As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking about the different things that I was grateful for. It's easy and natural for most to remember the difficult or painful experiences of life, but it takes a willful effort to remember all that God has done and blessed us with. My mind drifted back to different events that have taken place this past year. As I remembered and thought
upon God's goodness to Erin and I, I realize how blessed I am. Just in the small things, like the clothes I wear, the warmth and shelter of our home, the car I drive, the job I have, the cup of coffee that I hold in my hand...(sorry...I really like coffee =)...these things I take for granted so often, when so many people are in need! All to often I get weighed down thinking about how I wished I had more time, more money, more this or that, and I miss the joy that comes from simply being content with what I have. So today, I am counting my blessings and sharing them with you.
One of the biggest blessings of my life is my dear and precious wife, Erin Elise. I don't know what I would do without her. She is my encouragement when I get discouraged, she points me in the right direction when I am headed the wrong way, she shares wonderful insights of wisdom for decision-making when I am uncertain what I should decide, she helps me count my blessings when I focus on the things going wrong...she is truly my helpmeet, the sweetest and closest friend I have. I love her so much. We recently celebrated our first anniversary, and we were able to slip away to a little, mountain cabin down in Gatlinburg and spend some wonderful time together. It was very special! We got to see some of the Christmas lights there as well as visit several small shops in Pigeon Forge. I am grateful to the Lord for bringing us together! Erin has truly been the most wonderful person in the whole wide world to me. God is truly good.
I am thankful for my brother Nate. This past week he graduated from Seminary School in Texas. He will soon be moving to Florida where he will begin serving in a chaplaincy in a prison. This has been his heart for a long time and it's so awesome to see how God has directed his steps! I am thankful for him as a brother and as a friend. He has been a great encouragement to Erin and I!
I could go on and on about each family member and how they have blessed my life, but I want to say how grateful I am for my in-laws. Gil and Kelly have been such a blessing to us. They have given such wise counsel, lots of encouragement, and so much support. I am so grateful for the whole Bates family and for the testimony that they have! I am excited for their opportunity to be an encouragement and testimony through UPtv. Episodes will begin January 1st!
The list of things that I am thankful for would be endless. Just in writing this small post has helped put my focus and attention on all that there is to be thankful for! I know that I have said this many times, but God is truly good. Regardless of the trials or hardships we face and regardless of the blessings that He pours out upon our lives, God is so good and He is worthy of our praise.
May Thanksgiving season be full of thankfulness to Him for His goodness to us!
Psalm 136:1 ~ "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
Chad & Erin...Psalm 121:1-2
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