We celebrated 3 very special, very different Thanksgiving meals as a family this year. Our first one took place the week before Thanksgiving. We were invited to join our kids for a turkey lunch at school. Gabriel's class worked really hard on a short play that they performed for us. Gabe did an excellent job of remembering all his lines, and he spoke very loudly and clearly.
Titus and Zech really enjoyed snapping pictures of me and Ariel eating!
Our next Thanksgiving meal took place at our church. We all joined together to eat, and celebrate what God has done in our lives. Before the food was dished out, we all gathered together to watch a short video to see what God has been doing personally in our lives. It's always very inspirational to watch!
My favorite part of the video was seeing a very excited Zech say, "Puzzles!" and then seeing Gabriel say, "I'm thankful for God, for my family, and for my classmates!"
And our last Thanksgiving meal took place at my sister, Stefanie's house. She cooked the turkey for us, and even had three little children spend the night with her. It's always a favorite part of Thanksgiving for my children to wake up and help prepare the turkey, so this was their opportunity to still be involved.
Titus always carves the turkey for us! He does a great job!
One of the benefits of having our Thanksgiving at Stefanie's house, we got to have lots of fun with the foosball table. The kids really enjoyed playing against their father, and playing on his team.
Our favorite tradition for Thanksgving day is to sit down as a family, and take turns explaining in detail what God has been doing in us this past year, and through us. We have lots of laughs, several happy tears, and an amazing time of just being a family. It usually takes us a few hours before we've all had our own opportunity to share our heartfelt thanks. This is a tradition that shows a great example of the close family we are. It's our chance to share our troubles, our joys, and our hearts with God and each other.
• I'm thankful to God that I heard on the radio several months ago about the 30 day challenge of writing down 3 things God did for you each day. It has changed my perspective. I'm able to always find something good in even the worst of days.
• I’m thankful God has provided for all our needs far in advance when we don't even know that we will need it. Months ago I referred a friend to our dentist and the exact week that I was testing God and giving money in the offering, He gave it back to me in the exact same amount in the form of a Target gift card. The gift card was from the dentist because of my referral. God knew the exact day that I would need that reassurance of His provision.
• I’m thankful for God taking care of my family. We may be down to one car, but we at least have transportation. When the blue car broke down and died, I talked with Titus about selling it so we could have some money for Christmas, and then the next day I mentioned it to my dad, and neither seemed to think it would happen. The very next morning, a stranger knocked on my door and asked if we’d be willing to sell that little blue station wagon. There was NO for sale sign on the car. A week later we had the money in our hands.
• I’m so thankful that I started my own blog. It has given me an opportunity to share personal things with people on a level I never could have done in the past. I feel like God has given me messages that need to be shared, and the blog has been an outlet for me to do that. I’m so glad I get to share my heart with so many people, and maybe God can speak to them through me. In the 7 months that I’ve had the blog, it has been viewed over 1600 times! I pray that God can use me every day!
• I’m most thankful to God for my family. On my blog, I have a sticker that says, “Life is beautiful”. It’s only been in the recent years that I can truly say that from the bottom of my heart. My life is so beautiful and it’s because of my husband and children. I never could have picked out a man who fits so perfectly with me. God knew better than any dream man I could have come up with. Titus is always there for me. He is someone I can lean on when times are tough, and he spoils me every day with his love and time. My children are such blessings from God. Every time I was pregnant, God gave me the desire of my heart. I wanted a baby girl so badly, and I got Ariel. Then I wanted a boy, and God sent me Gabriel. Zechariah has been exactly what I needed too. God knows us better than we know ourselves. How can we not trust Him?
• Last year, I really struggled with my friendships and kept praying that God would send me a true friend, someone who I could count on and share my heart with, someone who was a mother just like me. This year, God answered my prayer and brought me my friend I needed all the way from Mexico. Even distance does not mean anything to God, He is bigger than any limitations we might put on Him.
• I’m thankful for my wife. My wife has been really nice to me. She's given me rides to lots of places and she's been there for me. So I'm really thankful for her.
• For God’s protection over Zech this year with the number of head injuries he’s had. It's cool because it could have been really big things but it wasn’t.
• I’m thankful for the abnormal opportunities at work. There have been a couple of times that I’ve had the opportunity to do extra things that aren’t normally allowed or common practice. I’ve had a pet project that I’ve been working on that is going to be a cost saving thing to my boss. Without this project it would cost the state a large amount of money, and they have accepted my project.
• I’m thankful for all the financial blessings that God has given us. HP gave a pay cut last year, and this week they have talked about reinstating the money. I don't think that it affected us at all. We were still able to do a lot of things that we wanted to do.
• I’m thankful for the time I get to spend with Gabriel. He reminds me of myself in the past. He reminds me of both the good and the bad.
• I like dinosaur puzzles.
• I like to play laptop.
• Jesus, for my food, for my friends.
• my friend Mark
• God gave me Jesus.
• Learning the Immanuel prayer, I have found, especially this year that I have such a wonderful family. I have an amazing relationship with each member of my family.
• I’m extremely thankful that I still get to have bible study with Ariel and Mikaela and now with Gabe. It sure is a blast. I love that we get to go to lots of different places and I love the enthusiasm they have for it. They are really learning. It’s great to be a grandma that gets to do that, instead of living hours away.
