Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Giving Thanks in the Whirlwind


Turkish PoppyMy heart is bursting right out of my chest with gratitude and excitement. Sunday I got back from a weekend retreat with ninety of God’s girls, Turks and foreign, ages 20-65, each one more beautiful than the rest. Today my family and I get on a plane headed for Istanbul, where we’ll spend the night before departing for the U.S. to see family and friends for the first time in two years.

I’m pausing for a moment in the whirlwind to give God thanks. My house literally looks like a hurricane passed by since all of my energy is focused on tying up loose ends and packing four suitcases, but I want to share with you the latest items from the One Thousand Gifts list I started four years ago:

 #4,406.   God touched His women at the retreat. He blessed us with refreshing worship, encouraging teaching, and fun fellowship.

#4,407.  Sunday morning I sat in the audience and listened to my Turkish little sister preach her heart out. I was awed by God’s Spirit and Word flowing out of her, and by the amazing transformation I’ve seen in her over ten years.

#4,408.  I enjoyed the beautiful Turkish poppies, roses, and olive trees at the retreat center.

#4,409.  My faithful husband held down the fort while I was gone.

#4,410.  Back home, I evaluated tests and averaged grades to finish my home school year.  The miracle is that both of my kids finished the year strong. Even in physics.

#4,411.  Yesterday, God gave me grace for each load of laundry, each errand, and each suitcase.

#4,412.  Tonight we’ll spend the night in Istanbul and eat grilled meatballs at a famous old restaurant near the Blue Mosque. (Old stomping grounds from my 20’s.)

#4,413. We’ll spend one day sightseeing in New York City.

#4,414.  The best thing will be seeing family in just a few days.

I’ll take a break from my blog until Thursday, May 29th.

In the meantime, what is something you’re thankful for?


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

17 thoughts on “Giving Thanks in the Whirlwind

  1. Are you coming to Texas??

  2. I need to read that book. I’ve heard so many great things about it! I am so happy for you getting to see your family. Enjoy your time in the states! I know you will. 🙂

  3. I’m thankful for you and all my blogging sisters out there! So excited for you. God’s blessings on your safe journey and a wonderful time with family and friends.

  4. Can’t wait to see you when you get to Austin. Praying for a safe trip and sending love to all.

  5. I am so happy for you getting to visit your family for the first time in two years! No wonder your “heart is bursting right out of your chest with gratitude and excitement!” I hope you have a wonderful time.
    I am thankful for so many things it will be hard to narrow them down. Right now I can’t decide between my job, my kids’ great attitudes lately, the beautiful warm sunshine today, and some plumbing woes finally being over!

  6. I love your list! Beautiful gifts to be thankful for! I’ve been praying for your travels, and may God richly bless you as you spend time with family. Today I’m thankful for the beautiful day, full of sunshine, that’s ahead of me. Our winter was so hard on my spirit. Days like today are unbelievably refreshing to me! Hugs to you, Betsy!

  7. Congratulations on the physics, especially! So exciting that you’ll be back to the US for a visit! Are you coming to California this time? Hope we’ll get to see you! 🙂

    • Hey Lisa! As a family we won’t come to California. Only Jose will go this time. Time is really short, and Jose’s staying two more weeks to do more traveling.

  8. Love how your list is growing. I misplaced the journal that had mine so just started over. Hoping to add school finished to my list soon. Many blessings on your travels and time with family and friends.

    • Hi TJ. I’ve continued my list through severl journals actually. I just keep jotting down something most days. I’m thinking when I get to 5000, I’ll start over too! 🙂

  9. *thankful for your thoughtfulness in thinking of and praying for me in the middle of your own whirlwind…!
    *thankful for a house entirely empty, 2 packed suitcases each, closer to our goal of being ready for our transition back to the US
    *thankful for our two beautiful daughters who graduated high school yesterday with joy and tears and such excitement for the future!
    *thankful that He goes before, never leaving, always faithful!

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