For such a time as this: finding stability in an unstable world

As a kid, I remember after a long day of playing outside, I came in and turned on the TV. Flipping through our three channels, I came across a black-and-white re-run of The Twilight Zone. Intrigued, I watched it for a few minutes. While it never became my “cup of tea” to watch continuously due to the fact I’m not a sci-fi/fantasy fan (although 3 out of 4 Zellers are) and I watch, read, and write only stories with happy endings, the show stuck with me.

All these years later, it feels as though we have stepped into the Twilight Zone. Things are just bizarre. It leaves me wanting to change the channel.

Things are scary right now. Our nation is in turmoil, a crisis that leaves (if we’re honest) even the most faithful with a moment or two of uncertainty.  When we return our focus to Him, we are reminded of a few key things:

God is bigger than all of this. Bigger than nefarious evildoers, communism, socialism, hatefulness, division, wars, diseases, illnesses, viruses, and all the other truly frightening things in this world. And He always walks with us through those daunting times.

He was not caught off guard. God wasn’t asleep or having afternoon tea on the patio when these frightening events began to unfold. To the contrary, He knows all that has occurred and will occur throughout history.

We are here for such a time as this. Just as Esther was placed in her role to help her people, we are placed in our role at this precise time in history. Sure. I think it might be neat to have lived in the late 1800s/early 1900s, or another time period, but that’s not where God has placed me. Or you. We are here through Divine appointment. He never makes a mistake or bemoans the fact that He allowed us to be born when we were born, rather than 10 years, 100 years, or even 1,000 years earlier.

Jesus gave His life for us. Time may be short, or He may tarry for another 400 years. No one knows except God. But before He returns, we have our work cut out for us in the here and now. To tell others about the saving faith found only in Jesus Christ and the eternal life they can have when they put their faith and trust in Him. To love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yes, even those challenging “neighbors”.

We need to be an encouragement to each other. In the past couple of weeks, I have seen some discouraging folks out and about bringing others down, rather than building them up. Instead of spewing hateful rhetoric or division, let’s rally around each other and support each other. And never, ever forget how important fellowship is (Hebrews 10:25).

He is our Protector and our Refuge. Seek Him and rest in Him.

There is a happy ending. For those of us in Christ, it ends well. I’m personally not keen on what may be an arduous and troublesome journey between here and the end when I see my Savior face-to-face, but as Christians, He promises to go before us, be with us through the journey, and to carry us safely home when our time on this earth is done. Hopefully, that’s decades away for all of us, but we do have that reassurance that this story has a happy ending.

So, my friends, hang in there. Keep your focus on Christ and know that if He is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?

Other posts on this blog that may interest you:

13 verses to comfort the weary soul

13 ways to help someone going through a rough time

10 ways to help your kids choose good role models

who are you behind the screen?

the importance of gratitude

Movie Monday: Indivisible

28 verses for uncertain times

Life can be a road of uncertainty. Current events have been a definite testament to how things can change in an instant. Fear and discouragement can easily envelop us and take up residence in our lives, even with our best efforts. Thankfully we don’t have to navigate these unsettling times alone.

Amidst the anxiety and fear that grips us during these uncertain times, we must keep our focus on the only One who can give us peace and comfort when all seems lost. The only one – our Savior – who is our true refuge in these turbulent days. Pray for our nation. For each other. For truth and justice to prevail. And remember, for those of us in Christ, this is not our home.

In this installment of The Scripture Series, be encouraged by the following 28 verses found in the precious pages of Scripture. They are the Lord’s promises that we are never alone, that He goes before us, that He is our shield and our comfort.

Other posts in The Scripture Series that may interest you

12 verses to encourage the burdened heart

11 verses about God’s unfailing love

10 Bible verses to start off your day

13 verses to comfort the weary soul

scriptural antidotes for fear

11 ways to be kinder in 2021

Every year when New Year’s Day arrives, we make resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat healthier. Stick to a budget. Declutter.

