August is the month in our family: we celebrate two birthdays and one wedding anniversary …and my nephew’s monthiversary because that’s what you do when the child is…under two years old I think! God is good and here are the things that I’m thanking Him for this month.
- I thank God for keeping my dad for another year. He’s such a great guy: he’s the one who asks me how something that I mentioned to him in passing worked out and I have to wrack my brain to remember what it was! He cares about the little details of his family members’ lives and if you make the “mistake” of telling him about a problem you’re having, even a minor one, my dad will try and help you find a solution right away. This trait of his can be frustrating but I can’t stay mad at someone who loves me that much.
He’s been living six hours away from the majority of the family for four years now and he’s committed to coming back every two or three weeks—as a family friend mentioned, that tells you everything you need to know about his commitment as a husband and father. We’re all looking forward to his retirement—maybe he’ll let me share pictures from the celebration we’ll have! So yes, I’m very thankful for my dad and for an opportunity to celebrate his birthday. He didn’t want anything splashy so we had a low-key family dinner in my parents’ backyard. We had a great time as a family (my baby brother who lives five hours away also came home), the sun cooperated, and I got some nice pictures of the family.
- Nine days after my dad’s birthday we celebrated my sister’s birthday! She’s my only sister and she’s a gem! We’re similar in a lot of ways but so many of the areas where we’re different are things that I admire in her: her loyalty, caring nature, and how good she is at serving. She’s also such a devoted mommy to my nephew. And the girl is funny…oh, and she loves her chocolate! We were both surprised when we realized that she’s, um, whatever number 36 (my age) minus 2 works out to because she’s my little sis but it’s wonderful to grow up with her.
- I live 40 minutes away from my workplace by bus (parking downtown is expensive). One of my colleagues drives to work and pays a premium for parking, and when she was on vacation for two weeks this month she allowed me to use her parking pass—what a blessing! It was so nice to drive to work for that time and it reminded me that if I get serious with my plans of being an entrepreneur, there will come a day (while I’m transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship) that I’ll be able to treat myself to a parking pass, and to weekly hair appointments. It’s good to dream “big”!
- In February of 2014 I briefly mentioned that a colleague was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. What I didn’t say at the time is that I had known him for a few years and because we spend so much time at work, I knew something wasn’t right with him (he was less animated than usual and he mentioned having no appetite which was an oddity for him) so I told him that weekend to please go to the hospital. He said he didn’t want to because there would be long wait and the last time his wife had forced him to go to the hospital all he had was heartburn. Anyway, I told him to go and we found out the following week about his diagnosis and he’s been gone from work for over 18 months.
Something lovely happened this month: he and his wife came to visit us! It was so nice to see him after all this time: he doesn’t quite look the same and the road to recovery is long (he hasn’t yet returned to work) but what really touched me is that while we were talking, he told his wife that I was the one who really made him go to the hospital (she was out of the country at the time) and when she said “It was you!” and gave me a big hug I was so touched. She said she was sure that if he hadn’t gone to the hospital when he did, he would have been dead by the time she returned. He agreed and he said he knew it was serious because they would not let him go home to get some things for his extended hospital stay—they needed to treat him right away.
Look: though I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger, I never spent a day in medical school. Needless to say it was all God’s doing; He used me to get an important message to my colleague. I’m thankful that God used me in this way and that my colleague is on the road to a full recovery.
- Because it’s important to give thanks for all things, big and small, I’m thankful that my cell phone provider refunded me $10, even though it turns out I went over on my data usage (#blamePeriscope). When I first saw the bill I was sure they had made a mistake but after they showed me the error of my ways I realized it was my fault. Even so they still went the extra mile to make me happy—yay!
- We lost a family friend last week. Although she was my parents’ friend I remember the lovely bedding she got me when I moved out of my parents’ house. I’m thankful for her life and the impact that she had, and I’m thankful that she will no longer be in pain.
- Two days ago, my parents celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. I’m thankful for their marriage, for its fruitfulness, for the great example they are to my siblings and I, and that they’ve been able to see the next generation in their grandson. My family’s story really began when those two kids decided to marry one another and it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come: the countries they’ve lived in, the trials they’ve endured, the joys they’ve had. They need to write a book!
Your turn: what are you thankful for this month?