Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19: I'm thankful for fresh pineapple!

I know... This one seems kind of silly and insignificant compared to most things I have posted this month. 

But one thing I have learned is to be thankful for the big and small things. Fresh pineapple is a small thing but it reminds me of big things. 

It reminds me of when I first truly fell in love with pineapple. My first trip to Nigeria in 2005... When I first fell in love with the Nigerian people. So many fond memories from my time there in 2005 and again in 2007. I told Okike, the missionary there, that fresh pineapple needed to be the 6th love language. 

November 18: I'm thankful for simple reminders, simple truth!

Yesterday was not the day I would win best teacher for. It was not the day I want to remember for long. It was just not the day any teacher wants to have. It was not horrible. It was not the worst day I ever had, but it was far from the best. 

I was grumbling and complaining. I was feeling crummy and not liking my job. I came across this on Instagram. 
This was the truth I needed yesterday. My job is a blessing even when it stinks because I need God to do it! I fail when I try to do it on my own and in my own strength. Truth. Hard truth at times. Needed truth at that very moment in time. Thanks Emily Jensen for posting it! 

November 17: I'm thankful Mandy's house sold!

This picture was taken the day Mandy and I went to close on her house when she bought it. This Friday I will go to sign the papers on the closing for the sell of her house. Lots of good memories and laughs were had here, but now that Mandy is living in India it is a blessing that her house has sold. Sunday we went and got the final things out of her house. It is crazy how quickly time flies. It seems like we were just there scrapping wall paper and painting all the walls. 

November 16: I'm thankful for seeing former students.

I was out doing some errands on Saturday and meeting a friend at Panera. This happens often when I am out and about, but I was blessed to see 3 former students. Two young ladies were having lunch at Panera. It was a surprise to see them and a joy as well. They were happy to see me and said they missed me. It is good to know you are missed... You know? I ran into another student at Lowes while he was shopping with his family. He greeted me with a hug. It was good to hear briefly how college was going for him. 

I'm grateful to know these young people and to have played a small role in their lives. It is such an encouragement each time I run into them!

November 15: I'm thankful for my sister!

This blog post could be one of the longest I write but a lot of what I'm thankful for about my sister is summed up well in these pictures. 

She would kill me if I told the whole story beind them. We will keep that between her and I but here is why I depict why I'm most thankful for her...

1.) She knows how to know, love and care for people well. 

2.) She can make me laugh and help me see another side of a situation if wouldn't consider. (Can you guess which pic this mighty refer to??)

3.) She and I got to work together for 7 years, just one hallway away from each other. We had many laughs, cries and vent sessions about our job but it was a great 7 years to work so closely together. 

I could say so much more but simply stated she is my sister. She knows me better than most. She is one of my best friends. She will be around for the long haul. 

November 14: I'm thankful for good vision!

In January of 2005, my parents blessed me by paying for LASIK eye surgery. I have never regretted getting it done. I have seen 20/20 since then. No contacts. No glasses. 

In Thursday, actually on November 24, I went for my yearly eye check. My eye doctor asks each time, "Are you still glad you did it?" Each time I reply, "Yep!"

The cool part about this yearly appointment is that my eye doctor goes to the same church and I had one of his sons in math at Southeast so we always spend more time catching up and talking about school, Kstate, etc. This year we chatted about his oldest son's recent engagement to another former student of mine. I love the small world I live in!

This hymn is a reminder of the vision that The Lord needs to be in my life. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13: I'm thankful for hymns of truth!

I grew up singing hymns. They speak so much truth. 

November 12: I'm thankful for my parents!

I've come to realize in recent years my upbringing was far from status quo. Though as I grew up, I didn't know this. I didn't know that families didn't all eat homemade meals together with the TV off. I didn't know that all families didn't all go to church together every Sunday. I didn't know that parents didn't go to all their kids games, programs, events, etc. I didn't know that all families didn't pray together. I didn't know that all kids weren't raised to work hard regardless of the praise they may or may not receive. I didn't know that all kids weren't in more trouble at home when they got in trouble at school. I didn't know that all kids weren't expected to get good grades and get to college. I didn't know that all families do not have two hard working, college educated parents. I didn't know that some people never made food from scratch. I didn't know that some people hired someone else to fix their cars, repair their house, or now their yard. 

The list could go on and on. But I do know how privileged and blessed I am to have been given these parents. 

November 11: I'm thankful for their service!

I'm a few days late as usual, but I'm grateful for the men and women who have given their time, service and many their lives for the freedoms I enjoy in this great country. 

It saddens my heart to see so many take the sacrifice of our veterans for granted. I'm privileged that both my grandpas served our country in the military and lived to tell about it. It was one of the things my late Grandpa Call talked about most frequently. Luckily before he passed, my dad and him got to go to Washington DC on a honor flight for WWII vets to see the memorial there. 

This picture is of a veteran I get to work with everyday! He is one of the best bosses I have! I'm grateful for his military service and that he is my "battle buddy" in the public schools. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10: I'm thankful for lessons on Biblical submission!

Our pastor has been preaching through Ephesians and came to the passage for husbands and wives. However, it is started in the previous verse. "Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."

This verse was shared with me while I was working at a camp one summer in college. It was a difficult summer, mainly because of my direct boss. He wasn't really leading well and in my opinion, he wasn't deserving of my submission. One of my dear coworkers shared and encouraged me with this verse in the midst of our joint frustration with him. We were called to submit to his authority over us because of our reverence and walk with Christ.

Easier said than done. 

A lesson I reflect on often...

November 9: I'm thankful for rest!

I'm thankful for the rest The Lord provides. I'm thankful for weekends to relax, recuperate and rejuvenate.  Thankful for a king-sized bed that provides good rest!

