As I look back on my life so far, I remember again that I am profoundly blessed and I thank God for his watch-care for me and my family. It can all be summed up in one word: gratitude.
My mom generously gifted the house in Tucumcari to us and we were initially preparing it for sale until Lisa suggested living in it, her continuing love of the area coming through. After a huge downsizing, she is snuggly nesting in her new place. I still work my weekdays about a hundred miles away in Portales and spend time with her on the weekends. I am grateful for the generousity of my mother!
Speaking of the job, I am blessed to continue my work at Eastern New Mexico University, administering some computer servers and applications. It can be a bit more pressure than I prefer and I will surely appreciate retirement when it comes, but it is fine employment that lets me provide well for my family. Few jobs pay as much in this area and I have friendly people to work with, so I hope I am not found complaining too much during the rough times!
My father is a great (sometimes better than I am) influence on my adult children. Three of my sons are serving our country in the military in many ways due to his encouragement. I never thought I would have such a military family, but it isn't surprising given the service of both Lisa's parents as Marines and Dad's time in the Air Force. Such service provides some wonderful opportunities to develop skills and discipline. I am very grateful for their willingness to give up part of their lives for our nation.
My children are all engaged in interesting pursuits, from cleaning petrified wood and water lines to building earthships and caring for the disabled, each chasing their own stars. It has been especially gratifying that we were able to celebrate a marriage this summer and the beginning of a new family! I am a happy father for the development of my adult children.
Of course, I bask in the love of my wife, Lisa. I feel undeserving most of the time, but she resolutely cherishes me and our life together anyway. It is hard to find anything for which I am more grateful than the enduring love and companionship of my wife!
Most of all, I am grateful for God's greatest gift, his son Jesus Christ, who payed for my sins and works to give me a glorious future. In so many ways and seemingly every day, God provides the inspiration that I need to do what must be done and I am surpassingly grateful for his interventions in my life!
I hope each of you can find many things in life for which you can feel gratitude and express it often to those around you.