Even if I didn't have sixteen beautiful children, even if I only had these five girls, I would be blessed. Wait, that doesn't sound very nice, scratch it. Restart: I have these five beautiful daughters....Margaret Cheryl 17, Kathryn Grace 16, Evelyn Joy(15 in a few weeks), Suzanne Eleanor 13, and Sonja Kathleen 12.
Even when they're making faces, they are lovely.
Then of course I have little 8 year old Charlotte Claire....
And six year old Camille Anaya, who is wise enough to know how to stop and smell the roses.
Of course I have my oldest daughter Emily Anne, 29....
And then there's Abigail Marie, 27....
Mirielle Joy, 24........And Mali Rose, 20...
And then there are the five boys.... Aaron Royce, 21, Samuel James, 19, Benjamin Paul 25, Joseph Michael, 23, and little Jonathan Robert, 10.
Then there is my daughter-in-law Ashley, and my granddaughter Anya...
Today, I have been thinking about thankfulness. It's easy to be thankful on a sunny day when none of the kids are smacking each other and the house is relatively in order. But when things don't go my way, when my job seems really thankless, when things I work hard at are criticized...oh dear, then it becomes challenging. But God knows exactly what I need! If I truly believe this, then I can be thankful no matter what. It doesn't always feel good to go through the fire, it isn't always easy to humble myself, but when I say, "Let Your will be done.", then I come to a peace that surpasses all else.
Today, I am thankful for my kids...my older kids have lots of freedom. Some of them like to say bad words, a few of them are really outspoken, and some are blatantly honest with me about how I act, and if I so much as start to complain, will say, "Mom, don't start." (I HATE to hear this, but...it has really really helped me, because hey, I don't WANT to "start".) Anyway. I don't always have warm fuzzy feelings for my kids, these kids with minds of their own, but I love them, they truly light up my life. They help me see myself, they keep things in perspective, they keep me young.
I am also thankful for Paul. I miss him when he's away, no matter how much I like stretching out by myself in that king sized bed reading well into the night.:)
I am thankful for summer nights with the crickets singing their evening songs, and the starry skies, but not for the mosquitoes. I am thankful for the blissful days, the pool even though it's green, for our big yard with lots of trees and no landscaping, for our garden which gives us yummy things despite the weeds that thrive there.
I am thankful for my mother-in-law. She gets more precious to me as the years go by. She is a strong and outspoken lady, but she is kind and generous, and she is extremely funny. She has more energy in her baby finger than I have in my whole body, and she is almost 85 years old.
I am thankful for my friends. Have you ever realized something about yourself and wondered how your friends have put up with you without ever pointing it out? Like how perhaps you go on and on, boring people to death with the minor details...or how maybe you always have to correct them, or be right, or argue each point, or have the last word?
Anyway, I am thankful for so many things.