Some of the links we brought back from visiting Justin and Lauren in Las Vegas
Should I add the federal government to the cc: list on all my e-mails?

I keep hearing the voices in my head trying to get my attention

My mother and me
My mother and me in a picture taken a long time ago.

As I get ready to turn 67 in less than a month, I keep looking over my shoulder at the past and what I've done and not done and I hear the voices trying to get my attention.  Then I shift my focus to what lies ahead as I get older.

These voices get louder when I get up in the middle of the night to pee and I find myself wide-awake. Everything seems to be fair game when I'm sitting in the darkness in our living room.  My thoughts go down a freeway where I can stop off just about anyplace in my past.  I find myself wishing I could have a "do-over" on lots of stuff.

Another voice competes for attention and I hear Matt Redman singing his song 10,000 Reasons.  It's his ode to how many reasons he has to praise God.  He throws out the figurative number of 10,000.  

Then I start itemizing in my head a list of reasons to praise God.  These are things specific to me and they can be big or small.  But, they touched me in some way.  I usually get tired by the time I get to number 50 on my list.

I keep asking myself, could I list 10,000 Reasons?  How many more than 10,000 could I list?

On the top tier of my list, I'd have to list my mother who died many years ago, but had a birthday on July 29.  Her name was Frieda.  She was a single-mom who took on the impossible job of raising a child by herself in the forties.  My mom reflected the love that she received from Jesus.  I got my start from her.  Life could be bumpy, but she never gave up.  

She was an example for me, for my kids, my grandkids and for everybody else.  

It was God who lined the two of us up together.  I continue to learn from her example.  She wasn't perfect, but she knew where her strength came from.  

She paid it forward.  I hope I can do the same with the rest of my life.