Thanksgiving Blessings

rbtc-sealThanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

It’s a great time to reflect on the blessings of being in Christ—He’s given us everything!—and to recall all the ways His hand is moving in our lives.

Did I mention that turkey and dressing is one of my most favorite meals?

There’s nothing like a good pan of dressing (or stuffing as it is known by my friends above the Mason-Dixon Line) to make the heart happy.

And while I am thrilled that my family is invading Broken Arrow to visit me, I was reminded that many of my fellow Rhema classmates will not be sitting around the dinner table with their natural family.

The good news, though, is that no one will be alone because the Rhema family is huge—and worldwide!

Many graduates add extra dinner plates to their tables.

Many current students bring a passel of people home with them for the week.

I’m reminded of the words of Jesus in Mark 10:29-30:

Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

I am so thankful for the friendships that are burgeoning this school year!

My more extroverted personality makes me a social butterfly, so leaving the place where my roots run deepest was a challenge for me.

Jesus’ promise, however, remains a source of constant comfort and encouragement.

I have sat around numerous tables with new friends, both students and alumni, since moving to Oklahoma. Every single person has told me the same thing:

If you ever need anything—and I mean anything—do not hesitate to call.

This one statement illustrates the Rhema family at its best. And it’s one of the many reasons I give thanks for Rhema Bible Training College.

Farewell to 25

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new adventure–Year 26.

I’ve already shared my goals with you, so now I just want to recap what happened last year:

  • I was working as an office manager
  • Serving the deaf at 2 churches and a school
  • Making the decision to leave Alabama again to head out to Rhema
  • Falling in love with missions
  • Writing for this blog everyday
  • My heart was steadily being changed by this radical notion that following Jesus was never meant to be a Sunday only affair 

I am so blessed and humbled by everything that happened which brought me to right here, sitting on my couch, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. 

25, you’ve been good to me. Now it’s time to start out on my next adventure. 

Shifting my perspective

I can’t imagine receiving manna from heaven and complaining.

Lord, we’ve been eating manna FOREVER! Can we have some lunch meat, please? And send down a jar of mayo while you’re at it…this bread is so dry! 

Okay, so I’m paraphrasing the children of Israel, but you see the point. 

My thoughts go to impoverished countries where they literally eat the same thing every day and are thankful. Variety is not important to them; having food at all, no matter if it is the same thing, is what’s important.

A little bit of perspective goes a long way in our consumerist society.

Last night I ate a dinner that was entirely provided–minus the butter and onions–by friends who blessed me with fresh eggs, cheese, bread, and herbs.

Wow. Talk about being spoiled…

Each bite was a sweet reminder that God’s given me some great friends and friends who are generous at that.

It also reminded me of our brothers and sisters around the world who don’t have access to food as readily as I do. Some of those brothers and sisters live in my backyard.

They are the chronically homeless.

They are the families who live paycheck to paycheck.

They are recovering drug addicts.

They are down on their luck war veterans.

They are the disabled who just need some help.

I am hanging out with my neighbors each Thursday and my perspective changes as I see what true struggle looks like.

My friend, you and I are blessed.

And it’s not about having all the coolest toys or the latest and greatest clothes. It’s not even about making the most money. 

My perspective on what it means to be blessed is changing.

 

 

Reminders of love

I’ve received several blessings over the last few weeks.

These reminders of God’s love and faithfulness have brought me tremendous joy. 

  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • A piece of gum (given with a big hug)
  • Chocolate
  • A pen
  • Lunch 
  • A piece of cake

I am thankful for friends who are so thoughtful!

I am thankful to my Father who knows that my heart delights in fun reminders of encouragement. 

What reminders of God’s love have you recently received?

The Benefits of Slowing Down

There’s something magical about an evening at home. I like to putter around the house and put things away just so. 

Knowing that I have no time frame makes everything more enjoyable.  

I don’t even take my coffee to go much (only when absolutely necessary).

Coffee is a leisurely drink, one to be enjoyed slowly and to be savored with every sip. 

If I can’t sit down and eat my meal in peace, I’d rather wait. Eating in a hurry makes me sick. 

Of course, there are times when slowing down is not possible. I’m not delusional or rebellious when things must be hurried along. 

It’s just that life is hard to enjoy at lightening speed…

Why does everything have to move so fast?

As I putter around my little place, it’s nice to stand back and simply thank God for my blessings. 

  • My fridge is full. 
  • My bed is cozy. 
  • I have running water and that includes hot water, too. 

I can’t stop adding my blessings up! (But I will or else this will be a never ending post.)

Slow down. 

Walk around your house and property.

 Thank God for His abundant provision. 

Everyday blessings

3 Things I am thankful for:

  1. Good ideas. It’s cool to think that God gives His children creativity. Any time I have a good idea, I thank God for it. 
  2. Mac and Cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese and pasta? 
  3. Crossword Puzzles. This is brain candy for word nerds. Coming home and completing a few puzzles is one way I relax. 

It’s important to be thankful for everything–even the smallest enjoyments. 

Did you know God is interested in your life? 

Even the small, fun, unimportant preferences that are reflections of our personalities. 

He’s not necessarily interested in the weird, hokey way many people describe:

One day I was working a crossword puzzle and God said, “Stop. I want you to only do word searches!

This sounds crazy, but over-spiritualization is a common plague within the Christian community. 

God is interested because He simply loves you. His strongest desire is to be involved and invited into your everyday life. 

Praise God for His blessings–both big and small. 

Another successful move

I am now settled in at my new place! It’s a one room apartment about 5 miles east of Rhema. 

All of the details of this move–much like my original move out to Tulsa–have been taken care of by God. 

God’s faithfulness to provide is yet another clue to how much He loves me and wants me to trust Him. 

We all know this verse:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you. 

When you determine in your heart to follow God no matter what, He will take care of your every need. 

God’s provision is promised to us because He doesn’t want anything to distract us from our purpose:

Loving God and loving people. 

I look forward to opening up my home to others. God has blessed me so much and I want my home to be a safe, peaceful place full of God’s love.