Thankful

11.28.2013

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! I hope you each feel so blessed and loved today and every day.


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Happy Thanksgiving Eve

11.27.2013

It's hard to believe it's Thanksgiving eve, but nevertheless, it is!

It's such a blessing to have a day that is, or should be, purely about recognizing all that we have and saying "thank you." It's fall's last hoorah before the Christmas season officially begins, and I just love this holiday.

Today and everyday, I say thank you for...

...the unending, unwavering love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ

...my strong, steadfast, loving husband

...our wonderful families and amazing friends

...our sweet, crazy dogs

...our warm, dry, happy home

...hot coffee

...good books

...music

...memories

...joy

Enjoy all the food and chaos. Enjoy spending time with your family; no matter how dysfunctional they may be, enjoy it.  Take a few minutes to reflect on just how blessed you are, despite any hardships or difficult circumstances you may be facing.

Just enjoy this wonderful day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. I'm super thankful to see this little turkey :)




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Dani Update

11.22.2013

As I mentioned earlier this week, our sweet Dani has been having difficulty standing after sitting/laying down and we were taking her for a follow up on Thursday.


Turns out, despite the original thought of the pain originating from her knee, the x-ray's told a different story; her hips were awful.


It took us less than two seconds to agree to surgery after hearing that would ultimately be the only solution. As I mentioned, we consider our dogs our children, but regardless of that, they're a responsibility we chose to have.  This is what she needed, so this is what happened.


The vet called earlier to let me know she was out of surgery and it went wonderfully, which were definitely the best words I heard all day.  Now we all just have to get through the weekend and she'll be back home with no pain!


So thankful for the sweet fur babies and for the vets of the world that take care of them!

Happy Friday!
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Giving Thanks in Trials...and Trust Issues

11.19.2013

I am so ready for Thanksgiving, but at the same time, I can't believe it's next week! I am really trying to be better at appreciating what Thanksgiving is and not just think about the fact that it ushers in the Christmas season.

She Reads Truth just started a new series, Give Thanks in All Circumstances, and a portion of the introduction to this series struck a chord with me:
Life does not magically get easier or shinier during the holidays. The hard things we are in the midst of are still hard. In fact, the sharp edges of our difficult circumstances are even more painful when juxtaposed with the beautiful orange and brown place settings, with the coming of Christmas lights and holiday cheer.  
But God. He is with us in every circumstance. He is with us in the joy and pain, in the plenty and need, in certainty and confusion.  
And His presence with us? THAT is why we can give thanks. That is why our circumstances are just that – they are circumstances. The heart and hope of the gospel does not change. Ever. And if that gospel – that Savior Jesus and that Creator Father and that Holy Spirit Companion – if they are here with us even in this, then how are we not to praise him? How can we help but give thanks?
The reason this rang so true and deep for me this morning is because we are facing uncertainty with our sweet dog, Dani.

After noticing she was having difficulty standing up after laying/sitting down, and sometimes favoring one of her back legs, we took her to the vet and learned that her knee joint is popping in and out of place. Since the extent of my medical expertise comes from Grey's Anatomy, I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I know it sounds painful.  We go back on Thursday for x-rays and to find out if she'll need surgery or not.

I know to some, or maybe all, this circumstance doesn't seem like much, but for me, it's a lot. Our dogs are our children and the idea of her being and pain and the not knowing what is going to happen, stresses me out. I have never handled the unknown well.  I like to have a plan and going with the flow sometimes seems like a foreign concept to me.

As bad as the words I'm about to type are going to sound, they're honest; trusting the Lord is hard for me.  I can say that I am and I can tell other people to do the same, but actually putting it into practice is near impossible for me at times.
...though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:6-7 
I know that each trial I have and will face, is refining me. I know that the view I have on my life is limited and fractured, while God sees the whole. I know He is in the big, small and in between moments. I do know that, but sometimes a lot of times, it's difficult to rest in that knowledge.

I am thankful for the fact that despite my faithlessness, God is still God. My disbelief doesn't change who He is and what He is going to do.

In this time of uncertainty, and each day of my life, I will take a deep breath, and continue to rest in the knowledge of who He is.
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Give Thanks, Get Joy

11.11.2013

I love that November is a month that everyone tries to take a moment, day or even weeks, to express what they're thankful for.  I believe that too often, we just accept what we have in our lives as they way it should be and don't take the time to express intentional gratitude.

