Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfulness

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’ve been thinking some this week about everything I have to be thankful for. I’ve been so blessed this year; my starter list is quite long! It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and forget to dwell on all the blessings, so I’ve enjoyed thinking through some of the ways my life’s been blessed this year. What are you thankful for?

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First on my list is Ben…my best friend and life companion! I’m so grateful for another year shared together with such an amazing guy. I’m thankful for the time he takes out to spend with me. I’m thankful that he shares his heart with me, and that he spends lots of time listening to me. I’m a visionary; I have so many ideas swirling around my head….and even though a lot of them wouldn’t typically interest a guy, Ben’s always eager to hear the latest and greatest. I’m thankful for the ways he provides financially, enabling me to be a stay-at-home wife and mom! I love my job so much, and I’m so grateful Ben makes it possible for me, especially now that I’m a mama. I’m also grateful for the “little” ways he’s so thoughtful….like the other day when he surprised me with a new, stainless steel, 16 quart stock pot, to replace my aluminum that doesn’t, and never has, work. He purchased it after I “ruined” (well, it was still edible, but not for the people it was supposed to feed at a baby shower) a batch of soup in the pot, leaving it for just 10 minutes on a low temperature. I was rather upset about it, especially since it took place about a half hour before the shower started (how the situation was rescued is a story for another post). So it was such a delightful surprise to have a caring husband surprise me later in the day with a SS pot- yay! It’s already been put to use….

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Vivi is another one who’s been such a huge blessing this year. I’m so grateful I get to be her mama, and was entrusted with taking her of her. She’s blessed me in so many ways…it’s so much fun to go in to get her when she wakes up every morning (usually, I wake up before her), and find her grinning and laughing. She has the most adorable laugh….it lights up my day! She’s expressive, and such a fun companion to have around as I go through the day’s tasks, projects, and adventures. She’s vibrant and full of life, just like her name means. I’m grateful for all the lessons she’s taught me- which are too numerous to count. Some haven’t been easy lessons to learn, but they’re all ones I’m grateful to have under my belt.

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I’m also grateful that Viviana had a wonderful entrance into the world- absolutely beautiful, and a memory which is permanently etched into my heart- a memory which holds much love and many beautiful emotions. I’m so thankful Ben was with me through the long labor and delivery, my constant encourager as he kept telling me I could totally do the job. I’m grateful for my awesome mom, who would make a fantastic doula, and my midwife, who directed me and kept me from tearing, when I know I would’ve with anyone else.

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I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned in grace over the past year….through life experiences (both positive and negative), books read, and many good, deep conversations with hubby. It’s so exciting to see how much I’ve changed over the past year. I know I have a long ways to go, but it’s been really exciting to see how my life has become more like Christ’s, as I’ve let go of my control and humanness. It’s also exciting to see how much that’s blessed relationships, and how much better I’ve been able to love people. Like I said, I still have a long ways to go….I’m so very, very far from perfect. In fact, I’m not even close to being as good as Ben is at this stuff….but God’s bringing me a long ways!

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I’m thankful for me and Ben’s moms- two of the most wonderful ladies I know! They’re also my bestest girlfriends. I love getting to have long chats with both of them, exchanging ideas and figuring things out. I love that Mom and I can get into deep stuff, and stuff we disagree on, and still be best friends. I’m grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend with both our moms, developing a deeper relationship. I’m so glad that my relationship with Ben’s mom has been able to grow so much over the past year, to the point when I can be totally vulnerable with her, and absolutely love spending time with her. I miss her when it’s been too many days since we last saw Ben’s family, and I love spending late afternoons in the kitchen hanging out with her.

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I’m thankful that my already strong relationship with my mom has just gotten stronger since I moved out, even though it might seem like that shouldn’t be the case. I’m especially grateful that she realizes that as well, and was willing to let me go into the plans God has for me, which has made it so much easier than it would’ve been otherwise to keep up a relationship with her. I’m grateful for the evenings I’ve gotten to hang out with her, as well as the shopping trips and other special activities which give us time together- like this upcoming Black Friday, when, as has become tradition, we’ll trudge out at an unearthly hour (with our babies and my 14 year old sister) and stand in insanely long lines, just to get a good deal. Because it won’t be about getting a good deal so much as spending time together. Three hours in line means three hours to talk and be together…we’ll come home exhausted, but with memories made of fun “girl time”.

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I’m also thankful for all our siblings! My relationship with Brooke (my 14 year old sister) has grown extensively this year, after some “rougher” spots over the past several years. She’s really growing up, and has become a really good friend. All my little brothers are so much fun…and Brielle (3) is a trip- she’s so much fun to hang out with, and she loves talking to me on the phone. I’ve appreciated developing relationships with Ben’s siblings- as I’ve let God mold my life, I’ve been able to form better friendships with my two married sisters-in-law than I ever had previously. Ben’s younger siblings are a lot of fun to be around, and I’ve appreciated growing to a place of being one of the “gang”. And I really admire his 27 year old sister, Annie….she’s such a wonderful person!

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There’s a common theme going this year….relationships…even the grace stuff has to do with relationships. I think I’m learning what’s most important in life, and I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful family!

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