Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! :D

For Thanksgiving this year, I thought I’d try to sit down and count my blessings. I soon realized that putting a number on them was going to be completely impossible. So I just decided to list them instead. So here is a list of some of the things for which I'm thankful.

I suppose I should start at the beginning…

I’m thankful that I know truth and that I have a desire to pursue truth. Even if you know truth, if you don’t have a desire to pursue it and obey it, it does nothing for you. I’m thankful that God allowed me to know it and gave me a love for it as well. If I didn’t have the rest of the things and people on this wonderful list, but I just had truth and a passion for it, I would still be blessed beyond anything I could ever deserve.

I’m thankful for my parents. My dad works harder than anyone I know to provide for us financially, emotionally and spiritually. My mom is a prayer warrior and also a hard worker. I’m thankful that they didn’t leave it up to others to teach their children, but they sat down with us and taught us Bible studies. They worked with us on our Bible quizzing scriptures. They prayed with us and for us. They lead by example and that’s the reason my brothers and I are in church today.

I’m thankful for my crazy brothers. They keep me laughing constantly. I’m thankful that they’re all living for God. One day when I have children of my own, they’re going to have godly uncles and aunts that will provide stability and love and support for them. I’m thankful that Jay has found Jenny, that Caleb has found Brittany and that Josh will one day find a godly young lady who will be perfect for him as well. I’m thankful for all the midnight viewings of Robin Hood with Jay. I’m thankful for the randomness that Caleb brings to my life. I’m thankful for every Totino’s Crisp Crust Pizza that I’ve shared with Josh. I’m thankful that they taught me how to shoot a basketball, swing a bat and throw a football. I’m thankful that they let me play with them and didn’t exclude me because I’m a girl.

I have wonderful childhood memories. I have the best family anyone could ask for. I don’t know why God allowed me all of these wonderful things, but He did and I’m so thankful.

I’m thankful that I grew up attending First United Pentecostal Church of Raleigh (now the Temple of Pentecost). I’m thankful for the leadership of wonderful men of God like Wayne Huntley and Bryan Ballestero. I’m thankful for the wonderful godly examples of their wives, Patsy Huntley and Christy Ballestero. I’m thankful that they instilled in me a love for truth and holiness and led me by their example.

I’m thankful that God called me to IBC. It was my dream since I was a child and God miraculously provided a way for me to go. Now that I’m here, it’s more than I ever dreamed it would be. I’m thankful for the call of God on my life and honored that he would choose me. 

I'm thankful for every staff member at IBC who gives of themselves unselfishly. They pour their passion, their knowledge and their burden into us daily. I've never known a group of harder working people for the Kingdom of God. 

And of course I’m thankful for all of my wonderful friends:

Heather and Korey: My sisters. I don’t just have one best friend, I have two. They’re beautiful inside and out. They love God and they love me. They’ve provided endless hours worth of listening ears, sound advice, supportive hugs, prayers and just plain old good times.
My Raleigh folks: My childhood best friends Courtney and Amber who are still my good friends today, Timothy, Zack, Caleb, Stephanie, Brittany, Kendrik and so many more.
My IBC “family”: Abby Thompson, my first IBC friend who was my Starbucks buddy, my Christmas music buddy, my grocery shopping buddy and my lifeline my freshman year.
Greta Shraufnagel, for the countless hours I spent in her room just hanging out and talking, for all the wonderful hugs, the prayers and the laughs.
Michael Mast for being my first Christmas banquet date, for all the MSAs, the Starbucks runs, the good times.
Toby Elsey for being someone I can count on, someone who encourages me and someone who can pretty much always make me laugh.
Andrew Herbst, my “little brother” for being a trustworthy and understanding friend. 
Candra Poitras for being a beautiful person with a caring heart and an encouraging word, and also for being hilarious. ;)
Melinda Poitras for being the most passion-filled person I know, and for painting pretty pictures with her words that can make me nostalgic for times in which I have not lived, places to which I have never been and people whom I have never met.
Erin Yancy for being talented, yet humble, for being a living, breathing testimony of the grace of God and for allowing God to use her to be blessing to so many people.
Ashton Pace, my sweet roommate who is basically my own personal cheerleader and who puts up with my occasional messiness.
Gideon Assefa for giving of himself and being the most unselfish person I know. And for being a theology major who is also an amazing Praise musician. ;)
Dustin Moore for being quite possibly the most compassionate, encouraging and sweet friend I have and for every IBC dinner at the table by the window which have come to mean so much to me.
Kari Martin, my friend, my suitemate, my mentor, my prayer partner, my MSA boss of sorts and soon to be my co-worker.
Hannah Troxal, for being unafraid to answer the call of God on her life and for being wonderful example of holiness.

There are so many more wonderful people in my life and if I have left you out, it’s not because I’m not thankful for your friendship. God has placed us all in each other’s lives and I’m truly thankful for everyone who has touched mine.

I’m also thankful that I was born and raised in the United States of America, specifically in the beautiful state of North Carolina. I’m thankful for the freedoms I enjoy everyday. I’m thankful for the city of Indianapolis and the fun times I’ve had here. I’m thankful for every sunrise and every sunset I’ve been privileged to see. I’m thankful for my health, for a sound mind, for the ability to learn. I’m thankful for the gift of music and all it adds to my life. I’m thankful for technology and the ability to keep in touch with all of my favorite people no matter where I am on this globe. I’m thankful that I have an education. I’m thankful for books and the endless amount of information and entertainment they provide. I’m thankful that I never have to go to bed with an empty stomach. I’m thankful for coffee. I’m thankful for Christmas and times of celebration with my family and friends. I’m thankful for Nutella. I’m thankful for nature and it’s beauty. I’m thankful for every season, for the beauty of snow, the phenomenon of rain, the peacefulness of a blue sky and a sunny day. I’m thankful for every nap I’ve taken on the beach and for the constant crashing of the waves. I’m thankful for every hike I’ve taken through the woods, every pile of fall leaves I have ever jumped into, every bonfire I’ve roasted a marshmallow in on a chilly night. I’m thankful for every time that my favorite song has come on the radio unexpectedly. I’m thankful for every birthday I’ve ever had and for every present from a loved one. I’m thankful for a warm bed, hot water and a full closet. I’m thankful for every roadtrip I have ever taken (there have been several). I’m thankful that I have never been pulled over and that I’ve never been in a wreck (it’s only by the grace of God!) I’m thankful for every sermon that has convicted me and challenged me to change. I’m thankful for every sermon that has encouraged and uplifted me. I’m thankful for every worship service, altar call and prayer meeting where I have felt the presence of God. I’m thankful for every youth camp, youth rally and youth Bible study that have helped me to grow spiritually.

I’m sure you get the picture. I could go on and on for hours just listing things. Little things, big things…it never ends. What right do I have to complain? What right do I have to feel sorry for myself. I’m literally living my dream and I could never express my gratitude to my God for His blessings on my life.

I challenge everyone who reads this blog: find a quiet place this Thanksgiving, sit down with a pen and paper, or your laptop, and start listing. You'll be overwhelmed. I certainly am.

James 1:17 Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

1 comment:

J.Shubert said...

Awesome Kris! You have turned into a fine young lady whom I have seen grow in the Lord since your toddler years. I love ya little sis. I'm glad you chose IBC& followed in my footsteps....LOL. Seriously, God has great things for you & I can't wait to see them all unfold!