By the way... Isn't the quilt beautiful?!?! My mom and I sewed it and she quilted it!

November 8: I'm thankful for the technology to connect!

We use technology so seemlessly now. At times it is an idol or distraction. For those reasons, I'm not always thankful for it

However, I'm thankful that it allows me to keep in lose contact with my sister in India. 

I'm thankful it allows me to communicate with friends and family near and far. 

I'm thankful it allows me to watch a former student play in their first D1 basketball game. 

I'm thankful it allows me to text Philip or a friend while at work when I'm having a rough day. 

Without it, these things would not be impossible but they would not happen as easily. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 7: I'm thankful for good friends/former colleagues!

Today was a pretty rough day. 
Students were rude. 
I felt under attack.
It seemed nothing was working. 

I sent an email to a former colleague. 
He knew I was having a rough day by my short email. 
He asked what I was doing. 
It was my plan time. 
Next thing I know he and another friend were here bringing me a Frosty while they ate their lunch. 
Timing worked that their plan time at another school and mine overlapped today. 

We all used to teach in the same hallway and see each other everyday. 
This year I am at a new school. 
Our friendship is still there and even stronger now. 

Good friends, former colleagues, who know me well and still care for me well are what I am thankful for today. 

30 minutes with them today was encouraging. 
I am blessed!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 6: I'm thankful for our neighbors!

Every weekday since school started this year our neighbor, Mindy and her boys come over to let Lucy out once or twice during the day while we are both at school. She offered and we couldn't refuse. We hadn't decided how we were going to deal with letting Lucy out when school started but her offer came before we had to decide. They often play and run around with Lucy which the boys and Lucy love to do. 

They have been a huge blessing to us and today the boys gave us these pictures they colored for us! Our refrigerator know is a bit more interesting to look at!

November 5: I'm thankful for a "man and his dog."

Philip is an incredible husband and I'm so grateful for him! He serves, loves, cares and leads me so well. There are days where I would absolutely crumble under the stress or frustration and he lovingly listens and helps in any way he can. I am confident I am better with him than without him. He is my better half. 

Oh and the furry creature... Lucy! I'm thankful for her addition to our house. To be honest, there are days (and nights) where I am not thankful for her. But she is always joyful, always happy to see us come home and a pretty good dog (most of the time).

November 4: I'm thankful for my heritage!

You might be looking at the picture wondering how cookies demonstrate heritage...

Here's how... My heritage is from a family who loves the Lord and serves others well! These cookies are one small glimpse. My mom has shared her love and talent for cooking with so many people. She is gifted in hospitality. People love to come to her house for a meal as they know the food will be good, the conversation will be encouraging and they will be able to just sit for a while. 

She has learned and inherited these gifts from my grandma and great grandma who did these so well. Some of my fondest memories were spent at my great grandma's house after pre-school when we would make sugar cookies (the only kind of sugar cookies I like).  After we were done, we would take a few to each of her neighbors and sit and chat. As a 4 year old, I hated the sitting and chatting because I got bored easily. However, my great grandma was really good at knowing people, loving people and caring for people. 

There are many other pieces of my heritage I could talk about as this is one small glimpse of why I am who I am. 

Side note: my mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies and has the best recipe! I can only hope mine are as good as hers. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 3: Our Adoption into God's Family

Today, on Orphan Sunday in November which is also Adoption Awareness month, I am grateful for my adoption into God's family. Without it, I have no hope. With it, I am coheirs with Christ. My heritage is with the saints in heaven.

November 2: Thankful for the Church

I am thankful for the Church!

Even though this post is a day late and Saturday is not the day I spend time at our church, First Free, yesterday was a Saturday where I was reminded of the impact and ministry of the church in my life. I spent part of my morning with some incredible women celebrating the birthday of one of our pastor's wife. Even though we were there to celebrate and encourage her, I walked away encouraged and blessed by her as well as the other women there.

Yesterday afternoon I got to sit down for an hour with Maggie Black. She has 6 kids and a busy life, but yet carved out time to chat with me yesterday.

Today in church, we were given an incredible sermon about God's glory being manifested when we meet in church as a body of believers to sing and worship together which edifies and builds up the body of Christ, his church.

Philip and I have attended First Free since we moved to Wichita in the summer of 2006 and we are so grateful for the body of believers we are a part of and the good ministry of God's Word that happens there each and every week.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1: I am Thankful for...

The Sovereignty of God

This will be my first time posting something I am thankful for each day of the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving. I am (hopefully) going to post a picture with a short blog post each day.

This picture is not the obvious depiction of what I am thankful for today, God's sovereignty. However, if you've been following along with our lives the past year, you might realize this is a graph of the numbers we have received each month as to where we are on the wait list.

Some might look at this graph negatively because as you can see over the past 4 months there has been little movement (only one spot actually this month).

I see this graph as a perfect depiction of God's sovereignty because it is reminding me that he knows the child(ren) that we will adopt and it is in his perfect timing that our family will be brought together through adoption. Yes, I would love to see those numbers drop quickly. As a math person, I know a flat line means little to no progress.

God, in his sovereignty, adopted us as sons.
God, in his sovereignty, brought us together as a married couple.
God, in his sovereignty, started us on the journey of adoption in 2012.
God, in his sovereignty, knows the number of hairs (gray and dark brown) on my head.
God, in his sovereignty, knew us before the foundation of the earth.
God, in his sovereignty, created us as his workmanship to do good works which he planned for us.
God, in his sovereignty, knows the number we will get via email before it is sent.
God, in his sovereignty, knows.
God, in his sovereignty, creates.
God, in his sovereignty, saves.
God, in his sovereignty, loves.
God, in his sovereignty, gave his only Son to die on the cross for MY sins so I might believe in him and have eternal life.