Monday, March 3, 2014

SA Larsen's "It's All About Gratitude" Blog Hop

At the beginning of February, Sheri Larsen announced her It's All About Gratitude blog hop. I am not generally a blog hop kind of person, but this topic spoke to me. 

It is easy to fixate on all that is "wrong" on the road to publication, instead of being grateful for what has already been achieved. When I remind myself to be grateful, I notice first a shift in my thinking, and then a shift in my mood.

Please forgive me for being serious and personal for a moment. I would like to share the story of my oldest son, who is now 17. Christopher was born extremely prematurely (at 24 weeks gestation) and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces at birth. He spent four months in an NICU, clinging precariously to life. We were told he had a 50 percent chance of major disability--including cerebral palsy.

Now, at 17, he is remarkably unscathed by his birth experience. He did have a form of epilepsy, which he has outgrown (thank you, God!), and has ADD. We are blessed to have a school in our city, Thomas A. Edison High School, which serves children with learning differences. Christopher has blossomed there. One of the benefits is that the school is on the campus of a large Catholic high school which has a phenomenal drama department. Chris loves the theater, and has been able to take part in several musicals.

This year marked great growth for him, as he got a speaking role in a student-directed one act (which he rocked!) We have just returned from a performance of Shrek--this year's musical. Chris was an elf and danced and sang with great gusto. In both the one-acts and the musical, I have found myself sitting there blinking back tears, so grateful that my son is able to do something he loves without impairment.

So many things in life are tough--but if we approach life in a spirit of gratitude we can be blessed rather than blighted.

Here's the link to Sheri's initial blog post. At the bottom, you can find others signed up for the blog tour who are sharing their experience of gratitude. 

1.Literary Rambles2.Sharing Thanks
3.Alex J. Cavanaugh4.Leigh Talbert Moore
5.Constantine6.Catherine Stine's Idea City
7.Jenni Enzor8.Fanny Barnes Thornton
9.Parents for Character10.Miranda Hardy
11.Jemi Fraser12.Julie Musil
13.Middle Grade Mafioso14.Jamie Burch
15.Mama Diaries16.Chandara Writes
17.My Road To Happiness18.Swords and Stilettos
19.Margo Berendsen

Grateful for the Elf
(my son Chris and his friend Jimmy, the Frog Prince)


  1. Can so relate to this with all my husband's health issues. So glad Chris is doing so well.

    My post will go up on Wednesday.

  2. That is so wonderful about your son. It is a great blessing and worth all your gratitude.
    A very uplifting blog.

  3. How frightening to experience such pain and hardship with a newborn. I'm glad Chris is thriving today!! Much to be grateful for!

  4. Amen! Brought tears to my eyes, too. So proud of our boy.

  5. I'm so happy for you and your family. What a great gift. Thanks for sharing the story.

  6. The tough times teach us so much, I think, and when something beautiful comes from those times, all I can do is sit back and wow. So I'm wowing at your family's story.

  7. Gosh, isn't it true that fixating on what we perceive as problems before us is just too dang easy. Brushing that aside to clear our view can be tough, but so important. I applaud you for your strength to focus on what your son needed instead of all the 'possibles' that could have been. Being a parent is by far the hardest occupation. You've obviously done marvels! Thanks for posting on gratitude. I loved having you.

  8. What an inspiring post! My younger son also had health issues as a baby, so I could relate. It's still amazing to me that no one would know seeing him now. The hard times really help you to appreciate the good ones. Congrats to your son on his play and all he's accomplished!

  9. What a wonderful story about your son!

  10. What a wonderful story about your son, and what a blessing there were no residual effects from his premature birth. Thank you for sharing such a personal post about gratitude. Loved it!!

  11. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story about Christopher. Yes, so many blessings to be grateful for. Love the pic, too! :)

  12. Dear Blogger,

    This email is to notify you that your blog was selected as the recipient of Middle Shelf Magazine's Best of the Blogs Award 2014. This recognition is given to blogs for promoting and exemplifying the spirit of middle grade books. Fifteen blogs were awarded in Middle Shelf's March/April issue. A list of these blogs and links to their sites can be found on pages 52-53.

    We have an award button available to display on your blog if you like. Please contact me at laurisa at shelfmediagroup dot com.

    Again, congratulations.


    Laurisa White Reyes
    Editor-in-Chief, Middle Shelf Magazine


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