My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Overwhelming Gratitude

I almost feel silly writing this post. I feel like I am bragging about the people in my life. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Kaiper, was born in the Phillipines. She left a lasting impression on me. She used to drill into our little minds that bragging was quite possibly the worst character flaw of all. We should never, ever do it she would tell us. Therefore, any time I have felt that I might be crossing the line, my little seven year old mind reminds me that it is evil and I shouldn't do it. Today, I must give myself permission to brag about the people along our path who have brought such joy into my weary heart.

In previous days, I have logged blessings received from B. Beck, Miss Birdie, Martha, and angels unknown to me who have sent notes, helped with my children, and dropped off packages and boxes of food and goodies. Oh, how those have lifted my spirits to heights they haven't seen in some time. Last week, a co-worker of mine gave me a beautiful poinsettia plant. It sits on my office window sill and brings me color and brightness each day. It's glorious. Yesterday, another co-worker stopped into my office with a gift card to Smith's. When I asked him why, he replied that people helped him when
his teenage daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer. I am working two jobs. His daughter had cancer. Big difference. But, he said to me that it's the small things that brought him comfort and joy and he needed me to feel that same comfort and joy. I cried, then hugged him. Ashley is a blessing to me.

This morning, our Streets supervisor and crew leader told me they had something to show me. Usually when they say that, it includes me being able to sit in a big tractor or tasting their new venison jerky. This morning, it was a large red envelope with a gorgeous Christmas card inside, signed by them and six of their crew members. The notes were to wish my family and I love this holiday season. It included cash and more gift cards to Smith's. I sobbed, then they sobbed as well. Grown men. Burly men. Blue collar men who work in the conditions everyday, who have families of their own. Our Streets supervisor is fighting a battle against cancer right now. They told me from the day I started, I was their family and that they loved me.

Then I marched myself into my boss's office and told him he was going to get it. I told him that he was the only one I shared personal information with, therefore I knew he was in on this somehow. He told me that from the day I started, I was family and that I was loved. I told him, through ridiculous sobs, that at times when I feel like I just can't go on, things like this happen. They always happen when I just feel like I need to be done.

Isn't prayer fascinating? I pray continually to know that my Father in Heaven loves me and that He is there and that He sees me and hears me. I also pray continually for financial blessings so that I can spend more time with my family. In my mind, the Publisher's Clearing House people are going to show up at my doorstep. You know, with red roses, balloons, and a big banner saying I've won $5,000 a week for life. If that's not possible, then just maybe back child support can be paid in full. Or, maybe I can get a raise. Maybe Josh can get a promotion. But, that's not what Heavenly Father has in mind obviously. (On a side note, do you think He shakes His head at me repeatedly???) He shows me, through people just like me, that I'm noticed, that my family is loved, that my long days and nights do not go unnoticed by Him, that He knows we are trying, that rain storms in all their fury create amazing rainbows. He shows me repeatedly, in His way and in His time, that faith and sacrifice will bring blessings. He shows me repeatedly that we are never, ever alone. We are known. We are heard. We are seen. We are loved. We need not give up. We need not quit. We need to keep walking. We need to keep trying. We need to keep our chin up because everything will be alright in the end.

Tonight, my children get to go to Papa and Grandma's house for their Christmas sleepovers. They will be taking a hay ride at Thanksgiving Point. Then tomorrow morning, they get to go to a movie and to see Santa. They get to make memories, as they do so often, with people who love them to the moon and back. A couple of weeks ago, they go to do that with Nana and Pops. Sometimes, they get to make memories with Papa Bruce, Grandma LeAnne, and Grandma and Grandpa Nef. Sometimes, they get to play with Uncle Brandon, Aunt Carrie, Uncle Logan, Uncle Skip, Uncle Matt and Aunt Jenn, Uncle Mike, Aunt Nichole, and Uncle Colton. They are loved and supported and cared for.

I've been able to look back on every moment of this earthly journey and see angels, seen and unseen, along my path. I have never had a time in my life when I walked this trail alone. Ever. There has always been room in someone's inn for me and my loved ones. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

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