After my 28th birthday, I decided to write about this last year, which has been so rich and full. Here are 28 things for which I am thankful...trust me, I could have written more if I was older!
1- Fullness of Singleness: It was easy to feel left out as a single. We both had a huge desire to be married and raise a family. But Pavel and I, separately, decided to maximize our singleness. We enjoyed those years and did so many wonderful things. We also grew a ton in maturity and different skills that now benefit our marriage.
2-Finishing Strong: Pavel and I chose to save our sexual purity for marriage to honor God, our parents, and each other...and heighten the joy of this gift! This was NOT easy, but with the Holy Spirit and accountability from friends we finished strong!
3-Wedding that did not go as planned: Covid really messed up our plans. But in the end, family and friends came together and helped me have a beautiful day. And I got to discover what my dream small wedding was.
4-Sunshine on my wedding day: The morning of my wedding it was supposed to rain from 1-4pm. And my wedding was at 2pm OUTSIDE. We prayed. It rained on and off in the morning. We prayed some more. And God just totally pushed the storm back. At 2:20pm, I was able to walk down the aisle to a glorious open sky and hot burning sun!
5-Honeymoon Plan B: Our plans to go to Arizona and the Grand Canyon were postponed because of Covid. No surprise. But we had an amazing, relaxing and adventure filled honeymoon in New Hampshire and Maine. We pulled it off and it was wonderful.
6-Layed Off: Pavel was furloughed one day a week for our first two months as a married couple. He got the news on our honeymoon! This ended up being a HUGE blessing as it gave us a laid back work week and more time together!
7-Summer at the Yurt: Our friends asked us to house sit their yurt while they were away for the summer. This almost didn’t happen because of Covid...and we prepared for plan B. But then their plans changed again and we were able to stay! The yurt was an amazing tiny space to live simply, cozily, and very privately for our first 6 months of marriage.
8-Living in Howard: Our summer yurt home resided in the country hills of Howard. 5 minutes from close family friends and 10 minutes from my parents and sister’s family. It was so special to be back in my hometown as I started the new season of marriage.
9-Yurt Garden: The gardens were all set up for me last year at the yurt. It was amazing to grow produce for us all summer and enjoy it all winter.
10-Saved for a House: Pavel and I were so blessed financially. Not only did we save rent by staying at the yurt, we saved on food with the garden, we had eggs from the chickens, and my parents gave us meat they had raised and hunted (chicken and venison.) We were able to save up the down payment for a house in 6 months!
11-Glory of a Budget: With all the provisions, Pavel and I grew together financially as we made a budget, goals for spending and saving, and reaped the reward of saving for a house.
12-Business Grant Denied: Ok, this one was pretty sad. But I am really thankful I still went through the process of applying for the grant! It was a time investment that paid off with a refreshed 2-5 year plan for my business. It helped launch me into this next new season for Thriving Health.
13-God’s Timing. God AMAZES me with His timing. He is so intentional. And the entire situation with the Yurt was another example. We were originally going to be there a year. But that changed to 6 months. If we had been there longer we would not have found our perfect home in Almond.
14-Beautiful House: We were able to purchase a beautiful home, private sale, right in our budget, AND it met all and more of our needs for a house. We are all settled into 82 Main Street and loving it.
15-Generostiy of Family-Pavel’s sister blessed us with SO much of her furniture when she moved to Arizona a month before we closed on our house. AND her husband worked as our lawyer. Our parents came and helped us paint our home before we moved in and made us food when we were moving!
16-Generous Community: Along with family, our friends are incredible. They helped us with vehicles and many hands to move into our new home. It was such a blessing to tackle the boxes together.
17-Home Office: I have tried for years to establish a more permanent office space for Thriving Health. Now, I have a beautiful, spacious office right inside my home. It is perfect for client meetings and small classes and workshops.
18-Grandparents Legacy: I lost my Grandpa (Dad’s dad) and Grandma (Mom’s mom) this year. Both very unexpected and fast losses. While I still grieve their deaths, I have also been really thankful for the legacy they left behind. I was raised in a Christian family. All my grandparents love the Lord and were GROWING in their walk with Christ. They celebrated my relationship with Jesus and encouraged me in so many ways in life.
19-Prayer Retreat: Pavel and I spent a couple days in January to seek the Lord about some specific things. God was so faithful to bless us and speak to us that weekend.
20-Pursuing my Passion in Nutrition: I have been able to purchase and implement 3 dynamic courses for fertility into my business! Enriching my focus on preconception, prenatal, and postpartum heath!
21-Ministry with my Husband: This last year, Pavel and I have become such a team. We are united in vision and able to pour ourselves out stronger together. We have the children’s church ministry that we are growing. I support Pavel in that, he supports me in my Missions ministry responsibilities. We streamline our strengths to compliment each other.
22-Diving into Training for Foster Parenting: We are going to be foster parents!! We are so excited! We are still in the early stages with training and plans to start with rest bit care. But we are so thankful for this opportunity to open our home and family to kids in crisis and serve their parents.
23-My Health: Through the years, I have experienced a few challenges with my health. As a nutritionist, food has definitely been my medicine. And God has taught me a lot of tools for how to enjoy food but not let it rule my life! He has also miraculously touched my body when all the right nutrition didn't seem to help. I am so thankful for the learning process and the healing I have experienced.
24-Neighbors: Pavel and I have had such a friendly welcome to our new town as we met our new neighbors. We feel like we fit right in and are so thankful. There is little better than a wonderful home than to be surrounded by great neighbors.
25-Spring Flowers: The previous owner of our home planted many beautiful perennials. This spring, it has been so fun to see all of these little gifts popping out of the soil.
26-Kiddos in my Life: Pavel and I have been spending a lot more time with kids this year. Children’s ministry at church to tea parties at our house with my nieces. We love these kids and it has been so rewarding!
27-Staying Active: I love to do physical activities: play OR work. With the garden and a big house to clean, it keeps me active. AND Pavel and I got to bike and hike last year, through the winter we did a lot of cross country skiing. And now that it is spring, we have already hit the trails and biked 41 mills for my birthday. I am so thankful for energy and time to stay active.
28-My husband, lover, and best friend Pavel. I saved the best for last! Pavel is SO special to me...if we are still in the honey moon stages of marriage (11 months in) then praise God! This has been an amazing honeymoon. But even on the hard days, I can trust Pavel with my heart and we grow through challenges. He makes me laugh so hard and he knows how to make me feel SO loved and special. I rejoice every day I get to spend with this incredible man and every night I get to cuddle with him!