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


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 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.”