Gratitude is an Attitude 

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

~Ephesians 5:20

I need to cherish every blessing I have. Here are a few things I’m grateful for today: 

1. Heat-it’s winter in Indiana and baby, it’s cold outside! 

2. The fact that my oldest son is able to attend college. 

3. I have a lot of laundry to do today. But I’m okay with that. I get to do it in the comfort of my own home, I have plenty of cleaning supplies to get the job done, and the fact that I have clothes to wash says a lot. 

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Conqueror 

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~Romans 8:37

Today marks the one year anniversary of my first life saving surgery. I had a total of four, but the first was the most significant. 

I was terrified as I had never had surgery before. Up until my diagnosis, I was relatively healthy. Doctors, nurses, specialists and technicians all marveled at this fact. 

The night before the operation I was filled with anxiety-not knowing if it was the last time I would ever see my two boys again. I had spent as much time as humanly possible with them. 

On the operating table I could not relax despite having already received potent anesthetics. I was wide awake and with tears rushing like rivers down my face, called out for my deceased mother. 

My surgeon came over and held my hand. I felt the healing blood of the Lord surge through me. After that, I peacefully surrendered to a drug induced coma. And by the grace of God, He saw fit to favor me. Hence I am still here one year later. 

Why, I do not know. But I do know how thankful beyond words I am. He kept me in His shadow in a most desolate time. Hallelujah! 

Born

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” ~Jeremiah 1:5

Today I have been on earth exactly 38 years. I am filled with a gratitude that no words in the English lexicon can adequately express. 

I only know that Our awesome God chose to grace me with another year of life.

I have no grand plans. Nor a desire for a party, a cake , a multitude of gifts or to celebrate the whole month long. 

I am content in the knowledge that even before I was a thought, God already knew me. I was chosen specifically by the King. 

I am thankful for my mother who chose to have me even though she had just turned 16 a little over a month before I was born. So this day, of course, makes me think of her sacrifice. It reminds me of Romans 8:28. I like to believe that I am the good born from her youthful indiscretions. 

Today I received such an outpouring of love at both home and work-I was quite overwhelmed-in a good way for once. God used most all I encountered today to express His everlasting love for me. 

The Milk Man

“Be not therefore like them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.” ~Matthew 6:8

God has a way of letting us know that He is aware of the things plaguing our hearts. 

I have been recovering from my third surgery in less than six months and the fatigue of it all has overwhelmed me. Tired of being tired, I felt very discouraged today. 

Various friends told me to try B12. I did some research and tried the liquid which only worked intermittently. I had planned to ask my doctor for the shot which I heard works much better than the supplements, however, I would have to wait until the end of February to do so. 

After dinner I decided to try one of the chocolate cupcakes my five year old made along with a glass of milk. I grabbed the container of coconut milk and read the sides while I warmed up my treat. 

  
I was astonished to read that coconut milk is an excellent source of B12. 

  
Just 8 ounces provides 50% of the daily amount needed. I could do nothing but thank God. At that moment I knew He knew what I had been going through. My heart filled with gratitude. 

 
 I’m sure most people will label this a “coincidence,” but not I. I know that God communicates with us in a myriad of ways. He provided an immediate answer to something that I needed. It gave me so much hope.  

The moral of the story is that God is everything. The Beginning. The End. The Alpha. The Omega. The Great Physician. Lord of Lords. King of Kings. Jehovah Jireh. And yes, the Milk Man, too! 

Thankful Thursday 

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I find so much joy in simply waking up in the morning. I am thankful that God chose to breathe the breath of life into me. Everyone did not receive this new morning mercy. 

Most of us are “rich” in ways we take for granted. Our first world woes have no comparison to the real disparity of third world countries. What they live through we could never endure. We wear out the knees of our pants and they wear out their knees, to paraphrase a line from The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. 

But even when we are living in lack, bearing an illness, dealing with wayward children, working  stressful jobs, and facing rejection among other pressing issues, we have to find something to be thankful for. We are asked to give thanks in “everything.” The concept is a hard one to fathom. For who can be thankful in the midst of a divorce? Debt? Domestic violence? Homelessness? Infertility? Hunger? Depression? War? Poverty? Racism? Terrorism? Injustice? Addiction?

I’ll admit, I am not always thankful for my trials. However, one thing I have learned from them is that they draw me closer to God like nothing else. When things are going well, I tend to place God on the back burner. But as soon as things fall apart, I’m racing to Him for solace. 

