12 blessings from 2012
12: A running, working car. For the entire month of October, I was Prius-less. Poor Julius was shop bound after a run-in with a reindeer. It was through that experience that I learned not to take for granted having a vehicle--and not taking for granted having two vehicles between the two of us (Robert and I of course). God has given us so many physical blessings, and through the unfortunate events surrounding the whole deer fiasco, I learned to appreciate them more.
11: A great job. There are a lot of people who don't have jobs, and therefore I am very thankful that I do. There are a lot of people who have jobs who don't enjoy their jobs, and so I am again very thankful that I do. There are a lot of people who have and enjoy their jobs, but don't get the fulfillment that I do, and again I am so thankful. God has blessed me with the opportunity to work in the field of video editing (closely akin to the journalism field), and not only in a field which I enjoy, but working with subject matter that is so rewarding. Every day of the week I get to work with spiritual lessons and sermons, around people who love Christ and aim to do His will. Since I can't be a preacher, I think this is the greatest job I could ever have! I love what I do.
10: Robert's great job. If you aren't a preacher's wife, this may not make as much sense to you. Obviously if you are married to someone who isn't a preacher, you want them to have a good job. You want them to enjoy their job. At the same time, though, their job is theirs, and you probably have your own to deal with. The life of a preacher is far different than that. His job affects everything--including our spiritual life. For most people, if the need arose to change congregations because spiritual needs weren't being met (or some other situation), that would simply mean changing what time you got up on Sunday mornings to accommodate the time difference from driving to church A to now driving to church B. For us, where we worship is everything. If something happens and we have to change congregations, it upends our whole life. I am beyond thankful that the church at East Hill is so loving and caring and wonderful. The elders here are some of the greatest the world over, I fully believe. They have such confidence in and appreciation for Robert, they love us so very much, and they are so spiritually minded. It means the world to the both of us to be able to labor here and serve under their oversight.
9: Growing closer to my sister. Valerie and I have had ups and downs in our relationship, but this year has really been an outstanding one. I have watched her grow spiritually (and subsequently seen myself grow), put herself out there, and take an active role in the church. I am so proud of her and all that she does--not to mention, she's hysterical and I love every moment I get to spend with her.
8: A new house. This process was so beautiful to me. So many (and I mean so many) people told us that buying a home is a ridiculous process, but we were blessed immeasurably by it all. Truly our God and Father was watching out for us and guiding us in this process, as we could not have been more blessed. Through every little detail of the experience, God's hand was there. There were no hiccups, no hassles, nothing! Plus, we got to pick paint colors and flooring details and landscaping design! Truly it was a blessed experience, and I am so thankful to God for being with us through what could have been a quite tumultuous process. Not to mention, having a home (verses renting and not being able to put nails in the wall!) has truly made Pulaski feel like home to me.
7: Monthly devotionals with the ladies at East Hill (aka our TNTs). Every month of the past year we have had at least 20 ladies take part in a monthly devotional, and it has been a tremendous blessing in my life. Getting to know these wonderful, spiritual ladies at East Hill has made me feel like East Hill is my home, and it has been integral in helping my spiritual life. I will forever remember these precious ladies, one of which has already gone home to her reward. I am so thankful for Janet and all of the memories I have of her.
6: Being a part of the food giveaway at East Hill. In the early part of December, East Hill had a huge food giveaway in which we put together over 30,000lbs of food to give to over 500 recipients. That day, I was put at the registration table and so I got to meet at least 80 individuals or families who would be receiving a box. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of. On that day, I got to ask all of those people if they wanted to have a Bible study with us sometime, and the majority of them said yes. Some of them were so very excited about it, and you could tell they were really searching for Jesus. It is a beautiful thing to be able to meet the physical needs of the poor, and all the more rewarding to show them the Light of the world. That day forever changed my heart.
5: Teaching the teen girls at East Hill. Words cannot adequately describe the love I have for the five girls that come in that classroom every Sunday morning. They have helped me so very much! I have never been in a teaching role like that--the oldest I've ever taught would be 1st & 2nd graders. Having an older group with real questions and real struggles has forced me to dig deeper into God's word and study, and has shown me things from my past that I wish I could do over. Teaching them has really helped me to appreciate forgiveness, because I need it and have needed it so very much.
4: Meeting/Becoming friends with the Clevengers. If you are a Christian, you understand the deep need you have for finding spiritual friends. As a preacher's wife, I have found that having a preacher's wife friend helps all the more with my daily walk with God. Chris and Melissa have been such a huge part of our lives this year, and I pray that God will continue to grant us the opportunities to work together and be together, as their friendship means the world to me.
3: TLN. My amazing husband came up with the idea for a network of podcasts, and this year that dream has become a reality. I have been so blessed to be a part of this adventure, not only in hosting my own show (which is helping with my public speaking nerves), but also in working so closely with other like-minded Christians (and my mega-talented husband!). Getting to know Chris, Melissa, Brad, & Torrey has been a huge blessing, and the technical kick-off for the network hasn't even arrived!
2: Peace. 2012 didn't have a lot of drama, and can I just say that I am super thankful for that one? I have experienced such contentment and joy in 2012, and I can only thank my Father for that one, as the peace that passes all understanding comes directly from Him (Phil. 4:7).
1: Being married to the man of my dreams. Last year, marrying him was the greatest part of my year, and this year, the fact that I've gotten to spend 365 days with him is the absolute best part. As awesome as getting married was, being married is all the better. Waking up beside the love of your life every day outweighs any other blessing there could be. I am ever thankful to God for allowing me to have time with Robert! I love him so, so much, and I have loved our first full year together.