So Much To Be Thankful For


Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

During this season of thanksgiving I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of the things to be thankful for. This list is really quite short – there are countless blessings to thank God for. I challenge to you add to this list. May you be richly blessed today and everyday. Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. A Bed
  2. A Home Cooked Meal
  3. Ability to Choose
  4. Animals
  5. Aquariums
  6. Art
  7. Babies
  8. Baseball Games
  9. Beaches
  10. Bicycles
  11. Books and Libraries
  12. Braces and a pretty smile
  13. Bubble Baths
  14. Candles
  15. Candy
  16. Cards and Letters
  17. Chocolate
  18. Christmas Lights
  19. Christmas Stockings
  20. Christmas Trees
  21. Church
  22. Clothing
  23. Coffee and Tea
  24. Color
  25. Creativity
  26. Curiosity
  27. Cute Shoes
  28. Desserts
  29. Dishwashers
  30. Doctors and Dentists
  31. Education
  32. Family and Friends
  33. Family Traditions
  34. Fireplaces
  35. Fireworks
  36. Five Senses
  37. Good
  38. Fountains
  39. Four Seasons
  40. Forests
  41. Freedom
  42. Fresh Bread
  43. Fresh Water
  44. Gardens
  45. Gentle Rains
  46. Glitter
  47. God
  48. Good Manners
  49. Google
  50. GPS
  51. Hairstylists
  52. Holidays and Vacation
  53. Hot Showers
  54. Hugs
  55. Imagination
  56. Jesus
  57. Jewelry
  58. Language/Communication
  59. Lipstick
  60. Medicine
  61. Mementos
  62. Memories
  63. Military and First Responders
  64. Movie Theaters
  65. Music
  66. My Home
  67. My Job
  68. Naps
  69. Pajamas
  70. Parks
  71. Pastors
  72. Paved Roads
  73. Pedicures
  74. Pets
  75. Photographs
  76. Prayer
  77. Puzzles
  78. Rainbows
  79. Right to Vote
  80. Salvation
  81. Saturday Mornings
  82. Second Chances
  83. Snow
  84. Spell Check
  85. Spices
  86. Stained Glass Windows
  87. Stop Lights
  88. Sun, Moon and Stars
  89. Sunshine
  90. Teachers
  91. Technology
  92. The Beach
  93. The Bible
  94. The Ocean
  95. The Radio
  96. Theme Parks
  97. Today
  98. Travel
  99. Trees
  100. Wildflowers
  101. Wine

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

Images: Google Images

Scripture: Biblegateway.com

In The Eye Of The Storm


storms

Psalm 91:2

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” 

My family moved to Jacksonville, Florida a little over a year ago. When we made the decision to move I never considered that we would deal with hurricanes. For the second time in as many months, a huge storm drew near to us. Herminie came through Jacksonville as a tropical storm, but Matthew passed dangerously close to our coast line as a category 4 hurricane.  Schools and businesses closed in preparation for the storm. Meteorologists warned of the danger of the storm and explained it could reshape parts of our coastline. We stocked up on supplies and water and made provisions if we lost power. Millions of people living right on the coast were evacuated. As the hurricane drew near to us the wind and rain became frightening, and lasted for hours. I made several Facebook posts with storm updates and asking for prayers. I felt those prayers. Our Heavenly Father saw us through the storm. As I type this blog the storm has passed. We are waiting for morning to survey the damage.

We also face many metaphorical storms in life; job loss, illnesses, infertility, not getting that promotion, betrayal, and death to name a few. We try to control these storms, but we cannot. In some cases we just prolong the pain. The storms we experience leave different kinds of marks on our lives. Some of these storms will change us forever. But the one thing that will never change is God’s love for us. He will see us through these storms; He is faithful and in control. Psalm 33:4 tells us, “For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.”

I don’t know what storm you are facing, or the severity. All I can tell you is to put your faith in God, and let Him have control of the winds and rain. Something beautiful awaits you on the other side of the storm. I’ve always experienced an unexpected blessing when the storm passes.

The events of the past few days remind me of the song “In The Eye of the Storm” recently released by Ryan Stevenson. May it bring you peace.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hsimp=yhs-att_001&hspart=att&p=youtube+eye+of+the+storm+ryan+stevenson#id=4&vid=047eeca0aa8530c95519b676266aa85b&action=click

Psalm 107:29  He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

Image: Artist Unknown – found on Facebook 10/7/2016

A Love Story


 

in laws

Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. Psalm 71:9

We just returned from a trip to Texas to visit with my husband’s family. It was wonderful to see my in-laws and spend some quality time together. We were also able to catch up with old friends, and visit our former church. There was a lot to do, but the highlight of our trip was the opportunity to witness a beautiful love story. I knew that my husband’s parents loved each other, but, staying in their home, I was privileged to observe daily, the deep love and affection my father-in-law has for his wife.

