3. My Kids: I think I have some of the most forgiving kids in the world! They just keep loving this Momma of theirs and I am so humbled. Steven often comments that we are raising our best friends. :) While right now, I have to be teacher, guide, Momma, and bedroom inspector - I can see that someday, I will be free to enjoy a close friendship with these amazing people. I am getting glimpses of it with Millie now, and I LOVE it!
5. My Parents-In-Law: You know how you just can't out-give some people? Well, these are two of those people. They are always giving - to strangers, friends, fellow-believers and family. They raised 5 children and have 27 grandchildren (the oldest is 18). Dad has run a dairy farm and a construction business. He has a reputation as being upright and honest in all his dealings. He is the "lay-pastor" in our home fellowship and is often sought out for his council and wisdom. Mom is truly a "mother-heart" that has room in her time, home and arms for all who need her. She is a great cook - nothing beats Mom's roast beef or chicken. She has run a floral arranging business in the past and she did our wedding flowers.
6. My sil, Melodie: Mel is six years older than me and my husband's only sister. Right from when we met, we have been friends. She is so giving and sensitive to other's needs and hurts. Over the last month, as I have been struggling with this miscarriage and hormone changes, she has sent me several notes and gifts to encourage me. Her oldest kids are 5 years older than our oldest, so I have appreciated someone who I can talk to, ask questions of, and get ideas from. She has been so content in their little 1920's farm house - always showing hospitality and generosity. She is due to welcome their 10th baby in February.
7. My sil, Laurie: Laurie and I knew each other as kids, growing up in western Alberta. Then our family moved east to the prairies and I lost touch with her. It was such a surprise when she turned up at Prairie Bible Institute in our town - and caught the notice of Steve's older brother, Kevin. She is now my sister-in-law and the mother of 7! Laurie has been a true friend, especially the last few years since they moved into town. She has visited my Mom with me (she lost her mom 3 years ago and understands). She has made our family many meals when I have been ill or just had a baby. She is always honest and just herself... she couldn't be deceitful if her life depended on it! She always thinks the best of people is quick to praise any good she sees. I am always amazed at her example of "plodding". Laurie doesn't do spectacular, unusual things in her homeschooling, housekeeping or projects - but she plods... and by her faithfulness she accomplishes HUGE things.
8. My new sil, Emilie: I am still getting to know Emilie (married to Steve's youngest brother, Justin) - but the things that I appreciate about her already is her cheerfulness, creativity and servant attitude. In their few months of marriage, she has delivered 2 or 3 meals to my door to help when I was sick as well as taking the littlies to the park and other helpful things.
9. My community: My "little town on the prairie" has a pop. of 3500 and is in the middle of nowhere (it isn't "on the way" to anywhere). I have lived here for over 23 years. When I go "uptown" I am constantly greeted by name - people know my kids - they stop and ask how we are doing. It is a great community to raise a family in and we are thankful to be here.
10. My e-friends: I used to think that nothing could be more shallow than having friends that you only know through the computer. When I started a blog, it was to keep in touch with family and friends that we didn't see often... but it hasn't turned out that way. Many are just too busy to be bothered with checking in on our family or read what I have written - hey, I understand. Instead I have made many new friends (and met up with some old friends). Altogether, I have been encouraged and enriched by meeting other godly woman who want to honor the Lord in their homes and relationships. I have learned to love many of you and I think of and pray for you often - you are precious women! My husband was VERY sceptical of me contacting people this way - but he has been won over! He even asks about your families and activities. :)
Well that was longer than I though it would be... but I am just overflowing with thankfulness!
Oh not! I forgot someone! Steven's dear Aunt Ardith! This woman is one of the most gracious, composed, generous, thoughtful, compassionate and kind people I know. I was actually going to post something about her on my other blog, "At The Rose Cottage", so I will keep this concise and just say that the Lord has used "A.A." in our lives for a tremendous blessing!