40 Years of Thankfulness

Yesterday was my 40th birthday. I intended to write this then but the day got away from me. I have been thinking a lot about all the “40’s” in the Bible. Did you know that 40 is a number associated with testing and the hardships that one must endure to become more spiritually aware? This number is said to appear 159 times throughout the entire Bible! I’m not going to go into detail about all of them here, but if you’re interested, a quick Google search will bring you to all the Biblical accounts where this number occurs. I’m not a numerology person by any means, but as this birthday was drawing nearer, it became something of interest to me.

I can personally attest to the “testing and hardships” that I’ve experienced in my life and in particular, in my walk with Christ over the last 14 years (which is another number of significance in the Bible…neat!!), but these aren’t the things I’m going to highlight in this post. Rather my aim is to focus on telling you all of the things that I am thankful for at this stage in my life and as the rest of that statement says, “the things one must endure to become more spiritually aware,” as I truly feel like this is the Refiner’s fire process the Lord has been bringing me through up to this point. I am going to share some photos here of my family and life because as you can imagine, outside of my walk with Christ, these are the most important parts of my life–my heart and soul–my wonderful, godly hubby and best friend in the entire world, and our three beautiful kids (& their loves) and one sweet adorable grandson with our precious granddaughter on the way!! I have WAY more pictures that I wanted to include here but it’s limiting me, so here we are with these! Take a peek into our life this past year. After the pics, I will list my 40 things I’m thankful for.

Our greatest joy in life is being Meemaw & Peepaw! We have another grandbaby (girl) coming in March and this was Peepaw’s reaction when we found out the gender on Tuesday! So as promised, here is my gratitude list:

