Thankful

Throughout my life, God has blessed me so much. Sometimes I feel like King David, when he sat before the Lord, saying, “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” (2 Kings 7:18)

Here is just a sampling of the many things—both great and small and in no particular order—for which I am thankful:

  • My new life with Wayne (I thought I would marry earlier in life, but you were truly worth the wait.)
  • Work with meaning and purpose and with a great work family
  • A good morning cup of Joe (Yes, I am still a coffee addict.)
  • Family and friends on two different continents
  • The basic necessities—food, clothing, and shelter. I live in a country where these aren’t a guarantee for many.
  • The bear necessities (Can I get an amen from Baloo Bear)—the little things in life that make me happy: the rainbow over the mountain, fish and chips from my favourite fishery, running into one of my Alpha kids at our local mall
  • My parents and siblings. Divorce and dysfunctionality are the order of the day for many American families, so I don’t take
    Dad and His Girls on Christmas Day
    Dad and His Girls on Christmas Day

    for granted the happiness, stability, and closeness of mine.

  • My new family of in-laws. Along with my hubby came his awesome family, including his grandparents who are both in their 90’s. I now have grandparents again, and I love them dearly.
  • My donors. Many missionaries struggle to raise support, but my donors have been so generous and faithful that I can focus all of my energy on my work instead of on support-raising. What a blessing!
  • A wedding of my dreams (and within my budget!), being surrounded by people from various aspects of my life who love me
  • Puppy kisses from the best fur-nephew in the world. (Joey, your auntie misses you!)
  • Summertime
  • Good health
  • Technology that allows me to stay in touch with family and friends
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Grateful

Sisters
Hanging with Little Sis in North Carolina

The past seven days have been full of change—a tearful goodbye to a guy who had become very special to me this past year, a bittersweet farewell to my work family, a sorrowful goodbye to my wonderful neighbors. I moved out of my condo and left the city that had been my home for thirteen years. I’m back in my hometown; and all of my worldly goods, which aren’t much after the moving sale, are spread among three places. I’m feeling a bit displaced, but it feels good to be back home, to be back in my old bedroom.

The year has flown by quickly, and I can’t believe that in two months I’ll be on the plane to Cape Town. On Monday, I leave for three weeks of training in Colorado. I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m looking forward to it. I just hope I don’t get snowed in.

All year, I have been trying to cultivate a practice of expressing gratitude; and since today is Thanksgiving, I think it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on and to list the people, places, and things that played a significant role in my life this year, for which I am most grateful.

  • My sending committee
  • My work family at The Upper Room for the past 13 years
  • Trevor, Estelle, Michael—my new work family at Growing the Church

    Joey
    Joey Gets a Sweater
  • Joey, my puppy nephew
  • Family holiday in North Carolina
  • My dad, brothers, and Ray, my neighbor, who moved me out on Monday
  • My friend Gina who served as a calm presence and voice of reason
  • My BFF, Anna, who was there for me doing some very tough times
  • St. George’s, my church family
  • My sister Brittany, my constant companion
  • Mom, who spent several days with me, helping me to sort, pack, and clean
  • God, who has provided beyond measure for me
  • The people who hosted support raising events for me
  • My donors and prayer partners
  • The churches that invited me to speak and to share my story
  • My friends who reminded me to laugh and play
  • My friends Cathy, Ralph, and Aileen who brought a bit of Cape Town to Nashville

This is not a complete list, and I have probably left out some important people and things; but I hope you’ll appreciate the spirit of my attempt to express gratitude.

At this point in my journey, I’m reminded of this Dag Hammarskjöld quote: “For all that has been — Thanks. For all that shall be — Yes.”