~Christ's paying for my sins on the cross, though I was undeserving.
~The word of God, so that we may grow in His likeness, and that we are still allowed to proclaim him openly in America.
~The grace the Lord gives us when we fail to live up to His commandments.
~My family... Daddy, who, no matter how busy he is, or how long a day he works, makes time to help us in everything that we need him for. Whether leading bible time, helping with math, or teaching us photography (or how to make our coffee ;)!), I am so thankful to have a Daddy that invests in his children!
~Mommy, and all that she does for us. Putting aside her own preferences to give each of us what we need whenever possible, for her patience, and for always having a listening ear while I yak on and on and on and... haha :).
~Tori. Though we are so very different -possibly more different from each other than from any one of our six other siblings- we are best friends, and I am so thankful for her!
~Bethi. She has been really growing lately. She has become "little mother hen" to Josiah, and it is sweet to see :). It is also fun because it brings back memories of when Andrew and I where Bethi and Josiah's ages :).
~Andrew. This guy loves to build and repair things, and wants to build his own house in the future, which I can definitely see him doing!
~Abbi. Abbi is probably the most like me, just a little more spontaneous, haha :). She is a ball of energy, and so funny! But she has a serious side too, and loves to organize and clean for us often :).
~Emmi, my special little buddy, I love how we've been really close since she was tiny :). It was really sweet, a couple weeks ago she just starts crying because "she doesn't want me to ever marry and leave, who will she sleep with?!". Not sure where that came from, but it made me smile :).
~Peter... his strong hugs, and cozy snuggles. And though he can come off as quiet to people who see him around Abbi and Emmi, he is a chatterbox when you talk to him one-on-one!
~Josiah. Have I mentioned that he is trying to cruise the furniture? He's gotten the pulling up down pat, just working on getting anywhere after that, haha :).
~And my extended family... Grandpa and Grandma, Aunt Tessa and Aunt Amber, Gramma and Papa Nate, Aunt Heather and her family (and our first cousins :)!), Aunt Donna and her "tribe", and Granny :). I love you all soooo much :)!!!!
~The many friends that God has lovingly put into my life. Church family, Daddy's employees, some of Daddy's costumers who have become friends, neighbors, pen pals... I can think of sooo many names right now that make me smile, young and old alike :). Although I don't have the room to include every name I can think of, I would especially like to say "thank you" to Miss Mary and Miss Mary, Katie, Kaitlyn, Katie, and Cameron for your friendship :). (And yes, both sets of double names were intentional. Haha :).)
~A house, that, though it may not be our "forever" ideal, is warm, dry, has running water and lots of windows, and gives us a place to live together rather than states apart.
Some of the things that stick out the most to me as something to be deeply grateful for that are specific to this year are...
~The gift of Josiah, and the Lord's protection of him and Mommy. Oh how thankful I am to have him, and Mommy, here this Thanksgiving!!!
~Miss Mary and Mr. Joe. I am so thankful for the ways that they have invested in us this year. They have really become like grandparents to us :).
~My Mama, Tori, and several friends, who have joined me in studying the Word of God this year. Especially the book of Ruth. That one will forever be a special memory I think :).
~Our church. I am so thankful that the Lord has given us a church family here in VA! After it took us so long in SC to find a church that we felt was the one the Lord was leading us to, I was so very worried that it would take years again. I am so thankful to the Lord that he blessed us with one here so soon :).
~Our trip to SC last month. It was such a blessing :). Many precious memories made, and lots of laughter shared :). And all the other times that we have gotten to see family this year, as well. Another big answer to pray, that we are still able to connect with family often even though we now live six hours away.
~Getting to meet Penny at the Maxwell conference earlier this year. Something that could only have happened living here in VA. God loves to give you surprises that make you realize he has had it all planned for years, doesn't he ;)?
And, during this last week, I have been especially thankful for...
~Todd Agnew's "Do You See What I See" CD.
~Our Christ-themed Christmas tree, and all the thought and lessons that Mommy and Daddy have put into it.
~Finding Josiah black socks (even if they aren't as dressy as they could be). Why don't little boys wear normal socks anymore?
~My glasses. This Sunday was exactly a year since I first wore them. Truly, you don't know how much of a blessing they are!
~Gift wrap earrings.
~Abbi and Emmi playing dress up in some Frozen dresses my Aunt Donna got them.
~An afternoon outside in the cool temperatures.And Josiah sitting quietly on my lap as we swung :).
~A clean house.
~Our once again working dishwasher!
~Tacos... very necessary piece of our life... hahaha.
~Wintergreen toothpaste. Haha :).
~Daddy's cleverness in fixing the washer.
~All of our holiday traditions :).
~That we have more than five kernels of corn to eat each day (the Pilgrims, after the first thanksgiving, went through this ordeal after a ship brought more pilgrims and no food!)
~For our nation's founding on God's word.
~Mommy's excitement over Thanksgiving project ideas on Pinterest. And she used them, much as others think that Pinterest users never use the ideas they pin. Haha :).
Many blessings to you all :)!
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his
courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!"