These are all excellent resolutions, but what if this year, we resolved to be kinder? More giving? More gracious? Less rude and impatient? Not so quick-on-the-draw to find fault in someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with us? Less inclined to make others feel they have to align with our standards if we’re going to like them.

It doesn’t mean compromising our faith and values, but rather to respectfully disagree.

This year has been a rough one for everyone, but unfortunately, instead of pulling together in unity, the opposite has occurred in many cases. It seems people are angrier and less inclined to give others the benefit of the doubt. Less likely to show grace. Quicker to assume the worst of someone. Abruptly forgetting that it’s all right to agree to disagree.

In addition, this past year brought in a litany of things to add to our growing list of why we are divided as a nation, as a church, even as friends and family. We’ve witnessed friendships end, families in dispute, churches divided, and a nation in turmoil.

Having our own opinions isn’t wrong, as a matter of fact, it’s a good thing and a testament to the creativity of our Creator. He made us each different with different longings, different ideas, and different ways of seeing things. Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all had the same thoughts on every topic? If we all had the same hopes and dreams?

So this year, in addition to our regular New Year’s resolutions, what if we made it a goal to be kinder? Here are 11 ways to do just that.

  • Give people the benefit of the doubt.
  • Offer a genuine smile. Smiling not only benefits others, but also, according to Benefits Bridge, benefits you by improving your mood, enhancing your immune system, and reducing blood pressure.
  • Offer ample appreciation and encouragement.
  • See a need and fill it.
  • Dedicate yourself to praying for others often, even your enemies. (Matthew 5:44).
  • Be generous with forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22)
  • Offer grace, especially when it’s undeserved.
  • Be humble and put others first.
  • Agree to disagree, and do so with respect.
  • Be honest.
  • And most importantly, tell someone about Jesus and make an eternal impact in their lives.

We don’t have to align ourselves with a culture that is harsh, angry, and divided. We can choose to be kind and gracious, even to those with whom we strongly disagree.

May this year’s New Year’s Resolution be one of kindness.

Other posts on this blog you may enjoy:

The importance of respectful disagreement

13 verses to comfort the weary soul

6 ways to stick with homeschooling when you want to give up

6 ways to encourage other moms

20 upbeat songs to encourage you

58 fun activities for kids of all ages

5 ways to be happier

5 ways to start your day off right

Movie Monday: Hailey Dean 3-film collection

what to stock up on this winter

the importance of Christmas

The importance of Christmas

One of my favorite modern Christmas songs is This is Christmas by Kutless.  The words in the chorus are thought-provoking and profound:

What is Christmas?
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
What is Christmas without Christ?

Indeed. What if a Baby, who would grow to be the Savior of mankind, was never born?

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For one, we would definitely not have the Christmas holiday. There would be nothing to celebrate.

I, for one, love the whole idea of Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, my husband gets a calorie-burning workout hauling the numerous bins of decorations from our Christmas closet up the stairs. He then heads outside to set up “Wally and Eva,” our two laser light devices that shine brightly all over the front of our house and garage.

There is joy in shopping for presents for my family and mailing packages to my extended family in several different states. The delight my daughters and I find in baking delicious goodies for our neighbors and close friends and delivering them a few weeks in advance is an event we look forward to each year.

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And don’t even get me started on Christmas music. Let’s just say my Christmas playlist somehow mysteriously (or not so mysteriously) found its way into playing two days before Thanksgiving. Nope, I just couldn’t wait. And I seemed to run even farther and faster on the treadmill while listening to that Christmas playlist.

All of those things in and of themselves are fine. It’s when we replace the real meaning of Christmas with temporary things – and put our focus solely on those things – that we find ourselves in error.

Anything can become an idol – anything that we make more important than God. Can Christmas presents, decorations, food, tinsel, and laser lights become idols?

Absolutely.

Especially presents.

