Sunday afternoon we took our two-still-at-home sons for a ride, trying to soak up some of autumn's beauty before winter sets in. As we drove home I clearly saw myself standing in a field. There I was, a huge, black cow, surrounded by a field with all kinds of edible plants sitting at my hooves. And there I stood, cutting my neck on the barbed wire fence surrounding my field, straining to get at the same kind of plants growing on the other side of my boundary.
Over and over again since the day I came home from having back surgery, the Lord has asked me to be thankful. Don't look at what you don't have. What you can't do. Where you've been. Please, just look at Me. I have given you so much. Be content with where I have you. I have blessed you if you'll only look around and notice it. It's there.
So, I've started a Thanksgiving Journal. Not just for this autumn season, but for this autumn season of my life. And I've decided to share some of it here, just for the fun of it. Today I wanted to write about our 4 sons. Lately they have served us and shown us love in such unique ways....ways that reflect their individual personalities and prove there is something to all that's written about personality and birth order.
#1: Before my surgery he spent the day with me. He walked with me, baked Chocolate Revel Bars, and cleaned the kitchen. After my surgery he spent an entire Saturday cooking for us. He baked Pineapple Zucchini Bread, dinner rolls, a coffee cake, and made Apple Cider Stew. And he braved The Plague going around the house to deliver all of it. He also came over and taught #3 how to change the oil in his truck and parallel park. See? Practical things. Accomplishy type things. Excel spread sheet type things. He is after all, a first born. Goals, to-do lists etc.
#2: He stayed up all night with me twice, walking. Listening to me cry, comforting me, laughing, telling me stories. For two weeks before I had surgery the pain I experienced was horrific, especially at night. The only way I could bear it was to walk. So I did. All night, every night. And he was there for 2 of those nights, letting me squeeze the daylights out of his arm as we paced our tiny house. #2 has also walked me through many lonely hours after the surgery when I didn't know who else to call but desperately needed someone to talk to and cry with. I think a lot of the emotions I went through were drug related: anesthesia, pain killers, anti-biotics. I was a walking medicine cabinet and they played havoc with my emotions. #2 patiently, sweetly listened to me whine, comforted me through some anxiety attacks, and frequently called to make sure I was OK. The rolls were reversed and I found out he's going to make a terrific dad! :-) All these things reflect his personality as well. He's sweet, sensitive...has a servant's heart. Very compassionate, a good listener.
#3: This boy has put up with a lot from me-he still lives here and there's no escaping The Mom. He has served and loved and cared for me in his own unique style. The doctor told me the best thing I could do to help my back recover is to walk, so boy, have I walked. And #3 has been there for many, many of those walks. At first I had to use a walker and toddle down the road. He called me The Walkie Talkie. He's amazed me with his optimism, patience, and incredible sense of humor. We've spent hours walking and laughing. He's made a lot of this recovery time actually fun and helped me laugh at myself over and over again. He's also cheerfully picked things up, lugged things around, cooked, cleaned, hefted, hoisted, scrubbed, and carried. He's teased me mercilessly and loved me patiently. I've been grouchy and emotional and most of the time he can get me to laugh my way into a better frame of mind.
#4: I don't know what I'd do without this boy either considering the fact that he's only 17 days into being 9. If there is one word that describes him, it's Sweet. He's done the same things his big brothers have: he's helped me cook, helped me clean, helped me carry, picked things up, made me laugh, folded mounds of laundry, even tied my shoes over and over again. He's gone with me on most of my walks, keeping me company and being my sweet little friend. Not once has he complained about any of it!
So, there you have it. 4 sons. 4 totally different ways of loving. I am blessed beyond words and thankful beyond words for the boys the Lord has put in our lives.