I have fallen woefully behind on getting these posts up. I sit here at my desk and look at the list and can’t believe how far behind I am. I am not behind on being thankful or finding things in my life to be thankful for, I am just behind in getting them up where you can finally read them. I am hoping to get all caught up within the next week, The last couple months have just been crazy busy and there seems to be more to do than there are hours in a day. Thank you for your patience and may you all be blessed.
July 14, 2017 – Sweet Sleep
When I was young, I slept like a log. I sometimes laugh when I think about how hard I fought with my mom about taking a nap. She would tell mt to just close my eyes for two minutes, and I would close them and pop them right back open asking “has it been two minutes yet?” After about the third time, I was down for the count, they didn’t open back up until about an hour later.
When I was a teen, it never seemed to bother me if I got eight hours of sleep or not. I had so much energy that mom even asked the doctor if something was wrong with me because I was so skinny and yet didn’t seem to be sick. He simply told her that I had a high metabolism rate and that it would even out over the years, and yes it certainly did.
My whole adult life has been riddled with many sleepless nights. Working odd jobs with odd hours and taking care of a houseful of kids that belonged to someone else, since I only ever had the one son, and being kept awake by the person who abused me for many years usually meant I was lucky if I got 3-4 hours a night.
Things haven’t slowed down a whole lot. For a person who is disabled, it seems that I can’t find a schedule that fits. There are the late night visits to the ER, the nights when we just can’t seem to close our minds down and watch TV until 3 am and then the recent early morning wake-up calls because of the construction going on next door.
But, there are certain nights that I crawl into bed with my fan blowing full blast at the bottom of my feet. I curl up into my favorite position, say my prayers and close my eyes. On those nights there seems to be an overwhelming sense of peace that surrounds me. I feel this odd feeling, especially around my upper torso, this feeling that my whole body has suddenly relaxed and I drift off quickly into the sweetest sleep. Today I am thankful for those nights I experience what I call my sweet sleep.
July 15, 2017 – Late Night Conversations
It’s only been in the last 10 years that I have fully realized that you can talk to God at any time. When I was younger and would be taken to church or when I lived in the one Christian foster home, we prayed over meals and before we went to bed, so I grew up believing those were the only times outside of church that you should pray.
Then in February 1993, when I asked Jesus to come live with me, I would hear all of the “mature” Christians pray using all those words like the “thee and though” and “most gracious god or father God” or “magnificent Lord” and thought I could never pray like this. Oh I tried, but the words did not come naturally to me and I thought I was doomed because I would stumble over the words and wasn’t sure if I was using them in the correct order.
I didn’t see any hope for me because I just couldn’t pray like other people did. Sometimes I would go to the altar and kneel there and cry because I didn’t understand how to address God, how to let him know I believed in him, loved him and trusted him.
Then one service, a visiting pastor was doing a sermon on prayer. Sometimes, even to this day, I think that God directed that sermon directly to me. This pastor said “if you have trouble praying, if you don’t know how to talk to Jesus, then just picture him sitting in a chair next to your bed, like a best friend would do if you were ill, and talk to him like you would that friend.” “tell him your troubles, what you struggle with and ask for his advice or help, just as you would your best friend”. He also said that you could talk to Jesus anywhere. You didn’t always have to be at an alter or kneeling next to your bed, because Jesus could hear your very thoughts.
Ever since then, I have talked to him all the time. Sure I pray over meals and say a prayer before bedtime, but I think some of the best times have been when I wake up in the middle of the night and talk to him. Today I am thankful for those late night conversations.
July 16, 2017 – Beyond
I am a word person. I love looking up words that I don’t fully understand. Even every day words that we speak on a daily basis can have multiple meanings depending on how they are used, why they are being used. Take the word “beyond”. We use in in different sentences all the time to sometimes describe something we don’t understand or to talk about something that in excess such as over and beyond what was necessary.