Haydee and Gerardo’s love story started in Cuba in the mid 50’s. They were married in 1957 and in 1959 they escaped the Cuban revolution. They immigrated to America where they carved out a new life and raised five wonderful children. Fifty-nine years later they have thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren (and counting). Life has been very good to the Garro’s, but every family has its share of sorrows.

Several years ago, my mother-in-law suffered a series of debilitating stokes that left her unable to walk, talk, or even feed herself. This was followed by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Over the years, her family witnessed a vibrant woman succumb to the ravages of old age. I’m saddened that my daughter will never know what a strong and determined woman her grandmother was.

My husband’s father has done everything he can to take care of his wife. Each day a home health nurse assists Haydee to get ready for the day. In the morning, my father-in-law putters about the house doing chores and such. While he works he talks lovingly to his life-long companion despite the fact that she probably doesn’t understand him. After lunch, he sits Haydee up on the couch, and then sits next to her, holding her hand, like high school sweethearts. He speaks softly to his wife; words that I know express his deep love for her.

Every day their routine is the same. It would be easier on the family to put Mrs. Garro in a nursing home. The care she requires is quite a burden. However, to remove her from her home would interrupt the love these two still share. It would also deny their family and friends the opportunity to witness how true love is expressed. Psalm 92:14 tells us this, “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.” Indeed, my in-laws are still producing fruit by setting such a beautiful example.

Blessings on your day.

 

 

Remnants of Christmas


christmas-decorations-in-box

Yesterday I ran across a pre-decorated holiday gift box. Somehow I missed it when I packed up all the other Christmas decorations a few weeks ago. When I touched the box I had several fond memories of Christmases past flash through my mind. What I remember most is the Joy of Christmas, not gifts. It got me to thinking, “Why can’t we have Christmas Joy all year?”

During the holidays, people are generally happy and seem joyous and excited about the season. Sadly, most are not really experiencing joy, but are experiencing happiness instead. Happiness is fleeting; it’s based on external circumstances. The realities of this broken world soon return and their thoughts focus on problems, rather than the meaning of Christmas.

The Bible mentions joy, or joyful, over 200 times! Joy is a gift our Heavenly Father wants us to have. In John 15:11 Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” What a cause for celebration – not just at Christmastime, but every day.

Joy is internal. It’s a spiritual reality based on our relationship with God. The great message of Christmas is that Jesus, God’s precious son, has come to save us. We have the promise of eternity, with our beloved Savior, no matter what happens to us in this life. Proverbs 10:28 reminds us, “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” Therefore, the Christian can find joy in the midst of any circumstance.

1 Peter 1:8-9

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

 One of my favorite Christmas carols is Joy to the World. I’m singing this wonderful song to myself as I type this post. Joy to the world, the Lord is come! May your heart be filled with joy today and always.

joy-to-the-world-cross-550x320

joy to the world lyrics

 

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Images: google images

Prayer Journaling


a-prayer-journal

I’ve been keeping a prayer journal for several years now. This daily ritual helps me remain focused so my mind does not wander. It’s also a record of my requests. I can go back and look at how God has worked in my life. This is part of what I wrote this morning:

Dear Heavenly Father,

It is the dawn of a New Year and I look forward to all the possibilities it holds. But I will need Your perfect guidance in my life. Please be there to silence the lies of the enemy and remind me of whom I am in You. Help me rest in Your truth. Grant me clarity of purpose and the courage to carry out Your will in every aspect of my life.

As I was praying this morning, I was prompted to turn to the prayer I wrote January 1, 2015. Reading that prayer almost brought me to tears. Throughout the year God’s faithfulness was evident as I remembered how he answered my prayers and prepared me for the big change coming to my life.

Keeping a record of your prayers is also a record of the faithfulness of our Lord. Turn back to any date, read your prayer and remember how God has helped you face your struggles by being by your side. It reminds me of how much our Lord has blessed me and helps me feel a renewed sense of gratitude.

If you would like to start a prayer journal today would be a great day to start. You can write your prayers in Bibles created for journaling, in the margins of devotionals, decorative journals, spiral notebooks, or even electronically. (Electronic versions are easier to search, but I prefer to write to God in longhand.) After a few months, go back and review your prayers. Thank God for answering your prayers. This is a great exercise to remind you of our Lord’s faithfulness. If you don’t know what to say, listed below are a few ideas to get you started.

