32 Birthday Thanks to All!

December 12, 2013

So many things to be grateful for this time of the year and after celebrating my Birthday yesterday, it is time to share those thanks after all the wishes came in!  Before we get to the thanks, there are a couple highlights I want to share with you.  Over the past 5 months I have had the opportunity to live with my friends Jared and Britni, along with their two little kiddos, Grayson and Sloane.  As I awoke and came downstairs I was preparing for the day with a little quiet time with the Lord when Grayson came walking in to the reading room with a card he and Sloane made for me.  What a great way to start the day with the smiles of these two friends of mine(and mom and dad)…

Grayson & Sloane BDay Photo

Then it was off to the Java Jag, the coffee shop at Ankeny Centennial High School, to volunteer.  I was able to see some students and share a smile with them, always great seeing students in their environment!  Afterward I was off to work, starting my day with a meeting with my Children’s Ministry Staff, Jackie and Angie.  Little did I know that the meeting had an alternative motive, a surprise that both of the ladies were in on.  Even before the meeting started, Miss Bridget walked in and definitely surprised me with her presence and presents.  We shared a delicious Wig and Pen Union Jack pizza and then gave me some wonderful thoughtful gifts.  What a blessing it was to have lunch on a day where we are both busy with student ministry at night!

birthdaytakeone

Following this wonderful lunch date, I continued the day by watching a soccer match of my top team, Chelsea.  As I watched I did a bit of work, but was preparing for a night with students.  In preparing I was excited to take on a new  activity to share with the Junior High students.  Dustin, our worship leader, and I practiced some choreographed dance moves that our friend Geneva taught us to share with the students.  We found out later that it rocked!  As PowerLife started I was serenaded by 100 students and leaders to a wonderful Happy Birthday sing along, as I thanked them I told them how much I loved celebrating my Birthday with all of them, couldn’t be more blessed!  After a great night with the students, I then returned home to enjoy game night with Jared and Britni.  The kids and Britni had baked a cake and Jared had bought some ice cream for a nice treat.  After playing four games, 2 of Settlers of Catan and 2 of Ticket to Ride, I came away with one win in Settlers…I’ll take it.

Catan BDay PicBDay Dessert

Such a great way to the end a day filled with surprises and fun!

There was one thing that the day was littered with I have yet to mention and a reminder of all the great friends in my life.  Thank you for all the Birthday wishes in person, via text and Facebook message.  As I thought about how to say thank you to all I knew of something I would like to share that would be a gift in return.

This year’s gift to you comes from the Lord( John 15:9-17 ), it is His love!  The best gift I got is the love that comes from the Lord and as the Lord reveals in scripture, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  So that is my offer to you this day!  How may I “lay my life down” for you?  I want to continue to grow in my sharing of love with you all as we continue our journey’s in this life!

Then just to say thanks in a unique way, here are 32 Ways I am Thankful for all of you, my friends:
1)     Friendship through life
2)    Support through
3)    Encouragement through challenges
4)    Laughter in good company
5)    Creativity together
6)    Sense of Adventure
7)    Care for my well being
8)    Smiles when a lift is needed
9)    Hugs to share love
10)  Thoughts when in conversation
11)   Prayers in all circumstances
12)  Questions that make me think
13)  Energy early in the morning(and throughout the day)
14)  Empathy when emotions are a challenge
15)  Wisdom in decisions
16)  Love for soccer(sports in general)
17)  Hope in the desert places
18)  Experiences of a lifetime
19)  Your children who bring joy
20)  Your compassion for those in need
21)  Memories of the past that won’t fade
22)  Teamwork
23)  Hospitality over the years
24)  Affirmation in times of change
25)  Accountability in thoughts, words and deeds
26)  Gifts over the years
27)  Acts of kindness
28)  Inspiration and Motivation
29)  Vulnerability and humility
30)  Appreciation for food
31)   LOVE FOR GOD AND OTHERS!!!

There is so much more I could say, but this is a pretty good start!  Thank you all for your friendship and your kind words yesterday!  It was a great way to celebrate and this time of year is always a good reminder of all the numerous blessings that come in the shape of friends!  Praise God for you and your friendship!  Please let me know how I can be praying for you and your family!  My goal is to share more and more love, because God continues to show His Love more and more each day!