Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In *Everything* Give Thanks!

I Thessalonians 5:18

In *everything* give thanks: for this the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Today I may get a little long winded with this post, but it something that I have to remember to remind myself constantly, and something that God has blessed me because I have given thanks to him.

So, I will tell a little story. :) To make an extra long story short with too many details to bore you with, my husband and I finished up our last college credits after we married about six months into our marriage.

We sold our little home, and moved back into a college dorm with no air conditioning. When we did this I was four months pregnant. This was fine at the time. I wasn't overly huge, and the weather was nice. But as the months progressed closer to the summer, and as my belly grew, the heat became uncomfortable. As graduation neared, and temperatures sored into the low to mid 90's it became *very* uncomfortable. The mornings were not too bad, as I was in class where there was air conditioning. :)

However, the afternoons were pretty bad. So I got this wicked idea in my head to ask the Lord to have someone take pity on me, and have them offer me a cool place to stay (like their home) while they were at work. That way, I could do my homework in comfort and relax. My legs were beginning to swell from the heat in the last stages of pregnancy, and it was just plain hot in my dorm. So I prayed, then I hung around in the afternoon hoping someone would ask me how I felt, and I could tell them all my woes, and hopefully they would take pity and offer me a room.

I was pretty disappointed that no one did so. Discouraged, I went up to my hot room. As I was sitting on my bed with only the bare necessities on me, in front of my fans, after I had taken a cold shower; I *decided* that instead of dwelling on the uncomfortable, I could be thankful for what I did have.

So I began to thank the Lord for the cold running water, for in some countries you have to walk a long distance and carry the water. Then I thanked the Lord for the fans that were blowing on me, because I could have no electricity for fans to work!

I fell asleep, and forgot all about my prayer that the Lord would have someone take pity on me. One day, when the heat was especially bad, I stayed in a school building and sat in a comfortable chair, and tried to take a nap.

A teacher walked by and asked how I was doing, and I said fine. She asked me how my feet were (because they were really swollen) and I said that they were fine. Then she asked me if I would like to have a dorm room that had air conditioning. A few students had left during the semester, and there were rooms available. I said Of course! So I went and choose a room that had really cold air.

As I got in that nice and cold room, I realized that I had given God Thanks despite my circumstances, and He probably took pleasure in that. He probably won't do that every time we are in a tough circumstance. After all, there are more problems people face than not having air conditioning. But it showed me that God does care about our comfort and all the "little" things in our lives. I didn't complain about my circumstances, and He blessed me in a way more above than I could think. Instead of staying in someones house and having to leave, I could sleep overnight in a cold room!

So this Thanksgiving remember to give God Thanks for everything, including your tough circumstances. As I have progressed into our marriage, there have been much more "important" things come up, besides having air conditioning. And I must admit that I haven't responded to each situation as I did above. I wish I could say that I have; because it is so freeing when I do!

With that said, I would like to list some things that I am Thankful for.

#1. That Jesus died on the cross and took my sins and placed them on himself. I should of died, but He did instead because He loved me. The only way that I could pay for my own sins is death. I have sinned against a Holy God, and he cannot let me into Heaven because of this sin of mine. His justice wouldn't allow it, even though God is compassionate and does not want me to go to Hell, his perfect justice demanded it. God would not be God. I broke the law, I must pay for my crime.

But God had a plan. He is a loving God. He doesn't want us to go to Hell. Just as much as God is a God of pure justice, He is a God of pure love. So He sent His Son, Jesus Christ (God himself) and placed our sins upon Jesus. Jesus died instead of me. God's Justice was satisfied in behalf of my sin. I do not have to work for my salvation. I do not have to be good enough. All I must do, is agree with God, that I have sinned against Him, and trust that Jesus has made the complete payment for my sin. Jesus has paid for my crime. I don't have to go to Hell! Jesus will credit his righteousness to me if I just believe and bet my eternal soul that that is true! What a wonderful God!!!!!

#2. I am thankful for my husband. Here he and I before we began our courtship at the Christmas banquet at our college.

I was pretty young when I got married. I was two months from turning 20. Marriage is a big decision is life. I was pretty picky about men. My husband was the first one that I "dated", the first one I gave my heart to, and the first one I kissed on our wedding day.

But as I sit and think about our marriage in hinds sight, I am soooooo grateful for such a wonderful husband. He isn't perfect; neither am I. But of all the guys out there that do what they can to "catch" a girl, and then turn out to be crazy lunatics afterwards, I am very blessed indeed! ;)

This Thanksgiving I am especially thankful for him. I am going through a tough time with various issues, and he has been there right beside me. He has been the "strong" one in the family. He listens to me with an understanding heart, and tries to make me feel better by bringing me my favorite flavor of ice cream. :)

God knew what he was doing when I choose this man and allowed me to marry him. My husband has caused me to grow in more ways than I could of imagined. He is my best friend, and I cannot imagine life not being married to him. Being married is tough work for sure! But it is a good work. I love and respect my husband so much!!! Look at what he did for me on his day off.

