Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thankful for Thirty

***First, let me give credit for this idea to my friend at Hall House Happenings~ who unknowingly inspired me to be thankful for my 30th birthday and to create this post! Thanks, Becky.

What is it about 20, 30, 40....?  Something about that zero behind the number that makes us feel so different.  The beginning of your own personal decade! Sounds a little scary, right? Or maybe exciting! Either way, it can be depressing for some.  Feeling as though their life is slipping away. Regretting choices made...or choices not made.  It's a time of reflection and looking ahead.  For me, I'm challenged to be thankful for thirty. If my life were a movie, it would be a long one!  If it were a book, it would surely be a novel.  But whose wouldn't?  I have so much to be thankful for, don't we all?

Today, I turn 30.  And here is my list...

1.  I was born to a wonderful family who raised me to love and serve the God who created me.
2.  A sister was born 14 months later and we have so many memories together! We're closer now that we're older, but the memories from our childhood are priceless!
3.  Because life happens, my parents divorced in the 80's and remarried in the 90's.  I have 2 great stepparents who I love and appreciate greatly!
4.  My mother is a beautiful lady who has taught me so much about life and the beauty of God's love.  I never knew the extent of her love for me until the day I became a mother.
5.  My stepdad is wonderful (funny) man who has taught me, probably unknowingly, how important it is to just be yourself! He has a huge heart and even let me work in his shoe shop as a teenager!  I am thankful for the love that he has for my mom and us.
6.  My dad is a great man who has taught me to always give my very best.  He believed in us and always encouraged our success.  Plus, he made almost all of my science projects!  Thanks, Dad. =)
7.  My stepmom is a special lady who always loved and cared for my sister and me.  I am thankful for her gentle understanding nature.
8.  I attended several schools, but have the most memories at Raleigh Christian Academy.  I'm very thankful for the sacrifices that were made so that my sister and I could attend well as North Raleigh Christian Academy, where we both graduated.
9.  My salvation! I gave my young heart to Christ at the age of 6 at youth camp.  There are so many people who invested in my life and cared deeply for my spiritual journey!  I couldn't begin to name them, but I am eternally grateful.
10.  Piano lessons began very early....and the hobby stayed with me throughout elementary, middle, and high school.  Today, I am thankful that I still enjoy playing as well as teaching children to play.
11.  My grandparents are 2 selfless, godly people who played a tremendous role in our life.  We spent many days and nights in that house on Plainview.  And they were days and nights I won't ever forget.
12.  The Christmas mornings spent gathered around Granny and Papa's little kitchen table on a picnic bench for a big breakfast (or steak lunch...depending on the year...we alternated) are memories that can't be forgotten.
13.  I am so thankful for the church I was raised in, Raleigh Church of God.  This is the place where my spiritual journey was nurtured.  This is the place where I made forever friendships.  My mind drifts back and I can remember children's Christmas plays, huge homecoming lunches,  annual"country fair" day, children's church, and so so many more!!!
14.  We were very involved in our youth program at church and had many opportunities that I will always cherish! National teen talent excursions were so memorable and many friendships were made from some of those experiences.
15.  The summer of '98, I met a special guy!  A red-headed, handsome, gentleman!
16.  The fall of '98, I moved 8 hours away to attend school at Lee University in Cleveland, TN.  Great  memories!! I met some special people and learned a lot as this was the first time on my own!
17.  Spring of 2000, I moved back home and began school at Meredith College.  Wonderful school, and again....great memories!
17.  Summer of 2001, I married that red-headed, handsome, gentleman.  And I love him so much more today than I did that hot August afternoon.
19.  Along with an amazing husband came amazing in-laws.  They are all such loving people and I feel so blessed to be a part of their family.
20.  Dolan and I moved to Pikeville and still live in the same great neighborhood filled with people we're thankful for!
21.  We are a part of a great church where we have made so many memories and so many friendships!
22.  In 2003, I graduated from college and began teaching 4th grade at Wilson's Mills Elementary where I met some of the greatest kids in the world!  There will always be a special place in my heart for the elementary classroom, and maybe one day, I'll be back in one.  I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to meet some wonderful teachers and be blessed by the lives of so many children (some of who are 16 now!!!!)
23.  In 2005, several teachers from our school and others in the county set out to obtain our master's degree in education from Campbell.  It was an exciting journey.  I learned so much from those teachers and the professors who guided us!  This experience was an amazing one!
24.  In 2006, Dolan and I were blessed to be able to take a dream vacation to Europe.  We are so thankful for this experience and to have seen another part of God's awesome creation.  The memories we made are priceless.
25.  In 2007, God blessed Dolan and me with our first child, Savannah.  She is a special girl and is so full of life.
26.  In 2009, we were blessed again, with a second child....a son, Noah.  He just turned a year old on July 10th and is such a treasure to us.  He is so loving and we enjoy so much watching his personality develop.
27.  With great excitement, we are anticipating the arrival of our third child, another son, to be born in October of this year.  God is good!
28.  Our little house is not the same anymore, it's now full of toys, stained carpet, fingerprinted windows, and triple the laundry!  But oh, how thankful I am for all of those things!  I know that day is coming when I will look at my front door and wish to see a small sticky handprint.
29.  I am blessed to be at home with my little ones and teach them about the love Christ has for them!
30.  The fragility of life....because it helps me realize the importance of making this list!

So, I'm thankful for thirty.  What a goal to set for yourself!  Creating a list of blessings for the number of years for which you've been blessed to live. (OK, so if you're on up there, this may take some time) Certainly, I could add just one a year.  You know, really I could create a brand new list!  We all could.  We have so much to be thankful for.  I only regret that I don't count my blessings near enough.  God is so rich in love and cares so much for his children.  I must thank Him!

Jeremiah 29 verse 11: (New International version) 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

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