Psychology researchers endorse writing a “gratitude journal” because it has been shown to improve mental health and overall level of happiness in those who practice it. Usually what they recommend people to do is write 5 things that they are grateful for so I would like to do that here for this year.
1. Deepened Relationship With God
During my prayer time, there were times where I felt I was deeply connecting with God but there were also many times I felt absolutely nothing. But I’m glad I have learned how to not judge my relationship with him based on how much I feel but how often I show up. God is always there so as long I show up, he will do something good in me.
2. Growing Kids
Senna adjusted well to JK this year Luyah has a great teacher who recognizes Luyah’s artistic disposition and understands her well. Watching kids grow is both joyful and sad. It certainly teaches you to stay in the moment.
3. The Holy Land trip and Research Month.
These two opportunities were big surprises that I didn’t expect at all. The Holy Land trip made my Bible reading come alive like never before. Research Month provided me time to reflect on myself and my ministry. It was much needed time I didn’t know I needed.
4. Home Church
It is easy to take for granted people you see often. Being away for many weeks this year helped me to realize having a “home” church is not an obligation but a blessing to hold on to. Sitting in big, great churches was enjoyable but not satisfying. Being able to serve in the church where I am fully known (both good and bad side of me) is undeniable privilege and joy.
5. Great People
Most of the time God speaks to us and guide us through people. God has placed in me a few people who continuously impact and challenge me. One of them is my wife Jennifer whom I deeply respect and admire though living so close. The other is my senior pastor. He has been my coach not only in ministry but also in how to be a better “human”. It would be a huge blessing just to know someone like that but to have him so near and accessible through friendship and ministry reminds me every day that I’m very fortunate.