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A List of 39 Lessons, Gratitudes and Moments


It's a sign that autumn is on its way as the leaves have started to turn their beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow.


I wonder how summer could've gone by so quickly, then question if we made the most of the season.


Looking back on this year, I ponder the same.


The words of the psalmist become my own prayers as I read them, "so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom" (Ps 90:12).


During the last year, there were many lessons learned, gratitudes felt, and memorable moments. Here's a few to share with you.

  1. Good health to continue exercise and train

  2. God is sovereign and I need to surrender constantly to this truth

  3. Morning paddles and prayers on a quiet lake (and the occasional race with a river otter)

  4. Scripture as God's revelation of Himself to us will never fail. This gives me constant hope.

  5. God is always at work, even in my deepest suffering. Reading through some of my old posts when our youngest was sick reminds me of this truth.

  6. Reading good books with my toes in the sand.

  7. I'm grateful for a jiu-jitsu community that is for each other

  8. A group of friends who gather before the Word, who challenge me and hold me accountable

  9. A church ministry that helps my kids hide God's Word in their heart

  10. When I carry my work and lose strength, God is my refuge and burden-bearer

  11. I can pray anytime and any place; when i'm in line at Superstore, sitting with a patient, and driving in my car. He is with me and hears me. I am never alone.

  12. A community of writers who teach, encourage and inspire me

  13. Sitting at the doctor's office, I know peace that passes all understanding

  14. 6 years after her transplant and he says, "see you in two years!" (because she's doing that great)

  15. Coursework to complete my degree is finished, SDG.

  16. Opportunities to use my skills to serve those who are struggling.

  17. A family vacation that was so, so good - a much needed break and opportunity to experience new things.

  18. The slow growth of time in the Word makes me learn to trust God more

  19. A new life group ministry to build new relationships around the Word

  20. Colleagues who trust and value my work

  21. Picnics at the swimming pool complements of my mama

  22. Cousins rolling on the mats after an exhausting swimming course - they looked more like ... wrestling sloths

  23. A landscaping project to make our yard look great again

  24. A safe place for my kids to learn

  25. The opportunity to serve on the Canadian board for our sending organization. It's been a learning curve and a joy.

  26. Swimming with sharks...they were supposed to be sleeping, but they got agitated. They looked like real sharks, you know the eat-you kind. Our guide may have played the Jaws song in the background. One kiddo said I'm outta here, the other wanted to swim down to see if she could touch them. A moment to remember.

  27. I've enjoyed some really good books this year...somehow the TBR list continues to grow

  28. I remember how old I am this year

  29. When my car dies on my way to work, hubby is offline loading a truck at work, my dad gives me a ride and my BIL tows it to the shop. So grateful.

  30. Two years after being chased and bit by dogs, I'm back out running again (Felt like I woke every dog in town the other morning, slight panic as they barked into the quietness of the dawn)

  31. A hospital gift shop where I can donate my friend's bible study on caregiving to provide for families who need it

  32. A late night coffee on the back porch with friends - who consider it still evening - talking about frustrations, vulnerabilities and theology

  33. Sunrises from a sunroom overlooking the lake

  34. The work I do on earth will be undone, but just as God starts it, he will finish it.

  35. We were talking the other day about washboards, remembering my scrubbing days in the African bush. I'm thankful for my washing machine.

  36. "I will be the same until your old age, and I will bear you up when you turn gray. I have made you and I will carry you; i will bear and rescue you." (Is 46:4) What wonderful truth, that God is unchanging and further his promise he will bear us up. Especially since I'm more gray now than last year.

  37. Celebrating an upcoming wedding, an opportunity to see extended family, reminding me of God's faithfulness.

  38. Every day is another day older, but also a day to be renewed through growing in knowledge of God (Col 3:10). It's ongoing, a journey for all my days.

  39. I still have one more year before I hit the big 4-0

Congrats for making it to the end :) I'll celebrate today with back to school shopping for the kiddos, getting to my jiu-jitsu class tonight and some time in thanks to the One who has brought me this far.

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1 Comment


Martha Brady
Martha Brady
Sep 01, 2023

i love your list amber. #36 is so encouraging. i had no idea you were so young. enjoy it. i think the 40's are delightful. you will love them. your list is lovely.

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