Cliched, but true, gratitude is an attitude that must be cultivated. Bad times serve to make us appreciative of the good. When we have this healthy balance it is easier to deal with trouble as we know it doesn’t last and can be used for our good or someone else’s. 

I’ve also learned that we can be thankful in everything because what we go through can help someone else. This alone can make hardship worthwhile. 

And lastly, a trial is soul refining. It purges impurities and gets you ready for the next battle. 

This week, remember these three things as you consider your attitude about the troubles you face: 

1. They humble you. 

2. They make you whole. 

3.They make you hunger for God. 

Thankful Thursday

“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
I decided to change this weekly post up a bit. Instead of focusing on the day, I decided I’d discuss what I’m thankful for the entire week. So let the gratitude begin!

1. I’m thankful that I made it to church and was able to fellowship with likeminded believers.

2. On Wednesday I woke up late. Thankfully, a coworker graciously covered class for me.

3. I don’t have a lot of friends, but I have a couple that I can count on in lean times. We support each other on a regular basis via text messages, phone call, and literal face time.

4. I made it to vote for our city’s new mayor. Being able to do my civic duty is a blessing.

5. I was able to assist someone with their needs.  It was a great feeling that God used me to accomplish this mission.

6. The weather has been really delightful this fall season. I’m thankful for the extra days of sunshine.

7. Even though I’ve been super tired lately and certainly didn’t feel like going grocery shopping, I’m truly thankful that I was able to afford to do so. Our pantry, refrigerator, cupboards, and deep freezer overflows. Thank You Lord.

8. I took my boys to have family portraits made. Although it’s just the three of us, I am completely grateful to have the children I do. I enjoy spending time with them. And the pictures are quite lovely.

9. I was able to buy two precious new babies, Giselle and Madison welcome gifts.

Faith Full

“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.” ~Psalm 30:2

I had my second surgery two days ago. I entered this one with confidence and unwavering faith. God has been so good to me and  I felt no reason to be afraid. He replaced my fear with peace. My faith tank was full. 

Father, I thank You for the myriad ways that You’ve blessed and loved me even before I was placed in my mother’s womb. You have always been by my side, in both the dark and light of my life.  I thank You for Your presence, patience, peace, parenting, and power. I will praise You continuously until my test turned testimony leads someone to You. Lord, You have been a rock in my most unstable world. You’ve made broken places straight. You have calmed the storm that came without warning. Because of Your strength, my weakness was made perfect. From this pain, You have birthed promise. I will forever worship Your holy name. You are great and greatly to be praised. It is true, there is NO ONE like Jehovah. The great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Author and Finisher of our faith. How grateful I am to be Your humble servant. Thank You Father for renewing my hope and my life. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen! 

Jehovah-Rapha

“There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD who heals you.” ~Exodus 15:22-26

Thank You Lord for Your goodness, everlasting love, compassion, and healing touch. You’ve been a father and a provider for me. You’ve covered me with Your wings when I’ve felt so very afraid. You’ve been a strong tower in my many weak moments. You-God that heals, has been with me in every examination room and every procedure I’ve had to endure. Your calming presence has made it so that I don’t even flinch. You, the Ultimate Physican, skillfully guided the hands of my surgeons. You are a God who keeps Your word and I know that You will continue to show me favor in the midst of it all. You O Lord can make bitter water sweet. With a heart of pure gratitude, I pray in the Holy name of the Lamb, Amen. 

  

Thank Him Thursday

“And a little child shall lead them.” ~Isaiah 11:6

Yesterday I was riding on a bent rim and a tire that wouldn’t hold air and I didn’t even know it! On the way to work earlier that day, I had the misfortune of hitting a deep pothole. I pulled over and checked the tires but they appeared to be fine. 

After picking up my youngest son from school, I had stopped at the gas station when a man approached my car and told me. I thought the car was riding funny and I had even checked all four tires twice and nothing seemed amiss.

This kind stranger also put air in the tire so we could make it home.

The style of my tires are “rubber band” which means they are very thin to showcase the rim. It would have been a terrible thing had it completely went flat while driving 60+ mph on the highway.

But God kept me from harm.

The gas station was less than three minutes from home but I prayed all the way. A little voice chimed in and said his own beautiful, wee orisons. I was touched and thankful that he understands when we experience any form of trouble-big or small, we are to take it to the Lord.

Thank you Lord and amen!