Monday, January 2, 2012

To Say Thanks

No resolutions this year.  Not that there aren't some things I'd like to change, do differently, do better... Just thinking I'll take it one day at a time and see where God leads.  I did, however, spend some time yesterday reflecting over 2011 and all the countless ways God blessed us.  This post is just a record of some of the "big ones".  No particular order, just making sure I get it in black and white for those days in 2012 when I need to be reminded.

1.  I got to spend all of 2011 with my best friend.  Michael and I have had a lot of storms to weather together, and he has been a rock. I am so grateful for that man.

2.  All of our kids have been healthy and injury free, and with 7 children that is no small miracle!

3.  After two years of job-searching, Michael got a great job with a great company, and God has truly blessed his hard work.

4.  Somehow, like the loaves and fishes, we had enough. Every month, every week, every day, God provided what we needed and more.  I am continually amazed at how He provides for His children.

5.  We were able to keep our home, despite being on the very brink of foreclosure.  God provided the way out of this near disaster just in time! I don't think I will ever take these four walls for granted again.

6.  We got the blessing of being involved in ministry at our church to other blended families seeking peace in their homes, and God has allowed us to grow and serve at Willowbrook in ways I never could have imagined.  He truly uses ANYBODY with a willing and available heart!

7.  Despite our tight finances and large family with an impossible budget, we have been able to give... I am so thankful that my frugal husband has a generous heart and is faithful to tithe and give even when we can't see how the numbers will work.   This is God's grace at work in our lives.

8.  We have watched our family truly start to "blend", seeing relationships deepen, seeing our kids take up for each other, enjoy each other, and our house has truly begun to feel like our home.  We still have some growing to do, but we are on the right track, and I am so thankful.

9.  Friendships.  I never could have imagined that I would have the kind of friends that God has blessed my life with.  My life is rich and full because of the women God has placed around me.  All different... some wise, some just so infectiously FUN, some that are so much like me, and some who are just plain sweet.  I pray that I will be a good friend to each of them in the coming year!

10.  Our families.  Our parents have all been (relatively) healthy, with only a few scares...  We are so thankful God has been gracious and allowed us to enjoy our parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.  Life is short...

These ten, all gifts from God, are the tip of the iceberg, really... but are definitely among the the blessings I am most grateful for.  I don't know what this new year holds, thankfully.  But I know I serve a God I can trust to make my path straight.  I pray I will not fail to say thanks, everyday, for every gift of grace.  I am well aware that I deserve none of it.

Happy New Year!