Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankfulness


I am a little late on the Thanksgiving post, but I figured that it was always a wonderful time for a post full of thankfulness.

What a year to be thankful! In fact, I have to be honest here...the real reason I have put off this post is because I am just overwhelmed with thankfulness and don't have the foggiest where to start in listing it all. When I think of how the Lord has blessed us this year, my heart starts racing, my mind starts skipping from one thing to another, and I just get lost in it all with a huge smile on my face. What a year to be thankful!

We are definitely thankful for the newest addition to the Ferrell family...Mr. Nathan Andrew, himself. Our life changed in so many ways when he was born. So many told me that a son will steal a mother's heart like nothing anyone can explain, but that is definitely something that you can not understand until you actually feel the love soaring from your chest. Our baby boy...he has added so much to our family this year. What a year to be thankful!
No one could have ever prepared us for hearing the dreaded presumed diagnosis of SMA for our son back in May either. I still can not think back on those heart-wrenching 6 weeks without my eyes filling to the brim with tears and my heart aching that same heavy ache it did until I heard the delightful words that Nathan's genetic testing came back negative for this horrible disease. Despite those tough days that were almost debilitating at times, I would not erase those few weeks from our life for anything. As difficult as it was to bear, it was an intense growing and loving experience in our family and with our walk with God. I will not trade our close relationship with our heavenly father through those times for anything...when thinking of that, I have tears of joy. For He saw us through a trial in our life that seemed so insurmountable...He led us along and embraced us close to his heart, and that was an amazing experience. What a year to be thankful!

It still amazes me how the Lord prepares the tiniest of details for changes in life. Before Nathan was born, I was greatly afraid for how Emma was going to handle the extra attention devoted to her little brother and not her. She was my clingy child who rarley left my side and who craved the daily rockings to sleep. Over time, the Lord prepared her heart to handle having to be brushed aside at times and pushed off to be cared by others...sometimes for days at a time. I would have never believed that she made this transition so well. Now, my little snugglebug loves the adventure of staying with others and so far has never gotten homesick. What a year to be thankful!I never realized that God can use a 4 year old to speak volumes to others in times of need. He did just that with Abby over the past 9 months. She has given us encouragement when we felt like we were at wit's end, laughter when our spirits were so low, and a smile and a twinkle in her eye when we felt like we were losing life's battles. She has been such a joy in our lives. What a year to be thankful.I never realized how much I treasured the love and prayers and friendships of our church family until this year. Yes, we have always truly enjoyed belonging with a wonderful group of people, but things have changed along the way. This year, we have felt their saddness, happiness, joys, frustrations, and prayers as we have embarked on the difficult journeys we have endured. We have felt the intense love in their hugs and words of encouragement. We have missed them terribly from one Sunday to the next and enjoyed every moment of togetherness during the times we have spent with them. They are special to us...and we love each and every one of them in a way we absolutely can not describe. What a year to be thankful!Then there are the less obvious things to be thankful for...the things that often get brushed aside as not much of anything...

Jay's job is a wonderful stability in these troubling economic times. It has been a blessing that he has been able to take off so much time from work this year to either keep our girls or go with me to different doctor appts.

We would have never thought that we would be so thankful for insurance...and good insurance at that. To date, our insurance has paid quite a bit over $100,000 in Nathan's short life. We have not run into many snags to date with them yet, and we are so thankful that they have been so accomodating with all of the tests, procedures, and therapies along the way.

We are thankful to live a few short miles away from a wonderful Children's hospital with many wonderful pediatric specialists. There are families who drive from hundreds of miles away to come to our pediatric clinics, and we have a short 10 mile drive through town. And we are thankful to have wonderful doctors who have put us in touch with other world-renowned doctors to help try and figure out what is wrong with our son medically.

So yes, a majority of these thanksgivings center around Nathan, but he has been through so much in his 9 months of life. The Lord has provided for him and us greatly through this time and he continues to provide...what a year to be thankful!

7 comments:

Lisa on December 1, 2008 at 8:00 AM said...

God is so good...

Lisa Q

~sydney~ on December 1, 2008 at 12:40 PM said...

nate looks like so old in that picture of him pushing emma! hes growin up too fast!!

Anonymous said...

And we are so thankful for you and your family! Love, Amanda McCook

mollie on December 1, 2008 at 9:08 PM said...

And we are thankful for you, your sweet family and your testimony through your journey..
Lovin' those pictures! He is such a big boy pushing Emma in the wagon.

tammy said...

Thank you Amber, for another tear-jerker post. Yes, in the midst of our individual trials we can find joy, as the Lord told us we could in His word. And yes, a little child can be the most wise, clear thinking individual blessed with God's grace to keep the rest of us in check. It was so when we lost a tiny baby in stillbirth, and our 5-year-old insisted on the names Andrew for a boy or Christy Ann for a girl. It was a girl. We were glad for these names as we were totally unprepared at that point. She said, "Mom why are you crying, God is holding our baby." Wow if that doesn't take you to a higher realm, not much will.

Peace and blessings to you and yours this wonderful holiday season.
Cuzin' Tammy

It still amazes me how perfectly well and fully functional Nathan looks in all your pictures for all he's gone through. He looks to be ahead of many kids his age, even.

Mimigrace08 on December 2, 2008 at 12:07 PM said...

Great post. This is truly giving thanks in all circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Amber,
I am so very thankful for your gift to put in words what you have. Your family will have that for the rest of their lives. I really think you should compile a book and get it published. I can't imagine how many people it would help. Please think about that! I love you all!
Nina

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