Tag Archives: blessings

Taking time to say “thank you”

Maybe, it’s because I’ve had more time to think and remember.

Maybe, it’s because yesterday reminded me of so many heroes.

Maybe, it was the text message I received in the evening.

But for whatever reason, I just feel the need to say “thank you”.

“Dear friends and family,

I can’t even begin to type all of your names because it would fill up pages, but I hope you each know how much I praise God for you. My heart can not contain the overwhelming gratitude I have to God for the unmeasurable gifts, services, care, love, and support you have given to me and my family. Thank you for coming to visit me. Thank you for checking up on my husband or the kids. Thank you for the meals. Thank you for the groceries. Thank you for helping us move. Thank you for supporting us in our ministries. Thank you for donating your time and talents. Thank you for your feedback on skits or children’s classes or other teachings. Thank you for having us over to dinner or coming over to our house. Thank you for texts and prayers when distance separated us. Thank you for cards and letters and phone calls. Thank you for filling my husband’s guitar case with notes before shipping it to us. Thank you for supporting and loving us when God moved us again. Thank you for the gold watch, which I cherish. Thank you for visiting us and letting us visit you. Thank you for standing with our family while I worked at the Academy. Thank you for years of volunteering and support. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to teach your children. Thank you for being the best Principal I’ve had the privilege to work for. Thank you for being the Dad I’ve missed and needed. Thank you for coaching our children. Thank you for teaching our children. Thank you for sign class. Thank you for letting me live with you. Thank you for treating me like one of your daighters. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for friendship that hasn’t changed no matter how far we are from you. Thank you for stepping in when we asked for help. Thank you for breakfast at the restaurant. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for commenting or liking or reposting. I’m so humbled that anything I wrote is used by Jesus to bless others. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. May God bless you, each and every one.”

Every day holds a blessing, whether it’s a message of love warming my heart or kindness from a family member.

Truly, no matter the circumstances, no matter what difficulties, God brings gifts of blessing daily.

And I’m so very thankful for each and every single one.

In fact, I’ve asked the Lord to help me never miss any.

Because it is in these daily blessings where hearts are knit together.

Mine with those people God brings as well as mine to His.

And I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to love, care, and pray for others.

To share the deep joy and overflowing love Jesus gives me.

In these days of uncertainty, loss, tragedy it is vital that we remain thankful.

Sorrow can often swallow up our ability to see anything positive, anything good, but they are there.

Therefore I’m taking the opportunity to say “thank you”, because it needs to be said.

My gratitude extends to so many whom I’ve never met, but have been part of the good.

Firemen, Emergency workers, medical staff, military, police, and even utility crews, all people who are doing their jobs day in and day out to the benefit of their communities and countries.

Most of all I must say thank You to Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your daily gifts and blessings. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation and the renewing of our hearts each day. Lord, thank You for helping me see the blessings. Thank You for walking through every circumstance. Thank You for today. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Because life isn’t easy

I need to cling to God’s Word every day.

Because life isn’t easy,

I must be careful what I allow myself to meditate on.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have to continually give up my own plans, desires, and agenda.

Because life isn’t easy,

I find opportunities to die to my selfishness continually.

Because life isn’t easy,

I have a choice: self-pity or Savior.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can expect opposition and see it as opportunities.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can feel for the broken, hurting, and lost.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can relate to pain and suffering, but I don’t have to be defined by it.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can walk in today, expecting God to use those things which were meant for harm to be turned into good.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can rest in knowing it wasn’t easy for my Lord when He walked this Earth and I know He understands suffering.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God even more when things are good, joyful, and beautiful.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can yearn for Heaven with the sojourner, taking a long journey home.

Because life isn’t easy,

I can praise God for salvation.

Because life isn’t easy,

I value blessings all the more.

Life isn’t easy now.

It wasn’t easy before.

It won’t be easy while the battle between righteousness and sin continues.

But some day, Jesus will return.

And it’s easy to get excited about that.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for choosing to do what wasn’t comfortable or easy. Thank You for dieing on the cross. Thank You for living as the Father called You to live, although no one understood You. Thank You for walking daily with me, holding me, sustaining me, teaching me, although I don’t deserve it. Thank You for showing me that it is through the everyday things You are able. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please help me to be faithful in all things, forgiving, loving, and resting in You in all things. Thank You. Amen.

Because you never know how God is…

…using your life.

Yesterday, I had to miss church.

Since my illness I’ve missed more than I’ve been able to attend.

At first, I was a little down cast.

I love going to church.

Fellowship with other believers.