Earlier this year, I started "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to LIVE FULLY Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp.  I haven't finished yet, because this is a seriously deep book by my standards, but one thing it's already taught me is eucharisteo.

Eucharisteo, a Greek word meaning "to give thanks," is something I am trying to remind myself of on a daily basis.  Each and every morning, I am given the choice to either let discouragement rule my day OR to live fully.  It's easy to let the what I am not or what I do not have bring me down, but why?  God has given me this life and at the risk of being cliche, it's up to me to make the most of it.  I need to refuse to let the thoughts of lacking become a part of me and a part of my day, because as soon as I do, they override eucharisteo.

Most of the time, I am the person that believes life is what we choose to make it.  Don't get me wrong here. I have days where I wonder what else could possibly go wrong and when I am waiting to see when and where the other shoe will drop.  But this perspective is mine to choose. When I adjust the way I see things, I am able to recognize the presence of God in the ordinary. The everyday.  And if I am aware of this, aware of the way I see, I am able to say thank you. To practice thanksgiving.

This November, and upcoming holiday season, when life demands urgency, I encourage you to slow down. To choose and see the seemingly small moments. To listen and hear the words of love or need. To give thanks in days when you're not sure what can you can be thankful for.

"Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. 
Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace." 
- Ann Voskamp

When we give thanks, we get joy. I promise you it is impossible to truly thank God for all we have and not to feel complete and utter joy in Him.

So wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, by yourself, with friends or family, be all there. Let go of preconceived notions and just give thanks. Give thanks for the moment God has given you with whoever you are with and whatever you are doing.



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There is Always Something...

11.06.2013

In a month where thankfulness has a much needed spotlight on it, I don't want just type words that sound good; I want to be purposeful in what I am thankful for and what it means to me to be thankful.

With that said, a true post will be up tomorrow, but until then, these words will do.


There is always, ALWAYS, something to be thankful for. Don't let today go by without thinking of at least one thing.
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28

11.01.2013

28.

When I think of someone being 28 years old, I do not think of myself. Despite the fact I haven't lived at home in 10 years and that I've been married for five of those, I don't feel like a full-fledged grown up.  28 seems like an age of someone that has it all together and more often than not, I feel like I'm figuring it out as I go.

Despite the fact that I supposedly am one, being an adult seems like a daunting task. Again, I'm not sure how that happened so quickly, but here I am; staring down the last two years of being a 20-something. As a kid, I don't think I ever really thought about my future. Like really sat down and pondered how it would all pan out. I'm sure I had general thoughts and ideas, but growing up seemed like such a far off and distant thing, it seemed silly to put a lot of stock into planning it out.


I've said this before, but I think it's worth saying again; too often, we're looking to what's next. Looking forward to what the next season will have to offer, or maybe even dreading it. Though I didn't strain to see what my future as an adult would hold, I don't think I fully appreciated just how awesome it is to be a kid. We all had childhoods, so I won't recap all the reasons that it was awesome because everyone's was awesome for different reasons.

My point (somewhat) to all of that, is this; I want to appreciate where I am in this moment. I want to be 28 for as long as I'm 28. I refuse to spend the next two years wondering what the 30 will bring because whatever it brings, I won't be facing it alone.

God had this life planned for me long before I entered the world. He's seen me throw fits; cry and laugh until I couldn't breath; falter and fall. And through all of that, through all these years, He remains.

Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Psalms 73:23-24

I thought about writing a "goals" post for my 28th year, and I may still do that, but for now, I want to meditate what it means for me to be here. This age. This season. This life.

This past Sunday, our pastor preached on standing "in God."  And though the message could apply to everyone and everything, I walked away knowing that I need be active in doing that. To stop rushing and running and to just stand. To allow His glory to wash over me and for His strength to be my strength.

He never meant for me to live a life of trying to do it on my own. I have been ridiculously blessed with an amazing man of God that loves, works and tries for me. He holds my hand and guards my heart. And my prayer is I don't let a moment of this year in my life go by without me remembering that.

The past 27 years have been mine. Some have been harder than others, but they have all been mine. I will choose to embrace whatever this year has to offer.

Unless it forces me to become an adult.  Whatever that is.
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