I am immensely thankful for so many things. When I was having a hard time several months ago, my discipler encouraged me to wake up every morning and write down the things I was thankful for right in that moment. That started a habit for me of turning to thankfulness in the middle of struggling, and for just a second, I'd like to share some of that thankfulness with you.
1. The primary thing that I am thankful for is all of you. I am so blessed to have people who support me in what I do here. I live in London and get to talk to people about Jesus all of the time, but really, you are here, too. The people that pray for me and support me monetarily are as much a part of this mission as I am. I don't fully know how to express how humbled I am that there are people who care enough about God's work and my place in His great work that they will send their hard-earned money to me to keep me here. It's more than a happy dance and a shouted, "thank you, Lord!" You are the hands and feet in my walk of faith, because you are the instruments that God uses to keep me here. I cannot wait to say it to your face one day, but for now, thank you.
2. I am thankful for living in a team that is my English family. I lived away from home for four years while attending university, and it was a lonely experience. I spent some holidays alone, I ate dinner alone, and I did not always have people to share what I was going through. I always had friends, of course, but that is different from living with people. Here, I have eleven people around me always. If I feel lonely, all I have to do is step downstairs to find my family gathered around the kitchen table. They're always there for a hug, or to listen to what's going on, or to go on a crazy adventure. Right now, we are renovating an attic in our church and building a recording studio, and we get to spend all day sawing things and cracking jokes, and the days are so full of joy for me.
3. I am thankful that Spanish is apparently one of the easiest languages to learn. I have been attempting to learn it for over a year now, and can you imagine if it was one of the harder ones to learn? I'd be stuffed!
4. I am thankful to walk in favour as God's daughter. My eyes have only really been opened to it recently, but there are tiny circumstances in my life that look like coincidences to the human eye, but, when I look more closely, I see God's fingerprints all over them. Jesus Culture gave away a free song by my favourite artist, the money for a guitar anonymously appeared in my bank account, the Overground was shut and I got a free bus ride home, the pastor bought me coffee on a long afternoon at the church...that is only a short list. It's amazing to see the ways that God spoils me.
5. I am thankful to my mother for forcing me to take piano lessons for ten years. We fought so much about it, but for the past few months, I've been practicing the piano again, and there is such beauty in being able to worship God at the bench of a grand piano.
6. I love living with children. I love their giggles, their loud excitement, and how they always seem to know when you need a cuddle or a hug. I love their honesty. And I love that their parents are willing to share them with us, because it completes a feeling of family.
7. I am so thankful that my parents raised me in church and still make it a priority to pray for me. I have a family that stands behind me - my grandparents are some of the loudest supporters of my work here. A lot of my friends don't have the support of their families, but my parents, grandparents, and brother always take the time to remind me that they are proud of me, and that means so much to me. My parents faithfully supported missionaries my whole life, and it is an honour to be a missionary today and to know that their faithfulness is part of the reason that I am here.
8. God. I know it seems obvious, and I don't have words to explain all of my thankfulness for Him, but I hope that it is evident in my life, because it is still incredible to me that I am daily allowed to see more of my First Love's heart.