Some of these are blessings that come through tears, and some are no-strings-attached blessings. One thing my life story teaches me is that a blessing is whatever situates you at the Lord's feet, either to adore Him, or draw strength from Him.
~ My daughter Beth's arthritis seems to have spread to the knuckles in both hands, but despite that, she remains happy, energetic, and is still intent on drawing prolifically, hoping to illustrate books some day. She inspires me, which helps me absorb the disappointment that God is thus far choosing not to heal her aggressive arthritis (despite using all the medicines available). However, she is not in a wheelchair, which would have been her fate in the past. We still have much to remain thankful for with modern medicine.
~ My husband's steadfast, genuine love.
~ My daughters' sweet hugs and kisses multiple times a day.
~ Though my Peter struggles mightily with his OCD, he still pledges allegiance to God and believes that through God's strength, he will beat this. It's very stressful for the whole family, but the siblings mercy him and pray for him, rather than resent him. And for that, I'm very grateful.
~ The blessing of homeschooling.
~ Learning to love people for themselves, and not for what we hope them to be. As soon as we let go of our expectations, we can truly appreciate the people God has strategically placed in our lives. When you're grading a paper, expectations are good. When you're training children to clean up after themselves, expectations are good. When you're trying to love your fellow man, expectations can get in the way.
"While we were sinners, Christ died for us." He loved us, despite our flaws. Trust is conditional--people have to earn and maintain our trust--but love should be unconditional. That's not to say you stay in proximity of people who are abusing you. We can unconditionally love someone just by praying for them consistently. We can't bring ourselves to pray for someone unless we've allowed, or forced, our heart to love them.
~ Instead of co-teaching AWANA Cubbies (preschoolers), I'm co-teaching AWANA Trek this year, which is the middle school club. I'm enjoying that very much.
~ Children growing in knowledge of the Lord and His ways.
~ God's amazing provision, which never fails.
~ Wisdom and stamina from the Lord, as I deal with health issues and homeschooling and scheduling.
~ New kind lady friends at church, one of whom I co-teach with in Trek.
~ That God loves story and gives us all a personal, compelling story--stories that reflect his glory and fill us with living water.