This weekend I turned 35. I am absolutely delighted! There is no time in my life I can recall being more in love with and at peace with my life.
Grateful does not even begin to describe how blessed I feel! The graces that God has poured out on my life are too many to count, and yet, as Ann Voskamp points out in her beautiful book, One Thousand Gifts:
If all these were gifts that God gives – then wasn’t my writing down the list like…receiving. Like taking with thanks.
And, so, for my 35th birthday, I rejoice in these 35 gifts from a generous God. My cup overflows.
- Jesus’s Love & Mercy ~ There is no other way to begin this list. I am entirely unworthy of my own life and yet because of His love, I am infinitely blessed.
- My husband ~ My beloved, my best friend ever has a heart of gold! We are an amazing team, the two of us become one, and the love and fun we share continues to surprise me. Of course, as he wrote about a year ago, the best part is still just being in the same room together!
- Mom ~ Her loving hands are tireless in care of me (and now my children), and I am only now beginning to understand the personal sacrifices she made to be such an extraordinarily gentle and encouraging mother. She is the epitome of unconditional love.
- Dad ~ He gave me my drive for life, and I am so grateful for his constant praise and unending support. His optimism in any situation has been a huge motivator to me to persevere through tough times, and in these most recent years his zeal for life sustains me.
- My only brother ~ While my brother and I are six and a half years apart, I treasure the bond we share despite our distinct personalities and seasons of life. We are family, and he always honors that with his heart of compassion!
- My firstborn daughter (9 yo) ~ She has changed my life and given me my vocation. Her passionate love for life reminds me daily to seize the moment, and her attention to detail challenges me to be faithful through and through!
- My firstborn son (6 yo) ~ He makes me smile just by being near. His energy and positive attitude are contagious, and he never fails to amaze me with his creativity. Bringing balance to our busy days, he challenges me to slow down and play ball!
- One in Heaven ~ Yes, I am grateful, too, for the loss of our little Anna and the suffering that followed. She gave me faith I did not know I could have.
- My baby (18 mo) ~ I simply delight in his life! He teaches me to love the little things and savor every stage of babyhood. His joy and loving heart engage me and challenge me to laugh more and hug more!
- My In-laws ~ It is a great blessing to have supportive in-laws and a relaxed, uncomplicated relationship with them!
More tomorrow! Thanks for rejoicing with me.