Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 28

Monday, November 28, 2011:  Crystal Gellenthin.  At work, I sit at the font desk.  We joke that I am the door keeper and that no one gets past me without a run down and password.  Ok, I'm kidding about the password, but the point is, someone has to be up there to answer the door and the phones.  Enter Crystal to save the day.  Crystal sits at my desk while I go to lunch.  Thanks Crystal!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 27

Sunday, November 27, 2011: Jessica Meyers and Kristen Novak.  God has blessed me so much in the last few years with wonderful friends, especially in college.  These two girls got me through some hard times, laughed with him, cried with me, and have continued to be blessings in my life.  Jess, thanks so much for speaking logic to my emotionalism and being willing to confront me in my ridiculousness, Kristen, thanks so much for your empathy... and for being my unofficial roommate summer 2007.  I miss watching Stargate with the two of you as well... thanks for getting me sucked into it.  I thank God for you two and I hope you know how much y'all mean to me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 26

Saturday, November 26, 2011: God's perfect timing.  I am a very impatient person and I don't think that our instant gratification culture has made it any better.  I want what I want when I want it and I get antsy and whiny when I don't get it.  The thing is, God's timing is perfect.  He knows what we need and when we need it, and if we are His children, His plans for us are for our best and for the advancement of His kingdom.  This isn't something I always believe though I know it to be true, but it's a good thing to remember, and to be thankful for.  The hard thing is realizing that it may never be the perfect time for me to have something, and therefore I won't have it, but then I can be thankful that again, God has the best plans in mind for me.  So while I am waiting for things I hope to have, I will thank Him for being both good and sovereign.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 25

Friday, November 25, 2011: My brother.  Sometimes we don't get along, but we can always laugh and I know we will always be there for each other.  Thanks for being there Thomas.  I love you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 24

Happy Thanksgiving!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

Thursday, November 24, 2011: Having all of my family together for Thanksgiving... and apple pie.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 23

Wednesday, November 23, 2011: My job.  After a year of looking and living with my parents I am thankful to have income.  God provides, even if it's not really in the way you expect.  He has taught me a great deal through this situation and I hope to cling to these lessons.  One of my prayers now is that He will help me to seek to do my best where I am and that He will continue to guide my steps.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 22

Tuesday, November 22, 2011:  Kirsten “Kiki” Oliphant.  Starting in Jr. High I entered into out church’s youth group.  After quite a few years of feeling a bit on the outside socially (I have come to terms with the fact that I was a pretty stinkin’ weird kid) it was wonderful to become part of a group… even if a good majority of us were nerdy church rats.  Through those three awkward years I was taught wonderful biblical teaching and my freshman year of high school, our church hired a girls youth worker named Kirsten St. Claire.  I thought she was pretty much the coolest person I’d ever met, and despite that, she took the time to disciple me for the first two and a half years of high school.  She instilled in me a deeper love for God and a passion to work with girls younger than myself.  Thanks Kiki for praying for and challenging me in my faith.  I can’t tell you how much God has done through you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Days 20-21

Sunday, November 20, 2011: Pastor Carter Sanger (and family).  Thank you Carter for all you do, for persevering through the hard times, for challenging and exhorting us, for working hard to assess the health of our church, and for seeking God's direction for His ministry.

Monday, November 21, 2011: Pastor Nathan Carico (and family).  Thank you Nathan for your hard work, for listening, for praying, for taking on a thousand and one tasks, for preaching the gospel and challenging us, for seeking God's direction and wisdom for His ministry at and through Cornerstone, for picking up my slack.

We are so heartily blessed to have two pastors who care deeply for their flock and for the ministry of the word and I hope we all thank God daily for them.  Keep them in your prayers and do not take them for granted.  And please do not limit your pastor appreciation to one month out of the year!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Days 18 and 19

On the roof of the church in Arevalo
Friday, November 18, 2011: My Daddy.  I guess it's appropriate that I am writing this today as it is his birthday, even though I'm writing it for Friday.  Thank you Daddy for always being there for me, for your prayers, advice, generous spirit, and financial assistance ;-).  I love you and will miss you next month.  Christmas won't be the same without you.  Happy Birthday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011:  My Mommy.  I have to write about them both at the same time, it just seems wrong otherwise.  Thank you mom for your generous spirit, prayers, advice, and logic.  I love our Monday lunches together and am so thankful we are able to meet.

