Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Big Three

This Thanksgiving we are thankful in a whole new way. This experience has taught us an invaluable lesson about being thankful. Our family typically has a large family gathering at Thanksgiving and we celebrate many of the common traditions I am sure most of you do. One of our family traditions is that I place a small piece of paper on each plate and before we eat we all write something we are thankful for. After the meal, we pass them out and everyone reads one out loud. Many times they are serious things and other times they are lighthearted and even humorous. We love to sit down and look back at all those little slips of paper we have saved from over the years and read what they said. The majority of them say the obvious, "I am thankful for Faith, Family and Friends." I call these 'The Big Three'. I used to think that writing the big three was an easy way out of putting any real effort into writing something heartfelt. But as I thought more and more about thankfulness today, I wasn't so sure anymore. I was thinking about all those little slips of paper and I thought, 'no little sliver of paper will do this year'. And surely, no amount of words written on that paper could adequately express the deep gratitude we feel. I spent hours today thinking about all that I am thankful for.

The first thing I would have to write on my paper would be blood. Yes, blood! Jewish blood specifically! The blood of my savior Jesus Christ first and foremost that was shed for me for the remission of sins. And for the blood of CJ' s donor. When he came in for a spinal tap today we learned that his CBC's had 'bottomed out' and he would need to be replenished with another blood transfusion. When the blood arrived we were told that it was "directly donated" to him. Normally, we would not know whose blood he is receiving but we are pretty sure we know whose blood this is because his Aunt Shirl had just called to tell us she donated blood and had it directly donated to CJ. CJ called and spoke to her as he was receiving her blood and he teased her that her blood tasted good. She teased him that he is officially half Jewish now. I smiled as I thought Jewish blood has saved his life twice now! Once on the cross, and once in a blood mobile. I am thankful for blood!

The next thing I would write is that I am extremely thankful to spend this Thanksgiving with my husband and children. Each and every day I have with them is a precious gift. CJ's cancer has taught me to value each life God has blessed me with and each day I have with them so much more. And to drive the lesson even further home, the man who lives across the street from us is fighting for his life tonight after crashing his motorbike out front of our house a few hours ago. As we stood and watched the helicopter airlift him away, I was even more grateful for Chris and the kids. This getleman will not be coming home for Thanksgiving this year, and possibly not ever. They may never have the opportunity to spend another Thanksgiving with their loved one. As you sit at a table with your loved ones today, stop and take a moment to look around at each and every life represented. Thank God you have had this past year with them. Tell them you love them. Allow a fresh gratefulness to wash over you.

The last thing I would add to my list is that I am thankful for all of you. All of you who have followed CJ's story and prayed faithfully and earnestly on his behalf. I see the fruits of your sacrifice and labor first hand everyday. As I sat in the Pediatric Ambulatory today for 10 straight hours surrounded with overwhelming tragedy, sicknesses and devastating disease I was extremely grateful for how well CJ is doing with his treatments. After being frustrated about his illness last night, and everyone bathing him in prayer, his spirits we back up today and he was no longer struggling with sadness. I believe he is doing so well because he is being covered in prayer thanks to all of you. The nurses notice it, the doctors notice it and Chris and I notice it. Words can not express our deep gratitude for your love and support and friendship. Our family feels a deep bond with so many of you and we have never even met the majority of you. God has taught us whole new meaning of friendship through this trial.

As I look back over those three things I just expressed my gratefulness for, I realize that I am thankful for for those very things that I thought were obvious before. Faith, Family and Friends. Only this year, when I write it on that little slip of paper, I believe it will flow directly from my heart to my hand and settle on the paper in a whole new way.

A Thanksgiving Prayer to all of You.
"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe. "
Ephesians 1:16-19

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last night when I put Ana to bed, I told her that tonight our prayer for CJ had to be extra special. She asked why and I told her that CJ was feeling confused and scared right now. This is the prayer she chose, she says it is her special favorite one.

"Angel sent by God to guide me,
Be my light and walk beside me,
Be my guardian and protect me,
On the paths of life direct me."

We are so thankful for the Angels that walk beside CJ and all of you.

Lots of love

Nicole Alberto and Ana

Anonymous said...

To the Georges,

Happy Thanksgiving! I love all of you very much! You have all been such a blessing in my life. I am so thankful for the Lord's plan to bring the Hoffer's and George's together. I love having the connection of our childhood.

