How I have enjoyed linking with Marsha at Thankful Thursdays these past weeks! Initially, as an exhausted, slightly stressed out, new homeschooler with a teething baby, I didn’t know where to begin with my thanks because I felt like such a failure. With a few weeks under my belt of giving God the glory for the little things in my life, I’m still incredibly sleep deprived and drowning in clutter mixed with insecurities….but you know what? I’m still struggling to know what to write, but this time it’s because I’m overwhelmed with gratitude as I see HIS HAND in everything!
Do I write about how our home was spared from recent storms or the lovely visit with my in-laws (and beautiful nieces and nephews!) as we waited it out? Do I praise Him for the awesome giveaway turnout or generosity of Seeds Family Worship Ministries? Maybe I should write about how my Lil’ Lizard’s love for learning is so intense, he doesn’t want a summer break from MATH! Or that my Eager Explorer has mastered the hand clap and is utterly delighted when you join him.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some tremendous low points this week too, some intense frustrations, heart aches, major medical concerns, sadness, hopelessness, frenzy, stress, chaos, disappointment, you name it. That’s why I named my blog after Hebrews 12:1, because I terribly NEED grace amidst this life that feels like a cut-throat race sometimes. I began it all hoping to sort out my thoughts and emotions within my Daily Bread entries and share a few resources along the way. I never dreamed that simply linking up with Ms. Marsha each week to share what I am thankful for would transform my overall attitude and approach so drastically.
As I’ve acknowledged and thanked the Lord more and more, He’s been drawing other things to my attention. Some awesome moments that are clearly “hey Cookie, pay attention, you don’t want to miss this” and others are “Ut hem, about that….why don’t you read My Word over here, ’cause yeah, I can’t keep letting this fly, I love you too much”. I’ve never felt so lovingly convicted before this week. Usually, it perverts into condemnation and feeling of worthlessness, but this week….as I’ve improved my thankful reflexes, I’m getting stronger in the repentance department too. So instead hiding out of shame, I’ve (BY HIS GRACE ALONE) grown quicker to confess and seek His wisdom….and He’s REVEALED IT!
I know these are pretty simple concepts and it may not be a big deal to some, but for me there is a head knowledge, and there is a living breathing KNOWING of the truth. I remember someone trying to argue with be about who played opposite John Wayne in “The Quiet Man”. While I admit it must have been hard for this man in his late 50s to defer to this little 16-year-old checker at the grocery store, at the time I LOVED that movie so much I knew every line. He was thinking of Tarzan with Maureen O’Sullivan, but my icon of what it meant to be a real woman, was the Duke’s leading lady, Maureen O’Hara. Out of respect (and because I had other customers to serve) I said, “You’re probably right, whatever her name was, she was great in that movie,” but I never once second guessed myself, despite his growing insistence, because I KNEW that movie inside and out. Can I honestly say I have such an unwavering faith about all the promises of the bible? Sure I may have read the scriptures, or even memorized a few….but do I KNOW with all I have the truth and power they posses?
I wrote recently about how one of the first miracles I witnessed, or at least recognized as God’s work in my life, had to do with finding something that was lost. God has time and time again shown me how present of a help He is in time of need, even for the insignificant things. Can I confess I that I don’t have the same faith, or boldness, when I pray for healing? Maybe because I had, “If it be your will” modeled so much in my early Christian life, or because I’ve prayed and cried my eyes out only to watch family members not receive the healing I hoped for.
I also struggle with the fear that “I won’t know His voice”. If He’s the still small voice but it seems loud does that mean it’s actually my flesh? What if He called me to this divine appointment and I messed it up because I’m hesitating? (Can you see how pride is essentially the root of all sin?) Here’s a sneak attack if ever I saw one…..This scripture says His sheep will know His voice, so if I’m not sure, does that mean I’m not really saved?
So you get the point, I struggle with KNOWING somethings, and I guess I’ve written all this to say….I see the work He’s been doing in me this week to KNOW He is present. To really believe Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to help you and not to harm you, plans to prosper you and give you a hope”. To have full faith that if I call to Him, He will answer me, to KNOW that He is indeed, Emmanuel, GOD WITH US.
I still have a long way to go, but I am thankful for work He is doing in my life, and that I am growing in faith to truly believe and KNOW that He is faithful to complete it. I can say that reading/hearing more of the Bible each day along with this weekly reflection of thanks have been huge catalysts for my renewed awareness and desire to seek God’s face with fervor. So thank you Marsha and Seeds Family Worship for your encouragement, generosity and blessing in my life. Above all, thank you Lord God Almighty, for though Your grace alone is sufficient, You came to give us life more abundantly and lavish us with Your mercy that we may KNOW You more!
So how about you? Any areas of faith that you struggle with? Any areas you are thankfully unwavering in? Maybe something happened this week and you want to share your gratitude? Please comment below or feel free to join Thankful Thursdays link up! 🙂