Monday, November 22, 2010

Two Visits and a Bypass

It's been a busy couple of weeks here. We had visitors galore, which was lots of fun. First up, our friends Nathan and Kate Spies came to visit all the way from Bolivia, which was amazing! They were in LA for a week with their extended family, and decided to fly to Indy to hang with us for a week afterwards. Good choice:) We had a wonderful time showing them the "real" America in all its glory: football, ribs on the grill, talks around the fire pit, trips to the mall, walks to the coffee shop, and their personal favorite, salt and vinegar chips:) Can't beat that. Jude and Ada played around with their 3 girls, Lily, Daisy and Poppy. The Spies are Australian, and I've always found their girls' little accents particularly endearing ("Caroline, could I just have a bit of wuh-ta to drink?" So cute!) It was also really nice to have dinner at the table after the kids went to bed, talking about Cochabamba and catching up on the latest. Our friends from Chicago came down as well, that also had overlapping time in Bolivia with us. There's such a special bond there, with these awesome people that have shared an experience with us that nobody else can quite identify with perfectly. We were fortunate to have that time together that I know we'll cherish forever.
After that, our friends Nick and Jen came in town from Cincinnati. Nick was Ted's frat brother from college and has always been a riot, and his girlfriend Jen is wonderful! Ted took Nick to the Colts/Bengals game (Sorry, Nick) and we caught up nicely and really enjoyed their visit.

My dad had quadruple bypass surgery on Friday, and so we all went down for it and stayed through the weekend. It was a nerve-wracking 5 hours of surgery, to say the least, but also sort of a miracle: our biological family hasn't been together by ourselves (without hubbies and kiddos) in YEARS. The time passed slowly (its never fun to know your dad's heart is outside his body and his chest is being jacked open) but it sure was nice to trade stories with my sisters and my mom and have their hands to squeeze. We're all so different but this past weekend, seemed so much alike. Sisterly love runs deep and loyal, and I just treasure it.
Dad's surgery was very successful. I practically knocked over the surgeon in a bear hug when he told us. Dad was up and cracking jokes when he woke up, but I think the pain is setting in now and pretty tough. It's hard to see my big strong daddy handling that much pain, but we all understand the necessity for it and the overall good to come. I know there were literally hundreds of people praying for him. Thank you. The ability we've been given to petition the God of the universe for our heart's desires is staggering. More staggering is the fact that he responds.

Entering the week of Thanksgiving, I've given a lot of thought to my blessings, and particularly how I define a blessing. It's the good things, right? I'm learning that's not necessarily true. My definition of a blessing is something in our lives that moves us closer to God. Those things do not always look good, sound good, or feel good. But they ARE good, in the largest and truest sense of the word. Because they've been specially tailored to each of us, to move us to where we need to go: into His Kingdom, the place we're created to long for, the place where we're lacking in nothing. I'm generally a rotten and self-serving person, but praise the God who loves me despite it, who knows my needs before I need them, and relentlessly points me to the full life He offers.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..."
Ephesians 3:19

May you be blessed this Thanksgiving. Whatever that looks like in your life.


Lauren said...

I am so thankful for sisters too:) It was good seeing you this weekend, despite the circumstances. Glad you are smarter than me and figured out how to get the picture!! Love you!