Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank You Lord and Resolutions

During this time of year I like to reflect of the great things that have happened and look back at some of our struggles. This allows me to reflect on what God has been trying to teach and grow in me. Last year I started a list of things I was thankful for that might now seem like things most people would not want, but I could not imagine my life being any other way. So I took that list updated it for the things I’m thankful for this year and my goals for next year.

Thank you Lord that I do not have a clean house. There is always laundry that needs to be folded AND put away, toilets to be scrubbed, meals to be cooked, dishes to be washed. Due to Max being in heaven with you, my kitchen floors have never looked so bad. I guess he was eating a lot of people food after all.

Because of my two little mess makers, our home is filled with toys, and clutter. I have stuff thrown from here to there, and toys litter my floors on a daily basis. But our home is also filled with laughter and joy. Thank you Lord for the mess that my children make. I am so happy to have them. We have such a great time together playing. I’m sure twenty years from now, I’ll long for these messes. Thank you that I have opportunities to play with them and let messes wait.

Thank you Lord that I don’t have a job outside of our home. Because the great care that our church provides our family, I am able to be home with my children. I get to be with them each day. I am the primary person that molds their character and teaches them the Bible. What a blessing it is to serve and love others because I can be on our schedule instead of a work schedule.

Thank you Lord that my daughter isn’t 100% healthy. When Larry and I learned of Eden’s heart condition, we prayed and gave her life to you. We know that she is yours; You’ve only entrusted her care to us. That was perhaps one of the hardest lesson I have ever learned. BUT it is by far one of the best. I know you care for Eden and Josiah more than we ever could. In the big scheme of things, her heart condition could be much worse. Twice a day I give her medication. Twice a day I give her life to you. Thank you that she has the medication she needs. We know there is surgery ahead of us, but we trust you with our most precious gift, our child’s life.

Thank you Lord that my children are not immediately obedient. They give me daily, hourly, and sometimes minute by minute opportunities to rely on you to help me parent them well. They remind me that I am not as obedient to you as I should be. I am your rebellious, sinful child. Thank you for being graceful and merciful with me. You remind me constantly that I am in need of the same self discipline I am trying to teach my children. I need to parent with grace and mercy just as you love me with grace and mercy. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever attempted.

Thank you that my husband is often away when I would rather him be home with me. Ministry is such hard work. There is rarely a schedule and when there is, it can be changed in an instant when a family needs him. It’s difficult when he is called away during dinners or has meeting so many nights of the week. Yet, you have provided him a wonderful job when so many others are without one. But it’s more than just a job; it’s a calling to ministry. That is a special privilege. It is a lifestyle, not an occupation. He is able to proclaim you Truth to people who are hurting or dying. His vocation allows us to impact eternity. He loves what he does and he’s good at it. I’m proud to be his wife and his help mate in the ministry.

Thank you Lord that you called us to Williamston to minister. It is very difficult being so far away from family, especially this time of the year. But you have raised up a church family to help love our family while we spend our lives here. We have Mothers, Fathers, Grandmother and Grandfather figures that loves us and our children so very well. Plus, our marriage has been strengthened and our children’s lives enriched by the people we have built relationships with.

Thank you Lord that we are not rich. Each month I wonder if we will run out of money before we run out of days. Each month I am reminded that you provide for us exactly what we need when we need it. It never fails that when the van breaks down you provide the money to pay for it. An unexpected bill will show up and you provide. Time and time again, you provide. Spending time in Haiti this summer showed me just how rich we are. We are rich beyond measure!

Like many people I have a wish list of things I would like to have. Then I remember the children Haiti. They have so very little. Yet, those children were so joyful. I remember how I felt when I returned to American soil. I thought how much I had compared to how little other had. I am ashamed to have been thinking so selfishly. I have never gone to bed hungry. I have always been blessed with clothes, shelter, transportation, education, access to medical care and a family that loves me. More importantly, I have been blessed with the inheritance of heaven!

And Thank you Lord for the constant nauseous feeling and sickness that I have been struggling with for the past few weeks. It is constant proof of the life growing inside of me. For years I was told pregnancy was not possible or would be very difficult. But you are the giver of life. We are so thankful you have chosen to bless us again with another child.

When I think of the many blessings that are given to me through Christ Jesus, I am in awe! While I was your enemy, you died for my sins, While I was years away from understanding your work in my life, you died fore my sins. Without proper way of expressing my thanksgiving for your grace, you died for my sins. How awesome is you love!

As I remember what we have to be thankful for and make resolutions for the things that I would like to change or improve, I want my life look like what God is trying to teach me. For many years I have made resolutions that were goal oriented, like lose 10 pound or be better about sending letters and calling people. Half way through January, I have broken many of my resolutions. Last year I decided to have God oriented goals. My thinking was that when I keep a heart inclined towards God, then my actions will reflect that change. It’s much easier for me to be God oriented than goal oriented. I didn’t always succeed, but I did much better with these goals all year than I have with many others in years past. So I chose to continue these in 2011:

Lord please help me to love you more than I love my sin.

Please help me to love others more than I love myself.

Please help me be more intentional about sharing the Gospel with others.

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