I've been missing Thankful Thursday lately, but hopefully now that our Thursday afternoon co-op is over until Fall, I can participate a bit more regularly. As I've pondered this post, I've come up with quite a list of "Thankfuls" this week!
1. The salvation of my three oldest children....with one baptized two weeks ago and another making a profession of faith this Sunday. What a blessing to see them growing in Christ, and reaching out to others. One received $$ today for a lost tooth, and immediately (instead of making a list of things he "wanted to buy" with it) said, "Oh, I can add this to our money for Frank!!" (Frank is the child we recently began sponsoring through Compassion International.) Earlier this week we were at a local McD's PlayPlace with friends, and the kids came running to get a "Million Dollar Bill" tract out of my purse to share with the little girl they were playing with. I think the whole group got in on answering her questions about it. I am so thankful for the work God is doing in their lives!
2. My husband. I was talking to a friend who lives out of state the other day, who has known Billy and I since before we were married. I was sharing with her the latest chapter in a difficult situation in our lives, and at the end of our conversation, she said, "I just want you to tell Billy that I said 'Thank You' for always taking such good care of you." I am more thankful all the time for the way he takes care of us...physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.
3. Our church. I am so thankful to be in a church with leaders who are committed to following the Word, rather than the world. I am thankful for the expository preaching that we receive every week, for the exceptional music, and for the focus on true worship. I'm thankful for our church family. I'm thankful for the evangelism training course we had this past weekend, and for my brother-in-law, who led it. He is such an encouragement, and I'm thankful for his enthusiasm for sharing his faith.
4. Friends. I've been reminded again lately of how very blessed I am in this area. I have the very best friends *anywhere*. Talking for hours, laughing till our sides hurt, going through handsful of kleenex with the tears, carrying burdens of all shapes and sizes, sharing books and recipes...whatever...I am so thankful for these girls!
5. Music. God's gift of music is so incredibly awesome. We've been working on music for the Easter season in choir and it has been so wonderful to reflect on the crucifixion and resurrection as we sing. One of the pieces we've been preparing is "Surely He has Borne our Sorrows" from Handel's Messiah. As we have gone over, and over, and OVER this challenging music, the words have been seared into my heart and mind...
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.
The chastisement of our peace was upon Him."
I'm not one to be terribly fond of pieces of the Messiah being incorporated into more modern music...I'd much prefer to just do it on its own. :) So often the "new" arrangements don't seem to do Handel's work justice. But...I love the arrangement we are doing. It segues into Charles Wesley's "And Can It Be?" beautifully...
"Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me?
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me?"
6. The opportunity to homeschool. I've been completely committed to homeschooling since I was 16 years old. And 24 years later, God is teaching me more through our homeschooling journey than I could ever teach my children. I'm thankful for a husband who is totally committed to something I don't think he'd ever heard of before he met me :), close friends who homeschool and share the journey, a great homeschool support group, and children who love learning (most of the time ;-)).
7. Books. Self-explanatory. :) I was thinking this morning that I am practically drowning in books at the moment...and it's a wonderful thing! I have stacks and stacks...books for my 999 reading list, library books for various things we're studying in school right now, a pile of books on missions for our missions curriculum, and a short-but-growing stack of books to review here on the blog soon. I love books! And I'm thankful to be surrounded by them. :)
8. Online connections. I love the ability to keep up with friends online! I have been so blessed recently...in getting to know some "current, local" friends better, in being able to catch up a bit with various "old friends" I've had little or no contact with in years, and in making a new friend or two (like Joanna, with whom I actually have a sort of an IRL connection, and who has been used to bless me so much in our short, online friendship! More about that to come...:))...through Facebook and blogs.
Hmm. This was going to be a *quick* post...but somehow between a number of "interruptions" :) and my own wordiness, it turned out a bit longer than expected. :) I'm thankful for the opportunity to stop and think about all the ways God has blessed us and shown His faithfulness...which could never fit in a list of any length! And I'm thankful to Lynn for hosting Thankful Thursday this week. Visit her for more Thankful Thursdays, or to participate yourself!