It's that wonderful time of year again where I like to sit down and think about all that I am thankful for. This year has been so busy that I sometimes forget to be thankful so I am very glad for this wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
1. I am so thankful for my Salvation from my sin and separation from God. I am thankful for His unconditional forgiveness and grace that He extends to me everyday. No matter what a failure I am He still loves me and will forgive me when I come before Him and ask. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord!
2. I am thankful for the wonderful family God has given me. I have a great husband who is so patient with me and understanding the difficulty of having three children 3 and under. He is a great help around the house and willing to play with the kids even after a long day at work. I am so thankful for our 3 beautiful children! Andrew is learning and growing like crazy. He can sing his ABC's and count to 10 very well. He is recognizing numbers and letters and most importantly he is starting to ask great questions about God and salvation. It is so wonderful to see him desire to learn about God. Josiah is growing up very quickly. He loves to run around and keep up with his brother. They play (and fight) all day. Josiah loves to drive his cars and trains around on the fireplace hearth. He is finally starting to pick up a few words here and there and his favorite sentence is "I want some mama." We had a wonderful addition to our family this year with a sweet baby girl. Abigail is a go getter. Sometimes I put her on the floor and then a few minutes later I have to go looking for her. She rolls and creeps all over the place. She has a smile that lights up a room and warms my heart when I am feeling down. Even though she was our unplanned surprise she has been such a wonderful blessing to our family.
3. I am thankful for the spiritual growth I have had this year. As with every year I go through ups and downs in my walk with the Lord. God gave the a wonderful opportunity to talk with Christen and my mom and be encouraged to keep on even when I am feeling dry. Christen gave me a book for my birthday "How to Study Your Bible" by Kay Arthur and my mom and dad bought me the "New Inductive Study Bible" and I have had a renewed excitement to learn to study the Bible in a way that I never have before. It has been a wonderful growing experience for me in my relationship with Christ.
4. As I mentioned above we had a new addition to our family this year. Abigail arrived on March 28 and she has been a blessing to us. I ended up having to have an emergency C-section and had many complications during my recovery but God gave us a wonderful, healthy baby girl!
5. In January I took Josiah to the doctor for his one year well child checkup and we found out that he was anemic. We started giving him iron supplements and a few months later he is back into the normal ranges and he is doing great.
6. I am thankful for Mark's job. This company has been so great to us this year and we are so blessed to have this job.
7. In August we were able to fly Christen and Hannah back to the States to celebrate my parent's 35th anniversary. It was a wonderful blessing to have them here and get to spend some time together. Andrew and Hannah had a great time playing (and fighting) together as well.
8. In July Mark's parents where able to come down from Iowa for a few days. It was a blessing to have them come and see where we live and get to celebrate Mark's 30th birthday together.
9. In October my parents got to come up from Texas to celebrate my 30th birthday. We went up to Kansas City and were able to spend some time with Albert as well.
10. Mark and I celebrated 5 years of marriage!
11. We have a great Christian school in town where Andrew has been able to attend preschool 2 mornings a week.
12. My Bible study group that I attend on Tuesday mornings has gone through several very good studies this year that have been a blessing and a challenge to me.
13. We continue to be a part of a small body of believers here and I am thankful that we are able to hear the Word of God preached on a regular basis. I am thankful too that our family has been an encouragement to them.
14. I am thankful that our current location is close enough that we can still make regular trips to see Mark's family and our friends from Iowa.
15. I am thankful for several friendships from Iowa that have continued even though we have moved away as they have been a huge blessing and encouragement to me as we have struggled here to find new friends.
16. Again this year I am thankful for Skype so I can see and talk to my sister and her family on a regular basis.
17. In May we were able to fly out to Ohio to celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday and have a short family reunion. What a blessing it was to be together.
18. I am so thankful for the house that God provided for us to move in to in August. I look back and see the path that led us here and am amazed at how God orchestrated the details. Only God could have pulled that off!
19. I am so thankful for our fenced in backyard!
"We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds."