There is a lot going on in the world. But at the end of the day, all of us need to reflect on our blessings and give thanks. Without God, we are nothing. I mean, literally. Without God, nothing would exist. Which is weird to think about all on its own. But because God is, so are we. And He gives us creation and each other during this temporal life, and only He and those who have gone before us really knows what is waiting for us on the other side.
So, let me express my thanks publicly here.
My wife and I have just returned from a vacation. just the two of us. It is difficult for us to remember the last time we spent extended time together – just us. Nine kids will do that. We’ve also vacationed with friends in the past as well. But this time it was just us.
We celebrated 25 years of marriage on July 27. Time sometimes feels short and sometimes drags on, but it is almost overwhelming to consider what has happened in the last 25 years.
God has been remarkably good to us. I humbly express my gratitude for having had consistent work and the ability to manage finances throughout the years. I am awed by His goodness in bringing my wife and I together in the first place. When I reflect on how that all happened, I see His hand in it, even if we didn’t recognize it ourselves. He had a plan for us and it took us a few years to figure that plan out, and I’m not sure we ever fully got it, but we keep trying.
Had someone told me I’d have nine kids at this point in my life I would have snorted coffee out my nose. Which is really something, since I don’t drink coffee! But we have nine wonderful children ages 3 to 20, and while this heaps up a boatload of frustration and anxiety at times, I am so incredibly thankful for every last one of them.
As a Christian, it goes without saying all the big things I am thankful for. Jesus sacrificing Himself for all of us – salvation – the big stuff. But all that just seems to big it is sometimes hard to wrap ourselves around it. I think God likes to give us smaller things (still big – but smaller than, oh, eternity in heaven…) that we can actually grasp with our little minds so we can have things a bit more tangible to give Him thanks for. A sunset, nice weather, safe travel, a good family… My goal, sometimes achieved and sometimes not, is to never take any good thing for granted and to give thanks.
But today, I thank God for my wife and my marriage. I thank God for the financial ability to take this vacation to Maine. I thank God for providing us family that was willing to help make this happen by staying with the younger kids. I thank God for safe travel to, throughout, and back. And I thank God that my wife and I still love each other and enjoy spending time together. And I pray that we continue to be blessed on many of these regards, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I offer my own well-wishes to any who might read this. Take stock of your surroundings today and recognize God’s blessings, and say Thanks.