Or add in the busyness of this time of year. The pressure to live up to expectations to create the holiday a certain way for others, as well as ourselves, can become a stress-fest.

Or the debt that we manage to accumulate while finding all those perfect presents for everyone on our gift list.

Do we even remember – and take time to realize – that the perfect present is right before us? The gift of eternal life. Something that will far outlast anything in our temporary world.

So I’m reminding myself this year that it is all about the Savior that was born in the manger. It is all about that Baby that was born on earth and grew to be a man who would give His life for all mankind. A brutal death with the sins of the world on His back, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice.

For me.

For you.

For us all.

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This holiday season, let’s make Christ the ultimate reason we celebrate.  Let’s place Him in His rightful place of importance. Ahead of the trees, the food, the presents, the Christmas music, and the laser lights.

And let’s do more than celebrate Him. Let’s show our gratitude for what He has done for us. Not just on December 25, but on every day of the year.


Other blog posts on this blog you may be interested in reading:

8 great Christmas gift ideas for wives

Thankful for the small things…

All Things Christmas: Favorite Movies of the Season

All things Christmas: favorite songs of the season

14 things for girls to consider before dating

15 verses for strength in challenging times

the importance of respectful disagreement

All things Christmas: Favorite Christmas Memories

Today is our final installment of All Things Christmas. It has been a lot of fun joining my daughter from Madi’s Musings and sharing all things Christmas. Madi has a fascinating and fun post this week about Christmas around the world. You’ll want to pop on over and see some interesting traditions that our friends across the globe do to celebrate Christmas.

On my blog, I’m discussing favorite Christmas memories. I reached out to friends and asked them about their favorite Christmas memories. Here are their responses:

Christmas 1969, I was five and my brother was eight. We got up on Christmas morning to see if Santa had paid us a visit and we were not disappointed!After opening all the gifts, my dad and my seventeen-year-old cousin, who was staying with us, told my brother and me to get dressed; they had seen something outside in the snow and thought we might want to see it too.Out in the front yard in the pristine snow were the tracks of a sleigh, numerous tiny hoof prints, and boot prints going to and from the house! (we didn’t have a fireplace, but we did have a front door that opened into the living room where the Christmas tree was located!!!)In 2005 at a family reunion, my cousin sat down next to me and asked, “Do you remember Christmas 1969?” To which I said, “Yes and I don’t want to know!”He got up and walked away laughing!That was nearly fifty-one years ago and I still believe!!!! ~ Jordan M.

It’s impossible to choose. One tradition I fondly remember is “lighting”, where we’d drive around town looking at Christmas lights before voting on which house we liked best. ~ Madi Z.

I remember when I was 8, the first Christmas after my dad had left my mom, it was a lean time for my mom. A local toy drive left toys on our porch Christmas morning. I got a Little Red Riding Hood doll and a clown music jewelry box. I have never forgotten that and after I got married, I have always bought toys for the local toy drives. That was 39 years ago and one of the few toys I specifically remember. ~ Missy S.

I have two favorite memories. One was the year I received a new red bike. The other was the last year my extended family and I were able to spend Christmas together before they moved. ~ Lizzie T.

My favorite Christmas memory isn’t of just one particular year. My favorite memory is all the years my mom and I would spend several hours making cookies for all the neighbors, co-workers (hers), mailman, garbage men and who ever else. It has been over 20 years since we’ve done that. I have all her recipes and tried doing it on my own but it’s not the same. ~ Angel M.

My Grandfathers last Christmas, he wasn’t predicted to make it that long. So the joy and gratefulness of all of us being able to share that moment. It was never somber just a day of love and remembering and he had this burst of health and didn’t feel sick or look as if he was passing on. It was awesome. I am about to celebrate my grandbabbies first Christmas and it makes me think of that circle. ~ Michele J.

Memories are priceless.

