Nov 302015
 

 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and persistent in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  Isaiah 40:31

Oh the terror of what could have been for this Thanksgiving.  And a poem to prove it:

 It was the Night Before Thanksgiving and the Willis clan, had some various happenings that were not a part of the plan.

The pregnant Mama said, “I think that it’s time”, and the Dada monitored contractions, with each whimper and whine.

All the while the oldest daughter couldn’t seem to swallow, “I have a bad sore throat Daddy, I probably can’t do anything tomorrow.”

The Daddy tended to all his girls with ever loving care (but thinking ever silently that this Thanksgiving would split his every hair)

The morning of Thanksgiving came without a baby hospital run, but Urgent Care was a must indeed, for the Strep throat medicine time had come.

So we are thankful, yes we are, to have not ruined Thanksgiving for one and all, we praise the Lord this baby stayed inside and did not come to call.

Even though my sweet daughter had to be quarantined with only a constant stream of movies and 7-up to keep her company, Thanksgiving happened.  And the good part is that this Thanksgiving brought to light 2 character traits in my girls I had never noticed before.  2 traits I can be thankful for in them and am motivated to work on displaying these “Jesus characteristics” myself.

I admired my oldest daughter’s lack of complaining and ability to keep a positive attitude in spite of her disappointment and painful state.  I am pretty sure when I am sick my style is to make sure to let people know how badly I feel.  Over.  And over again.  I throw a great pity party also when everyone else is getting to do something fun and I can’t.  So today is the day to turn over a new leaf.  (Choosing His perspective and attitude in the final stretch of this sick, difficult pregnancy.)  To close my mouth when I want to spew complaints and pains.  And instead look to Jesus.  To provide me with joyful hope.  Strength as I wait on Him.  And patience in affliction because we are not in control.

My youngest daughter got some serious attention this Thanksgiving, being that she didn’t have to split Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/Nana/Papa time with her older sister.  And she loved every.  Minute.  Of it.  But the one inspiring characteristic she displayed and I could not get over was her persistence.  The adults were talking after the meal and she politely invited everyone to watch her dance show.  Most of the family said, “Oh good, maybe later though.”  So she waited.  Then she made the rounds again and said, “The dance show is starting, please come!”  Some came.  But she shamelessly wanted everyone to attend and so the asking continued.  And what do you know but her persistence payed off.  Everyone attended the show.  And I admired her persistence.

As I contemplate these “Jesus characteristics” in the light of my own life and in relation to how I love other’s I am humbled.  Both of the above traits come to a bottom line for me, “Love never gives up”, as it says in 1 Cor. 13:7a.

Maybe you are in a time of trial, waiting, or physical pain.   My prayer is that you would find strength and hope in Jesus today. Or maybe you know of a friend or family member who is in a troubling time.  As I was nudged by the Spirit to pray for a woman fighting the cancer battle the other day, I wept for her.  I prayed that we, as the body of Christ, would surround her and meet her physical, spiritual and emotional needs.  And my prayer is the same for you.  That in love, you would not give up on others who are sick and in trial.  Because we know, “Love never gives up”.

Maybe you have been praying for a loved one for a long time.  To come back to Jesus.  Or to come to Jesus.  But maybe over time, your persistence in prayer has dwindled.  This Thanksgiving brought my lack of persistence in prayer for those without salvation to my attention.  I thought about these specific individuals who need salvation.  And I thought about times when I was good about praying for them.  But truly, now, if I am being honest, I had given up on them.  I had given up hope for change because I wasn’t seeing it.   So just as my youngest daughter was persistent in asking others over and over and over again to attend her dance show, I need to be persistent in praying for my loved ones that they would come to the “Jesus salvation show”.  Because we know, “Love never gives up”.

What have you been complaining about that you can instead ask for help from Jesus to be patient, self controlled, and have a changed heart in?  Will you also give your worries and complaints to Him and allow Him to take them/have control over them?

Is there someone you have given up praying for?  Will you, in love, not give up and persist in prayer instead?

Who can you show the love of Jesus to today who is sick?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 052013
 

Revelation and thanksgiving.  This is what I’m sitting in and pondering today.

There are times when I look at myself in the mirror and realize I’ve been flailing and struggling.  To have faith.  To trust there is meaning in both the whirling and the stagnant moments in life. To believe God could love little ‘ol me who feels like a mess sometimes.

In this small realization, in this small self-revelation, “Be still and know that I am God“, comes to mind.

Just.  Be.  Still.

Flailing, struggling, wondering and mustering up belief is me doing the work.  But in reality, God does not require my help, knowledge, effort or anything else.  He does not owe me justifications or proof in showing me the whole picture.  It is in this state of mind I remember:

He is God.  He made me.  And I am His.

Sometimes I just need to stop.  Stop and remember what He has done for me.  What He has done in me.  Thank you God.

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s new book, “Help, Thanks, Wow” and I’ve been reading and re-reading the thanks portion of it.

“When we go from rashy and clenched to grateful, we sometimes get to note the experience of grace, in knowing that we could not have gotten ourselves from where we were stuck, in hate or self-righteousness or self-loathing (which are the same thing), to freedom.  The movement of grace in our lives toward freedom is the mystery.  So we simply say “Thanks.”  Something had to open, something had to give, and I don’t have a clue how to get things to do that.  But they did, or grace did.  Thank you.”  – Anne Lamott, “Help, Thanks, Wow”

Many times I find myself too busy and distracted to be still.  To remember God’s enormous miracles He has done in my life.  To recall His grace overflowing to make the dried up places in my heart beautiful.  He has changed me, strengthened me and made me new.  Thank you God.

Stopping the whirling has become just as important as the words “thank you” because it invites revelation.  Having my heart open to watchwait for, and then listen to His revelations in my life.  To where He wants to stretch and change me, when He wants me to slow down and rest and how He wants me to view Him… and myself.  And it has been through these moments of revelation, that transformation has come.

Which again begs a thank you God.

“Revelation is not for the faint at heart… Details are being revealed, and they will take you out of yourself, which is heaven, and you will have a story to tell, which is salvation that again and again saves us…  So I say “Thanks,” – Anne Lamott, “Help, Thanks, Wow”

So even when I look into the mirror and have a revelation moment that I’ve been wound up, flailing, trying to do things on my own, I say a big Thank you God.  You are God.  You made me.  And I am Yours.

In what can you be saying “Thank you God” about?  What revelations in your life can you thank Him for?
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  Psalm 100
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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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