Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thankful, SO Thankful

All in all, I am thankful.

Thankful for my relationship with Christ. For unconditional love, for acceptance, for peace, for provision, for protection, and for HOPE. The things of this world nor the status of a job will never satisfy me like the love of Christ.

Thankful for the Word. So many verses have helped me get through these days ... Is 33:6 - Ps 90:14 - Matt 6:34 - Ps 16:5-6 - Ps 73:25-26 - Luke 1:45 - 2 Thes 3:5 -1 Peter 3:15 - Zep 3:17 - Micha 6:8 - Ps 18:1 - Heb 12:11 - Josh 1:8 - Rom 12:12 - Heb 4:16 - Lam 3:22-24 - Ps 34:4-5 - Ps 1:3 - 2 Cor 4:17-18 - Luke 2:10-11. All verses that I am working on memorizing.

Thankful for my parents. Who have loved me, prayed for me, given to me, provided for me, encouraged me, comforted me, been frustrated alongside me, and celebrated with me - through this and every season of my life. Through this particular season I was reminded of when my Dad was laid off while I was in College and how I watched my parents gracefully and faithfully endure that circumstance. I saw their faith in action and also learned how important it is to have Christ as the center of your marriage. They are role models to me and I am blessed with them!

Thankful for my friends. Who have loved me, prayed for me, checked in on me, given to me, encouraged me, been frustrated alongside me, and celebrated with me. The hours I have spent during this year over breakfast and lunch tables, going on walks, out on a boat fishing, taking weekend road trips, laying out by the pool, hanging out with stay-at-home Moms and their babies, going to church, watching sports, going dancing and so many more things are memories that will last a lifetime and time spent that was a gift to me!

Thankful for my church. The body of Christ in action, over and over pouring out themselves to me and for my life.

Thankful for my health. Throughout this year I have been reminded over and over how precious my health is and I thanked God for it. There would be days that I questioned if something catastropic was coming to my own life because nothing seemed to be working out and what if something bad was coming. Thankfully that fear didn't overcome me and I was healthy because most of the year I didn't have insurance. Throughout this year I have spent countless hours in a hospital, talking with, and praying for friends dealing with catastrophic health circumstances. Lives that have been turned upside down due to death, cancer diagnosis, or other sickness. Being without a job seemed so trivial compared to what others were dealing with.

Thankful for my nephew and nieces. "Tuesdays with Tole" - while Casey was pregnant with the twins I spent most Tuesdays with Cole (who refers to himself as Tole, c's are t's at 2 years old). We went to the park, the zoo, Kemah, to run errands, on picnics, and played toys for hours on end. When Casey went to the hospital to have the baby girls we went to see Mama and Dada at the Dr and to love on those baby sisters. Gracie Ann and Lily Kate arrived June 22nd, about 6 weeks early and stayed several weeks in the NICU. I was able to go by and visit them often, talk to them, hold them, feed them, and love on them. Even further I was able to spend the night with them when they were home for several weeks to give Casey a night or two of sleep in a week. The firsts of what I hope will be many slumber parties! Thank you to my Brother and Sister-in-Law for sharing your family with me! There is nothing like the innocence of the child to remind you of what really matters in life.

Thankful for work. After getting up on Monday mornings for weeks and months on end to start over on the work search, I am thankful to get up on Monday and have a place to go to work. So many friends have been in this same situation and many still are. I began to really be angered by the number of people who have a Facebook Monday morning update of "I hate Mondays". I pray that I will be sensitive that there is always someone wishing they had work to go to.

There are so many more things, this could go on and on.

For the first time in my life I feel like I have a "5 Year Plan" -- which I laugh at just thinking about, we all know what happens when we make a "plan". He changes it. So, I term that loosely and am fully confident that it will change and I will be more of who I have been called to be and hopefully reflect more of who's I am as every week, month, and year pass.

"Thank you" doesn't seem adequate, but if you have been part of this journey - I am truly humbled by your care and compassionate spirit and am thankful that you have walked these days with me and confident that you will continue to do so. May each of your lives be richly blessed because of how you have blessed mine.

{originally posted 2009 on The Black and White Truth}


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Divine 09

Divine 09

A few years ago a dear friend and I resolved to have an annual theme instead of New Year's resolutions. So, far, they have worked pretty well ...
  • No More In '04
  • Comin' Alive in '05
  • Good Picks in '06
  • Savin' '07
  • A Great '08
And, this year ... "Divine 09"
I have to give credit to a long time friend over a quick Facebook Chat for "Divine" as I was working on my annual theme and looking for words that rhymed with "'09". Thanks #71!
What does "Divine" mean? According to the dictionary ...
-- Of or pertaining to God
-- Informal. extremely good; unusually lovely
-- of superhuman or surpassing excellence
So, what does Divine '09 mean to me?
  1. It will be a year of and pertaining to God.
    There are a few things that will encourage me this year to make it a year pertaining to God: Continued involvement in my church and Bible Study class which I teach. A scripture memory challenge from a favorite Bible Teacher. Time spent in the Word. People who encourage and mentor me to be more like Christ.
  2. I will fill my life with things that are extremely good and/or lovely.
    Jesus ~ My family ~ My friends ~ My puppy ~ Sonic drinks ~ The Outdoors ~ Exercise ~ The 3-Day for Breast Cancer Research ~ Volunteering ~ Eating Cupcakes ~ Rodeo Houston ~ Reading ~ Traveling ~ Live Music ~ Laughing out Loud ~ Taking pictures ~ Playing my Guitar ~ Drinking coffee ~ and many more ...
  3. I believe at the end of 2009 I will look back on a year of surpassing excellence - Divine all the way around!
As I set this theme I remember thinking -- this is risky; to claim and pray for a Divine '09 ... you never know what you will get and/or the bumps in the road that will come. I do know I have eternal HOPE and that no matter what comes; I have stability, security, wisdom, and the love of Jesus to sustain me. Funny how divine He is ... this is/was my first memory verse:
Is 33:6 ~ He is your constant source of stability, He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom. He gives all this to those who fear him. (NET)
Bump in the Road # 1 ... Jan 8th - Layoff.
Though this is not ideal; a layoff is not the end all. I am healthy and able to work. I have a great network who have humbled me with their generosity of time, referrals, and prayer for my next job to come. Above all, my identity is in Christ; He is my stability. My identity is not in my job, not in the US Economy, not in the new President's promises for change, not in the amount of money in my bank account, not in the way I look and not in what the world says I should be or do. What freedom!
May your '09 be Divine,