So just in time for Thanksgiving, thoughts at month.four go something like this...
We're doing good. Routine is in place. We don't feel daddy's absence at every single turn, although with the holidays closing in i fully expect that to change. Holidays without the people we love hurt--i know anyone can relate to that, whether separated by distance or death.
This morning we were reconstructing a new train track and listening to Christmas music. It was of course sweet to just sit and hang out with my littles but it's hard not to miss Daddy during those moments. Train tracks are his specialty and thoughts of Christmas without him hit straight where it hurts. It's one of those strange moments where joy and pain are all wrapped up together--and as the holidays near, i'm sure it was just the first of many.
Sometimes it's the sweetest moments of my day when i start feeling sorry for my family. For example we are out laughing and eating ice cream and i think about how Mike is missing it. Or when i tuck the kids in to bed and i realize they are one hug short. Or when it's Saturday and we are out having fun at the park and then i notice the family beside us--a mom and a dad--and our lack becomes so evident. Even though we've chosen this life for ourselves, there are many times i feel robbed of the fullness we could be feeling if only we were all together. And that's where i have to stop myself. Although i'm sure many would say i'm validated, there is a voice inside me that tell's me otherwise. Ecclesiates 7:14 MSG says, "On a good day, enjoy yourself. On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted." Examine my conscience--or in other words, get some perspective. My times of lack help me appreciate the times when life is abundant and full. How true that is.
Somehow I have to change my thinking. It's not about what I am lacking but instead about all the things I do have. I can't look at our time apart as something stolen from us, but instead i have to see the times we have together as a gift. The times apart, although hard, help me appreciate the family i have and hopefully can even strengthen my marriage. A book i'm reading right now reminds me that "rough times, while never fun, manage to refine us in ways that endless days of smooth sailing never will."
Psalm 118:24 says "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it". This is a simple verse we learn as a child---but as an adult i have come to really understand it's meaning. It's easy to rejoice when things are going well, but even when they aren't...the Lord still made this day, he planned it to be just the way it is. I can either choose to rejoice or to be filled with sorrow. I need to choose joy and I need to choose thankfulness. There is much to be thankful for.
So i guess i will join the masses and end this post with my list of things for which i am thankful:
1. A God who loves me, has set me apart, and guides me through all of my days.
2. A husband who is faithful, loving, and good. He works hard to provide for us and takes care of us even from halfway around the world.
3. Three healthy beautiful children, whose innocent, sweet faces give purpose and light to my days.
4. A supportive family that is close in proximity and always willing to help.
5. Friends that are long-lasting no matter how much time and distance are between us.
6. A job that provides us with more than we need.
7. A safe and warm place to live.
8. A good church to learn from and grow.
9. To live in America and the freedoms we have to live and worship as we choose.
10. Each new day. Life is a gift.