161. Feeling Jesus tugging at my heart when I was 3-years old (two days before my 4th birthday), and responding to His call. I have been blessed to be His child for the great majority of my life and I feel so blessed to have had His Hand upholding me and leading me. There really are no words for this Gift of Eternal Life.
162. The Gift of Godly Parents - they have been the most supportive and loving parents I could ever imagine. God blessed me with an amazing family when I "surprised" them by joining the family tree a bit later than my siblings (20 years after the first one, 13 years after the last). Because of my parents and their love and training, I know Jesus and I have no problem believing in a loving and just Heavenly Father because I have seen an example of a loving and just father lived out through my earthly Dad.
Here I am, 29 years ago, in the arms of my Dad
163. The Gift of Being Homeschooled. My parents sent my four older siblings through the public school system and were quite happy with the results. When I came along a few years later, they decided to do something different - even though it was not the popular and well-known schooling option back then that it is now. I am forever thankful that they made that choice - I loved being homeschooled!
My graduation from highschool
- no ugly cap and gown, but I did have a cake!
164. The Gift of My Best Friend and Husband. Peter has exceeded any expectations I ever had when thinking about my future husband. He has kept me laughing since the day I met him. He has been the perfect traveling partner, the encourager of dreaming big, the maker of pumpkin spiced lattes, an amazing provider and hard worker, and the man who has been a better reality than any of my dreams. I love you, Honey!
Ten years of marriage and he still makes my heart skip a beat!
165. The Gift of World Travel. I'm not sure how to put this into words, but I'm exceedingly thankful for all the opportunities we had to live and work overseas - in Africa, in Indonesia, and even all over the U.S. I'm thankful for the friends we made, the experiences we had, the pictures we took to remember, the new foods we ate, and so much more! I'm thankful because the experiences of living without "necessities" taught me not to take them for granted when I have them.
Elephants in Tanzania - no fences!
166. Along the same lines, I would say I'm thankful for the Gift of Enjoying God's Creation - on land and under the ocean. Elephants in Africa, non-stinging jellyfish in Indonesian waters, beautiful American eagles in Alaska. So much to see, so much to experience, so much to praise Him for creating!
Snorkling in Jellyfish Lake, Kakaban Island, Indonesia
167. I'm thankful for the Gift of a Dog for five years. Daisy was an interesting and entertaining part of our family and we were sad to give her away when we left the country. However, as thankful as we were for her, we're also thankful to be pet-free at the moment and are enjoying the backyard all by ourselves!
When she "graduated" from Dog Obedience School - HA!
168. Thankful for the Gift of Family. Since arriving back in the States two years ago, we have enjoyed spending time with our extended family - including a family trip to the beach this summer (the first time since our wedding 10 years ago that we had all been together). Family can frustrate you and make you pull your hair out, but they can also be a blessing and a lot of fun. (No picture as my family is blog-shy)
169. Okay, I've been totally serious up to now, so now it's my turn to list a few things I have grown to appreciate and love over the last 28 years:
Dunkin' Donuts bagels with cream cheese,
Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider,
books, Jane Austen, and jazz music
a good Indian curry with naan bread
Fanta Pineapple - from a glass bottle
Christmas music, chess bars, and Asian pears
good hair days and lower numbers on the scale
socks, holiday pins, and buying for others
170. The Gift of My Birthday Coat - Thanks Honey! This was a TARGET find! I've had my big winter coat for fourteen years, so Peter decided it was time for a new one - no arguments here! Happy Birthday to me!
Favorite part? The belt...or maybe the faces...