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What a beautiful week. I think it began on Monday with Maritza, Nuestro Sustituto Precioso, born in Panama, settled now in Oklahoma. She is a precious surrogate to many of us at work. Not a one of us can resist the warmth in her smile or the unconditional love we feel when she takes us into her arms. Maritza teaches us Spanish and pours out wisdom like warm oil. She often wonders aloud what in the world she’s doing working night shift. I always tell her, “You are on assignment from God because so many of us need you.” And it’s true. One hug from Maritza is enough to undo any ugly part of the day, the week, the month, the year.

It is difficult to pinpoint thankfulness when there is so much sweetness around. I could get into all sorts of mush about my kids but I’ll spare you. It is enough to say they make me feel loved daily and laughter happens pretty much everyday. Wrestling happens, too.

I’ll never forget watching Alex and T.J. play in the leaves on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon while I cooked Thanksgiving dinner. I love it when God can take an afternoon with no agenda and turn it into something that is forever imprinted in your mind’s eye.

It was really awesome when K.Z., the Miracle Man, came to me later that night and told me that he wasn’t one bit afraid to have yet another surgery in December because Psalm 23 gave him peace. “You know…I’ve already walked through the valley of the shadow of death. God is always with me,” he said, with that beautiful, beautiful light shining out of his eyes. I watched him walk away, dragging his left foot behind him, feeling something like awe, the way I always do when I’m in the presence of a miracle.

Thursday brought an extra day off work, a kitchen filled with holiday foods, and my house filled with my kids and their friends.

It didn’t hurt one bit that the Saints won the football game in the last few minutes, but Lord….did those boys make me sweat!

Friday brought a very peaceful sleep and another visit from Alex and T.J. Friday also brought the assurance that Lynndale (a die-hard Cowboys fan) still loved us…even though he covered his eyes with his Cowboys hat when he spotted our celebratory Saints tee’s.

And co-worker, Brian, found just the thing he needed to energize him for the end of the work week.

The week ended as beautifully as it began and I’m heading into the next expecting more of the same—hopefully, with fewer calories.