Worshipping my Lord and Savior through beautiful music.

Being fed from the Word of God.

I took my sad, before the Lord.

Even in this, I have a purpose.

-sigh-

Quiet, with closed eyes, listening…

… letting go.

“Lord, I trust You. What would You have me do this morning?”

And it was a lovely morning.

Time in prayer and writing led to time listening to one of my favorite preachers.

One of the moments which really helped me occurred right after I surrendered my day to Jesus.

A family member, who knew I’d been struggling, had texted asking how I was doing.

I had to be honest and say I was getting weary of feeling poorly, but that I knew God was working.

The response melted my heart.

“It’s ok to be weary. When we are weak His strength shines through. I’m looking forward to hearing how the Lord uses your family to minister to others because of all this.”

Most days, I don’t think, “Wow God, how are You going to use all this to bless others?!”

But that text reminded me that God’s ways are far beyond anything I can see.

I simply couldn’t express how their text had blessed me.

As I listened to a wonderful teaching, God used a friend to bless my heart.

One of the thoughts the enemy tries to discourage me with is: “How are you serving God when you can’t leave the house?”

I know it’s from the enemy and I reject it.

Over and over.

Which means, that somewhere inside my heart, I’m still working on releasing my ideals of serving God.

So, the Lord showed me a new way to look at things.

My friend texted and asked for prayer.

She was going to be doing some ministry. Normally, she is a part of a team, but something happened to leave her on her own.

“Would I pray while she ministered?”

“Absolutely!”

Before the ministry time came, she texted me that another lady had cancelled her engagement so she wouldn’t be alone.

I was thrilled.

And I joined their team in prayer.

Much later she reported how God had touched women and what a blessing it had been.

I was certain my reply couldn’t bring my friend the full understanding of how encouraged I was to be able to join them in ministry.

My heart was so full!

But God wasn’t finished.

When my son brought in the mail today, he handed me an envelope.

“Mom, you got a letter!”

I was surprised to see it wasn’t from any of my normal letter writing friends.

It was a beautiful card, which alone brightened my day.

(The picture is of this card.)

What was written inside did far more.

It spoke of God’s amazing ways.

How He has used circumstances to bless, encourage, and deepen the walk of my friend who had sent me the card.

Her words were filled with beauty and touched me in such an unexpected way.

She had sent to let me know how my blogs have given her blessing.

I didn’t even know she was a regular reader.

It came as a complete surprise to read what God is doing in her life.

And I wondered.

“How do I tell these three people how You have used them to touch me, Lord?”

Why not write a blog.

Smiling, eyes closed.

“Perfect.”

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your incredible ways. Thank You for showing me, again, just how wonderful and faithful You truly are. Thank You for reminding me that I can’t truly see how You are working, I just need to rest in Your love and joyfully do the task at hand. Thank You for these three people and so many more. Thank You for my wonderful husband and children, and family who support and love me so much. Thank You for friends who feel like family, who pray and support all of us. Lord, I humbly ask that You use all of this for Your glory. That more may find peace through You, Jesus.

Blessing others

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

Throughout this illness, I’ve struggled with how to bless others.

Especially when I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed, my heart would ask God how I was supposed to be a doer of His word.

Of course, He reminded me of prayer and thanksgiving.

They have been a lifeline. Praising God and lifting others up can be done no matter the circumstances.

As my health has improved, I’ve asked God to help me see new ways to bless others. What can I add to prayer and thanksgiving?

I’m not well enough to join Sunday School or attend a weekly group.

However, God isn’t interested in service “only at church”.

He wants my life to be a living out of His word daily.

God wants me to surrender my life and let Him mold, shape, and guide me and therefore I can be a blessing to others even if it’s not the ways I’ve served in the past.

So, recently I’ve made a few things.

Yesterday, God blessed me with being able to finish a pair of overalls for our granddaughter.

I also finished a hat for my mom.

I’ve been working on a small devotional.

I was hoping to give it as Christmas gifts, but I wasn’t able to finish it in time, so I’m trusting God with it.

When it’s finished, He will guide me to what He wants me to do with it.

I’m also learning to simply pour into my family.

Homeschooling is a wonderful work, and I love it.

It’s another opportunity for me to be a doer, to raise our children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord as well as the academic subjects.

Being a constant source of encouragement, support, respect, and love to my husband has been a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing.

The responsibility of leading our family before God is enormous, and I want to do all I can to support and encourage my husband in this.

So, although I’m not living a life which others see, as long as I’m surrendering daily to the Holy Spirit and His direction, I can be a doer and not a hearer only.

