Friday, January 4, 2013

Unexpected Gifts

As I sip my 7th cup of coffee in 2013, I am feeling a bit reflective.  What is prompting this reflectiveness?  Maybe its just the new year...or some things I've been reading...or the idea of a whole day before me with nothing that is so pressing that I cannot afford the luxury of sitting down and blogging for a few minutes.

My two beautiful children are sitting on the floor near me.  Kyla is drawing with markers, and Kamryn is perfectly content to be near and to watch.  Two amazing girls.  A friendship that is obvious even at their tender ages.  Creativity and curiosity.  Unexpected gifts.

Bryan has been in the clearing-away-clutter mode lately.  Last night it was this desk at which I am sitting.  By the time he got around to it, I was so tired that I admit I wasn't in the best mood for taking care of my share of the "stuff" that needed to find a new home.  Kyla was crabby and should've been in bed.  Kamryn had moved past the crabby stage and into the full-blown anger stage.  My dishes weren't done.  I was not being thankful.  Bryan reminded me of my New Years' resolution to find a reason for joy in each circumstance.  I was remorseful and asked for forgiveness, which he freely gave.  Forgiveness.  Renewed joy.  A clean desk.  Unexpected gifts.

Last week was a crazy week at work with year-end looming and a Congress who couldn't make up its mind what to do with the federal estate tax exemption amount.  I desperately felt I should be there on Friday, though that is not normally I day I would work.  I planned on it.  Then Kamryn got sick and couldn't go to daycare on Friday.  My parents were keeping Kyla for a few days, so I got a whole day at home with just Kamryn.  I got my Christmas stuff put away, the house cleaned, and laundry done before we left on Saturday morning for 4 days.  A day to spend just with Kamryn.  Coming home to a clean house.  Unexpected gifts.

When we were opening gifts this past weekend, Dad gave Mom a gift and prefaced it by saying "This really isn't from me.  It's from the Lord."  She opened it to find a brand new Kindle Fire HD.  Turns out Dad ordered something from Amazon and was entered into a drawing.  He won, and the Kindle was sent directly.  Directly from the Lord.  I couldn't have been that excited if I would have been the one to win it.  I received a couple unexpected blessings at work recently.  I was shown appreciation for hard work.  Our family was exposed to a nasty strain of influenza this past weekend.  At present, none of us have caught it.  Unexpected gifts.

As I think back over the last year, so many things come to mind.  Amazingly, both when Bryan sold his beans and when he sold his cattle, the price of both jumped up right before he sold them.  When we went shopping on Black Friday, our goal was to get a new washer and dryer, which we desperately needed.  Bryan really wanted to get a new bed, though, because he was waking up every morning with a sore back.  We got found such good deals that day that we were able to afford both.  When Bryan was looking for hay to put up for his cattle for the coming winter, several people offered to let him put up the hay on their ground at no charge to us.  Bryan's cousin has handed down literally a dozen or more boxes of girl clothes to me this year.  Through my Norwex business, I have had the opportunity to really get to know some ladies.  I call them friends.  Shortly before Kamryn was born, our camera decided to give it a rest.  It was unreliable at best.  I decided to order a new one.  On the day I decided to buy, the price of the camera was unexpectedly lower than any place else I could find.  I ordered.  The very next day, I looked at it again, and the price had jumped back up to what I had expected it to be.  A dear friend who has been married for over ten years and had long since given up hope of ever carrying a child found out she was pregnant and is due to deliver in just over a month from now.  When I was on bedrest, even though I told people that I didn't need any meals, meals came anyway.  I never had to worry about cooking once.  When I was in the hospital both in Rapid City for pre-term labor and in Mitchell for delivery, I had amazing nurses and doctors the entire time.  We were needing a dresser for Kyla's new bedroom that she will be moving into soon.  At rummage sales this spring, I found a very nice dresser with matching headboard for an extremely good price.  And when I was running short on energy, time, and motivation, Mom came to help me with painting, cooking, cleaning, and numerous other things during my pregnancy and right afterwards.  Unexpected gifts.

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