Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thankful--Day 6--Thankful for the Ebenezers

I am thankful for the Ebenezers.

Okay, so that you all don't have to rush for the Webster's, an Ebenezer is a marker--specifically, a spiritual marker like a stone or an altar or a physical place of worship--where you mark what God has done in your life in order to remember it in the future. It comes from I Samuel as the name of the stone that Samuel raised to commemorate a victory of the Philistines at Mizpeh.


My Ebenezers come from the Christmas Village.

I know, right?

Christmas Village is this craft show that is so enormous it takes up two floors of the civic center in Birmingham. It's like Christmas Mecca. I never miss it. And every year I buy a Christmas ornament from this particular booth that sells these homemade dough ornaments. Outside of some bows and a handful of glass balls, they make up the entire decoration of our Christmas tree. So, my trip Saturday to the Christmas Village isn't a shopping excursion, it's a trip to a Holy Place, where I select something new to commemorate our year as a family.

They are Ebenezers marking milestones in the life of Johnsonville.

When it was only Steve and Charlotte--our first Christmas

1995, one year into our marriage.
We had two cats--Bonnie and Boo and an insane dog named Raja
1998 Boo got out of the house and ran away--then there was just Bonnie and Raja.

1999 For years it was only Raja and Bonnie...we prayed and prayed. Fasted.
Begged other people to pray. Asked God to bless us with children...

And then it happened! We discovered we were going to be parents!
God heard the pleas of our prayers, lifted up by so, so many people! Praise the Lord!

Enter the Dynamic Duo--Elise and Elaina, who were the direct
Hand of God in our lives. 

This same year we took our first pastorate--Wilton!
God opened an amazing door and we walked right through it.

And the girls grew and grew...only 20 months later...guess what?

The Lord blessed us with Carter! The Number One Son! He came
only 20 months after the twins.  

Family of five...two girls and a boy. Whew! We're done.

Or maybe not. God gave and just kept on giving when we discovered we were
pregnant with Lillian Grace, who was born 20 months after Carter.

So, we went from four years of infertility to four kids in four years.
God's funny that way. There's no way anyone could say anything about that
being happenstance.

And for many years it was the six of us.

Mellie joined our happy  home! What a blessing that
little ball of fur has been.

And then, Nana joined our house in 2009 after being diagnosed
with cancer.  And she's still here with us! Praise the Lord!

Christmas 2010
Mellie is still hanging in there! 2011

2011 So is Nana! :-) God is so good!
What are your Ebenezer's? Your markers along the road of your spiritual journey? Thank God for making a way when it seemed there wasn't one. Thank God for the little things and the big things, because He gives them all. And mark your journey so that your children can see the Hand of the Almighty along the way. Just so you don't forget what the Lord brought you from, through, and to.

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