There have been some low points and deep valleys for our family during the past 3 and a half years. So during the peaceful times and the windows of respite that the Lord gives us, it's hard not to be utterly thankful. That's how I've been feeling this week. And so I'm going to try and resume my weekly lists of thanksgivings starting today.
1. Mike's mom is back in Maryland right now with Miriam. It was a sad good-bye but we're hoping, a very temporary one. I'm thankful that the Lord is sustaining them despite the pain of being back at home without Dad's presence. I'm thankful that Mike got to spend extended time with his Mom after the busyness of funeral preparations and other logistics. I'm thankful that when I looked in our patio one day, I saw remnants of Grandma's time with her grandkids and that in spite of her heartache, she had a joyful time with them.
2. I'm thankful that we finally taught Audrey how to play Checkers. She's hooked! Totally reminds me of when I was her age and I was so happy to win a game against my mom or dad, even if I knew they let me win. Thankful that Marcus also thinks he's playing too, and screams during the whole game because he's so excited to play a big-kid game with his sister.
3. I'm thankful that Audrey has such great taste in fashion. (I will devote an entire post to her relationship with clothes in the near future.)
4. I'm thankful that Marcus had a rockin' session of PT this week. It's so neat to see that he's slowly gathering the missing pieces of his physical development in order to learn to walk independently one day, Lord-willing. Our homework with him over the next few weeks is mid-range control and bending of the hips and knees. Very thankful that Marcus has been enjoying his time with Mr. Mark and that he gives the biggest smiles during his workouts.
5. I'm thankful to have 3 kids. I can't believe God gave me 3 children!!!
6. Derek is like honey, sugar, and maple syrup all combined into one huge roll of buttery dough. I remember writing this post with such a heavy heart and thinking for 9 months that it would be a miracle if Derek turned out to be healthy. It turns out that God allowed him to be healthy...and boy is he healthy! I don't take it for granted that he is grabbing for toys, lifting his head up so well, tracking our faces and voices with his eyes, and smiling at us without us even saying word. He's not yet sleeping through the night, but I hold him at 3am with my hair in a crazy ponytail and my glasses on crooked, not knowing really where I am, but certain that I am profoundly grateful for our sweet Derek.
(BTW, he's teething already. Oh boy!)