The older I get the faster the years fly by. My mom and grandpa were just here visiting again and we were talking about how it feels that every year seems to go faster and faster and I asked my grandpa if it continues to feel that way or if at some point it seems to start slowing down again. He told me is still feels like the years just fly by. So I guess every year I will come to November and find myself needing to set aside some time to reflect on the year and what I am thankful for and I will again say..."Where has this year gone? I can't believe how fast it has gone!" But as it is with every other year I come to November and am overwhelmed by the greatness of God. I try to be thankful to God everyday for what He has done but today I will reflect over His grace and mercy He has shown to us this year.
This year God has blessed us with a beautiful home that exceeded anything I could have asked for or imagined. After a very difficult 3 months of Mark living in a hotel in Memphis and me and the kids living in our townhouse in Iowa we finally sold our townhouse and closed on our house in the Memphis area. I never imagined we would be able to buy a brand new house that is this beautiful and we are very thankful for this blessing. God truly does care about every area of our lives!
I am so very thankful for the husband God has blessed me with. I am very proud to call him my husband. This year we celebrated our seven year anniversary. It's a strange feeling because I almost can't remember what life was like before we were married but then in the next breathe I can't believe it's already be seven years. This year Mark has been adjusting to the changes in office location for his job. He has been stretched and challenged and I'm so thankful for how God continues to help him grow in his job. He has also run two 5K races and came in the top three for his age category in both of those races. He is currently in the home stretch of training for his second marathon which he will run on Dec. 3. I am so blessed to be his wife!
Andrew is also really starting to show signs of spiritual growth. I am still not for sure that he has made a personal decision to follow Christ but he is showing much interest in God and things pertaining to godliness. Andrew likes all the children's programs at church but his favorite is Pee Wee Patch. I'm not sure why that's his favorite but he is always so excited to go to Patch club. I am thankful for his enthusiasm for the Lord and so blessed to have him as my son.
Josiah has really changed this year. He turned 3 this year and is really becoming his own little boy. He is a delight to have around most of the time and is ALWAYS grinning from ear to ear. Having his big brother go off to school this year brought about a whole new world for Josiah. He is no longer the under dog to Andrew but now the big brother to Abigail. I am so thankful that God gave us this little guy. He is cuddly and loves to give me good night hugs and kisses. If I forget to let him kiss me good night I'm sure to have him running after me telling me I forgot to let him kiss me. He is very smart and quick witted just like his dad. I am so thankful to have this little boy in our family. We are truly blessed.
Sometimes I look at this little girl and can't believe she is my baby. God gave us a huge blessing when He gave us our sweet baby girl. This year Abigail turned 2 and has really grown and changed much. She can talk very well and understands so much. This year at church she is in Master Club and she is learning a new verse every week. Last week I went over all the verses with her and she quoted them all almost word perfect. The verses that she and Josiah have to learn are the same ones as Andrew but Andrew has to know the whole verse and the younger ones just have to say part of it. Well, not Abigail, she knows the WHOLE thing and not just short verses but ones like John 3:16. She also loves to sing and anytime we are in the car she is just singing to her little hearts content. I'm truly blessed to be her mommy!
This year Abigail also broke her collarbone. I am so thankful that it is healed and she is back to life as usual. She did very well with all the tests, x-ray's, and braces. Thank God for His healing.
I was invited to a Bible study this year that has proved to be a great challenge to me. I am so thankful for the things God is revealing in my life this year that I need to work on in order to be a better wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend. God has really been doing a work in my heart and I am greatly enjoying growing closer to Him. I also am thankful for the opportunity I had a few weeks ago to attend a Biblical Womanhood Conference. It was such an encouragement to me and I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to attend.
This year brought the long awaited arrival of my sister and her family back to the States for their first furlough. I am so thankful to see how God is using them in Brazil but the distance is always hard. In June they came home on furlough and we have been eating up every opportunity to spend time with them. I am so thankful for the time we have been able to spend together. God really has allowed us to be together a lot and I cannot express how wonderful that has been.
My whole family, including my grandpa, was able to meet together in Hot Spring, AR for a family reunion. We stayed in a cabin together and greatly enjoyed our time together. This kids have all gotten to know each other very well and thoroughly enjoy running and laughing and playing together. I am so thankful for these 9 months they are back in America so we can get to see them and spend time together as a family. Please pray for them as they are heading back to Brazil in early February to continue their work and ministry.
I am also so thankful for the many visitors we've had since our move to the Mid-South! Among those visitors was one of Mark's sisters and her family and his parents. We are so thankful for the time we were able to spend with them. We got to see several of the sights around Memphis including a trip to the great Mississippi River. I am so thankful they were willing to plan their vacation around coming to see us for a few days so we could spend some time together.
I am most grateful for my salvation! Every time I stop to think about the sacrifice God made of sending His Son and Jesus being willing to leave the throne of Heaven so I could have forgiveness I am overwhelmed with emotion. I am thankful that He loved me so much He was willing to sacrifice His life on a cross suffering great physical, emotional, and spiritual pain so I could spend eternity with Him. It is humbling and I am most grateful!
Again this year as I look back and reflect on the greatness of God I am so thankful that I am His child and He is my Savior!
"I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." --Psalm 9:1-2