It seems fitting at this time of year to reflect on the many blessings of the past year. When I am feeling discouraged, I try to remind myself of all the ways God constantly provides for me and my family. So reflecting on this past year, I have accumulated a thankful list to remind me of God’s presence and provision in my life.
I am thankful for:
- Time with my husband and growth in our marriage. We had some unexpected times where we were able to get away without the children this past year such as an overnight in San Antonio, a backpacking trip in Michigan, and recently a night by ourselves for my birthday. These times remind me why I fell in love and married Brad in the first place. No matter how uncertain our future is, I know we will be together.
- My children, Jacob and Anna. Watching them grow and become more and more their own person is amazing and humbling. Jacob’s quiet yet thoughtful presence in our home is steady and comforting. Jacob and I love watching and discussing the same TV show together, and it is in this small activity that we connect and share time together. Anna’s enthusiasm and spunk is a source of joy. She’s passionate about people and making sure they are treated right. I look forward to seeing how God uses this gift in her life. She is also my part-time fashion consultant.
- Meaningful work. Sure there are days when I would rather be doing something else than teaching sixth graders, but I am thankful for a job that uses my gifts and allows me to do something that I care about. The community at Live Oak continues to be a source of learning, encouragement, and friendship for me.
- Time with extended family. This past year we hosted both sets of parents, and also traveled during the summer to visit relatives. There can be moments of frustration and disappointment with family, but I am grateful to have extended family and for the shared history we have together.
- Time with old friends and with new friends. Having lived now in several different places over the course of our married life, Brad and I have friends all over the map. This past summer there was opportunity to reconnect with several of them. I am grateful for friendships that continue in spite of distance. Also, this past year has provided opportunities to make new friends. I am grateful for the new friendships too.
- A new church home. After a difficult period in our former church, our family has settled into a new church community and we give thanks for this. Jacob has transitioned smoothly into a new youth group, Anna has wonderful Sunday School leaders, and I have joined a weekly women’s group.
- Daily reminders of God’s provision in our lives. For a home that provides coolness and warmth, for a dog that continues to bring smiles to our faces, for a yard that grows food, flowers, and trees, for Baylor and the opportunity to be a part of her community, for good Mexican food and barbecue, for amazing sunrises and sunsets, for an unexpected snowfall in Central Texas this past winter, for generous hospitality showered on our family, for good books, good movies, and good food. For all of these things and much more, I am thankful.
What are you thankful for this past year?