Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I realized how little I knew.

It seems like the appropriate time of year to reflect on where I am today, and where I am headed.  As I have mentioned, there have been a series of life events in my recent past that have reshaped my thinking and priorities.  Some of these lessons were more challenging to go through than others.  But like any struggle I've ever experienced, running from it seems fruitless so why not just tackle it head on? Life lesson number one relates to parenting.  I have learned it is absolutely vital to encourage, support and love your children unconditionally.  Important in everyday life, but even more so when they are facing their own life challenges.  Enabling your child to continue a path of destruction will cripple their potential which is counter-intuitive to my role as their parent. This is often easier said than done, but crucial nonetheless.

Life lesson number two relates to finances.  Guess what?  It doesn't matter if you live in a 5,400 s.f. mcmansion or a 1,900 s.f. patio home.  Here is what matters...how well you get along with the people who share your roof.  People are not happier with more space, more stuff, bigger lots, and pricier cars...in fact, they are often less satisfied.  "Keeping up with the Jones" gets to be very stressful and tiring.  I don't know how I thought that the opposite was true, but I feel blessed to have learned that lesson.

And life lesson number three relates to marriage, and is by far the one that blew me away this year.  Here it is...just when you think you have your spouse figured out, he changes.  When you think it isn't possible...it happens!  Not that I didn't love him for who he was, but HE has instituted some changes (without nagging believe it or not) that have brought a renewed appreciation, love, and respect for who he is, for our relationship, and for his relationship with our family.

I am excited about the coming year!  Some highlights to look forward to include my 20th wedding anniversary, my graduation from college, watching Brigham graduate from middle school, helping Maddux prepare for his First Communion, and handing my daughter a bouquet of roses after her dance recital.  And, God willing, continued positive feedback on the book I have written which tells a story I feel I was called to share.  These are events that are more precious to me now for having learned some lessons the past few years, and I couldn't be more grateful to have experienced them!

As we head into a new year, if you are in the middle of some life lessons of your own, take the time to listen to your heart.  I believe the answers you seek will come to you when you open your mind to change.  Many blessings in 2012~Kim