10 things I am thankful for.....
1. Family. I could not imagine growing up an only child. What is a home like if there aren't people talking over eachother and constant chaos. My siblings and I have eachother's backs and my parents raised us to know Jesus since before I can remember knowing Jesus. Not a day went by without the gospel shared.
I am particularly thankful for Jack Attack, the newest member of the family.
2. Friends. Life is simply better with a loving, fun and supportive community.
3. Democracy and freedom. I get so tired of attacks on our country by people who live here. There are things we need to improve, but let us not forget that this is the greatest form of government the world has seen. And, it is also fitting to be thankful for America on a holiday founded by some of the first settlers.
4. All the pleasent small things the Lord blesses us with that simply just make life more fun: College Football, Holidays, First Kisses, ice cream, cozy fires, Peonies, bright colors, the beach.
5. The Gospel, the Reformation, and grace that I don't deserve.
6. Daily Bread --- I recently read this article about praying for our "daily bread" -- we remember to pray for rain during the drought, but not during the rainy season? I am thankful for and should pray more for my daily provisions of food, shelter, medicine...
7. Trials. I cringed as I typed that...why would I ever thank God for the bad? Because he is the great planner and even in the difficult times, he has a plan to use and redeem them...and my trials are His good. I bet the Lord's "good" is better than my good, no matter how painful that can seem at times...I love this Piper quote:
God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn't do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages. When things are going bad that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him. - JOHN PIPER
8. I also am thankful that the Lord doesn't let me have my way. I don't always live like I am grateful for that, but I am. Truth is, If given the choice between the Lord's harder road and my easier road, I would ALWAYS choose my easier plan...this is why I am glad He does what's best for me, not what's easiest. Unlike a parent that gives in to a screaming child and gives him ice cream before dinner, the Lord holds true to His plans and is not swayed by me.
9. I am thankful for God's heart for the least of these-- for orphans, widows, brokenhearted, disabled, young, old, addicted...because if we are honest, we are all "least of these" and so seemingly unlovable yet He loves us. Also, I pray he gives me the same love he has for these so that I may love others well too.
10. I am thankful for the husband and family God has for me. I am thankful for the life plans and job paths he has ordained. I am thankful for the ways He will answer our prayers, even though we have yet to see the answers. I am thankful that the relationships, job opportunities, etc that failed did because God has plans for me that I yet to know. I recently read that we should thank God for answers before we receive them, trusting that He has answers and plans in His timing. When we pray with angst, we are doubting, but when we pray with a thankful heart, hope and belief He can and will provide, we are trusting Him.