I thank God for both of you every day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 17

Thursday, November 17, 2011: Learning how to cook.  While working at Christ EPC in Houston, the staff took a cooking class during the summer taught by the great foodie Kandy Steen.  I think I've always enjoyed cooking, but those classes really made me love it.  The fellowship, the stories, the creativity; there is so much more involved in cooking than just food.  I am so thankful for the experiences I've had and the ability to share recipes with others.  Tonight I am attempting to make breakfast pizza a la Kelly Chartier.  The results are pending.  Hopefully it will turn out well.  Thankful for the experience either way!

Whole wheat dough
First cook book from Kandy, next years was called "Nasty Bad"

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 16

Wednesday, November 16, 2011:  Wednesday night music practice.  I've been playing the guitar (fairly badly) since I was about a sophomore in high school inspired by our girls youth director at my church and one of the other girls in my youth group.  I've never really had the opportunity to use it as I'd like, to help lead worship, with any consistency until recently when our associate pastor offered to let me play with the music team.  I'm so often blown away by worship, being given the ability to praise our God and King, but I am especially moved (that's not the right word but I can't find it... convicted, baffled, excited...) when I can play and sing.  By no means am I a great guitarist, often Nathan has to help me with chords that I don't know and I'm hopeless when it comes to bar chords, but it's amidst that weakness that God speaks to me.  I am thankful for the patience of the other worship team members, Nathan's work in overseeing just about everything, the sound guys (Jack Kutzer, Mark Jorgansen)... it's an amazing ministry and I am super blessed to be apart of it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 15

Tuesday, November 15, 2011: Sleep.  I am so often an insomniac, that I really need to remember to thank God when I am able to sleep.  What a blessing it is to have a few hours for the body to just rest.  Thank you, Lord for sleep!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 14

Monday, November 14, 2011 (yes, I realize it is now technically the 15th, but I'm going to believe I wasn't late):  Heart to Heart.  At my local church there is a woman's ministry called Heart to Heart in which women mentor one another.  I did it for the first time last year and had a wonderful experience with our pastor's wife Rhonda Sanger, in which she counseled me, offered practical ways of helping me, and prayed for me.  I am very thankful for all of the time she spent and for her continued presence in my life.  God has blessed me so much.  This year, my mentor is Janette Cogliandro.  I am so looking forward to what God is going to teach me through her as well.  Thank you ladies for giving sacrificially of your time and thank you Lord for putting them in my life.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 13

Mmm tea
Sunday, November 13, 2011: Chamomile Tea.  Recently, I have become a fan of hot tea, and as an insomniac, chamomile tea has become one of my favorites.  I very much enjoy the fact that it helps me chill out before bedtime, and sometimes it actually helps me sleep.  I am very thankful for this particular tea.

Grilled Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Spinach, and Bell Pepper Sandwich

Yes, I have a goat cheese addiction

  • Two slices of bread
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Purple Onion
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Spinach
  • Olive Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
Add olive oil, sugar, and salt (the secret ingredient to all things tasty) to a pan along with sliced purple onion.  Saute until soft.  Add red bell pepper and continue to saute until the onions are brownish, then add spinach.  When the spinach is wilted, pile veggies onto the bread and add goat cheese.  Add more olive oil to the pan (I burned mine because I forgot to do this) and cook until browned on both sides.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 12

Saturday, November 12, 2011: Kelly Chartier.  During my senior year of high school, I caught what I'm sure most students catch those last few months of grade school: senioritis.  I got antsy, impatient, and had some of the worst insomnia I'd had up to that point.  Part of me was so irked that I was willing to do anything to get out of my house.  I even thought about going straight into mission work as opposed to going to college, clearly an overemotional decision that probably would not have ended well.  Thankfully, God blessed me with a girls youth director through my youth group, Kelly Chartier.   We met nearly every week I think of that year.  Most of the time she just listened, but her prayers and counsel got me through a difficult time.  To this day she continues to encourage me and I am so thankful for her.  Thanks Kelly!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 11

