Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankful Is As Thankful Does...

True thankfulness is not a destination we visit occasionally when everything is going our way. Thankfulness, the real heart-felt kind, is an address at which we find ourselves residing on a regular basis. It is not necessarily our natural default setting, but it is a trait and a practice that can be learned and incorporated into our everyday lives that will change how we do life.

Thankfulness, thru Jesus' lens, sees much to rejoice in that the world would cast aside...pain, hurt, betrayal, sickness...that lives arm-in-arm with the "good stuff". It is virtually impossible to sift thru life and separate the pain and the praise because, in God's economy, there is much to rejoice in either way.

With all that being said, here is a list of things I am thankful for that includes pain and heartache intertwined with those things that seem naturally praise-worthy...

* For a husband who loves the Lord and loves his family and took such great care of me during my recovery from surgery
* For 5 amazing kids who pulled together and kept the ship afloat while I was knocked down and who fill my every day with more joy than a heart can hold
* For the opportunity to practice forgiveness and blessing those who persecute me during a very difficult time
* For shoulder surgery which not only repaired a damaged shoulder, but provided me a reason to be tucked away in a recliner during a time of emotional pain and healing where Papa ministered to me in His most tender way
* For the excitement in my boy's eyes when he signed to play baseball at a D1 school for a coach and a school with a wonderful reputation
* For the opportunity to gather together with 34 of my most special friends for a women's retreat and see chains literally fall to the floor before our very eyes
* For a church family who loves us and encourages us on a daily basis
* For the lines of communication that I have with my children that allow us to discuss the good things and the painful things that life choices bring our way
* For an extended family that loves and encourages us in real and tangible ways
* For the pruning away of habits or attitudes that will hinder intimacy with Jesus
* For hope that is based not on an elected official or sound economic times, but a sovereign Savior who has a plan

My list could go on as surely as the moments each new breath brings, but in the interest of time and space I will stop here. I pray the Lord will always gives me eyes to see my experiences thru a thankful lens even if it takes a few gentle nudges on His part.

Thank You, Lord, for ALL of it, for in ALL things I give thanks!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Taking the high road is usually not the easy one to take or the most popular. The low road seems to offer instant satisfaction. It may seem better for the moment, but if you compromise your principles and your integrity, it will always end up costing you far more in the long run."
Billy Cox

It has been a very long time since the last time I wrote on my blog. I am not totally sure all the reasons for that, but I do know a lot of what I was working thru over the last few months was messy. In order to be able to take the high road it seemed silence was the best choice.

Being in leadership can be a lonely place especially when tough and potentially unpopular decisions have to be made. It is hard when you know that some people won't understand and you can't really tell them any more than you have to help make things clearer for them.

I have found that Gal. 1:10 (which has always been one of my favourite verses) has come to life for me in new and profound ways. Do I truly only care about pleasing the Lord or am I still selfishly tied to wanting people to be pleased with me? Is the applause of heaven paramount to the temporal cheerleading of those here on earth? 

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. 
Phil 3:15-19

Lord, I desire above all else for my walk, my ways and my musings to be pleasing to You and You alone. Please continue to help me navigate thru the land mines that are sometimes laying in wait and help me stay focused on the goal which is eternity with You. Let me not become encumbered with the weight of wanting people here on earth to understand and applaud what is done, but let me truly look to You for validation, significance and worth. Thank You for how you have ministered to me as I have spent weeks in a recliner literally crying out to You. I know those tears were all collected in your most tender way.

 You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
    through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
    each ache written in your book.
Psalm 56:8