I'm thinking back over this past year at the many things to be thankful for, yes it was the first year without my dad, but God blessed us the whole year through, with many answered prayers. So it's with thankfulness brimming in my heart that I write today.
There have been so many changes in our lives this year, at this time last year we were living in a tiny trailer that was literally just falling apart around us and the landlord wouldn't do anything about it. We were constantly barraged with cussing drunk neighbors to the point that I had to close the windows so I could get a bit of peace. Half of the electric didn't work in the trailer and it leaked we would wake up to rain splashing in our faces. Then come March/April of this year, a professor at Hocking College where we were attending and I was taking piano lessons from, brought up that he had a farm house he was looking to rent out (the current renter was moving), and said it was in the country in the town that we wanted to move to. So that began the excitement and up and downs of when we would get to move. We dreamed and dreamed about what we would do with our new 4 bedroom home, and we started packing! The renter finally moved out the end of April and they began renovations (due to the fact that she had really trashed the place), took out all the carpeting and polished the beautiful wood floors to a shine that when I stepped into the house for the first time I said "Wow, I love it!" replaced windows in the front of the house with brand new ones, painted everywhere, updated plumbing and electric, mowed and trimmed up around it. Then came June, we graduated from Hocking and started moving within 2 weeks. We were so excited to get into our new place. We were officially the tenants come July and now have been for 5 happy months! We love it and it has restored a sense of peace about our lives, not having to listen to drunk, stoned, crazy neighbors is a plus. I have things now that I had dreamed about like my dining room set and a nice guest room and big kitchen with walk-in pantry. A big yard which we plan to put a fence in so the dog can run eventually. And I'm planning for a large vegetable garden come next spring/summer.
So that was some of the blessings of this past year. Another was how God helped us through the big loss of my daddy. I have felt God helping us and at times carrying us through. It was a sudden shock to wake up to that phone call on January 3, 2012 that my Daddy was no longer with us. My mom has known God so close this year (not that she hasn't before), in that God has worked miracles out for her to stay in the home we 3 children were raised in and the home that she and daddy spent most of their married life in. I have sat at the piano and played songs about heaven and looked at the family picture I have from our wedding that he is in and thought of him sitting round the throne and that he's not in any pain anymore and praising God. Sure it still is difficult to go through and any of you who have lost loved ones know that the first year is always the hardest. When my husband told me (he's lost both parents) in the beginning that time would heal I looked at him through my tears and said "I don't understand how!". It's been almost a year and still keenly feel the loss of my dad, although the ache has lessened some, I still feel it. And especially around the holidays, he loved these family times and especially if the grandchildren were around. In short, I'm thankful for God's guidance through our grief this past year, none of us have given up in dispair, we know that we've got more to go to heaven for than we did last year!
Another thing to be thankful for was I gained another sister in law this year, Jennifer, my youngest brother Kevin's wife and they are going to give me my 3rd little niece/nephew (we're not sure yet which) in the spring.
There are so many other little things that I could praise God for on this day of Thanksgiving but these are two of the biggest ways, that I'm thanking God this holiday. I'm so thankful for my family both biological and in-laws, my home, my life, my hope in the future, my salvation, and for God.