Today is Thanksgiving Day, and I have more to be thankful for than could ever be expressed in writing on this blog (or "Note", for those reading this on Facebook). However, I am going to share a few of the many things. This is definitely one of those "more for me than for my readers" kind of posts, so no need to read through it all if you don't want to.
In no particular order:
- My job. I've had my highs and lows over the past 15 months at work, but through it all, God has been faithful. When I was on the verge of needing to find a new job just to pay bills, God provided by giving me a substantial raise, making it possible for me to work where I love and still pay my bills.
- 12 years at the church I love most. A pastoral staff who cares, and see it as their call in life to shepherd the church. I have grown so much in my walk with God, and I do believe much can be attributed to the training and accountability found within the church.
- The experience of a lifetime- a missions trip to Russia. I never knew I could come to love a place and people so much and so quickly as I did in Russia. While it's a wonderful thing, it is also hard. Sometimes I think if I didn't enjoy it as much I wouldn't miss it as much, but there's no way I would wish that. The experience was a faith builder from the time I first considered a trip to the time I got home. I could talk about this forever, but I'll make myself stop now. :)
- School missions trip to Boston provided many opportunities to grow closer to God and to people. I was able to get to know many classmates a lot better. I may not be friends with some of them today if it weren't for the trip, and I would be missing out on a lot.
- Old friends and new friends. This year has definitely provided me many opportunities to meet new people, and become friends with several. Aside from those I got to know better in Boston, I was able to meet new people in Russia that I will never forget. Also, a trip to Myrtle Beach allowed me the opportunity to get to know Dan, Allan, Jonathan and Maggie a little better, which is awesome. Oh yeah, and the wonderful gift of Facebook that has made it easier to reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with current ones, and meet new ones.
- School. I have some of the best professors and classmates, and I couldn't have asked for a better transition from Christian School/Homeschool to college, particularly a secular one. School has definitely supplied some of the greatest opportunities for me to see God's grace and mercy. As some of you guys know, it's been a trying semester in more than one way. However, as I look back, I continue to see how everything was used to strengthen my faith, and that's not something I would ever trade for what I picture as my ideal circumstances.
- My family. Sure, we're not the Cleavers, and we're not the type of family that makes other families jealous. We certainly don't have our lives together. However, we ARE the family who's house is full of opportunities to be humbled and sanctified. We are the type of family who would make other families say, "We're not so bad after all." And we are a family held together by God's love and grace. As I grow older I can see more clearly why God placed us together. He didn't just randomly select 6 people and label us "Family." He put us together as a part of his perfect plan. So, while sometimes our house feels more like a war zone than a shelter, I have nothing to complain about because I never, EVER have to doubt my family loves me. I can sleep in a warm bed and drive a car to a nice school because my dad works hard every day to provide for us. I can bring home decent grades on my papers because my mom is willing to help. My brothers, well, to keep it short: they are the best.
- Most importantly, I am thankful for my Savior, who saved me from myself and the destructive life I would undoubtedly be living. The God who led me away from the path that leads to eternal misert so that I could walk on the path that leads to a life where I will be forever bowed down at my Father's feet.