Childhood was rough for us Dawn, an emotional rollercoaster would be the best way for me to describe it. But, I will say, many of my "happiest" memories involve the George's. Sleep overs at the George's, Cloverleaf summer camp with the George's, sports at the optimist with the George's, school and fundraisers with the George's. And my favorite was the clubhouse at the George's. I have so many good, specific memories with the George's. And how loving and open "Mrs. George" always was when we were kids. It just seemed to come to her naturally, her warmness and comfort. I don't even think she knew how much it meant to us neighborhood kids, or she did and put the extra effort in. I don't know. But, I get such a kick out of Allie, CJ, and Brett's friends when I hear them say "Mrs. George". I can't help but smile and get this warm feeling inside my chest. I laugh. Dawn Hoffer is Mrs. George. I love it! Let me tell you. Those are not easy shoes to fit and by God, literally, you have done it! So this year, I am thankful for the Lord's plan of bringing the Hoffer's and George's together. His plan exceeds any match I could of ever imagine. God is Good! Dawn you are and amazing Mrs. George. I love you very much.

Your Sis,
Jacks
Miramar, Florida

aunt char said...

hi everyone,

may you all have a happy and blessed thanksgiving, which i know you will. i am in the middle of getting last minute things done for
our dinner, but i wanted to say
happy thanksgiving and let you know we are thinking of you especially today. i received presents from you and mom yesterday
thank you very much and mom said
she was sending lila some books.
oh, i just wanted to also tell
you shirley called me yesterday
and said cj was getting her blood.
she was thrilled to say the least.
we will be praying for your family
and the guy who had the motorcycle
accident. we love you guys and we
will see you soon.
love, aunt char

CeCe said...

I miss you guys, and I don't know what to put here. I just wanted to say that I miss you (even though I say that every time I post). Miss you, and hope to see you soon!

CeCe

Anonymous said...

Thank You so much Jackie, that means more to me than you can know. John and I have always loved the Hoffers. I also have very fond memories of you as a young cutie-pie little girl.Praise God!!!!! Love yo grandma c

Anonymous said...

Yes Dawn, HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!!!!! We do have so much to thank GOD for. Our faith in a loving merciful God, all our family that we love so much, and the friends who are truly friends who love us as we also love them.Of course C.J.s health is right at number #1 in our thankfulness. God is truly faithful. I would like to say a few things about you Dawn, you truly are a gifted writer, every blog reaches deep down inside and brings up feelings of being right beside you in these events.You make me smile, cry and call out to our Father in pray and praise to HIM. For those who don't know you well, there is so much more to you as a mother. First, you are a AWESOME MOTHER!!!!! From the time you found out you were pregnant with Allie, you dove head first into being the best mom you could be. From breastfeeding, vaccines, healthy eating, raising your children in a Godly home, homeschooling etc(this list could go on and on) you prayed, researched and seek ed godly advice from a respected few. I have always been amazed at your strength and untireless efforts to your family. I am sooo proud to have you as my daughter-inlaw, proud to tell people about you as a mother, and proud that you are my son's wife. GOD knew what kind of mother you were going to become before you did, that is why you are C.J.s mother. Your are devoted to your family, and God knows you are the best mom ever to take care of his special children, especially C.J., right now in this season of his cancer.Thank you so much for this blog Dawn, I'm sure at times it can be difficult to write, but what a blessing to so many. GOD has given you a very special task informing us all of his mighty works in the life of the George family, and he is surely showing himself, and his love.I love you all so much, your in my thoughts and PRAYERS always. To my wonderful son, I am so proud of the Father you are and the Father you have become. Stay strong in your Faith,you are the head of your family and they look to you for guidance and strength. I love you son,you amaze me with your strength, your Faith, and your memory(LOL), and the way you take care of your family. GOD BLESS you all. grandma c

Martha Rivero said...

Happy Thanksgivings to everyone and each of you, may God be with you and your family!

Dear George family,

My prayers and my thoughts are with you always, I have said it before, but I would like to mention it again, what a true blessing you all have been in life, you story, examples and faith in God had impact my spiritual life greatly. I can say I am not the same person anymore, I pray that God continues to change my life, I feel I know him better since I am trusting all true being to him. God's plans are perfect, I had to read CJ's story, to understand why my sister is going through all this chaos at the moment, why my mom and dad are cancer survivors, why I had to suffer being a child having to see my mom sick for almost two consecutive years, why my sister is fighting now to save her son's life, and amazingly through this blog I have understand finally that God knows better than me, the wholly spirit have touch my life through your family, and I am so thankful from the bottom of my heart.

