Couldn't resist adding this pic of Mel on New Year's, haha...miss this face!
Mel & Mike
Their little family...so cute
Well, today is New Years Eve and I have given soo much thought and prayer to what I might write about on this particular post, that I'd love to say that I have settled into which direction I want to go with it, but I can't say that I have, totally anyway, haha. I have done my blog visiting this morning and read so many wonderful posts full of your thoughts and feelings and inspirations and hopes for this New Year that is upon us, that I have been truly blessed and inspired. Since today is Thankful Thursday and has become one of my most favorite events to participate in, I have decided to focus my heart on the many, many things that have so blessed me in 2009. To find other thankful hearts and posts click HERE.
This last year has been a very mixed year of feelings for me, and one where the Lord has taught me so much more about His abundant love and care for me, that I have been blessed beyond what I feel like I can adequately describe to you.
I became a mom at such a young age (a mere 18) that I never had much time to think about what else I might do with my life outside of that enormous job. I was never really even an adult WITHOUT having the responsibility of children. I tell you this so that you might understand why for me, suddenly finding myself with all of my children grown and gone this last year, has been such an overwhelming and sometimes downright bewildering experience. I just wasn't completely sure "WHAT" to do with myself. I am grateful that the Lord has opened a few doors for me and I have found my days fuller than I thought they might be. I have spent my time babysitting my darling little grandchildren, working in a classroom full of sweet faced little 5 year olds, and have even started a women's Bible study group in my home. I'm still looking for new ways I might better serve Him as well. Now of course my children have not been young and therefore dependent on me for quite a while now, but I still made myself "busy" with the many things that you can when they live in your house and are just "there". That last year Melody was home was spent immersed in the plans for her wedding, and the enjoyment that all brought. But this year in comparison was so quite. My house is occasionally full again when all of my kids gather with their spouses and their children, and I treasure those times now, and is certainly right at the top of my list of things I am grateful for this year. I am grateful I live so close to all of my grandchildren and am able to spend as much time as I do with all of these wonderful little people. I am grateful that Melody has been able to spend as much time as she has been able to visiting this last year. I am soo grateful for the birth of not one but TWO precious new grandbabies. Both Cody and Donatella are soo incredibly sweet and have added so much to our family with their presence in our lives. I am grateful for my husband’s new job and the benefits it has brought, but more importantly just for him and the love and friendship that has remained so strong and something I have been able to count on for almost 35 years now. I am grateful that the Lord has given me the strength to FINALLY address my weight and corresponding health issues with a diet that has not only allowed me lose 50 pounds so far, but is really very tasty as well. I'm grateful that my step dad has remained strong and healthy DESPITE a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer a year ago! I am grateful for the good health of everyone in my family and for God's protection as we have all gone about our daily lives. And I am soo grateful for all of you. As I have found myself not only in the midst of my first year as a "empty nester" but also somewhat forced to be much less active due to my arthritis, the blogging world has become a wonderful place for me to not only write out my thoughts and feelings (which was my original reason for taking it up) but has enabled me to meet so many wonderful new friends, and even some true "kindred spirits" as well. This was not something I even thought about as a possibility through this experience, but one I feel the Lord just knew I needed and blessed me with as a very wonderful unexpected benefit. I have learned so much from all of your insights into scripture and God's leading in your life, and have been inspired to grow so much closer to Him as a result. I have laughed and cried with you all, and have had both the privilege of praying for you and the have felt the comfort and strength that comes from being lifted in prayer by you all as well. As we all begin this New Year, and look ahead to all its possibilities and hopes, I know a few things I can count on. The Lord is ever faithful and His mercy and grace are always there for us to draw upon and have as very real presence in our lives. He loves us all with a love that can't even really be understood fully by us mere human beings. I am looking so forward to what He might do in our lives for 2010, and my desire is to grow closer and closer to Him and find new ways I might serve Him and share His love with others through this next year. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all, and may the Lord bless you and make His face to shine upon you now and always....Love, Debbie