And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV)

Tis the season to count your blessings, so here are a few of mine…

1.  Glen. Seriously, this guy is amazing. I knew it the day that I met him and every day since then has been a resounding confirmation. Through the highs and lows of life, his love, counsel, and steadfast support have served as my undeserved companions.

2.  My Girls. Elizabeth: my eldest. God has blessed her with a heart to serve. She loves making lists, has the memory of an elephant, and seeks to excel in all that she does. For better or worse, she is my mini-me. Hannah: my middle child (or medium child as she would say). Oh, the imagination on this girl! She has a beautiful ability to think outside of the box, and to see the rainbow through the clouds. Her creativity allows her to see the beauty in the world that would otherwise go completely unnoticed by us. Madeline: the baby. As the last she has allowed me to truly appreciate every bittersweet moment of having a baby one last time. The tiny feet. The tiny hands. Daily they are growing never to be tiny again.

3.  Our family. Kent and Deb, Joann, Rick and Sue, Craig and Shelby, David and Jennie. The support. The unceasing encouragement and belief that Glen and I could do whatever we set out to do. There is absolutely no way that I can imagine leaving for France in a year without the love and sacrifice of those closes to us.

4.  The opportunity to stay at home with my girls. Daily, I am blessed by the opportunity to care for them, teach them, encourage them, clean up their messes, kiss their boo-boos, and cherish their smiles. The list really goes on and on, but I think you get the point.

After I wrote this short (and not at all comprehensive) list, I realized that the things in my life for which I was most thankful weren’t things at all. They were people. Beautiful, wonderful, amazing people that God has put into our lives. Even as I think beyond the ones mentioned, the list goes on and on with individuals who have loved us, encouraged us, lifted us up, wiped our tears, challenged us, and showed us God’s love here on earth.

Thank you, Lord, for these people, mentioned and unmentioned.

~ Jessica ~