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Solutions, “But” Exercises and The Past

libraryFebruary 23, 2017 – Solutions

Over the years, ever since my late 40’s, early 50’s, I realized I had to take my health concerns seriously. It used to be that I would take whatever the doctors gave me until one year, when I was on 28 pills a day, a new doctor ran tests and informed me I was taking medicines for conditions I did not have.

Since then I have done research on conditions and the medications that are prescribed for them. I have learned to ask questions and demand that certain tests be done. Doctors can’t always tell what is wrong with you in a fifteen minute office visit. For the most part, they examine and if nothing raises a red flag, like a fever, exceptionally high or low blood pressure, a red throat or signs of an ear infection, they just treat the symptoms of what they suspect you might have.

I know this for a fact from talking to my own doctor. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful doctor and all the staff at our clinic and hospital are very dedicated people, but it is the norm to try different treatments until they can narrow down what is wrong. My feet were swelling and the symptoms were like those of gout. Blood tests showed my uric acid level high so it was assumed that I had gout.

I had allergic reactions to all the medicines they tried on me. After doing a few weeks of apple cider vinegar, honey and water, the swelling finally went down, then my big toe got very red and swollen and hurt to just touch. This time I was sent to the ortho doctor who claimed I had turf toe. He increased my anti-inflammatory medication, told me to elevate it, wrap it if that helped and soak it.

The toe cleared up, then both ankles swelled up so bad I could hardly walk. It was about that time I started researching all of the symptoms. When I went back to the doctor, I insisted he run a test for rheumatoid arthritis, check my kidney and liver function and check my thyroid. Low and behold, I had rheumatoid arthritis. I am now being treated for it and the treatment seems to be helping, a lot. Today I am thankful for solutions to problems like these, even though it sometimes takes longer that I would like.

older woman prayingFebruary 24, 2017 – “But” Exercises

Today’s society is more aware of health issues than ever in the past. More people are starting to eat healthier, exercise and keep all of their follow up appointments with their doctors. I was a late bloomer, mainly because, in the past (which we won’t get into right now) I didn’t have time or the means to pay attention to my health. Let it suffice to say I worked long hours most of the time.

In my mid fifties, after I moved away from a ton of stress and bad situations, I started to be aware of the changes my body was going through, and when certain illnesses, diseases and age related maladies started showing up, I became even more aware.

It has been medically proven that emotional and mental health has a large effect on the health of your body. Depression, PTSD, anxiety and stress can play a large role in how healthy you are no matter what kind of health nut you might be. You need to learn to exercise your mind also.

When I started this project of finding something to be thankful for each day, I was inspired to start doing “But” exercises, and no, I don’t mean “Butt” exercises. It isn’t a physical exercise, it is all done in your mind.

It takes effort, but after awhile it becomes habit to do these “But” exercises and they are very simple to do. When a worry, a bad thought, a concern comes to mind, you repeat it and then you add a “But” clause at the end. Example “My feet hurt every morning as soon as they hit the floor “BUT” I woke up today” or “there isn’t much money in the bank until the end of the month “BUT” there is enough food to last until my check comes in”.

Those are just a few samples. Sometimes the subjects of worry that come to mind are more important than these “But” there is always a flip side to the coin. The old saying that “there is a blessing in everything” is true if you just look for it. Today I am thankful for learning to do these “But” exercises.

February 25, 2017 – The Past

awardIt is true that our past can haunt us. It is not unusual during times of stress, depression or during similar situations to remember something unpleasant from the past. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about things that happened, decisions that I made or were made for me, and what it might have been if things had been different.

I have questioned myself about whether I did all I could in given situations, like how I took care of Ken when he was ill or how I tried to protect mys son when a bad decision I made put us in a precarious situation for a long time.

