Over the past week I have been busy celebrating every thing from Thanksgiving to turning the big 33. Both of these things have emphasized in my life that I have much to be thankful for. First of all, I am truly thankful for my family. Coming up the stairs on Monday morning to my little boy smiling at me while my little girl ran up and hugged me and said “Happy Birthday Daddy!” , was a great reminder of how much God has given me. I also got to spend a good portion of the day with my beautiful wife, including a great bday dinner out. It’s almost hard to imagine that about 6 years ago I was celebrating my birthday all alone and wondering if I had the “gift” of singleness forced upon me. Little did I know the blessings that God has had in store for me!
Another big thing that I was reminded of that I have to be thankful for is friendship. I have often struggled with being away from my closest friends since moving back to Kentucky. Living rurally and on a missionary salary sometimes makes it rough to spend the quality time that I would like to spend with friends who have meant so much to me over the years. However, even though I couldn’t spend my birthday with them in person, God reminded me about how truly blessed I am with friends and family that care so much about me, as I received countless birthday wishes via phone, card, and social media.
I know we shouldn’t need things like holidays and birthdays to be reminders of the blessings that God has given us. At the same time, I love how the passing of another year causes us to have to think and reflect on how God has blessed us. When we look past all our complaints, frustrations, and sometimes just plain old whining, if we are truly seeking God will show us how abundantly blessed we are. That’s where I find myself, a truly blessed man!
As we are getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow morning, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. More than anything I am thankful for my family both immediate and extended. I have been blessed by God with a beautiful wife who truly loves the Lord and loves sharing Christ with others. She is a wonderful mother and the time and love she gives to our children amazes me. I only hope that I am half the father that she is a mother! She is truly an amazing woman.
I am also blessed and thankful for my children. Not many people know this but we lost babies both before Maeven was born and also in between Maeven and Judah. Knowing this and that God blessed us with these two very sweet children often overwhelms me. While my kids aren’t perfect, I couldn’t imagine any children ever being better. Hearing “Daadeee” and “DahDah” are by far the sweetest words I ever here.
I am also blessed with Godly parents who not only verbally shared Christ with me, but have had an amazing testimony of faithfulness to Christ. When I look at the lives of classmates whose parents didn’t have expectations and boundaries for them, I see even more where God was protecting me through my parents. At the time it may have felt like they were cramping my style, but God was still in control and today I am thankful for that.
I’m also thankful for my sister, Amanda. She has a great heart for the kids in our area and gives so much of herself to serve them. Whether that be through teaching, volunteering at camp and the Rec Center, or wherever. It’s so awesome to see the way God has used her to impact lives.
I am also thankful for all in in-laws both mother and father and sister and brother in-laws. I have heard horror stories from friends who just have really bad relationships with crazy in-laws. God has blessed me with a second family that truly loves Him and serves Him. And most importantly they raised a Godly daughter whom I love with all my heart!
I have so many extended family members that I wouldn’t even know where to begin with my thankfulness for them. But, I will say I am so thankful for the loving extended family God gave me and their love and kindness to always take in “extra” family members as well.
My God is great and good and I can’t begin to thank Him for all the ways He has blessed. While my salvation will always be what I am most thankful for, tonight I just want to let my family and everyone else know how grateful I am for them!