I am thankful…
~ for Carson Grace’s incredible trip to Washington D.C. and for her safe return home. The GCS Senior class packed as much history and culture into 5 days as is humanly possible. From the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress to the Lincoln Memorial; touring the Capital with Texas Representative Louie Gohmert and taking in the priceless artifacts at Museum of the Bible, and then finally ending the trip at Mount Vernon (this is maybe a third of all the places they visited.) Carson Grace came home utterly exhausted, but bursting with a passion for history and a deep appreciation of the significance of the places she had experienced. She said she could literally feel the presence of greatness when she stood where Martin Luther King Jr. had delivered his speech. So thankful she had the opportunity to go on this amazing trip, and for the memories made with her classmates.
~ for a day spent loving on my sweet baby nephew, Emmett. He is just the yummiest baby, full of toothy grins and giggles. Most of the day was spent protecting him from the aggressive affections of Tatum K. “Baby. Kiss.” “Baby. Toe toes.” “Baby. Talk.” I made the mistake of leaving the room to throw something away, only to hear, “Baby. Hide!” Thankfully, Emmett was only briefly “hiding” in a blanket. But I definitely did not leave them alone even for a moment after that. A baby + Tatum + Bear = quite the combination.
~for the way Sawyer makes me laugh. He got dressed for school one morning and I handed him a lightweight sweatshirt to put on before he went out the door. He gave an approving smile, “Oh yeah! To complete the look.” He is also very excited planning all the funny jokes he’s going to play on people in a few weeks… on “April Tuesday.”
~I love the endearing way I am greeted by Tatum K when I open up the closet door (yes, she still sleeps in the closet). Every morning she meets me with outstretched arms, a furrowed frown, and one word. “Poop.”
~ for SUNSHINE!!! Glorious sunshine!!! It’s been rainy and overcast for so long, the dazzling clear sky took my breath away when I drove the kids to school! Isn’t it incredible the difference the weather can make on our outlook? Breathing in sunshine is just so refreshing! Picnics and walks and playing legos in the driveway. We’ve been soaking up all we can in between the showers.
~for my darling husband. He is so good to me, and he loves to surprise me. I have been pining over one of the latest trends in home decor…a fiddle leaf fig tree. I have gone on and on about those silly trees. And wouldn’t you know it, out of the blue my cute Love showed up with one for me this week! My kids all laughed at how loudly I squealed when I leapt into his arms kissing him!
~ for healing for Sawyer. He had started feeling puny and developed a nasty cough at the end of last week, so I got him in to the pediatrician. Having just gotten over pneumonia, we wanted to be sure it wasn’t coming back. Thankfully, lungs sounded clear, but the doc did discover double ear infections. He is somewhat better, but still has the wretched lingering crud cough.
~ for the continued ripple effects of the wonderful ministry of Lighthouse Family Retreat (LFR). 3 years ago, we met a precious family from Mississippi. Well this week, they had traveled to Dallas for a work trip when their son Ian, still in treatment for leukemia, began to run fever. Mom (Julie) remembered we lived near Dallas, and texted me for a hospital recommendation. I got her the info for Children’s, and shared a few tips about getting fast-tracked directly into an isolation room in the ER. Ian’s fevers persisted and triggered an elevated heart rate and low blood pressure, resulting in him being admitted to the ICU! So scary! And for all this to happen so far from home! But through the connections made at Lighthouse, the Lord provided a tiny glimmer of encouragement and familiarity in the midst of foreign surroundings. I truly believe that is at the very heart of what Lighthouse was created for! To build godly relationships and connect families long after the retreat is over. I will be forever grateful for all the precious families we have met through LFR, and treasure these lifelong relationships. Thankfully, after 2 scary days in the Children’s ICU, Ian’s fevers have come down and he’s been moved to the Oncology Unit. They are waiting for his counts to recover before he can be released. I know they would be most grateful for your prayers.
This has been a spiritually challenging week. Just lots going on, and much to pray about. But I do see already how God is displaying His incomparable mastery at bringing good from what the enemy intended for evil. Josh and I have spent more time in the Word together than we ever have, and we have spent more time on our faces in prayer than we have in a long time. Isn’t that just how it goes? When things are going well, and nothing’s rocking our boat, we don’t always take the time to thank God for that peaceful season, or to remain diligent in seeking Him. We go on autopilot, or operate with a misguided sense of self-reliance. But when stuff starts getting REAL…we are reminded how frail we are, how desperately we need a Savior. We have to abide with Him in the “easy” times and in the hard. Marinate in His Word. This is no great new revelation to any of you I’m sure. But I just know that as for me, I wander. I stall out. I get lazy. I press in, press in hard when it’s storming, then I thank God for the rainbow and move on, relieved to be past the trial. Lord, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Let me always be mindful of my constant need. I love the Tauren Wells song that so beautifully reminds, “On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there. In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there. When I’m standing on the mountain, I didn’t get there on my own. When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone. You’re God of the hills and valleys…”
I’m excited for Spring Break this week. We started our annual tradition of breakfast dates this morning. I look forward to one-on-one time with each of the children, and they are all a-buzz about where they want to go to eat with Mom. I love that it’s still something they like to do. Other than that, we have no plans. Just to take it easy and soak up some time together. It will take a little time to acclimate to Daylight Savings. My poor kids got dinner at 8pm tonight!
I hope this week finds you well. Let’s love on the people around us, and lift one another up. Thank you for giving thanks with me.
“The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.” Psalms 42:8