I try to have a thankful heart all the time, but I’d be lying if there weren’t days when I’m so consumed with all that’s happening in life and in the world that I forget to just stop and say thanks to those who have been such an important part of my life. Though yesterday was Thanksgiving, I want this blog entry to be a thank you and a reflection of what I’m most thankful for on any given day.
First, I am so incredibly thankful for CME. He has been my biggest supporter – not just through this weight loss surgery, but in every day life. He works so incredibly hard to provide for our family – taking on two jobs, working long hours (sometimes up 24+ hours with no sleep) and holidays when the rest of us are enjoying time off with family and friends. I probably don’t tell him often enough, “Thank you.” I probably don’t tell him often enough, “I am so proud of you.” I probably don’t tell him often enough, “You are a great husband and father.” I probably don’t tell him often enough how thankful I am to be his wife. I truly am incredibly thankful to be Mrs. CME!
I am thankful for my daughters and sons. When I had my firstborn back in 1984, I had no idea how to be a parent. I was just a kid myself. I made many mistakes in how I raised my daughters, yet they have turned out to be amazing and successful young women. They bless me with affirmation that even though I could have done things differently, I raised them to be respectful and loving adults. I am thankful for their love and the relationships we have as mom/daughters. I'm thankful for sons-in-law that truly care about and love my daughters. I'm thankful for my g-baby and all the joy and laughter she brings to our family! For my boys? I’m still making mistakes, but hopefully not the same ones. I’m thankful that I have the kind of relationship with each of them that I can have very frank conversations and know that they love me, even if they’re not too happy with me. But as with my girls, they are kind and generous and loving. As I guide them through this last stretch of their teen years, I pray that I can be a parent that gives them the shepherding they need while at the same time let them flourish and become their own person. For all my children, I pray they continue to seek God’s best for their lives and that they fully understand and accept the love that Jesus has for each of them.
I am thankful for my parents and my sister and her family along with my extended family (in-laws). Too often I can take it too lightly that I have another day with both my parents. As we all age, I look and see that each and every day with them is a blessing to not take lightly. Yesterday as I was praying for our meal and time together, God spoke very clearly to me about His blessing of family. My brother-in-law survived a massive heart attack. My mom’s thyroid nodules were benign. My father-in-law’s seizures weren’t caused by a cancerous brain tumor! No major issues with my Dad or sister; though general health could be better for both. I have a GREAT relationship with my mother-in-law, which is truly a gift from God! CME’s Grampa and Gramma are still relatively healthy and it’s great to see pictures of them even if we can’t get up to visit often. We don’t see much of our Michigan family, but I am thankful for ALL of them (aunts/uncles/sisters/nieces/cousins included.) We also spent the afternoon with a family friend who just buried her husband on Tuesday. Her Thanksgiving was hard. Her grief, though hidden most of the time, was real. I was reminded that Jesus understands grief. He wept when He saw the pain and sadness of Lazarus’ family and friends – even though He knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back from the dead. He understood what the family was feeling. He understood that the family unit is to be a blessing and a reason to give thanks. I am thankful for family.
I am thankful for the friends (sisters and brothers in Christ) who have poured into my life and spiritual growth over the years…too many of them to name, but you know who you are! THANK YOU! I praise God every time I think of you! (MB – this includes you!!!)
I am thankful for the International Students I get the honor and privilege of being around on a semi-regular basis! They bring a new understanding to me about people and culture and family. I feel like God has blessed me with the opportunity to see the world through their eyes! I love them all and am thankful that I get to be a small part of their lives.
I am thankful for the staff at bariatric center who guided me through the process - to help me not only lose weight, but to learn about taking care of my body and health. Yesterday my oldest daughter, oldest son and I spent our morning at the Turkey Day 5K. I like this new tradition that started last year because it is a way to keep me thankful that I can participate in these. Three years ago, I’m not sure if I could have even finished. But because of God giving me the courage and strength and help from bariatric center, I can…and I do. And I am thankful for this blessing…no matter how sore my legs are the next day!
Most of all, I am thankful for what Jesus did on the cross for me. I am not worthy of His sacrifice. I could never do enough to earn the grace He so freely gives me. May I NEVER forget to be thankful for that!
So yes, I have a lot to be thankful for. A lot to reflect on. I will continue to have a thankful heart and I hope everyone who is a part of my life knows that you are important to me. YOU are the blessings I am most thankful for on this earth!