In a way it is good to reflect on the past. Sometimes you can something good that came out of a bad decision or you can pick out different lessons you learned during the process. While it isn’t healthy to live in the past, and it isn’t wise or healthy to beat yourself up over the things you did wrong so long ago, reflecting insures we won’t make the same mistakes and will take to heart the lessons we learned.

This next month will make a year since my son passed away. It’s not an anniversary that is celebratory, but as I reflect on his past life, I see the good things out numbered the bad. Even though I wasn’t a very good mother, due to the decisions I made on the people involved in our lives, I did the best I could and years later could see my attempts were not futile.

The major things I have learned from the past is that there was nothing I could change at the time, that I have learned many lessons, many of them about humans, the different types, the different actions, and the different mind sets they have. I’ve learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in certain given situations and I have come away with the desire to keep learning something each day. I have also come to realize that my son and I became strong because of the past, we survived. Today I am thankful the Lord has taught me how to look at the past.

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Catching Up Again

I am not a lazy person and I believe that it is important for me to continue with my articles about being thankful, however it sometimes gets busy around here, especially with two people in the house that have physical and medical issues. Satan would love to see me stop, but I refuse to do what he wants and will continue to do what I believe the Lord wants me to do with this site. So, I am behind, however all the subjects are written down each day and I post them as I can. Here I am catching up again.

Jesus with children 2February 17, 2017 – Comfort

I know I have probably written about this subject before, but as I have said, when I repeat a subject it is because I have found another reason to be thankful for it. Merriam-Webster defines comfort as “to give strength and hope”, but it is often used to describe situations as well as “I am in my comfort zone.

We all have different things in life that comfort us. For some it might be having loving friends and family around, for other it may be having the home they desire, and still for others it may be as simple as having enough money to keep the bills paid.

I take comfort in many areas. I am comforted when there is enough money to keep the bills paid and I take comfort in knowing that there are people around me or love me and care about me. I also take comfort in knowing that I have a decent house to live in, a favorite couch that is comfortable to me, and a bed that is comfortable. I also take comfort in knowing that I have a good doctor and that the medicines he has prescribed to for me are helping me.

But the person I take the most comfort in knowing is Jesus, for he has forgiven my sins, lives in my heart and has promised me eternal life where I will feel no more pain, no more illness and no more sorrow. I am comforted in the fact that I will have an eternal body and will live for eternity surrounded by nothing but love. Today I am thankful for that comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

calendarFebruary 18, 2017 – Non-Days

I have several physical and medical problems. I also have emotional problems. I suffer from PTSD and depression and two types of arthritis, two types of respiratory problems and gastric problems as well. My roommate suffers from a rare hereditary disease that, when he has attacks, can be life threatening.

There are days where we might go to several different doctor appointments or spend 4-5 hours in the emergency room. Usually on those days we don’t have time to do anything else. I call these our non-days. We are just learning to accept that on these days, all of our attention needs to be focused on the problems at hand.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am OCD about trying to keep the house clean, keep the laundry done up and making sure we eat healthy meals. On non-days it is almost impossible to do this so I have to let it go and just accept that I will catch up later. Today I thankful for the non-days because they make me more appreciative of the productive days.

ER -articlesFebruary 19, 2017 – ER Personnel

We spend a lot of time in the emergency room, in fact we consider the people there as family and they likewise consider us friends and family. We are on a first name basis with all of them. They have literally saved Richards life many times because of the attacks he has.

They are always patient, we trade funny and humorous events and jokes. We talk about our family, our home and our town. They are always concerned about how we are doing and we are always interested in whats going on with them.

We chanced to be in the ER again for an attack Richard was having. They brought in a little girl who had a seizure. She was only about four years old. She had been playing hide and seek with her mom when she went into the seizure. I watched as the nurses and doctors went about getting her stabilized and ready to transfer to a children’s hospital. The hospital was sending a helicopter – life flight for her.

They had to give her medicine to stop the seizure, then they had to sedate her and do her breathing for her until they transported. As I watched them working, no one panicking, each person knowing what to get, when to get it and what to do quickly and efficiently, I remembered the last time they had to work on Richard that way.