Dawn,

I pray again for CJ heals and needs, I pray that God continues to touch you by the writing gift giving to you, you are an amazing writer, you daughter Ali is right! I pray that you continue to be open with us and let us know everyday the biggest lessons of faith and love, I pray that God bless the rest of your family and friends, I pray that all of us continue to be one in our prayers, I pray that all of us continue to growth in Christ.

With love,

Martha Rivero

Janet S said...

Dawn, I can relate to everything you wrote. We do the same thing for Thanksgiving. Each one fills in what they are thankful for and then we read it. And then I save them to read again in years to come.
I always looked forward to hearing something "worthy" and meaty that we were thankful for. I see what you are saying. What could be more worthy to be thankful for than the big 3. From the bottom of my heart, I can now also say: I am thankful for my faith, every moment I spend with God and every day I have Him in my life since I accepted His gift (Jesus' dying for my sins); I am thankful for my beautiful family, every single moment I have with them; my dear friends and every single moment I have with them.
Thank you, Dawn, for helping us "see".
I love you, my sister in Christ.
Janet Sedano
Pembroke Pines, FL

Enzo said...

Dawn,

Yes Dawn the big three, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is what comes through reading the blogs and the versus. I love what Paul wrote in Ephesians that you quoted. For those of us that don't read our Bibles daily, sometimes weekely or monthly, we are receiving the word here. It feels so alive too. I love Ana's little prayer. Also my friend Paula told me her two year old Sophie prays everynight for "JJ" to get better. Blessed are the Little Children.
This year our hearts were together -- it didn't really matter that we weren't physically together. I felt you guys and I felt Pop even. For no apparent reason and with no one around I can smell Old Spice and I knew he was there too. Love never dies. Death doesn't diminish it at all. I love Pop exactly the same as when he was here.

I too am grateful for Shirley and her blood. Bless her. I love Jackie's stories about the Georges and Colleen. It is true -- everything. God bless you Colleen and thank you for all you do for our kids.

Martha, how wonderful the Holy Spirit let you know that God is in control of all things -- even those we don't understand. It is wonderful the way you reach out to my daughter and her family and I appreciate your posts.

CJ, Alibrandi, Brett, Corey, Kevin, Travis, Jerri-Lynn, Kyle (I think that's all of them -- if I missed anybody sorry - just kidding) I'm so grateful you are all my grandchildren. How blessed I am. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Grandma Paula

The Millares said...

Hi Guys.....
It's ME! My prayers and thoughts are always with you guys.. I was glad to see CJ doing well yesterday and in such goodspirits.
Well love you!
Justin, erika , gaby and Joe.
XOXOXOXO

ily(hearts said...

Happy be-lated Thanksgiving to all.
You are in our heart and prayers everyday and we are thankful everyday we know you. Have a blessed day.
Love and kisses,
The Figueroa's
Southwest Ranches,Florida

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving from the Behar Family! Continuing in prayer for all of you...We love you!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING George Family

Your family is always in our prayers. Faith has asked everyone she knows to pray for your family and she didn't forget on Thanksgiving either, even though we were with EArl's brother, Fred.

She told him what they made and explained that they need to pray for CJ. Pretty awesome. Even if Faith forgets Billy reminds her, "You forgot someone...don't you remember ? CJ"

We will not forget to pray for your family.

You are an awesome MOM , Dawn, I only pray I can be more like you. Just remember Footprints, the times you only see one set of fooprints is when God carried you....

We killled 2 of our largest turkeys, they both weighed 28 lbs. the kids told me they wished you lived closer so we could give you a urkey that is healthy for CJ. When we took out his guts I noticed they eat just as much grass as corn, pretty cool!

I feel an anatomy lesson coming on.....God Bless you & your family

The Herreros said...

Dear George Family:

You've been on our hearts this weekend because we've been thanking God for you. We also thank Him for continuing to guard your hearts and minds with the peace that transcends all understanding.

We don't know what specific plans God has for tomorrow, but we know that His greatest promise was fulfilled at Calvary. When we remember that He willingly allowed Himself to be sacrificed for each of us personally, individually, it makes it that much more powerful. That's certainly something to be thankful for...

2 Corinthians 1:20-22
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


We miss you and look forward to seeing the whole George family back at church very soon.

May God continue to hold you firm in Christ...
The Herrero Family