Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful

It is the night before Thanksgiving, the cinnamon rolls are rising, the breakfast casserole is setting up in the refrigerator and the vegetables are cleaned and prepped for their trip to my brothers home for Thanksgiving dinner and I am having a moment of feeling thankful for all of the blessings that God has blessed me with this past year.
This past year has brought struggles, challenges, triumphs, joy and sadness and thankfully God has been right there with me; holding, pushing, comforting, rejoicing, guiding and protecting me. For that I am eternally grateful

I have watched one daughter graduate from college and my other daughter begin the journey of taking college classes online. And for that I am grateful for the determination and initiative of both of my daughters.

I have witnessed my son decide to leave high school to be home schooled, pass drivers ed and receive his license, have his self-confidence soar and earn second place in his first mountain bike race in Rapid City SD. And for that I am grateful for his courage and perseverance.

I was blessed to help plan my daughters wedding, place her veil over her face, watch her dad lift it off, watch her marry the love of her life and welcome that young man into our family. And for that I am truly grateful.

I have felt my love for my husband grow deeper and stronger. He has supported me through my weight loss and through all of the time and commitment that being in ministry involves. I am grateful for his love, patience, strength and commitment to our family, our marriage and to me.

I have worked so hard on losing weight and have achieved a 33 pound weight loss since May. I feel healthy and more self-confident than I have in a very long time. And I am grateful for the ability to reach my goals and to continue on this journey of weight loss.

I am thankful for my parents who still encourage, support and love me for who I am. For my extended family who love and support me and help to make life fun and a little crazy at times.

I am thankful for my friends who surround me with their love, support, comfort and laughter when I need it.

I am thankful for the women who attend my Bible studies and retreats. They have taught me so much and they have helped me to have an even closer relationship with God.

I am thankful that I was invited to preach at my childhood church over the past 6 months as they searched for a new pastor for their church. They will always be considered part of my family.

This past year I have had to say goodbye to friends and family who have moved away but have also welcomed new friends into my life.

I was blessed to be surrounded by all of my family and cousins as we said goodbye to our grandma.

There have been so many blessings this past year and I know that none of it would have been possible without my faith in God and his love, mercy, grace and guidance in my life.

I pray that each of you have a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Having to say goodbye

I'm not even sure how to start this blog today. It has been a hard journey over the past few weeks. On Saturday, October 30th I received a call from my mom telling me that my grandmother had only a few moments left of her life. Dave took be directly to the nursing home so that I could be with my mom and grandma. Within 15 minutes of arriving my grandma took her last breath and her spirit left her body. It was the most incredible moment I have ever witnessed other than the birth of each of my children. It was a blessing to be there in that moment. Life is a miracle coming in and a miracle going out.

My grandmother was 90 years old and had lived in a care facility over the last 5 years. Arthritis had consumed her beautiful body and dementia had crept into her mind. She was an incredible lady. At the funeral I was able to deliver the eulogy and I was honored to do it. My grandma was Irish/English. She was a woman that could be fun loving one moment and completely controlling the next. Everything she did was out of love for her husband and family. My grandfather passed away 10 years ago and my grandma had missed him everyday. When she breathed her last breath here on earth I knew that she was being embraced by my grandpa and they were dancing on heaven's floor.

The day before she died I had been visiting with her and when it was time for me to leave she held my hand and told me I was precious. Those were the last words my grandma spoke to me and I will treasure them forever. My grandma was precious to me. She loved to dress her best, have her nails and hair done, kept her house nice and neat and was a marvelous cook. She was a very classy lady and I miss her so much. She was a woman of faith who read her bible daily and knew how important it was to go to church and be a part of a community of faith. She reached out to her neighbors and friends and taught all of us how important that was. At her funeral there were many of her former neighbors, co-workers, church friends and family that gathered to say goodbye and to honor her with their loving words and memories.

It is hard to believe as the days pass that I am not able to talk to her, to hear her words of wisdom or see her beautiful smile. But when I look at my hands I see her hands and when I look in the mirror I see her smile. I thank God everyday for the time that I had with her and I pray that I can be as strong as she was in her faith and her life.

Goodbye grandma. I miss you and love you,