Life at its best for me is one that is heavily dosed with family and friends. I'm so blessed to have a good share of both and there's nothing like the holiday season for reminding me of how precious they are to me.
Thanksgiving always brings me thoughts of what it means to be truly thankful for the people in my life. I think I've come to the conclusion that when you can endure each other's flaws and painful realities and still find yourself grateful at the end of the day to call that person family or friend--then you are truly blessed in a way that money could never buy.
I'm very grateful for my blog sisters here - Robin, Tammy, Kim, Judy and Cathy. These women have become dear friends over the years, and while I know some better than others and have to repent of various envies I have of each of them, I am so thankful God brought them into my life. I have learned so much from them and they have blessed me in ways that they'll probably never know. So thank you, my sisters.
I'm very thankful for my church family. I have an incredible women's ministry team who work with me to put together programs for our women. They are devoted to sharing the love of Jesus with each other and with the community. We are a tiny church, but this year we put together over 70 Christmas boxes for Samaritan's Purse and had such a great time doing it.
There are also incredible men who attend our church and they have been a blessing I'm thankful for as they have ministered to my husband and me on so many occasions. Topping the list - our pastor and his wife are a huge blessing. I'm thankful we live in a country where we are allowed to worship freely and I know that God has given me a precious gift in this church body.
There are of course so many friends in my life that I'm very grateful for. Far too many to name here, but they know who they are. There are those who have been with me since childhood and those who have walked through the very worst life could dish out. There are those who have come later in my life, but who also have encouraged me through tough times. Together they make up a special part of who I am and why I'm here. I thank God for them and their patience with me.
Lastly, my family - both close and extended. How precious you are to me. I'm so thankful God made us a family--that despite the problems of life--we have each other. I have such great family in my aunts and uncle, cousins, niece and nephew and this year my new grand-niece.
My children Jen, Julie and Erik were the completion of my life. My son-in-law Geoff and three grandkids were icing on that completion. My mother and sister Karen
are faithful to encourage and when you add my sis's husband Pete we have a terrific game of dominoes.
I'm grateful for my African son John Pierre and his wife Albine and my 6 granddaughters - Merville, Christa Bella, Ruth, Tracie, Fiorintina, and Ayolina.
My husband Jim and I have been married nearly 31 years and the ride resembles a roller coaster with highs and lows--but I'm so blessed to be here at this time and place and realize what a gift we have in our relationship.
And best of all - the legacy of my parents, and their parents and theirs and theirs etc. was steeped in a faith in Jesus Christ. How blessed I am, and how very thankful I am for His gift.
So this week--this season--I'm very thankful for my family and friends and the love that they have shown me throughout my life. You are a lifeline to me and Jesus with skin on. Thank you.
I'm even thankful for snowblowers! Here I'm layered with 4 tops, 2 bottoms, 2 pairs of gloves, a muffler, a fur-lined hat, woolen socks and snowboots for my -20 degree winter wonderland.