Well, I am in Pennsylvania! What a journey it has been! Never in a million years would I have imagined myself here! I have hit the ground running and am developing even more of a passion for this ministry. There have been a million new things I have already experienced! It is GREEN; there is water everywhere you look; I saw a firefly; the thunder comes in gentle rolls across the hills; you can see the humidity here; I need a jacket; people have odd accents... and God is so GOOD.
While I am here, I am living with a host family. Without a doubt, they are a precious, divine appointment. In addition to a mom and dad, I have acquired three little siblings: girls ages 6 and 4, and Bugga - 6 months. They are precious and love on me constantly. The noise level at 7am, however, is not yet something I am accustom to!
Each night before the little ones go to bed, we do "Thankful." It is a quiet, reflective time where Mom and Dad say why they are thankful for one another and for the kids. Sisters give a specific reason why they are thankful for each another, and I get to pick anyone and declare my thankfulness for them! The evening concludes with Dad's prayer. It is a blessing to watch the love and connectedness of this family, and the deep understanding and appreciation the girls have for one another. They bless my heart and have caused me to consider more deeply the things which I am thankful for:
I am thankful to God for steering my ship with ease through what I perceived to be the most violent storm my little boat has ever experienced!
I am thankful to the man who was in my life for a season; that he was honest with me prior to our wedding day, and that he respected my stand for purity.
Mom and Dad, thank you for being my anchor, keeping me grounded in the Lord's promises and lifting my eyes Heavenward.
Ky, I am thankful for your protection and fierce loyalty as well as your jovial spirit and heart of gold.
My Pastors and church family…. I am overwhelmed by your love, support, encouragement and admonition. Thank you!
Friends, I am thankful that you have forced me to get up and move forward and for the millions of times you willingly sang "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger…"
Dannah and Pure Freedom - I am overwhelmed by the opportunity to be a part of what you do. Thank you for bringing me along side of you.
Jackson puppy, thank you for licking my face and holding me close. I don't know what I would do without you little buddy… WOOF!
My list could ramble on forever (and in my journal it does) but I will spare you!
Have you heard the quote, ""What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" Convicting! We have been blessed with so very much. I know that I do not thank the Father near as much as I should and I often take things for granted.
<My four year old sister just came out to the deck to inform me that it is time for "Thankful"... excuse me for a moment>
Anything from His daily dose of undeserved mercy to the sweet old lady who gave me a discount at the coffee shop, I seem to breeze over these blessings without a thought as if I am entitled.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 107:1 - Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His steadfast love endures forever!
My new little sister's understanding of being thankful might even surpass my own. I challenge you, just as I have challenged myself, to pause and consider a day of Thanksgiving (minus the turkey and Dallas Cowboys). How it warms my heart to hear others enjoy and appreciate a gift I have given them! How much more is the heart of the Father warmed when we spend a day noticing and thanking Him for the blessings in our life?
This week, do "Thankful."