It’s been over eight years since Richard had an attack that was severe enough to warrant being intubated. In fact it was the month that the new medicine was approved by the FDA. I thought about how efficiently they had taken care of him and I thought of how many times these people had saved his life. As I said a prayer for this little girl and her family I also remembered to thank God for the medicine for Rich. Today I am thankful for the people in our ER who are dedicated to taking care of us and saving lives.

doggieFebruary 20, 2017 – Pain

When I look around at this world, there is no way I could ever believe that it was a scientific or big bang event. The intricacy with which every plant, animal and human works is no mistake of nature. It took a lot of planning, a lot of work to create such a variety of life, each working in it’s own way to keep life going.

A normal heartbeat for us is around 70 beats per minute, for an elephant it is around 27 and for a canary it is 1000, and if all of our blood vessels were laid end to end they would stretch around 60,000 miles. There are over 100 billion nerve cells in our body, Blue whales have twice as many.

Many researchers have concluded that most animals have emotions and feel pain. This can be seen in household pets for sure. Your cat will rub up against you when it wants affection, your dog will bring you toys when it wants to play, and both seem to understand the emotions of their owner. They can sense when you are down, when you are angry and even when you are scared. Above all, they love their owners to the point where they are willing to protect them with their own lives.

As we get older, our bodies start to wear out and we develop painful reminders with muscle diseases and different forms of bone malformations and arthritis. Pain is an indicator that there is something not right that might need to be attended to. Just as your stomach may hurt if you eat something bad or eat too much, so do other pain receptors alert us to other injuries or illnesses. Chest pain may indicate there is something wrong with your heart or lungs. This is not by accident. This is how God created us. These are warning devices he included in our makeup.

Today I am thankful for the pain in my body for alerts me to what is going on and what needs to be attended to.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

older woman prayingFebruary 21, 2017 – Sorrow

No one likes to feel sad. No one likes sorrow, but it is a big part of our lives. We not only feel sorrow for those who have left before us, but for others going through bad times. We may also feel sorrow over loosing a pet or an item that mean a lot to us.

We may feel sorrowful for family members who are going down the wrong path in life for we know that if they don’t change, we will not meet them again in heaven. We may experience sorrow when someone we know is physically or emotionally hurt.

The other day, in the emergency room, they brought in a small child in critical condition from a seizure. While they worked on her, I stood at the door and watched, watched as the tears streamed down her mothers face, watched as the father stood there silently watching what they were doing to his child, watched as the grandmother sat in a chair close by with her head bowed.

My heart broke, I felt immense sorrow for them, for the trauma they were going through, for the chance that they might lose their child, for the long trip back through recovery she would have if she survived, and for the hardships that family must face during her recovery. As the tears streamed down my face, I reached out to the mother and told her we were praying.

Today I am thankful for sorrow, for, although it isn’t pleasant, I feel that it draws me closer to the Lord when I see just how fragile life can be and how quick it can change.

Matthew 5:4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

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Redemption and Inheritance

Hands holding the worldFebruary 15, 2017 – Redemption

Redemption is a word you don’t hear much anymore. Redeeming something means to buy or purchase something, to take it off the market. Remember when they used to hand out green stamps at stores, and we would save them to buy something with. We would take them to a redemption center, pick out what we wanted, and pay for it with the stamps.

Boaz redeemed Ruth by buying the land of her deceased husband after giving a closer relative the chance to redeem it first, because in those times when you redeemed a relatives land, you also took his wife to be yours. You redeemed her. Because of this redemption, Ruth and her mother-in-law went from poverty to comfort for the rest of their lives. Ruth bore him a son named Obed, who became the father of Jesse who became the father of David.

