Sometimes holiday services are hum drum and cliche. Today's Thanksgiving services were neither of these things. In fact it probably goes on my list of all time most meaningful services.
It began with a hauntingly beautiful flute solo of Amazing Grace and then continued with the congregation singing the hymn. I could not help it. Tears streamed down my face, but joy was in my heart! Amazing Grace always takes me back to my salvation experience at family camp when I was 11 years old. A day or so after I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptised, I played that same tune on my own flute for the camp's talent contest (which I didn't win! lol).
A young family from our Sunday School class dedicated their 3 sweet children. A newly married couple who had come to know Christ through the love of our church family, were baptised. Special music was shared and the congregation joined in responsive reading from the Psalms. Jenny put together a great Power Point show with photos and comments from the "I am thankful for..." cards that we all filled out a couple weeks ago. The music from both worship choruses and hymns was awesome in the best sense of the word!
The "finale" was about a half hour of sharing from the church family. Some things were short and sweet, while others were moving, heart wrenching testimonies. At the end, we left the service with the Holy Spirit warming our souls. And so, I resolved to share my Thirty in November for this year. The first few are in order and then it gets random. Hopefully, I didn't miss anything/anyone important!
1. My faith and my relationship with God, who as my friend Lynette wrote in her list, is the lover of my soul!
2. My husband, who grows in faith each year and is one of the most awesome dads I have ever seen.
3. My kids, who the doctors said I would never have, but God had better plans!
4. My church, which is like a family. We're still getting to know each other, but the fit is good! :o)
5. My Mom and step Dad, who are friends and great Grandparents!
6. My best friend, Shelley, who has been through thick and thin with me. She is an integral part of our family! I love the adventures and the laughs. I love that we can work through the tears and sorrows too.
7. My friend Lynette, who is linked in #1 above. She has listened to my parenting heart aches, prayed with me and called me up to see how I was doing. And she does an awesome job as the Children's Ministry Director at church.
8. The fellowship of Believers and fiber artists at Christian Artisans. I love being a part of this cyber family, where I continually, learn, grow and receive encouragement.
9. Blogs... because I often process my life through writing.
10. My new friend Jenny and her family, that we have play dates with.
11. Ravelry, which has been a fun place to "waste" time on the Internet! :o) I have a queue of future projects here that will probably take a lifetime or two to complete.
12. My new Nikon D80 that was gifted to me this year. I love photography and this camera makes it even more fun.
13. My family that have gone on before me, passing down the torch of faith.
14. Access to good organic food and healthy foods in so many locations, close to home.
15. Sonia, another local, blogless friend, with whom I have bonded over all day scrapbooking sessions and Christmas teas.
16. The beautiful Sonoma Coast which refreshes me when I grow weary of the dusty, smoggy valley.
17. Homeschooling, which gives me more opportunity to spend time getting to know my children.
18. Amy, who I met first IRL at quilting class when she so graciously explained to this newbie what a "blog" was! The rest is history! lol She is also a beautiful woman of God with an incredible story that God has not finished writing yet.
19. Photographs by which to remember those who are far apart in distance or separated by death.
20. Computers which introduced me to a whole other world...and my husband!
21. Books...something one can never have enough of!
22. Music...which soothes this savage beast!
24. Raspberries...my favorite fruit and Strauss Family Creameries organic raspberry ice cream! Hmmmm....
25. Praying with my hubby, a gift not everyone shares with their spouse and I cherish.
26. My new self-inking stamp that I had made at Office Max with my photography information so that I don't have to write it all out on every single photo card I create! :o)
27. Abbie, my kitty, who is unique and lovable and comforts me when I am not feeling well.
28. My Bible, because by hearing the Word of God, my faith grows. I am thankful that I live in a country where it is still legal to possess the Scriptures and speak and write about them.
29. KLOVE, my local Christian, listener supported radio station.
30. Improving health...since beginning this journey, each day I have felt some small improvement!
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)