As a humorous sidenote, during our Family Home Evening lesson, we talked about the story of the 10 lepers. I asked McKinley "Do you know what a leper is?" She answered "Yeah.. they run really fast!" It took us a minute, but Jason & I looked at each other & laughed out loud. She thought I meant a leopard :) I just had this strange image in my head of a leper all in bandages, running really, really fast.
So, here's a few of the things our family is grateful for this year (including an expanded version of my own at the bottom):
McKINLEY: (I was so proud of her - she cut the hand out herself & wrote all the items herself - with her dad helping her spell)
-Mom & Dad
-Legs to run
-My Jesus: My relationship with my Savior has grown so much this year. Yes, I have heard all my life that He needs to be my rock, my center, my solace, but it's so easy for me to try and either tackle things myself or lean on other things or people to comfort me or even just distract me. I am learning (and will be life-long learning) that I need to make the relationship with Him THE most important one in my life. It's the ONLY one that can never be taken away. What does that mean? It means I need to go to Him when I am happy, when I am sad, when I am angry, when I am confused, when I need council, when I need direction, when I am thankful. In addition, I need to learn more about Him so that I can grow closer to Him and I can try harder to be like Him. I am reading the Gospels and trying to apply His words and example to my life. When I do these things, I find such peace and happiness. I am SO thankful for my Savior!!
-My Husband: I know I talk about how great he is, but you have NO IDEA. This pregnancy, labor & delivery, and recovery was the hardest I've gone through, and he has been there for me every step of the way. Jason is an absolute angel. At the last prenatal forum, everyone at my birth talked about how amazing Jason was - how he knew what to do, how he never left my side, how his voice kept me grounded as I struggled through the pain. But they didn't stay at my home. They haven't seen this past month how he has let me sleep, taken over the laundry, fixed dinners, and taken care of the kids. No... he is not perfect ladies, but he truly is perfect for me. My love for him, through the trials we have faced this year and learning so much through The Love Dare, has grown tremendously. It's also a bonus that he is completely gorgeous - and that he still plays with my hair at night :)
-My Body: Even with these 20 lbs I still need to lose, I know my body is amazing. It still boggles my mind to think about the miracle that it takes to get pregnant, grow a baby, bring it into the world, and have the rich milk that it takes to help her grow healthy & strong. I look at Kezia's perfect little ears, fingers, toes, nose, etc, and think about how many things could have gone wrong while she was forming in my body, and yet here she is. so beautiful. so perfect. Yes, the recovery was difficult with Kezia. It makes me that much more thankful for when my body works so well. I am thankful for ears that hear the laughter of my girls as they play, eyes that get lost in the deep green emerald oceans of my husband's eyes, a nose that is able to take in all the amazing smells that the upcoming season brings, and a mouth to kiss my family, to express myself, and to taste amazing foods. I am thankful for legs that run, and hands that hold tiny fingers.
-My Children: Yes, there are days... you know the days... BUT I truly find so much joy in my children. Joy in McKinley's never-ending curiosity, in her humorous statements, in her singing, in her laughter. Joy in Ireland's boundless energy, her breathtaking smile and contagious laughter, her drawings, and her love of life. Joy in Kezia's fresh-from-heaven spirit, her beautiful eyes, her beautiful light-red hair, her coos and her hint of a smile. Yes, life with children is so much harder - and SO much better. Jason & I talked about what our dream job would be if money were no object. I honestly cannot say that there is any title I would rather have in this wide, wide world than that of "mommy."
-My Trials: Did I ever even imagine that Jason would be out of a job for all but 2 months of this year? Never. Some days I think it's not fair. I think I sure as heck would love to know the eternal reason for this. Some days, I panic. Most of the time, though, I have felt SO BLESSED. SO taken care of. Yes, I am thankful that we have gone through this trial. I really WOULD like to be able to see all the eternal reasons for this, but I can already see many blessings. My girls have been able to spend almost an entire year with their daddy. How precious! As I mentioned before, it has been such a blessing to have Jason home during the first 4 months of pregnancy sickness, during the last month or so when I was getting no sleep, during the labor & delivery, & this past month while I've been recovering from losing so much blood. Who knows? Maybe I would have done too much without him here & hemorrhaged again. Maybe I would have gotten overwhelmed and succumbed to postpartum depression. I don't know. I can't see the complete eternal picture, but I know it has brought Jason & I closer together. It has brought us closer as a family. It has certainly made us more appreciative of things like food. clothing. shelter. It has made us realize that we can get by with a LOT less than we thought - and still be HAPPY!
-Sleep. Refreshing, renewing, blessed, mind-clearing sleep, soul-cheering sleep. Don't need a lot of elaboration here, but I will sing praises when I am able to get more than a few hours uninterrupted sleep.
WE ARE SO BLESSED! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!