Sunday, November 20, 2011

GreaThings 2011: Today I'm thankful for... (3 days of catchup)

It's been a super busy and stressful week here, so I'm catching up from the last few days...

GreaThings 2011

Today I'm thankful for...
Difficult experiences

This year I have sought to be more aware than ever of how God is using difficulties for my good. Even though there have certainly been many times I just can't figure out what He's doing, having this perspective does help me trust Him and be more aware of the reasons that He does reveal to me.

Several specific situations come to mind when considering this past year. First of all, Joe's ongoing job uncertainty, lasting for 10 of our first 11 months of marriage. As stressful as this ordeal was, it gave us a great opportunity to learn a lot about trusting God as a couple, and praying together as we waited for His answers. We learned how to encourage each other and be strong for each other during the more stressful times, and together we saw God amazingly answer our prayers at just the right time and in a way better than we had thought possible for a while. This was very faith-strengthening, and definitely drew us together as a couple.

Another faith-tester this past year has been waiting for God to bless us with a child. We had hoped (and rather expected) to get pregnant soon after the wedding...but God obviously had other plans. This area, too, has given us a good chance to pray together and trust God and encourage each other. Though we are eager for our family to grow, at the same time we are genuinely grateful for the "extended honeymoon" season and the quality time it has given us to focus on our marriage, getting to know each other much better.

God's timing is indeed perfect, all He allows is for our good, and we look forward to seeing what He has for us in the years ahead!

Yesterday's post...

Today I'm thankful for...
The Internet

At the risk of sounding pathetically nerdy (lol), I'm going to use the "I" assignment for today's gratitude post to talk about how much I'm thankful for the Internet. As much as I get frustrated with technology at times, wishing I could go back to the "good ol' days," I really do appreciate the many amenities it has brought to my life.

Without the internet, I...
~ Couldn't keep in touch with friends and family all around the world. I mean, there is the telephone and snail mail, but I don't like using the former very much, and have little time for the latter these days.
~ Couldn't do graphic design work from home, at least not very effectively. I'm able to work with clients around the globe, and access all kinds of needed information and assets. To try to do this without the internet would be a severe handicap.
~ Couldn't access all kinds of free information. I'm always looking up the answer to something I'm curious about or trying to learn. There's such a wealth of knowledge out there for anyone with half a mind to learn!
~ Couldn't get by on such a small budget. I'm always getting something free online: listening to free streaming music, printing off coupons, signing up for freebies, and so on. We definitely more than recoup our monthly internet access fee!

And most of all, it's extremely unlikely that Joe and I would have ever met or gotten to know each other were it not for the internet. It was definitely what God chose to use to bring us together, and we're sure very thankful for that. :D

And today's post...

Today I'm thankful for...
"Normal" days

Joe and I are both homebodies to a large extent, so we have many quiet evenings here at home. Going out or spending time with others can be wonderful, too, but I do greatly enjoy our "normal" routine and the quiet activities we enjoy doing together. Whether it is me working on handwork while Joe reads aloud, eating popcorn and hot chocolate while watching a movie, laughing over Facebook statuses or Youtube clips, or having him read our daily Bible chapters while I make supper...there is a happiness in the simplicity and "normalcy" of these activities.

When I am tempted to feel lonely or wish I had a car to go do shopping or visiting, I try instead to remember how much I am grateful for what IS. If God blesses our home with children someday, a new "normal" will replace these quiet, predictable times and I'm sure I will think back on them with fondness. May I enjoy them fully now, and thank God for them!

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