Thursday, April 18, 2013

List 3: 10 Things I'm Thankful For

Since it's Thankful Thursday today, I thought I would share some things that I have been thankful about, specifically things I have been thankfulH to experience because of living in another country.

10. Language
Even though this has been a frustration many times, I am thankful for the opportunity I've had to learn a third language. Sure, I can't speak Russian fluently and my accent is horrible but I can carry on a conversation and understand quite a bit.

9. Seasons
Having lived in Southern California for most of my life, I've never experienced 4 seasons. Yes, winter is exceptionally long here but fall and spring are beautiful. Summer can get quite hot but there's nothing like a summer thunderstorm to cool things down.

8. Health
Praise God he has kept us healthy while we lived here. We have had some incidents including Jon's kidney stone last year and Josiah even had to stay in the hospital a couple of days when he was five but overall the Lord has protected us from anything too major plus the medical care we received exceeded our expectations.

7. Safety
Now I realize that we still have a few days left until we leave but up to this point the Lord has protected us from anything serious. If you could experience how Russians drive you would be shocked to know that we have not had any car accidents in our own vehicle. The boys have not sustained any stitches, broken bones, etc. This past Sunday as we were driving home from church we saw the horrific aftermath of a taxi car that crashed into a pole. There is no way the driver could have survived that accident. Below is the picture......I wanted to take a picture as we drove right by but there were too many police and I didn't want to draw attention.

6. Special Guest Visitors
Being a part of all that is happening here has afforded us to have some special guests. Many times we've had the privilege of hosting visiting guests in our home which the kids have absolutely enjoyed. One year, John Piper even came to visit Samara!

5. Homeschooling
Putting the boys into a public school here was really not an option for our family and so we chose to homeschool. I don't know that we would have gone that route if we were Stateside but we've come to the decision that homeschooling is the route we'll take in the near future. It has been a real blessing to teach my boys and to be able to spend time with them every day. Of course we have our bad days but overall we are all blessed with this experience.

4. Sufficiency
We are so thankful to the Lord because He has provided for all our needs all the years we've lived here. We've never been in need of anything, even when the economy was at it's worst we always had more than enough.

3. Prayers
We know that we could not be here if it weren't for the many friends and family interceding on our behalf. It is so encouraging to receive a note, email, or comment letting us know that someone is praying for us.

2. Culture
I love the Russian culture......everything about it. Maybe it's because it reminds me of Hispanic culture. Living outside of the States is eye opening and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Experiencing the culture here has also made me sensitive towards foreigners when we've returned Stateside.  For the most part we have experienced very positive responses from Russian when we are out in public.....yes there have been some instances when you sense that you are not liked because you are "American" but overall people have been very accommodating.

1. God's Grace
And lastly I am so thankful for God's sustaining grace. We have been through many trials while living here and if it weren't for God's grace we wouldn't have been able to endure. His grace has indeed been sufficient!



rohitash kumar said...

It's my dream to travel Russia..from my chilhood..becz india and then USSR was friend country....see when one of my dream come true....after long time i am here on ur blog.

Natalie said...

So glad you found my blog....but unfortunately we will be moving away this week.....but you can find a lot of past posts and continue to enjoy your "trip" to Russia. I hope one day you can see Russia for yourself.....just don't come in the winter time because it's too cold and there's too much snow.