When I think of people for whom I am thankful, my family is first and foremost.
God gave me two parents who raised my sister and me in a Christian home. They instilled in us Christian values that have guided us all of our lives. We lived very close to the church where we were members and every time the door was opened, we were there. Even today, though they are physically unable to attend church, they faithfully watch their church’s television broadcast of the weekly service on TV. Every morning they have their quiet time and Bible reading and every night they pray out loud together. If you are visiting overnight, you are “invited” to join with them.
My parents have been married for over sixty years and through those years, they have had their ups and downs as all marriages do. They have demonstrated faithfulness, trust, respect and love to all who know them.
As a teenager, and even as an adult, I have not always agreed with my parents. They have respected my opinions and decisions and I respect and love them for that.
I grew up with a wonderful sister. Marie is six years older than me. Growing up, six years was just enough difference in age for me to want to hang out with her and her friends all the time and for her to consider me the “pesky little sister.” When I reached adulthood, we became best friends. She was and still is my protective big sister. I love her and there is nothing I would not do for her and I’m sure she feels the same way about me.
Almost six years ago, God brought the most wonderful Christian man into my life. It was only a few short weeks after we first met when I knew not only was he a gift from God, but also the man with whom I would spend the rest of my life. I think Dave knew this, too. We celebrated our fifth anniversary this past September and every day Dave demonstrates to me what a marriage created by God should be. He loves me, protects me, puts my interests and needs above his own. He also allows me to be me – to pursue those things that I believe God has called me to and those things that interest me. He is my best friend, my soul mate. Every day, I thank God for Dave.
My children, Kim and Kyle, have brought me great joy since their birth. Kim was born in November, 1978. It was so much fun having a daughter. We would play dress up and dolls. I even have a picture of her, when she was five years old, standing on a stool, putting makeup on me. She has grown into a beautiful adult woman who is smart, kind and a great mom. She works full time in a managerial position and is going to school at night to get her Bachelor’s degree but always finds time to spend with her son, her family and friends. I consider Kim one of my best friends.
Kyle was born in March, 1984. He took his own sweet time in coming into this world – three weeks late – but well worth the wait. Once he arrived, he demanded attention! He was colicky for several weeks and he and I got to know one another quite well during that time! Fortunately, he outgrew that and was a healthy, happy baby. Kyle has grown into a man who is loyal, trustworthy and highly respected in his chosen field.
My children and I went through a lot as a family – the three of us – and though it was extremely difficult at times, we made it. Today, Kim and Kyle are successful adults, stronger for all they went through and compassionate towards others who find themselves in the midst of similar situations. I am proud of them both (in case you couldn’t tell) and excited to see what God has in store for them!
I have a wonderful grandson who lights up the room every time he walks in and he has done that since he was an infant. Mackenzie is a joy to know and have in my life. Everyone always compliments him to me about how polite and well-mannered he is. He is respectful and yet, is a typical teenager, interested in video games, girls and music. Did I mention girls?? I am looking forward to his future and seeing the manifestation of God’s call in his life.
Numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins are also important to me, as well as “family” who are not blood related, but just as close to me. I cannot thank all of these people enough for the role they have played and continue to play in my life. I love them dearly and I pray God’s richest blessings upon them every day.