Today, as I am most days, I’m thankful for you. Yes you there, reading my blog. Whether you are a noncommittal lurker who stops in from time to time when a particularly tasty recipe nabs your attention (I admit, I’m totally guilty of this on many blogs), a regular reader, a regular reader who leaves comments on occasion or frequently (you’re my favorite! :)), a friend I’ve made online, or a personal friend, co-worker, or family member that also reads my blog, I so appreciate you! My stats tell me you’re there whether you admit it openly, and it really does me good to know it.
When it comes to admitting my feelings for people and making connections, I force myself to be reserved, except for when it comes to those I’m very, very close to and I know they feel the same way about me. I’m perpetually terrified of making a fool of myself by allowing myself to form a connection with someone and ending up liking them more than they like me. (What, you thought people only did this in dating scenarios? Nope, I do it with friendships!) I’m a pretty enthusiastic, loving person, and I could fall so deeply in love with every person I met if I let myself. Even with my barriers in place, I am sad to say some have helped me remove them only to break my heart, and so I’m even more careful now of forming friendships, whether in real life or online.
But today I’m making an exception and taking down my shield briefly to tell you that I love you. I so love you. You make every single day of my life better. Yes, YOU! If you’re wondering how this is possible, let me just skim the surface.
First, the comments. I love comments, and I’m sure other bloggers feel the same way. This is the ultimate gratification in blogging, to receive a comment. I don’t know why it’s such a big deal, but it feels pretty amazing when they appear. Wow! You read my blog! Maybe I’m not totally lame after all! lol
I treasure each and every one but here are some of my recent favorites, that have lifted me out of the depths of despair, brought a breath of fresh air to my day, or just made me laugh with happiness.
Is it possible not to smile after reading a comment that includes hearts, music notes and stars? Mary is always so cheerful!
(Fallon is from Zimbabwe, as I learned from another comment she left me.) I tear up every time I read this. The day I got it was a horrible day and I just bawled–it was such a blessing to me. This is the ultimate comment for me because THIS is why I post my favorite recipes, in hopes that I might bring the same happiness and love to other kitchens and families that they bring to my own. It took a few years, but I’m finally starting to get some “review” comments like this. Those are my favorite and the happiness in them also fills my soul when I read them.
I’m also starting to get a few comments from readers sharing their own recipes, and these always tickle me. I’m still looking forward to trying this one.
And I also get wonderful, encouraging comments that bring me to tears, like this one.
In addition to the readership and comments, some readers have taken it a step further by sending me post cards and even packages in the mail!
One reader from Russia, Becky, who I feel (dare I say it?) pretty close to, saw my mention of our trouble with having children and sent me this book.
Wow. God has blessed me so much through this blog and this is the epitome of that blessing. This book is a comfort to me, and a reminder about what is most important, my love for and relationship with Christ, so that I can keep my head on straight when I’m most tempted to wallow in self-pity.
Another reader, Kerry from Ohio, used my favorite pie crust recipe in three pies she entered at her state fair competition and won ribbons for all three! I was so surprised by the pie dish and carrier I received in the mail soon after, I thought I had a secret admirer until I finally remembered she said she was going to send me a token of appreciation for helping her win. I was expecting a thank you card! I was pretty astounded by her generosity, and very touched by the gesture. But the ultimate reward was helping her win those ribbons. My heart swells with happiness.
And then there’s Suzie. Suzie is really special to me and I’m going to just admit (shriek! totally going against my instincts!) that if we lived closer to one another, she just might be my BFF. She’s definitely my online BFF, and I never told her this but it’s kind of a miracle she managed to break through my barriers since we met right after my previous online bestie (well, I thought she was but the feeling wasn’t mutual-horrifying!) “dumped” me. We have never met in real life, but she has always supported me in blogging and everything I do, and I’m so happy to be able to follow her blog now that she has one (check her out here.) While I’m going out on limbs here, I’m going to tell you, Suzie, that if God ever blesses us with a child, my greatest wish would be you would be able to come all the way from MI to my baby shower so I can finally meet you face-to-face. Being pregnant and meeting you? I can’t think of two things that would fill me with more joy. I’d probably explode.
Anyway, this wonderful woman spoils me, along with almost everyone she knows, and particularly those she loves. A while back she sent me this glass cornucopia figurine and while it’s actually a candlestick holder, I had other plans for it. This is an antique, and antiques are precious to me because I adore pieces of physical history. It’s Fenton, which is a big deal (I recognized the name from my Dad’s dealing in it–he buys and sells antiques) and dates to the 1930s. I heart it so much!
Every time I think of something I’m thankful for throughout the week, I write it down and fold it up, and put it in the cornucopia. I also add fortune cookie fortunes whenever we eat Chinese because I get a kick out of them. How perfect is this for me, right? A cornucopia full of thanksgivings! At the end of the week, or weeks depending on how long I wait, I read all my thanksgivings to remind myself of everything I have to be thankful for. If you want to feel incredible peace, you might try this. It is wonderful.
OK, now I can’t possibly mention every single person who I am thankful for as a reader, and I got pretty specific with some of them, but I’m still talking to YOU. Thank you for reading. Even my lurkers bless me financially now that I’m getting paid to blog-LOL! But even without the little bit of money, seeing the number who is reading makes me feel like maybe I’m doing something that matters, and maybe I matter in this big world, even if it’s just to you. So thank you. You matter to me too, and I’m so thankful for you.