With four married children in Valerie’s family now, it was a special treat to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with her entire family all in one place this year. At least two of the ten children are headed for the mission field in the years to come so opportunities to be all together like this may be few and far between. In fact, we actually waited until Friday to celebrate so that everyone could be there…including the latest edition, Cody Marshall Barta , born just that week!
In preparation for our time together, Mom Mueller sent out a little survey to ascertain everyone’s favorite dishes for our Thanksgiving feast as well as some of their favorite Thanksgiving memories and/or traditions — the things that “make it Thanksgiving” to each one.
She felt this would be especially important and helpful since we added several new family members this year and were starting some new family traditions. After all, who wants to make something only to find out no one in the current gathering even likes it?
It was quite fun to see the results come in and hear the feedback from the different ones. While there was a good bit of variety in the food favorites, everybody seemed to agree about their favorite memories. We all said that the thing that “makes it Thanksgiving” to us is the time to relax together and “be family” and, one way or another, to spend time reflecting on and sharing the many, many blessings of the Lord upon our lives over the past year.
As we took time as a couple to reflect on what God has done for us, we were again amazed and overwhelmed by the goodness of our loving Heavenly Father Who has poured out His blessings upon us in abundance. Just last November, we were engaged, then married in March, and already we will be celebrating nine months of marriage this next week! Time has flown by so quickly and our relationship just continues to grow sweeter and sweeter every day.
We have seen God provide a wonderful home for us and everything we need (and more) to keep it furnished and functioning well. We’ve been blessed to be able to host friends and family in our home — for a visit, for a meal, and some even for an overnight stay. We have experienced very little sickness and have had good health overall.
God has blessed Adam with a steady flow of work and even given Valerie some fun short-term projects to do on the side from time to time. We have both enjoyed being involved in ministry at our church.
In truth, the list could go on and on. Not every day has been perfect and free from care or concern but we have been richly blessed!
Yet, even when there is struggle or uncertainty about the future, our God still holds us close as His children and reminds us that we are blessed even in those days for it is then that we draw closer to Him. This is a good reminder as we move into the Christmas season and look ahead to what God may have for us in the coming year. We may not know what the future holds but we are blessed to know the One Who holds the future in His very hands.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Wallers!