Christ redeemed us with his life. He went to the cross to redeem us from our sins. What a high cost to pay for the sins that weren’t even his. He paid the cost for our redemption with his life. Because of his sacrifice, we are forgiven of our sins and will live life eternally with him and the father in a beautiful place called Heaven where there will be no evil, pain, no suffering, no sin, just love.

Today I am thankful for that redemption. I am redeemed.

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer lives and he shall stand at last on the earth, and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold and not another, how my heart yearns within me

heavensFebruary 16, 2017 – Inheritance

How we strive to leave an inheritance to our family. We buy all types of life insurance. We strive to keep all of our bills paid up so they will not be burdened with them when we go, and we try to make sure that there is property, belongings and money left to give them something to remember us by, when in fact we should be leaving a non-monetary inheritance to those we love.

What good will money, personal possessions and property amount to in the end. What we should be leaving our loved ones with are good memories, times of happiness and love, and bits of knowledge that will help them make it through the last days of this world.

We should be shouting from the hilltops, writing in letters, sending e-mails, saying it over the phone and posting it in status on social media. Jesus Christ is Lord and if you don’t accept him you have no inheritance .

We all have a great inheritance if we are truly children of God. If we accept Jesus as our savior, we have the greatest inheritance ever. We don’t have an inheritance bought with money, for money will soon vanish. Money, personal possession, property mean nothing once you have left this world for if you know Christ, you will walk on streets of gold.

I have nothing but junk to leave my family when it comes to material wealth, but for all the days of my life I try to make sure they know that I love them, that Jesus loves them, that by accepting him, we will all be together again in a land that is filled with love.

I can’t say that I am perfect, for I am not. I am a sinner, just like anyone else, and I went through a lot of my life believing I had to strive to get that money so I could have jewels, and cars, and property, so I could say,”see what I did, see what I was able to accumulate, see what I have accomplished” for that is what I was led to believe was necessary.

But I know different now, I know that none of that is of any value. What will I leave as an inheritance? The same as I will inherit. The knowledge that Jesus Christ is lord, the value of love, and a what little bit of knowledge God has allowed me to accumulate in my walk with him. Today I am thankful for the inheritance I will have with Jesus, and the inheritance of that sacrifice and love that I can share with others.

Daniel 12: 13 But you, go your way till the end for you shall rest and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.

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Looking Inward, Growing, Days of Celebration

eyeFebruary 12, 2017 – Looking Inward

Sometimes we get so busy, we forget to check in ourselves. We day after day ding the normal everyday things we have always done. We go to work, we go to school, we go the store, and possible to check in on parents or grandparents.

We go to church on Sundays, dinner with friends and visits with neighbors. We indulge in activities outside of the house such a movies, date night, softball games and the like, and during the day we fail to notice how we act or what we talk about or who we talk about.

Gossip is a horrible tool of the devils. It hurts feelings, destroys relationships and destroys reputations. I’ve done my share of gossiping in my life and I have received the end result of gossip before and I can tell you first hand that it cuts like a knife.

Over the years have worked on developing the habit of looking inward, looking into myself. I try to step back and look at things I’ve said and done and see if they are what God would want. I have developed the habit of grabbing those gossiping thoughts before they make it to my mouth and make myself look at the person or the circumstances, making myself look for reasons why the situation is what it is or why the person did or said what they did.

As I fall asleep at night, saying my prayers, I first thank God for Jesus dying for our sins, then I thank him for all the blessings he bestows on me. Then I look inward to see if there was anything I did or said today that wouldn’t please him. It has actually helped to stay away from the brink of the gossip ridge. Today I am thankful the Lord has urged me to look inward.

Jesus with children 2February 13, 2017 – Growing

I love to watch things grow. Spring and Summer are my most favorite seasons. I start watching in March for the small green blades of grass and the small leaf buds on trees. Not long after that, the flowers will start to bloom and their fragrance fills the air.

