It's a new year. I want to take this time to look back and count my blessings:
1. A new baby. April 14, 2013 marked the addition of a fifth daughter. She is a delight and a joy, and reminds me that sometimes just being is enough.
2. Health. After a bout of chicken pox this summer, I am thankful that a routine childhood disease was the worst of our problems. No one was seriously injured, no one was seriously ill, and we are all very very healthy.
3. A home. In 2012, my stbx husband and I bought this house. As our lives have developed, this house has been both a source of contention between us, but also a source of stability. God has provided for us to be able to stay here, and we've had no major maintenance issues that I couldn't cope with. A few close calls, mind you, but nothing major.
4. Financial provision. We've not starved, we've not had the power shut off, or run out of propane for the furnace. My bills have been paid, food has been provided and the mortgage paid as well. And I was able to give my girls a good Christmas and their birthdays. Plus, we have been amply provided for with clothes, blankets and books for school. God is truly the source, and He has made me wealthy!
5. Friends. They say true friends are for life, and I am very grateful for some old friends that have stayed with me for years. Even if we've each had personal issues this year, we've been able to support the other, in the midst of our own pain. And God has provided some new friends to come alongside and help.
6. Freedom. God has revealed and opened doors to free me and my children from abuse and oppression. The fight isn't over yet, but already things are much better, at least in our home. And thankfully, I am able to protect my girls from the worst of what's left. I trust God to continue to lead us from captivity.
7. The kindness of strangers. There are still good people in this world, and although it's a sad commentary on the church, I've been so thankful for the kindness of those who do not know me. I am a stranger to them, but they see my need and they help. When my community has come against me, God has brought others into my life to help. I'm never forgotten, though I often feel rejected, and I'm never left forsaken.
8. My driver's licence. I never thought I'd be thankful to have this -- I never saw it as absolutely necessary -- but it has been a huge blessing. Being able to drive, when I have access to a vehicle, has simplified my life enormously!
9. Technology. Without this, I would be lost. The connections, support and information I have with the technology that I have access to has been essential to coping with some of the struggles this year. God has provided all that I needed and even more so, God has provided all that I want! He is soo good to me!
10. Jesus. He is not last, nor is He least, but He is the most. He is the constant companion, listening ear, comfort to my aching soul, broken heart and confused mind. He speaks to me daily, He lets me know I am loved, and He shows me my next step. I'm learning to trust more, even when those around me prove untrustworthy. With Jesus, I am rediscovering who I am. He is revealing the personality He gifted me with, and I find myself enjoying life more than I ever thought possible, especially in the difficult circumstances I find myself in. I am excited for my future and I am anticipating with hope the new things He will bring me.
Thank you God for Your blessings this year. Thank you most of all for Your love. I love you Jesus!