In the Midst of It

5bf873a2796a7e5a30aa92e085a2d1a4I am so grateful.  I want to be so grateful.  I love when I come to the end of something and can see how God worked things to come together for good- when I literally can see His promises of goodness fulfilled.  

However, we aren’t really supposed to wait until that point to be grateful.  We should worship in thanksgiving in the midst of it because we know He will grant what He has promised … even if we don’t see it yet.

In Genesis 24, Abraham sent a servant to get a wife for Isaac ~ confident that God would go before the servant and provide.  The servant made a sign with God to know which woman to choose.  When the woman said the words of the signal, the servant praised God.  Then and there – before talking to her father (which would have been essential to closing any marriage agreement).  

Anything could have still gone wrong.  Yet, the servant didn’t wait until he had talked and confirmed with her dad or for all the details to be finalized.  He worshipped and thanked God for the blessing in the midst of it.  He stopped the process midway because he knew God would see it through.  

How often do I do this?  Or do I wait until it’s “safe” to be thankful?

God is so good.  It doesn’t always make sense.  It doesn’t always seem fair, let along pleasant.  But He is good and honest and just…and we can stop midway in the process, uncertain of the details and worship Him in gratefullness because He is in control and will provide according to His promises and His will.

luke145regularSo, let’s stop waiting until the end of a process and start worshipping and thanking Him right in the midst of the process.  Maybe it will be in the midst of a process where the positivie end is in sight like this servant, or maybe it will be in the midst of it when it is painful and dark with no light in sight.  

Any time and all times, I want my soul to sing His praise!  I just have to remember to stop and keep my eyes focused on Him in thanksgiving.

-S

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Here and Now of Life

It’s time to start again, a life intentionally based on thanksgiving, thanks-living.

 

2 ½ years ago I started keeping track, physically numbering my thanks, listing His graces numerically and forgetting oh so many.

 

2015 felt long. I’m excited for this new year. I’m done looking ahead though. This right here, this now, this is life, and it’s where I live.

 

And it’s hard and messy and I’m trying desperately to obey my God. To be willing and open to anything. And I’ve never been here before. This open, this devoted, this yearning.

 

tongue tamingBut it starts with the heart, it starts with relationships, I’m finding most things God directed start with relationships. And so it starts with my tone.

 

So I’m re-reading 1000 Gifts (Ann Voskamp). I’m reorienting my heart alongside my head.

 

Redirecting my focus and repeating my prayer, “Let my tone reflect my heart, not my circumstances”

 

Keeping my mantra of perspective in mind.

 

I need all the help I can get. The tongue is not my master and yet all too often I let it rule.

  • J

Candy Canes and Jingle Bells

The holiday season is no longer approaching, it is here.

 

And my heart is happy and my plate is full and my cup is overflowing and I’m giving thanks.

 

And its not all sunshine and roses and candy canes and jingle bells.

 

Chris and I fought this morning, and afternoon. He is still away at work. I had the flu yesterday. Sis spits up torrential amounts. Daily. And cries for only me (endearing only in theory). My back hurts, from carrying these blessings. Nici doesn’t sleep (maybe he never will). He threw a fit (just now) over the wrong juice cup, I have no clue which is the “right” cup, nd is now crying because I wont let him eat an apple out of the garbage.

 

Its not all daffodils and cornucopias, but it is all glory and my cup overflows and I give thanks.

 

For cuddles and kisses and sorry mama, sorry.

 

i give thanksFor a husband worth fighting for and with. And a job that pays even if it is far away.

 

I give thanks for this crazy chaotic life I get to call mine, and I do it loudly, lest I forget.

 

I give thanks for a God who isn’t passive, who directs my paths and teaches me and calms me.

 

Life isn’t perfect or even remotely easy and the holidays are anything, but stress free. Life is good though and we have too much to celebrate and the seasons smell too good to be bogged down.

 

I give thanks for my savior and his daily redeeming grace.

  • J

And so…I pray.

This is how we should be about those we love.  Unable to keep still in prayer.

Isaiah 62:1

I feel ill at ease, unable to keep still in prayer.

I can’t fix things (or people).

So, I pray.  

I pray for grace.

I pray for forgiveness.

I pray for humility.

I pray for salvation.

I pray God’s hand on the situations.

I pray for healing.

I pray for patience.

But above all, I pray for hope and faith.  For I think they are the key.  If you lose either, you’ve lost.  