  1. Above all things, I am grateful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
  2. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit that fills and leads me through my days.
  3. I am thankful for the Word of God, by which I hear my Father’s voice and learn more about Who He is and what He expects of me.
  4. I am so thankful for prayer–our lifeline to the Father, Who hears our every thought and word to Him.
  5. I am grateful that I am called to a great purpose as an ambassador of Christ.
  6. I am thankful that I know the Truth (the Way, the Truth, and the Life) and that He has set me free!
  7. I am thankful that I have the Good News of eternal life and that I can share it with others.
  8. I am thankful for Divine Appointments that God gives me every day.
  9. I am grateful that He has gifted me in so many ways in order that I may fulfill the good deeds He has established for me to walk in long ago!
  10. I praise Him for being able to write about what He is doing in my life and then share it with others in such a time as this.
  11. I am blessed to be an encourager and have deep compassion for others, so my heart’s desire is to bring them close to the one who is Living Water and the Bread of Life.
  12. I am thankful that God draws me to all of the beauty in creation and that I have always been absolutely in love with all of the masterpieces He paints for us in the sky!
  13. Because of this, I love to paint and find great joy and peace in doing so. It is another gift and something else I’ve been able to use to bless others.
  14. I am thankful for everything I’ve gone through in my life that shaped my personality and character-even the bad things, because they led me to see my need for a Savior.
  15. I’m thankful for all of the things I’ve experienced in my walk with Christ (again, even the bad things), as they have continued to mold and shape who I am and who I want to be in the Lord…it’s a process!
  16. I am eternally grateful that God has given me the most wonderful, amazing, loving, godly husband and partner in the Gospel and Kingdom work that I ever could have asked for and that we truly are very best friends.
  17. I’m always blown away when I remember how God saved us at the very same time and I’m so grateful for the life He has given us in His Son.
  18. I am thankful that together, we have encouraged one another for all of these years to stand firm and grow strong in the Lord and that nothing is more important to both of us.
  19. I’m grateful that we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, and we are not afraid to be “radical,” “extreme,” or “different”–as this is our call by the Father and it’s an honor to stand up and stand out.
  20. I am thankful that God convicts and challenges us often and that we are always being changed and transformed and that we get many opportunities to practice forgiveness.
  21. I’m grateful to be the only examples of a true Christian in all of our spheres of influence, as hard as it may be at times to walk alone on the narrow path.
  22. I praise God for the three beautiful children He has blessed us with, and that they are growing into amazing adults who want to have relationships with us! Thank You, Jesus!
  23. I also praise Him for the significant others in their lives that we love and accept fully as our own children and a wonderful addition to the family!
  24. I am thankful that God gives us the opportunity every day to pray for all of them and shine the love of Christ into our home and into their homes and life, as we earnestly seek Him and intercede fervently for each and every one of them–that one day they will each know Him and serve Him wholeheartedly.
  25. I am beyond the capacity for words to tell you how thankful to God I am for our sweet, precious first grandbaby, Hogan. He has been the light of our life since before he came out of my daughter’s womb!! He has inspired us and changed us in so many wonderful ways!
  26. I am also just as excited and giddy over our sweet little angel, granddaughter that is on the way, due to arrive in March of next year! I can only imagine how much she is going to steal our hearts!
  27. I am so grateful for this beginning of the next generation and that we have the opportunity to show Christ to them and prayerfully leave a legacy that spans lifetimes, glorifying and pointing everyone who comes after us to Jesus.
  28. I thank God with all of my heart for all of the people he’s brought into and through our life over the years, whether the season they were here was long or short. He blesses us with all sorts of friendships and experiences.
  29. I am thankful for the desert/wilderness times that made us parched and thirsty for the Living Water and the fact that only HE could satisfy our need.
  30. I am so very, very grateful that in July of this year, He told me to do something and I obeyed, not knowing what it would mean in the grand scheme of things.
  31. And that through this one simple act, we have seen MANY come to faith in Christ!!!! More than we’ve ever seen in our entire life.
  32. I’m so grateful for all of the beautiful sisters and brothers in Christ that we have met all over the world in the past few months!
  33. I’m thankful for how God has used us to bring great change to an entire culture and area, that will span generations (should the Lord tarry).
  34. I am so grateful for the relationships He has allowed us to cultivate and the ways He has changed US through all that we have experienced there, and all of the things He is teaching us.
  35. I am thankful for humble hearts that desire to hear and obey and love others and be used of God in whatever way He ordains.
  36. I am thankful for the Body of Christ and how God always has a remnant that He is preparing and equipping and that He allows us to partner with Him for His kingdom work.
  37. I am grateful that the harvest in the Middle East is beyond plentiful right now and SO humbled and amazed that God is allowing us to play whatever part in it that He sees fit, and so incredibly blessed to be a blessing to these precious people there.
  38. I’m thankful for the technology and modes of communication that make this possible and I pray for many others to get involved in this way while it’s an option.
  39. I am overwhelmed that God uses sinful but redeemed people to make disciples of others and that He gives us all the tools necessary to do so! The Word of God and the Holy Spirit…the power behind bringing the Light to the darkness.
  40. I am thankful that our legacy can live on even though our life is but a vapor. The things we do today can have an eternal impact. My walk with Christ today can inspire others for generations to come, long after I am face to face with my precious Savior. Wow…what a thought.

Well that was a long list and probably not even scraping the surface of all the things I am TRULY thankful for. I had some thoughts this morning in my quiet time and intended to put them in another post but I think I can actually tie them in beautifully right here. I was reading Psalm 39:4-7 which says,

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.” 

We are merely moving shadows,
    and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
    not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
    My only hope is in you.”

AMEN!!! This spoke to my heart this morning because I have felt so busy and hurried lately that I haven’t had all of the quiet time my heart desires and it’s left me feeling tired and empty. Verse 6 was such a great reminder to me of the need to slow down and focus on what’s most important (see my big huge list above)! My hope is in the Lord and my purpose is to know Him and make Him known. Period. Nothing else matters. This life truly is brief, as James says in Chapter 4 verse 14, “but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.” And a few other verses:

Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”

Ecclesiastes 2:3 “After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.”

Job 7:7 “O God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again feel happiness.”

So we know our time here is short. Let’s spend it well and, as has become my motto, “be about the Father’s business. JESUS IS COMING SOON!!! Thanks for reading my musings today and all that I’m grateful for at this season of my life. I hope you enjoyed this peek into our world! God bless!

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