Jana, who is in her second year of mission work - sent this to me and our family today. Of course I cried and laughed. It's blog worthy because I hope to always have it. One of the fruits of giving God a portion of your life is that He allows you to see things differently, and she shows this in her gratitude.
How I love Jana!
Dearest Family, I want to close this month of gratitude with a special thanks to each one of you.
All of you contribute something beautiful to the family and I can’t imagine what we would be like if one of you was missing. I’m reading the novel “Little women” right now and I have learned an important lesson. Despite the little riches they had, they learned how to value everything that God gave them, making them more happy and rich than all the rest of their friends. “For she had not yet learned how rich she was in the blessings alone which make life happy.”
Just like George Bailey, we are the richest family I know.
Maria. Thank you for constantly encouraging each member of our family to persevere for our faith through your incredible testimony of conviction. I think I learned how to really be an authentic catholic just by watching you as I grew up. You are truly a tireless apostle and your Joy is so contagious.
Anna. Thank you for always being a peacemaker in our family and for having patience with everyone. Your compassionate heart always knows when one of us is in need and you have always been there to support each one of us in everything we do.
Tricia. Thank you for being so flexible with whatever God has in plan for you. You are so generous with Him. You go out of your way to make everyone around you more happy. I always enjoy the time I get to spend with you, and I especially thank you for giving me a Godson to look after! What a blessing.
Angela. Thank you for being the sunshine in my life!! You have the ability to spark people lives with laughter and Joy just by being yourself. I love how much you love life itself. You treat it as such a precious gift, and you inspire me to relish all of life’s blessings that most people take for granted. You savor even the simplest moments of each day, which is why the moments I spend with you, regardless of what we might be doing, are memorable ones. I want to be like you when I grow up. :)
Joe. Thank you for always being able to offer me your advice when I need it. You gave God the first spot in your heart from a very young age, and the five years that you surrendered to Him did more for our family than you will ever know. Thank you for teaching me to “Never be afraid suffer for Christ”. Through your own sacrifices, you showed me how to really love. You’re my favorite older Brother.
Madeline. Thank you for always being at my side, for building me up when I’m having a bad day, for listening to me, for understanding me, for being there no matter what. I think you see my faults more often than anyone else..yet you still love me. Thank you for making me laugh until I cry and for never letting me down. You are truly my most kindred spirit. :)
Peter. Thank you for the time you spend with me, for helping me plan things for the family, for keeping me updated on the buckeyes, for being a faithful buckeye fan, for sharing the kitchen with me and letting me make you lunch even when you want to make it yourself…you’re a real sport and your turning out to be a fine gentlemen. I don’t think the family would have had the amazing time at the cardinals vs. Reds game over the summer if it hadn’t been for you!! You make things happen around here-we need more people like you!
Paul. Well, well, well. I really want to thank you for your genuine kindness. You are secretly caring for everyone around you and we don’t even realize it sometimes! You always know how to make me laugh and your certainly one of the most sweetest 13 year old boys that I know. The way you take care of your turtles is the way you take care of us-with extra love, tenderness and concern. Oh and thank you for your killer dance moves- you represent our family very well. And thanks for letting me pull your ear lobe all the time.
Gianna. Thank you for teaching me how to be a joyful and simple servant. You are always the first person to do whatever the other one needs and you motivate me want to do the same. You are naturally generous. Thank you for appreciating all the things that I also love. It is so much fun to have someone who is so much like me and will do anything with me if I simply ask her to. Thank you for spending time with me this summer and for always being my friend.
Grace. Thank you for your dimples, your smile, your toe points and your long hair. You will grow up to be a beautiful princess, I’m sure.
Mom and Dad. Thank you for trusting God enough to have 11 crazy children. In the movie the “ultimate Gift”, the young little girl’s biggest wish is to be loved my two people who really love each other. Well I think none of us ever had to wish for this because you both have never stopped loving each other, and that love is seen through the way that you love each one of us. Thank you for your beautiful marriage. You have never stopped giving everything you have for our family. I love you all. Amen.