It has been quite some time since my last substantial post here on this blog. I’ve been rather busy lately (any extra time has been devoted to my studies for school, with an occasional free moment dedicated to posting on my new blog), and I just simply haven’t had the energy to make the time to post. But as Christmas is upon us, and as I’ve been feeling extremely blessed and loved these last several months, I’d like to just take a few minutes and share my gratitude with all who come here to read. (And just so you know, you should consider this my Christmas card/letter to you this year.)
School was difficult this semester. 15 credits, including a 10-hour-per-week internship, on top of my normal parenting and household duties, kept me pretty much perpetually running behind while feeling absolutely exhausted for the last several months. But I made it through. With the help of my husband, the (though sometimes unhappy) cooperation of my children, and the help of loving, involved, and concerned family of many flavors (those to whom I’m related and those who I claim as family despite that actual physical connection), I’ve made it through yet another semester alive and in possession of grades that reflect the effort I’ve expended.
Kimball had surgery last week, and I’m grateful and thankful to say he is recovering well. Certainly he’s got a long road ahead (still on the modified liquid diet (which means jello, applesauce, and pudding but not much else)), but I am thankful to have seen this surgery happen before the end of the year (much more financially manageable for us this way), and that everything went well during the procedure and recovery thus far. A huge thanks to those who have been calling, texting, praying, and helping with my children. You probably don’t know how much that has meant.
Someone has been stopping by our house the last several evenings, dropping off treats and gifts for my family. Our Secret Santa has been especially thoughtful and kind, and though I don’t know who they are, or if I will ever find out, I’m thankful and grateful for the way they’ve impacted me these last few days. “Things” matter very little to me – honestly, I care very little for belongings and possessions. But the idea that someone would put time, effort, money, and love into something like this for my family (and especially my children) means so much to me. As I’ve felt increasingly detached and unwelcome or unwanted by those with whom I used to spend my time, it comes as a wonderful blessing and joy to my heart to find that there are still those who love, no matter the differences. To whomever you are, if you are reading this, thank you. We’ve enjoyed many games, treats, and fun together through the gifts you’ve brought us. It truly cheers my heart to feel your love. (And I’ll apologize now, because my kids are determined to catch you. Run fast. 😉 )
Over the last several months, I’ve found new friends that love and accept me and my beliefs. I can’t even express how much that has meant to me, and how much I appreciate the love and friendship I’ve found from a group of people who are willing to come together showing love and acceptance of me, listen to my thoughts and ideas, and have open, honest, and meaningful discussions with me about them. That has been invaluable over the last several months for me, and I’m so thankful to these people who have been and continue to be so loving, welcoming, and open.
But most of all, I have such profound gratitude for the hand of God in my life. I have seen some really incredible things happen over the past year – things that have changed me in profound and undeniable ways. Small, seemingly insignificant things have happened that have absolutely changed the way I see myself, the way I see others, and the way I see God and Christ. I see now that all I’ve been through (especially these past three or so years) has truly been for a wise purpose.
Thank you, all of you. Your presence in my life is a blessing to me. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, filled with love and gratitude. May you find the love and peace your heart is seeking.
Merry Christmas, Christine, to you and your family.
Not that you have to prove yourself to anyone (and certainly, not to me), I am very proud of you for all that you have accomplished.
Although we are 2,000 miles apart, I have always considered you a very close friend of mine. I enjoy reading your blog entries, as I have always appreciated talented writing, and I hope the greatest moments continue for you and your family.
Best holiday wishes,