Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Thankfulness Solution

If I look around and put my eyes on me, it is easy to find plenty to complain and get depressed about. But as I discussed in my last post, thankfulness is the solution to my issues. This morning I am choosing to give the struggles of the last few weeks to God, and focus on thanking Him instead--not the general "thanks for my warm home, loving husband, and great kids" kind of things. Specifics.

Emily is very thankful for:

A pantry and fridge full of healthy food to feed my family, and the money God provided in order for me to purchase it.

A husband who is handy, and was able to put a new fuel pump in the Windstar without much difficulty.

The functional Windstar, with windows that roll down. Natural air conditioning of sorts...

My Culligan water filtration system, that filters the "swamp" out of our Florida tap water.

Getting to live 30 minutes from the beach! I love the beach, and go as often as I can.

The Awana program, and how much truth it has instilled in Snapper and in me over our years of participation.

CoffeeMate Italian Sweet Cream creamer to go in my morning coffee. There is something so comforting about starting my morning with a cup of hot coffee.

iTunes and my collection of music. I have music for every mood, and music that speaks truth to me at the darkest of times.

My friend Tracie. We spend as much time together as we can, which ends up being several times each week. She encourages me, prays for me, laughs with me, and makes really great coffee.

My best friends in CA, AR, and TN, who continue to be sources of love in my life, even across many miles and time zones. Noel, Karon, and Carol, I am thankful for you!

Swim team. Watching my sweet daughter glide through the water brings me such joy, because swimming is a sport she loves, is really really good at, and that has helped her grow in all areas of her life.

Our pastor, Pastor Dale, who has an amazing gift to teach the Word of God in a way that is simple enough for a child to understand, but deep enough to grow a mature believer.

Thai food, bliss for the palate.

The funny things my children say.

The "artsy fartsy" craft genetics in me. Life is so much more enjoyable because I can work on a scrapbook, sew doll clothes, make a new wreath for my front door, stitch a quilt, or make note cards to send to friends.

Two soft, fluffy, cuddly kitty cats named Pixie and Zoe, who love me without question, and make my home a happier place.

The really cool wildlife that lives in our neighborhood, especially the Sandhill Cranes and the red-throated lizards.

The anticipation of a whole week with Brian and Carol in just 11 days!

The anticipation of working at the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember in New Orleans in June!

The anticipation of a visit from my parents in October!

Getting to live in a place where people will come visit us. In our 8 months in Orlando, we have already had more visitors than we had in 4 1/2 years in Little Rock.

Guacamole and hummus. But not together!

The fun of saving money by using coupons and shopping the sales.

NASCAR. Yeah, baby, yeah!

The Legos that frequently attack my feet on the family room floor, and keep my son happily occupied for hours on end.

My Reef flip flops. Foot hug and paradise!

The delightful fact that our neighborhood has trash pick-up TWICE each week!

Pepper's teacher, Mrs. F, who makes school a delightful experience for Pepper each day, and has taught him more in this year than I ever could have managed!

Snapper's teacher, Mrs. P, who understands Snapper's many quirks, and nurtures Snapper's love of learning, while still challenging her to stretch herself.

My delicious camera. Yes, I called it delicious. It is as satisfying as my favorite meal!

The Word of God, which is more satisfying than anything else in my life. Pure truth, guidance for life, and assurance of God's great love for me.

Yesterday, God taught Emily:

Even though we have not been allowed to report to our new ministry, we are not "without ministry," or "without work." Yes, Matt is home full-time. But because of the lack of constraints on our time, we have been available to do so much. Whether it is fixing the kitchen sink for a lady with a bedridden husband, or sharing pizza and the true story of Easter with a school of children from severely impoverished families, or helping a disabled widower get moved into a new house, or helping lead a women's Bible study, or caring for the 5-year-old son of a working mom, we have a ministry. God is using us here for His purpose, even if it is, for the time, different from what we thought we came to Orlando for. If Matt and I are available, and if we are willing to act when God gives us the opportunity to serve others, He is using us. We eventually will begin work with Discover God 4 Kids. In the meantime, we can rest knowing we are doing what He called us to, because this is where He has us.

Okay, I think I am done. I am thankful to be thankful!


Stef said...

I needed this post. I've been reflecting over this grace lately, but its helpful to see others doing it too. Especially when I know trial isn't a foreign word to you.
I've been praying for you guys.

I 100% agree with you about Thai food. Man, I should've put that in my favorite things post! :)

Tara said...

LOVE your list and the way God is using your family for His work! It's crazy to get down when we have so much to be thankful for when we look up. So very blessed.