Thanks Given

 

There are seasonal reasons to be thankful.

I am thankful for the rain that arrived today.

There are national reasons to be thankful.

I’m thankful for the original Americans for their generosity in feeding our ancestors a turkey dinner for which we now celebrate family and thanks.

I am thankful for my kids, my husband, my friends and family.

Primarily I am, as well, thankful because I know who to thank.

That’s a big one for me.

I know who is ultimate, infinite, eternal, loving and close by; it’s Jesus.

There are times it feels like finding a needle in the haystack, seeking God when all about seems like dried hay, while I’m grabbing for straw- that messy, unmanageable and itchy stuff; I still know Jesus is in there waiting for me to glorify him and grace Him with my appreciation and ignore the mess in life.

Today has been a day where I feel I’m covered in a huge pile of loose straw.  I keep finding I’m in a messy haystack but I keep busy seeking Jesus somewhere inside.

When tomorrow comes and we are sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner; let’s ready ourselves to thank the one who brings everything to us.  Be prepared to thank for what is, what is not, what might have been and what will likely never be.  It’s all His and He is using all of this to do His wondrous mysteries for the benefit of us all.

Pretty cool huh?

And a Happy Thanksgiving to All..

Humbleness + Stillness

Some days are for growing.  Some days are for learning.  You can’t always take your pick.

If you are a Christian; you can as well accept the joy in this truth.

Now a story…

She arrives at my door moments after nine political yard signs are dropped off on my porch.  I don’t choose the timing of this.  She couldn’t miss seeing them.

She is my sister through Christ, a beloved friend and a long and dear childhood acquaintance.

I know that her stance on this particular political issue might be different than mine.  She comes in and I can feel an elephant in the room with us.  I suggest we clear the air of this thing before anything else.  As we sit opposite the table (physically and figuratively) I take hold of my stance.  She is much less positioned and even pokes at the side she is leaning toward.  She is brilliant.  I take baby steps to explain my views; yet I feel an urge to be a bit more serious and persistent.

At one point; we feel a presence of grace between us.  I credit this because we both agree to let Jesus be more important than any of this political manmade stuff.  Then she adds…”the horse is already out of the barn.”  I ask the meaning of the phrase.

She leaves a container of homemade Alligator chili.  She is remarkable in this way- full of surprises and unusual gifts.

The afternoon finds me gardening and planting, weeding and watering seeds.  I feel unsettled the entire afternoon, so I thank Jesus.

Archie and I attend church at 6:30.  Paster Bill leads us through a part of Isaiah.  He explains that God teaches us to be humble and contrite.

By the time I arrive home; I know that I had been yearning for an outcome on this political theme.  I was urging for it.

But this morning Jesus was up early teaching me some things.  I sat down and wrote long-arm, a letter to my friend.  It was to share blessings with her and gratitude for her, oh- and thank her for Alligator chili.

By mid-day these words fill a page:

What do you yearn for? For what are you eager?

Humbleness is freedom.  It is free from yearning and free from desire.  It is free from placing hope in future desires.  I give you humbleness that you can be free.

Humbleness is a state of stillness.  It is where thanks can be given, grace received and HIS will accomplished.  It is where HIS spirit is shared.  It is where we give HIM glory.

One gift of stillness is peace. One gift of humbleness is communion.

Today I see the efforts that robbed me of my stillness and peace yesterday.  Today I learn another great thing about God and why he offers us the wisdom to stay humble!

Yearn for HIM only…it’s truly freeing.

Thanks for reading.

-Shelly

Humility, Humus, Ground or Soil- ταπεινότητα

If you garden you know soil.  You know that the ground is always under your feet.  You also understand that soil is a medium in which things can be grown.  The things that can be grown are either desirable or not.  They either produced the things that you hope and work for or with neglect produce abundant plants that you scorn.

Why all this?  The soil, the ground and what is beneath is what the quality of humility is in reference to.  The Greeks use the word ταπεινότητα (tapeinótita).

for humbleness.  For me, it is what is low, grounding and that which holds all that can grow in a quiet, inert place.

Today I was reminded that this quality is neither self-depreciating nor does it come with inflated ego.  To me it is the inertness that we should allow in us where we meet God.  It is the place where we are as one with all that is, neither in distraction or presumption.  This place of humility is rich in portion.  It is quiet, peaceful and mysterious as well.

Let this day hold for you ample humility.  Let this be your grounding, your humbleness.  Let this become the fertile place where you cultivate an even deeper, more present relationship with Christ.

May this season of humble beginnings be also yours in Christ.

Thanks Jesus for your humble birth and the meaning of such.

Χριστούγεννα
Merry Christmas

Find the Oasis

At a time when another holds an opinion of you that reduces you to a little less than nothing; what do you have left?  You have God.  You have his son, Jesus.  You have the holiest spirit of Christ with you.  And you may also be fortunate enough to have a few loving, dear friends at your side.

Recently, I was subjected to the experience of verbal abuse.  It wasn’t fun.  It was a hurtful thing.  The wounds cannot be detected on my skin.  They run deep.  In God’s timing with his will; they shall heal.

In the abusing, confiscating, debasing behavior that I experienced; I found humor.

Now, I’ll tell you something I hope you can laugh about.

I was smiling inside myself about the monologue that came spewing my way-but not at first.  It did take the afternoon to settle into God’s peace.  Then, I realized that all of what I had been told that morning was “fake news”.

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about “fake news”.  Fake news is false reporting.  It is something other than the truth.  You can’t trust false news to be accurate.  You can’t rely on it.  It just isn’t so.

I am not a looser.  I’m not a financial weight or burden.  I am not the reported reason for another’s burden of work and subsequent misery.  I am not the reason for someone else’s feelings of scarcity.  I am a contributing, hard working asset to this marriage.  I bring a lot into this home.  I contribute financially, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually.

This is not my opinion of myself, but rather the truth that Jesus shares lovingly with me as he comforts me in HIS truth.  For this my gratitude is infinite.

Can you just imagine all the “fake news” Jesus was subjected to about himself by others?  Wow, there was a lot of fake news going on about him at that time!  He found his way through it.  Somehow, he even made peace with it or peace into it.  Isn’t Jesus amazing?

I don’t feel above my husband or better than he.  I do think we have different lessons to learn.  Some of my work is to love him even when he poses himself as my enemy.  “Love your enemies,” Jesus says.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them.

Go directly to God.

P.S.  I love how Jesus gets me to write about him and share his good works…

Thank you most heartily dear Lord