Thursday, November 27, 2008


Okay, I have a confession. I haven't been very thankful lately...and I've been in a pretty crummy mood. I could go into all the reasons why life has been a little stinky lately, but that really isn't the point. Honestly, I've done that enough. And that dirty dog, the devil, has been replaying it all for me again and again. Sorry sucker. He's been stealing my joy. No wonder Scripture calls him a thief and a liar.

So, this morning, Thanksgiving morn, I woke up and spent time being grateful to the Giver of all good gifts. First I confessed to my Sweet Savior that I have not been looking much like Him lately, especially on the inside...even if I tried to make the outside look and act right. I'm glad He sees that yucky stuff on the inside, too, though. I didn't have to worry about Him being surprised or shocked when I told Him what a jerk I've been lately. Not with what came out of my mouth, but with the running dialogue in my head.

Then, I thanked Him one by one for my sweet blessings.

For sisters- for Kitty, Penny and Amy - all unique, all special, all mine. And praise God, we are all still here. Seems we've suffered too much loss in our lives the last few years, so I thanked Him for keeping my dad, my step mom, my sisters and our families in tact for the holidays.

For jobs - I'm just grateful that Jimmy and I know that we will be getting paychecks. Not everyone has that assurance, so I prayed for those who don't.

For my country - I thanked Him for allowing me to live in a country where His Word can still be taught and for those who defend it. For young men like Cody Hanson and Mike Brown and the countless others like them who sacrifice their Thanksgiving with family so that we can all celebrate our blessings and our freedom, and so that others might know the same privilege.

For my staff - One by one, name by name, family by family. Each one is precious to me...and make such a difference in the lives of children. I prayed blessings on them and expressed my gratitude for the humbling opportunity to serve them.

For my board - Eight great guys with families and lives outside of the schools they serve. I prayed for each of their families and thanked God for the humbling experience of working along side them and learning so much from them.

For my home - small by any standard, but also cozy and easier to clean than if it were doubled in size! I thanked Him for comfortable surroundings, sentimental mementos, irreplaceable memories.

For my in-laws- A mother and father, sister and nieces, who are as dear to me as if we shared the same blood. So grateful for those precious relationships. I thanked Him for allowing me this incredible privilege and blessing.

For my church, our youth, our ladies so faithful to studying His Word - My brothers and sisters in Christ who have supported me through some of my darkest times and celebrated with me in times of joy. I cannot imagine who I would be without that body of believers. Who would have ever thought God could use this wretch in a shared ministry with my husband? Wow. I thanked Him for using His church to change my life and for allowing me to serve alongside so many that look like Him to me.

For friends - Too many to name here, but in particular, Melissa who is doing so much in service to children, Gina who has been with me through thick and thin for over 30 years, Diana - my listening and advising mentor, Casey - the one I desire to mentor in some small way, who I laugh with and grow with. These three dear ones probably know more of my junk than they really want to, and I thanked God that they love me anyway and I prayed for each of them in their unique situations.

For my beautiful girls - I thanked Him for choosing - of all the women of the world - to be Chelsea and McKenna's Mom. I thanked Him for guidance, for laughter, for tender moments, for love that is beyond me, for two distinct individuals with such unique attributes and characteristics and a bond that runs so deep.

For my husband - I thanked Him for writing a love story beyond this princess's dreams and for allowing Jimmy and I to be the exclamation point at the end of the story!!!...for giving me a spiritual leader for my girls and I, for a man who appreciates and loves me - and isn't afraid or ashamed to show it, for a guy that makes me laugh, and a love that continues to grow. Oh, and I thanked Him that Jimmy is really good with Christmas lights and lawn work - I know that made Him smile.

As you can imagine, by the time I went through that and many other things, like Siesta and blogworld friends, an infallible Word that sustains me, venti peppermint mochas, and learning from the likes of Beth Moore and Max Lucado, and on and on and on, I realized a couple of things. I was sorrier than before that I had been having such a bad attitude, but I was also ticked off that I had allowed Satan to steal my joy...and my strength.

So the Word for the day...Nehemiah 8:10 "Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

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