Our family made the difficult decision to change churches after being in the same church family for 13 years. There are few things that can rip your heart up like church drama. We don't make these sorts of decisions on a whim, nor do we take them lightly. We have weathered many storms, but finally felt prompted to go. We prayed and agonized for months before making the decision, but now we feel peaceful about it. Unfortunately, many other friends have been agonizing over the same thing. The good news is that I think we have found a new church that we can be a part of and serve in, and the whole family is excited about it. That's a big blessing in a small town with very few Bible believing churches to choose from.
Whenever life seems challenging, I find it absolutely essential to count my blessings. After all, I have many things to be thankful for.
So here are 7 blessings that I am thanking God for at this very moment:
1. Our girls have wanted to learn to play the "fiddle" for years. My husband's old high school English teacher is now retired, and plays the violin in the local symphony orchestra. To give back to the community, she has chosen to give free violin lessons to children on the mountain. She is even going to come to our house every week to teach my girls how to play. We surprised the girls with brand new violins for Valentine's Day, and they can't wait for their first lesson to start this week. I'm sure it will be hard on our ears for a while, but I'm ecstatic to hear the first little songs that they will squeak out on their new instruments. Free lessons are a huge blessing for this family! Isn't it nice to know that there are still kind people in this world?
2. Our kids have a phenomenal 4-H club, this year. Their leader doesn't have any kids of her own, but she volunteers countless hours to help her 4-H kids become the best little riders they can be. She is an amazing teacher! Her family has a state-of-the-art roping arena, and not only do they let us ride there, but they are helping our kids learn to rope in an arena setting. These folks are just the salt of the earth, and our kids grin from ear to ear every week when it's time to load the horses for 4-H.
3. The driver's side door of our old truck has been broken for years, and since the parts needed to fix it are several hundred dollars, we just kept putting it off. We would unroll the window and open the handle from the outside, or just climb out like the Dukes of Hazzard. One day last week, our mechanic took my husband down to the junkyard and helped him to find a replacement for the broken part. Then he helped him to replace the door handle, free of charge! You can't imagine what a blessing it is to have a working door, again! Good guys are still out there!
4. Even though his own sons are grown and gone, our son's baseball coach still volunteers his time to Little League, and has even set up a pitching machine in his yard so that kids can come work on their hitting in the off-season. And he does it all for the love of the game. Our son has benefited so much from his coaching.
5. We have been blessed with great friends that feel like extended family. Our pastor said that the best friends you have are the ones who show up on moving day. Our "moving friends" also happen to be the friends that we have enjoyed having Bible Study with one evening every week for many years. We look forward to getting together to fellowship and dig into God's Word, verse by verse. That's one of my favorite parts of the week! We just finished studying the book of Daniel, and are now diving into a study on the book of Revelation. It's sooo good.There are some great expositional Bible study guides that we use, and then we listen to online sermons about the chapters we are studying to get the complete picture.
6. Four days a week, I leave all of my frustrations on the gym floor in the form of sweat puddles. I'm so thankful to be working out with 5, yes 5, of my great friends every week. We do a lot of giggling and grunting as we experience the shared torture of reshaping our bodies and making them stronger. I'm thankful for what it's doing for my body, but I'm most appreciative of what it's doing for my well-being.
7. I'm so thankful for you, my blogging friends. I've received so many blessings in the form of emails, comments, and encouraging words from you all over the years, and I appreciate each of my readers and blogging friends so very much! You have no idea how often your thoughtful words make me smile and even laugh out loud. You all add joy to my life, and I wish we all lived closer so we could sit and talk in the kitchen over a cup of coffee.
Counting your blessings is good for the soul,