I am grateful that on this journey, there have been glimpses of beauty. Not just grateful for the beauty but for the fact that through this darkness I've found myself in, I'm able to still see it. I'm able to recognize that not all in this life is empty. Not all is burdensome. Not all is hopeless.
This week's project forced me to get out of my house, take 100 steps, and find something photograph worthy. I looked outside tonight and the storm clouds cast an almost "sepia" look from the sky. It was breathtaking. I grabbed the camera and headed outside. I have to admit, 100 steps is not near as many as I was anticipating. I didn't get as far as I thought. 100 steps one way, I found a few things to capture through the lens. 100 steps back found me seeing the comforts of my home setting in a whole new light.
I'm grateful for the reason to get outside and be purposeful. I'm grateful for the quiet, alone time. I'm grateful for a creative outlet. They may just be pictures to anyone else, but I see part of my story in every one of them.
I'm grateful for the freedom to be honest. For the ability to be vulnerable. For the chance to recognize my weaknesses, and instead of succumbing to their burden, embracing them for the fact they are part of what makes me Val.
I'm grateful for my girls. I'm grateful for the chance to be a mother. Their mother. I'm grateful my heart has the opportunity to love as only a mother can. I'm grateful for the few hours I got to hold Harlynn in my arms. One day I'll be grateful for the lifetime I will hold her in my heart.
I'm grateful that even when I am enveloped and immersed in my own grief and turn my back on the rest of the world and on my God, the rest of the world and my God refuse to turn their back on me.