Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ring out the blessings of last year...

...Ring in our family, God, and cheer.

Happy New Year!

At Thanksgiving dinner, I asked the kids to name all the important blessings we'd received in the last year. The exercise grew into two extensive lists. What an abundance!

In 2009:

  • *Jon started his new job at Intel, having been hired in October of 2008 amid the scariest financial crisis in sixty years. (HALLELUJAH.)
  • *The kids and I spent several months in Indiana.
  • *We sold our Raleigh house.
  • *We were able, miraculously, to purchase the perfect house in Austin. (Hallelujah.)
  • *I got pregnant. Miserable at the time, but worth it in the long run.
  • *Eric got baptized. A bunch of family came and we had a party. In the perfect new house. Which was large enough to accommodate everyone. (I like my house.) (Thanks, Jon.)
  • *We enjoyed a fabulous Christmas at the Berry grandparents'. And the quilts!
In 2010:

  • *Sammy was born. (Hallelujah!!!)
  • *We celebrated with another party. Once again, my amazing house proved its worth. In a mathematical miracle, sixteen people divided evenly into seven "bedrooms," and everyone had at least minimal privacy. Despite the widely disparate dietary requirements, nobody starved, sickened, or died. Everyone pitched in and helped things run smoothly.
  • *The men in the family turned the backyard into an amazing playscape. Special thanks to Grandpas Homer and Berry.
  • *We paid off the credit card!!!
  • *We acquired a couch!
  • *And a second car!!
  • *(We had been living without both for over a year.)
  • *I promptly got fat. (Ah well, nothing is perfect.)
  • *Bastille Day Party! Summer, water balloons, play set, smidge of French history, moderate gore...Wahaha.
  • *The kids started Tae Kwon Do.
  • *Jon and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We also celebrated that I can now say the word "anniversary."
  • *I began homeschooling Eric. (Way fun!)
  • *Jon and I celebrated our dodecaquadratuscourtalunaversary! That's the twelfth anniversary of when we started dating. Back then I was allergic to the word "anniversary," both for skittish "I'm not committed to a serious relationship!" and linguistic "A three-month 'anniversary' is ridiculous" reasons. So we created our own linguistic abomination and everything was fine.
  • *Eric started taking a Ritalin derivative. (Hallelujah! Amen, AMEN!)
  • *Jon and I got new smartphones. Awesome toys.
  • *Sammy and I were able to make it to Utah for Grandpa Haupt's funeral. Through a little work and a lot of divine grace, I managed a creditable performance of one of his favorite songs.
  • *The whole family was comforted in the belief that Grandpa is much happier now, and enjoying a second honeymoon with Grandma, whom he hadn't seen in over three decades.Meanwhile, the Berry grandparents babysat Sammy. That was a blessing for everyone. :)
  • *I found an awesome lego castle set for $30 off at Target. Bad news: we gave it to Eric. Good news: he agreed to share!
  • *Uncle Ronald crafted chainmail! WOW!

Amid all the big things, there were several other gifts to us: bowls, pans, books, movies, a marvelous crockpot, tons of great Christmas and birthday presents, tools for Jon, toys and clothes and books for the kids. I know I'm forgetting stuff. My apologies. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section. I will humbly beg your pardon and say only a superabundance of blessings led me to forget your offering momentarily.

But, honestly, it's not about all the stuff. I am gaspingly grateful for the house, cars, books (in a library!), toys, kitchen stuff, computers, etc. etc. Sometimes I feel guilty about our amazing standard of living. Even so, I am even more grateful for family relationships. I frequently tell my kids "people are more important than things." Normally in the context of "turn down the volume while he's talking to you," but it's true in every situation.

Let's hear it for eternal families! (GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH!!!)

Would anyone like to make predictions for the best blessings of 2011?

Here are mine:

#3) Blogspot will finally allow bullets in their formatting. Or we'll get our own website up and running and I'll transfer everything there.

#2) We will rest financially, enjoying all our recent gains but not making any more major purchases. Tyndale (the van) will last another twelve months, valiant vehicle that he is.

And the #1 blessing... *drumroll*

Jon will finally finish school!!!

(I'll let him post the huge Hallelujah for that one.)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring in the broadening family tree,
With larger hearts and kindlier hands;
Ring out the darkness of all lands,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.,_Wild_Bells

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Gail!! I love how effusive you were in this post. It's amazing to think of all the blessings you and your family have. I love having you as a sister -- and Jon as a brother in law -- and your three, brilliant, beautiful, charming sons as nephews!