Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back...

Looking back over 2011 makes me realize just how much God has shown himself to me this year.  So many things that have been evident, not just this year, but all along.  I think that my eyes just really began to open this year. 
I am sorry if this post seems a little scattered, I am just feeling so blessed I just don't know where to start.
I think that right now I am just grasping how blessed I am by the amount of wonderful God loving examples God has place in my direct path.  My dad has always been an amazing example of faithfulness, love, forgiveness, and patience.  I am not saying that he is perfect or that any of the people I will talk about here are because they aren't, they have all fallen and they have faults, but they do their best to put God as the center of their lives and to set an example of a life lived to serve Him.  My dad is the one who taught me how to show love, how to compromise, how to sacrifice, how to work hard, and how to be thankful.  He has taught me so much more, but I don't think that I have the words or the time to talk about all of the many things he has given me.  I have watched my dad walk through trials with an amazing faith that has left a lasting effect on my heart.  I have begun to truly learn the power of prayer from my dad. I am forever grateful that God chose him to be my daddy. 
My mom is facing something head on that she thought was bigger then her.  I am sure this has to be one of the hardest fights of her life, but she is going to win because God is giving her the strength and the grace to walk through this fire.  My mom has always been an example of acceptance and unconditional love.  There are times when I want to run away or just push the pause button because my kids are driving me CRAZY, but instead I think of the love that she showed me when I was driving her crazy.  She has been a great example of a mother's love.  I know that I am a better mom everyday because of the examples she sets for me.
My husband is a lot like my dad.  He is very hard working and would sacrifice anything for his family.  He not only works hard to financially support his family, but he works hard to be a good husband and a good father.  He walked into a ready made family and over the years we have added to that family.  Even though I came with two that were not his, you would never know it.  He loves all 4 of OUR kids.  He is my best friend and God could not have blessed me with a better man to walk through this life with.
Those are just the people that are in my everyday life.  My Uncle Bill, cousin Damian, his wife Adrienne, my cousin Cory, my father-in-law Mike, my mother-in-law Merle all teach me things  without even knowing it.  I had the pleasure of seeing my cousin Damian in his element yesterday when he performed our cousin Cory's wedding.  He not only did an amazing job, but he set a great example of a God loving man.  These people are all amazing in their own rights and when I think about them I can draw from their examples of how they live for God and I can begin to do the same.  I am so very grateful for such wonderful people.  If I had the time I would go into detail about each one of them because they are all very special to me.  Although, I think that each one would need their own blog post, lol.
Outside of this last year there are two more examples of God's amazing love that he placed in my life.  These two people I have known since I was a little girl.  One of them has had his wings and has been home with Jesus for a long time, but the memory of his example still remains in my heart and I think about him a lot.  David Smith was a wonderful man whose love for God just radiated.  I think he was an angel who walked the earth.  I can remember him stopping by randomly and he would always say that God told him to stop by and pray for me or that God put it on his heart to come see me and tell me that God loves me.  I know that I am not the only one that David, or that God had David do that for.  Whenever I am praying for a friend or thinking of someone that God has put on my heart I always think about David.  I think about what he would do to serve God's purpose.  That example has made me a little more extroverted with sharing God with my friends and praying for them.  The other person is Pam Beavers.  This woman, oh man, lol.  She has to be the most outgoing, unfearful, faithful, and God loving woman that I have had the pleasure of knowing.  I can remember riding home from church with her on Sunday afternoons and she would just randomly stop the car on the side of the road, get out and walk up to some stranger to ask them if they know Jesus.  She shared God with everybody.  I never saw her hesitate or question whether or not it was "safe" to share, she just did it.  She knew that she had God with her and she wanted everyone else to know that they could too.  Thanks to her example I have been listening a little closer to God when he talks and I have actually gone out of my comfort zone and prayed with a complete stranger. 
God has really given me so many wonderful examples through out my life. My New Years resolution is to continue to draw from these examples and use my life to serve God.  I hope to be an example of God's love for my children.