Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I don't want to go all Pollyanna sugary-sweet on you, but in the midst of the most challenging seasons I can imagine, I have been simply blown away by God's goodness and blessing. I don't want to forget God's astounding provision for me, for my kids, my marriage, my husband, my family, so here's the start of my gratitude list.  And these aren't just the little niceties like last Friday's team ski afternoon (way better than working!), this is the big, knock-my-socks-off stuff.
  • Justine - The blessing of having a live-in nanny who loves on my kids, cleans, cooks, and does a million other things to keep our home running smoothly is beyond description.  She keeps our home a welcoming and joyful place I am so grateful that God brought Justine into our family!
  • The Xbox - I bet you never thought I'd list the Xbox as one of my big items of gratitude, but thanks to the miracle of Xbox Live, Steve and the kids have been able to chat and play arcade games together every couple of days.  It's been a wonderful way for them to connect and hang out together even from 2,000 miles away.
  • Good health insurance - Oh my goodness.  If there's a patron saint of Aetna, I'll start celebrating his or her feast day because without him or her, we'd be selling our house.
  • Mom and Dad - Knowing that Steve has a safe, loving, comfortable home away from home for these months does my heart so much good.
  • Letters and notes - Opening my mailbox to find a hug or prayer or scripture from loved ones afar is such sustaining encouragement
  • Reading together - Every night as I put the girls to bed, Ben turns on my electric blanket so that it's all toasty for when the boys and I snuggle up together and read before bed. It has been sweet together time, and we've managed to finish up several very entertaining books!
  • Sam's sweetness - Sam is our least openly demonstrative child, but in the last couple of months he's astonished me with his sweetness to me and the girls. The occasional texts I get from him, just checking in or saying hi, and the extra chores and thoughtful help he's provided have been such sweet surprises.
  • Reaching out - We've had wonderful help from our community and church with everything from plumbing to pumping up bike tires to watching the kiddos, and not only am I super duper grateful for the help, but it's been accompanied by the unexpected pleasure of feeling more connected to our church and friends and neighbors. Although I would have thought that relying on others for the things that our family would normally do for ourselves would feel weird, it's actually been a lot of fun and really encouraging.
  • Meals from our church family - As Justine and I get used to our new norms and the rhythms of home, getting a couple of hot meals a week from our church family has been a huge schedule (and budget) relief. And our church cooks some good food!
  • Cross country skiing - Going up to the Nordic Center has been one of this year's delightful unexpected surprises. We've enjoyed several happy afternoons all together in the snow and sunshine and I'm grateful for kids who enjoy going out and romping as a family.

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