Welcome to another installation of “Thankful Thursday”, I’m glad you’re here! I’m excited to share with you a few more of the things that I’m thankful for in this season of life in hopes that it will encourage you to count your own blessings and praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness.
” And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV
The body of Christ is an amazing thing, and lately my experience of it through my local church has been nothing short of life-giving. My husband and I are members of Charity Baptist Church in Kannapolis, NC and have been attending there for a little over three years, since the beginning of our marriage. It’s a larger congregation with over 600 members, so it did take us some time to get plugged in and connected in meaningful ways, but once we did, we felt so welcome and part of the community in ways that I’m not sure either of us really had in church before. It is a church that loves Jesus, loves people, and desires to help people know God and grow in their relationship with Him. The leadership is dedicated to the truth of Scripture but also offers grace in abundance. Charity is a church that desires to partner with other local church bodies instead of compete, and the church also seeks to serve the community in meaningful and practical ways through ministries like our food pantry, clothing closet, marriage ministry, children and youth ministries, community outreach and service, community meals, foster care/adoption support, global missions, and more. In the past year, I’ve begun volunteering on the First Impressions and Worship teams as well as with the marriage ministry there, and those experiences have caused me to fall even more in love with the place where God has planted me in this season of life, and hopefully for many years to come. Charity Baptist is not a perfect place because it is made up of imperfect people, but it is a church that God has used to grow my faith, my community, my marriage, and my heart for others, and for that, I am so thankful. If you are in search of a place to worship and are local to the Cabarrus County area, consider this a personal invitation. You can even sit with me! Regardless if Charity sounds like the church for you, I would encourage you to become a part of a local church community if you aren’t already, and, if you are, pour into and be filled up by that church and its people. God uses the local church in powerful ways and it is our call as believers to gather together regularly in the name of the Lord.
“Live in harmony with one another.”Romans 12:16, ESV
Three years ago, after Ben and I were married, we moved a few minutes down the road from our home town of Rockwell to Concord, NC. We actually live right on the edge of Concord and next to the smaller town of Kannapolis, and while we didn’t anticipate the benefits of our location when we moved, having one foot in each of these special places has been an abundant blessing in our lives. Every day we enjoy living in and loving our community and are often learning new things and places to experience even after calling it home for several years. I love jogging or taking Irie on long walks at the Vietnam Veterans Park in Concord, the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, Bakers Creek Greenway and Village Park, and even Downtown Concord. Ben and I love frequenting and supporting our vibrant local businesses, with some of our favorites including Downtown Donuts, Cabarrus Creamery, Editions Coffee & Bookstore, Press & Porter Coffee and Pour House, Dennis Vineyards, What-A-Burger, Cabarrus Brewing Company, The Percantile, Buzz City Games, and others. Our community is also fairly diverse with families from a variety of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, which adds to the beauty of the place we call home. We have the luxury of enjoying a bustling growing city with country living just a few minutes up the road, so we never feel like we’re missing out on the joys of either experience. I am so thankful to live in such a lovely, sweet, exciting place and for the opportunity to give back and support the community that allows us to call it home.
“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”Isaiah 32:18, NIV
Finally, if you read one of my previous posts, “Making A Home: Choosing Satisfaction Where You’re Planted “, you know that my love for my little house has experienced quite the journey of ups and downs. I fell in love with our rental when Ben picked it out for us and moved in a few months before our wedding, and in the last year or so I have struggled with loving it as much as I did then. As with any home, I would imagine, it’s easy to start seeing only the challenging things about a space: lack of storage, small living areas, no yard, etc. However, lately, because these thoughts have been so prevalent in my mind and heart, I have worked hard to again adopt the perspective of choosing to love where I’m planted, to appreciate all this home has to offer and to dwell on those things. Today, I am choosing to be thankful for this place, to be grateful for the memories it has offered Ben and I in our first few years of marriage, to love the stamp of personality we have put upon it, to appreciate the space and material things God has given us to steward in this season of life. We won’t live here forever, so I might as well soak in the goodness of our time here while I still can.
I hope my reflections on the blessings of God has inspired and encouraged you to do the same, my friends. My mind is constantly racing with all that I have to be grateful for, but even dwelling on these three has created in me a humble and thankful heart before the Lord. Thank you for continuing to read along with me here at Bumbling Beauty, excited to be with you again next week. In the meantime, bumble beautifully!