I’ve enjoyed watching people and animals grow, my son from the day he was born until I moved here, my grandchildren the same way. I’ve seen kids from the various churches grow up and their children growing too. We never stop growing, old age proves that. Even when we leave this place, we will grow in another, better, more peaceful, beautiful place.

I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons as I have grown. Some were lessons I didn’t want to learn, but they were necessary, especially for my spiritual growth. Some were lessons that help me to be strong and to learn to survive, and some were so I could pass on knowledge to others. I learn something new everyday, whether it is a new word, a new way to grow something, or a new message from God. I hope that I never stop growing, especially in my spiritual walk. Today I am thankful for growing.

loveFebruary 14, 2017 –Days for Celebration

We all love different holidays, different celebrations. For some it is Christmas, and sadly, not because of the celebration of the birth of Christ, but for the parties, family get togethers and exchanging of presents. For some it is the Fourth of July or Memorial day, and again, sadly not always because of what those days mean, but for the picnics, family activities, barbecues and the like.

Valentines Day is a celebration of love, started in honor of St. Valentine. On this day lovers, spouses and even friends and other relatives exchange cards, candies and gifts all to celebrate the love they feel for each other. Couples go out for special dinners, kids exchange cards in school, but I wonder how many do it just out of habit or really because they are celebrating love.

Think about it. Kids exchange cards at school, but does anyone explain to them what the day is really all about? The same with Christmas, how many families stop and talk to their children about what Christmas is really about.

Do parents explain to their children what the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Presidents Day or Valentines day is really all about or do they focus on just having good times. I know that some Christian based families, who keep their children going to church, explain these special days.

Valentines day is a day of love, but wouldn’t it but wonderful if love was celebrated everyday of the year? After all, Christ doesn’t just express his love for us on certain days, he loves us every day of our lives. He proved it. He gave his life for us because he loved us so much. He stands in for us with the father because he loves us so much. Today I am thankful for the days of Celebration we have and for what each one means, but mostly I am thankful for the love of Christ that we can celebrate each and every day.

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Farmers, Carpenters, and a Foretaste

farmsFebruary 9, 2017 – Farmers

Farmers have always been around. If you read your bible, you would notice that in the early centuries just about everyone was a farmer of some sort. Some grew fields of grain, leaving anything that fell on the ground for the poor and widows to gather. Some raised sheep and goats, and eventually some raised cattle.

Some grew grapes, others managed olive groves and many wives had a vegetable garden growing next to their tent, if they were semi-nomadic, or next to their mud and straw houses. For the most part, this was how a family survived, and these products were also used for the sacrifices, to pay taxes to the King or procurator and to trade for other goods needed for the farm or home.

I’ve lived on two farms in my life, and I loved it. Although I was young, there was just something about growing things with your own hands, whether it was raising chickens, sheep or cattle, or planting a garden. It just felt good to work with my hands and to know I was helping something to grow.

I’ve done my share of feeding horses and cows, pulling weeds, picking fruit, feeding chickens and ducks and rabbits. I love it during the summer when people start selling their produce on the square or on the corners of busy streets. I know for sure that the food is freshly picked and hasn’t been sitting on a truck for days or weeks.

Think of where we, as a society, the way society is today, what would we do without farmers.? Where would we get vegetables, meat, dairy and fruit? What would we eat if they didn’t work long hours during the Spring, Summer and Fall? Where would we be able to get the health benefits that fresh veggies and fruits offer? From a pill? No!!Today I am thankful for farmers

carpenter-toolsFebruary 10, 2016 – Carpenters

Jesus was the son of a carpenter, and a carpenter himself for awhile. What better early trade could our savior have? He built things from wood, and then later he built up people with love and instruction. His ministry was only about 3 years long, yet he is the most famous and the most honest minister that ever lived.

Carpenters make a lot of things, from our houses to our barns and garages. They make cabinets and dressers and tables and chairs. They build mansions, businesses, museum, libraries and many other structures. Although construction has changed over the centuries with the use of brick, cement, glass and steel, there are still aspects of each building that need the craft of the carpenter.

