Turning 40

Two thousand seventeen saw me wave goodbye to my thirties and tentatively step on to the descending side of ‘the hill’.

Sometimes I don’t realize that I just turned 40 a couple of days ago. As I started reflecting on the previous decades of life, my thoughts turned first to my accomplishments – what I have done over the past 4 decades. But I soon began to reflect on the fact that, although I am proud of what I have achieved and where God has brought me, the most important element of this season of my life is thankfulness for all that I’ve experienced and all God has done.

 

Hence, I would like to share my thoughts on 40 reasons I am extremely thankful:

 

  1. God’s love for me
  2. Wonderful parents who taught me about God and Jesus
  3. My country, Brazil, and all the good things it has (despite all the bad ones)
  4. A childhood that I could enjoy a good urban-rural life
  5. Growing up near the beach
  6. My only sister (we used to fight a lot but we’re great friends now)
  7. Wonderful in-laws
  8. My only nephew Pedro
  9. The beautiful state of Colorado where I live now
  10. The beautiful mountains that I look at every day
  11. My wonderful wife
  12. The gift of fatherhood
  13. The gift of being able to take care of my daughter Ava twice a week and experience the joy and challenges of parenting her + teaching her my native language
  14. The gift of having one more daughter on the way (due March 3)
  15. Wonderful extended family (both Brazilian and American family members)
  16. Still having contact with childhood friends
  17. Being part of a men’s vocal group in my 20’s (don’t ask me how that was possible).
  18. The opportunity my parents gave me to have a good education
  19. Studying abroad twice.
  20. Learning different languages and one of them the language of my family background, Italian
  21. Being granted an American citizenship
  22. Working with sustainable agriculture with family farmers in my home country
  23. Visiting different countries and cultures
  24. Visiting where my paternal grandfather was born in rural Portugal
  25. Founding an environmental conservation non-profit organization in my home country
  26. Writing and co-organizing two published award-winning books
  27. Running three 5K races
  28. Serving in various community organizations in Brazil and US
  29. Leading a community garden in my church that also produces its own composting
  30. My home church in Brazil
  31. The church family I belong to in the US
  32. Great mentors in my life
  33. The opportunity to be a mentor for several people in my path
  34. Being part of the School of Kingdom Ministry team
  35. My house
  36. My academic and teaching career
  37. Great co-workers
  38. Working with diversity and inclusiveness at work
  39. Being nominated for the Master Teacher Award for the 2015/16 academic year
  40. The hope and faith I have that my future ahead is full of good surprises

 

 

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1

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