Christmas memories…those precious times spent celebrating our Savior’s birth with family and friends. I was thinking about my own favorite memories yesterday and couldn’t narrow it down to just one. There were those times growing up when we crowded around a huge long table at my grandma (Nanie’s) house with all of our relatives. Sneaking Christmas cookies that tempted us from their place on the table before dinner was a highlight. Nanie brought out the “reserve” silverware – ancient mismatched spoons, forks, and knives that hadn’t seen the light of day since the prior year. I would be remiss if I forgot to mention the large homemade welded stocking holder (an ugly metal monstrosity) my grandpa (Papa) made to hold the 23 stockings. Nanie and Papa’s house was very small (a one bedroom/one bath) with limited seating, and it didn’t matter that it was always 150 degrees in the middle of a cold western winter. The important thing was that we were all together.

Fast forward to the more recent precious years of spending Christmas with our own daughters. No longer living near Nanie and Papa, we have made our own traditions. Christmas Eve service, remembering the true reason we celebrate Christmas, the hum of Christmas music playing throughout the day, and lights glowing on the tree and wrapped around the railing create an image I treasure. We open gifts after a treasure hunt designed lovingly each year for our girls.

We never quite get around to breakfast because we feast on goodies beneath the tree that we all surprise each other with. Not a healthy tradition, but a fun one nonetheless, and a precursor to our delicious Christmas dinner with ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and of course, pumpkin pie. And let’s not forget the “trick” gifts that find their way beneath the tree each year.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Join me tomorrow for my post about the importance of Christmas.

Other All Things Christmas posts you may enjoy:

All Things Christmas: Movies of the Season

All Things Christmas: Christmas Around the World

All Things Christmas: Favorite Songs of the Season

All Things Christmas: Gifts for the Bookworm in Your Life

All Things Christmas: Book Ideas for Christmas Gifts

All Things Christmas: Favorite Movies of the Season

We’re well on our way with our All Things Christmas series, where I’m joining book reviewer (and my daughter!) Madi’s Musings for some highlights of favorite books, movies, and music for the holiday season. This week, I’m showcasing some of my family’s favorite Christmas movies (many of which we watch each year), while Madi’s Musings will be sharing delightful gift ideas for the bookworm in your life.

What’s the Christmas season without snuggling under a blanket in your favorite recliner and munching on popcorn while watching your favorite Christmas movie? Add a steaming cup of hot chocolate with puffy marshmallows and a peppermint stick, and you have the perfect setup.

Here, in no particular order, are my picks for favorite movies to enjoy not only for the Christmas season, but all year round.

*Disclaimer: Please excuse the crazy formatting and size variations for this post. For some reason, WordPress was not cooperating with my plans. 🙂


The Nativity Story
Beautifully produced, realistic, and touching, The Nativity Story reminds us of what Christmas is all about.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
It just doesn’t get any better than timeless Charlie Brown classics! Another one we watch every year, A Charlie Brown Christmas is, for the first time, no longer available on network television. But thankfully it is available for purchase and streaming.

The Christmas Cure
Love this family-oriented story with plenty of humor, love, and some dramatic moments. You can find my full review here.

The Christmas Card
Sweet romance movies just really doesn’t get any better than this. Check out my full synopsis and movie review here.

Christmas Angel
As always, Della Reese provides a command performance in this delightful story of friendship. Add a touch of romance between characters played by phenomenal actors Kevin Sorbo and Terri Polo and you’ve got a must-watch for the entire family.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
A touching must-see movie about how reaching out to others can make a difference. For my full movie review, go here.

Wish for Christmas
When a high school girls makes a wish, she has no idea that it’s going to change everything – and not for the better. A mix of humor and drama, this also includes a great lesson of putting others before ourselves and a great one to watch with teens.

Christmas Oranges
A wonderful story for young and old viewers alike. For my full movie review, go here.

Broadcasting Christmas
A fun story about how competition can lead to love.