In Jesus time they made plows, wooden eating utensils, doors, fences, stools and such. Their art was the beginning of the age of carpentry. Today there are many luxury items made by carpenters for the pleasure and ease of the Poor and Rich. Intricately carved bedroom sets, one of kind dining room tables, carved doorways and windows and picture frames.

If you were to look around your house, how many pieces of furniture to you see that are made of wood? My desk, where I am typing this is made of wood, the desk on the other side of the room is made of wood, the closet door is made of wood and the window frame in front of me is made from wood. Where would we be if we didn’t have carpenters to help construct our dwellings? Today I am thankful for carpenters.

lakeFebruary 11, 2017 – A Foretaste

Today was an awesome day. The weather report said we would reach the mid 70’s but I am sure that we made it to 80 degrees. The sky was blue spattered with a few light, white clouds here and there, and even though they had predicted rain, it never came.

Mrs. Beasley jumped down to the deck while I was standing there, started eating and she didn’t leave until I turned and went back in the house. She is getting less and less skittery around me. When I looked back out there were Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Sparrows quietly eating the seed we had put out, and the doves are back, but instead of two, there were four.

It was like a perfect Spring Day. Even the birds sounded like their spirits had been lifted. As I watched the day go by, I thought this is just a foretaste of what’s to come. A little peek into the warmer weather that will be upon us in a month or two.

Isn’t awesome the way God works. How he created such beauty around us, how he gave us things that would lift our spirits, make us feel good like the sun beating down on us after a very gray winter?

When I was younger, I assumed that heaven was a place made of clouds, and that we just walked around the clouds like angels, just looking down on earth and the poor beings left there, but today, I believe that heaven is going contain everything of beauty that God created and I honestly believe that we get a foretaste of that place when we look upon the things of nature. Today I am thankful for the foretaste of things to come.

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Miracle Medicines and Protection

medicine-bottlesFebruary 7, 2017 – Miracle Medicines

I often wonder when it was that man turned from believing in miracle healing from God to man-made pharmaceuticals, but even in his love for us he has allowed medical researchers to develop many miracle drugs that treat and sometimes cure the diseases and illnesses we endure.

If you stop to think about it, a lot of our afflictions today have been caused by other inventions and discoveries made by man. We have polluted our air, so much to the point that the protective layer that allowed us the warmth of the sun but protection from its radioactive rays is so thin now that even being out in it too often can cause different forms of cancer.

And man is such a sissy that he has gotten to the point where he can’t stand the least amount of pain, so we have a multitude of pain medications, that if used right will alleviate the pain, but when Satan interferes and pushes people into abusing them, we have drug addicts, more illness and death.

Every so often there will be a medicine that is developed that actually treats an ailment the way it is supposed to. Rumors say that there are cures for cancer, but they are not used because the pharmaceutical companies would lose a lot of their profits if people didn’t have to rely on Chemo therapy, which, by the way, can actually cause a sooner death than the cancer will.

If you read the label on any medication, you find out there can be serious side effects such as seizures, stroke, kidney failure and heart attacks and death. Some medicines tear down your immune system, so you have to take other medicines to bring it back up to par.

Rich has a rare hereditary disease, and some of the attacks can be fatal. Several years ago he was in a research program that developed a treatment for this disease, lessening the attacks and the severity of these attacks. Since then many more treatments have been developed. This medicine is one of those with less severe side effects and it has kept him out of the hospital for eight years. Today I am thankful for the miracle drugs, the ones that work, that God allows mankind to develop.

Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me Lord and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved for you are the one I praise

old-police-carFebruary 8, 2017 – Protection

There are many forms of protection today. We have the military that fight the wars in other countries so that they don’t spill over into ours. We have police officers, who for the most part, are good men that put their life on the line to protect us in our cities and neighborhoods. We have fire departments that can quickly extinguish a fire, although damaging one house, may save several around it from destruction.

