Archives for November 2013

My 10

My last post (scroll down) was about finding 10 things each day to be thankful for.

Here are my 10:

(in no particular order, but starting with a funny one…)

1. For my dogs.  Someone told the joke the other night: “How can you tell who likes you more, your girlfriend or your dog?  Lock them both up in a trunk for 4 hours and see who is most happy to see you when you let them out.”  Ha ha, but boy do my dogs faithfully welcome me back with leaping and wagging each and every time I have left the house and returned–even if it’s to get something out of my car.

2. For my husband.  I will have been married to my best friend  20 years this January 1st. God has been faithful in growing our marriage through the wonderful and the hard.   Jonathan is such a serving, loving husband and I am so thankful for him.

3. For being able to sleep on a mattress each night when so many around the world sleep on the ground.

4. For the fireplace in our home which you will find me sitting by if I am not grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking or working.  I am thankful for warmth–another comfort so many go without.

5. For my three beautiful children.  Life as a parent is often messy, and complicated, but never dull.  I am so grateful for the three lives that Jonathan and I are responsible for, and how I see God working in their hearts.  They encourage me to be a better mom each day, so that I can love them the way they deserve. They are amazing people whom I am blessed to know.

6. For our extended family.  We are so blessed to have all of our parents and siblings in our lives.  They are amazing grandparents and aunts and great aunts and uncles to our children and the love they give is a gift I do not take for granted.  I do not know what I would do without them.

7. For Wheat Chex.

8.  For knowing God, and Him knowing me.

9. For my friends.  I cannot express how grateful I am for the friends, near and far, that God has brought into my life.  They are my rock, my joy, my laughter.  They encourage me to be a better person, and I am thankful for that.

10.  For provision, although lately catching my self sometimes wishing it was more than “just enough” but so thankful that it is “just enough.”

There are my first 10 and I’m just scratching the surface…..

 

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10 Things

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I heard recently someone say that the best way to get through difficult times is to recite ten things you are thankful for every day.  It’s all about perspective, right?  If we have tunnel vision regarding our circumstances, and we are only focused on what is going wrong, we lose perspective, and things become dark and heavy in our hearts.

However, if we are somehow (and this is not always easy) able to find a few things each and every day to be thankful for we find ourselves feeling lighter, and our circumstances, while still grim, don’t quite overpower us like they did the day before.

A few years ago I heard another quote that has literally changed my life.  The quote read, “Life can be hard and good at the same time.”  At the time I heard those words, I had been working under a belief system that when things were hard, THEY WERE JUST HARD.  Somehow the difficulty I was experiencing in my life stepped on to the stage and everything else had to sit down and wait for the difficulty to remove itself, and then the good things could stand up and be forefront in my life again. Silly!!  Where did I get that?  So when I heard that BOTH could take front and center it changed me.  I began to focus on being thankful for the good things that were always going on (truly, I can always find at least 10 things to be thankful for, and rarely if ever can I find 10 things to be struggling with).

The pilgrims, who left their lives of familiarity in England, and crossed treacherous seas in unfathomable travel conditions to make a new life for themselves in a new land filled with hope and promise, experienced difficulties beyond compare once they reached what we now know as America.  Death of children, spouses, hunger, cold, attacked by those defending their land, were just a few of the trials they overcame.  Yet, they persevered, and the very circumstances they were in made them MORE grateful for what they had.  Hence, the Thanksgiving Feast they celebrated.  They gave thanks for what they had–hope, shelter, native friends who helped them learn to successfully grow food, freedom to practice their faith, and for God, who had brought them this far.  They knew life could be both hard and good at the same time.

This Thanksgiving week, try this experiment.  Starting today, right now in fact, list 10 things you are thankful for.  I’m sure that won’t even scratch the surface.

Then tomorrow, write 10 more, and the next day 10 more.  They can be the same things, or new.  Try to do this through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Let’s not just say were thankful, let’s know it in our hearts.

“You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God and I will exalt you.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he endures forever.” Psalm 118:28-29

 

 

Pass It On…

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Hello! The last couple of weeks I have been so grateful for unexpected comments about how this blog has spoken to someone at the right time in their life–I always seem to be surprised because I don’t know all of the readers, and don’t know who this is reaching.   Often it feels like I am writing into space!  But then someone shares, “Thanks for encouraging me with what you wrote, and by the way  I shared your blog with a friend who I thought might like to read about ……”  So, thank you for reading and sharing. Please pass this blog on to your friends and family, and encourage them to like it on Facebook or subscribe by email in hopes that we can encourage each other through growing and becoming strong in spirit.

Hope For The Future

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No eye has seen, no ear has heard

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those who love him.

~ 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

Is your future uncertain?  Here on earth, yes.  We don’t know what is coming tomorrow, in 6 months, in 5 years.  We can predict, plan, pray, and try to maneuver our lives in a certain direction but ultimately we just don’t know.  How does that feel?  For me, it feels mostly OK, until life throws a curve ball and then I realize that all the planning and preparation for my future may just not apply in the particular situation I am facing.  Stress and worry creep in, and the peace and certainty about my future begins to fizzle out.

It is during those times that I seek my footing again with the one constant I know.  God.  I have spent most of my life getting to know him, his character and his word.   And yet, I still feel there is so much more to know.  It is not because he is a mystery, although there are parts of him that are, but because his character is so solid, so unchanging, so ‘knowable’ that I can’t seem to get enough.  It’s like when you are with someone who you really enjoy–you just want to be with them all the time, because knowing them, and them knowing you, fills you up.

This is the God that has prepared a “certain” place for us in our eternal future.  And the more we know him here on earth, the more we can look forward to our uncountable years together in heaven.  The notes in my Application Study Bible say this about the verse above:

“We cannot imagine what life has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity.  He will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah:17, Revelation 21:1), and we will live with him forever.  Until then, his Holy Spirit comforts and guides us.  Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us gives us hope and courage to press on in this life, to endure hardship, and to avoid giving into temptation.  This world is not all there is.  The best is yet to come.”

Can we begin to believe that each and every day–that the best is yet to come?  It can lessen our discouragement in this earthly life–this is but an appetizer of the feast before us.

Have a blessed week,

Amy

 

 

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