I think in the easy times being thankful for things comes rather easy. I mean, when things are great in your life then there is nothing to keep you from seeing all your blessings clearly. When things are difficult and the blessings in your life are “cloudy,” that is when you tend to have pity parties and think of all the things that aren’t right in your life; instead of focusing on all the blessings.
This has been an incredibly difficult week for Hannah, Dennis and me. Hannah has been and continues to be so very sick. She just can’t seem to shake this bronchitis. We have all been deprived of sleep and my home is a petri dish of bacteria….and you know that doesn’t sit well for this germaphobe. I found myself this week having one of those pity parties and BEGGING God to heal my child so that we could get on with life. Life seriously comes to a halt when Hannah is sick, as I am sure it does for others who have sick children; but to be honest…..I feel at times that my life has been permanently “halted” for 8 years. Let’s face it…..Hannah has nearly been sick as much as she has been well in her life. I will say, it seems to have gotten better the last few years, but holy cow…..it is still too much, if you ask me.
Anyway, last night after Hannah went to bed, Dennis looked at me knowing that I was exhausted and needed to get out of the house and told me to go shopping! WHAT?!?!? Did he just say the “shopping” word to me? You mean, like spend money and everything?!?! Even….buy a new purse, (which he knew there was one I was just dying to have and the sale ended last night). So, normally I would say no and stay home, but Hannah was asleep and I had drugged her up real good with “happy juice.” “Happy Juice” is a dose of Benadryl and Motrin and it KNOCKS HER OUT. So…..I went shopping! For 2 hours I had me time and it was heavenly! Don’t ask me how much I spent, Dennis still hasn’t and trust me he doesn’t want to know!
Anyway, I say all of that to say this…….as I was walking around the stores I thought about my blessings and the things I have to be thankful for. I decided today to write those things down; mainly for me to refer back to when I need a helpful reminder of all God has given me. So, here it goes:
1. Thankful for Jesus……the sacrifice He made on Calvary so that one day I will get to live with Him forever in Heaven! Thankful for Him paying the ultimate sacrifice for a sinner such as me! Thankful that one day I will be in Heaven where there is NO more sickness, pain, sorrow, fear, tears, anxiety, worry….well you get the picture…..nothing but perfection, worshiping my Lord for all of eternity.
2. Thankful for a husband that works SO VERY hard outside the home so I don’t have to. I am very blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and that is something I never want to take for granted. Nowadays that is truly a gift; one that I am so blessed to have.
3. Thankful for a mom that taught me at a young age how to cook so that I can plan and prepare good and healthy meals for my family. I was not happy about learning all those years ago, but I am so glad now that she took the time to help me learn. She also taught me how to budget, how to shop for sales and how to be a submissive, loving and sacrificial wife and mom. Her example and God’s grace are the only 2 reasons that I am the wife to Dennis and the mom to Hannah that I am. I truly wouldn’t be able to do this if it weren’t for the Lord and my mom setting the bar high.
4. Thankful for a dad that is like no other! When I am down, he makes me laugh. He taught me how to shoot a gun when I was just a wee-little tot and because of that I dare someone to mess with me or my family! He taught me how a man is supposed to treat his wife (yeah, I didn’t pay much attention the first go-around, but I think I got it right the 2nd time). He taught me how to negotiate and get a deal on just about anything, especially cars, guns and T.V.’s! He taught me that there is NOTHING in life that God won’t see you through. Sometimes it seems like the mountain is too high, but God gives you what you need to get over it…..sometimes just barely though!
5. Thankful for a brother and sister-in-law that are ALWAYS there. They always come through for us, no matter what and I know no matter what happens they will always be there to support, encourage and love! On a side note too, my brother teased me so much growing up that I really have to credit him for “toughening me up” and getting me to the point in my life that I just don’t care what others think or say about me. Now with that said…..I do care what others say about my kid and husband though!
6. Thankful for in-laws who raised a wonderful son so that he would be the husband and father that he is today. Thankful for his sisters and their families…..being the “baby” raised around all women gave Dennis his “emotional” side and the tender-heart that he has (even though he doesn’t want anyone to know he has it). Honestly, Dennis is more tender-hearted than I am…..I credit his sisters for that one! He didn’t have a choice but to learn how to be sweet and sensitive!
7. I am thankful for a home to live in. I am thankful for cars to drive and a garage to park them in. I am thankful that I don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or if we will be able to make it paycheck to paycheck to survive.
8. I am thankful for friends……old and new. I am thankful for memories, especially those growing up with those lifelong friends that I still have today. I am more thankful for those memories since losing my friend Angie. I have such wonderful growing up memories that no one can take away from me.
9. I am thankful for those people in my life (they know who they are) that are there at a moment’s notice! Those few that I can call and/or text with a need, a concern, a happy time or sad time. Those that are there regardless of the day or time.
10. I am thankful for Hannah’s school, the teachers, the staff, the kids and the parents! I truly don’t know where we would be without any of them! I am so grateful for the way they ALL love and care about Hannah, Dennis and me! The parents at Hananh’s school ROCK! They are some of the sweetest, most caring people I have EVER met! They TRULY understand and support each other! So blessed to call them friends!
11. I am thankful for Canine Companions for Independence and our sweet Henny! I told Dennis just this morning what a perfect dog she is! Instead of barking and wanting out of her kennel at 6:00 this morning, which she could have done. She stayed there quietly until Dennis let her out at 8:00 (2 hours past the normal time). I know it might seem silly to be “thankful” for a dog, but for all she has done for Hannah; I owe Henny and her puppy raisers quite a lot!
12. I am just THANKFUL…..yes, even thankful for a sick child……it is exhausting and at times seems so unfair (to her and to me) but I will say this…….I would rather have Hannah sick than not at all. This comment brings tears to my eyes, because I NEVER want to come across as ungrateful for Hannah and her sweet little life! I want to ALWAYS be joyful because God chose me for her! I want to never take one single day (even the sickest of those days) for granted because one day I might not have her. NONE of us are guaranteed tomorrow with our children……those of us especially that have children with major health issues (Hannah’s heart). I have friends that have lost children and I would NEVER want to trade “my pain” for their’s! I don’t think my friends Trayc and Yvette would mind if I said their name; but they are just one of several that have lost a sweet baby. That sweet baby Tristan lived 56 days and I have heard Yvette say more than once that she would do anything to have Tristan back, even with special needs and being sick. Tristan had Trisomy 18 and is now in the arms of Jesus…..but I know my sweet friends would do anything if they could hold him one more time.
So, you see……I am trying to focus on my many blessings. I am trying not to let “life” get me down. I am taking the good and the bad and trying to make lemonade out of the lemons. This life is not always good…..heck, in fact sometimes it just sucks; but I love that song from Carrie Underwood…..Temporary Home! This world is just that…..it is my Temporary Home, this is not where I belong. So everything that we go through in this life is temporary…..what truly matters is what we do for eternity! I, for one, want to be thankful and focus on my blessings and not worry about what this life throws at me. I just want to live in the moment……good or bad and know that my blessings far outweigh my difficulties!
Until next time…………..