Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friendship

Looking back on the past 3 days, I see a prominent theme.  That theme is friendship.

On Friday afternoon, we had a surprise visit from very dear friends.  James worked for Eric for several years.  His wife, Emily, we got to know as James began to fall in love with her.  James was more than the hired help.  He was (& is) one of Eric's best friends.  They would laugh together often, yet have many serious discussions. James loved our children and they loved him.  Often, you would see James walking from one barn to another with 1-3 little ones trailing behind him.  As James and Emily's relationship blossomed, the children would run out to see her as she would pick him up from work.  We had many good times with them - playing, laughing, talking....celebrating their marriage.  When they left for James to go to dive school in Florida and take a job in Louisiana, we all shed tears.  It's been 2 1/2 years, and this place still isn't the same.  With James' unpredictable schedule, it has been 2 years since we've seen him and almost as long since we've seen Emily.  We found out last week, happily, that Emily was in town for Thanksgiving while James was on a job off the coast of Mexico.  We looked forward to our planned visit with her this past Friday.  She had texted me Friday morning wondering if it would be alright if she came by around 3:15.  About that time, I was working on some Black Friday shopping on my computer when my son called to me saying that she had arrived.  As I walked out of my front room toward my kitchen to greet our dear friend I was surprised by the added bonus of James standing in our kitchen, as well!!!!  He had finished the Mexico job and flew up to spend a couple of days with his wife and family.  Seeing the surprise on my husband's face a few minutes later as he saw his best friend was a moment I will not soon forget!  Even the dog remembered them!  We laughed and talked and discussed upcoming changes for their family.  It was good to have a piece of the "old-times" back again.  Being reunited with friends is a precious thing.

Saturday found me running errands for my dear friend, Lisa, who is recovering from surgery after falling from a horse.  It was a pretty full day of taking her daughter places and running to a couple of stores for her as she is laid up and totally dependent upon others.  At one point, I was near tears with how tired I was and how much I had on my plate.  But, I realized that I was in far better shape than Lisa and I could not give in to the temptation to quit.  We have been blessed many times by being on the receiving end of such help.  It can get tiring, but that is when true friendship kicks in.  Friendship keeps on giving even after we have nothing to give.  I don't say this to pat myself on the back.  I say it because I am learning just what others have given for me and I appreciate it even more now.

Today (Sunday), we said good-bye to two dear friends who are leaving first thing in the morning to move to Barrow, Alaska.  These friends are leaving to take a position as the administrator of the hospital located in that part of the Arctic Circle with the main purpose of helping missionaries faithfully serving the Lord in that cold waste-land.  Eric and I and our children have become close with Stephen and Erin through the past two years.  Like with James & Emily, we have talked about life & God, shared stories, and have laughed a whole lot!  They have come over after Wednesday night church to celebrate different birthdays and eat cake.  We closed up church on several occasions.  Our family has cone to love this couple.  Today, we hugged and said "good-bye."  I didn't cry this morning.  I bawled my eyes out tonight.  Erin gave me some necklaces of hers as she's been weeding out things for the move.  She knew I LOVED her jewelry and I'm blessed that she thought of me.  I hope she realizes I will pray for her every time I wear one of those necklaces (& seeing as she gave me 5, I will be praying for her very often!!!!).

Re-uniting.  Helping.  Saying good-bye.

Happiness.  Exhaustion.  Tears.

Love.

This is friendship.  This is life.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Thankful

Well, I had hoped to post every day about some things for which I am thankful.  However, as usual, this week ended up so busy with me being too tired at the end of each day to write down things that I am grateful for.  However, thankfulness has been a constant thought this week...

I am so very grateful for my darling husband.  He supports me, laughs with me, talks & listens to me, and loves me.  Truly, I am complete with him.

I am thankful for my children (though I sometimes forget that I am!).  They teach me so much about my own relationship with my heavenly Father.  They make me laugh and I love seeing them discover things about life.  They are 7 miraculous blessings that I am so blessed to have.

I am thankful for the family from which I came and the family into which I married.  I would not be who I am without the parents and brothers God gave to me and Eric would not be the incredible man he is were it not for the family God gave to him.  My mom and his parents couldn't be better grandparents to our children, either!

I am thankful for our church family.  I continually see the body pull together and help hurting members regularly. Our church has been through quite a bit this past year...and we are closer for the trials.  God is so good to bless us with the gift of friendship and love.

I am thankful for the abundance of food we have in this country.  Today I baked 5 pies and 2 loaves of pumpkin bread. My mother-in-law will bring over the 22-pound turkey and between she and I, along with another friend, our very long table will be heavily laden with a variety of delectable foods!  In all the world, are there people feasting such as we are?

I am thankful for my health and the abilities I have to walk, think, hear, talk, work, drive, etc.  I often take these things for granted...but today I am grateful for what God has allowed me to have.

I could go on about all the things for which I am thankful.  But, I must get some sleep.  I am thankful to each of you who stop by to read my ramblings now and then.

Let us all take some time to really focus on giving thanks today.  Look at the faces of those sitting around your table and think about what they have added to your life.  Look at the food that is on your plate and remember that not everyone is as blessed.  Stop to thank the God who provided all - including the most precious gift of all - eternal life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Week of Thanks

I know that we ought to give thanks every single day of our lives, especially if we are Christ-followers, but in light of Thanksgiving week, I plan on giving extra time to counting my blessings.

These last couple of weeks, I have seen friends physically hurting, emotionally hurting, going through stressful job changes, and stressful moves.  In seeing all of their trials, I have prayed for them. In praying for them, I have come to be thankful for the lot God has given me at this point in my life.  I am able to pray.  I am able to help where I can.  I am thankful for where I am right now.

Some blessings I have been made aware of this last week:
1.  My ear is  infected, but I am not laid up with a broken ankle.
2.  My house may not be a palace, but it is big enough for my family and it is ours.
3.  My husband may have to work a lot of hours, but he has a job that provides for our needs and our wants.
4.  My children may drive me crazy at times, but they go to sleep in the safety of our home every night and are healthy and love the Lord.

God has given me so very much.  It is my desire to list a few things for which I am grateful every day this week.  Whether you have a blog, a journal, or a post-it note, I encourage you to do the same.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This & That

Praise the Lord!  Our harvest was completed last Wednesday morning.  Now, the corn is being trucked to the local ethanol plant and now Eric is harvesting truck-loads of wood for the winter.  He's tired when he comes home, but he's home for dinner every night.

About 2 weeks ago, a friend of ours was thrown off her horse (with our Anna right behind her on another horse) and ended up with a severely broken ankle.  As she's a single mother, we've been pretty busy helping & organizing help for the family while she is laid up for a few months.

Last week, a few ladies and I were able to sit down at my kitchen table and plan our church's Homeschool Fair which will be held in May.  The Lord helped us get some great ideas going and we are well on our way to getting together the best Fair ever!  Though, my 6 year old was a bit disappointed to find out we wouldn't have a Ferris Wheel....

Three of our girls are preparing for their annual violin recital this Friday evening.  I'm pretty sure two of them will do fine.  The third one needs some practice...here's hoping!

We are celebrating Seth's birthday tomorrow.  Oops, just looked at the clock - make that TODAY!  Eight years ago today (in just about an hour and a half, to be exact), our high-energy, highly lovable son was born.  I was telling him just yesterday how we literally prayed over him as soon as he was born - as he didn't take a breath for the first minute of his life.  That was one of the longest 60 seconds I ever experienced.  I am so glad God blessed us with my little Eric-clone!! :)

Not much of a post, but I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I'm still alive.  I have a few blog topics that I would love to get around to, but....we shall see.