He cleaned my van from top to bottom! He took the seats out, and vacuumed the floors, he took upholstery cleaner and cleaned the seats. He got all the sticky juice spills out of the cup holders. He worked on the van for about six hours!! If anyone knows my husband well, they know that cleaning isn't one of his specialties; although he has many other great ones.
Yet he did it, and I didn't even ask! When Sweetie saw it she said, "Our van is clean! I have never seen such a clean van in my life! I just can't believe my eyes!" That shows you how bad our van was. I tried to clean it as much as I could, but with three children, it is quite difficult. So anyway, I am thankful for such a wonderful husband!

#3. This will be my last thing I write about what I am thankful for. There is so much more to list, but this entry has gotten way too long. I am thankful for my children. They bring so much into our lives, that I can't begin to write about it here. That was one of the main reasons I started this blog; so I could write about my adventures with them.

I am going to post their baby pictures, because this is how I received them from the Lord; as babies. :)
This is Sweetie I don't have any new born photos on the computer. She was about six or seven months here. This is Bean
Here is Little Tiny Boy.
I told you that today was going to be a little long winded. If you have read this far, be sure to stop by Kelli's and see what other's are writing about Thanksgiving.(If you have the time after reading mine!) Just click on the "Giving Thanks" button at the beginning of my entry. Have a wonderful Day! :)


Janne said...

What a wonderful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

Homemaker05 said...

Such great things to remember!!! Thanks for sharing! I have really been blessed to spend these last few days on your blog! Thank you for visiting mine first so I could return the favor! Have a blessed day!

Tammy said...

I'm not sure if I actually visited before now, but I absolutely LOVED this beautiful post of thanksgiving!

I loved the story of how you chose to be thankful in your circumstances and how God blessed you...and loved seeing all the pictures.

This really blessed me- thank you for sharing!

TJ said...

That was beautiful Thank You! God is good. (and thanks for the tip on my blog)

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

I have really enjoyed peeking around your blog today and am enjoying your heart for the Lord, your husband, your children and mothering. The pictures of your babies are adorable!! Can't wait until I can take pics of our first grandbaby due next May. I noticed from this post that you were married at almost the exact age of our youngest daughter. She was one month away from turning 20. Have you ever blogged about your courtship story? Would love to hear it! Thanks for sharing about your growth in the art of being thankful. It is another way for us to refocus our hearts before the Lord and kick negative thinking out the door! Have a great week Mommy!

Midlife Cycler said...

That was a great story...not long at all when a person is truly into reading it. You are a very sweet person and I bet a wonderful mother.

Thanks for visiting my blog too..
And yes, you do need an iron to make these since they come out very thin, like a wafer. I wish I could give you some!

Deborah said...

Hi! I just read your comment on my blog, and decided to check out your blog in turn. Here, I discovered you are using Firm Foundations. I was a missionary teacher with New Tribes Mission before getting married. How happy and surprised I was to see that you are using Firm Foundations. I remember studying that at Bible school, and have taught it at a VBS. I really enjoy it. Are you familiar with The Stranger On The Road To Emmaus? It is like a condensed version of Firm Foundations. Very good. I recommend it for one on one Bible Study (like a witnessing tool) or small group. I was happy, too, to see New Tribes Mission listed in your blog roll. Small world! :)

Lori said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing your thankful heart with us.
I'm thankful for those very same things: Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, My husband and children.

Heather said...

Hi, and thanks for stopping by! I loved your post!

I will be making the cupcakes I linked to in my menu post, but decorating them like snowmen with marshmallows on the top!

Have a great night! :)

Sandra said...

Beautiful post, thank you for sharing :)

Jammy said...

very good lesson about being thankful in all circumstances....I have learned this nugget of wisdom as well, but too bad it took me 30 years before learning it! God's timing is perfect though, and there was a reason.....

Maybe someone could learn from our experiences....?i hope so!

God certainly has a way of blessing when we finally "get it".

Mary said...

You are truly blessed and have a lot to be thankful for.

Thanks for commenting on my post. I appreciate and enjoy your visits.


Mica Garbarino said...

that was wonderful... and really the truth to the matter is being thankful for all of our circumstances no matter what. and let me say it again !!!

Rejoice always;pray without ceasing;give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you !!! 1Thes5:16-18 this is our devotion with our children this week !!! Thanks soo much for this wonderful uplifting post !!! XO Mica

Capturing Today said...

Thank you for sharing from the heart!

MrsMomma said...

What a wonderful post! I'm glad I got to visit it through the tag, I would have missed it otherwise.