I am thankful:
~ for every shade of electric green after the rain. The spring landscape is so vibrant.
~ for my sweet and spicy Tatum K turning 2! Even though she didn’t really understand, Tatum knew there was something special going on. Over and over she cheerily chirped, “Tay Tay Happy day! Happy day!“ Of course we celebrated with CAKE AND PIE (homemade chocolate meringue pie and a white chocolate raspberry from Nothing Bundt Cakes). Even chicken pot PIE for dinner. She was captivated by being the center of attention…delighted by the singing of Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles, requesting it to be repeated several times. I don’t think she ever would have stopped! She opened her gifts and her favorite things to carry around for the rest of the evening were two birthday cards, one with monkeys and the other with a dog. Oh, for the simplicity of those carefree days.
~ for the things I hear around my table. While eating chicken pot pie, I ask, “Which of these vegetables is your favorite?” Child#1 instantly replies, “the chicken!” Child#2 replies condescendingly with much distain at their foolish sibling’s lack of culinary knowledge, “Chicken is NOT a vegetable. It’s a REPTILE!”
~ for an unexpected treat: Colton invited Josh and I to lunch. Like, for no reason. Just…to eat lunch. Just because. I’m so thankful for growth in our relationship, and to be at the point where he would actually desire to spend time with his parents when he doesn’t HAVE to. It’s good for this mama‘s heart.
~ for my kids’ creativity. They are all constantly drawing, building, inventing.
~ for great news: a precious cancer mama called me one day this week. We haven’t spoken in a long time, and it is very unusual for her to call me, so I was immediately concerned. She was really struggling and in need of prayer. Her son has been sick repeatedly and dealing with chronic unexplained fevers, and both she and the doctors were concerned of the possibility of relapsed leukemia. That day, her son had a lung biopsy and bone marrow biopsy. We prayed together on the phone. Friday afternoon I missed a call from her. I had a busy day so I didn’t call her back immediately. Then she called me two more times… When I finally answered, the joy in her voice was undeniable, “He is cancer free!” she cried, “The doctor say he doesn’t have it! Thank you for praying!” We rejoiced together. GLORY TO GOD!!!
~ for fresh tulips and lilies on my table.
~ for blankets kept in the back of my car, and for sweatshirts scrounged out of the lost-and-found when the weather unexpectedly dropped 15 degrees at Carson Grace’s softball game! It wasn’t actually that cold, but we had come dressed for a hot afternoon! That was a rough one. We all froze to death, and Sawyer took a really bad fall off a retaining wall. We were a motley looking bunch of shivery, bloody kids and a shaggy mop dog. But Carson Grace and her team played a great game and came out victorious, so I’m really thankful we got to be there!
~ for the children having a wonderful day at school for grandparents/special friends day. Even though many of our dear grandparents live far away, we are so blessed that God has also provided our kids devoted local grandparents. The elementary children are so proud of their school, and they reveled in showing off their artwork and their classrooms and sharing songs and scripture recitations. I am so grateful they are so loved.
~ for iron that sharpens iron. So thankful for brothers and sisters who stretch us and encourage us to stretch.
~ for a super productive Giddyup and Whoa week. I got 2 custom orders done, 3 pieces made and delivered for the Vintage and Co barn sale, and 9 more underway. I guess spring is sign season!
~ for conquering my Everest this week. I was halfway done with that wretched 3rd beam last week, and it took everything I had to get the other half done. It was brutal, and I look like I lost a game of bloody knuckles, (I guess I kind of did, actually) but I was victorious in the end! 6 more to go! (And Tatum K is thankful for her headphones when Mama is being LOUD.)
~ speaking of victories, I’m so proud of Carson Grace and her GCS classmates for the capture of their 8th consecutive title of Texas State Championship Choir this weekend! What an accomplishment! So very proud!
~ for a wonderful evening of fellowship at our Gold Network CONNECT support group. I so look forward to this quarterly get-together. We call it a “support group” because it’s intended to be a safe place for cancer parents to support one another, but that label is so incomplete. We share a meal together (this time it was a delicious Italian spread from Oliveto). We meet new friends. We talk about our families. We talk about our cancer kids. Some are on treatment, some off, some doing well, some are struggling, some have gone to be with Jesus. We pray for one another. And we exchange phone numbers so we can keep in touch. It’s so much more than a support group. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to gather these uniquely special families together, for a safe place to let it all hang out with others who understand, with the hope that it takes a little weight off each one of us if we all come alongside one another under the burdens, shoulder to shoulder. And then it was fun to let each couple choose from an assortment of date night gift cards. Really special evening.
I’ve been thinking a lot about peacemaking lately. My kids are constantly at war. Over little stuff. Who gets to pick the show. Who’s fault it is. Who has 6 grapes and who has 7. MY KIDS ARGUE OVER WHO GETS TO PRAY!!!! It’s not hard to get sucked into the egregious role of referee, constantly blowing the whistle and calling penalties and time outs. But I know they have to learn. Because they are always going to face circumstances in their lives where they have to choose: war or peace? And the “stuff,” like the kids, is not going to stay small. So I try to model peacemaking. A softer tone. Mercy over the battle axe. I fail a lot, because I tend to lean on the harsher side of “high structure parenting” vs. the softer, “high nurture parenting” style. I’m still learning, just like they are. God’s still refining me, and I see it more and more clearly that He is using my children to do His refining work in my life and on my heart. It forces me to see how impatient I am when I try to teach my kids to be patient. I hear the tone of my voice, and I’m reminded of how many times I ask them to moderate their tone. Do I really practice what I preach? Do I look and sound anything like the Jesus I tell them about? Oh Father, make me a peacemaker when war looks inevitable. Or just looks easier. And help me raise up a Tribe of peacemakers who will stand up for You, and lay their lives down to love their brother.
Please keep praying for our friend Jase. He has been in and out of Tyler and Dallas ERs with fever and GI issues more than half a dozen times in the past 2 weeks. His family is so weary. They need a healing touch from the Savior.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
“Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:2-4 NIV
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NIV