I am thankful:
~ last week I forgot to report the wonderful news that my dear friends from Mississippi who had traveled to Dallas for work and then found themselves TRAPPED in the ICU at Children’s Hospital finally got to GO HOME! Ian improved enough to be moved from ICU to the general Oncology floor, and then they had the long tedious wait for ANC to rise enough for docs to feel confident that he was well enough to make the 8 hour drive home. But after a FULL WEEK unexpectedly stuck in an unfamiliar hospital 500 miles away, they made it back safely to the comfort of their home and the rest of their children! So very thankful for Jesus’ healing, for the supernatural grace He gave them to endure the waiting, and for “my” awesome nurses who (no surprise) went out of their way to love on this family and make their stay as comfortable as possible. They are the real life Dream Team folks!!! No nurses better will you find!
~ this week we had the great privilege of celebrating Sophie the Brave’s 4th birthday with “Do More for Soph Day.” I wrestled with it a lot more than I anticipated. It brought up really hard emotions. Spreading unexpected joy and blessings around was sweet, but was sharply contrasted with the very present reality of wishing she was here for her Mama to hold, here to blow out the candles on her cake and be sassy. It took my breath away at times. Sawyer, Tatum K and I had fun picking out little gifts at the store for the ones on our hearts, and we talked about Sophie all day long. Sawyer said, “I’m so glad Sophie is happy with Jesus, but I know her Mama is sad.” He also said he thinks she’s on Jesus’ lap having birthday cake. We made several stops and deliveries, and after picking up kids we did some more! Honestly, that part was exhilarating. I’ve never paid for the order of a car behind me in a drive thru before – now THAT was fun! It was so refreshing to serve. We get tunnel vision, so conditioned to focus on our mindless mundane routines, that we forget there’s a big world out there full of hurting people. I noticed it when I was at the store later in the week during my bi-weekly grocery haul. Tatum K was in the buggy, happily munching her goldfish and blissfully chirping, “Hi friend,” to everyone she saw. But everyone else around us just looked…beaten down. Faces expressionless. Downtrodden. Sleepwalking. Her smile lit up the place. So often that’s the case, if you smile at someone, they are likely to smile back. BUT SOMEBODY HAS TO SMILE FIRST!!! You just never know what someone’s going through. I have had plenty of sleepwalker days. I’ve had many days when I was the one with no smiles to give. But if you find yourself ABLE to be a light…GO AHEAD AND SHINE!
~ for God giving me an extra measure of grace on Sophie Day to bless one more person: my son. Cooper had a track meet (yes, he does baseball AND track!). I rarely make it to track meets, because they are so long and the events so spread out. And he is always such a great sport about it. But even though we’d already had a full and utterly exhausting day, I knew how much it would mean to him if I was there. The weather was perfect, so I packed up our dinner and chairs and headed to the school. Cooper told me his event would be around 6:45. Of course, he didn’t end up running until 8:30!!! It was the longest 2 hours of all time with my whiny, cranky past-their-bedtime entourage. But he ran, we cheered, and then we headed home (we DID NOT stay for his NEXT race, which ended up being at about 10:25pm). And on my way home, I received this text from Cooper, “Thanks for coming Momma. It really meant a lot. I love you.” That was MY favorite blessing of the day.
~ for Free Cone Day at DQ. Always thankful for those rare unexpected opportunities to come out looking like “Nice Mom.” She doesn’t show up too often.
~ for an unexpected midday knock on the front door. Colton popped in just to say “hi” and have lunch with his mom.
~ so proud of our Sam, who did an outstanding job as ToastMaster in her fourth grade class this week.
~ for two special Giddyup &Whoa signs completed and delivered this week.
~ thankful to have survived my marathon Friday. Toastmasters at 8 AM, a long-overdue breakfast date with a friend, three back-to-back grocery stores, mountain of groceries loaded in-car-out-of-car-and-put-away, kids picked up from school at 1pm, three dozen cupcakes baked, dinner-on-the-go cooked and packed up, and finally loaded up the Tribe for a softball game at 5. Don’t get me wrong, they were all blessings, every single one. But this mama was WIPED! Almost inevitably, the anxiety monster really assaults when my to-do list is longer than my leg. When I have lots on “my” list to accomplish, it all starts to swarm before my eyes and my mind gets overwhelmed. So as the thoughts raced out of control and fingers of panic began to squeeze my chest, I just reached out to the Lord and begin to pray aloud in the car. It’s not magic, I wasn’t just instantly delivered… but He always gives grace upon grace, and He got me through my day (and even most of my list.)
~ for thrilling news from a dear friend. After a long time of seeking the Lord and waiting, they received a life-changing phone call. They were chosen as adoptive parents, and their new baby was about to be born! Not even knowing if they would bring home a boy or a girl, they hopped on a plane and flew across the country. And that was not the only uncertainty…there is always the chance that the birth mom will change her mind. But God had a plan. And now their dreams of becoming parents have come true…tonight they are home with their baby girl. My heart overflows! Prayers for them as they settle into their new life, and prayers for the unspeakably selfless birth mother who made the hardest choice. Glory to the Lord!
~ for the blessing of hosting a sweet, sweet baby shower at our home with some of my dear sisters. What a blessing to come alongside a family and love like Jesus! That is what my church family is best at!
~ for the surreal blessing of Carson Grace being asked to sing her original song for special music at church. There is no greater blessing than to see your children stepping into their God-ordained gifts.
As I close this longer-than-usual Sunday Gratitude, I hope you’ve made it this far. I ask for continued prayer for Baby Lucas, still in the early stages of his cancer treatment. And this week, a new prayer request. Another GCS family received the unexpected crushing news that their beautiful daughter had a brain tumor. She has had her first surgery, which the doctors consider a success, but the road ahead is long and terrifying. Her name is Georgia, she’s 4 years old, and she is still currently in the Pediatric ICU at Children’s awaiting pathology reports that will dictate the treatment plan. Friends, let’s carry this family boldly to the throne of the Father, and ask for abundance of grace and healing for their precious baby girl. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Oh how I hate cancer, but oh, how I love Jesus.
Embrace the unexpected, the good and the bad. God is the God of all of it. Unexpected good is treasure. Unexpected bad… well, we are reminded of our need for a Savior, our need for grace, our need for one another.
Thank you for giving thanks with me.
“It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-18