This evening as Tom sat at the kitchen bar while I fixed supper, we listened to the Statler Brothers Christmas CD. Sarah bought it for me last year.
I absolutely love that CD. . .for years we've had the record, but it's not that easy to listen to records anymore, thus the CD.
While listening, I felt so overwhelmed with thanksgiving to the Lord for the wonderful life I've been blessed with.
As I listened to those songs I could remember times in my life that were so very special. . .things that happened because our family was strong on getting together for family events and sharing. I mean LOVE was so thick in our family you could cut it with a knife. . .it was like walking in heavy fog because the love was just every-where we turned. I didn't realize how blessed I was to be raised that way.
As a child I just thought every one's mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles loved them that way. As I grew older I realized that wasn't so. . .
Here's some of the things that we're racing through my head and heart tonight. . .I just stopped cooking and raised my hands toward heaven thanking God for being so mindful of me.
- I always had parents that loved me. . .and my four siblings.
- I always had food on my table. . .good, tasty food too.
- I always felt secure in my parent's love for one another and for me.
- I could feel the covering of God on my home because my parents were under his order/authority.
- I had lots of friends and my folks made them "Welcome" at our house.
- We Wirth kids had chores, but they were simple like washing the dishes after the evening meal. I always wanted to hurry and get finished in the winter so I could curl up on our soft, golden sofa and read my books. Especially the "Beany Malone" series. I would sit there on the couch and it would be cold outside but warm and toasty inside. . .and I'd dream of the day I'd have a home of my own while Mom played Christmas music on the record player. Handel's Messiah was a favorite.
- I thought of the many, many, many times Granny and Pappy Bare would have the family over for holidays. It was standard tradition that Granny Bare would circle the table looking for the smallest patch of uncovered plate so she could ladle more food in that very spot. . .you had to hold your hands over the plate to keep her from giving you more and more. . .then when you didn't let her give you more she would ask, "What's the matter? Don't you like Grandma's cooking?" She would also fill your tea glass so full and with so much ice it would rub your nose! She was a giver and a servant! She always wore her apron and the kids now have one of those aprons in their "play kitchen".
- Pappy Bare would let us watch old time movie clips of Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chase, Alligator Thrills, Abbot and Costello, Frosty the Snowman and other celebrities. . .it was so much fun. We watched the same ones year after year. . .and we loved them each time.
Tonight I could remember Daddy coming into the room and putting his strong arms around me in a hug. . .saying something like, "How's my girl. . .Good morning sunshine." One time after moving to Houston I was so sad. . .I loved Tom but I was only 19 and I missed my folks. I was really sad one night and went into the living room to cry and pray. While I was kneeling beside the couch praying a felt these warm, strong arms encircle me. . .it felt like Daddy. . .but there wasn't anyone there that I could see when I turned to see who it was. . .it was the Lord either letting an angel minister to me, or maybe He himself was giving me that hug. It gave me strength and let me know I was being cared for by my heavenly father.
- I thanked God for the time I tried out for cheerleader in the 5th grade - when my folks had told me not to. I wanted it so badly and I loved doing cheers and flips. I loved all the pom-poms and cute little outfits. (Which we much more modest back then.) Anyway, I tried out and got the MOST votes in the whole 5th grade class. . .WOW! Was I ever excited! I just knew Mom would let me do it since I'd already been elected. She'd have to let me now. . .But Mom and Daddy had one of life's most important lessons waiting for me. After I'd told them "MY" good news. . . They told me I still COULD NOT be a cheerleader. That I'd have to go back to school the next day and tell my class and teacher that I was giving my spot to whoever was the next person in line for it. (We had five cheerleaders at that time.) It was embarrassing. . .it was awful. . .it was humiliating. . .it was hard. . .I cried. . .BUT it was the RIGHT THING. It taught me that disobedience had consequences. . .and pride certainly comes before a fall. My folks didn't want me to focus on being a "star" for the world. . .but a "soldier" for Jesus. Tonight I thanked the Lord for a mom and dad who cared enough to correct me.
- I thank God for a mother who was willing to "listen" to me. . .she would let me tell her about my day and she acted just like it was the most important thing going on in the world that day. She would help me study my spelling words and listen while I read aloud to her.
- My Daddy always had a job. . .he worked hard and even though he didn't make lots of money, we kids thought we had things just as good as anyone.
- I just thought about how the Lord had watched over me all my life. . .and I thanked him for all the family vacations, family dinners, Christmases and Thanksgivings I'd been blessed to share with Tom's family and mine through the years.
- One year Tom and I were having trouble getting along. . .we loved each other but it wasn't easy sometimes. Anyway, we went to Tom's mom and talked to her about our situation. . .and she gave us some advice that I thought was awful. . .and I told her! What I felt so thankful for tonight is the fact that she didn't hold that against me. She realized I was just young and upset. . .so she just loved me. And she prayed for Tom and I. It helped us.
I can remember so many good things. I could go on and on because my heart is overflowing with praise. . .And my wonderful husband sat there rejoicing with me as I recounted my memory treasures.
This is a time noted for giving. . .one of the best gifts we can give is thankfulness of spirit. We can recognize what benefits we've recieved at the hands of others.
One of the best gifts we can receive is gratitude from ones we've blessed by our actions.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.