I haven't written a post about what I'm thankful for because honestly I didn't want to be like everyone else :). But, the more I thought about it, the more I feel like I want to share what I'm thankful for because the thankfulness in my heart is overflowing.
The thing that I'm thankful for most of all is my relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves me, accepts me, is my Savior and Creator, made me in His image, has a plan for my life so that He will be glorified, is my rock, my provision, my peace, my contentment, my sanity, my clarity, my joy; He's forgiving, strong, powerful, slow to anger, rich in love... My relationship with Him is what keeps me going even when I feel like I can't go on any more. He is the only constant in a changing world. I am undeserving of His grace and forgiveness, yet He abundantly blesses me anyway.
I have been abundantly blessed with the most amazing family a girl could ask for :). My husband is incredible. He is godly, supportive, wise, loving, helpful, a leader, and he loves his family more than anything else in this world. He takes care of us. We are closer than ever before, and I thank Jesus for that... I attribute that to the move that we made almost 5 months ago. That move changed our lives forever.
My kids are beautiful. They are sweet, full of life, funny, loving, smart, and just all that I could ever ask for. They show me something new every day. I am so excited about watching them grow up, and I pray that they become life-long servants of the Lord.
My relationship with my parents has grown so much over the past year. God has shown me how lucky I am. They love us more than words could ever express, and they would do anything for us. They raised me up to know Jesus, to love others right where they are, and they showed me (through how they have lived their life) that my family is more important than anything else that this life has to offer. I'm so grateful to them for all that they have done in my life from the time I was born :).
I'm so thankful for my in-laws who have provided us a place to live until God opens doors for us to move on. What a sacrifice! Our family of 5 has completely taken over their house, and I have not heard one complaint. Without this provision, the transition would have been so much more difficult.
It would be easy to sit and focus on the fact that we don't have our own place, but I know that God has us here for a reason and a purpose, and I'm thankful that He has made a way for us to come here without having to worry about finances for a season. We will have our own place at the right time, and it will be just right for our family :). And it will be our own home. Without the provision of living with my in-laws we would probably never be able to own our own home.
After years of trying to understand where I fit as a teacher, He has opened a door to teach at a school that wants their teachers to be "save the world teachers." It is a perfect fit for me. I feel like I make a difference every time I step foot into my classroom. My students amaze me every day. They overcome a lot of obstacles and desire to learn and grow. They have passion. They love others.
I have learned more about good instruction in the past 3-4 months than I ever have. I am so excited about the future at this school because I know that I will continue to grow as a teacher and continue to develop relationships with amazing people. I can't imagine being anywhere else.
I'm so thankful that God led me to Kessler Community Church. I can't wait until we live closer and can be more involved :). The church is an amazing group of people who love Jesus and others. They are passionate about loving people so much that the moment I walked in I knew that was where we belonged. I am excited about getting to know the amazing people in the church better and building life-long friendships. I know that God will use us through the church to glorify Himself.
For the first time in my whole life, I have complete peace about where we are, I am content even with the parts of life that aren't "perfect," and I know that God is in control and is sovereign. I am excited about the future and what the Lord is going to do in and through my family.
This Thanksgiving will be bitter sweet because it has been a year on the 30th since my brother died. It is still pretty surreal to me that he isn't here anymore, and it is very hard some times... especially at nights when I have nothing else to think about. But, I know that he isn't suffering anymore. He has struggled with severe depression and OCD his whole life. It tormented him. He is in heaven with Jesus now, and I know that he is healed. My goal this holiday season is to not focus on his death, but focus on the good memories that I have of him... of us growing up. We were close as kids because we were only 18 months apart and it was just the two of us. Some of my most vivid memories are of holidays... Every Christmas morning, we would sneak downstairs to look at what "Santa" brought us, then we would just sit in his room giggling out of excitement and anticipation of being able to wake up my parents.
I want to hold on to those good memories.