Saturday, November 16, 2013

Giving Thanks - Week Two

This Giving Thanks project has been good for me.  I have tried to not pick easy, fall-back things each day.  But instead, to really look at my day and think about what I'm most thankful for in that 24-hour period.  And each day, even though some of them are really hard days, there is something beautiful that God is doing.  That is something I want to remain mindful of every single day. It's incredibly easy to look at the negative - to dwell on it - to obsess - to entertain "vain imaginations" - especially when one wakes up at 4:30 in the morning, as I often do (and did this morning). It's easy to sit in the dark and think only of what is hard.  But God is working - He is moving and blessing and loving us, even then.  So... here's week two:

Day 8

Day #8 - Today I am thankful for a good God that never, ever stops pursuing us. I'm thankful that He has hounded my youngest and that even in the pain, God is healing. To be brutally honest, part of me doesn't even want to share this link because it is so hard. There is nothing - absolutely nothing - in this world more painful than watching your children go through pain and having no control over the outcome.

But, here is the truth - even in the pain, there is beauty - when we are willing to be found. Jesus asked the lame man, "Do you want to be healed?" I'm thankful he continues to let God find him - that he wants to be healed, and that he has found his Healer.  Here it is:  Dylan Black Blog

Day 9

Thankful for a group of friends we have had for 20+ years. There was something so special about this season of our lives. 

It was in this place we learned the value and beauty of community. We learned to sacrifice for the good of another. We first learned what true, lasting friendship looks like.

The friends we made then are still some of our best. We've gone on to different churches, different cities, different states; we sometimes go years without being able to see some of them in person.

This weekend we've been able to eat, relax, laugh, reminisce, catch up, fellowship, (did I already mention eat?) with one of those families. What a joy.

I am thankful for one of God's most magnificent gifts - friends.

Day 10

Day #10 - I am thankful for the children in my Sunday school class. I have learned so much from them through the many years I've taught. 

I love their honesty - their willingness to tell it like it is (sometimes that is sad as I've seen the pain some have had to face much too young; and it's occasionally pretty darn funny). 

I love to listen to them pray and I love to hear their simple, faith-filled requests.

I am thankful that they keep me consistently looking to God through their simple, childlike eyes.

Jesus let them surround Him and he blessed them. I pray I will always want to do the same.

Day 11

Today, I am thankful for Mondays.

For the last several years, I have worked on Mondays because it was Brian's day off. Because we homeschooled, this allowed the kids to still have a parent around for their school work, but rarely allowed Brian and I to share his day off together.

Since becoming empty nesters I have gradually tried to move myself away from working Mondays as much as possible. I have so enjoyed having a slow, lazy day with him every once in a while. It's something we didn't used to have very often.

So, today I'm thankful for Mondays and thankful I have a man by my side that I still adore spending my days with.

Day 12

Today I am thankful for an evening with a house full people that I love, a home with heat and a mug of hot tea. Simple things.

Day 13

Today I am thankful for my firstborn. She is a joy to me and I just have to say a few words. Her love for children of all ages is inspiring to me. She challenges me, just by watching her live, to invest in their young hearts.

She was the paid youth intern/office assistant for Cornerstone this last year and has spent many, many hours planning events, investing in lives, being a listening ear for our kids. 

She is doing her internship for her degree this semester, so she had to quit at the church. She has continued, (while working 40 hours a week for free for said internship) to invest in their lives, planning events, going to their games, loving these kids, without any pay - because she wants to - simply because she loves them.

I love that this girl is not only my firstborn, but my friend and an inspiration to me. Thankful.

Day #14 

Today I am thankful for my second born. He makes me smile. He makes me crazy. Often, both at the same time.  

He processes like I do. He learns like I do - though he is freaky smart and I am. not. He has the same gift of sarcasm that I have. We often do not agree, but even in our disagreement, he still makes me smile and I still usually "get" him.

He's our scientist - always has been. Though many things about this young man have changed as he's grown up, that is not one of those things. He's a thinker. He loves to learn. He researches scientific journals "for fun". He'll do great things - of this I have no doubt.

He's one of the hardest working college students I know. Working at both his job and some of the hardest classes imaginable. I'm incredibly proud; I love this second born of mine. Thankful.

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