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    Practicing Gratitude: A Good Year

    November 15, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

    –Edward Winslow
    {speaking of the First Thanksgiving in Mourt’s Relation}

    It isn’t that our life together has been full of bad years. I’m not sure that anything that has happened to us is all that uncommon. However, many years I have come upon Thanksgiving Day with a bit of heaviness in my heart. We’ve had so many years where we were worried about something or other. Selling our home because our business dried up. Pregnant and then finding out about a job loss. Those sorts of things.

    This year stands out to me as an uncommonly good one. I can’t say it started out particularly well, what with the food poisoning combined with the Ultimate Traveling-With-Three-Kids Nightmare. But the year has been filled with one blessing after another.

    Yes, the year was great. In January, I already knew I was pregnant with Number Four {aka Baby O.}, having taken a test right before the New Year. In February, we were able to replace my broken mixer with a great tool when you consider all the gluten-free everything-free cooking I was doing {gluten-free breads don’t knead well, so a good mixer comes in handy}. In March, Si’s book was released from the publisher, a long-awaited dream-come-true. In April, we were attacked by ants and our Suburban broke down on a major freeway, but nothing’s perfect, right?


    In May, I turned thirty. I like being thirty, so it was great. And we also celebrated our seventh anniversary, Mother’s Day, and our son’s sixth birthday. May is fun around here. In June, we bought a home, a wonderful, perfect-for-us home! In July, Si turned 30 and on his birthday we signed the paperwork for our house and prepared for The Big Move. By the end of July, we were in our new house. In August, our son was born! True, he almost died, which was tramatic. But here is the clincher: he didn’t. He is here with us and we get to raise him and I for one am completely in love with him. In September, we were bleary-eyed from not getting sleep, but we were so grateful to have our son alive that it didn’t bother us as much as usual. Plus, we began putting in our backyard. And that, by the way, is pretty much what October focused on: renovating that half acre of weeds. In fact, here it is November, and we spent the day working on the same thing. I myself used a hula hoe for at least an hour this morning.

    And it looks beautiful out there. Today, we plant grass and also a cover crop in the garden bed. Our plans for the microhomestead are coming together.

    The final blessing, the details of which I will have to share with you in some other post in the future, is not only significant, but also miraculous. As we prepare for Thanksgiving this year, we are free to add copious amounts of wheat and dairy to the food because…our children’s food allergies have been cured

    No kidding.

    This year, it feels like God has smiled upon us. We have a home of our own, something I feared would never happen when the prices really started soaring in our area. We have four beautiful children. Like the quote above, I know that life isn’t always so plentiful. But this year, I will be thankful that my cup runneth over.

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  • Reply Lift Up Your Hearts November 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    We should all count our blessings so beautifully!

  • Reply Rahime November 16, 2008 at 11:08 am

    do tell.

  • Reply Ellen November 16, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Really? No food allergies? Ok, you’re going to have to explain that one. I’m glad you’ve had such a great year. I’d have to say that we’ve had a pretty awesome year ourselves. =)

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