Have you ever sat back, looked at your life, and thought "wow!" ? A couple weeks ago I acccepted the thanful challenge, also known as the 30 Day Grateful Challenge. Perhaps this has heklped change my perception. As usual, life has thrown our family many curve balls! But through it all, our joy remains...
The end of October, Sam started having some health issues... and of course the doctors are all scratching their heads (seems like a common theme!). Through all of these trials, however, Sam has stayed a happy loving child!!! Don't get me wrong - when she hurts, she is whiny and fussy, but overall, she is taking everything in stride and keeping her cheerful disposition. I am finding myself focusing on the positives in the situation as well - we know she does not have cervical or uterine cancer... For those who know Sam's history, you know this is the third time in her short life (she is not even three yet) that the doctors have mentioned and tested her for cancer!!! But once again, God has seen fit to make it not that :)
Brad's work is being a beast. He works long hours and is literally on call 24/7. There is nothing quite like the cell phone ringing at 1 in the morning with the person on the other end calling to ask a "silly question" that could have easily waited until normal working hours, or they could have done a little research and figured out on their own. They are short handed, so he is stressed, but honestly taking it in stride. An inspection is coming quickly, meaning long twelve plus hour shifts, from early evening until the following morning, and yet, through it all, we are thankful he has a job. We may not get paid overtime (oh how that would our government further in debt!!!), but at least we are guaranteed a paycheck (as long as the government doesn't threaten to take it away again, lol). With all the medical bills we would be facing right now, again, what a blessing it is for Brad to have the job he does. Then, to top it off, he gets to retire in a little less than five years - Lord willing we will then be able to buy some property and live the life we feel God is calling us to.
Then there is the question of child salvation... what age is too young? Is there an age that is too young? Katie prayed for her salvation over two years ago... she was only five or six. Up to this point, she has had no desire to be baptized. We met with our pastor yesterday, and he "quizzed" her understanding. It blew my mind to hear her answer - she didn't answer by regurgitating what we had taught her, but rather took that information, applied it, and responded in her own words with an understanding that surpasses many adults' understandings. What a blessing and encouragement for us! And honestly, what a conviction by the Holy Spirit of how much more we need to spend in our Bible as a family and individuals. Katie has a tendency to read her Bible every morning and write her "biblical truths" from the chapter she has read - this is what she calls them. Wow! Every time I read over what she has written, I get goosebumps from how she really looks into the nitty gritty of what the Word is saying to her!!!
And then there are our two older boys - and my goodness are they boys!!! I have been told numerous times that boys are suppose to be destructive... I'm kinda glad, because mine certainly are!!! With that said, however, it ios frustrating in the mornings to look around and what I had not gotten accomplished the night before because i didn't have time... because too much had been destroyed. I am perplexed as to how I am suppose to get everything done in a day, without a headache, in a timely manner, without hanging some kiddos up by their toes :) But even after they destroy something, I still find myself being thankful that they are boys... God will use them for great things - for one day He will take their quirks and manly ways and work them for His Kingdom.
Of course to top everything off, there is the lack of sleep from my almost 6 month old, Ben, that is determined to NOT sleep through the night. Mind you, the other four children all slept through the night by 8-9 weeks... not Ben! And trust me, I have done some silly (aka stupid) things in my sleep deprived state! I have tried feeding the dog and starting laundry att the same time.... just so you know, dogs really do not want to eat laubndry detergent, no matter how citrus-y smelling, and dogfood does not do a very good job cleaning your clothes, no matter how crumbly it is :) And yet, I look at that sweet face and cannot help but smile! What a happy and content child he is! I would much rather take the time to feed him then not be able to nurse... or not have him in my arms at all!
And then last night there was our stove.... oh dear! I had made an apple crisp for desert last night... After the pumpkin seeds had been roasted, and while we were eating our dinner, I put it in the oven to bake. Brad walked in the kitchen to get Katie some more pasta, only to find that our oven was glowing... the heating element in the oven had caught fire. We turned the oven off - and yet it burned on. After about 20 minutes, the fire finally burnt out. When Brad looked up the part for this oven, we learned that it is "normal" for this to happen - and we were lucky it went out on its own! Many fire companies have been called out to people's homes for such issues!
So what is the point of my ramblings???? I guess I have written all of this to say that though life has thrown us curve balls, it is still all good! I've heard the old adage of when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade... I've seen others say that you can't unless life hands you sugar and water - otherwise it is going to be some sour lemonade. I say life does hand you all the necessities to make lemonade... Lemons = hardships, Water = God's love raining down on us, Sugar = our blessings.... So it all comes down to how we view it :) We really are blessed!