My Grown-Up Thanksgiving List

I love the Christmas song My Grown-Up Christmas List in which the singer wishes for a better world, a much more sophisticated request to Santa than the selfish desires of her youth.

It got me thinking about my own list of things to be thankful for and how much that’s changed since MY youth.

Of course, family and friends remain at the top of my list.

As does God, but in a much more REAL way than the abstract Guy in the sky of my childhood. I no longer feel that “way up there” separation but feel Him next to me always.

But there are more things that I’m extremely grateful for, things I took for granted when I was younger:

  • Still having both of my parents with me (so many of my friends my age do not)
  • Having had the love, memories, and influence of four amazing grandparents that I know will be with me in Heaven one day
  • Growing up in an era that embraced God, community, and traditions
  • Growing up with parents and other relatives who loved me, spent time with me, never gave up on me, prayed for me, and made me who I am today
  • Living in a free country (you take it for granted until your liberties become threatened)
  • Friends that are willing to put forth the time and effort to sustain connections even though we are miles apart
  • The way God made me (intelligent with childlike wonder, slightly weird, extremely compassionate, creative, loyal, loving, passionate)
  • The fact that I can see these positive things about myself without self-deprecation
  • The ability to lie down at night and sleep peacefully
  • A mind filled with happy (and detailed) memories from the past, a mental storage facility for tougher memories- accessible if needed but out of my line of sight any other time
  • Building new relationships with my grown kids and watching as they settle into their own families
  • Grandkids! They’re right…we should all have them FIRST!
  • My dogs, who allow me to still be a “mom” every day but still give me the freedom to lie around and read all day if I want
  • My church families…both the one I have now and the church I grew up in. They both helped shape me into the woman I am today.
  • A husband who doubles as a best friend, loves being Grandpa and dog Daddy, and fiercely loves the Lord

I hope you have a list too of wonderful things in your life!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

Save the Jello Molds for Thanksgiving

I actually hate Jello molds so I won’t be making this for Thanksgiving either but that’s really not the point of this message.

The real message here is that we cannot take the Word of God and mold it into whatever we want it to be.

Unfortunately, that seems to be exactly what society is trying to do today.

“That’s not really what God meant….” (Yes. Yes it is.)

“Surely God didn’t mean…” (Yep, the devil used that on Eve too. We all know how that turned out.)

“This Bible is outdated. We need a new one…” (His Word is never-changing.)

We, as individuals, sometimes aren’t much better.

Getting revenge: “The Bible says an eye for an eye…” (It is also says 70 times 7! Matthew 18:22)

Getting drunk: “Jesus turned water into wine…” (He also said be not drunk with wine. Ephesians 5:18)

I took my grandson to a children’s museum the other day. There was a giant tube filled with blue beads. There was supposed to be a tiny yellow bead in the millions of blue ones. It was compared to a 1 in 30 million chance of winning the lottery. It said that not many people would find it.

I didn’t.

But I got a big revelation while I intently searched for it.

Jesus is like the wide expanse of blue beads. You see it; you know where to find it…

But you just keep looking for that little yellow bead, that other way to salvation that no one else is able to find while the Lord is saying, Here! I’ve laid it all out for you. Stop searching!  

My friend Genny said she didn’t think there was a yellow bead in there at all. She thought it was there just to make people waste time looking.

She might be onto something. Because that’s EXACTLY what the devil does when he has you looking for other ways to salvation except through Jesus.

Wastes your time.

So don’t waste time trying to mold God’s Word to fit your life. Mold YOUR life to fit His Word.

(And maybe don’t mess with the jello mols either. Who really likes them?)

 

GEAR UP: YOUR HEALTH

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on OUR HEALTH!

What a perfect time to focus on our health! With the holidays approaching there is an abundance of sweet treats AND stress to be had by all. We aren’t looking to get rid of either, just to make healthy choices so that we still maintain control over our bodies, our sanctuaries.

I love to bake. And I’m not going to make star-shaped cut-outs of tofu either. So my oven will be on from now until New Year’s and there will be steady stream of delectable cooling on my counter. I will taste; I will nibble; I will enjoy.

But I will also walk a few extra laps or take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible.

As for stress, there’s always going to be some amount of stress around the holidays. Maybe it’s a financial strain. Maybe it’s the sheer volume of cooking and preparations that overwhelm you. Maybe it’s the family dynamic that always leaves someone in tears.

Whatever your holiday stressors are, begin working them out now. Set a schedule or enlist helpers so you aren’t overworked. Set a budget and stick to it, not feeling guilty but instead putting the focus on memories over material things. Look at past patterns to see how you change outcomes.

Make sure to include time this week to take care of yourself. A de-stressing soak in the tub, a quiet walk for a time of meditation and prayer, a 30-minute show that makes you laugh.

Laughter IS the best medicine!

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22