Prayer Prompts:

Copy the Lord’s prayer, and then expand on it. Pray a prayer of confession.
Rewrite the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, and then add to it. Pray for safety.
Pray for someone you don’t like. Pray for the nation’s leaders.
Pray the Psalms. Pray for your health.
Pray for your family. Ask God for the ability to make wise, godly choices.
Pray for your friends. Pray for the world, one country at a time.
Pray for your co-workers, and your boss. Pray for an end to terrorism.
Pray for the military and first responders. Pray for Christians where Christians are in the minority.
Pray for your schools. Thank God for the people in your life.
Pray for every family on your block. Thank God for your job.
Pray for your physicians. Thank God for your possessions.
Pray for your community leaders. (Try to) List your blessings.
Pray for peace and goodness to fill your home. Thank God for pure water and plenty of food.
Pray for your pastors and church elders. Pray for missionaries.
Pray for those who write books that explain God’s Word in more detail. Pray over your daily calendar.
Pray about your goals. Pray for our nation’s leaders.
Ask God to guide you through His Word. Pray for healing to broken relationships.
Pray for Wisdom. Pray for your future.
Pray a prayer of confession. Ask for guidance on how to serve the Lord.
Pray for safety. (Try to) List your blessings.
Pray for the nation’s leaders. Thank God for pure water and plenty of food.
Pray for your health. Pray for missionaries.
Ask God for the ability to make wise, godly choices. Pray over your daily calendar.
Pray for the world, one country at a time. Pray for our nation’s leaders.
Pray for an end to terrorism. Pray for healing to broken relationships.
Pray for Christians where Christians are in the minority. Pray for your future.
Thank God for the people in your life. Ask for guidance on how to serve the Lord.
Thank God for your job. Thank God for your possessions.

 

May you be richly blessed as you discover God’s faithfulness to you as you turn to Him in prayer.

Psalm 77:11-12

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

50+ Reasons I’m Thankful For My Husband


wedding (1)

My husband and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary today. I thought it fitting to reblog my post from our 18th anniversary, with a few changes. My prayer is your marriage is as richly blessed as ours is.

50+ Reasons I’m Thankful for My Husband 

Twenty years ago I said “I do” to the most wonderful man I have ever met. I would do it all over again. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, joys and heart breaks, but our love and faith in God has sustained us. Today, I thought I would let you know why I love my husband so much. I pray blessings on your marriage, as you read about mine.

  1. I’m grateful he shares my faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. I am grateful to have a teammate as we face the challenges of life together.
  3. And reminisce over the life we have built together.
  4. I’m grateful he chose me to be his wife.
  5. I’m grateful he is an excellent father.
  6. And provider.
  7. And comforter.
  8. I’m grateful he’s good at things I’m not, like fixing computers and knowing what to do with the cars.
  9. I’m grateful he shares my love of cooking, and wine.
  10. And travel, and adventure.
  11. We love the same music.
  12. I’m grateful he maintains a few of his own interests, and lets me have a few of mine. It keeps life interesting.
  13. He fretted over me when I was pregnant and our children were born.
  14. He helped change the diapers.
  15. And care for the kids when they were little.
  16. He appreciates and defends my role as a mom.
  17. He encourages me.
  18. His sense of humor.
  19. His service to our country.
  20. He’s a great role model.
  21. He helps with the laundry and dishes.
  22. He helps the kids with homework.
  23.  He’s a human jungle gym for the kids.
  24. He’s romantic.
  25. He spoils me.
  26. He always holds the door for a lady, not just me.
  27.  He’s a man of integrity.
  28. He doesn’t complain.
  29. He handles the yuckies in our house.
  30. He pumps the gas for me.
  31. His willingness to sacrifice.
  32. He knows how to talk to anyone.
  33. He doesn’t mind when I’m home for the night, comfortable and don’t look all that great.
  34. He volunteered to teach our son to drive.
  35. His willingness and encouragement to try new things.
  36. His loyalty (even to a losing sports team).
  37. That he calls me a couple times a day just to check on me.
  38. He always puts up the Christmas lights.
  39. And takes us to see fireworks (that can be metaphorical).
  40. He’s the most patient person I know.
  41. He supports me and my goals.
  42. He respects and loves his parents.
  43. And puts up with my family.
  44. Because he always remember special days, like today.
  45. Because he rubs my feet after a tough day.
  46. Because he will go shopping with me.
  47. And he shops for me; he really puts thought into gifts.
  48. The house is decorated pretty much the way I wanted it.
  49. So many little things he does that make me feel loved.
  50. I would rather be with him than anyone else, even if we aren’t doing anything.
  51. And because of things I won’t post on a public list. 

Ephesians 5:31

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

May your marriage be richly blessed.

Scripture: openbible.info

 

Thankfulness – Day 30


genesis2-24

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today, I thank you for the gift of a godly husband. Thank you for the love we share. Who we choose for our spouse may be the most significant decision we every make. I thank You for leading me to my husband, and for blessing our marriage all these years. I thank you for the ways we celebrate marriage and thank You that tomorrow we will be married 20 years.

Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

 Mark 10:6-9

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

1 cor 13

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images