No Guilt, Just Extremely Thankful

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7453-0.jpgThis morning I sit here thinking how blessed I am. My mind is going in so many directions, I’m not sure where this post is going to go. But I know I have to write it all down or my wee little brain is going to pop!

Years ago I would’ve felt guilty for feeling so good. My family exchanged many gifts. The kitchen counter is piled high with cookies and candies. Our calendar was full of parties and festive gatherings. We sang carols and Jingle Bell Rock. But today…I don’t feel guilty. I am just plain thankful.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7456-0.jpgSuperman has a thriving business. Twenty-seven years ago, it was something Superman took, feeling the pressure to have a job before he married my daddy’s little girl. It was fine until he found a “real” job. Yet, God knew all along that this was where Superman needed to be. For this I am thankful.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7449.jpgNope, I don’t feel guilty for Santa coming to our house all those years. We never used Santa as a way to control the kids behavior, but as someone who is good, giving and loves all the children. I admit our children received a lot of gifts at Christmas, more than any child deserves, but then doesn’t God do the same with us? I know he gives me waayyyy more than I deserve every day. But with every single gift, whether it was a pair of socks or their favorite toy, they responded with true thankfulness. Presents weren’t under the tree until Santa came on Christmas Eve. So there was much anticipation for Christmas morning. My prayer is that my kids will anticipate the coming of Jesus with even more giddiness. Christmas is just the warm up.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7445.jpgI am thankful for all of the adventures we’ve had this past year. We’ve hiked and climbed and traveled and explored. I love seeing this great place we call Earth with my family. I am so thankful not only to have the ability, but also the desire to go and the eyes to see the beauty that God has made.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7448.jpgI am thankful for the thought that my family put into the gifts they give. I get misty eyed when I see the wrapping job Adam does on his gifts. They may not have the most crisp edges and fluffy bows, but I know he took the time to do it. The cards that Thomas picked out for the girls and the heartfelt messages he wrote in each, mean more than diamonds and pearls. Gift giving requires one to look beyond themselves and to think about someone else. I am so thankful that my family has hearts to give.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7451.jpgI am so thankful that Superman and I have a child who has a college degree. I don’t take that for granted! She worked hard! And she did it in four years. Another child has grown exponentially academically and in life maturity since being in college. About four years ago, we worried he wouldn’t make it to next week and now here he is. I am so thankful!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7450.jpgI am thankful for my health. I don’t wear a size six, but you know what? I can hike many miles, climb up mountains, and play a few hours of tennis. None of which I’m an expert, but I can do it! Friends are fighting cancer, battling obesity and living with life altering diseases. I am thankful for my imperfect body and mind.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7446.jpgI am thankful for the laughter in my life. I live in a noisy chaotic home. Sometimes when I open my mouth, it is loud. I don’t mean for it to be…it just comes out excitedly. When my family gets together, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. In fact, we reminisce about all the crazy and funny times we’ve had together. I imagine in many homes there is silence or bickering. Praise God this is not true for us! Even with our large extended family, we can only offer hurting checks from smiling and great big belly laughs. A good dose of laughter is good medicine. For this I am thankful.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7452.jpgThis little baby girl is getting married in June! My life is changing. No longer do I shop for gifts in the “pink” or truck departments at Toys-R-Us. No longer will Christmas just be the five of us. Life is not the same. I’m a little bit scared, but I couldn’t be happier with gaining another son. Tyler is great! Yup, my life is going to look a bit different, but it is going to be good. For this I am thankful.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7442.jpgI’m thankful for the tradition our family has done for many years now. Our church organizes an Angel Tree. The Angel Tree Oragnization donates presents to children of parents who are incarcerated. The purpose of the program is to let the children know that they are not forgotten by their parent who is in jail. And that there is a way to fill the void left by their parents absence, which is through Jesus. The parents write what he or she would like for their child. Families like mine, choose one or many angels and purchase the gifts. The gifts are wrapped at church, then families or individuals will deliver them to the homes. My family delivered to two homes this year on Christmas Eve. To not overwhelm the family, two or three of us will go in the home. We hug and love on the children and caregivers. We make sure the children know that the gifts are not from us, but from their mommy or daddy and how much they miss and love them. We spend time talking to the caregiver, usually the mother or grandparent, getting to know them, seeing if they have any needs and praying for them right then and there. It is humbling. As easy as it is to write a check, (and so needed!) I think that walking into these homes has given my family a deeper perspective. For this I am thankful.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7441.jpgI am thankful for hands to hold, hands that do, and hands that hug. I loved holding my mommas hand as we looked at the gingerbread houses on display at the Grove Park Inn. I am so thankful for being able to create with my hands. I feel at such peace when I am creating. Not everyone knows what brings them joy and peace or what talents they have. Thank you God for making my heart run a little faster when I see bright papers, soft yarns, and colorful paints. Scissors, needles, glue, and glitter all make me smile. I am thankful for all of the family and friends that I was able to love on this season. Old friends whom I haven’t seen in years, new friends, family from far away and family near…I got to hug. For this I am thankful.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a5/46532751/files/2014/12/img_7440.jpgSuperman, Mary Claire, Adam and Thomas….the Rauscher clan….Nanny…I am so thankful!

Well, I think I’ve got it all out. I feel better now. No guilt. Just thankful.
Thanks for stopping by,

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