Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 23: Sofia

Today, I'm thankful for this little girl. Every once in a while, a person comes along who absolutely steals your heart. Sofia is that person. Although she may only be 4 years old, she has stolen my heart. She has more personality and sass than most adults I know. Words don't do my love for her any justice. I'm so thankful I get to see her grow up, and see the woman of God she becomes. I'm so thankful that I get to be part of that process. Her story is already so beautiful... I find myself fighting back tears when I think of my great love and thankfulness for this little one. Just the other night, while I was tucking her in and praying for her, Sof takes my head in her sweet little hands and tells me "Emmy, you my BEST friend..." I've never known such great love.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 21

I knew the day would come where I would stand in front of the Stirring family and share my story. People have heard bits and pieces of it on my blog, and through conversation, but it's quite a different thing to stand before hundreds of people, and share such a vulnerable and personal part of my life. Today, I'm thankful for the strength and courage that God gave me. We're all real people, with real struggles and real hardships. I just happened to have the opportunity to share mine. And to share the way that God restored every part of my broken story. Nate said something at all three of the gatherings after I shared, he said that nobody would every fully understand the battle it took for me to get to this place. I can't tell you how true that is. I struggled to find the perfect words to share with everyone exactly what it is that God's done in my life, but the truth is no one will every totally understand. I just know that our stories need to be shared. Even if we're not sure WHY we're sharing them. There's such power in our stories. They give hope. And they remind people that God WILL show up, he WILL fulfill his promises to us. Words will never satisfy the work of God in our lives. It's something we have to experience. But there's really something to allowing God to USE our words to bring hope to others. Most will probably never fully understand battle and the strength and courage that's gone into the past year and a half for me, but hopefully my words can fuel another person's battle and strength and courage.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 15

I have the greatest job in the world.
It's true. I work with the most fantastic group of people you could ever meet. They are so much more than just co-workers to me. They are my family. My peeps :)
Today, I am thankful for the people I work with. Each person is so incredibly different, but so necessary to our staff. Our family.
The Ladies:
I'm thankful for Meg's sense of humor and her ability to understand me- even when I'm not making sense. I'm thankful for our inside jokes, and our shared brain :)
I'm thankful for Amy's heart, and for her playful personality. I'm thankful for the way she knows how to cheer anybody up at just the right minute. And how she never overlooks one single detail.
I'm thankful for Jenna's passion and wisdom. I feel like I could come to Jenna with any trouble or concern, and she would help me make sense of it.
I'm thankful for Jess's joy and selflessness. She would drop anything she's doing to help someone else out. That's a very rare characteristic!

I am extremely blessed to work with people who I not only LIKE, but who I love. They are my family. They mean more to me than they'll ever know. I wonder how different this world would be if everyone got to work with their best friends....

Don't worry, I'll fill you in on how thankful I am for the guys within the next few days :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude Challenge: Day 14

I fell off the face of the blogging earth. I apologize. Things got REALLY crazy. My car got broken into. My purse was stolen. I got sick. The Rooster Party happened... some great things, some horrible things. All within a week. But I'm still thankful. I'm thankful for the incredibly kind and generous community I am part of. While it's a HUGE bummer that my car got jacked and my stuff got stolen, I'm really thankful that the people I'm around are so encouraging and willing to help in any way possible.

So here's to NOT falling off the face of the blogging earth any more. And to figuring out all of my car issues.... what a process.