• I’m very thankful that I get to take sign language. I almost didn’t get to take the class because she lost my phone number. It’s been a dream of mine to take it and learn it. I’m going to keep taking it until I can be fluent in it.
• I’m thankful for the Bible. In particular, Psalm 86, in the Message. I wanted to claim that verse for the prayer ministry. “Train me, GOD, to walk straight; then I'll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I'll worship in joyful fear.” Another line God spoke to me for the prayer ministry, “May my heart and mind be joined in truth, all the lies destroyed by You.” This last year has been very difficult, and God has spoken to me personally through another part of this chapter in Psalm, “But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit. So look me in the eye and show kindness, give your servant the strength to go on, save your dear, dear child!” There is a lot of power in the eyes. You can speak to their spirit, and draw out the things that they need to pray about. God looks us in the eye and gives us the strength to go on. When I'm upset I come here and read this. You, God, put me back on my feet. It's a very powerful scripture!
• I’m extremely thankful to God for the way that He made each of my kids and grandkids, husband, son-in-law, and future son-in-law and daughter-in-law. Each of you is very inspiring to me. Stefanie is an inspiration in the way she seeks out God, and grabs a hold of God and lives it out. For Shaun I love that when you were a little boy you were creative and your friends would always look up to you. And now you do all these videos, and I want to stand up and say, “My son did that!” And you try to do what God would want you to do. I love that Amanda is able to write again. You used to blow me away in high school and to see you pursing that again is great. You are a wonderful mom and you are a very courageous person now. You’ve had a breakthrough. I love seeing Titus with music. Titus may be a quiet guy, but he always has an answer sitting in church. I like to see how his mind works, and God gives him insight. Mikaela is growing into a beautiful chatty smart woman. We have smarty pants Ariel. She goes after everything in life with her whole heart and enjoys everything she does. Gabe is amazing with all his maze books. And writing all the books with stories. He sees God in all different places, like on someone’s head. And Zech is becoming a little boy who knows how to talk. He’s very smart. He’s so fun to watch and listen to now. My husband is pursuing his healing even though it’s really really hard for him. This time of year is incredibly difficult. I’m very proud of him and he is working on his healing and he hasn’t taken a break. He has become a very nice husband. He has been very good to me and for me. I know that his healing is right around the corner.
• In 2010 I am thankful to God that He exceeds my expectations. I wanted to move out and live in the dorms, but I didn't think it would be as much fun as it is right now. I was expecting awesome, but not this awesome.
• In 2010 I am thankful for God’s provision. I will have made it through my sophomore year in college and still not owe any money. Trying to do it on my own, I still wouldn’t be able to afford it. Because of God’s blessings in my life, I’m able to live debt free.
• I’m thankful that God has provided me with a job the last two years. He’s given me responsibility that I didn’t expect and raises. When we moved into the new Daddy Cakes, my boss said I would get a raise if we did well there. They gave me a raise that was just enough to buy groceries, something I hadn’t budgeted for when I wanted to move out, and I got my first paycheck with the raise when I needed to buy the groceries the first time.
• I’m grateful to God for His passionate pursuit of me. He shows me every year that He is my one true love. He always is in pursuit of me and always desires time with me. God's timing is perfect, and someday He is going to blow me away with His plan. He chases after me and never stops loving me. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
• I’m also thankful for my family. I’ve seen firsthand how broken the relationships people can have with their families. I love spending time with you, and it's amazing how God knows what you need. I love that I get a awesome relationship with my nieces and nephews.
• I'm thankful for my family including Valentine. Because I love them.
• I'm thankful that Valentine survived having a cold. She was freezing after our shower, and God helped her. We thought she was going to die, so we prayed and she was okay.
• I’m thankful for Mrs. Booth because she’s a really good teacher. I always get the best teachers.
• I’m thankful for church and my friends because I really like going to church and worshiping God and learning about Him and having fun with my friends.
• I’m thankful for Bible study and kids prayer. I get to spend time with Grandma and Mikaela and I like to learn about God and Jesus.
• I’m thankful that I prayed in tongues at camp.
• I am thankful for the laptop because I am so good at Super Mario and I already defeated the third boss, and that was so awesome.
• I’m thankful for Spidery because I like Webkinz. Then I went on to Warcraft, Super Mario and now Zelda.
• I’m thankful for my friends, family, and God. It’s because I love them.
• I’m glad that I have medicine to make me feel better.
• I’m thankful for all of my family and even the relatives
• I’m thankful that God has not allowed me to stay the same. He’s allowed me to change and grow closer to Him.
• I’m thankful that He continues to provide a job, and I was able to get a raise, not in the normal way. I got a 5 percent raise, and Steve got a 15 percent raise that he said he didn’t need. So he's giving me part of his raise.
• I’m thankful for the time that I get to spend with Mikaela, and that she enjoys spending time with me.
• I’m thankful for all the different concerts that I’ve gone to. Not to be just entertained, but challenged and comforted. Some good ones were with Switchfoot, Fly Leaf, and Tenth Avenue North.
• I’m thankful for the opportunity to work on video, and different things I’m able to do to help other people, and to be creative in things. Jeremiah 29: 11 “For I know the plans I have for you.” I’m looking forward to what He has for me and what He’s going to do through me.