Beyond is often used when talking about things we don’t fully understand like space, the planets, the stars and even the future. It can be used to describe something out of our vision or hearing, something we cannot see or hear with our human ears and eyes. What is beyond the horizon? Or What is beyond the stars.
He has gone above and beyond what was expected of him or beyond that curve in the road is the town you are looking for. It is used to describe distance that is beyond what we can see, but it is also used to describe the behaviors of individuals in certain circumstances.
There are many different verses in the Bible that include the word beyond in what they are describing, to make sure the people understand that what they are being taught, what is being prophesied is beyond anything they can understand on their own.
Gods love, his mercy, his forgiveness are all beyond what our feeble little human minds can comprehend. His ways are not our ways and we will never fully understand, but we are assured that there is life beyond what we know after we have shed our earthly bonds. Today I am thankful that there is more beyond this crazy old world of ours.
Psalm 86:15- But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
July 17, 2017 – Up Up and Away
I’ve learned to rely on Jesus so much over the years. He is my safe haven. He is who I talk to the most throughout my day. Sometimes it is just little one word or two word prayers like asking him to help when I can’t crew the top of a water bottle, or asking him to just help when I find I am getting tensed up over being clumsy, running into things or tripping on air.
Sometimes there are longer conversations as I am going through the day catching up on my chores or just browsing the internet, when a certain person or need comes to mind or I see that one of my family or friends on Social Media is going through a tough time.
Sometimes I just walk through the house, looking at each room and the contents it holds and thanking him for all he has allowed me to have. Other times, when the pain in mouth, head or feet has abated for awhile I stop and thank him for that period of relief.
Life on this planet isn’t easy and it’s not going to get any easier. We are all having tough times now and as the time goes by and it gets closer to the return of Jesus, things are going to get much worse. We’ve had our share of troubles, more than our share of scary moments. Recently, when it was time for a refill on a special medicine Rich takes for his hereditary disease, we got a notice that his insurance companies were not going to cover it anymore.
We went through two weeks of agonizing terror trying to get our representative at the pharmaceutical company, the doctor and the insurance company all on the same page. But god worked it all out and we let him know just how thankful we were.
There are tough days ahead for this old world, worse than anyone has ever seen. While we can sit and worry over all the news stories, all the political garbage about our president changing things that could affect our ability to get the medical attention we need, all the threats of nuclear missiles that are able to reach our soil, all the civil strife, evil and immorality of this world, one thought stays clear in my mind.
Whether I live to see the return of Jesus or I die many years before that, I know deep in my heart and soul that I will be going up to meet him in the sky. Today I am thankful that some day I will go up, up and away from all the evil, sickness and hurt anf immorality in this failing world of ours.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
July 18, 2017 – Three Raccoons
NO, not one, not two but three raccoons!!!! Yes we have some more members to our ever growing outdoor, backyard family. Besides all the birds, our occasional visit from the possums, the appearance now and then of the old fat skunk and the new squirrel, we now have three raccoon hanging around.
I walked out on the deck after dark, which I do several times a night before bed because it is so peaceful and on a clear night the sky is more beautiful than I ever remember it being and I heard a thump. I looked to the left and there, sitting on the railing was this humongous raccoon. I mean he/she was really big. He or she jumped down on the deck, looked at me, went further to the north, jumped up on the railing and then into the Formosa tree. I could see it watching me.
The next night, I went out, close to the same time, this time leaving the light off so if it was out there I wouldn’t scare it away. As I didn’t hear anything, I reached in and switched on the light and there were two younger raccoons sitting at the bottom of the deck steps on the west side. They were about half the size of the one the night before.
One crawled under the steps and hid. The other one actually walked up the steps, sat up on it’s hind legs and just looked at me, it’s little claw-like hands wiggling it’s fingers and cocking it’s head side to side as it sniffed at me. Slowly it hopped up on the rail, jumped into the Formosa tree where the one from the night before did and sat there looking at me. So now we have a few more members to our nature family out back. Today I am thankful for the addition of the three new raccoons.