To name a few of my good and wonderful things:
- My home. As I said, it isn't perfect or new or well decorated or
- My husband. Everyone that knows me and my Hunk o' Honey also knows that we haven't always had the best relationship. There were so many times over the years that we nearly didn't make it, for various reasons but mostly selfishness and pride on one part or the other. There were times when my sweet Hunk o Honey regretted ever having met me and times when I melted into selfish tears and wished with every ounce of wish I could muster that I had never met him. There were even times when I in sheer rebellion had packed my stuff and the kids' stuff and seriously
Right now I am so so very thankful that the Lord saved my marriage, but not only has HE kept us together, HE has made it so sweet and wonderful that it almost seems like a dream sometimes. Not even in my wildest young girl fairy tale dreams did I think I would have a husband who would love me so much or want so badly to have me be the exact other half of his life! That doesn't mean that I am always *feeling* happy about every word that falls from his lips, or that he doesn't have grumpy days and times when he has bad breath or whatever complaint my selfishness could dream up. It does mean that those things, those petty little every day complaints have to called just what they are ..... selfishness ... and they must be tossed away from me in order for us to have that wonderful marriage that the Lord has blessed so richly.
Oh, how I regret those days when I was younger that I wasted away thinking that my Hunk o Honey wasn't "good enough" to me, that he didn't spend enough time with me, that he worked too much, or had friends that I didn't like or habits that
- My children. Rarely do I ever wish anything different from my kids.....often do I wish things different FOR my kids. If there is any one thing I find myself on the altar for regularly it is them, sometimes in worry, sometimes in frustration, but most usually in repentance.
For so many years I felt worn out from the time I got up in the morning to the time I fell down in exhaustion at night from just the pure energy output that is required when you have a bunch of little people to take care of all day every day and most days alone because my sweet Hunk o Honey had to work. In fact by the time I was 26 I was looking for any
In short, I was feeling selfish. What I wouldn't give to be able to have those days back to "do over"! I didn't neglect the kids (mine or the other dozen or so I always had around), but I didn't give them the best I could during those times either. It was too easy to get self absorbed with what I wanted out of my life and I failed to see what I could be putting into theirs. I ended up doing lots of things away from the kids, some good things, some not so much ...... but in the end they all took time away from the kids. And time away from me, time I can never get back ..... and you just would never ever believe how badly you will want that time back someday.
If I could say one thing to young moms now I would tell them all to be very very careful. Those moments when you most feel like you could lose your mind if you spend one more minute listening to your kids may be the one moment when they were really listening the most carefully to what you had to say or wishing that you would say something at all. I have caught myself lying awake at night sometimes and a fleeting picture of one of my kids will go through my mind and it is always that one moment that they were there wanting to be trained and taught and loved and tended by their mother, but it is also nearly always one of those moments when I was too busy wanting something else.
I am thankful for my kids, more now than ever. Not because they are potty trained or because they are a bit older or more self sufficient or any such thing...... but because of what they have taught me about priorities and how time moves on with or without me. I am thankful for them because they want to learn and be taught and spend time with me even now that they are older. I'm thankful that my kids and I can spend time together and enjoy being together! It is rare these days even in Christian families for kids to share their honest opinions with their parents or for parents to want to get to know their kids for who they really are instead of who or what they want them to be ....... I'm so extra thankful that my kids and I have that kind of relationship! I'm thankful that they each have a heart for the Lord and that they each want to know HIM and serve HIM. I'm thankful that everyday each one of my kids is still my kid and that I caught myself in my selfishness and with the Lord's help got it right before I had sacrificed my kids to the worldly junk I was replacing myself to them with.
-My church. Words can never do justice to the gratitude I have in my heart for my church, my pastor and his family, and my church family!! It's a small church but from what I've seen that just leaves more room for God. It's not a fancy church in terms of the building or wealth or such as that, but you'll never find sweeter fellowship with the brethren or a more loving place to have it. I know that when we go there to worship and pray and fellowship that the preaching will be the truth ...... that all by itself is priceless and I would go to church in a dump before I would sit under the preaching of lies ever again!
I know that my church really and truly wants to get the gospel out, I've never seen such a small church support so many missions...... close but not quite and that is one of the most important things I have always looked at in a church. Those really huge churches that don't support missions infuriate me ...... you can have all the thrift stores and help pantries and pregnancy ministries you want but if you aren't getting the gospel out what good are they? I have zero patience for the churches that just hand out stuff to the poor and homeless and drugged up and wayward without considering the need for salvation that the world has today. Every time I go into our church building I see prayer letters from missionarys and prayer cards and I can't think of a week that has gone by that missions wasn't at least mentioned in the messages ...... I'm so glad for that!! We began attending this church during it's missions conference and were hooked when we saw how important getting the gospel out was to this church, the pastor and the people who attend.
*As a sidenote only because I thought it was interesting (and I still don't want to do my taxes)*. I was listening to a Lester Roloff tape the other day and he was talking about your tithes and offerings and said that you are responsible to the Lord for where that money is going ...... that simply writing your checks out to the church you attend doesn't get you off the hook because that is God's money not the building funds or the pregnancy center's or the church secretary's and you had a responsibility as a Christian to make certain that your tithes and offerings were spent to the glory of the Lord. Brother Roloff says that we should know how many missionaries our churches support and at what rate and whether or not we could do better by them. He also said that we ought to know at least a little bit about the financial standing of our church and it's needs as far as future building repairs or expansions, how the pastor and his needs are taken care of, how the needs of the church's outreach programs are met and so on. Personally, I've never felt like it was my business to know the church's business...... but then one of the church's that I was a member at before was a huge church and only the men were allowed to know any of the church's business. As a result of that you couldn't get the women to want to get involved in giving to missions or serving within the church at all ..... they just felt too disconnected and all they did was form "bible study groups" or "ministry groups" outside of the church. Another church that I was a member of gave all of it's offerings to missions, the pastor drew no pay (we couldn't get him to), the building was free and so was the land and all repairs etc were made by church members, the school was supported separately and so 100% of the offerings and tithes went to missions and all of that information was announced each Sunday morning for the prior week. *end of odd little side note with a thoughtful hmmmmm sound*
-My friends Yup, even a mean old woman like me has a few of those. I have been blessed to have made friends with people far older than I am and lots younger too. One of my oldest dearest friends in the world is edging up on 80 and I'm betting she takes it by surprise and conquers it just as well as she has the rest of her life! I also have friends who are barely into their 20s and I enjoy the perspective they put on life just as much as my older friends. The Lord has blessed me with friendships that have stayed strong even though I have moved so far away that I've not seen some of my closest friends for 4 or 5 years. My good friend Miss Willie tells me that a true friend is someone who loves you even when you disagree with them, prays for you without feeling the need to tell you that they did it, and hugs you even when you have been working outside all day long and smell like a cow's foot! I've not always been the best friend in return to the good friends that I have in this world but they love me anyways....... and I can't thank the Lord for them enough!!
I'm also thankful for my critters, my computer, my telephone and all sorts of other things but my hubby is calling and I know he wants me to finish the taxes so that's all for now! I pray that all of you have a wonderful day!