What are YOU thankful for?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gratitude Challenge: Day 8

Yes. I'm a bit behind. Life got busy this weekend :)
HOWEVER, I've got a BIG day of thanks today.
Some days are little, baby things I'm thankful for. Like, for the sunshine, or my delicious Dutch Bros., or a smile from a stranger.
Not today.
Today I'm thankful for something big. Real big.
Today I'm thankful for the HOPE my life screams.
There is so much despair that fills our world. Kids dealing with way more than kids should be dealing with. Suicide and self mutilation and depression. It's everywhere.
My life could have looked like that. There was a point when I was at a crossroads. I could have picked the life of self-destruction. The life that would have surly lead to death. It would have been easy to pick that path. But God had different plans for me. Instead of that path full of despair, God placed strategic people in my life who would walk with me on the path of healing and recovery and restoration. So that my life could shout hope to others.
My story is a hard one. But God is using my story. And He has given me a NEW song to sing with my story. I get to tell people that, with God's help and love and redemption, health and freedom are possible. It doesn't matter what you're going through. It doesn't matter what choices you've made. It doesn't matter what path you've decided to walk down. God can restore it. He wants to. He wants to set your feet on a new path. It's true. And that's the hope I get to scream, shout, gently whisper with my own wounded story. And that's what I'm thankful for today. And every day, really.

"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord."

Friday, November 4, 2011

GC: Day 4

If you're reading my blog for the first time, read more about this Gratitude Challenge here.

Gratitude Challenge: Day 4
Today, I'm thankful for lunch with friends. Who love you. And encourage you. You make you REALLY cute cards that are super funny and make you laugh, even when all you feel like doing is crying.
This season isn't exactly what I had hoped for. It's confusing and frustrating. I've been having a hard time with things. With this season. But then days like today come, where you realize you aren't alone in it. That you have friends who are RIGHT there with you, who love you and understand you. I'm so thankful for those relationships. I understand that I'm right where I need to be, and even though it's not where I'd LIKE to be, I'm so glad I have friends right there with me. Wonderful, funny, witty, amazing friends.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gratitude Challenge: Day 3

Today is Thursday.
I love Thursdays.
On Thursdays, I get to eat dinner with the Lance family, and then watch the kiddies for a few hours.
That is what I'm thankful for on day 3 of the Gratitude Challenge: Spending my Thursdays with the Lances.
It seriously could be the highlight of my entire week.
Those kids fill my heart up, no matter the situation.
I'm so thankful to be part of this family.
They love me just as much as I love them.
And I love them a WHOLE LOT :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gratitude Challenge: Day 2

Is it okay with everyone if I abbreviate? GC? We cool with that? Okay, GC day 2:
I'm so thankful for this season of life. I know, pretty broad, pretty vague, but it's the truth! (I'll be sure to go into more detail as this challenge goes on.) I'm so thankful for the crazy, busy, wild season I'm in right now. Every evening of my week is packed with incredible events. Single Life Workshop, Immerse/Jr. High/Catalyst, Life Group, spending evenings with my Lance family. I wouldn't trade this season for anything. I love what God is doing in and through me in Single Life, and at Life Group. I feel like so many hard areas are being exposed, and God is bringing healing to them in new and powerful ways. I love that I'm finally embracing the season of singleness that I'm in. For so long, I just wanted it to be OVER. I wanted to find a husband, fall in love and get married. But I'm learning to embrace EVERY season, even the ones you want to end so badly. I'm learning new things about myself, and about how to be the best version of me possible. I'm so thankful for where I'm at, and what is happening in my life. It's a busy season, but it's a GOOD season.

What are you thankful for?

Gratitude Challenge: Day 1

The Gratitude Challenge is something I did last year that changed me forever. For the entire month of November, I will blog daily about one or more things I'm thankful for. The idea behind this is to realize there sure is a ton out there to be thankful for, and we can celebrate those things on any day, not just Thanksgiving. This challenge really blew my mind last year. It came at a time when things were really rough. I was in a difficult season, and through my gratitude, and realize how much I have to be thankful for, it gave me perspective. And perspective is good :)
So, I was supposed to write this yesterday, but my day was PACKED, so here you have Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge 2011:
Today, I am thankful for:
-The sweet words of children. They have a way of reminding you that what you're doing IS making a difference.
-New friends and their stories. I love hearing other people's stories. It gives you a glimpse into their heart.
-My quiet mornings alone in my house. Just me, Jesus, my oatmeal and my French Press. I savor these mornings.

What are you thankful for today?
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