Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Blessed Life

My story is that God loves me. (It's your story, too. You just might not realize it yet.) He has been blessing me my whole life.

Not that I deserve it - I don't - but He loves me anyway.

Some time ago, I read Ann Voskamp's "1000 Gifts," and began counting all the daily gifts I see in my world around me.  I'm up to 1,572.  And since I'm basically unobservant, I know there has been many many more.

This post is my 1,000th published post as a blogger.  And it is November, the month set aside on focusing on thanksgiving. I thought it would be appropriate to turn post #1000 into a thankful post, so I'm listing 30 blessings (in no particular order - just as I think of them).  After October's 31 Day challenge, I was burnt out on posting every day.  My friend, Marianne Ball, the brilliant and talented writer at Adventures in the Ballpark, listed her 30 giving thanks points all in one blog-post.  I told her I was going to steal her idea.

So, without further adieu, here are only 30 of the many wonderful fantastic blessings in my life for which I am thankful:

1. The Gospel - I am blessed beyond measure that I was exposed to the gospel at an early age.  My mother took me to church very early in life, even though my father didn't go.  Kudos to you, Mom!  My very first memory of church is being in children's church and singing "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, knock, knock,"  while knocking on the seat of the fold-up chairs in the church basement.

2. Accepting the Gospel - I am blessed that at age 14 I did accept Jesus as my personal Savior.  Because I did so as a young teen, I was sheltered  from a lot of bad decisions I could have made.  Make no mistake, I was by no means perfect, but I didn't get involved in things that I would regret later.

3.  Born in the USA - I don't know why I was so incredibly blessed to have been born in freedom.  I pray with all my heart America continues to be free.

4.  Born into a loving family - I was born into a two-parent household and had parents that never divorced, and that loved and wanted me and my brother and sister.  Nowadays, that it is a true blessing to be able to say that.  I hear horror stories all the time of people whose families did not care about them, or their parents were too involved in their own lives to take notice of the children.

5.  Married to a believer - Over 37 years ago, I prayed asking God to send me a Christian boyfriend.  At the same time, my husband was fasting and praying for a Christian girlfriend.  God used my granny to introduce us and the rest is history.

6.  First-born blessing - after 10 years of infertility, God blessed us with Elissa Joy, who grew up to be an awesome young lady.  She is following her calling, which is to be a high school math teacher. 

7. Middle-child blessing - God proved we were healed of infertility by sending us a second blessing in our daughter, Alexa Janae.  Janae is now a happily married to our wonderful son-in-law, Daniel, living in Colorado. She has always wanted to live in the mountains so she is a happy camper.  I'm also thankful for Daniel and his service to our country.

8.  Youngest blessing - God knew we were incomplete so He sent Malia Jaclyn to round out our family.  Her birth was an answer to my prayers - I prayed for another girl, for her to be born on my grandmother's birthday (she was), and for a relatively pain-free labor.  She arrived barely 3 hours after the first contraction.  Yay, God!

9.  Health: Our girls are healthy and always have been.  I've hardly ever had to take them to the doctor for other than check-ups and the occasional virus or sinus infection.

10.  Our own home: God blessed us with a house.  It is small, but we owe no money on it, and it has been recently remodeled.

11.  Meaningful work:  Since my husband became ill and it was necessary for me to work outside the home, He led me into one of the greatest callings - ministering to God's saints.  Being a ministry assistant brings lots of joy and a feeling of purpose.

12.  Church family:  everyone needs a church family, and I love mine!

13.  Ministry:  God has blessed me with calling me into several areas of ministry.  My prayer and aim is to become more and more fruitful as I abide in Him.

14. The Word:  I am blessed to have access to the Word of God. I own about 5 different versions of the bible of my own, and of course, I can look it up on the internet any time I want.  The more I study it, the more precious it is to me.  To think, I can read a love letter from my Lord whenever I want!

15.  Sweet Tea: (I told you these were in no particular order!)  I love me some sweet tea, and I'm thankful to have it.

16.  Books:  As an avowed read-aholic, I'm thankful for books; otherwise, I'd be doomed to reading can labels and the backs of cereal boxes.  Instead, I'm blessed to work in a church that has an awesome library, and I can read whatever I want!

17. Internet: I am so thankful to have internet access.  The internet has opened up so many possibilities to me, not the least of which is my own humble blog.

18. Road trips:  going on short jaunts to see new examples of God's creativity makes me happy.  Capturing His handiwork on camera makes me even happier.

19.  Candlelight:  the ambiance of candles makes me very happy.  I am happy that it is now the season to enjoy lots of candles flickering throughout my home.

20. Friends:  Although I am more of a listener than a talker, it is wonderful to have friends that you can tell when you need to vent, or share happy news.

21. Hair and Nails:  It may be shallow, but I'm thankful for Lisa who does my hair and Jamie who does my manicures / pedicures.  They get me.

22.  Digital camera:  I love mine.  In the old days, I took pictures and then forgot to go get them developed.  I don't have that problem anymore.

23.  Fall Color:  I so love how the Master Artist paints the scenery this time of year.

24. Jeopardy:  My husband and I love this game show and watch it every night.

25.  My van:  I so love my blueberry van!  It's time to replace it and I'm already praying God leads me to a vehicle that is just right for me and that I will love just as much.

26.  Chicken, Apple Cranberry salad at Burger King with Crispy Chicken and Apple Cider Vinaigrette - may I just say, Yum?  I'm addicted to this salad although it takes me a good hour to eat it all.

27.  Favorite Scripture:  The other day I was asked to tell my favorite scripture.  How could I pick - there are so many that mean so much to me!  So, I'll go with the one that came to my mind first:

"Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart,"  Psalm 37:4

28. Humor - I love humor.  I think the point is understood better when given with humor.

29. Air-conditioning - I have often asked God to bless whoever came up with air conditioning.  Truly one of the world's greatest inventions!

30.  Music:  what a blessing music is in our lives!  Music can cheer you on, set the mood and lead you into praise.  I'd be lost without it.

There you have it - 30 things I am thankful for this November, ranging from the sublime to the mundane, but all of them enrich my life.

What blessings do you most cherish?





I'm linking this post to the community of writers at #TellHisStory because His story is that He loves me and blesses me.  My story is that I am thankful He does!  You can link up at www.jenniferdukeslee.com



6 comments:

Hazel Moon said...

When we have Jesus we are truely blessed. I too was born into a loving family and was brought to church in my mothers arms and then when I could walk - my own feet carried me. People wonder how our lives can be so blessed. Following Jesus (even in the hard times) will bring you His favor and blessings.

Hazel Moon said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and your sweet comment. Yes, I doubt if they were listening to the Holy Spirit. It does pay to listen.

Rebekah Hughes said...

Lovely list of thanks.

livingboldlyforhim.com said...

Jerralea, I DO feel encouraged after visiting your blog. Thank you! Also, I do realize we have the same story, it's just that at times I allow an editor (read enemy) to come and try to change the written word, written my Him no doubt (meaning those words/truths remain for eternity and cannot be changed). I just love the feel of your blog as it is what I'd hoped for on mine. I come up short, but I know I'm in some learning stages and He is growing me, so that's ok as long I seek Him in His word daily. I can't leave without telling you your list of thanks is heartwarming. I look forward to visiting again!
In Him~
Homesteader Sandi

Dianna said...

Oh how I enjoyed your list, Jerralea! Number 16 made me laugh out loud...because we are such avid readers in this house that we DO read the labels on cans and cereal boxes...multiple times! :)

Loved visiting today.

LISA said...

Congratulations on your 1,000 post. Always encouraging, always pointing back to the Father in some way, and always thankful for your family and the many blessings you have been given...precisely the reason I visit this little place of yours. Happy Weekending, friend:)