And so we come to the very last day of November. I have had the annoying feeling that I was lagging behind for the last few months; catching up is just not something that seems to be in my immediate future, so I am determined to be content with whatever I can manage. I think this is yet another lesson in grace, but I don’t really have time to contemplate that right now….
Many of my friends have been very good about posting things they are thankful for all through November. I’ve enjoyed reading their posts and I have done a good bit of silent thinking and thanking as these days of November flew past in an orange-gold blur leaving me surrounded by pots of dead mums, pie pans partially full of sad-looking uneaten dessert, and boxes of Christmas decorations demanding to be dealt with–breathless, dizzy, and wondering how I got here.
Yesterday morning I was driving to my daughter’s house alone. It was the first chance I’ve had in a long time to stop and think. As I drove, I finally began to compile my own thankful list. I know I’m a little late, but it’s November for a few more hours and I am determined to do this. These are the things I find myself thankful for in 2013, not in any particular order, just sort of tumbled out of my mind in the random way that reflects the course of my life these past few months.
I’m thankful for my parents, for their health and active life-style. I hope I can age with half their grace. They are tech-savvy to keep up with their constantly growing brood and willing to travel for hours to family gatherings. They walked with us in the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome in October, and came to our Thanksgiving gathering bearing several dishes. I’ve gotten to spend a bit more time with them this year than usual. Their wisdom and love inspires me. I am grateful for parents who don’t let being in their 80’s keep them back.
I’m thankful for my children. Each of them has faced major challenges, disappointments, set backs, changes and/or tests this year, and they have all come through with grace and peace. There aren’t enough words to express my thankfulness for the people they have become. They aren’t just my children; they’re people I enjoy having as friends. I’m thankful for all the laughter, love and light they bring to my life. I am especially thankful that our oldest son is finished with his ROTC committment and out of the army. I am thankful for his service, grateful for his safety through two deployments, and excited to follow his next adventure as he and his little family head off to China.
I am thankful for the fact that my husband has a full-time job. I can also say with honesty that I am very thankful for the lessons learned through the months and years of unemployment and under-employment. We saw God provide for us. We experienced answered prayer in abundance; we received grace, generosity and love from all over, and we learned about peace, patience and perseverance as we waited. We have new compassion toward those who find themselves in the same position and a new understanding of the blessing of having work. God is good all the time. I’m also thankful for my husband’s awesome new mustache!
I’m thankful to be a grandma. I’m grateful that while many young people are putting career and possessions before having families and others struggle with infertility, my children have chosen the parent-path and been blessed with babies. I do not take a single one of the nine for granted. God is very good.
I am especially thankful for our newest little girl born this year. I am grateful that I got to see Evangeline Grace just days after she was born and spend a whole week helping to care for the baby and her big brothers.
It was so kind of the Lord to give us another baby girl less than a year after Blythe was born. They are going to be great buddies as soon as they get over trying to tear one another’s noses off. Speaking of Blythe, her determination and literally bouncing spirit lifts us all.
I am thankful for good friends at work, wonderful students that bless and challenge me daily, and strength for each day. Eleven months after being released by my oncologist, I feel better than I have in years, so I am also thankful for my Fitbit!
A special blessing this fall was the gift of a car. My 1998 Honda Accord is the first car that has ever been just mine. It’s kind of amazing how thrilled I am every time I get to say “my car,” or reach for my very own keys. For more than two years my sweet husband took me to work every morning and picked me up each afternoon, but now, thanks to sweet friend of mine, I am able to get to work as early as I want and come home whenever I am ready. I drive around blasting old-school Point of Grace, and there’s no one to make fun of me. This gift has changed my life and I am very grateful. (It even has a sunroof!)
Lastly, at least for this post, I am thankful for my Margie-dog. I was really afraid we were going to lose her this summer, but she has made a much more complete recovery than I imagined was possible. As I close this post, she is snoring like a freight train. The Christmas tree twinkles, the gas logs flicker, and peace reigns… well, not exactly, because Matt is playing Halo and aliens are dying in my livingroom left and right, but you know what I mean. God is good all the time; all the time God is good! Here comes December!