About Me

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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Just a few things to be grateful for

I started a daily gratitude journal a couple years ago as part of my first encounter with the Daniel Plan, and it literally changed my life. I start out every single day writing down anywhere from 5-15 things I am thankful for before I do anything else. Sometimes I've got big things to thank God for, like an answer to something I've prayed about for a long time. Other times I remember to thank God for things I've had to live without at certain points in my life, so I no longer take them for granted. Still other times I'm thankful for what could've gone wrong, but didn't. I'm thankful for the roof over my head, the coffee brewing, the food in my refrigerator, the warm pajamas I'm wearing, and the clothes in my closet. If I'm struggling to think of things, I just look around and write down what I see around me and the memories that those items hold.

Today I'm writing my gratitude journal on my blog rather than in my notebook. If you haven't started a similar practice (even just orally rather than in writing), I challenge you to do so. It really can change your mood, your day, your year, and your life.

  1. Today I'm thankful for my husband cooking the turkey this year on his smoker and for his dedication to get up several times during the night to check on it.
  2. I'm thankful to spend Thanksgiving with my family, my brother's family, and my parents.
  3. I'm thankful for my parents' dedication to come visit us once every year, even when times are tough.
  4. I'm thankful for this past year of abundance to enjoy with my family after a year of great financial stress due to unemployment.
  5. I'm thankful for the commitment my husband and I made nearly a year ago to start going out on weekly dates and for how much closer it has brought us together.
  6. I'm thankful for my boys. I love them both so dearly, even if they are stubborn teenagers sometimes.
  7. I'm so thankful for the privilege of raising Juan David as my son.
  8. I'm so thankful for our continued relationship with Julian, even from a very far distance.
  9. I'm overjoyed to see both Juan David and Julian reconnect with their sister after all this time.
  10. I'm so, so, so thankful God is allowing me to see new pictures just this morning of the little girl I loved and lost, to see the mother that God chose for her and the life that God planned for her, to see the fruits of my continued daily prayers for her. ( I keep remembering this page in my first book, Unexpected Tears, when we wondered if that was the last any of us would ever know anything about her).
  11. I'm thankful for constant blessings that keep coming our way, like invitations to big events and activities that don't fit into our normal budget.
  12. I'm thankful the boys finally got to experience Great Wolf Lodge with friends and people who enjoy them.
  13. I'm thankful I got to attend the women's retreat, Abundance, where I heard Lisa Harper tell her adoption story again and Natalie Grant sing her newest song King of the World. I am thankful for my dear friend who paid for my ticket and hotel room that evening.
  14. I am thankful for my boys "extra set of local grandparents" who spoiled them for their birthdays.
  15. I am thankful for friends who buy me Scriptural coloring books because they know it's a pasttime I've come to greatly enjoy.
  16. I am thankful for my church, who truly is like family to me.
  17. I am thankful for my job and the influence I get to have on the littlest students in our building, along with their parents.
  18. I am thankful both of my boys had the opportunity to work this year so they can learn more about money management and understand why we don't buy them everything they want.
  19. I am thankful for this long week off of work to rest, recuperate, and regroup.
  20. I am thankful for a God who loves me tenderly, who hears my whispered prayers, who sees me, who brings me unexplicable peace, who is sovereign and trustworthy--all the time.

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