Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So many things to be thankful for…

***For those of you reading this note in facebook – I make it a point NOT to send out notes to everyone or to invite you to a ton of groups or things, but I really wanted to share this one with you all. God bless you.***

Thanksgiving is always a time to look around my life and really take into account what I am blessed with and what I am thankful for. There are so many things that I feel blessed about that it is kind of hard to put them into writing…but I’ll try. So, in no particular order (except saving the best/better for the last), here is my thankfulness list for 2008:

1. I am thankful for my job. Now, because this is #1 doesn’t mean that it is the most important thing in my life. But I must say that God has truly been gracious to me with how my job life has gone. I have had the same job since I graduated from college, and although it is not a glamorous job or something that I even went to school to study for, it has allowed me many blessings. My wife stays home with our lovely children – this is a priceless benefit of any job. But that fact coupled with the fact that I leave my work at work and I work only about 40 hours per week is an immense blessing. I have the energy, time, and the sanity to pour my heart and soul into my family and my ministries. Praise God for the blessing, as long as it lasts, of the job that I have now.

2. In so many ways and for so many reasons, I am thankful for my wife. I am so thankful for her for all of the things that she does and for all of the ways that she contributes to the family. But this year, I am especially thankful for her, in a special way. This year we were able to do something that we have never been able to do before – get away for a weekend without children. I know – married for the better part of a decade is a long time to go without a vacation from the kidos. But it was during our time away that we were able to enjoy coffee without a time limit, dinner without constantly encouraging our children to actually eat their food (novel idea, I know), and hours on end of uninterrupted (even though interruptions can be, and very often are, joyous) conversation. It was so great to enjoy time with my wife just as husband and wife, not as parents, but just as the two of us. And for all of you who may have lamented about a lack of things to talk about other than children on outings like this – I can tell you that we did not suffer that problem. I love our children, but I love my wife most of all. I am so thankful to have been blessed with a lovely and beautiful bride who compliments the best things about me and corrects some of the worst.

3. I am thankful for my little daughter, Hannah. Now, she is only just under 1 ½ years old, but she is coming into her own. It is amazing to see how much of a personality you can really see in such a young child. It is cute to see that she loves to sit in her chair and look at books by herself as much as she loves to chase (to the best of her abilities) her older brothers to play with them. However, in a selfish note, I must say that I am most thankful for the way in which she says good-bye to me as I leave for work and the way in which she says hello to me as I return home. About one month ago she began to join her brothers in their silly dash to give me hugs and kisses both when I leave and arrive from work. She doesn’t much go for kissing anyone, but sure enough, if I ask her for a kiss when I get home…daddy gets a big slobbery kiss from his baby girl.

4. Noah. My sweet, loud, happy, accident-prone, unstoppable (except by stationary objects) freight-train of energy son – I am so thankful for him. So many things about this boy of mine make me smile. It is no small thing to say that he is truly a mini version of myself – in many of the good and bad ways, I might add. But one way that he is truly a blessing, and it is this that I am particularly thankful for today, is his love of all things musical. I suppose that this would be something cute in any child, but the songs that he loves and the songs that he sings are not normal children’s songs. He has been known to start singing, out of the blue, a song while we’re in the car. At night time, my boys and I will read the Bible, tell a Bible story, pray, and sing. To my frustration at times, the favorite thing that my sons like to ask is for me to sing a song that “they’ve never ever heard”. So, after exhausting a lot of songs from my youth, I sang one in particular that he really, really liked. So much so that he requested it for a while thereafter. But a few months later (it must have been) when we hadn’t sung that song with any frequency for quite a while, my son began singing this song at the top of his tone-less lungs while we were in the car. I love the fact that he loves to sing and loves music in general.

5. Micah, my oldest son – what a year have I had in regards to thankfulness with him. Micah has always been our sensitive little guy. He’s always been aware of things seemingly beyond his age. But ever since he was little, we have shared the gospel with him – day and night, in all sorts of activities, venues and opportunities. And it was only a few weeks ago that my son, on his own accord, told me that he wanted to repent of his sins and believe in Jesus. Stephanie and I have labored long and hard in sharing the gospel with him, and I was overjoyed to be able to be with him when he vocalized his desire for salvation. Time will tell of the truth of his profession and the reality of his salvation – but I praise God for his soft heart and his child like desire for salvation.

And it is in this same stream of thought that I must share the final (for this little note) things that I am thankful for:

We took a family picture in early October. It is a great family picture – if I do say so myself. But only a few days ago, Micah painted and drew a picture of our family to give to me to bring to work. That is the next picture you'll see. Now, other than the marks of a perfectionist artist (the two scribbled out characters), you may notice the fact that there are seven people on the right but only five on the left. We found out a few weeks ago that my wife is pregnant with our fifth child – yup, our fifth child. We lost our second while he (I always call that baby “he”) was in the womb. We don’t make a point of drilling that fact into our children’s heads, but whenever someone close to us has lost a child, it may come up. So as far as Micah is concerned (and me too, for that matter) we have a family of seven now; five in the picture on the left, one in heaven, and one in his mommy’s tummy. I am thankful that my son has this personal perspective on life at this age.

6. I am thankful for the blessing of yet another child. May God grant health and safety to my child now, and grant faith and repentance to this child at day in the future.

7. Above all and overflowing to all is my thankfulness to the God and Father of my LORD Jesus Christ, to His Son for His justifying work, and to the Spirit for His sanctifying work. Soli Deo Gloria.

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