i copied this idea from a friend because it’s a pretty great one:
twenty-seven things i am thankful for on Yura’s 27th birthday.
- i’m thankful that 27 years ago God formed & created a child who would one day grow to be a strong & faithful man, serving Him in life.
- i’m thankful for Yura’s goofiness – he doesn’t mind my weird side because it fits in perfectly with his. sometimes we just stare at each other & wonder how the other can still handle it!
- i’m thankful for Passion Conferences – five years ago we met in Kiev at the first stop of Passion’s world tour. Yura was a chaperone for a group of students from Lugansk & that’s where we first met.
- i’m thankful that he’s tall – i know it sounds silly, but it makes me feel small [quite a feat].
- i’m thankful for Yura’s passion for people & service. he loves to help others in any way he can & especially when he can use his talents to do so.
- i’m thankful for his inquisitive nature – he’s always questioning, reading & pondering. sometimes he does this about things like American football mascots, but sometimes he thinks on cultures & people & Scripture. he is curious about things that i never think of & it stretches my mind!
- i’m thankful for his kindness – Yura is truly the kindest person i know. to me & to others, even when we don’t merit it.
- i’m thankful for Camp Friendship in Lugansk – it is where our friendship, & later our relationship started, grew, regressed, confused everyone & eventually flourished. we came to know one another in an environment that brought out our true selves.
- i’m thankful that Yura wanted to be father [& obviously is now]. he has always expressed desire to have & disciple our children, boh biological & adopted.
- i’m thankful for his heart to foster – we are pursuing the training to become foster parents & it’s something that Yura is thrilled about. he can’t wait to serve others through fostering babies, even if for one day, & share the Gospel with those involved.
- i’m thankful for Yura’s shepherding heart – he truly loves to teach & lead others through studying God’s word & forming community. i so look forward to see how God uses that in the future!
- i’m thankful that he’s my best friend on this earth – i know that he trusts & loved the Lord more than he does me. but i am thrilled & satisfied to call him my closest beloved this side of heaven.
- i’m thankful that he’s a handyman – Yura can seriously fix anything. it’s astounding the little things he knows or ways he creates to solve problems & repair broken stuff.
- i’m thankful for Adam who lead us through premarital counseling – he truly was able to point out parts of ourselves that we couldn’t see, help us learn to see those things in one another & give us tools to grow closer to Christ & each other as a newlywed couple.
- i’m thankful that Yura is proud of his heritage – he speaks Ukrainian, Russian & English, but he really loves the Ukrainian language. it is a beautiful, folk-inspired language & i hope he can teach our children one day. Yura is knowledgable about the history of his country & people – he’s excited to pass that on to our children!
- i’m thankful for our immigration attorney who was able to help us get all the necessary paperwork done to get Yura here. he has a green card now – not a small accomplishment. all praise goes to God for the success of this legal process we’ve been through & are still in.
- i’m thankful for how he loves Chambers – watching Yura be a father is one of the most amazing experiences. he holds, cares for & looks at Chambers with the awe & abundant love of a father. the picture of God as our Father has never been more clear to me than now – & i know that’s just a small glimpse!
- i’m thankful that Yura is patient with me – i’m forgetful, bossy, prideful, impatient, unkind, … you get the picture. he listens, explains, serves & treats me with such patient kindness.
- i’m thankful that Yura is cautious financially – growing up in post-Soviet times, he didn’t have a lot… or really anything. he pushes me to save our money & spend it wisely that we might give to God & others what doesn’t even belong to us in the first place.
- i’m thankful that he loves to drive – i was with him the first time he actually drove on an actual road [Hwy 280 for that matter!]. i’m so proud of how great of a driver he is & that road trips bring him joy.
- i’m thankful for how passionate Yura is about things he loves…& sometimes about anything. we are definitely one in the same on that regard.
- i’m thankful for his willingness to check me – Yura wants to challenge me, confront me when needed & help me look more like Christ everyday.
- i’m thankful for some American missionaries to Ukraine in the 90s who invited Yura’s parents to church. Yura’s dad went simply to see the Americans, but three weeks later chose to follow Christ. his mom followed shortly after & eventually Yura became a Believer by the grace of God, knowing he couldn’t do it all on his own.
- i’m thankful for Delta – without SkyMiles i wouldn’t have been able to see Yura so many times through our friendship & relationship. we were “friends” from May 2008 until June 2010 when we started dating [& also pretty much knew that this was “it”]. we dated for about 3 months, got engaged in October 2010 & married in September 2011. i only saw him 3 times during our engagement, but i’m thankful now even just for those 3 times.
- i’m thankful that Yura is slightly musical – neither of us would say we are great singers or musicians, but we have dabbled in a few instruments. i love when he plays the piano. i think Yura has a great singing voice & i love to hear him passionately worship in Russian or Ukrainian.
- i’m thankful for his mind – Yura is a lifelong learner. he will always be reading & researching to know more & better his knowledge of a subject.
- i’m thankful God chose me to be Yura’s wife.