I knew this would happen --- November is such a busy month for us!!! Sorry for leaving you hanging without any gratitudes for a while. I hope you could sleep without knowing what I'm thankful for!
If I counted correctly, I last posted on 11/11, which would meant I owe 8 gratitudes. Where do I start?
1. My friend, Melissa. She deserves her very own number. She was such a great friend to me when the twins were born -- helping me many times when I couldn't see straight, coming over to chat, whatever. She has since moved from New Bremen, but we still try to see each other as often as possible. Unfortunately, her mother passed last week. But, I must say that the homily at the funeral liturgy was phenomenol. I chuckled a bit when the priest mentioned that Melissa's mother was "perfectly imperfect". I didn't have to wonder long which of her children mentioned that! I find it awfully wonderful to realize sometimes that God really does have an ultimate plan if we just go along with it. Some of the words at the retreat really touched Melissa, enough to bring things into perspective for her. It was beautiful!
2. Our little community of New Bremen. Last week, we had the annual German Family Christmas. It's a time to get out and about and "shop locally". We had a blast going from store to store seeing what was all available, looking for bargains, etc. We really do have neat shopping around here, and I appreciate it!! I REALLY appreciated my chair massage from Linda. Can we do it all over again??? :)
3. I'm thankful for the constitution and the laws that uphold it. Specifically, last week we were very thankful for the ability to cast our vote (even though I couldn't vote in the two elections I wanted to!) to elect our officials, and vote for or against issues that will affect our every day lives. Personally, I'm proud of my brother, Duane, who was able to hold his seat as Municipal Court judge for Shelby County. I couldn't help but think of my parents who would have been so so proud of him!
4. Our extended families -- the Kaisers and the Goettemoellers. I love the closeness we all feel and the knowledge that if and when we need someone, they will be there. I enjoy travelling with all of them, and look forward with great anticipation to the times that we spend together. I'm also amazed at how much food we consume when we are all together. As my sister-in-law said, you really must plan 4 meals per day! LOL
5, 6, 7 & 8 -- Because all of this kind of rolls up together. Emily and Becca are in Indianapolis this week with others from our church, at NCYC, which is the National Catholic Youth Conference. It's a biennial event that they always look forward to with such great anticipation! I'm thankful for Robin, our youth coordinator, who started taking kids several years ago (with two or three the first time! -- and who took over 40 people this time!). Her willingness to share so much time with them and allow them to grow by leaps and bounds in their faith is awesome. I'm thankful for the chaperones who went along -- they are also awesome to give of their time to help keep our kids safe (and hopefully grow in their own way a little, too!). I'm thankful for the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry, who sponsors this event. With over 23,000 people in attendance, I'm pretty sure there is a lot of planning that goes on! I would guess that planning for the 2013 event is already in progress! I'm thankful for the emcee, the music people, the presenters, the priests who come out (mass tonight is supposed to be awesome with the number of priests, bishops, seminarians, brothers, etc. present). I'm thankful that our parish priest took time from his busy schedule to go to Indianapolis and spend some very quality time with our youth. I think that's an important piece of growing in faith is the comfort level with your priest or rabbi or pastor or whomever leads your church, and I am thankful that he recognizes it as well.
Man, that's a lot of thankful! :) Thanks for hanging there with me. I can already promise you that this week will hold a couple of combined posts as well. :)