Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:12-13 (NIV)
The downturn in the economy touched closer to home last week as husband’s employer began layoffs. We are very grateful that he is still employed, although he is now doing three people’s work and had the difficult task of letting go one of his employees. There were once five in his department, now there are just two, husband and his assistant. Until things get better and he can hire another staff person, he will be working sixty to sixty five hours a week. But, he still has a job, and I still have mine. And that is more than many other people can say these days. On Thanksgiving Eve, there is much more that I can be thankful for as well. So, here is a list just of the good things that have happened since the year began.
Youngest son went on a mission trip and came back with a passion for medicine and helping people. He is a leader at his school, is almost finished with High School and has been accepted to EMT school. He is happier than he has ever been in his seventeen years of life.
Oldest son graduated from college and is now working in Hawaii for the National Park Service. They have offered him an extension on his contract because he is doing so well. He is now trying to decide if he wants to try for position on the mainland nearer to his girlfriend or stay in Hawaii until next fall.
Our adopted daughter is in graduate school and has a great job where she is advancing and learning a lot. We are very proud of all she has overcome.
Husband and I are healthy and though he is working extra hours, we have good friends and opportunities for fun and adventure. I have my horse, he has his motorcycles (note plural) and we have been able to do a little traveling as our nest is emptying. I am finding my fifties to be more enjoyable than the wild and crazy midlife forties. I have time for my crafts; have a kiln to play with and a novel just waiting for a publisher.
Our parents are healthy and active. My dad has learned to manage his diabetes, and my mom just got through cataract surgery. Husband’s mom is a twenty year cancer survivor and his dad is still “Mr. Fixit” for the entire family.
Our church is stronger than it was a year ago and healing and growing after a time of upheaval.
Least you think I am bragging, please know that we recognize that everything listed here has come to us from God. And much of it came through struggle and turmoil. Our family has had its share of illness, strife, broken relationships and disappointments. Yet, as we look back, we see God’s Hand on every bit of it and life is sweeter because we appreciate it more. So, while the economy looks bleak and time marches on, we can still say with confidence, “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
And for those of you, particularly Island Mama who doesn’t know what to do with her canned yams, wondering what will be on our Thanksgiving menu tomorrow, here’s a sample of one recipe. It is a sign of our wealth and blessings that we will also have sweet potatoes with pecans as our family is divided on which is best and both turkey and ham will be served as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Apple Sweet Potato Casserole
5 tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 (17 oz) cans yams, drained
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup mini marshmellows
Combine first five ingredients in a large baking pan. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Top with marshmellows. Bake until marshmellows are brown. This recipe may be made ahead and frozen. Serves 6, so I double it.