We have doctors, nurses, surgeons who do their very best to protect our health, and researchers always looking for more ways to keep us healthy. We have firearms to protect our loved ones and our selves from assaults and home invasions.

We have insurance companies, that for a certain amount per month issue a policy that protects the losses you may receive through an act of God, vandalism or other on your vehicles and your homes. And we have life insurance to protect our love ones from being hounded by bill collectors when we pass away. But the best protection we have comes from God, who often protects us from others, from illness, from catastrophe and often from ourselves. Today I am thankful for all of this protection.

Psalm 18:30 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

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Prayer, Sunshine,Rain

older woman prayingFebruary 4, 2017 – Prayer

Now I know that during the course of all of my “Thankfulness” articles I have repeated the same subjects at times, but, when I do that, it is because I find another reason to be thankful for the same things. It often seems like the Lord opens my eyes from time to time to see more than I saw before.

While I have talked about the subject of prayer before, about how to pray, about praying for others, about answered prayer, it is one of my daily activities, and not just at certain times but all through the day. In fact, it has been during these times of prayer that God has enlightened me about other things. It is through this constant conversation with him, that I often find the paths he is leading me down.

While it is certain that he doesn’t always answer prayer right when we want him to or in the way that we want him too, he will often answer it quietly in another way after he has drawn us away from that subject we were praying about. I can attest to this, because many times I have been praying about a certain problem or need and all of a sudden that need is forgotten and another, more important need has been brought to mind.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been praying about something I need or I am concerned about, when the thought of that need or concern has been completely blanked out by the thought of someone who needs prayed far more than my little wants and concerns.

I have seen prayer in action. I have had prayers answered a few minutes after saying them while driving down the road. I have had prayers answered before I was done praying and I have been shown that some of the prayers I am saying have been answered before I even thought of praying on that subject. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have in these last days and today I am so thankful that I can pray and that others pray for me.

sunrise-in-the-countryFebruary 5, 2017 – Sunshine

The most northern town in Alaska is a small town called Barrow. Barrow has at least 67 days of winter where there is total darkness. Seasonal depression is high in the areas of this state during the dark winter days. Barrow also has 80 days of perpetual sunshine which is called the time of the Midnight sun. This is one reason you will see such huge vegetables and fruits during the summer months in Alaska.

Sunshine is important to all of life. Humans get their serotonin uptake and vitamin D from the sun. We get solar power from the sun and all of our crops, veggie patches and flowering plants need sunlight to grow, and produce flowers and food. Even the animals and insects need the sunlight so they can see to build their nests and hunt for food, since all of them are not nocturnal.

I love the sun. I love to walk in it and sit out in it. I love to watch my house plants and container garden grow from it. It is a source of light, a source of heat, a source of health, but it also shows the power of our God, to create something this huge, these necessary to keep our planet alive. Today I am thankful for the sunshine.

lighteningFebruary 6, 2017 – Rain

The last couple winters have been odd. We haven’t had the light, fluffy snow that we used to build snowmen out of, make forts out of or make snow angels. Children haven’t been able to go sleigh riding or snow boarding and it’s just been so gray and depressing out.

These last couple winters have been very gloomy and rainy, unlike the ones we experience as children. While many states did get bombarded with blizzards and large amounts of snowfall, we didn’t have but an inch or two all winter. In fact I only remember getting snow on one day.

While I don’t like the gray, rainy winter, I know that there is a benefit to it. Our water tables have been low for several years because we have had such brutal summers. Our crops need the water just as much as they need the sunshine. The animals would die of dehydration without the rain to bring our water tables up.

Even though I would rather have a summer burst than all of this gray drizzle we have seen, I understand the necessity of all this rain. Even though it has caused some flooding in areas, it eventually soaks through and fills our rivers, lakes and streams so that there will be plenty of water during the summer months, so today, I am thankful for this winter’s rain.