Of course all of this is because of Jesus.

Without Him, I can do nothing.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for showing me that You know exactly what is best and I can be a blessing no matter how I feel. Lord, please place Your will for today in my heart and mind, that I might follow closely after You. Please keep my feet and my heart from being led astray. Lord, help me to be a blessing, that others might see Your goodness and come to a closer walk with You.

Dependant

He’s legally our dependant.

And in many ways he depends upon us to provide for his needs.

Yet, I was very aware yesterday (it was his birthday) he may not always be.

Although his life is vastly different from the average, he’s made some astonishing progress.

He’s not going to meet the same milestones as other people do, but I’ve been encouraged lately about his future.

With our move and my health I’ve come to depend upon him for several things.

He takes the trash out and he makes sure the cans are on the curb Monday morning.

He vacuums.

He does nearly all my yard work.

He helps in the kitchen or tidying up around the house.

It’s been an incredible blessing.

I depend upon him for his love and kindness.

He’s often ready to make me a cup of tea or sometimes he just holds my hand when I don’t feel well.

He goes with me to the allergist to get my shots.

I asked him yesterday if he wanted to go.

He looked at me a little surprised.

“I’ve never missed one yet.”

He’s very good at remembering landmarks and notices details faster than I do.

Which has become great when driving in unfamiliar areas.

I’m a country girl and this town driving has me often lost.

He prays for me.

His eagerness to learn about God makes Bible study a joy.

It’s been such a blessing to have all of our children.

Each one is special and valuable.

Each one so very precious.

All of them have made personal commitments to follow Jesus and I pray for them daily.

As they grow and leave home (I’m down to only two at home!) I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had.

Psalm 127:3 KJV — Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

It’s so true!

I praise God for our dependants, may they always be dependent upon Jesus.

In Jesus’s hands

Here’s Bell and her track coach.

It had been a very busy meet, but God had carried her through.

I stood along side the track in various places for the majority of the day.

I cheered.

But mostly I prayed.

Bell was running three events.

Which she has done before, but this was a much higher level than we are used to.

The 100 meter was the first race.

We knew there was another runner who had a better time than Bell.

Yet, she wasn’t concerned about that.

She had set her goal on breaking 13.

When the gun went off she burst out of the blocks.

As she ran down the track I was excited and yet nervous.

She crossed the finish line just behind the first place girl.

I was thrilled!

Yet, the edge of the race was hindered in my heart by worry.

-What about the next two races?-

So, I prayed.

And I continued to lift her up to the Lord as I watched her run the 400.

I praised God when she took 4th.

But as I stood alone on the corner waiting for the 200 God spoke to my worrying heart.

I’m holding her in My hand.

That was all.

Nothing is as important.

She ran the 200 and took 3rd.

As I thanked God for His blessing her so much I was reminded of why worry is a sin.

It robs me of trust and steals my joy.

If she had come in last on all three races God is still holding her and I will still love her.

As I humbly thanked the Lord for the reminder we gathered our things to leave.

Smiles all around, we went to say “goodbye” to the coaches.

It was here that the Lord showed me just how unnecessary worry is.

Her coach looked down at her and said,

“You know, you broke the school record in the 100 today.”

(She had run a 12.84)

-wow-

Thank You Jesus for holding each of us in Your hand, both in adversity and in blessings.

Blessing the other

This is Bell’s work.

Both Anne and Bell like Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.

The little white flowers growing in our yard seemed to mimic those Lizzy wore in her hair to the Netherfield Ball.

The girls equally enjoyed the impromptu hair art.

And I was blessed to see how a tiny moment can be used to make a memory.

A blessing of one sister to the other.

The simple act of doing something to bless.

Personally, blessing others blesses me as well.

I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy my job so much.

To see a skill learned, an obstacle overcome, a heart touched; all of these are true blessings.

It’s also the best part of being a mother.

I get to serve those around me every day in one way or another.

Yes, it can become overwhelming.

Especially when needs are far greater than my personal resources.

I have seen clearly those are the times God uses to show me how to lean on Him.

And then I understand the Father’s heart a little more clearly.

He loves blessing His children too.

But He’s never out of balance.

His blessings are not always seen for the value that is in each difficult or trying circumstance.

Instead of spoiling His children with momentary pleasure or temporary treasure, His heart is to bless us with eternal relationship.

Not that He withholds all pleasure on Earth so we appreciate Heaven more.

Instead He gives the gifts which will grow the individual.

Then, just because He’s such a loving Creator, He places positive moments into our lives.

