30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 12

thankfulnessToday I am thankful for books!

For anyone who follows or regularly reads my blog, you can tell that I post more about the books I read than I do about France (but I do try to keep my blog balanced!).

I am thankful that I live in a country–and that I come from a country–where reading is encouraged and books are made widely available. I am also thankful that I know how to read.

For those of you who LOVE to read, is there one book you are the most thankful for?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 10 & 11

thankfulnessThis weekend I am thankful for education and technology.

We live in a world where we have so many opportunities to learn more and to accomplish more, that it almost feels like a crime to not make the most of the knowledge that is constantly within our reach. For me, something that I want to take more advantage of is delving deeper into the world of web design and development. There are literally thousands of free tutorials and online courses about creating websites that I have no excuse in not learning :)

And I am thankful for technology because it makes it incredibly easy for me to keep in contact with all of my family and friends back in the States. This time last year my mom was hosting an 80th birthday party for my grandfather, and just about everyone from their side of the family was gathered in my parents’ dining room, passing an iPhone around to say hi to me. I am very thankful for the ability to talk to anyone at anytime from anywhere.

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 9

thankfulnessToday I am thankful for my husband.

I work Saturday mornings and Matt always drives me there and picks me up (as opposed to me taking the bus). 5 minutes after he dropped me off today I realized that I forgot some little finger puppets I needed for my classes, and I called Matt and asked him if he wouldn’t mind too terribly to drive back to my work to drop them off. He didn’t mind at all; he didn’t complain about just getting home (which I would have totally understood, and I might even do that myself) he just asked when I needed them by and that he would drop them off.

I know this seems insignificant, but it’s those little things that he does that makes me realize how much he loves me and how much I am blessed to have him for a husband :)

Is there anyone in your life whom you are thankful for today?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 7 & 8

thankfulnessI was a little busy yesterday and I got home too late last night to post, but that is ok since the things I am thankful for yesterday and today, joy and hope, go hand in hand ;)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” [Romans 15:13]

There are literally hundreds of examples I could write about to describe my joy, peace, and hope…but I’ll just go with my work experience yesterday. Thursday afternoons are usually one of my hardest times of the week, mainly because I have two classes that overlap for half an hour and that typically includes some crying and not-listening on the kids’ behalf. Yesterday, however, even though there was some intense crying at one point, I left work feeling so joyful and encouraged that I now have so much hope for that class and for myself as a teacher. I know I’ve said this before, but I never imagined I would be a teacher, and now I can tell that the joy I get from teaching children probably means that this is something I should be doing. And I not only love my job, but I have an amazing boss and coworkers who encourage and give me hope me all the time.

What are you feeling joyful and hopeful about today?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 6

thankfulnessToday I am thankful for forgiveness.

Yesterday I did something (or didn’t do something) that I felt really bad about, and this morning started off awfully because of it. I had already apologized, but the problem was that I couldn’t forgive myself. Fortunately, God is always able to forgive.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” [Ephesians 1:7]

I can’t think of anything that feels better than forgiveness. Whether we’re forgiving others or being forgiven ourselves, the act of forgiveness feels like a huge weight being lifted off of our shoulders. Which is exactly how I felt after finally forgiving myself today :)

Thank God for forgiveness!

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 5

thankfulness

“Always [give] thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Ephesians 5:20]

Today I am thankful for community.

The student ministry (Remix) that we’re involved with here really emphasizes community, and we try to spend lots of time with each other to deepen our relationships and strengthen our community. That is why tonight our men’s and women’s small groups went to play laser tag!!! Oh my goodness, we had a blast! Not only was it at the best laser tag center I’ve been to, but we were all able to bond and connect through playing with each other :)

I thank God that He has brought us here; that we are blessed with our friendships here in France and that we have found a wonderful community. And also I’m thankful for laser tag ;)

Is there something you’re feeling thankful for today?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 4

thankfulnessAs I sit here in my apartment on this rainy autumn afternoon, I can’t help but be thankful for all of God’s provision for my family since we moved to France nearly two years ago (which blows my mind to think that we’ve been married and France-dwelling for almost two years now!). God is the ultimate provider, and as I reflect upon all the things He has provided me with, I realize just how blessed I am.

Our apartment, our jobs, food, clothing, and good health–these are just a few of the many, many things my husband and I are blessed with. And I am very thankful that God loves His people and that He provides for our every need.

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Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 3

thankfulnessThis afternoon I am thankful for rest. Last night I stayed up very, very late to watch my Alma Mater’s football team (FSU!) play Miami. Needless to say, after only getting a few hours of sleep afterwards, I was rather sleepy by the time noon came around, and I decided to follow up lunch with a nap. Now normally I avoid naps at all cost, not because I don’t like them, but because I’m one of those people who just feels absolutely awful after taking one, whether it’s a 20 minute cat nap or a 3 hour siesta.

But today was not the case. Today I embraced that precious nap and now I am awake enough to be writing this blog post!

But this reminded me of how essential God’s rest is in our lives, and I also feel convicted for not seeking His rest and comfort over the temporary and fleeting comforts of the world.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]

Being a very independent person (something that most Americans are in general) I often find myself denying my need for God’s rest. But not only is he able to give me rest, He wants to. He wants to take up my burdens and rejuvenate my weary soul. He wants to comfort me after a trying day. He wants to reassure me and give me that extra boost of energy when I feel like “I just can’t go on.” God wants to because He loves me.

So that is why today I am thankful for rest :)

What do you feel thankful for today?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 2

thankfulness“Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” [Ephesians 5:18-21]

Today I am thankful for new friends. This morning, Matt and I spent some time with an American couple who just moved here from California. They’re here for the next two years to help out with the student ministry we’re involved with, Remix, and we wanted to show them around Grenoble a little bit. We didn’t do anything special; we walked around the farmers’ market, went to FNAC, showed them one of our favorite (free) museums, and ate lunch together. But it was really nice for us to connect with them, and it turns out we have quite a few interests in common! Mainly some geeky things, like Back to the Future, Battlestar Galactica…Meet the Robinsons (most underrated Disney movie in my opinion)! So, yeah, I’m thankful for making new friends :)

What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 1

thankfulnessI saw this post from one of the bloggers I follow and was instantly inspired to write my own “30 Days of Thankfulness” posts :)

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year, and one of the reasons why is because we’re encouraged to celebrate all of the things we are thankful for (and I love being thankful for things). In fact, this is something we should do daily:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]

Therefore, during the month of November I will take each day to thank God for a specific thing that I am thankful for, and I encourage you to do the same!

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Today I am thankful for my job. These past couple of months have not been easy as I have been adjusting to my new job (one I never thought I’d ever have), but God has been really helping me become a better teacher. He’s giving me confidence in myself, patience with my students, and an earnest desire to see them learn. I have been asking Him to help me with that last one especially, because I don’t want to see this as “just a job.”

These last two weeks France has been on vacation, and I have had two different week-long vacation classes. This week I had a class of 4 very bright, very joyful little girls (THAT was a blessing in itself. Girls are so much easier and calmer than boys). I enjoyed teaching them so much that at the end of the week it made me sad to think I wouldn’t have them in my class anymore :( but I am thankful for my job and for moments like this, when my students bring me “presents”:

Artwork

What are you thankful for today?