I am thankful for….a day of rest.
Today I am thankful for friends both old and new, those nearby and others who are far away. I am glad for sweet friends for my children…what a blessing to have kids who pop in and out of each others’ homes and feel like family. Thankful for friends who love me and encourage in this stage of life, wonderful women whom I learn so much from, and who are just a blast to spend time with. Thankful for folks who have known us a long, long time and love us still. Thankful for folks who laugh and cry with us, who celebrate joys and disappointments as they come, and who are kind enough to allow us share in the stuff of their lives as well. We are blessed.
Today I am thankful for roller skating with friends, for long trips to the library with kids, for a date night out with Hubby, for my children’s enthusiasm and joy about so many things in life.
We entered the library this afternoon while an elderly lady was leaving. She looked my brood over, thanked the two boys who’d held the door for her, and instead of the “My, you’ve got your hands full!” comment I am subjected to most every time a random stranger says something to me about our family, this lady smiled at me and said, “Oh, it is so good to see children who are happy for a change!” And I blinked a little because I was so shocked, but then smiled at her, and said thank you for saying something so kind.
So today I am also thankful for encouraging words from complete strangers, and the reminder again of how blessed I am.
Today I am thankful for all the teachers in my children’s lives. Despite the term “Home Schooling”, there is much we learn about in settings outside of our home, and a great many more teachers are involved in this endeavor than just me!
These teachers gently guide, and nurture creativity and a love for learning in each of our kids, and are a huge blessing to our family. While there is not space to mention all of them, I especially love and appreciate our piano teacher, who is fun and amazing, and who meets each child where they are, and helps them to create the most beautiful music. I am thankful that my boys have the opportunity to work and learn with a brilliant engineer who teaches them all about the science behind electrical and mechanical systems and then guides them in building all sorts of woodworking projects, circuits, electronics, and more: something I wouldn’t even begin to know how to do even if I wanted to! I am grateful for a dear friend who teaches Latin beautifully to my three oldest, since I cannot. And my little budding artist is thriving under the care and encouragement of her art instructors who are not only fabulous artists but amazing people.
My personal favorite teacher this year is not being compensated in any monetary fashion for his wonderful work with Abigail. I think that is partly because you cannot put a price on how cool it is for a 12 year old girl to enjoy learning General Science under the loving and watchful eye of her grandfather. Grandy John doesn’t seem to mind too much that he is grossly overqualified to teach 7th grade science, and the two of them are having a blast exploring the subject together. They do several experiments each week to reinforce/illustrate whatever it is they are studying about. Here is a pic I snapped of the two of them earlier this year; despite the looks of it, no, Grandy is not teaching Abigail to concoct mixed drinks in General Science!! (At least, not yet!).
You know what? Sometimes in the evening when I sit down to write my “Thankful” post, I am tired or somewhat discouraged over the day’s events. So much so that if you can believe it, I struggle to find something (new and/or original, that hasn’t already been mentioned this month, hehehe) to be thankful for. Shameful, definitely, but true. I am as guilty of overlooking my blessings as the next person, I think.
Yet strangely, as soon as I stop my little pity party over whatever it is that might be getting me down, and concentrate on seeking to give thanks, something happens. As soon as I can recall one thing which happened that is quite obviously deserving (even to the pitiful) of thanksgiving, I am able to remember more blessings and more reasons to be thankful. And then, despite whatever circumstances are still true that vy for contentment in my heart, I am able to rest and remember oh yes, thank you Lord for these blessings that your hand has given me and my family. And thank you for helping me to be thankful.
Well, today, to keep it real, yes: I am weary and still a little sick, I have an awful and icky headache, I didn’t finish nearly the full slate of lessons, chores and things on my “to-do” list. And did I mention I have a headache?
But I am thankful….
I am again thankful for easy access to medical specialists, and especially to doctor friends who help loved ones get an appointment quickly with those specialists when needed. I am so grateful for dear friends whom I can just be with, and not be scintillating or interesting, but just be….and that they are good with that. I am thankful that I sometimes get to witness the compassion of my children for others — it warms my heart. I am thankful for my sweet husband, and for all that he means to me. I am thankful for Jesus, not that He saved me once, but that He keeps on saving me daily.
Today I am thankful for my wonderful M-I-L (that’s “Mother in Love” for those of you not in the know) and her kind help and encouragement to us; for an afternoon math lesson outside that was interrupted by a glint of green in the Japanese Maple above us, and for a friendly anole lizard who tolerated a 10 year old boy’s fascination; for fried chicken I didn’t have to cook but which was better than if I had; and for oranges (again with the oranges, I know! I craved them during one of my two middle boys’ pregnancies and still can’t get enough of them!!).
Today I am so thankful that our entire family was well enough to attend worship together for the first time in a few weeks. I am thankful for our friends and family at New St. Peter’s, for our pastors who preach the Gospel both humbly and boldly, and who care very much for the flock under their care. I am thankful for friends (and family!) there who love us dearly, know us well, and care for us in good times and bad times. I am especially thankful for the way our faith is encouraged and challenged by being part of the body of Christ there.
Today I am thankful for the luxury of getting to sleep in, for sweet doggies who give us loyalty and affection with no strings attached; for pork tacos with fresh avocado, for my husband’s hard work on yet another home improvement project, and for antibiotics which appear to be working — it is lovely to be feeling a bit more like myself again!!
On this Veteran’s Day, I am thankful for the men and women, both past and present, who serve in our armed forces with dignity and courage around our nation and our world. The sacrifices they make are many and great, and they go mostly unnoticed, except by those who are close to them, and often deeply affected.
In our own family, we have had, among others, a great-grandfather, great-uncle, and grandfather serve in three major wars, and neither my great-grandfather nor my great-uncle returned from World War I or World War II, respectively. This meant that my grandfather Bob, who was just a baby when his father, Augustus, was killed in WWI, never knew his dad growing up. My great-uncle Bill was serving in France in 1944 when he fell in the line of duty. He was just 20 years old. He was his parents’ only living son, my grandmother, Jean’s only sibling. She still misses him today.
If these losses weren’t enough to convince me of the horrors of war, my very friendly and outgoing grandfather’s life-long reticence to speak of his own experiences in both World War II and the Korean War left no doubt in my mind. Nor did the scars on my grandfather’s hands and arms which he wore as a reminder of the injuries he suffered when Kamikazi aircraft hit his naval carrier during the second world war. He was very badly burned but returned home and enjoyed a long, wonderful life, becoming father to three children (the first of whom was my own dear Mom) and grandfather, or “Pa” as we called him, to seven grandkids (the first of whom was Yours Truly!). Pa was blessed to live long enough to see four of his great-grandchildren born and hold them in his arms, arms which still bore the scars of a fiery battle fought more than 50 years earlier.
Mine is not the only family who carries memories of those who sacrificed in service to their country. On this Veteran’s Day, no matter our individual stances on wars, past or present, I hope we will each pause and thank God for the freedoms we enjoy, many of them because of sacrifices which people we never knew made on our behalf. Thank you to our veterans.
We are wrapping up three full weeks of various illnesses and maladies around our house. Nothing terrible or life-threatening, but draining all the same, especially when both parents have been down for almost the entirety of the time. Today as I write this, every single person in our family is ill with one form of cold/sinus crud/fever virus or another.
All this being sick reminds me of how thankful I am that we enjoy wonderful health most of the time. It also reminds me of how blessed we are to have access to incredible medical care: doctors aplenty, surgeons and specialists when we need them, therapists for all manner of issues, and more hospitals than I can count on one hand within a 20 minute drive from our house. We also have easy and reasonably affordable access to medicine, and because of this I cannot even imagine what it is to be faced with a medical issue that I could not (somehow) find a doctor/medicine to tend to as needed.
So, today I am thankful for the blessing of health. I am grateful for good doctors, accessible medicine, and relatively affordable health care when we need it for us and for our loved ones.
I’m also incredibly thankful for dear, sweet old friends who show up at my door with three different kinds of hot, delicious soup to feed me and my family for supper when I am down with fever and the crud. We love you, Stephie!!