Coronavirus · gratitude · salvation

Why Coronavirus Inconsistencies Make Me Grateful

I think I’ve shaken my head out of confusion and disbelief more in the last few months than in my entire life.

The reason?

Inconsistency.

It’s centered around the Coronavirus, of course (because isn’t everything these days?).

  • You may not sit inside…Of course we serve inside but you may not sit outside!
  • Only half capacity in store…Only 7% in stadium!
  • Church may not meet…Half the building may be full.
  • Masks are required at all times by everyone…Most of the staff have masks pushed down below their nose.
  • No one may stay overnight at the hospital with a patient…We can make allowances for you to stay.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. It’s not as much what we have to do, but how inconsistent all the rules are that make this a season of frustration and confusion.

This frustration made me sit recently and think about how thankful I am that my salvation is rock solid. It is all based on Christ Who never changes and on His Word that is forever true! I never have to wonder if He has changed His mind or if there have been new guidelines added as to how to get to heaven! It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Realize I’m a sinner on my way to hell.
  2. Understand that Christ took my place on the cross to reconcile me to God.
  3. Accept Christ as my personal Savior.

All that will never change. Why?

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

What peace that truth gives! My daily life goes on with a grateful heart. Christ lifted the rules (the law) and saves us by grace!! How blessed we are!

So in reality, I can be thankful for the inconsistencies because it makes me realize once again what a wonderful gift my salvation truly is!

I’m done ranting about the Coronavirus…until I start ranting again. Just kidding. I really am asking the Lord to help me to remember the grace-filled life I get to enjoy for ETERNITY and be thankful instead!

Maybe this reminder will give each of us something to share with others when we start to shake our head again. The world needs to know of our Savior Who is ALWAYS full of grace, and that never changes!

gratitude · summertime

Pictures of Summer

Perhaps you’ve heard the line, “When this you see, think of me.” What do you see that automatically takes you to summer? Maybe it’s the 100 degrees on the thermometer outside your window accompanied by 100% humidity, but I mean the good pictures, the things that make your heart happy!

It IS hot right now, but there are too many good things we can’t overlook. I’m asking the Lord to give me a heart of thanks in both this season of the year and in our world. That means we need eyes that look for the blessings and a mouth to speak it.

So here are a few of my summer blessings in picture form today!

Flowers!
Summer chalkboard drawings
Homemade ice cream!
Morning walks in the country

What blessings of summer are you seeing with your thankful heart today?

Refresh your attitude by choosing to give thanks – even when it’s hot as blazes!

Encouragement · gratitude · Refreshment

(Some of) The Best Parts of My Week

I have tried really hard to keep a good attitude during these days at home.  I LOVE home and enjoy being here…but I must admit that the rainy, cold days have tried me.  One day I almost sent a text complaining about the rain, but then as the Spirit of God reminded me that it was sent from God’s hand, I wrote, “These rainy days are making me really thankful for the days when the sun shines!”

To help with keeping a right attitude, I have kept a list in my Happy Planner every day for the last several weeks of the blessings in the day.  They’re not big things, but just things that encouraged me or made me smile!  I’ll share some of the pictures of those things with you today as I did last Friday.

The sweetest gift – My husband has brought home two bouquets of flowers this week when he’s dashed into Kroger for cream or produce.  We love to check out their marked down bouquets.  Let’s face it, a bunch of fresh flowers just perk up an otherwise dreary day! He’s quite a guy to be so thoughtful.  Continue reading “(Some of) The Best Parts of My Week”

gratitude · Prayer

I Prayed For Healing

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Here I sit in my quiet space while the fire and my Christmas tree are lit before me.  The glow that is emitted from them both doesn’t compare to what is radiating from my heart this night.  The overflowing emotion that has spilled out in a torrent of joyful tears in the past week is Gratitude.

Perhaps you’ve followed along here with the news that my mom was to have major surgery the day before Thanksgiving.  I didn’t share any details beforehand, but now that it’s behind us, I must share the background story so you’ll get a glimpse into the reason for my grateful heart.

