Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

On this Thanksgiving Day, I pause to consider all that God has blessed me with over the past year and I am a bit overwhelmed.

God has continued to provide me with a job that provides us with the ability to live a comfortable life in a nice house near family. While my job hasn't exactly been challenging or rewarding (especially lately), it has given me the ability to leave my work at work and not stress out about any of it while at home.

Lisa was able to transition to the Labor & Delivery area at St. John's in January and a few weeks before the move was informed she would be on first shift. To this day, she has never had to work an overnight shift at the hospital (including nursing school), which is extremely rare and a huge blessing.

Both Lisa and I have remained healthy over the past year and have been blessed to avoid a lot of medical/prescription costs.

God blessed with the opportunity to help lead several ministries this past year:
  • I have served as a leader in our college group at the Realm for the past 18 months and have been blessed by the opportunity to live life alongside these students. (Keep the younger generations in your prayers - they, like us, need it everyday.)
  • I have been singing on the praise team at FBCH for almost a decade now and have been able to participate in that ministry again over the course of the last year. The times spent in front of people helping lead them in musical worship are always special and God has allowed me to experience this several times this past year.
  • Over the course of this past summer, I was given the privilege of leading the musical worship time at Redeemer Church. It was a refreshing time for me and I was blessed to have that time of being able to help fill the need of a young church by using the vocal talents God has given me. In His prefect timing, God provided a more permanent solution and is growing that body.
  • In June I became one of five members of our Pastor Search Committee. This process is long and arduous, but I am confident that God will provide the man He has for us in His perfect timing. This process could be grueling - filled with animosity or the agendas of each member of the group, yet God has blessed us to have a group of loving, humble, God-focused Christians who are striving to find God's man for our church. I am humbled to be a part of this group of Christian leaders in the church. Please keep us in your prayers.
Lisa had an almost picture-perfect pregnancy. At the beginning, when her "morning sickness" was more of a "fuzzy head" feeling and she wasn't actually getting sick, we praised God for that blessing. As we saw the ultrasounds at 12 and 20 weeks, we praised God for His protection and the fact that everything looked perfect. We were blessed to be able to do a lot of things that most pregnant couples don't do (camping at 37 weeks!) and we were able to spend a lot of time with friends and family throughout the pregnancy. And then, at the end, we had a day of labor that was relaxed (shopping at Sam's), spent in conversation and for the most part enjoyed as the perfect end to an amazing journey. I was thankful that God allowed Lisa to only have to push for 20 minutes or so, as I am not sure I would want to have to endure that for a longer period. I am thankful that He gave me the strength I needed to help Lisa through that time. I am thankful that God provides people with the skill, talent and desire to become doctors, nurses, specialists, technicians, housekeepers and receptionists and that they did an amazing job helping us welcome our baby into the world.

Obviously, the main event of the year was the birth of Lydia Leigh. We looked forward to her birth for 9 months and had talked about having children for longer than that. (Actually, we have talked about children since we first started dating.) I am thankful that God completed His work perfectly in forming and fashioning Lydia, and she is a beautiful little girl who had her father's heart in her hands at the moment of birth. I am thankful that God allowed me to be present at her birth and that He has given Lydia such an amazing collection of people to make up her family and friends. She doesn't even know it yet, but she has a lot of people looking forward to meeting her and playing with her in the coming years (some of whom have yet to be born).

I have too much to be thankful for to even attempt to capture in these words.
The Lord has been good to me and has blessed me beyond measure.
I look forward to seeing what God has planned for our growing family.
I trust in the fact that He is Good and that He will continue to be Good for the year to come.
His Goodness isn't bound to giving me great things or a comfortable life and I recognize His ways are above mine.
This year I am thankful He has seen fit to bestow me with mercy and grace and blessings abundantly.

Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

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