Sunday, January 14, 2007

100 Thankful Things: A Repost

I was reminded of this post I penned over two years ago now and wanted to offer a challenge. I see that some of mine border on being very close to the same (you would have to know my heart at the time) but nevertheless, how many can you list? If you post your list on your own blog, leave a comment so I can read yours! ~


Pastor Steve, teacher at Rock Valley Bible Church, began the book of Colossians last Sunday with an overview. Today he went into verse by verse depth about how Paul was thankful for the Colossians having not even met them formally. We can only imagine how blessed Paul must've been upon hearing of their faithfulness to God and love for each other when he and Epaphras met up in prison.

During the message, we were challenged to think of 100 things we'd be thankful for; the point being, are we thankful for the things we don't see? The people who are working to forward the Gospel in other countries of whom we've never met? He said, "sure, it's easy to get to about #25...but then we have to go beyond ourselves. He went on to explain that Paul "did not cease in praying" for the Colossians, people he'd never formally met.

So as with most challenges, I had to try goes:

100 things for which I am thankful

1. God’s never-ending grace in my life.

2. God’s merciful patience with me

3. Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice for my sin

4. The Power of the Cross

5. My Husband who loves me with a sacrificial, unconditional love

6. My indescribable marriage; no one deserves it so good

7. Our Sarah, dd #1, who I admire greatly, she possesses gifts I’ll never have

8. Douglas, ds#1, who was born to laugh, but serious about life

9. And Laura, dd#2, who embraces life with exuberant joy

10. My Dad: an example of hard work, fortitude and determination even to this day

11. My Mom: who prays continually and loves unconditionally

12. My three younger sisters: my best friends~thanks for the incredible memories, girls!

13. My childhood: very loved, very protected, well cared for

14. Going to public school, for I know what’s there

15. Going to private school, for I know what’s there

16. The opportunity and privilege to homeschool my children

17. The freedom we have to worship God in America

18. The homeschooling freedom we have in Texas

19. George Bush

20. Our simple life and those who encouraged us to walk this path

21. God’s assurance through His word when I doubt

22. For having lived in the city

23. For living in the country

24. Laptops and the internet; blogs and commentaries

25. That I know how to type otherwise this would be very time consuming

26. My third grade teacher; she taught me how to twirl the baton

27. Simple times; riding around in Phillip’s old truck, riding through the pasture, playing at the pond, watching the cows…