Silver Bells
A story with a great lesson about the true meaning of Christmas. For my full movie review, go here.

Silver Bells
One of my absolute favorite Hallmark Hall of Fame Movies, Silver Bells is a classic true love story about second chances.

A Dog Named Christmas
A heartwarming movie for all, but especially those who love dogs.

Christmas With Tucker
Another heartwarming movie highlighting family bonds and a special dog.

The Angel Doll
A little girl with polio and a caring big brother set on making his sister’s Christmas special.

Dashing Through the Snow
Looking for a relaxing evening with a romantic comedy? This one is a must-watch.

Switched for Christmas
When two sisters who are completely opposite with completely opposite goals in their lives switch things up for Christmas, what could possibly go wrong? For my full review, go here.

The Christmas Ornament
A beautiful love story about second chances.

For more family movies, please check out my extensive Mom-Approved Movies Listing on this blog. Now, hop on over to Madi’s Musings for some awesome gift suggestions for that bookworm in your life.

Merry Christmas!

All things Christmas: favorite songs of the season

For the next couple of weeks, I will be joining Madi at Madi’s Musings for our All Things Christmas blog celebration. We’ll be highlighting favorite songs, books, movies, and more.

Our first installment features the best songs of the season. Perfect for any playlist, these awesome songs (in no particular order!) are a mesh of classics and newer sounds all designed to put us in the Christmas spirit.

Enjoy!

Joy to the World – Lincoln Brewster

Light of Christmas – Owl City (Featuring TobyMac)

Winter Wonderland – Newsboys

This is Christmas – Kutless

Best Christmas Ever – Newsong

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Mikeschair

Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Rend Collective

Gloria – MercyMe

Angels We Have Heard on High – Reliant K

Born is the King It’s Christmas – Phillips, Craig & Dean

What Child is This – Building 429

Silent Night – NeedtoBreathe

Redemption – Mikeschair

Hark the Herald Angels Sing – LIncoln Brewster

We Three Kings – Building 429

Go Tell it on the Mountain – All Things New

Suddenly – Phillips, Craig & Dean

Mary Did You Know – Kutless (my personal absolute favorite rendition)

Joy – Selah

Little Drummer Boy – Lincoln Brewster (featuring KJ-52)

All I Need for Christmas – TobyMac (featuring Terrian)

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – MercyMe

Jingle Bell Rock – Jeremy Camp

Oh What a Glorious Night – Sidewalk Prophets

Jingle Bells – Colton Dixon

All I Want for Christmas is You – Newsboys

12 Days of Christmas – Reliant K

He Shall Reign Forevermore – Chris Tomlin

Offering (Christmas Version) – Paul Baloche

Little Drummer Boy – For King & Country

Christmas Like a Child – Third Day

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve / Sarajevo

Oh Come, O Come Emmanuel – Phillips, Craig & Dean

Holly Jolly Christmas – Group 1 Crew

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Join us for the second installment of All Things Christmas at Madi’s Musings as Madi gives us a list of Book Ideas for Christmas Gifts. You’ll want to check it out for the perfect gift for that booklover in your life.

And next week, join me here on my blog for a list of the best Christmas movies.

8 great Christmas gift ideas for wives

8 Christmas gifts for wives

It’s the all important question that has perplexed husbands for centuries…what do you get for your wife for Christmas? Here are eight excellent (in no particular order) ideas of things for all budgets that she’ll love:

1. A massage. The benefits of massage are numerous. It relaxes sore muscles, assists in stress relief, rounds out a fitness program, and improves the quality of life for those with diseases. Nearly every person can benefit from a massage.

2.  A book. Does your wife have a favorite author? Has she been eyeballing a book at the bookstore? I couldn’t not suggest a book since I’m an author myself! If your wife loves to read, but you’re not sure what book she’d like, a gift certificate from a local or online bookstore would be a great gift.

