Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"It is good to give thanks..."

It can be hard to be thankful sometimes, but it is good for the spirit to do so. I'm usually kinda generic in when I say what I’m thankful for (like “my friends") cause I don't want anyone to be left out. UGH. I can be such a people-pleaser. But that's for another post. HA!
Nevertheless, I decided to write out some very specific things that RIGHT NOW stand out as major blessings. Here they are in random order: (drumroll please....)

Dad—he has talked me off the ledge more than once through this ordeal! I’m thankful for his unprecedented wisdom, and that he prays on his knees for me more than once a day. I cling to his faith that I will be well one of these days.

My home---I love my little condo and our community. I’m thankful for the fact that I was able to get everything indoors painted and decorated before I had to be stuck in here looking at it all day!

—ever since I was little girl my mom has been larger than life and one of my favorite people in all the world. She is generous, listens to my woes, is my biggest advocate, is so much fun to be around, and keeps me laughing with the hilarious stories she always has to tell.

A Christian heritage—I’m so thankful that because of my parents, I have always known Jesus. Even before I accepted Him at 5, He was spoken of and was a part of our home. I’m now thankful that was taken to church faithfully and required to be involved. But I’m also thankful that my parents gave me immense freedom to be me even though I was the “pastors daughter.”

Grandma Folsom—especially since I’ve realized the struggle it is to have physical problems, I think a lot of my precious Grandma Folsom. The way she gracefully handled Parkinson's disease for 17 years and told me to “never question God” when as a 3rd grader I asked her why she had to suffer like that. I’m thankful for her Bible that sits on my bookshelf. It is old and worn and is a legacy to her faithfulness to the Lord. Every single page is written on or underlined (sometimes not so evenly as her hands were shaking.) She was the epitome of sweetness, gentleness, and love. And my Poppy took care of her no matter what all those years. Yes, what a heritage!

TV, movies and books
– It’s a blessing to escape sometimes.

SaraRose—My very own little girl! God knew I needed her. I’m thankful she came before all these health problems started. She is a tiny bundle of energy and joy, and has kept me getting out of bed and acting enthusiastic even when I don’t feel like it.

Andrew---Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. I’m thankful he promised to be with me the rest of our lives, because I wouldn’t ever want to live without him. He is kind, faithful, nurturing, honest, and uncomplaining. He fights hard everyday to be the man God wants him to be. I love him.

Facebook—seriously. I am connected to others even while I lie in bed. I can send out an SOS if I am in need, and receive instant encouragement from people I hardly ever see. What a wonderful invention!

Medication---as much as I hate having to take it, I am so thankful for the relief my body receives.

Katie—God knew the perfect time to bring this friendship to my life. I learn from her every time we talk. She is wise beyond her years, listens patiently to the Lord and follows his leading. She’s an example to me. She has been with me thru the long haul and understands when I just can’t talk some days. A true kindred spirit!

God and the Scriptures---knowing that this suffering is part of his plan for me helps me to keep perspective. Following his commands to “live one day at a time” and to “be anxious for nothing” has been just the practical counseling I need. It is the ultimate life line to hope and joy in the midst of it all.

The Roberts family
—Janice is an inspiration to keep moving and choosing joy even after great loss. I have notes from her and April on my wall. They have been thru a dark time, and yet are positive and continue to have fun. I love how they love and encourage me.

Peggy—I’m so happy to have connected with my Virginia mentor (and friend!) Peggy Hinson. I’ve appreciate her levity and insights. I hope to be more like her.

Joy—My sweet Joy, who I don’t get to see very often, but is tied to my heart just the same. She is stronger than she knows, and God is doing amazing things in her life. We are walking a similar dark path, and it is an encouragement to know that she’s not giving up, just like I’m not giving up…..despite it all.

Physical Therapy—it has made me stronger, given hope, and I know God opened up the Largo Branch just for me. :)

Church—So happy for Living Hope as well as a small group that has served us in ways we can never repay. I’m humbled by the way the congregation has reached out to me, even though they don’t know me very well. I can tell they consider it service to the Lord and don’t do it for what they can receive in turn. What a blessing I hope to be a bigger part of some day.

Cornerstone Bank– insurance covered $165,000 and $285,000 surgery bills. Wow! It’s easy to take that for granted. And Andrew is around the corner to pop in as needed. He is loved and respected by his staff and superiors and I am so proud of him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts from Last Christmas

Oh, Christmas is on it's way and I just can't wait! Can't you tell by the fact that I've already "elfed" myself and it's only mid-November?

But for real. The happiness, fellowship, smells, music, food, lights, candles, coziness, and joy Christmas brings with it is much needed in my life.
Last year at this time I was in the deepest valley I've ever experienced, and though I still have lots of unanswered questions, at least I'm further past some of the hard stuff than I was then.
My theme verse for this time is Psalm 30:5, "weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning." This promise has kept me going in my darkest of hours.
Last Christmas, God inspired me to write a little poem in the midst of all the despair. And I trust that one day I will look back and say that my night has ended and the morning has brought with it inexplicable joy!

Morning is Coming

God never promised bright blue skies
And ease to fill each day
But with His hand to guide us
We have hope along the way

He'll never leave us all alone
Thought lonely it may seem
We search thruout the darkest night
With just the slightest gleam

But slowly as we stumble on
The darkness seems to fade
"Lift up your head," says a Voice beside
"And turn your eyes this way"

We climb the hill and valley
And just beyond the trees
We see what He has been promising--
Joy in the Morning

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Christmas is comin to town!!

I don't know about you, but after the year we've had I am so ready for some good ol' Christmas! I can be such a downer on this blog, so I wanted to share something happy this time! The elf yourself dances never fail to crack me up. Take some time to watch, laugh, and then elf YOURSELF! It's good for the soul! ;)