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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankfulness

Ephesians:5:20  Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Thankfulness is not a new concept in my life. But's it's one I am choosing to focus on at this time. I tell you it's not easy to be thankful for everything. I am not at the point where I can be thankful for Rachel's cancer. Or I find it hard to be thankful for the people who have hurt me or my children. But there is so much more around me and in my life that I can be thankful for. A practise I have been focusing on in the last few days is to stop my negative thoughts and thank God for something (anything). It can be as simple as thanking him for clear roads ( and these days in London that is a rare thing). When I start complaining about someone in my mind I stop and thank God. A devotional I have been reading says that when my mind is occupied with thanking God, I have no time for worrying or complaining. And that negative patterns will grow weaker and weaker. And while I can not say "thank you God for cancer" , I can say thank you for:

  • Rachel's friends that have been faithful in visiting
  • Pastor Steve and Pastor Mark who preach God's word and have been very supportive
  • Wonderful caring nurses
  • Cheryl Carr who faithfully sends cards
  • My children who make me smile
  • Lydia who dropped off some beautiful Christmas arrangements
  • All the amazing groups who cook and bake for the Ronald Mcdonald house
  • visits with my friends
  • music
  • the hawk that flies by our window every once in a while
  • that happy cashier
  • Starbucks :)
  • people that smile at me
  • God's forgiveness
  • comfy sweats
What can you be thankful for today????? It's all around you. Practise it and see what happens.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Courage??

A few years back I started reading a blog of a young woman named Katie Davis. What I read simply amazed me. That someone so young could lead such an unselfish life. At 18 she moved to Uganda to become a missionary. It started out as a 1 yr term and years later she is still there. In a matter of a few years she would adopt 13 young girls and dedicate her whole life to the people living in this country. She has started a whole organization named Amazima which feeds and educates the people living in her community. She does this all because she loves God with her whole heart. I first became interested in her story because of the adoption angle. I also fell in love with her story because as a young girl I always dreamed of helping out in an orphanage. I was not as brave as Katie was to follow God's calling. Rachel also has that same calling. It is the cry of her heart to go to the neediest and hold the babies who have no one to hold them. My prayer for her is that she will get that chance and be brave like Katie was to do that.
Katie's last blog entry has a lot to say about courage:
"And I cry, because I do not feel courageous. I feel downright defeated sometimes. Maybe courage is not at all about the absence of fear but about obedience even when we are afraid. Courage is trusting when we don't know what is next, leaning into the hard and knowing that it will be hard, but more, God will be near. Maybe bravery is just looking fear in the face and telling it that it does not win because I have known the Lord here. I have known the Lord in the long, dark night."
"We live in world where innocent people suffer and good friends die and stories don't have the endings we prayed for, and the pain and the hurt, it is everywhere. But the Joy and the Hope that we find in our Savior? It is everywhere, too. I do not have all the answers, in fact, I don't have many at all. But this is what I know:  God is who He says He is.  And in the hurt and the pain and the suffering, God is near, and He is good, even when the ending isn't."

I feel like we are going through a long, dark night and I do not feel courageous at all. But maybe I've had a false definition of courage. I am learning but most days it feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Just when I think I have a grasp on my feelings and the situation, I crash. When you are "living" in this setting, the pain and hurt is everywhere. Not only are you dealing with your own hurt but you are talking to others and feeling their pain. I know that God is here. I know that God is good. In His own timing and in His own plan and purpose for our lives He is good. Most days it does not feel like it. But each day I try and step forward knowing that He is in control.

Monday, November 4, 2013

13 Reasons to Feel Truly Blessed

We've been home 10 days now. What a wonderful break it has been. We have been so blessed by people in our community. I just needed to say thanks to a few of these people.

1. Thanks so much to Christine at Nossa Casa Bistro who together with Port Rowan MB Church  hosted a coffee house with proceeds going to support our family. Thanks to my amazing nephew Justin and for Rachel's great friend Sydney for giving of their time and singing. It was a wonderful relaxing afternoon spent with friends of the community. It was so nice to touch base with all those who showed up. Thank you to all who gave financially to support us.

2. Thanks also to Dave and Ruth who continue to show us love in their unique way. We are looking forward to spring when we can enjoy the dozens of tulips you secretly planted in my garden. And not only that, you are a regular encourager with your baking.

3. Thank you to our wonderful friends who popped in and gave us an AMAZING gift to support us. You know who you are and we were touched beyond belief. Right now I don't even have words to convey our gratitude.

4. My dear neighbours Frank and Helen for the canning you did for us. And for those amazing doughnuts you make for the kids. And Helen for all the hugs.

5. For my two sister-in-laws who have recently done some canning for us as well.

6. For Lydia who did my ironing. For Darlene who mowed my lawn.

7. I continue to be so grateful for all the meals made for my family and for my friend Jennie who has organized that.

8. For our dear Aunt Marg who phoned this week and said she had a pot of soup and a delicious cake for us.

9. For our Aunt Helen in St. Catharines who, since dad has passed away, has become and encouragement to us with her phone calls.

10.. For the kind words.

11. For the offers of help in any way.

12. For Rachel's employers and co-workers who have been so supportive and understanding in her long absence. Thanks Glen and Pam for all the support financially.

13. And most importantly for the prayers.

I could probably go on and on. And if I missed anyone, please know that I am so thankful for you. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11:
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Each one of you and countless others through your actions have encouraged us.  We know we are not alone as we go through this tough journey. We are truly blessed.

Rachel has been feeling amazingly well during her time at home. Some days I forget she is sick. She has been able to get out and have friends in. To be part of the normal happenings of life. It really has been a gift to her and us.