That was the theme of church today. Don't forget to remember. It was such a nice service. The first few minutes or so they had clips of sounds, birds chirping, waves, eggs frying, roller coasters, and the church organ. During this time, you were supposed to remember and reflect on whatever came to mind. For me it was many memories from my childhood. I thought back to the summers spent at the lake by my grandparents. The joys of summer and my innocence of just wanting to play and swim. Family reunions at the campgrounds. Remembering all the joy that weekend brought to me each and every year with my cousins who were the coolest people I know! Fourth of July at the lake again. Watching the fireworks, sparklers and just being with my family. Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings, when mom would make scrambled eggs and bacon. We would get up and watch the parades as breakfast was cooking. Some other memories were family vacations to Cedar Point, Disney World, and Six Flags. The church organ reminded me of my grandparents church. It is so old and beautiful; ceilings painted, stained glass windows, candles...The last memory was of my wedding day. All the joy I felt that day. All the excitement of our lives to be. All the wonder of how many children we'd have, who they'd look like and just being overjoyed for marrying the man who is my soul mate!
Then we had time to reflect on what we were thankful for. This part was a little harder for me. I mean, I thought of the obvious things. I'm thankful for my family, my friends, my job, my house, our dogs... But then I really started thinking. What am I thankful for and the funny thing was I started thinking of things I NEVER thought I'd be thankful for. I am thankful for Jesse's horrible job that he had prior to owning the pizzeria. Oh how I hated that job! Owning a restaurant/bar and being the only sensible partner with work ethic, Jesse was never home! He never was around. I think back to the first few years we were married and if you wouldn't have known I was married, you never would've guessed it. I was at everything ALONE! Because of that horrible job, we are both able to see the value in everything we do together. And I know in my heart that had he stayed in that job, we wouldn't be where we are today. I highly doubt we'd even still be married.
From there I thought of our difficulty in trying to have a baby. Had God have granted this wish when we thought we were ready, I don't think Jesse would've left the job above and I know we, for sure, wouldn't be on this walk of faith we are now.
It has been through these difficult times that God made himself evident in our lives. Had we received everything we prayed for and wished for, we would've taken God and all our blessings for granted. I'm not saying we wouldn't have believed in God. We went to church, but through all these difficulties, things changed.
I began to question God and for a LONG time, I was angry at God. After all, we had done it all "right" according to God. We didn't live together before we got married, we loved each other, we went to church... So, I stopped going to church. For a LONG time! I would yell and scream and say that there can't be a God, because how could he do this to us?! Didn't he love us?! Why wasn't he listening?!
Little did I know, he does love us, he was listening, I just had to change my thoughts. Through a chain of events that I tried my damnedest to control, God took the steering wheel and directed us to a group that would change our lives. We went through a Dave Ramsey course with people that saved our finances, our lives and our marriage! While meeting with these people week after week, they talked about the church they went to and about their views. We decided to check it out. We went to this church. I had the feeling that this had to be it.
Thank goodness we did, because that church and those people have changed our lives forever. I never thought I'd be one of those people who would proclaim my love for God, but here I am. I have heard this reference a few times in the past few weeks...A turtle on a fence post. The only way the turtle got there was through the help of someone. That turtle couldn't have clawed his way to the top, someone had to have put him there. That's how I feel about our lives right now. There's no way we would be where we are today without the help of others. Chris, Adelaide, Stacie, Greg, Kristi, Sean, Julianne and Patrick, I am so thankful God brought us to you when he did. We were lost, afraid and had no direction. Now, a little less than 2 years from the time we met, Jesse and I are not lost anymore. We know who we are, we aren't afraid anymore, God is with us. We know where we're going...Wherever God puts us! Because the only reason we are where we are is because of God's gift.
All of this is a gift. The good times, the bad times, all of it. So instead of looking where we're not and what we're lacking, I plan to See the good God blesses us with, Stop to appreciate it and Say thanks for all that I have in my life.