Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thankfulness

Today is Thanksgiving Day. I have looked forward to this day for weeks now. Not because I wanted to wait until today to be thankful, but because it's a day when the everyday routines get to go on pause and I can truly reflect on the many things for which I can be thankful! It's the holiday we typically get to spend at my parent's house and I've really been looking forward to that as well. Me and the crew of 5 Littles set out a day ahead of Daddy, to get on to Florida yesterday morning. Atlanta traffic did not disappoint ;) and Auburn and Montgomery got in on the fun too, so our 6-6.5 hour trip turned into more of a 9-9.5 hour trip. Today I have really been under the weather but it has given me lots of time to think as I rest. To thank God for the many things He has done this year and the special people He has worked through to bless and encourage me this year.

My thankfulness this year is far greater than years past!  Part of my realization this year is that at all times, we have so much to be thankful for...many times things that we aren't even aware of and always, things that we don't take the time to acknowledge or choose thankfulness about!  Most of all, I'm thankful that the Creator of this world loves me and sees me right where I am! That He is not turned away by my questions or fears and that He is continually working all for my good as I trust Him.  

I am more thankful than words can express that God kept Mark and that we are able to celebrate this Thanksgiving together! I remember sitting by his hospital bed, praying for his healing, yet simultaneously wondering what was ahead.  It was a bit like creeping into a dark, unfamiliar room as I allowed my thoughts to go to the 'what if God doesn't choose to heal him the way I'm praying?' What will my life look like then? I remember trying to see the Holidays - Thanksgiving & Christmas - and wondering how could we even face them if God didn't choose to heal Mark here on this earth?? It was a test of my trust in God for sure, but also a moment when I chose to stand for healing and believe that God could do what seemed so difficult. I'm so thankful that He chose to heal Mark!! I have a new passion for standing by Mark's side and serving God together, in whatever way He leads!

I'm also thankful for the multitudes of people, literally around the world, that prayed and stood with us, in faith, for healing. The body of Christ has blown me away this year and the timing of it, is not wasted on me. I am humbled and thankful for every single person that prayed, cooked a meal, brought a gift, took care of our children, gave financially and asked, "How is Mark?". Seriously, each one impacted our lives far beyond that moment. I am still drawing from those blessings today and still thanking God for how He works through His people! So to each one of you that fall into any of these categories above - THANK YOU!

I'm thankful for my children. They have faced some really difficult situations through 2019 and although it's not easy, it's an honor to call on Jesus to take all these things and use them as fertilizer in their soul. To help positively mold and shape their calling and use them to touch others who will face difficult situations as well. I'm thankful that even in the midst of the weeds of working through all their struggles, God gave us a Word about His purposes for them and it was the boost we needed to continue just standing alongside them, helping them work through emotions, fears and frustrations. God's plans for them are incredible and I'm so thankful I get to watch it unfold from the front row! 

Stepping into foster care this year has opened my eyes to an entire world of thankfulness that I never knew before. None of us choose when, where or to whom we will be born. We can not choose or change those situations, but can always find God in them if we look for Him (much like every other situation in life). I'm so thankful that my parents worked hard and led me to Jesus, not everyone has that blessing. I'm also incredibly humbled that God would choose to use us to stand in the gap for kids who's parent's are facing tough situations. God has taught me so much about His care for me when I mess up, His forgiveness & His plan through these three little ones He has blessed us with this year. It's brought many struggles, especially with all of Mark's health struggles, but we wouldn't want to be anywhere else that here, in the midst of God's plan for our lives. 

I'm thankful for God's peace and healing for family. Even through some scary diagnosis and situations. Some of them He has resolved already and others we are still standing in faith for healing. We know He can and trust Him to do what He sees as best!

I'm thankful for God's calling on my life. Although it's taken me through some situations I never dreamed of walking through, it's all been for Him and because of that good can come from every mountaintop or valley experience, equally!  The old song, Because He Lives, comes to mind... anything and everything can be faced, because He didn't just die for us, He defeated death and rose again and is preparing a place for us, even now!  For that, I'm unequivocally thankful!  Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

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