I love getting back into the kitchen. . . it's been a while ;)
I was blessed to go to church last night before I started my Thanksgiving Day preparations. It helped me reflect on all that I am thankful for most importantly God. He has given me a faith that has sustained me through so much this past year.
It has been a tradition around our home to take a few moments during the Thanksgiving activities and write down several things that we are thankful for. The things after God, faith and salvation. Those are a given. Those are the things that we thank God for on a daily basis.
This morning I pulled out the cards from 2008 and this is what I found:
1. I have a supporting job!
2. That I had my guardian angel with me and watching over me this summer!
3. The support of family during hard times!
1. I am thankful Mike hasn't been in the hospital in over 8 weeks :)
2. Thankful our income is still enough for our needs! Thankful our car still runs and hasn't had any major expense.
3. I am thankful for my spiritual growth that is a huge gift and an answered prayer.
4. For a spiritually mature husband who takes his responsibility as leader of our family, seriously.
1. Pain free legs & not getting up 3 times a night.
2. Working windshield wipers on the Bonneville that still runs.
3. The job that I have in an unstable economy.
4. Thankful that gas prices have dropped from $4 to $1.73.
5. The Lord bringing all of us through many hospital visits throughout 2008.
1. Turkey, corn, chicken, jello.
2. Going in my room.
3. Going outside with dad and playing with toys.
1. My health
2. Working at the Dance Studio
3. Disability checks
David (with Dad's help to write them)
1. CARS (as in the movie and the little toys).
2. My mom who stays with me every day.
3. Music because I love to sing.
4. A Car so that I can go places like the museum and the swimming pool.
5. Friends that come to my house (Jack & Gavin).
1. Pudding 17. George Washington 33. Pumpkin Patches
2. Mom 18. The Mall 34. Vitamins
3. Dad 19. Stores 35. Katie
4. Donets 20. Shoes Katie and I got a pretty
5. Mike 21. Sand good chuckle out of his list :)
6. David 22. Shovel
7. bike 23. Orange Juice
8. My room 24. Ice Cream
9. Gage 25. Can't read it
10. Going on Vacations 26. Roads
11. Snow 27. Brownies
12. Waterpark 28. Cake
13 No school days 29. Hair
14. Football games 30. Summer
15. House 31. Spring
16. Money 32. Little Farmer
I am thankful that I am a scrapbooker and that I took the time to do things like this.
There is a wonderful smell in my home from pies that just came out of the oven and things still in there baking. Paul, Richie, David and two of my nephews up from Tennessee, Luke and Eli just left for church. The house has been filled with life and laughter . . . I am thankful.
Many people have shared with me that the holidays would be especially hard. I can honestly say I haven't found this to be true so far. I think about the fact that Mike is celebrating his first Thanksgiving in heaven and I think about how cool that must be. When I think about Mike I immediately think about the fact he isn't suffering. I miss him terribly some times. When the tempter comes and gives me a poke it isn't fun. He took a really good jab at me a few weeks ago. I'll write about that another time. But the comforter is still here giving me comfort and peace and he is bigger than any temptation.
I was typing at my niece Janna the other day and I was able to verbalize the realization of experiences I have been having. While talking about grief I wrote:
I am learning through this experience that it is hard to be sad while your heart is so full of thankfulness and gratitude. I choose to be thankful that God gave me a son. Not look at it that God took away my son. It is hard to explain to others who are hurting. But I'm going to keep trying because I so want them to feel what I am feeling. It is a God feeling. A feeling that can come only from God. To feel His presence so fully that grief becomes only a shadow to it. To feel so much gratitude for His mercy that sorrow has to take a back seat. To have so much hope in Him that there is no way not to have joy. It is a God feeling and it is pretty amazing. God truly does come close to the broken hearted - indeed.
I'm not saying that there isn't grief and sorrow. There is. But it is not all consuming. There is joy, there is peace, there is gladness . . . life is for the living. The lesson I'm learning is that while I am living in gratitude and thankfulness I don't feel as sad or sorrowful. They are shadowed. God is so good.
I choose to look at things like the notes above and be thankful. I was going through some of the medical notes from Mike's chart and I found this:
Written on 9/16/14 by the Palliative Care Team
. . .Mike recognizes that he does get depressed at times, but feels he has a great support system especially through his "biker" club. Mike is close to his family--he has 2 younger brothers. His mom has remarried and he appears to have a good relationship with his step-dad. His dad is involved and visits on weekends.
Closure of Life Affairs: Patient is hopeful to live until he is 34, but recognizes that time could be shorter. He is starting to think about how his family might cope with this death. He shared stories about his life, and the fact that he feels he has had a good life.
What a blessing to see those words. Mike shared that with many at UW Madison - "I've had a good life . . ." You are all part of that. How can we be anything but thankful.
|This picture was taken on the day we wrote the thankful cards above :)|
Love, love, love.