We are having a White Thanksgiving! Yep, we've got lots of white here today. I don't know how many inches we have but enough of it was forecast that a lot of us changed our travel plans for this holiday. We often go to my Mom's house and celebrate Thanksgiving there with my sister and her family. That won't be happening today. There are more than 100 miles of prairie between us and that prairie is all ice and snow today. Luckily, our plan B is just a lovely. We will be with Maria and Eric (daughter and son-in-law) and Cordelia and Elise (granddaughters) as well as our son, Sam.
Our house is already starting to take on that holiday smell as I am making pies, rolls and vegan stuffing. Maria is taking on most of the cooking, which is good. She is an excellent cook and I always look forward to seeing what she has put together. It will be a good day!
This week I have been thinking about how
lucky blessed I have been. Certainly my life has not gone as I had planned and I do not get everything I think I need. However, I was thinking about the fact that all of the things I wanted most have been fulfilled for me.
For one thing, I have always felt loved and protected by God, even during the hard times. I have never felt abandoned. That sounds kind of dramatic but honestly, I have observed that many have felt abandoned during much of their lives. I have not ever truly experienced that... except maybe that time my parents left preschooler me at church. No, just kidding, Mom! I have never felt abandoned.
There are other dreams I had that have come true for me. First, I married a great man. I am so very grateful that God's plan for my life included Mike. I was exactly the kind of girl who could have easily married someone abusive in some way. I am not going to say much about that but my Dad was broken somewhere early in his life and if I'd married someone just like my Dad, my life would have been much more difficult. I made my choice very early, knowing I wanted to marry Mike when I was 17 years old. Not everyone decision I made at age 17 was the best and I am aware I could have made a gigantic mistake. I didn't. I've already enjoyed more than 37 years of marriage to a creative, funny, deep, quirky and spiritual man. Not only have I been blessed with a good man, my children and grandchildren have been blessed by a dad and grandpa that loves them deeply. I am so grateful. But why me? Not everyone has experienced a satisfying marriage.
I also really, really wanted to be a mother. I am very aware that not everyone who wants children has that dream come true for them. My gratitude for my children is huge! Each of them is different than the other, with their own styles, their own dreams and their own ways of showing their love for me. I've not always done things as well as I wish I had as a Mom, but still, they love me. Again, I am so grateful! But again, why me?
Friends! I have had so many friends! Some friends are "forever" friends and some were there during different periods of my life, adding sparkle and contentment to my days. I've had friends who have helped me through illness, grief and even friends who've shown up to help load moving trucks. Now, that is a good friend, huh?! I've had friends who have brought me in to enjoy the special days of their lives as well. I've been a bridesmaid (matron) three times and I even had a friend invite me to be with her when she had one of her babies. For every moment spent with a friend, I am grateful.
Mike & I have extended family that have been such a strong scaffolding for our marriage. No couple is an island. We have always had extended family willing to enrich our lives and support our marriage. I am very, very grateful for that. Not everyone has that blessing.
Grandchildren! As a young girl I envisioned my future with a husband and children but I don't really think I dreamed of grandchildren at that time. Apparently I was rather short-sighted. The two granddaughters we have are such a joy! They have so much personality! They are so loving toward us, making us feel like celebrities every time they see us! I so love watching them grow and learn and experience their own lives. I just didn't understand until I experienced this grandparent thing for myself. I am grateful!
I was typing this post as I was cooking steel cut oatmeal. I had choices today for breakfast. I could have made waffles or scrambled eggs or pancakes or just had Cheerios. I have what I need for any of those breakfast meals. My point? I've never been without food. Yes, I've looked in my refrigerator and thought, "There's nothing to eat." It was never really true, though. I've always had food. I am grateful.
I have a home. Often I think it is one of the "before" homes for an HGTV show but really, we have more than we need. I am grateful. Our "before" home would seem like a castle to many in this world.
So, I ask, "Why me?" Why did I get to grow up so loved and well cared for? Why did my biggest dreams come true? Why do I get to be so content?