Friday, November 11, 2011: Antibiotics and Mucinex.  Need I really say more?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 10

Thursday, November 10, 2011: Sharli Takekawa.  In the fourth grade, my family and I moved back to Texas after three years in Georgia.  Moving is always hard, even when moving back to God's country ( ;-)) and as we moved during summer time, the prospect of making friends was a bit daunting.  But the apartment complex pool is a fabulous place, not only to make a fool of yourself, but also to meet the other children.  That was where I met Sharli, a wonderful friend through whom God has taught me so, so much. Thank you Sharli for being such a good friend, for praying with and for me, for sharing your creativity, for challenging me constantly.  Love ya girl!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 9

Wednesday, November 9, 2011:  Megan Wilkins.  In August 2010, my job at Christ EPC ended.  I was very sad to be leaving, had yet to find a job, and was moving back in with my parents.  While I had already mourned the loss of this job for months, the sadness really hadn't gone away.  However, amidst all this, God brought me a new friend in Megan Wilkins.  I am so thankful for her friendship, counsel, prayers and help with the youth and when I realize that I might not have become her friend had I not lost my job at CEPC, I find myself comforted.

Thanks Megan for being a wonderful friend!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 8

Tuesday, November 8, 2011:  Obedience.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, 
   did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
7 but made himself nothing, 
   taking the very nature[b] of a servant, 
   being made in human likeness. 
8 And being found in appearance as a man, 
   he humbled himself 
   and became obedient to death— 
      even death on a cross! 
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
   and gave him the name that is above every name, 
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
   to the glory of God the Father.

Christ became obedient for the disobedient, for me.  How I need to remind myself of this constantly.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Days 6-7

Late again, but still thankful!  Here goes!

  • Sunday, November 6, 2011: Yesterday I was exceedingly thankful for many things including but not limited to excellent preaching, communion with my local church, and a great church luncheon.  The thing I want to focus on though was my prayer/accountability partner Marcelina.  I texted her last night for prayer and she called soon after to pray with me.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.  Go stalk her at  My Cup of Tea!
  • Monday, November 7, 2011: Small compliments.  This morning, a Monday (everyone's "favorite" day of the week) a gentleman who came into the office told me I looked "lovely" today (he has the coolest accent).  It was small and simple but made me smile none the less.  I often get irritated by minor things, therefore, I am trying my upmost to instead take stock of the little things I am thankful for, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 5

Saturday, November 5, 2011: Vibram running shoes.  A little expensive, but my knees feel better, my calves are stronger, and my race time is faster.  They look ridiculous, but I absolutely love them.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown: Reflections on Thankfulness

Ever plan to do one of those challenges, then forget to start on the right day?  That's pretty much what I did, but rather than give up, I'm going to play catch up!  The goal?  Thirty days of things I'm thankful for.  Go has been teaching me A LOT about attitude among less than desirable circumstances, and as meditating on what you're thankful for typically helps in having a joyful attitude, I decided to take a little challenge... too bad I missed the first four days of the month.  Doh!

Thankfully (see how I did that there), I remembered today.  So here it comes in warp speed, my first four days of thankfulness wrapped up in one post:

  1. Tuesday, November 1, 2011:  Tuesday night bible study.  I love my local church in Katy, but as there are very few people there my age (and none that aren't married) it's sometimes nice to hang out with some single people.  The studies and discussions are always good, and the fellowship is always refreshing.
  2. Wednesday, November 2, 2011: Lunch with my mommy.  Since I moved back to the states from Peru, my mom and I try and have lunch at least once a week.  I love that time with her and hope we can continue doing it for a long time.
  3. Thursday, November 3, 2011:  Vietnamese Noodle Houses.  Kind of a silly one, but these have become my new obsession.  I visited one for the first time on our mission trip into Houston this summer and was hooked. 
  4. And today, Friday, November 4:  My job.  Not my dream job by any means, but an amazing provision from the Lord after over a year of hunting.  God has taught me so much already, and I am so thankful that this job has allowed me to continue working with the girls at my local church.
So what about you?  Anything you're specifically thankful for today?