Like this little memory of our girls being blessed by the other.

Racing

That’s our Bell.

This was her final race of the day.

I stood expectantly.

Holding her water, sweats, and other shoes.

Chest heaving, she knuckled the racers on either side.

I still waited at the sideline.

After the official gave permission for each participant to leave their lane, she turned towards me.

Breath still in gasps, but she looked glad.

One of her team yelled from the other side of the track, congratulating her on her win.

Her voice wasn’t heard in response.

She simply smiled and pointed.

One index finger was all she used, but they got the message.

The win belonged to the Lord.

As others congratulated her she responded with:

“It’s all the Lord. He has really blessed me.”

And I took my cue from her example.

Each opportunity to share how the day went I began with:

“the Lord really blessed her…”.

Because it is true.

Yes, she has trained,

hard,

but her ability to compete is a gift from God.

The opportunity to be a member of the team is a gift from God.

The local Charter school which works with our family of homeschoolers is a gift from God.

And the shear determination to put out the hours of training our Bell has done, it too is a gift from God.

Nothing we do, no effort, achievement, or inspiration is separate from the Creator.

We are His and He gives each of us differently the blessings we enjoy daily.

What an incredible God He is!

Praise the Lord for His daily blessings.

Especially yesterday, as I was reminded to always

point to Him.

Showered baby

This was yesterday.

It was an blessing from beginning to end.

Sissy’s church wanted to give them a shower before baby arrives.

And they certainly showered baby!

It was such fun.

We played games, ate, talked, and enjoyed watching Sis open her gifts.

More than once she had to stop to wipe a tear from her eye.

“I’m just so blessed! Thank you!”

She said it over and over.

To add to the blessings both her sisters and my mother were able to attend.

They had driven up the night before.

Unfortunately they had to leave right after, but it was lovely having them there.

After we arrived back at their home I received a call from Aunt Ursula.

She’s such a sweet wonderful lady.

“I pray for all my family everyday. Now you be sure to kiss that baby when it comes and tell them that’s from Aunt Ursula!”

Chuckling I promised faithfully to fulfill her wish.

She had also wanted Sis to know she wished her a happy birthday.

(Tuesday we celebrated Sis’s birth.)

And as if those things were not enough I was blessed to watch as the parents-to-be placed each item away for the day they would be needed.

Since my room when I stay here is also the baby’s room, I woke this morning so thankful.

“Lord, You have abundantly provided for this little one. Thank You for all the these blessings.”

My memory pulled back the pages of the past when I’d been the expectant mother.

“Thank You Lord. You have provided in so many ways, so many things.”

And He isn’t finished.

Whatever we walk in He’s there.

When our lives are completely submitted to Him it brings such peace.

No matter the future, Jesus is the blessing.

I pray for our grandchild to be showered in the knowledge and love of Jesus all their life.

Underneath

We’ve known there were issues.

We’ve been praying about God’s will.

We’ve sought out advice from others.

Yesterday it was time to act.

My hubby cut off the deck and removed the skirting.

We needed to know what was underneath it all.

To put it simply,

it’s not good.

We were talking again this morning about the best way to handle the underneath.

Some things he found were expected and others were not.

So I’m praying again.

What is God’s will?

What would He have us do?

To top it off I’m sick today.

Not with asthma or allergies.

For some reason I spent the night being sick to my stomach.

As I laid in bed this morning, unable to attend church again, I found myself questioning the Lord.

“Why Lord? Why did You have us move to this place when there have been so many things wrong with it?”

“Why allow us to purchase this property when You knew there was so many unseen issues?”

“All we want our home to be is a place of joy and peace.”

Then my body reminded me I’m sick.

And I began again.

“Lord, why?”

“I’m finally having more good days than bad ones with my asthma and now I’m throwing up?”

“Did I eat something I shouldn’t have?”

“Am I forgetting to focus on You?”

“Why are You allowing me to suffer more?”

As the questions die the silence filled in.

Then so softly,

Do you trust Me?

Am I not God?

Can you really see the end or what work I am doing?

-sigh-

“Lord, forgive my questions. I don’t need to know why. I trust You and I know You are good, therefore there is good even in this.”

Then I smiled.

God knows best.-

There is no way around this truth.

He knows exactly what He is doing and He will continue to work all the bad, evil, ugly into good, righteous, beautiful.

And as I lay here I can praise Him.

I can trust Him.

He is worthy.

Why?

Because the disciples couldn’t see salvation for mankind’s sin as Jesus suffered torment, torture, and excruciating death.

But Jesus did.