Thank You

Matt is finally home.  He’s been gone, gone to funerals, gone to help.

I don’t think there’s any joy comparable to a daddy coming home.

Our friend died Sunday night, after a week in critical condition.  So for his little boy, he had the joy of a dad coming home.  But his little girl is still here, and whatever relief it may be that our friend won’t suffer, his little girl has still lost all of her family, and that is suffering aplenty, so please say a prayer for her.  I know how our little girls would feel if they lost their daddy.

It has been a hard and interesting week.

A week of perspective.

Once Matt was gone, I found myself in the midst of my own little set of trials, which he could not help me with. I have been struggling with dental issues ever since I had the baby, and it has been very painful. It is very challenging to take care of five kids while in so much pain. But I felt like it was a trial that helped me keep perspective, as I would talk to Matt at night and hear of the total devastation that so many had suffered back home in Ohio. My trial, though painful, was small. (And to my several kind friends who called me to check in, so sorry for not answering. My mouth just hurt so badly. But I love you and loved you calling!) :)

I am so grateful for perspective.

Life just doesn’t feel the same now. And it’s not necessarily because our friends are gone, but because of all the things that matter more than ever before. We’ve always been a strong, close family, but it is a different family now.

Stronger and closer, somehow. And with distaste for the things that just don’t matter. And with an insatiable desire for more of what DOES.

I have been thinking about experiences this week with these friends who have passed on. I have been thinking about Matt and his experiences this week, being able to help people he doesn’t know, but who have lost a tremendous amount. I have been thinking about our lives, and the people that pass through them, and how every experience with them, positive and negative, are all opportunities to grow and become better.  Perhaps that’s one reason forgiveness and kindness are so important and vital to true happiness.

This week, my parents passed through town on their way to a trip they have planned for a long time, but they delayed their trip to help me since I was in so much pain. Matt went home to mourn with friends, but was able to put tangible effort and a great amount of work towards helping others who have lost SO much.

Sometimes, the answer to pain is to go out and to give what you have to helping others who are hurting. Other times, it just might be letting go and allowing others to help you.

As I looked through photos this week of the destruction so many people have endured, I have been touched and influenced by their profound gratitude for those who are helping them.

Tonight, especially now that I have Matt back, and as I am humbled by the mercy and blessings in our lives, I just want to be thankful.

Take a minute this evening, and just say “Thank You” for all that you have.

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