It’s December 1st. And I have the last three days of November to share thanks. So… Nov 28th after a relaxing Thanksgiving I’m thankful for safe travels for us to be together and getting back to work. Nov 29th, I am thankful for the sun and my crazy energetic dog that loves to run with me (he was doing flips when he realized I was gearing up for an outside run rather than the treadmil). Nov 30th, I am thankful for my son’s school and the calmness that it has brought to my youngest child. So that wraps up November the month of Thanks! 🙂 happy holidays everyone!!!!
It’s so easy to think that what God desires for you he must also desire for others… thus we judge. We need to remember, God meets us where we are. He convicts us individually of what his desire is for us. And it may not be the same for our children, loved ones, neighbors, or coworkers. We are all individuals in God’s eyes. Honestly, that is the best way to be.
Be careful when you judge others. It’s so easy to look at other’s actions as wrong and not even see what we ourselves are doing wrong. Sometimes God is working in our heart to change a behavior, yet we see others do it and seem to “get away with it”. This is between them and God, not me, them, and God. Take your struggles to him, but remember he may not respond… it isn’t your concern.
When my ex left and I first discovered he was actually having an affair with my best friend. I struggled with this. I wanted him to be convicted of his errors and come home. I wanted the whole nightmare fixed. I so clearly saw the sin, but my ex and best friend didn’t. I would argue and argue with God about how it was wrong, how it was unfair, etc. What I only got was how to fix me. How to work on me. What happened with them wasn’t my concern. Yes, he listened to my rants, but it wasn’t my issue to fix. God instead showed me where I have gone wrong in relationships, and how I too have hurt others. He helped me fix that.
Be self aware of your own problems, issues, struggles, sins. Work on those with God. Don’t complain about others problems. We all have them, we all have areas to work on.
From my morning devotion. “Take responsibility for your happiness”
There was a time when I held my husband responsible for my happiness. It wasn’t intentional. I honestly don’t even think I realized what I was doing. It wasn’t until my relationship with God grew that I was able to reflect back and realize the harsh reality of it. Only I can make me happy. I have learned that when I struggle with a choice, situation, or action I take it to God first. Before I have a chance to react, before I mess it up bigger, before I belittle myself and begin that cycle I used to live trapped within, I talk to God.
Happiness comes from within, we choose it. We can choose it during bad times and good times. Messing up is never messing up if lessons are learned. As long as there is desire to walk in his ways, live life with his direction for us in mind…. Pure untainted happiness is always there for us. It’s prospective… are you looking where you are going, or where you have just been. Focus on good, even in bad times. There always is some.
On the eve of Thanksgiving Teal and I went to church with my mom. It was a small but nice service. Similar service to the episcopal church I grew up with. Hymns, readings, and structure. Different than the type of church I enjoy now with live christian music, personal sermons that speak to me, and not quite the structure of the episcopal service. None the less, while I think Teal might have found the Thanksgiving eve service to be a bit boring, it has some comfort to it for me. It brings me back to the safety of being a little girl. It’s like eating your comfort foods from your childhood and feeling comforted again.
Something happened at this church service that I don’t believe I will ever forget. Something that caused me to deeply ponder my giving. The offering tray was passed around. I didn’t have my wallet or anything with me, so I was unable to give. I looked at my mom and she pulled out some money telling me not to worry. The offering plate made it’s way behind us where a lone homeless man was sitting with I believe all of his items. His guitar, a backpack, a few plastic bags. Probably every bit of his possessions. Then I heard the “tink” as he dropped coins on the plate. Teal and I both looked at each other with probably the same expression on our face. The “I’m fighting back tears right now look” It only took a moment.
I’e spent the last few months giving very minimally to my church. I’ve had a bit of a time financially being unemployed and felt it was okay to wait until I was working, Then I wasn’t working the hours I had thought I would be. Excuses, Excuses
God brought a homeless man into my life for a brief moment to teach me a lesson. To show me giving. To remind me that even a small gift is better than no gift. If I give to God, he will take care of my and my family needs. Hundreds of thoughts went through my mind in that flash of a moment. Here I am, over 3 days later, and still deeply pondering and thanking god for the homeless man that sat behind me on Thanksgiving eve.
Don’t ever think you aren’t making a difference. Don’t ever think God can’t use you. You may not ever know all the ways he has used you. But he is.
Yesterday, while I was driving home from Tillamook in the pouring rain, music cranked up, and the heater on high (I was freezing!) I let my mind wander. The road was gloomy, tree’s without leaves, various shades browns everywhere. Even the river was a dark muddy brown color. And I thought how this is the cycle of life. We just lost the vibrant colors of fall and we are rapidly moving into the white snowfall which has it’s own unique beauty. But for today, it’s not so pretty. Today it’s rain and grey sky’s. My mom said several times over Thanksgiving that she was thankful for the rain. Teal and I kept laughing at her. The truth is though, we should be thankful for the gloom and rain. Through the storm comes beauty. Through the storm comes appreciation. Because of the storm, the cycle of life can continue on. New life grows because of the storm.
