Monday, November 25, 2013

28 Blessings

Today is my birthday! And as I sit here drinking a delicious cup of coffee with a happy and sleeping baby, I thought it would be a good exercise to make a list of all the blessings I have in my life. I am constantly taking for granted just how amazing God is and how much He pours His love on me. This post is a good reminder for me to re-visit when things are tough or I'm struggling. :-)

I am blessed because...

28. I have taste buds and a love for food! And I'm pretty concerned my four weeks in the States is going to have a direct impact on my hips, haha.

27. I know how to read (although I wish I had more time for it!) and I love to get lost in a good book.

26. We have an automatic food dispenser, water bowl, and (this one is the most important) litter box for the cats. We can leave them for a weekend without having to worry about someone watching them and I haven't had to scoop out litter for over a year. Hooray!

25. My husband is amazing at photography and my daughter is a smiley and happy little model. We like to have photo sessions almost weekly at the Stingerie house.

24. Madison lets Daddy and I sing to her every night and doesn't realize yet just how horrible we are at singing. I'm sure one day she will realize we aren't very good, but until then she lets us hold her and sing to her ignorant of our lack of talent.

23. I have God's grace and forgiveness. Without them I'd be lost and hopeless.

22. I love coffee! And it's caffeine helps me to get through the day. I seriously don't know how non-coffee peeps function (ahem, Jason).

21. Jason helps me with anything I ask (cooking dinner, laundry, cleaning, etc) and never complains. He's also great at just doing it without me asking. Such an amazing man!

20. We have found a church home here in Stavanger. We have been able to get involved in Men's and Women's Ministries, join Bible studies, and grow in our walk with the Lord.

19. My husband takes care of our finances and stocks and 401k and all that other business that I know nothing about (and want to know nothing about).

18. The Lord is growing me, teaching me, refining me, and sculpting me. He is using my husband, my daughter, and my circumstances to stretch me and draw me closer to Him. And while it's not always joyful and it takes some tough times, I know in the end that this world and my circumstances are temporary.

17. My mother was an amazing example to me of how to love, how to work hard, and how to have faith. Her testimony and courage and determination are absolutely breath-taking. She is my hero and I love her so much.

16. Jason holds the same values and beliefs as me. We agree on discipline techniques and parenting strategies. He wants to raise our daughter in a Christian household and I couldn't be more blessed to have that in my man!

15. My daughter puts herself to sleep and goes 8 hours at night. I forget how much of a blessing this is until I meet someone who says their little one is still waking up one, two, three times a night. Perhaps she will go through a phase like that at some point and I will have this reminder of how amazing she was most of the time. :-)

14. I have running water and can relax in a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine.

13. I have strong legs and determination that's enabled me to run two marathons, two MS 150 rides, and a number of 5k, 10k, and half-marathons races.

12. I know how to read and write. I have access to a Bible and am free to worship the Lord and sing to Him.

11. We have amazing friends across the world that we've developed over the years. I know I could call any of them up for a chat, help, or anything and they'd be there for me.

10. There have been technology advancements (Facetime, Skype, etc.) that allow us to stay in touch with our family and friends despite living so far away.

9. My job. I enjoy it and I was so fortunate to be able to take six months off to spend with Madison. My boss is also supportive of me returning back part-time and I'm looking forward to being able to spend some additional time at home with Madi.

8. The Lord worked everything out quickly and effortlessly for me to return to work in January. We have a private nanny lined up and a guaranteed spot in daycare next August (huge answers to prayer for us!)

7. There's a roof over our heads, food on our table, clothes on our backs, and money in our bank account. These are things that I take for granted constantly and instead should be thanking the Lord for daily.

6. I've been able to see a lot of the world - 17 countries in fact. I realize how fortunate we have been to be able to travel and especially to be able to take Madison with us to some of these places!

5. I have two fun, albeit trouble at times, cat companions who allow us to pet them, play with them, and sometimes even snuggle with them. So glad we brought CeCe and Zoey with us to Norway!

4. We have families that encourage us, pray for us, love us, and support us. It hasn't been easy for them to have their first grand-baby live so far away and we can't wait for them to spend time with her next month!

3. Madison is beautiful and smart and joyful and fun. She is teaching me so much about how to be a better Christian and where I need to grow.

2. My husband is my best friend and the most important person in my life. He is such an amazing husband, father, and friend and I am honored to be his helpmate.

1. I have a Heavenly Father who watches over me, who loves me, and died so that I might live.

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