November continues and I continue the work of gratitude. Gratitude when I’m grumpy, gratitude when I’m frustrated, gratitude when I’m exhausted…it comes easy when joy flows and happiness is all around. It’s work all the other times. But almost more precious. Those little gifts are God saying, “I am here. I will not forget you.”
So here are three more.
I am rich in family. Not just John and the kids, but my extended family and his. My parents, my sister and brother in law, my nieces and nephew. My cousins, my aunts and uncles. The grandparents I was able to know and the ones I wasn’t. My special Paw whose loss I still feel. John’s family, people I would choose to know if they weren’t related to us. They are like the dream in laws. We are rich in family. Here’s a picture of just one part of my family.
I’m grateful for my church, Waters Edge Church. It’s the place we landed after leaving the church my children and I had gone to since Chase was not quite two. I will always be grateful, grateful, grateful for my years at Hope Community Church and I could write a 2000 word post about all that place was to me and how much I loved it. I left with nothing but love for Hope…it was just time. But November 4 is for Waters Edge and I’ll tell you why.
1. Waters Edge is committed to excellence. There are the components and only three- Sunday worship, community groups and volunteering. Each component is done well and thoroughly and each one is a pleasure to participate in. I love the worship service, I love my community group and I love volunteering. I do my service in the children’s ministry. My little girls love their classes and that makes me happy. All of us, except Chase serve in in Kid Kraze or Wee World. (Chase is a greeter.) It’s wonderful to go, plug in, serve the Lord out of our giftings and then go to another service time for worship.
2. Waters Edge wants to change the way the peninsula views church. I love this concept. Jesus said he came to seek and save the lost. We are commanded to love one another. Waters Edge is fixed on these two things. Salvation and love. What more is there? What could be more important? When I hear the stories of salvation, when I see the baptisms, when I watch the church grow…I am reminded that you will know a tree by its fruit. I’m happy to be a part of it. Just yesterday, Waters Edge’s third campus was opened and 1100 people attended. I think that’s amazing.
This one may seem crazy at first but bear with me.
I am infinitely grateful for hard times. I know, I know, what person in their right mind would be glad to endure hard things…but I am. Because every time I go through the Big Life Stuff and every time my table collapses and I have to rebuild….God and I hash things out. And every time, I come away changed. I come away refined. And yes, I’d rather it be rainbows and sunshine all the time…but that’s not the reality of life. I am so glad that God is faithful to use these hard things to purify me and to make me better.
He really does work all things together for our good.
I’ve learned a lot about me and even more about Him as I’ve navigated tough waters. I’m grateful for that, because I want to be better. I want to do better, I want to be a better witness for Him.
Listen to the whole thing: