I woke up this morning wondering what to write to encourage you this week as you head into the season of celebrations with family and friends and co-workers, baking and travel. I am not going home since my husband is lowest on the totem pole of seniority at his work for taking the day after Thanksgiving off, combined with the reality that my closest family is a 10 hour drive one way. This is hard because I am a one-on-one person who loves to look into the eyes of others, tell them I love them, and give them a hug. Videos are not optimum and Skype doesn’t allow for hugs. On top of that, friends and church family that we might hang out with have family to visit and/or are able to drive home because they have the time off to do it. So what am I thankful for since all this is not perfect or as I wish it to be?
Let me share that with you:
Jesus – No matter where I am, He is there. He is the reason I have life, family, home, friends, a vision, mission, calling, strength to take the next step even while quaking in my boots, helping me love my family even if I cannot hug them in person.
My husband – He is my most important family, my best friend, and greatest supporter, financially providing so I can pursue my dreams of helping woman through coaching and blogging and teaching. He IS in person and I CAN hug him, look him in the eyes and tell him I love him – daily. He is also a DYNAMIC cook whose food is so yummy. He has plans to make a Thanksgiving meal that is traditionally untraditional. It will include turkey, mashed potatos and cranberry sauce, just made in very untraditional ways with add spicey ingredients. Yummm! ( I will try and remember to take a picture and post it before I eat it! No promises, though.Tee hee hee.)
Internet – so I can Skype with family from far away, create and share personal video messages for the holidays ahead, chat over Facebook or Twitter or Email. What awesome tools used for good and for just such a situation! Not optimal, but available and will be implemented. Technology is not always evil or intrusive. Tools this chic will use to stay connected for sure!
The view out our living room window of a grand mountain, with feet kicked up, sitting in a warm home with a new roof over our head. ***Inside story here: On our anniversary trip 2 years ago, we had narrowed down where we would love to live if/and/when we moved south from Michigan: between Exit 40 and 50 off US 26 in Unicoi County Tennessee, no more than 10 miles off the highway, ideally half way between 2 VA Medical Centers so John had a choice of either for work. You guessed it. We live off Exit 43, 9.9 miles from the highway, with the drive to either VA Medical Center between 40 and 50 minutes either direction. That is how exact God was with giving us this home in the mountains of eastern Tennessee.That was AFTER He provided a job in Johnson City, TN, and a church home for us to grow in! )
Pastors that adore Jesus, worshipping Him in music and in the preaching of the Word, living by example and challenging us to take the Gospel to every area of our lives, not just for salvation, but also for daily living in a fallen world where the flesh still tries to drag us through the mud. Their faithful wives who stand by them and with them and share that same love of Christ and challenge and encouragement – a supremely added blessing! www.crosslife.org
Community – Sisters and brothers in Christ who ask how things are going and really want to know the answer, good or bad, so they can encourage and pray with me, not stand in judgment of me. Authentic Christianity, not cleaned up “try harder” Christianity. Amen!?
Every trial and struggle and hurt without which I would never have looked to Jesus, been shaped by Jesus, had compassion for other hurting women, passion to pursue what would glorify Him most – making His name famous by applying the word to broken women He wants to restore to wholeness in Him.
The Word of God to guide me when I need wisdom, encourage me when I am weary, challenge me when I have become complacent or edgy or judgmental, showing me Jesus from cover to cover as Creator and Messiah and Savior and Lord. You see we have come back around to number 1 – Jesus – as we should, because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Living Water, Bread from Heaven, Sustainer of every living thing. I need Him desperately every moment of every day. an I am pretty sure I am not alone in that need, yes?!
So I hope that was encouraging to you as you face a holiday season with a less than perfect situation, family, or life. Look for the blessings He has bestowed in the imperfect that cause you to lean into Him more, see His beauty, enjoy what He has provided that you can see in a new light because of Him. Perfect is for Heaven. He gives us glimpses of it now and then, but not to recreate it here on earth. He does it to increase our desire for Heaven, our urgency to share Heaven’s King with others so more come with us there, and to shape us for an eternity in His presence, because face it, we are broken sinners (I know I am one) saved by grace that need reshaping for our TRUE FOREVER HOME and VERY REAL SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
- What are YOU thankful for that is not as you wish, but is being used by the Lord to use you to bring others to Him and/or prepare you for your heavenly home?
- How can I be praying for you as you face an imperfect situation, family, life this holiday season?
- Please share this with others and Subscribe to my blogs for continued encouragement as you seek to live forward with confidence in Christ and without fear!