I was planning on giving myself the goal of writing everyday this week on here, however I'm fighting a silly cold and felt pretty awful yesterday so I spent my day under blankets, sipping tea and editing our family Christmas pictures we took earlier that day. blah blah blah…. anyhoo, on to writing...
Often times when I go through something or I'm learning something, unless I write it down, even when I'm sure I'll remember, I usually tend to forget. So I'm wanting to write more to remember more, even if it's only for me. The journey that the Lord has me on is worth remembering. The faithfulness, the patience, the kindness, the long-suffering, the blessings, the love and joy He showers upon me is all worth remembering.
He shows me constantly that even in the midst of heartache and pain that He is good and He gives good gifts. He guides my eyes to see the blessings and the undeserved gifts and graces. Christmas time proves that even in a season of winter, salvation comes through Jesus. Joy comes through Jesus. Restoration and new life comes through Jesus. Freedom comes through Jesus. Hope comes through Jesus. The impossible is made possible through Jesus.
The Lord is teaching me so much about thankfulness in all things, in all seasons, no matter what is going on around me. This verse runs through my mind daily:
"Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:6-7)
If all things will ultimately be worked out for the good because of my love for Christ and His love towards me (Romans 8:28) then my heart is to be looking for the good and the gifts and the blessings because they are always there to be found. My desire is to really live out God's Word. If God says to be anxious for nothing, then I want to really be anxious for nothing and the moment that I feel my heart becoming anxious, to instead go to prayer with thanksgiving because peace that surpasses understanding is promised. By worldly standards I have much to be anxious about, but by heavenly standards I have nothing to be anxious about because He is ultimately in control of my life and He has a plan that far exceeds my own.
We are living very simply, very small and with so much less than we ever have before. Most of what we've owned we have given away or sold. We are squeezed into a little two bedroom apartment, with four children in one room, and yet it is truly a season for our family that is full of thankfulness and gratitude for what we DO have. I know that someday, years down the road, that I'll look back at this time in our lives with so many fond memories. We joke that this is the chapter in our lives called "The Cold Winter" because we don't have heat right now. However we DO have lots of cozy blankets, an oven that we bake lots of warm goodness in, a tea kettle that warms our mugs and hands and tummies and we have each other to bundle up with. We have the sweetest moments of watching movies together on the couch, reading books together on the floor with big blankets and children climbing over us or piling on top of Dad (because he's the warmest of us all!), making gifts for each other, singing songs or watching the children act out a play that they wrote full of giggles and redoes to get it just right (as their big sister whispers their line in their ears).
We've all had so much removed in our lives the last several years that we are all just truly grateful for what the Lord HAS given to us. Getting away from any attitude of entitlement and just being thankful for whatever the Lord brings is like giving your soul a sense of freedom from a bondage that only brought sourness and bitterness in heart. When you realize that you don't deserve anything and that everything given is a gift from the Lord, your heart can swell with joy and peace and thankfulness in ways you've never experienced before.
This Christmas season, let Christ not be lost on the gift-giving, food prepping, family planning,
holiday-ing, busyness of it all. HE is the reason why there is joy in a season of a cold winter.