Gratitude…

Chuck kissing Leslie in AlbuquerqueI woke up early this morning, thanks to the rumble of thunder in the distance, and lay in bed for a while thinking about how grateful I am for the many blessings in my life.

Mind you, blessings are not earned. They are gifts. I’d like to say thank you for the ones that came to mind this time.

I am grateful for health, some of which I can control, and much of which is up to the vagaries of genetics, microscopic bugs, and cell mutation. I am glad that I am able to swim, and walk, and hike, and ride a bicycle.

I am glad that I have the opportunity to engage in my favorite activities: writing, flying, road trips, making pottery and quilts, playing with my grandchildren, being outside.

As odd as it may sound, I am profoundly grateful that I was present to witness the deaths of my parents, to hold them as they left this world, and to pray for them as the entered the next.

I am also profoundly grateful to have the three best children in the world – they’re adults now – and that they have chosen life partners who I genuinely like. Not all parents can say that.

I am grateful that my husband is in good health, and understands me as well as any man can understand his wife. Yes, I am profoundly grateful for that, too! He both supports my dreams and keeps me grounded. Not all wives can say that.

I am grateful for the love and friendship of my brother and his wife, and for the same with my husband’s sisters and their husbands. Blessings, all.

My airplane friends are some of the best folks around. Generous, funny, genuine. Flying’s fun on its own, but they make it even better. Thanks, Dennis Skovgaard, for teaching me to be a good pilot, and thanks, Dean Isaacs, for letting me borrow your plane!

Writing friends, published or not, have encouraged me on this journey, have lifted me up when I’ve lost heart, and celebrated with me when I’ve achieved a goal. Like finaling in the 2013 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest. (Squeeeeee!)

I’ve learned so much from my critique partners, Sandy Loyd, Caroline Fyffe, Lisa Tapp, and Angie Ballard. They’ve helped me take my writing to a new level. And I can thank Susan Isaacs for reading my very first draft of my very first manuscript all those years ago (it must have been painful for her!) and being so gentle with her response. She launched me on this journey, and I’m grateful for where it’s taken me.

Members of Louisville Romance Writers took over from Susan and nurtured me. Every member of this wonderful group has contributed, but along with my critique partners, I am especially grateful for the friendships of Joan Kayse, Katie McGarry, Alison Atlee, Karen Ender, and Heidi Howard.

I am grateful for my church friends, especially Diane Cooper, Mary Eisert, Lennie Reinhardt, Jill Shcaftlein, Nancy Tomes, and Melanie Wermuth. It still surprises me when one of them tells me they pray for me every night. What a blessing, to be so loved! And what examples in faith.

A couple of online friends bridge the gap between writing and faith: Jennifer Fitz and Don Mulcare. I’ve never met them, but they brighten my days with their lively and authentic presence.

I can’t leave out the musicians who enrich my life. Sisters Janet Hamilton and Louise Richmer, who  make cantoring a joy; Miguel, Dervi, Delmar, Oscar, Fernando, and Gustavo in the Hispanic choir for the joy and dedication they bring to their work. Thank you all for allowing me to make music with you!

I could go on and on, because there are so many other people who come to mind, but I’m going to stop now. If you’ve read this far, thank you. I hope my moment of gratitude has brightened your day. And if my gratitude is contagious, that’s a very good thing!

Peace

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14 Responses to Gratitude…

  1. Sandy says:

    We should all be able to put into words as eloquently as you have the things that we are grateful for.

  2. I was reading your gratitude list and being sooo happy and proud of you. This was a wonderful tribute to you Leslie. We all often have a hard time coming up with a list like that. I am very honored to be included in such a remarkable list of people but can’t get past what a wonderful accomplishment this is in itself. Love you so much Leslie.

  3. Leslie Lynch says:

    Love you, too, Diane. 🙂

  4. Angie says:

    I love your smile in that picture. We should all take a little time every day to list our blessings. I know I always feel better after doing so! I’m glad to be part of your life, and part of your celebration of gratitude 🙂

    • Leslie Lynch says:

      Thanks, Angie! 🙂 I used to do the ‘five things to be thankful for’ list every day (there was a book that I can’t remember right now, darn it!), and I got out of the habit. Time to get back into it!

      What a wonderful celebration of friendship here today! Thanks to everyone for stopping by. <3

  5. Sarah says:

    I love you, Mom!!! 🙂

  6. Don Mulcare says:

    Hi Leslie,

    Speaken if reasons to celebrate…are you a Louisville basketball fan? I couldn’t stop thinking of you as both the men’s (Champions) and women’s (runners up) made basketball nation stand up and take notice. there’s the Derby in the near future too.

    You are most kind to mention me among your posse. You are more than just a celebrity to me, You are a caring friend who has taken your time to show me around. You are high on my list when it comes to reasons to celebrate!

    Be sure of prayers for your safety from the nasty spring storms and congratulations on your present triumphs and the shared expectation of your future triumphs.

    God Bless,

    Don

    • Leslie Lynch says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Don, and for your kind words! Yes, we’re Card fans. Watching the U of L championship games (!) was surreal – and heart-stopping! Lots to be proud of, with the talent and grace of all those young team members, both men and women.

      Thanks also for the prayers for safety with the spring storms; we recently passed the one year anniversary of the Borden/Henryville storm. Not eager for a repeat.

      Blessings, Don!

      • Don Mulcare says:

        Hi Leslie,

        Although I spent 2 years, a decade apart, at the University of Michigan, I went with the Cards. I didn’t like Conn’s beating ND, so the Lady Cards again had my support.

        Although most of our immediately family lives in the hurricane belt, our daughter had a tornado move in next door several years ago. It removed an ancient White Pine grove along with the roofs of many neighborhood houses. My daughter’s garage suffered in the swirl. This twister left a path on the satellite picture of the state, moving from Springfield to exactly next to my daughter’s house where it lifted off the ground. That unfortunate neighborhood harbored a nasty hurricane later in the same year. Mother nature can brutalize her creatures when in the mood.

        Thanks again for sharing your talents with so many, including me.

        God Bless,

        Don

  7. Leslie Lynch says:

    We were in the path of the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham monster twister a couple of years ago, then it inexplicably changed course. The experience strips you of all worldly trappings; the only thing we could do was pray – and it became a prayer of “Thy will, O Lord” and “Have mercy on those struck by these storms”, because there is nothing else to say or do.

    Thankful that your daughter escaped the worst!

    Peace,
    Leslie

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