I can't remember whether or not I said 'thank you' to all of you who have reached out to us the past week or two. I don't know if 'thank you' is adequate. Well, I know it's not, but I do thank you sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. The outpouring of love we have received this past week is enough to make me bawl, if I think about it. I have thanked God over and over and over for all of you, and know that I pray for you, and for the Lord to bless you and your family. Thank you, and know that you mean the world to me.
There are some things that are really good about surgery and time spent recovering. First off, God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good. He is good in times of health and sickness, He is good in times that are easy and in times that are hard. I know that no matter what happens, come what may, He is good, He is faithful and He is in control. Spending time in recovery and even leading up to surgery is good, and something I think everyone should experience at least once in their lives. It might sound crazy, but when you're down to nothing but you and the Lord, there is something powerful about that, my friends. You spend time with Him that is completely unlike any time you've spent with Him before. He leads you to certain passages of Scripture, He quietly whispers deep in your soul that everything is going to be okay, and that He is holding you in the palm of His hand.
Call me crazy, but for all that I have been through since last June, I thank Him for. When I am weak, then I am strong. On my own I am weak, with Him beside me, I am strong. See how that works?
I am also deeply grateful for my family. I thank God for my dear husband, who moves me to tears with his kindness and gentleness, my precious children, who will not let me lift a finger or even open up the refrigerator, my mom and step-dad, who have cared for me and made me a delicious meal, my sister who spent the whole weekend with me, running around like crazy, my mom and dad-in love, who have taken care of my kids and spent time with me today, my dad and step-mom, who have helped with the boys and checked on me relentlessly.
Mere words cannot express my gratitude.
I am so thankful for good, Christian books. During the moments when I need to rest my mind, it is so good to have a good book to lose myself in. I started a new one last night, one that my mom-in-love let me borrow.
Have you read Karen Kingsbury? She is my most favorite author of all time. Her books are called 'Life Changing Fiction', and they are. Through the words that God gave her to write, I have been deeply challenged in my faith to have more of a relationship with my Jesus. I have read every single book she has ever written, and if I can ever recommend just one book to you, let it be a book by this amazing woman of God. I am pacing myself in the reading of this book and am savoring every last drop. Kinda like a good cup of coffee. Every time I read a book written by an author I love, I pray for that author, that the Lord will continue to give them words to write that bring Him glory. Lives are changed because of authors like this, mine included, so it's good to pray for them.
I mentioned above how thankful I am for my husband. He moved me to tears last night, over his concern for me. He told me that he did not want for me to be alone at all until after next Monday, my two week mark. He has been kind, gentle, patient, good, thoughtful, and considerate to me ever since my return home. Last night I was struck by the thought that I love where we are in our marriage. Nobody ever tells you how hard marriage is, and how much effort it takes. But it is and it is lots and lots and lots of work. Marriages look different depending on who is talking about this subject, but for us, it's a constant ebb and flow of give and take. We both work really, really hard at making the other one happy, and we take into consideration the thoughts and opinions of each other. He knows how much I love spending time with my girlfriends, so he encourages me to always do that. I know how much he enjoys spending time working with the sheriff's department, so I always encourage him to get in extra shifts.
Spending time alone is so important to both of us, because as parents of a large family, that is rare. Some would argue here that spending time alone together is important as well, and it is, but with him working several nights a month, sometimes a week, it's more important for us to spend time together as a family. We have dates alone, occasionally, but more often than not, we are with our kids. We love them, of course, but we genuinely like them and enjoy spending time with them.
I thanked God for where we were in our marriage last night. Our kids are at great ages. They are independent, and hard working and trustworthy. We count on them a lot, take this time with me recovering for instance, and we know that they are more than capable of doing what is asked of them. He has trained them to be hard-working young men, full of integrity and the know-how of getting a job done. In other words, he has taught them what he was taught as a young boy. For here, I would like to thank my dad-in-love. Because the father's roll in a son's life is of the most importance.
He has done an amazing job with our boys, and he is my hero and my lobster.
I have always loved his hands. They show me strength and character and integrity and love and kindness and gentleness. He is patient (on most days), he is firm when needed and sensitive when it counts. We are not perfect and have made lots of mistakes, but we are perfect for one another and we have grown together, as husband and wife, as parents. I am eternally grateful for him.
One last thing I am so thankful for is that our kids are close to each other. This afternoon they were just sitting on the trampoline, talking and laughing. They love each other, yes, but they like each other. They are friends. They fight and argue and bicker, but if you mess with one of them, you mess with all of them. They are fierce about the protection of their brothers, and if the need ever presented itself, they would fight on one of their behalves.
Drew took this picture of our beloved dog, Crash this afternoon. (Yes, I just called him 'beloved', have I lost my mind?!)
Is that not the greatest thing you have ever seen? Sheer and utter joy on the face of this dog, is that even possible? He makes our hearts smile, and I believe we make his smile. He thinks he's human and when he is left out of events or outings, he cries. Just this afternoon when the boys first went outside to play basketball, he literally sat at the back door and cried. Whimpered. It was pitiful. I am thankful for this crazy dog, and for all the memories he has provided us with.
Well, that was wordy. I think I've reached my limit. There is a Klondike bar that is calling my name, and I must go eat it. :) Love to all.
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