Thursday, November 25, 2010

My 100th blog post...

Thanksgiving has come and gone. The parade has been watched, turkey/chicken&dumplings/ham/million other things have been consumed, and we are leaving for a horse show tomorrow morning. I think it is very fitting that my final post of the Thanksgiving series and 100th blog post (according to Blogger dashboard) is about faith and family, because...
{I am thankful for my faith and my family...}

Though these two subjects deserve separate billing, in my mind they go hand in hand. My faith has been influenced by the persistance and example of members of my family. I might never have gone to church if I had not been taken by my parents. I might not understand the importance of missions if my mom and dad had not let me go on my first mission trip to Honduras at age 16.Throughout my entire life if I know my family support one aspect of my life, it was that of my spiritual development. So... they go hand in hand in my eyes.

My faith: ... It's my cornerstone, my conscience, it makes me a better person. I am not the best Christian I can be and I never will be... because God is infinite and I can NEVER stop learning about Him (That's why daddy said that no one ever graduated from Sunday School). I used to think my faith was strong, but it has been rocked in so many ways over the past 2 years that I believe it is stronger. I pray it will continue to grow stronger, and I confess that is something I need to continually pursue more than I have... According to (a very useful website if you have never checked it out), the word "Faith" is mentioned 458 times in the bible. The word would not be mentioned so many times if it wasn't so dang important... The truth is though... there are so many things other that you Christian faith that you have to have faith in... for some it is spouses, others it may be your car.
Yep, I said your car.
You know how you go get your oil changed every 3 months or 3000 miles, and you fill up the tank when you need gas to go somewhere... well, you do that to ensure that your car will run. How many times do you think about wear and tear on your faith, or filling up your faith tank. For most of us, probably not that much... but take it from someone who had a bought of not being too happy with my Creator, sometimes your Faith gets tune up in times when you don't expect it... when you run from your faith. Well friends, you can't run from God... I tried. He loves you too much (Ephesians 2:10). I can truly say that I am a stronger person and a stronger Christian because of the deaths that have occurred in my family over the last 2 years. I understand death better, I understand mourning, I understand that no matter how many times you feel like your heart is literally tearing into pieces and your body cannot possibly produce another tear... you will get through it. It's not easy and it never will be... but knowing that the Creator of the Universe who my family members are praising in person is sitting right here in this bed with me as I cry and type... how can I not have faith in that??
One of my favorite verses about faith is one that is well known, but is so inspiring:
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Y'all, a mustard seed is an inanimate object... so if it has that much faith...
My prayer for my faith is that it will continue to grow, that I will continue to learn the will of God in my life. Daddy once wrote the following:
"His thoughts are not like ours.
His ways are not like ours. They are higher.
That’s why God’s plan for our lives seldom makes sense in the early stages.
Only after we begin to see results of following His instructions
do we realize how wrong we are and how right He is."
I pray that I will get to a point that I don't need to see His results, but I'll take his thoughts and plans for what they are... perfection
My family: I honestly don't know where to start here... I was blessed with an incredibly loving and generous family who would do anything for each other. We may not be the best communicators sometimes, but we are always there when needed. I know that my mom and my Aunt Lanell are probably reading this so I am writing a little note to them both. (My goal is always not to make them cry, but well ladies, get your tissues.)
Mom, you inspire me more and more every day. You always say you don't think you can make it through things... but you don't know your own strength. You once told me, "Pressure breeds strength, just ask the diamond." Well mom... I think I could put your name in the place of the diamond there. I am thankful for all of those years when we fought and we fought hard... because it makes me appreciate you more today for the friend you have become. Since Daddy died you have become my best friend... we both lost our best friend that horrible June day and while I know I can never understand what it is like to lose a husband, I do know what it is like to lose your closest companion... because he was mine. I don't have a clue what the future will hold for me, whether God will lead me further or closer to home... but I know that until I meet my husband, where ever you are is where home is. I don't say this enough, but I am so proud of you on the good days and the bad. I love you.

Aunt Lanell, Thanks for always telling me you love me... I think you were the pioneer for that statement in our family. During those years I fought so much with mom I knew I could always talk to you when Daddy wasn't around, and I'll be forever grateful for that. I also appreciate that no matter what we might disagree about you were always encouraging and would listen rather than argue. Thanks to you and Uncle Lloyd for giving me the sisters that God didn't... He knew what he was doing when Kim was born two months early, even though it might have been frightening at the time... and the surprise that Kristen was, well... she loves harder than anyone in our family. Despite losing both your parents and father in law over the last two years you have been a rock of help for mom and I will be eternally thankful for that... It is so comforting to know that others are around to support her when I physically cannot be. Thank you for keeping me accountable for blogging and encouraging me to write... because it does help me to process things. I love you too.

God has blessed me with so many amazing family members and a big family too. Shane and Kristen who have more in common than they like to admit, Kim (my ally and forever "best cousin") Some of the most amazing people in my family are the little ones who don't know how encouraging they are... Anna Catherine, Cassidy, Wyatt, Will, and Savannah.... those kids just love me without abandon (well, Savannah and Will are learning they aren't even 2 after all) and I swear sometimes their hugs could cure any illness. They are being brought up by parents (Heather and Jason, Vanessa and Ben, Kim and Robby) who will teach them as ours have taught us... to be good respectful people who love God, their family, and their country. I am thankful that I still have one grandmother remaining, Mawmaw Cole, who though she has her own share of difficulties, she's speaks her mind (no matter who is in the room), and lets her family know that she loves them.

I truly can't imagine that I would fit in with any other family... they have made me who I am today, and I hope they are proud of the ever improving (hopefully) result.

Love y'all,

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