I am thankful:
~ for a wonderful, JAM-PACKED break. Most days the weather was great, and the kids enjoyed running around and playing outside. They raked leaves into piles and delighted in jumping in them. When they found that we didn’t have enough leaves, they were more than happy to visit our neighbors and gather THEIR leaves and bring them to our house!
~for the absolute best kitchen helpers in all the land. My sous chefs were raring to go, and what they lacked in expertise they made up for with enthusiasm.
~for even a little time with my Girl home from college. Way too short of a visit, but thankful just the same.
~for sweet moments with my Love. We have our ups and downs like anybody else, and sometimes we bicker and get on each other‘s nerves. But most of the time, the love we have is everything you could ask out of a sappy movie. I love driving down the road, holding my babies hand, singing Garth Brooks’ songs to one another. It is delightfully nauseating.
~for online shopping. I just don’t have it in me to get out there and box the crowds for the best deals. I can’t even express how grateful I am to be able to find what I need while sitting on the couch and have it shipped right to my door.
~for a wonderful Thanksgiving. We always drive to Carthage and spend the day with family. The children cherish all the traditions, and their excitement is so contagious. This year we had an even larger crowd than usual: I love how everybody feels at liberty to invite more people along…and everyone is TRULY WELCOME. I don’t think anybody every feels like they are an “extra.” They just BELONG. And it’s truly the most fun gathering you can imagine. We are a lively bunch, with our chicken and turkey hats, our pumpkin Olympics complete this year with a reverent and very formal coronation of the Pumpkin Queen, and chicken dancing in the front yard next to the highway (punctuated with frequent honks from passers by). There’s just SO. MUCH. JOY. We ate until we were completely uncomfortable, and then we made another plate. Once that was ram-crammed down into our bellies, then it was time for PIE. The food was fantastic, but it’s the fellowship that defies explanation. I’m so grateful to be in the company of so much love. Such special memories.
~ for the soft glow of Christmas lights, a fire in the fireplace, and my snuggly $4.99 blanket from Aldi.
~ for the very best curbside find yet: the 9 foot Christmas tree (in original box) I picked up on large item trash week earlier this year. We put up the tree and with just a little finessing, all the original lights are functioning! Whoever threw this tree away, THANK YOU! We decked our halls this weekend, and everything is bright and festive. Josh even built me a custom reclaimed wood tree collar (gotta add a little Giddyup & Whoa, of course!) The kids love seeing their favorite ornaments and decorations come out of the boxes. They hear the stories of Grandma Grace’s handpainted nativity and Granny’s Christmas village. We hung our new ornaments from this summer’s trip to Lark Toys in Minnesota and the Laura Ingalls museum in Wisconsin. And Tatum K just points at everything and chirps again and again, “May-we Cwis-mas!!!” (We’ll see how much of it she breaks before the season is over.)
And today, what I’m most grateful for is a curly headed, blue eyed little boy, because today he turned 6. Six years old. I can’t even say it without crying.
It doesn’t matter how normal life is, how long he’s been a happy kindergartener, how normal he looks. It still takes my breath away when I stop and think about everything Sawyer has been through. From almost losing his life to organ failure the day he was brought by ambulance to Children’s, to the life and death battle he fought against cancer as a baby, the toxic reaction to meds, narcotic overdose and withdrawal, and then countless unidentified infections and bizarre complications along the way… but you’d NEVER EVEN KNOW IT. The faint white port scar on his chest and the curly hair that used to be straight are the only physical indicators left behind to hint that he has a medical history. I don’t know why Sawyer is the way he is, why his light shines so bright and why he loves so big. I just know he amazes me and that it feels like a tremendous responsibility to shepherd such a child. I don’t know how old he is going to grow to be, or what he is going to do in his lifetime (my heart still guards itself against looking too far ahead), but I know he is very very special. And I am thankful for every. single. moment. And I’m thankful for a very low-key, normal-just-like-every-other-kid-in-the-tribe birthday: no party, just donuts for breakfast and menu of choice for dinner: pizza, mac-and-cheese, and chocolate cake that he helped me bake. He wasn’t an honored guest of the police department, and nobody surprised him with a trip to Hawaii. He got Legos and a hot wheels track and some clothes. Just like a regular kid. And that’s kind of hard on Mom and Dad, because quite honestly, we think he deserves a parade every day (I mean, DOESN’T HE?) But what a gift that Sawyer, even after all he has been through, gets to live a normal life and be a normal kid. Normal maybe. But nonetheless, an EXCEPTIONAL WALKING MIRACLE. Glory to God!
Happy December. My mission this month is to keep my eyes on Jesus no matter how busy life gets. And remember why we have anything to celebrate.
(And just for the record: I love ALL my kids. Each one of them is incredibly unique and special and I’m in awe that God has entrusted me with stewarding so many of His treasured creations. I’ve said it before, I’m the most blessed Mama in all the world. I will spend my life doing my best to point them all to Jesus and love them all well.)
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)