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3. A month’s worth of housecleaning. What woman wouldn’t love a break from housecleaning if only for a month? Why not hire a cleaning service to come in for a month and lighten your wife’s load? Trust me, she’ll appreciate this, and it will for sure earn you  “husband points!”

4. A vacation…just the two of you. No, it doesn’t have to be a 7-day vacation to an all-inclusive island resort, although that would be nice (Lon, if you’re reading this, hint hint!) A weekend getaway at a bed and breakfast works too. Ask a family member or friend to take care of the kids, before sweeping your wife off  her feet by planning a getaway for just the two of you. Be sure to plan this  ahead of time and have the date set in stone, as life gets busy. You don’t want her Christmas gift to get forgotten.

5. Purchase a pamper kit. Choose a day and declare it your wife’s pamper day. She will be ushered first to the salon for a manicure or to have her hair done. Second, she will be treated to a no-interruptions bubble bath. That means that if you have small children, take them out for a Daddy Day while your wife relaxes. Third, she heads to the massage therapist for a much-needed massage (see #1). Fourth, take her out to a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant. Pull this off and I guarantee your Christmas will be very merry!

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So, what if you’re short on cash during these strained economic times? Check out these economical suggestions that can mean so much:

6. A coupon book. You may have heard of this before…it’s a homemade coupon book full of kind things to do for your wife.  Cleaning her car inside and out would be a kind gesture, especially if the constant hauling around of children and pets has left the floor in your minivan stained and dirty. Offer to check her oil, check the tires, fill it full of gas, and wash the outside as well. Other suggestions can range from lovey-dovey romance coupons to thoughtful items (use your imagination here, guys!) There is no expiration date, and perhaps some coupons can be used more than once!

7. A promise to grow in your walk with the Lord together. Offer to pray with her and study the Word together. Plan, on a weekly basis, to put the Lord as the top priority in your marriage and watch how He changes you both for the better!

8. Renew your wedding vows. Have you been married any length of time? How about a renewing of your wedding vows? It doesn’t have to be fancy. Enlist your pastor’s help and have a small wedding where you rededicate your lives to each other.

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There you have it! Now hurry…you only have a few more shopping days left! Oh, and Merry Christmas!

 


13 verses to comfort the weary soul

Every person you see, whether the grandma at the grocery store, the elderly man at the doctor’s office, the young couple at the restaurant, or the teenager on the bike path – everyone has a struggle. Even if it’s not visible from the pasted smile they offer as you pass.

This year especially has promoted a deep sense of weariness, a fatigue and longstanding exhaustion that leaves our souls longing for comfort. For peace. For relief from the burdens that weigh heavily upon us.

But there is a cure for that weariness. A cure for that burden that bows our shoulders and tempts us to forget the One who can offer that cure.

God’s love is most importantly revealed through His Son’s sacrifice on the Cross so we could have eternal life. His promises are written within the pages of His Word. He knew we would be weary travelers through this life and He offers us this hope and reassures us that we can have peace in Him and that we never walk alone.

Below are 13 verses to comfort the weary soul.

Other posts on this blog that may interest you:

the importance of living out your faith

thankful for the small things

10 ways to help your kids choose good role models

11 verses about God’s unfailing love

the great toilet paper caper

5 ways to jumpstart your writing project

4 ways to reconnect with your spouse

mom-approved movies listing

Thankful for the small things…

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is upon us. Christians everywhere will be giving thanks to the Lord for His goodness, His protection, and His Sacrifice on the Cross so we could have eternal life.

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As I reflect on the past year, I think of the many things I am grateful for – Jesus Christ as my Savior, my husband, my daughters, extended family, friends, health, home, and employment. Sometimes, though, we only think of the “big” things we are thankful for like those things I mentioned above.

