Today probably isn’t the day to ask because last night was a little rough. So … in a conscious effort to forgive and to get beyond the difficulties of yesterday, I am going to tell you 10 things about my world for which I am thankful.
, and I love home ownership. I like that I can paint when I want, write on the walls when I want (I have actually done this in the past week.), and dig my fingers into the dirt in my yard. There is something a little bit spiritual about homeownership, and I love the privilege of owning my own home. Paducah Shiloh. My 14 month old lab puppy is an absolute mess. I love her to death. Who else can you leave for 12 hours in a box and when you arrive, she’s begging you to love on her – nothing more (except maybe to potty)? She is wonderfully sweet and great company.
- The Beliefs of this Place. To find a moderate Baptist church is a rare thing in
Western KY.Immanuel truly is a place like that. They have been ordaining women for decades. They truly believe that good ministry starts with the people, not the pastors. They encourage their members to start a grass-roots movement and then we as a staff get on board with it. They are concerned about their neighbors in town and across the globe.
- My Education. I tell people all the time that seminary didn’t teach me any answers; just where to look to find them. I love Emory for that! They turned me into a scholar, which turns me into a better minister.
- My mentors. While I rarely see them and talk to them not-that-often, every day their lives shape mine. I am constantly impacted by Alicia, David, Robert, Carie, Luke, David, LeAnn, Allison, and Robin. What I have learned from them makes me a better minister.
- The Staff. While I get along better with some of them than others, this church staff is fantastic. They have amazing hearts and long for good things to happen for the people at Immanuel. Over the past 18 months, I have come to appreciate each of their spirits for what it is and I am learning to love each of them in their own way. I couldn’t work with a better group of people.
- My Brother-in-Law. Until the wedding in July, I couldn’t stand Jai. He drove me crazy. But I performed the ceremony and being a part of that intimate circle of Annie, Jai, and me, something changed and I am glad he is a part of our family now. I still don’t want to spend unending hours with him, but he is my sister’s best friend, and he makes her happy, and that thrills my soul.
- Books. I get $750.00 every year to spend on whatever I want to read. I have discovered some life-changing authors and texts since coming to Immanuel. I missed reading for pleasure when I was in graduate school, and now I am constantly devouring a book.
- Adoption. Katie and Russ Mohr adopted from
this year. Eliot is absolutely precious, and through Katie I have met some amazing families who have taken seriously the call to care for those the world has chosen to ignore. Following their stories and sharing in their lives has taught me so much about the love of God the Father for us. Their sacrifices, their tears, their unending love, their willingness to give up even their homes for their children have taught me incredible truths. Guatemala
- Resources. I like to complain about not having any money, and it is true that school debt, a mortgage, and a car payment suck up most of my monthly income. But the reality is that I do pretty well. I am going to pay off one loan in about 6 months, which is 6 months ahead of schedule and will free up $250.00 per month. I have been richly blessed.
And even this exercise has reminded me of a thousand more things for which I am thankful – including an internet connection that allows me to stay connected to old friends a thousand miles away. Happy Thanksgiving, my sweet friend.
I love you!