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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.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sixteen blessings from 2016

At the close of each year, I like to take the time to reflect on all the ways God has blessed us. Since we are now at the end of 2016, I've chosen to find at least 16 of our greatest blessings from the year.

They are in no order of importance.
  1. A fun summer vacation up North visiting with a whole lot of family. We stopped twice in St. Louis to see my parents, spent time in Columbus, IN with Mike's brother's family, stayed a couple days in Warsaw, IN to visit Mike's parents, his younger brother's family, and to see a few friends, and we even made a stop in Carmel, IN to see my Grandma and my Aunt Peri. We came home with very full hearts.
  2. Full-time employment and benefits for both of us (something I no longer take for granted). After a very hard year with a hard hit financially, this has been a year of abundance.
  3. Both boys made their high school soccer teams.
  4. My second book came out, making my books a complete series--the whole story.
  5. Juan and his sister reconnected and communicate almost daily now.
  6. Juan and David went on a mission trip to California together.
  7. Mike and I enjoyed a nice staycation here at home while they were gone.
  8. We got a new (to us) vehicle and paid cash for it.
  9. We got a new kitty (though the reason we got her wasn't the happiest after we lost our two precious white cats).
  10. Juan got a job, is learning money management and how to take responsibility as a driver.
  11. Season passes to Six Flags continue to be a great way to spend time together as a family, as well as with friends who also have season passes. Now we are extra blessed after the boys were gifted a dining pass to their cards for the coming year. 

12. We finally got a few projects done around the house--laminate wood flooring in every room (which actually became a necessity after a flea infestation this summer), a rock garden to replace an ugly weedy mess behind our back porch, a nice grilling area (and smoker grill) for Mike, a bike rack, etc. 

13. Enough money to finally take care of some necessary dental work (Juan finally got a crown on one of his teeth, David got braces, and all three of us got some unwanted cavities filled).
14.Now that I' feel ready to write again, God is opening up a few new ministry opportunities to write for.
15.A year of weekly dates with Mike. Once he got his new job and no longer had to pay for gas to get to and from work, we put that money toward a weekly date together. Something we should have made a priority a very long time ago now that we are seeing how good it has been for our marriage and for our boys to observe how good it is for a marriage. We've been able to try out a lot of new restaurants and still frequent the ones we really like, along with Starbucks. :)
16.Attending Beth Moore's Scripture Memory celebration in Houston in January. What a great experience to look around and hear/see so many other women reciting all the verses they'd put to memory over the year. I can't wait to get started on the challenge for 2017 and to attend the celebration again in January of 2018. 

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