I tell myself that I must model thanksgiving for my kids, that they will do what they see me doing. When they were younger there were always the prompts. ”Tell Mrs. So-and-So ‘thank you’.” ”Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.” ”What do you say when someone gives you a gift?” Now I am needing prompts.
Is it ok to say it just out of obedience? Because you know it’s the right thing, the thing you should feel and say? And because, cognitively, you know you have much to be thankful for? But sometimes you just don’t feel it. Ugh, this not feeling it affects everyone around. They will do what they see me do. It’s easy to say that doing the right thing leads to feeling the right thing. Will it happen that way?
“Where’s the Thankful Book?” he asks.
I wonder what he’s writing, this husband of mine who sees me out-of-character and loves me ugly. He tells me I’m beautiful this morning, and I laugh! Just like Sarah (Gen. 18). Another area of obedience…choosing to believe. And there he is on a Monday morning, ready for another crazy- busy week of building and going, with a sulky wife who has to ponder being thankful. He writes thankfulness about things that are uncertain, questions we’ve been asking, direction we’ve been seeking. With all that still before him, he’s thankful and taking the time to write it down.
He is my prompt today. I am thankful for him.
Two [are] better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him [who is] alone when he falls, For [he has] no one to help him up. – Ecc 4:9-10 NKJV
God gives me exactly what I need. I am thankful for Him.
101. a lazy day in the middle of the week
103. encouraging words
104. birds singing on a gray morning
105. Sharp Paynes : ) rockin’ the tests
106. Shelby’s smiles on my run
107. chocolate kisses
108. movie night
109. mommy making apple crisp
110. multi-grain pancakes, served by Shelby
111. ora et labora
112. my cast iron pans, from D
114. God establishing the work of our hands (Ps. 90:17)
115. my husband – reminding me to be thankful
One of my favorite words. Simplicity. Clean and tidy, uncomplicated, unpretentious, unassuming. Why is the pursuit of it so complicated? Why is it too often an ‘idea’ and not a thing to be lived?
Today, I want to simply believe God, simply love my husband and children, and simply accomplish what the Lord has before me for this day.
I won’t worry about tomorrow; I won’t fret about the what-ifs and the maybe-I-shoulds. I will accomplish kingdom work today, right here in my home, with these beautiful people.
The end.Read More
I am very into schedules. I have a whole computer file full of different schedules for different children and seasons and activities and moods and maybe-this-one-will-be-the-one. Ah, to have life all neatly out on paper…with time slots and check-boxes.
When my children were babies their days were planned and there was no eating or sleeping happenin’ before the ‘planned time’. Pooping and crying were allowed at random, but not much appreciated. If someone came to watch the babies while daddy and mommy went out for a few sane moments, I had to have a detailed account of how their time was spent – how long did they nap, did they eat the right amount at the right time, did they burp…
And then came homeschool, a scheduler’s dream. From 6:30 a.m til 2 p.m. I have every move calculated. Sometimes, it even goes as planned.
Alas, the Great Interrupter will not leave me to my own devices.
Children grow, seasons change, my husband changes occupations, and with all the unexpected, schedules get scratched for real life. So I have had to learn (am still learning) over the years to be flexible. Allow for changes. Use the schedule as a framework, made of wood and not immovable stone. Suggestions, really.
OK, and some days we even forego the schedule altogether.
But I am learning to allow God room to work, and to actually look for Him to do something big. I am praying prayers that are not safe, for things that are not scheduled. Just between my God and myself, I am asking for Him to be big and ‘show Himself strong’ on my behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9).
As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him-to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses….Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I read Oswald most mornings as part of my devotions, and sometimes I think he’s pointing right at me. This particular morning, I also read about the ‘exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe‘ in Ephesians 1:19…and is it just me, or is God pointing at me, too? That I would leave room for God to be big, because His power in my life is exceedingly great. Not ‘just enough’ power. Not power for only the biggest of problems. Power in every circumstance, because no job is too big or too small.
Because I believe.
The beach was blustery and violent this last weekend, but the time away was refreshing. I am encouraged to put a stake in the ground and begin anew, with a rested mind and and sharpened vision. God is so good to bring me these wonderful women who inspire and challenge me!
Also encouraged to come home and find new handwriting in our family’s thankful journal…someone who was reluctant to put it on paper. Lord, fill our hearts with thanksgiving! We keep counting…
64. Dad playing the Wii
65. Uncle Troy’s pizza
66. Good friends like Grace
67. I love you
68. hot tub with my WHOLE family!
69. Roger Miller radio : )
70. Snow flakes on noses
71. knowing I made someone’s day better
72. running in the snowflakes
73. comfortably fitting into jeans that used to be uncomfortably tight!
74. Big brothers playing with little ones
76. All the help that came to unload the first U-Haul of the new owners of our home!!
77. Eating ‘daddy cereal’
78. Selling our house
79. hearing the rain on the roof
80. sitting with daddy in the morning
81. lots and lots of GOOD FOOD
82. I’m thankful for you guys
83. I’m thankful for God’s help in finding the broken waterline in MC
84. God’s protection over mom and her friend as they went north for a few days
85. thankful for no school!
86. mini pizzas from Papa Murphy’s
87. my lego blog
88. siblings to make lunch for
89. coloring and making playdough
91. I’m thankful for you, love Ethan
92. Going to birthday parties, friend’s house, and then having friend’s over!
93. a weekend away with lovely women and no agenda
94. hearing all the fun things my family did while I was gone
95. fresh coastal air
96. good friends who feed my family
97. funny things my kids say
98. lego fortresses
99. compliments from my husband
100. an impromptu visit in the produce aisle
The God Who answers by fire, He is God. ~ 1 Kings 18:24
Elijah had confidence in his God.
The prophets of Baal spent an entire day wailing and flailing, cutting and calling on a mute god for answers. They tore their clothes, they danced about, they repeated their requests.
But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention. ~ 1 Kings 18:29
Three times, Elijah directed the people to drench the offering. Pour the water, the thing you’ve been lacking in this drought, not only on the offering but also on the wood…and fill the trench. See if God will not answer.
And the fire fell and the people fell. The offering, the wood, the rocks and dust and every drop of moisture was consumed.
The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God! ~ 1 Kings 18:39
My faith may not be as great as Elijah’s, but I worship and serve the same awesome God. The God who takes ‘mustard seed prayers’ and answers them. The God Who hears every small and large request, prayed once or prayed repeatedly over the course of years. He looks on the memorial of our prayers and does not forget.
Lately I’ve been blessed to see small faith rewarded. Why am I sometimes surprised by answered prayer?! That amazes me. How I forget Who it is I’m taking to…the God who answers by fire. I am learning to watch and pray, and then watch again. See it. See the fire, see the God of the universe loving me enough to answer prayers that don’t necessarily change the world, but do change the kingdom in me.
I am believing God when He says:
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! ~ Matthew 7:11
No question mark at the end of that. It’s an exclamation – ‘showing sudden or strong feeling’. I tend to over-use that punctuation mark, but how appropriate here. How much more!
So I am asking, though it sometimes is a sheepish and timid request. And this just sticks with me – that the God who hears my prayers is the God who answers by fire. So thankful.