Thursday, November 28, 2013

Top Ten Things I Am Thankful for This Year

Many of my facebook friends are doing a 30 Days of Thankfulness and post each day something they are thankful for. I love that they are doing this and it is fun reading people's thankful posts. Although I don't write my own thankful posts on facebook, it does cause me to think about the things for which I am thankful. While I didn't come up with 30, I do have a top ten list of things I have been especially thankful for this past year:

1. First and foremost I am thankful for my Christian faith that helped me through some very difficult and challenging days this past year. I don't know what I would do without Jesus in my life. As a child, I grew up in the church but for 8 long years, I wandered away from God, living a life of rebellion. I finally went back to Him in the year 2000 and that was the best decision I could have ever made! I will forever be grateful for those who were praying for me at that time in my life.

2. I am so very thankful for my amazing church family. Normally, we attend what's called the New Life redefinition service which is a small group setting with quieter worship, coffee and goodies and a great message - one in which we are all encouraged to take part. We have also gone to New Life's celebration service where the worship is much more charismatic (which I love!) Pastor Marc, Pastor Ron or whoever else preaches at that service never fails to bring a dynamic, thought-provoking message full of God's truth. I am so grateful God has brought us together with such an amazing group of people who truly love us and keep us encouraged through prayers, e-mail messages and visits.
Gathering with friends after church at Brunos Pizza
3. I'm thankful my daughter is doing so well in school this year. She is 10-years old and a 4th grader. She has had her struggles with school, and we have had some pretty tough mornings in the past just trying to get her there. This year though, she is doing extremely well and is excited (most days) to get to school. She really loves her teacher, her aides and especially loves music class. The kids in her class do their best to interact with her and she loves it when they help her on the computer.

4. I'm thankful that after putting in many years working hard in the oilfield, my dad got to retire and he and my mom moved here to Bismarck. My sister and her kids also moved here and my younger brother and his wife live in Bismarck too. It's nice to have family close by and although we all have our own lives and schedules, it's fun when we can all manage to get together!
My sister Dawn, my dad and me celebrate Father's Day in their new home in Bismarck
5. I can't not have a things I am thankful for list without mentioning the Healing Rooms of the Northern Plains. This ministry has been instrumental in keeping our faith built up and have encouraged us greatly since we moved here from Watford City nine years ago. They have been there for us since Faith was a little baby and all three of us have experienced emotional, spiritual and physical healing at the Healing Rooms.

6. Admittedly, I have not always been thankful for my job. I am a customer service representative for a health insurance company. We made a huge transition this year as we were acquired by a larger company and had to move to another building. I am thankful that this other building is only 5 minutes away from our home - especially with the onset of winter weather.

I am thankful that God gave me this job as a way to supply for my family's needs and I'm also thankful that I have some great co-workers, some of whom I have gotten to be very good friends with during the two years I have worked there. While some of our customers can be difficult to deal with over the phone, I am grateful that God allows me to see the illnesses and financial hardships they are dealing with and while I can't pray for them over the phone, I certainly pray for them throughout  the day.

7. I am thankful we got to see my wonderful in-laws this year! They live nearly 2,000 miles away so our visits with them are few and far between. This past summer we were able to meet them in Winnipeg, and had a wonderful time with them. We're hoping to travel to Ontario next fall to help my mother and father-in-law celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
David and Jean Bousfield on vacation in Winnipeg
8. Something else I am excited about this year regarding my daughter is that we have found some treatments for her that seem to really be helping her. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 6 months old and is in a wheelchair. We continue to pray and have faith that she will one day be able to walk. I'm thankful for some practitioners we met this year who have started working with Faith and are helping her make some huge forward progress.

9. I love Christian women ministries and events so I am very thankful for the opportunity to be involved in an area ministry called JOY International. Through being involved in JOY, I have gotten to know so many amazing women. I love going to the JOY breakfast each spring, where over 600 women from all over the state gather together. In 2013, JOY had one of best breakfasts ever with a fantastic speaker and some of my family including my sister, niece and sister-in-law were also able to attend. I also love our monthly Java JOY events that help keep me encouraged and inspired throughout the year,
JOY Breakfast - an event annual event many women look forward to attending
10. This may seem a bit offtrack but I am thankful that my football team, the NDSU Bison are doing so well again this year! They have won the national championship two years in a row and are the favorites to win it again this year. I graduated from NDSU in 1996, my dad and sister also graduated from there and this year the three of us had the opportunity to travel to South Dakota to see a live game.

I love that the leader of the team, quarterback Brock Jensen is a devout Christian and gathers the team together for prayer after each game and even invites guys from the opposing team to come pray with them. He is always giving glory to God for the team's victories and while some may argue that God doesn't care about NDSU football, He does give favor to those who serve Him first and foremost.
Bison fans in Brookings, South Dakota
There are many other things I am thankful to God for this past year, too numerous to mention. Mostly I am thankful for His word that brings truth into my life and allows me to live by faith no matter what the world says. I am also grateful for his faithfulness and goodness in times of hardship and struggle and that I am able, no matter how I am feeling or what I am going through, to still bring Him a sacrifice of praise. No matter what you may have gone through this year or are going through, please remember God is there for you, too. That is truly a wonderful thing to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!

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