Thanksgiving weekend 2012 begins and ends in flannel pajamas with great kitchen smells and calendar newsletters of what’s coming up during Advent on every flat surface. Before I dive into the Advent season with deep-sea-scuba-gear, it’s good and healthy to give thanks for what has made 2012 rock for me this year:

10. Colored Printer Ink…eye-catching newsletters and notes in color are remembered best. Staples has a buy-one-get-one sale on printer ink once a year and I am there to stock up so it doesn’t kill the Office Supplies budget.

9. Children’s Council with a “Spirit of Yes…the faithful attendance and prayers of folks who have full calendars, sleepless nights, and willing hands of service for the kids we have and the kids we don’t yet have. They do for one what they would do for a hundred if we had them.  They believe that if we are faithful with a few, He will bless with many.  They are willing to try anything that furthers the cause of sharing the love of Jesus and they each serve as Champions in their areas of giftedness. I love them all.

8. Sabbath Days…Those of us called to professional ministry find that “what we do is who we are”.  Setting a day aside each week to read, pray, sleep, watch a corny movie, have lunch with a girlfriend keeps me sane and from turning into the “church lady”.  And when your church family honors your Sabbath day it makes this “acts of service is my love language” gal feel…well, loved.

7. Church Secretary…she knows where all the skeletons…er sacred cows are. And when she volunteers at all the major KidMin events she becomes the closest of friends. She gets my heart and knows what it takes to soften one.

6. A regular pay check…Mr. Bob says, “Thanks!” Every time the offering plates are passed by the saints of the local church, I remember that the only reason I am on staff is because of faithful and regular givers to the work of God in the local church.  Not a Sunday goes by when I am not reminded that these folks “choose” to give because they serve a generous God.

5. Mr. Bob…known as a “church-widower” has supported and been “my people” more often than many know. He believes in what we do and supports our church families with his prayers, his presence, his gifts, his service, and his witness. I am so proud to be his wife for the last 29 years.

4. KidMin Network Friends-in-the-Lord…You know who you are and you also know that I have very few real gifts except having access to very gifted friends.  From Children’s Pastors Conference and Confirmation to No Sweat Summer Camps and Messy Night, I can’t imagine sharing life and ministry without you. You truly are the best at what you do.  Thank you for letting me play in your sandbox…or ketchup.

3. iPhone…to email and communicate with fantastic leaders and young disciples makes me downright giddy. One of my tweeners got an email address for her 10th birthday…guess who made her “important announcements” list?

2. A generous and kind senior pastor…I have worked for the most amazing pastors who have taught me how to “do” ministry and not “turn into a ministry”. I have learned from every single one. I have been encouraged and forgiven. I have been protected and challenged.   I am still in professional ministry because I have been shown Christ and pointed to the scriptures.

1. Starbucks…This is where I have learned about the families I serve, the students I love, and laughed my head off with old and new ministry partners.  This is where I meet with the Saints Book Club for students 3rd-5th grade and where I have met with a precious prayer partner for almost 5 years.

Venti… hot tea… Vanilla Rooibus; please leave room for milk.

Would you add anything?