Is your Christmas shopping done? Mine is as done as it is going to be. Are you rushing to the grocery store for last minute items on your holiday menu? We are too.
Even with all the last minute preparations, as I sit here in my family room in my pjs and enjoy the Christmas tree and the fire and the sounds of my children laughing, talking, and playing games, I think of how blessed I truly am to have a loving family and wonderful children, true friends, and a loving, adoring husband. I must have done something good in my life to be so enormously blessed in this life.
This year has been especially tough for us with Big Bear still not able to find a job that follows in his career path, but the Lord has been good to us and has provided for us along the way. Somehow, Big Bear has managed to juggle the bills with little money in his pocket, and we've both been able to bring in a little extra for our family needs by doing landscaping, aeration, handyman work, computer work, or web design. In addition to this, though, we are blessed to have family that have pitched in and offered, unselfishly, to help us through this tough time. We could not be more grateful.
We are not poor. We are not living in a tin hut. We are not starving. We are not cold. We are not homeless. We are blessed beyond measure, so I don't want anyone out there to feel sorry for us - for any reason! We have a beautiful home, a bountiful pantry, and a fantastic family. We have each other and we have a bank that holds our mortgage that has been more than generous with helping us take this economic crisis to the finish line. They've given us a forbearance program and we have communicated with them regularly. Thank you Chase Bank! That is probably because we have as much invested in this house as the bank does too. Still, we are very grateful that Chase has worked with us so that we don't lose our home.
When I reflect back on this year, I think of all the memories - like Sarah's excellent grades (A's) and her interest in being a cardiologist. I think of Matthew and how helpful he has been from cleaning to helping his dad with yard work. He even learned how to drive the tractor this year. Glen started 5th grade this year at the elementary school so Matthew is the only one left being homeschooled. Glen is doing good and giving every day his best effort. We are so proud of our little man. All of our children have sprouted this year. I can't believe how they've grown! I also reflect on how responsible our children are, how good natured and compassionate too.
I think of my granddaughter, Reagan, and how much love and joy she has brought us all this year. She is such a blessing and I am so proud of my daughter, Kimberly, and her husband, Zak - they are loving parents and we couldn't be more proud.
I'm thankful that I still have my mother. She turned 86 this year and is still going strong even with her challenges. I enjoy our conversations and hope she likes the gift I made for her.
All in all it has been a year filled with wonderful memories and lots of love and laughter. We may be short on money and wish Big Bear had a job, but we are surrounded by so much to be thankful for that money seems almost insignificant. Well, almost.
So, on this Christmas weekend, I want you to reflect on your blessings. Your family. Your friends. Pray for peace and that our soldiers are safe and come home healthy and in one piece. Pray for those who have less than us. Find happiness in the giving and gratefulness in the receiving.
I hope everyone has a Christmas filled with blessings, joy, laughter, love, hugs, and presents under the tree. Surround yourself with family and friends, holiday music, and the warmth and spirit of the season.
Blessings to All!! (No peeking before Christmas!)