good things. The only things that matter are the good things.
I guess you could say I put on my rose-colored glasses instead of taking them off.
I like the way the world looks in a rosy hue.
What makes you grateful?