What about the seemingly “small” things we are thankful for that we sometimes overlook? Below are a few that came to my mind in no particular order:

I’m thankful for water. According to World Vision, “Globally, 844 million people lack access to clean water”. How many times do we go to the faucet and grab a glass of water without giving it a second thought? Praise God that when we are thirsty, that thirst can be easily quenched.

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I’m thankful I can breathe. According to WebMD, millions of Americans have breathing problems, including asthma, allergies, COPD, and lung disease. This hits home, as multiple people in my family struggle with lung and breathing problems. How many times do we take it for granted that we can easily take a breath? That we can breathe freely and uninhibited?

I’m thankful for the ability to read. According to uis.unesco.org, “Despite the steady rise in literacy rates over the past 50 years, there are still 773 million illiterate adults around the world, most of whom are women”. Whether they were never taught or suffer from a learning disability, there are a high number of people who cannot read. Yet, I read things every day and don’t give it a second thought that some people don’t have that ability.

I’m thankful for those who risk their lives each day to bring the Good News to those around the world. We in the United States so far face minimal persecution when it comes to sharing our love for Jesus. Our missionaries in other nations are not so fortunate. As I read The Voice of the Martyrs website, my eyes were opened to the sacrifices our Christian brothers and sisters make each day to share the hope of eternal life with the lost around the world.

I’m thankful for food to eat. A couple of years ago, my husband and I were both diagnosed with multiple food allergies. At times, it can be a challenge to find things to eat, especially at restaurants. Yet, so many people in the U.S. and around the world have no food to eat – at all. They would love to only have allergies to a handful of foods – if it meant they had food.dinner

I’m thankful I haven’t been involved in a devastating hurricane, earthquake, or tornado. Several years ago, we suffered severe exterior damage to our home and vehicles during a bad hail storm. When we returned home from our vacation, our yard looked as though it had suffered a major catastrophe. Tree limbs were everywhere, our garden and fence were ruined, the new siding and roof on our house destroyed, and two of our vehicles totaled.

A few days after the hail storm, our church was seeking volunteers to assist with the devastation caused by a deadly tornado in the southern part of the country. As our family discussed being a part of this outreach, I was overcome with gratefulness and humility that it was only a relatively minor hailstorm we were dealing with and not a horrific storm where lives had been lost.

I’m thankful for dirty dishes. Yes, you read that right. I know, most people wouldn’t say “thanks” for the sinkful of food-corroded crusty dishes from last night’s dinner. However, I am thankful because if I didn’t have those dirty dishes, I wouldn’t have had food to feed my family. Same goes for dirty laundry. While it may not be my favorite task, I’m thankful we have clothes to wear, and therefore, clothes that get dirty.

I’m thankful for my church family. Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to belong to the Body of Christ and how thankful I am that I can walk through the doors of my church and learn about the Lord and share fellowship with other Believers. What is also amazing are the connections made through social media with Believers around the world. I have a prayer ministry on Twitter that allows me to pray for my brothers and sisters across multiple continents in their time of need.

We need each other. We need fellowship. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us just how important meeting together is and that we need to continue doing so. First Thessalonians 5:11 says it well, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”. We are to come alongside each other, assist each other through difficult seasons, and pray for one another.

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I’m thankful I can see and hear. As I sit typing this, my girls are in the kitchen laughing about something. Thank You, Father, that I can hear their joy! I’m thankful for sight too – the snow-capped mountains in the distance and the puffy white clouds in the sky are such a testament to His Creation. I’m also thankful that the Lord opened my eyes to see my need for Him!

That’s a shortened version of “small” things I’m thankful for. As I look back on my list, I realize they’re not “small” things at all, but big and important things.

What are you thankful for?

From my family to yours…Happy Thanksgiving!

Other posts on this blog that may interest you:

15 verses for strength in challenging times

every life if valuable

who are you behind the screen?

the importance of teaching our kids to think for themselves

12 verses to encourage the burdened heart

scriptural antidotes for fear

Movie Monday: Run the Race

Movie Monday: Beautifully Broken