Sunday, November 23, 2008

Overflowing with Thanksgiving

"Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all [Christ] has done."
Colossians 2:7 NLT
Thanksgiving is almost here. It is one of my favorite holidays because you get to be with family, eat amazing food and.. well...just... be thankful.
I am thankful for so many things in my life.
Mostly, I am thankful for my relationship with Christ. I am still awe-struck when I think about the fact that I have been made righteous by Jesus' death on the cross. That I am hidden in Him. I am thankful that the night I gave my life to Him, He forgave me and changed me. That though my sins were like scarlet, He has made them white as snow.
"No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it.
I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow."
Isaiah 1:18
I am thankful for the Word that guides us in truth and also for the Holy Spirit living in us in these scary times. I am thankful that we can pray and enter into the Holy Place/the Throne Room and are welcomed by an over-protective, listening Father that cherishes time with us.
I am thankful for my amazing husband who loves me and has exceeded any dream I ever had of marriage.
When we got married, on January 19, 2002, we left our crowded reception of smiling faces and he carried me through the threshold of our honeymoon suite. We had waited our whole lives for THIS moment. The first thing Tim did was put me down on a couch in the room and get a tub of water to wash my feet while I was still in my wedding dress. It was a symbol of how he vowed to love, serve and take care of me for the rest of our lives. I was utterly humbled by such an incredible act of love. He has remained true to that promise for 7 years.
(***Single girls, pray and wait and pray and wait on God's best).
At that moment, for me, submission became the easiest, no-brainer thing in the world! Why would I not want to submit to such love??? I will willingly follow him to the ends of the earth because of His love for Christ and me. If someone told me I was free to walk away from my marriage, I would NEVER leave. Where would I go?
"After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet,
drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
you also should wash one another's feet." John 13
This was also a picture of Christ's love for us as His Bride. It makes me think of the song...Amazing love, how can it be, that You my King would die for me?. I will also willingly follow Christ to the ends of the earth because I know He loves me with a love too great to comprehend. It is like the term used in the Bible, 'bond servant'. A bond servant is a slave who is given the choice to go free but chooses to stay with their master and serve Him out of love and gratitude for all He has done for them- not out of obligation. Bond servants are simply thankful and live their whole lives expressing their thankfulness to their Lord, the one who loved them first. There are no prisoner-Christians, only bond servants who have been set free and chosen to stay with their master. When you have experienced the love of Christ, there is no where else you would rather be. Just like Peter said,
"Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked,
"Are you going to leave, too?
Simon Peter replied,
"Lord, to whom would we go?
You alone have the words that give eternal life."
John 6:67,68
In other words, Peter was saying where would I go other than You, Lord?
There is no better place... there is no LIFE that is greater than the LIFE of freedom found in Christ. And for that, I am thankful!
"We love him, because he first loved us."
1 John 4:19
Next, I am thankful for my 3 boys. They are each so special. They wear me out but they bring more joy to me than I can hold in my heart. It is so exciting to see their little hearts developing personal relationships with God. To hear their prayers. We pray before school. Sometimes it is total chaos but sometimes it makes me cry because it is so precious. Reece prayed that our new President would love babies--- that one nearly broke my heart. I know God hears those prayers and I am thankful every time they pray because I know their child-like faith can move mountains.
I am thankful that I can home school. I never thought I would be able to because of my health but God is giving me strength and determination and I have been so blessed to be their teacher!
I am super-excited and thankful for the new conference call Bible Study we are doing on Sunday and Monday nights. There are 17 of us and I know God's hand is in this. It is such an honor to get to hear voices of the women in the study from all over the nation. We are all growing together in grace and knowledge and it is SOOOOOOO fun to be a part of.
Although, I do almost throw up every week because I get so nervous.
I am thankful that we can have hope in ALL things because of Christ-
no matter how hopeless it seems.
I am thankful for too many things to name on the blog... but here are just a few more.
I am thankful that I can make a mean grilled cheese sandwich for hungry boys, that Tim's able to be home with us so much, for my mom and dad, for Tim's mom and dad, for my grandparents, for my new-redecorating-project-Christmas-present that I am working on, for a warm house, for food in our pantry, for my phone girlfriends who I talk to about nothing for hours at a time,
for hearing from people who read my blog, for my sister, for my makeup :), for people who pray for me, for Benjamin Amick, for our fenced-in backyard and locks on our doors so I don't lose anyone, for my boys' guardian angels, for healthy children, for water, for Tim's office staff,
for our country, for our Church, for our friends, for a comfy bed and kids that sleep through the night, that in our weakness- He is made strong! and um.. that is all I can ramble about now......I will keep adding as I think of things.
Happy Thanksgiving and may your hearts OVERFLOW with thankfulness!!!


Lynné said...

What a sweet post!

I found you by way of April and Allen's blog (April's sister is my sister-in-law)....and I just wanted to say hi and tell you what a beautiful family and soul you have!

Jill said...

girl, you are not gonna believe this, but my husband and I washed each others feet as part of our wedding ceremony. It was a time to treasure a deep commitment of serving one another. I also have shed some serious tears over that song...Amazing love, how can it be?...a king would die for me. We are having a wonderful time celebrating our thanksgiving holiday here in the chilly north at Williamsburg. Some day when you have taught those boys about colonial times and you get to come, it will be worth it all to see their excitment at our history. Have a great day.

Angela said...

I want a grilled cheese!!

Thanks for loving my baby. Sweet new pics on my blog today.

Andrew saw Tim at church and shouted out, "THERE'S MISTER TIM!"
He's like a superhero. :)

Anonymous said...

What words to inspire us and help us perservere. Thanks for always being a place that I can come to gain refreshment in this world. Thank you for always pointing us to our Savior. You are a blessing to me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thanks for entrusting Bubba to us each week. I love hearing his little sweet heart. He seems to be Olivia's hero these days. Wendy

Erin Southwell said...

Thank you so much for this post, Steph. I wish I could know you "in real life." Your spirit is so strong and I'm awed and encouraged by it.

Now what is your decorating project?? :) If you haven't seen my blog, we built a new house this year and I'm passionate about all things decorating.

lots_of_love_four_kids said...

What a beautiful post Steph! You have inspired me in so many ways- and I am thankful for you my friend! Take care, and looking forward to our study tonight. Don't be nervous- and PLEASE! no throwing up! ;)