SO Thankful…Day 23

As December is now approaching I can’t help but reflect over the last year. I’ve been thinking about the challenges we’ve faced this year. Here are just a few…

  • We started 2011 with $1000/month loss as long-time supporters fell on hard times.
  • I spent 8 days in Miami Hospital getting blood-clots removed. I was told it wasn’t a matter of “IF” but “WHEN” I was going to have a serious stroke.
  • My father had quadruple bypass surgery – over 12 blockages.
  • My son had heat-related seizures.
  • Rosie was officially diagnosed with significant developmental delay.
  • My children needed counseling this fall.
  • Many layers of darkness in the Mole were exposed this year and the realities are absolutely heart-breaking.
  • Then as our family’s support leveled off – we lose two more supporters and we’re ending the year much like we began it.

It’s definitely been a roller-coaster  – emotionally, physically, and financially. I can’t wait for 2011 to be over! That’s for sure.

So here’s the crazy thing. Last night while I was laying in bed I felt like God was speaking to me. He was telling me to be thankful for 2011 and for the challenges that presented. Huh? I probably laid there a good 30 minutes in disbelief.

But the more I laid there trying to ignore it –  the more I really thought about it. So much so that I decided at midnight to get up and write – so that these thoughts would be fresh in my mind.

Here is what I’ve come up with:

The daily challenges I face with my ministry & with my family actually have made me stronger. It has built up my confidence level to heights I have never imagined as I claim victory over each hurdle.  I always feel in the moment – I can’t do this anymore. But what I’ve realized time and time again this year is – – YES. I. CAN.

There are normally two types of people involved with my challenges. You see there are some who fight to make my life easier. They go out of their way to help me. They sacrifice their time, energy, and resources to help fill in the gap. They encourage me in my 9th hour and pray for me when I feel alone. They’re part of the reason I can claim victory over the challenge.

But as I began to think last night – I am even thankful for the more challenging people I have to deal with too! You see they push me to exercise my tolerance and patience. When they stretch me – they actually help me realize the GRACE that my Father in Heaven must have for me. How can I not extend that to them when God has offered that to me time and time again?

***

When we were little my dad had a special way of waking us up. I’m totally serious. Each morning dad would yell into our room – “Wake up! Wake Up! It’s a BIG day! Something special is gonna happen today! Can’t wait for you to come home from school and tell me about it”!

You would think after all those years we would realize that not every day is going to be a great day! In fact – some of them really sucked!! Ha! But there was something about the way he woke us up – we really did believe that something good was going to happen! And oddly enough – when dad would ask us at the end of the day what that good thing was – we ALWAYS had an answer.

God reminded me of that last night. Why aren’t I more excited each day? Even the worst day has something good in it! It has to.

Each day allows us to experience a new beginning. For all the headaches and heartaches I accumulate throughout the day –  I know I can look forward to a new tomorrow. For each morning that greets me – I can look forward to new possibilities and new experiences. Each day brings the promise of  goodness. A new day often refreshes my perspective –  I no longer feel as jaded as I did the day before.

When it comes right down to it – there are so many things to be thankful for EACH DAY – even on a bad day. Even on a terribly bad day! Even on the worst day ever! AND unfortunately I often fail to appreciate them.

Why was it that when my dad would ask me about my day when I was young- I would look back and come up with something great that happened! But when you ask me about my day now – I’ll tell you “it was the worst day”.

Something that God just yelled at me is – WAKE UP! Every day has something special in it! Choose to look for it!

Today I started thinking about all the blessings that I have received! Today I am promising myself to be more mindful – and especially thankful – for all of them as I wait for a new day.

So today – oddly enough –  I am thankful for the challenges I face –  and the goodness each day holds!

For proving I CAN DO IT and REALIZING Each Day Has Its Blessings!

Comments

  1. I am thankful for a blog post from you EVERY day this month — I feel like these have been great devotionals for me each day,and such great reminders of God’s faithfulness in such a variety of situations! Someone at church said they wished you would write EVERY day like you have this month–I know that’s not possible, but it sure would be great! Thank you for opening your heart and sharing to make us realize (along with you) how very blessed we are and how thankful we must be EVERY day! If each person who lives in the US would visit Haiti for a couple of weeks, I think we would surely live differently!

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