74. September 28th–The day the love of my life was born. Happy Birthday, Honey!!!
75. Watching Mavis help Anna with her math homework. This is so satisfying because Mavis is really good with math and Anna really needs the help and the two of them don’t always know how to get along with each other, but whenever Mavis offers, Anna runs to take her up on it. Mavis doesn’t “teach” the way I’d like, but they get the job done.
76. Our check-writing software–it used to take me ALL DAY LONG every Friday to pay the farm’s bills then it would take John all night to get them entered in his record keeping software. Now I can get it done while the kids take piano lessons (an hour and a half total) and they are entered automatically. I am sooo thankful for this time-saving device.
77-78. While I’m thinking of it, let’s add the automatic dishwasher and the washing machine/dryer as well!!
79. Watching God at work in the lives of others. I have “seen” two very powerful examples of such in the past 24 hrs. It’s such a faith-builder.
It’s been awhile since I worked on this list, but I want to get a head start on it this year instead of waiting ’til the last minute. Besides, I have SO MUCH to be thankful for. So picking up where we left off….
59. Listening to Emma sing “Jesus Loves Me”
60. Nathan making up a brand new verse to “Jesus Loves Me”
61. Listening to Emma and Mavis sing “Jesus Loves Me” together
62. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat at my dr. appointment
63. Finding Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer at the store last night–usually I get pretty annoyed at Christmas items being sold in September, but this is my all-time favorite and it felt so good on my queasy tummy this morning.
64. The comfort of a cozy cardigan on a crisp morning.
65. Taking a prayer walk with my husband
66. A refreshing breeze drifting through the breezeway
67. Enjoying coffee and the company of multiple generations for an inpromptu gathering on the breezeway this afternoon.
68. Having Patty for a caregiver. She’s so good with Mavis and we work so well together
70. The beautiful, peaceful sounds of Gabriel playing his guitar
71. The beautiful, powerful sounds of Nathan on the piano
72. Anna applying herself and working hard as we study the planets together
73. Emma “kissing the baby” (kissing my tummy)
World #1: Since Edmund’s passing this summer, my dear mother-in-law has become increasingly dependent on our family in general and me in particular. My role as caretaker has definately been kicked up a notch or two. I’m not complaining…this is what I expected and what I willingly signed on for. Mavis is a much-loved extension of our own family, being effortlessly absorbed into whatever we happen to be doing that evening. Fortunately for us, she is easy to please, just enjoying being a part of normal family life.
World #2: I am in the throes of 1st trimester pregnancy symptoms. The “morning” sickness which comes and goes all day long and the never-ending fatigue are my constant companions. Physically, I’m not up to keeping everything running the way it should. By the time Mavis comes over in the afternoon after the homemaker has gone home, I am pretty well wrung out. Being the person she is, she delights in doing whatever her hands find to do, whether it is washing a sinkful of dishes or folding a basket or two of laundry. Without her help on a daily basis, I’m afraid the house would get out of control pretty quickly.
I have been struggling with this suspension between two worlds for a couple of weeks now…I am supposed to be taking care of her, she is not supposed to be taking care of me. I have felt like I am taking advantage of her somehow. In reality it is God who is taking care of both of us. How creative of our God to take her strengths and use them to meet my need and give her a sense of usefulness and purpose at the same time. How creative of our God to take what strengths I offer to give back in some small way to a woman who has given so much to our family over the years.
Christendom suffered the loss of a mighty man of God yesterday when Dr. D. James Kennedy went home to be with the Lord. These are his words from his website:
“Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.”D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.
In addition to this being the week we celebrate our anniversary, Labor Day weekend usually finds our family in my hometown of Paw Paw. They host quite a celebration for a small town with a parade, an antique car show, free rides sponsored by the bank, and a tractor pull (and that’s just Monday). We used to attend because we were helping my dad man the Lion’s lunch stand, but more recently we are pulled in because the kids like to ride the 4-H float in the parade.
While in Paw Paw this past Monday, I met up with two of my former classmates. Somehow the conversation turned to larger families (I couldn’t tell you how exactly, it just sort of snuck up) and I was saddened and taken aback how disdainfully they spoke of them. They clearly gave the impression they were too smart and sophisticated to have more than one or two children.
John and I have never considered 4 children to be a “large” family. We had always wanted to have a large family and felt like 4 was closer to what we had in mind than 3, but not large. But you see, I recently found out that we are expecting #5 in April. We will be the same size as some of the families my classmates were speaking so disdainfully of. Suddenly it was more personal. Good time to reevaluate whether my fear was of God or of man.
Last Wednesday, I entered the kitchen around 5:30 a.m. to make my morning cup of coffee, when my husband leaned over, kissed my cheek and whispered “Happy Anniversary Darling”. I checked the calendar. It was still August. “But it’s not our anniversary,” I protested. He gave me a knowing smile and replied, “I know. I just wanted to be the first one to say it this year.” He told me “Happy Anniversary” every day since then until we celebrated our actual anniversary on the 5th. And you know what? He told me again this morning.