The second thing I am thankful for is my amazing, awesome, wonderful family (so far, this is going in order of importance : ).
First of all is my dad -- in short, I would describe him as funny, dependable, smart, godly, wise, loving, and strong. He always has the funniest jokes, and is good at providing comic relief. But never inappropriately; he always knows when it is time to be serious. I can always count on him as being someone I can look up to, talk to about things, and he seems to have an answer for every question I have. He is so content and happy in his role as a dad, and seems to find joy in all the little things that he does every day. (Some day I am going to write a much longer post on he and my mom).
My dear mum -- where do I even begin to describe her. She is compassionate, gentle, loving and kind. She has a seemingly endless amount of patience, and even when she's tired, she continues to love her life and her kids. I often forget how much experience she has, because she is such a good friend to me and I tend to bring her down closer to my level. But when I remember how many things she has done in her life, I am so amazed at her constant love for God and faithfulness to his teachings.
God has blessed me with many brothers -- a fact that I have not always been content with, but have grown to see more and more that it is an amazing thing to be surrounded by them.
Isaiah, has taught me many things, but especially passion and zeal in life and in God, and a continual new perspective on things. Now that he's off on his own at college, one of my favorite things is corresponding with him via email. Josiah has always been the 'cool brother'. He inspires me by his writing and his deep profound thoughts that are often hidden beneath a very fun-loving surface. One of my best memories of him was my birthday that I received my favorite doll -- he helped me name her and he played with me and my doll all day.
Zachariah has taught me lots and lots of facts about science, and plants and cooking. I love playing board games with him, or helping him in his garden. Some favorite times with him are when we're both in the kitchen together -- experimenting with new foods and doing crazy moves to loud music. Jedidiah is younger than me, so I don't always appreciate all that he teaches me. But he has an incredible mind for remembering facts, and has told me so many things about Lord of the Rings, and the stars and other science. He was my best friend when I was little, and we share a lot of awesome memories.
Elijah is very fun to be around. He loved to tag along with Jed and me when we played pretend games, and has always been good at joining the big kids in their games. He has taught me, by his example, patience and an adventurous spirit as he tries so many new foods, and is restricted from so many on his special diet. Jeremiah is quite the amazing little kid. He shares my great love for being on stage, and shares as well my extremely stubborn nature. Although we often clash, I admire and love him intensely, and he is so much fun to share secrets and plan surprises with.
Geneva (not my brother, by the way) deserves a much longer post, as I did with my brothers. It's hard to describe her in an short manner. She is very compassionate and conscientious, in many ways taking after me when I was her age. But she is far more adventurous than I am, and is one of the toughest girls I know. At the same time, she has a very emotional side and loves girly things as well. Mattaniah is adorable, and really one of my best friends. I talk to him about all sorts of things, and even though he is just four, he often has intelligent answers. I love his big 'strawberry hugs' (don't ask me why he calls them that) and his sweet 'I wuve you Wonda'.
So much of who I am is because of who God placed in my life. My family has been there, all along, to watch me as I struggle, to watch me as I grow, and to love me far more than I deserve.
So -- "Who can say if I've been changed for the better.... I do believe I have been changed for the better... Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."
Thanks, God, for this amazing gift of family.