In late September, my mom had Colitis that sent her to the emergency room.  While doing a scan, a mass was found.  A biopsy was taken at that time.  A couple weeks later I went with her to two appointments where the doctors dismissed the colon issues and were very somber about the mass.  The biopsy had come back inconclusive, leaving them very concerned about this softball-sized tumor.  The next step was an appointment set for her at a cancer center for a consultation.

Hearing the words “Mass” and “Cancer” is enough to make anyone quiver, and I felt my own emotions shaking like the  leaves that were hanging from the tree branches on that autumn day.  However, my mom was confident and calm, resting in a sovereign God who has her life – and her death, in His hands.  Peace emanated from her life and reminded me of Philippians 4:7 – “the peace that passes understanding.”

The oncologist told her the mass must be removed, spite her age. He explained that both ovaries would also be removed.  He went on to say that this is a tough surgery for any woman, and would be especially so for my mom, a woman in her early 80’s, but that he felt she was strong enough to endure it.  A surgery date was set for early November, but after several “events” happened with her, the date was set back to the 27th.  She would be in the hospital seven days, and possible rehab after that.  Now we had two months to think about this. 

Two months to wonder what the mass was. 

But also two months to PRAY for God to intervene.

I say this, not from pride, but as a testimony to my great God – the Lord would stir me in the middle of the night and I would feel so compelled to go to my place of prayer and pray.  I poured out my heart before Him as Scripture compels us to do.  I admitted that I was fearful.  I would have to confess my worry.  Then I also rehearsed some verses on prayer that I read, such as ~

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

I prayed for a miracle.  I knew that every doctor was sure it was cancer, but I began pleading with the Lord to remove it, knowing that “nothing is too hard for Him!” I know that God hears the cry of His children and is very near in a time of trouble.  These verses are reminders that a person’s healing won’t always be here on this earth – God may choose to “deliver us from our trouble” by taking us home. Ultimate healing is promised every believer, but sometimes God heals here.  We see that evidenced over and over in God’s Word.  That was the answer for which I was praying. I’m leaving out so much as to why I was asking God for that, but it wasn’t just my own love for her…God knows the deeper reasons. I was also seriously asking for God’s will because I know that what He chooses to do is always what is best.  I knew that I could trust Him with the outcome.

Then came the surgery day.  While my mom was away with the medical staff, my family was gathered in the waiting area.  We stopped to pray in the middle of the surgery.

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After a two-hours in the operating room, the doctor came into the consultation room to comfort us with the news that she had done well during surgery and that they removed the mass and the ovaries…and that the mass was

BENIGN.

Benign!

No cancer!

We rejoiced and then we stopped to pray and thank God for His touch in her life.

That night after I returned to my parents home, I found a place to bow on my knees before the Lord to give Him thanks in private.  This is how I had come to Him over and over again in those two months.  I would be remiss not to do the same in order to thank Him for hearing my prayers.  I am nothing.  He is everything.

I acknowledge Him – my omnipotent God for His gracious kindness towards us. If God had allowed the cancer, He would still be good.  One day each of our lives will end and He knows when that time will be.  But for now, I know that He has ordained that my mom be given more days to serve Him and love Him.

He’s given me this day to praise Him, and I will!

The seven day hospital stay was a mere four day stay, and no rehab afterwards!  She was home Saturday night and has been recovering remarkably well, again, all because of a powerful God!

Through this whole trial, I have come to a greater love and longing for prayer.  How can I live one day without communing with God, sharing my heart, giving Him my burdens and watching what He can do? Oh, may I never forget the blessing of watching Him do the exceeding things that only He can do, all because we prayed.

Let me end by thanking many of my dear readers here who were praying for my mom’s surgery.  How that touched my heart!

Next week I’m going to address the subject that may be on your heart as you read this post – What About When God Doesn’t Answer Our Prayers?  

With a grateful heart,

denise a

gratitude · Thanksgiving

Cultivating a Thankful Heart

Fall Online Courses

It was Saturday afternoon and I drove into the city to the local rehabilitation center.  Two church members are there recovering and I was going to visit and remind them of our love for them and prayers on their behalf.  After spending time with both patients, I walked out into the sun-filled day, very aware of the blessing of using my two legs to Continue reading “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”