November 27, 2010

Thankfulness (written on Sat night)

Every year I write a list of all that I am thankful for. The past few days I had been thinking about all that I am thankful for and quite honestly, my list is really great this year. So as I was thinking this morning, I decided that I wanted to write just a few things that I am most thankful for. The years that we go to Iowa to visit Jason's family, I write my "thankful list" on my way home but I just wasn't feeling it. On that trip home, we decided we wanted to go to the Saturday night service at Willow S. Barrington on our way home. (Jason and I attend the Chicago campus of Willow Creek). It was tonight, at church singing "Our Great Savior," which was a hymnal I remember singing at church growing up, that it hit me what I am most thankful for this year. This year I am thankful for everything listed in last years post but most importantly, I am thankful for God's love and faithfulness.

As soon as Jason and I were engaged, we prayed about every detail of our wedding. We began with the date and location, narrowing it down to September 18 at Dreams in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Looking back on this, I still giggle to myself that I had been to Puerto Vallarta before and had always told everyone how much more I loved Cancun better (since my family has been going there since I was a young kid). But we both felt this was where God was telling us to be married. After that we realized a few obstacles of having it there (the most obvious being that we were going during the rainy season). But before and after every decision, we prayed and asked God to lead us. Of course, that didn't mean we didn't have typical wedding obstacles along the way. I got more and more upset as I heard from friends and family who weren't going to make the trip to our wedding. Then it was just 9 days before we were to board our plane, I had a bit of a breakdown about the way my dress looked and then learned that my veil was no where to be found. (could have been anywhere between Europe and the House of Brides store in Lombard.) The forecast every day for our wedding weekend showed rain, and it even rained right at 6:00 on the dot of our wedding day, the time of which our wedding party was to be walking down the aisle, but, through it all, we prayed. Because we had prayed before making any decisions, I knew that God would make it all right. I had the same fears that I think anyone would have, but knew that in the end, our day would be just as God wanted it to be. One of my spiritual gifts is Faith, so it comes as no surprise that I would just roll with it knowing that God was going to work it all out. But don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I wasn't really bummed every time I got a call from a friend who couldn't come to Mexico or I tried my dress on and thought I looked like a big white blob, or heard they were moving our (Mexico) reception site indoors just in case it would rain in the evening. But God was present through it all, EVERYTHING was perfect, even the raindrops stopped falling just in time so we could have our beach wedding and everyone else was so relieved to have the reception moved indoors since it was so hot outside. Not a single person had an issue with their flights or luggage (how does that happen with nearly 30 people flying international?!) My mom and I found the perfect undergarments to make my dress fit, my veil was found (it was in the stockroom all along!), and I am convinced that He had the right people there with us for a reason. I could go on and on and list the millions of things that went perfectly our entire week in Mexico and specifically related to our wedding and guests but you get my point. Our wedding was the biggest testimony of God's love and faithfulness for us.

It's been an interesting two months since our wedding day. I'm embarrassed to say that I've felt a huge disconnect with God. After praying about every detail of our day, it's been hard to get that back in the everyday bits of life, but tonight at "Big Willow" I realized how much He wants me to rely on Him and how willing He is to provide if I'm willing. During the service we all took communion together and Darren, one of Willow's teaching pastors, reminded us that communion is a time to reflect and give thanks to God. Man, do I have so much to be thankful for!! This year I am so thankful for all He has done for me. God, I thank you for all you have blessed me with this year, especially for bringing Jason and I together and I pray that I will continue to grow in this relationship with you by praying for every detail of my life in the way that we prayed for every detail of our wedding. You are so faithful!

If you're interested in growing closer to Him this Christmas season, check out this reading plan through (click here) You can read a little bit every day about the Christmas's only 30 days long and I am sure it will help you appreciate what this season is all about!

Wishing you all a belated Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you have a lot to be thankful for this year too!

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