Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful || Week Three

15. Forgiveness. I am thankful that the Lord God of all forgives me. He forgave me long ago for all my sins and He saved me. But that wasn't a one-time thing. He kept forgiving. Every fall, every fail, every doubt, every sin....He still forgives. I am thankful to have a husband who forgives me when I am a selfish person. I am thankful that he can look past my flaws and still love me....and forgive me when I think I'm unforgivable. I am thankful for my parents who, when raising me, would always forgive my disobedience and who showed me the love and forgiveness of God before I ever came to know Him. All in all, forgiveness is a beautiful, humbling thing...and I'm thankful for it.

16. Music. On a down day, a song can lift my spirits. On a day when I'm thinking about myself, a song can remind me that this life isn't about me. A song can make me dance around the room or burst into tears (literally). A song can convict me. A song can encourage me. A song can inspire me and make me push myself to be a better servant of the Lord. I love music. Always have. I'm thankful the Lord gave us voices as well as the harps, guitars, pianos, trumpets, drums and all the countless other instruments that we can use to make a joyful noise unto Him.

17. My quiet time. When I am weak in my faith, it means I haven't spent quality alone time with Jesus. When I am doubtful, skeptical of His promises, and worrisome, it's proof that I have not spent time at His feet. I have noticed that I am the most irrational and quick-tempered person when I haven't made time for the Lord. On days when I am still and quiet and open my heart to Him and what He has to teach me and show me, I have found that the day goes by more joyfully, more peacefully, and I am more graceful and kind to my family. I am SO thankful that I have a God who will speak to me - His creation. I am thankful that He listens and cares about the most minute' details of my life and that He desires to lead me, teach me, mature me, and work in and through me.

18. The holiday season. I love Thanksgiving. I simply adore Christmastime. I love it when the air is a little colder and the leaves begin to fall. I love seeing the pumpkins, tasting sweet potato pie, walking on the crunchy leaves, breaking out my jackets and gloves, eating turkey and stuffing, and listening to Christmas music. I love buying and making gifts. I love wrapping them and putting them under the tree. I love decorating the house. I love baking Christmas cookies. I love it all. I am thankful for the feeling that comes with this time of year. I'm thankful that the Lord led our ancestors here, to America, and blessed our nation with freedom. I am thankful that He sent His Son to this earth to save us. I am thankful for every year that He gives us and blesses us with.

19. Laughter. What would life look like without laughter? I simply LOVE to laugh. I love fellowshipping with family and friends and, with many of them, we could spend hours just laughing! The Christian life is not an easy road. There are choices to be made that go against our flesh. There are paths that must be taken that will be opposite of the paths taken by friends and, at times, even family. The Christian life is all about dying to self...and that's just painful. It's uncomfortable. Many times, it's hurtful. But there is such joy and freedom in Christ and in the daily crucifixion of self. There is joy on the lonely road, there is joy in the peace that comes with following in the footsteps of Jesus. It's a hard life, but it's a fun life! It's an exciting life! I am thankful that I have "the joy of my salvation!"

20. My past. Yes, I have a past too....and I'm thankful for it. No matter how we were raised or how much good we have done, we ALL still have baggage. We ALL have things in our past that are shameful. I am not thankful for the sins in my past. I am not thankful for the choices I made that went against the Lord. I am not thankful for my disobedience at any time. However, I AM thankful that through the bad, the Lord made good. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Though the Lord despises and hates sin, He is such a longsuffering God in that He will make something good come out the bad for those who have a broken and contrite heart (a repentative heart). I am thankful for that.

21. My future. I'm the type that likes to plan. Coping with change is difficult for me. It's a struggle to trust my future in the Lord's hands and I'm ashamed of my faithlessness. Yet however my emotions feel about the issue, I'm thankful that my HEAD knows the truth. I am thankful that even when my feelings are full of worry, my head knows that all is well as long as it's in the Lord's grasp. I have no idea what is ahead of me. I don't know what our future looks like. I don't know if my husband and I will stay here forever or if the Lord will call us away overseas. I don't know if we will be blessed with more children or if Nathan will be the only arrow in our quiver. I don't know if we will all live to see the rapture or if I will have to say goodbye to members of my family. I don't know how bumpy the road will become. I don't know how harsh the wind will get. BUT I do know that no matter how bad the storm gets or how beautiful the rainbow is, the Lord is in control. He is with me today...and He will be with me tomorrow. And I am so very thankful for that.

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