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gushy thankfulness

I have often heard people in ministry complain because of lack of pay, unrealistic expectations, and various other things that we face as a pastor's (or missionary's) family.  And though I am sure that some of those things are valid concerns, I have been extremely blessed in my time in ministry.  Throughout our times in all the different churches we have been at, we have experienced God's blessings to us through his people.  And I guess I have been one of those lucky people that have been places where people accept me for who I am, because I have never really felt pressured to be the "pastor's wife."  (I have learned over the years that honesty and transparency is a wonderful thing - but so is knowing when to keep my mouth shut!  lol!) 
I was thinking about this today as we pulled up to the parsonage to finish cleaning and painting before we move in on Saturday, and there on the front porch was a brand new mattress for one of the kids!  A nice one - pillow top and comfy!  All it said was "Property of the Shawn Wallace family."  No names or ways to thank the very generous person who somehow knew our kids needed beds!  (Thank you, if you are reading this!)  This is just one of the many, many ways we have seen God's blessings over the years.  There have been vacations given to us that we could never have afforded, furniture (a friend today told me she used to say her house was decorated in "gently used!"), money, vehicles, food, toys, and gifts of all shapes and sizes.  But there have also been those gifts of friendship and relationship - the people that we have gotten to know that we have laughed and cried with, played games with, traveled with, experienced ministry and life with, talked with, and prayed with and for.  Some of those people have come into our lives for just a season, but many are still a big part of our lives, and would not have been a part at all if we had not met them through our times in ministry. 
I've rambled enough - but thank you, friends.  And thank you Lord!
James 1:17  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

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