Today, I’m thankful for unexpected blessings. I’m not sure why I’m so focused on this today because I’m thankful for a thousand things. But today? Today I’m thankful that life didn’t quite turn out like I had planned. Because of that, my family is a bit larger than what I had envisioned. With that larger family comes a few more loads of laundry to wash, mouths to feed, clothes to buy, bills to pay, and more people to love and enjoy in my home, and in my life.

And why are there only photos of Chase? I promise, he’s not the ‘favored child’! All of my children are so unique and I wouldn’t trade one! But Chase is like the poster child for me of the tipping point in my life. You see, having three children was somewhat manageable and what I had hoped for. Then when our daughter Hope came along, well, she was that sweet little pink girl after three boys, and four wasn’t too far from the hope of three children. But when I found out that I was pregnant with Chase, I just knew I couldn’t do it. There was no way. Absolutely no way. I was terrified because I didn’t know how in the world I could care for 5 little ones who were 7 and under. It just wasn’t at all what I had envisioned or planned or felt equipped for.

And I learned a lot about grace for the moment. The minute, the moment. Not the day, not the hour, but grace for the moment. It’s been one of the greatest lifelong lessons (that I’m still learning).
Chase added so much joy to our family. God knew just who we needed. He was our “under the radar” little guy… I tell the story of how when we were all in the car ( a large 8 passenger vehicle!), I’d listen for each one, and then say (in a worried voice), “Where’s Chase?!!” And right away, I’d hear, “I’m here, Mom.” Smile. All the other siblings were very easy to hear, but Chase? Chase would look out the window and listen and just take it all in. He played hard with his older brothers, and as he grew, soon took care for his baby brother. He’s been such a blessing in our lives.

This Thankful Thursday I think I’m so thankful that my life isn’t what I had planned. I’m a bit melancholy because pretty soon, this fifth child will be leaving for college. And just like I cried wondering how I could possibly manage with the birth of this precious child, now, 18 years later, I’m so aware that there’s going to be a real ache and void for all of us when he leaves. Huge.

They say “Hind sight is 20-20”. Well, in looking back, I sure am thankful that God allowed us to have the gift of having way more than what I would’ve felt that I could manage on my own. Life is so full of interruptions. Interruptions stop the course we’re on and make us pause and figure out where we go from here. Sometimes the interruptions are blessings like precious children, and sometimes the interruptions are just changes in the course that we’re on. Sometimes the interruptions are just ordinary things and sometimes they are really difficult. But it’s so cool how oftentimes even the most difficult of things can be used for the good. I cling to the truth in Romans 8 that says when we bring things to the Lord, He will use it for the good.

So, I’m not sure why I’m just rambling a bit about this today. Maybe it is my realization that yet another son will soon be going to school and finding his way. Or maybe, (hopefully), there’s somebody out there that needs to be reminded that sometimes blessings really do come in disguise, and that they can do this… Sometimes things that we highly doubt we’ll be able to handle end up being the very things that make us strong, or make us compassionate. Sometimes what we don’t think we can handle, well, it just makes us rely a bit more on the One who has it All in His control. I sure am thankful that SomeOne does! Sometimes the unexpected blessings are the greatest blessings of all…

By His Grace~
Heather

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