So yesterday, I was thankful for the rain. And today as I’m able to sit here and type it all out, I am thankful that my rainy season is ending.
Today’s Thanks…. my ex’s first Ex. My two amazing kids I love so much… their real mom. For ten years I was her ex husbands wife. I was her two baby’s other mom. Sometimes I was ugly, other times I was gracious. But in the end, when I was hurting… this women was my hero. She survived and thrived what I was trying so hard to. She made it, and had two little kids at home, I knew it HAD to be possible. She was my words of comfort and realism. She was and still is my voice of peace on her children. She has shown me the acts of God’s love in ways I can only hope to for others. Today I received a package in the mail from her. A package with notes to aid me on a huge upcoming test she has just completed. She shared when she didn’t have to. I was the other women in her hardest time. And she continues to show me such grace. I feel so fortunate that God chose her to work full circle in my heart and teach me.. I pray she knows I admire her beyond words. She is one of my many blessings in this storm.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Today feels like the right day to be thankful for family, safe travels, yummy food, heated homes, and simple luxuries like coffee with pumpkin spice creamer and pajamas to lounge throughout the day.
This year though I am particularly thankful for something that I realized yesterday. Healing of broken hearts. Every holiday has been particularly hard for me. I sense it about a week out, I get emotional and irritable. Running doesn’t seem to help. My brokenness becomes evident again and I feel like I’m never going to heal. Well, as of this morning when I woke up to my sweet little boys face staring at me to see if I was up yet, nada…. no emotional tidal wave has hit me. I have struggled as recently as kids birthdays this summer, and his birthday in October. But what a difference a month can make. Thanksgiving was always his big holiday… he loved us to cook up a big meal! We would raise our Turkey, butcher the turkey, brine the turkey, and then smoke the turkey. I may never have a turkey quite like that again! I know him and Mingo spent last weekend doing their Thanksgiving with the kiddo’s. Enjoying my family without me. But this simple truth no longer hurts. Even writing that, no tears!!!!! Slowly memories are becoming happy again rather than painful with the ever looming WHY question attached.
We are less than two weeks away from the dreadful day our lives all changed. Roughly one month from Christmas. Then quickly our anniversary and somewhere in there the day our divorce was finalized. (I have chosen not to remember that day, only that it was quite close to our anniversary). This year, I am hoping to meet and greet each of those days finding joy rather than sadness. If I do, it will be a first!!!!
From my devotional this morning. .. What is my priority. What’s the first thing I think about in the morning, the last thing I think about before bed. Where do I spend my time? Spending 30 minutes with Jesus each week but 7 hours with TV…. our focus is on TV. Spending an hour with Jesus but 14 hours on social media… our focus is social media.
I needed to hear this message. I needed to sit back, ask God where my priorities are out of line. And let his conviction move me forward toward him. Honestly, I haven’t been spending the time reading that I was even a few months ago. I have noticed an increase in Social Media in the last month. I’m hoping it is an increase because of my daily thanks posts, but either way, I need to reel it in prior to losing focus on what is important. I have been enjoying more time in the evenings watching TV with my kids rather than the reading I used to do. Even so much that last night I was watching TV without any other kids with me… that is rare for me! I’m not much of a TV watcher! My mind has wandered to financial thoughts more than visits with Jesus in my lul moments. I haven’t been working the hours at work I had expected to. I’m still on orientation so picking up hours elsewhere isn’t an option as of yet. The result is less money coming in and therefore more of a struggle to make the bills. It’s working out, and I’m enjoying the extra time being mom. I know that God has a plan, and that work will pick up. So I really shouldn’t focus on that, I should focus more on my short visits with him throughout the day instead.
The result? I’ve noticed an increase in my early morning wake ups. This always seems to happen when God is gently nudging me to spend more time in prayer, more time in his book, more time with him. And now this devotional. I feel a peace wrap around me now realizing the choices I have been making, and the choices I need to make. It’s times like this, I am so thankful God never gives up.
Today I am thankful that we have choices. Choices to do both good and bad, and choices to learn from them or not. Choices to believe the unbelievable, choices to care when it all seems impossible, choices to be kind when it’s the last thing we feel. Every morning we wake up choices begin. And for the most part, we are free to choose each one how we want. Sure, there might be consequences, learning experiences, and heartache with some of the choices we make, but we always have the ability to learn from them and redirect with new choices