How have y’all been?
I’ll be honest, this year has been crazy, but I thought writing about the positive things that have happened in 2020 would be a good way to count my blessings. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, after all.
Prior to 2020 our little “farm” was just cats, succulents, a meager little garden patch open to the raccoons, possums, deer, skunks, and hogs… and our little shack on the prairie. Now we have fences, cows, more chickens than we know what to do with, and we had a relatively successful year of raised bed gardening.
I would say the chickens managed to do as much destruction to the garden as the wild animals did the year before. We are working on fixing that, though. Kev is in the middle of fencing off a part of the pasture for them. The space will double as a calf pen once Big Mama’s baby arrives.
In January and February, I was driving nearly an hour to town for the boys to be in co-op classes with some suburb folks near Austin. I was teaching classes to the kids there, and we enjoyed it, but once the virus scare hit, they closed down. This prompted not only our co-op to shut down, but also our small church we had been visiting. If it weren’t for these two things happening, we wouldn’t have visited other churches, met other people – new friends – and joined our current homeschool co-op.
It just so happened the new co-op is an answer to many a prayer: it’s a Charlotte Mason based group… in the wild woods of the country… with so many like minds and amazing kids and moms. It’s been a huge blessing for my heart this year. I am not sure I could have gotten through 2020 without it.
There are the obvious blessings in 2020 that I can’t overlook as well.
It has been a huge blessing that my husband never lost his job. I know so many have struggled. We didn’t have major car repair issues this year, either. There have been a few years where we were in and out of the auto shop, and we are grateful that this wasn’t one of them.
Early on in this year, I was deathly ill with what was probably Covid, looking back. I survived despite quite a few pre-existing conditions, including prior third stage cancer, weak lungs from numerous bouts with pneumonia, bronchitis, and even SARS in the past!
We were all in relatively good health after I recovered from the lengthy side effects of my respiratory issues which lasted from January through the summer. I am glad that we didn’t have any major scares, ER visits, or illnesses this year for anyone in our immediate family. I got some cuts that were pretty gnarly (nearly sliced my finger to the bone), but it healed up fine.
My recent blood test results showed “nothing to worry about” according to my oncologist. I’m 4 years and 3 months since my cancer diagnosis. While I still have another year to go until they give me the “all clear”, I’m very thankful for all the time I’ve had so far with good results. I skipped my colonoscopy this year. That’s a blessing in the short term (who likes to get colonoscopies?), but I will have to get it done next year as a follow up. Let’s hope all the crazy ‘Rona madness is over before April.
Food, Flowers, and Country-Life
I’m thankful for all the bounty of the garden in 2020. There were pretty flowers and an endless supply of chicken eggs. I’m thankful for learning how to milk the cow, for finding a good used milking machine, and for the raw milk and butter we enjoyed for most of the year. I’m thankful for the calf on the way with promises of more milk to follow.
Being able to farm and to live here in the country, far away from the fast frantic pace of the city, is probably in the very tippy top of the blessings pile.
Above all, I’m thankful that I know where my real strength, joy, and hope is. It isn’t in a thing… or a place… or a state of being. It isn’t in security, finances, or even relationships (although it’s great to have those all working in your favor). No matter what happens in 2021, I know that I will still have reasons to count my blessings.
Nothing can separate me from my Jesus. God will be on the throne no matter if there are virus scares, economic collapses, scandals, conspiracies, intrigues, or political upsets. God will still be in control if there are famines, accidents, natural disasters, heartbreaks or even wars.
The biggest thing I’m thankful for is the promise of heaven and the blessing of here and now. That’s all we really have: TODAY. I want to grab this moment… and savor every bit of it. I want to see the beauty of now and squeeze every bit of life from this second, and the next… until He calls me home.
Hopefully you will count your blessings in 2020 and talk ALL THE GOOD THINGS up around your Thanksgiving table, wherever you are celebrating. I pray you are able to hug on someone you love, even if it is just your husband, your kids, or your pet.
As for 2020 and all its drama: “This too shall pass.”
Know that you are loved and important… and that there’s always a reason to be thankful, count those blessings, and hope for the future.
Happy Thanksgiving, friend.