3fa490a6263e8c4497ee1fbffeb4a675
Julia Geiser

So, this November, I pray.  I pray in thanksgiving for all of my blessings.  I pray in the humble knowledge that I am but one small woman in the midst of messes around me.  

I pray with the knowlege that my God is listening and answers.  I pray to move mountains.

-S

All I Can Do is Say Thank You

“All I can do is thank You

For this life I never deserved

Wanna thank You for the grace

I know I don’t have to earn

You love me, You love me

Your mercy is proof

All I can do is say thank You”

Mikechair, All I can do (Thank you)

More and more this is how I feel, when I allow myself a moment of rest…

thank you

In my over stimulated- under cleaned house

In my overly exhausted – under construction body

In this home, this life overflowing, how could I not take a moment to stop and say thank you.

I don’t deserve it, and rarely know what I’m doing.

I certainly haven’t earned it.

Truth be told I was on a different track. Not entirely sure where I was headed, but with my series of selfish decision-making I can attest it wasn’t here.

Life changes (a theme this spring…in my life, thoughts, and blogs)

And all I can do is say Thank You.

For this beautiful mess of chaos we’re creating in middle America. This Godly life growing, this home overflowing.

And sometimes the blessings feel like more than I can carry, which is a slap reminder that I’m carrying it wrong. When blessings become burdens, I need to loosen my grip.

So at the end of the day, I can look up and say, Thank You.

-J

One Heck of a Week

It’s been a heck of a few days. Excruciating pain- leading to ER visits – leading to being sent home with the diagnosis of gout.photo 2.PNG

And zero pain relief due to the blessing growing inside.

I should also mention I meet zero risk factors and already eat a gout friendly diet.

So this was pure bad luck… or

God has a way of humbling us. Quickly.

It’s day 3 of severe pain and zero left hand function (3-10) days is typical; healing time without drugs. And let me just say 2 hands are needed for 99% of everything toddler related.

That being said, most of it I can figure out (suffer through) one handed. (Also, changing a poopy/teething diaper with a rolling 1 year old with one hand deserves an award.)

That being said, God sure does shine in His helpers.photo 1.PNG

This morning I was feeling very depressed. I need so much help right now.

Why is that depressing? Especially when I have friends and family willing to lend a hand.

Is society, am I, so arrogant that needing help sends me into a downward spiral of depression and self-loathing?

Is needing help really all that bad?

Truth be told, I don’t think it’s the help that has me down. It’s the not knowing when I’ll be healed and two handed again.

It’s the not knowing coupled with the help.

Yes, God can be very humbling.

“Whatever mess I’m in, I can exhale relief: I have a messiah who meets me in it, wont leave me in it, will carry me through it” Ann Voskamp

Meets me in it: with helpers and stamina for sleepless painful days/nights

Won’t leave me in it: everyday I get more adept with with my right hand

Will carry me through it: encouragement and strength for the moment

Notice I wasn’t naïve enough to say “will take away my pain immediately because that would be ideal and convenient”

Maybe I’m being melodramatic about the pain (which I can attest I’m not, I have a high pain tolerance and it intolerable)

But, I think the take away is this: not knowing and needing help (although frustrating) is an ok spot to be in when I can rest in the assurance that no matter what the time frame I will be carried through it.

Sidenote: thank you to everyone who has helped and dealt with my crabbys through the past few days.

– J

Short and Sweet

I am thankful for many things.  The rest of this week I want to focus on being content with what I have and who I am.  Content with where God has placed me and what He is doing within me. I am thankful for this season of growth I am living in (through?).  I am thankful that God loves me enough to push me and not allow me to settle with what I see as enough.

I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life who love me unconditionally and support me in all I do.  I am thankful that I get to live in a world surrounded by reminders of God’s grace, beauty, and majesty.

As I’m reflecting on the many ways God has blessed me this year, I can’t help but to reflect on how I can use those blessings for others.  As Josh Groban’s Thankful says, on Thanksgiving

“…we pray for

What we know can be.

And on this day we hope for

What we still can’t see.

It’s up to us to be the change

And even though we all can still do more

There’s so much to be thankful for.”

So, Happy Thanksgiving! Reflect on the many ways, big and small, God has blessed you this year. Also, reflect on the world you would pray for and know can be; the world you hope for, but cannot see. Reflect on how you can be a part of making the world a little more as it should be instead of how it is.

Jessi and I are taking the rest of the week off from blogging to celebrate gratitude with our family.  However, I want to give a preview for next week.  December 1 is World AIDs Day.  We are going to be doing a special week of blogs with guest bloggers all week.  Hope to see you then!

– S