Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving!  The togetherness of family, the food – (gimme some pumpkin pie!), leftover food, and most importantly, reflecting on all the things in my life for which I have reason to give thanks.

This year, as always, I have so much to be thankful for that I don’t even know where to begin.

Now that I’ve composed myself after writing that last sentence as I was flooded with thoughts of the things for which I’m grateful, I can continue on:

Who would I be without Jesus?  That’s too scary to even think about.  All that I have is because of Him, His love, His sacrifice, His freedom, His hope, His peace, His wisdom, His presence, His calling, His gifting, His vision.  Where would I be apart from Him?  “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.” Psalm 73:25  That is the complete truth to my life, I could never be more thankful and grateful than to my Father in heaven who gave His only Son for me.  I could never be more thankful than to Jesus for giving His life as a ransom for many.  And I could never be more thankful than to the Holy Spirit for teaching me and empowering me to become more like Jesus.  He’s it for me.  There’s no one greater or more worthy of praise – to Him I’m forever thankful.

I’m so thankful for the family that He put me in.  I was raised by wonderful parents, I had loving grandparents, my sister is one of my best friends, my brother-in-law is a great guy, and I feel like my niece and nephew are partly my own kids!

I’m thankful I was able to be with my family during the difficult time we went through this year, and thankful that I was with my Mom until her last moments on this side of eternity and was witness to her peaceful home going.

I’m thankful that Father revealed Himself to me in new ways this year – as peace that passes understanding, as comforter, and as the One who truly holds everything in His hands.

I’m always thankful for the opportunity to serve the Lord.  I’m so blessed to be able to live the life that I live –  following Jesus wherever He takes me.  I’m thankful beyond words for the individuals and churches that make it possible for me to fulfill the calling that He has placed on my life.

I’m grateful to be surrounded by incredible friends in Ukraine, my second family that God has placed me in.  They are treasures who encourage me, challenge me, and cause me to grow – for which I am grateful!

I’m also thankful for friends on the other side of the ocean and around the world.  They are the ones who keep me balanced, pray for me, love me, make me laugh and encourage me.

It’s been over sixteen years since I first began Bible School in Pensacola, Florida and sometimes I’m still in awe that God brought me there to experience revival and be taught by such amazing teachers.  They are true examples of men and women of integrity and my life has been forever changed by their Godly examples, teaching, mentorship, and friendship.  I’m forever thankful for them pouring into my life!

I’m thankful for the simple things too – hot water, a car that runs, electricity, internet in my apartment, being able to speak Russian, warm scarves, boots that don’t leak water, a wonderfully soft bed to lay my head on at night, a can of pumpkin from America for a pumpkin pie, Kleenexes that are soft, toilet paper that is white and soft, coffee shops in Ukraine, an electric blanket, FaceTime to see my family and friends, a ballpoint pen that writes well, and a pair of socks with R2-D2 on them – just to name a few.

Thankful. That is who I am.  It is whom I choose to be.

It would take too many pages to write about all the things the Lord has done for me and why I’m thankful.  The list is never ceasing of reasons why I give thanks.  Every day there are so many new things to be thankful to God for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A thankfulness turkey made with the students at the English Club at a local school.

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