Painted Roses and feeling blessed...

I've got to admit, I've got a great family! I know I did nothing to deserve them, but I sure do appreciate them. We've been playing at the empty nest this past week while Ryan spent his winter break in California with his brothers. I was wishing we could have gone with him, but it turned out it was better that we stayed home. Randy got a weird dizziness for a few days this week - apparently a virus that several people at work also had - and my mom was pretty sick with bronchitis. So traveling would not have worked for us. But being home without kids was so strange. Too quiet. And something I'm not ready to get used to. I suppose good can be found in a house with less people to pick up after, but I would rather do that than have to find ways to fill the void of missing them. And with the older two, I would enjoy the empty nest better if they didn't live so far away... roseBut I digress...I got an email from Chris this week with a picture he drew for me. He said that he couldn't afford to give me flowers for my birthday, so he painted me some. (Is there any greater gift than one given from the heart - and totally unexpected too!) He gave me permission to show you. (Moms have to brag on their kids sometimes, right?)

Chris has grown a lot in his drawing ability and frankly, he downright amazes me! You can see what I mean by visiting his portfolio on his website Akro Designs. In case I haven't mentioned before (though I'm pretty sure I have) Chris designed this website too. I am mighty pleased with it!

I've been working on a new proposal idea this week while I've watched the gray skies and snow falling outside my window. I would complain because we really don't see the sun often enough in Michigan, but then I watched the news and saw how hard hit the people in New York have been with snow and so long without power! Not to mention the people in Chili who just had an 8.8 earthquake and the tsunami threat to the Pacific Coast (California where my boys are included.) I don't think the tsunami threat is as bad away from the coast - I hope not. But my dreams of living with a view of the beach...maybe I should rethink that a bit... In any case, those who do live there must be worried--praying for all those involved in these difficult, scary-weather times.

As I write this, Ryan is in an airplane headed back to Detroit, and I am listening to music on his computer. "It Is Well With My Soul" is playing right now - such a great reminder of what is truly important.

All in all, I am feeling rather blessed today - blessed to be loved, not just by my family but by my God. I know I don't deserve His love, but when I stop to think about just how much He truly does love me - He knows my name ("Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Emphasis mine) - how can I feel any less than blessed? He loves me! What a glorious thought!

I pray you are blessed today as well~

Selah~

PersonalJill Eileen Smith