28. Christmas caroling with our friends

29. Those snowy days I’ve been blessed to see

30. My simple Midwestern friends

31. Someone taught me how to make whole wheat bread

32. The opportunity to travel America

33. The blessing of a new-to-us truck that actually runs every time we start it!

34. For the Church, the body of Believers that extends beyond brick walls

35. Our friends who are faithfully church planting in India (& now Hungary)

36. God’s people in Nepal

37. Having experienced a church split

38. That God doesn’t give me everything for which I beg/ask/pray

39. For a husband who is patient, steady, prayerful, and strong

40. My husband keeps me accountable

41. The opportunity to workout at Curves, for when I get home it may not be possible

42. Our friends in Venezuela; they’ve taught us great things

43. The life of a dear friend who is a godly picture of Christ in my life

44. The courage to start a blog

45. My Mom and my grandmother taught me how to cook

46. My Mom taught me how to care for a family

47. I’m not afraid to tweak a recipe and fail

48. Those days my sisters and I wrote plays and made up dances in our playroom

49. Those who’ve taught me how to be frugal

50. The freedom we have in Christ

51. The depression I suffered when my parents divorced

52. Severe financial struggles, for they’ve taught me humility & thankfulness

53. My church home; humble, godly people

54. The God-given ability and love for singing

55. My hunger and thirst for the Word, by His grace

56. That I’ve finally realized that my family belongs to the Lord

57. Grandparents who love our children immensely

58. The book of Colossians

59. The book of Galatians

60. A Christian Home website, blog and message board

61. Internet friends who’ve challenged me

62. The humbling I receive every time I think I KNOW something

63. Rock Valley Bible Church, Rockford, Illinois

64. Classic literature and story books for children

65. Nancy Leigh DeMoss and the book, “Lies Women Believe

66. The life of Corrie ten Boom

67. Elisabeth Elliot and Martha Peace

68. Kay Arthur and her study “A Marriage Without Regrets”

69. My husband’s job security; thank you LORD! ..for it hasn’t always been so

70. Wild plums, dewberries and grapes growing on our land

71. Our God-given love for nature and the outdoors

72. Men who’ve died for our country so I can worship the Lord God Almighty every day

73. Godly men who formed our constitution

74. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Wesley

75. Old hymns

76. Long walks in the evening with my family; priceless

77. Our DQ treat while exploring old country roads

78. Mmy husband and I are still best friends after 19 years (and counting)

79. I finally have a budget and I follow it to a tee

80. My new-found love for cottage cheese

81. My steadfast commitment to Curves; that’s God!

82. Wildflowers; I have a passion for them….

83. The strength to finally say I haven’t gotten it “all figured out”

84. Some specific country songs that make me cry every time like “I Believe”

85. That my parents are human and they made mistakes

86. Childhood vacations to Daytona Beach, Florida

87. Family reunions with so many cousins I can’t count them all

88. Aunt Sybil’s homemade biscuits

89. Aunt Sybil’s back porch swing

90. Swimming in the Trinity River as a child

91. Childhood vacations to Hot Springs, Arkansas

92. My rapidly growing contentment; this is a blessed place friends

93. True Believers with financial resources to further the Kingdom

94. Passionate Christians who are willing to be persecuted for the Truth

95. The Holy Spirit’s small voice constantly reminding me of who I am in Christ

96. The privilege of knowing humble friends; I am richly blessed by these friends

97. This Earth is not my home

98. Chickens that lay eggs

99. Cows that give milk; and calves

100. Heaven

101. I’ll be 40 this year; and I don’t wish I was younger

102. I’ve learned how to use a digital camera and can post pictures on my blog

103. I can still laugh at my husband’s jokes after nearly 20 years

104. ….and thankful he still thinks he’s funny. Says a lot about his heart.

105. for the humbling God has caused in my heart upon the discovery that I’ve made other people’s opinions of me and my family an idol (see Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick)

106. The courage to live for God alone and not in light of what others think of me

107. The harsh reality of sin in even the people I admire. Again, thankful for the humbling

108. That my kids can cook!

109. Others who are willing to teach upper math and science to homeschool kids

110. Friends who love me even after they get to know me

111. Forgiveness

112. Okay…I’ll admit it, I’m finally thankful for curly hair

113. Girl Scouts: way back when, I had a Christian leader and it was held at a church

114. Campfires, songs and smores

115. Eyes to behold the beauty of the Earth; His majestic creation

116. Ears to hear little voices all around me, singing, chatting, laughing…

117. Way back when… I had the courage to cut my husband’s hair

118. Clotheslines and fresh country air

119. Spring rains without tornadoes

120. The first cool breeze that finally makes it way to Texas in the Fall

121. Old dirt roads

122. The patient wisdom of older folks

123. Daffodils and Tulips

124. The courage to finally laugh at myself

125. I can talk to my Mom; it hasn’t always been so

126. My parents believe in God

127. My sister Dana had the fortitude to not only finish college with honors but recently obtained her Masters Degree as well ~ Congratulations Sis!

128. Museums, Art, historical cities that teach us about our American heritage

129. Brokenness and tears for these are the times it’s just me and my Lord

130. I like water

Okay, so I'm an overachiever...I just couldn't stop! I'm thinking of more even as I end this post!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Beginning 2007 in Pictures

Happy New Year from southern California!

Hope you've had a blessed weekend and glorious beginning of the new year. We spent the weekend (Sat - Today) exploring. These pictures are from Saturday and today when we went to Vasquez Rocks California State Park in the community of Agua Dulce. We did a little research and Agua Dulce is Spanish for sweet water. These rocks and state park have long been used in filming various Hollywood movies, most notably The Flintstones movie. It got its name from the bandit Tiburcio Vasquez who used these rocks for a hideout. Douglas had great fun staging an ambush. It truly is a fascinating place.

This is the view on the way to the two county parks

The kids in one of the many caves

As you can see, there are people all over these rocks. We didn't make it to the very top. It gets pretty steep. Phillip and the kids climbed pretty high today ~ see the next picture.

I was so surprised to look up and see my family waaay up here! It looked like they were just hopping along with very little effort. Phillip came down to my level, grabbed the camera and took this one before helping everyone ~slide~ down.

The sun is setting behind the hills in this picture. It's truly the prettiest time to be out.

Another sunset picture. The pictures really don't show the beauty of the light on the hills. It's spectacular and ever-changing.

Abundant Blessings to you in the New Year~