Choosing Thankfulness

Do you ever have those times when you’re choosing thankfulness while still asking for more? Even though you’re thankful for what you’ve been given, you’re still aiming higher. And yet, you have to stop and remind yourself to be thankful for what you’ve received that’s less than what you were aiming for. Sometimes I feel like I aim for the stars and then find myself utterly disappointed when I end up lower than what I’m aiming for. Maybe my goal is the red carpet, but I’m walking on a beautiful red or golden carpet of leaves instead. And I stop to capture the moment with my camera. Because I am truly thankful for the beauty I find around me. (And isn’t a leaf carpet way cooler than a red carpet any day?)

 

The yellow leaf road

The yellow leaf road

 

With my mom’s cancer, I’m praying for a miracle. We Need a miracle. What we’ve received is a modern medical breakthrough in treatment for her type of cancer. I was hoping this would be the miracle we needed. I’m finding out that really, a person on this new type of chemo just has less of the chemo side effects, and the average person in their clinical studies made it 10.3 months longer than someone on other types of chemo. While I’m grateful for this new drug – just FDA approved a little over a month ago, I found myself being bitterly disappointed that this was not, in fact, going to cure her, just prolong her life. I was putting my hopes in the newest medication out on the market only to have them dashed to the ground.

 

Moody Hellebore

Moody hellebore

 

Does that mean I didn’t stop to take the time to thank God for the small medical breakthrough we received? No. I keep thanking Him for it almost every day. Most of the times with tears streaming down my face because I know it’s not going to cure her. Just buy her time. But I thank Him anyway.

Does that mean I stop praying for a miracle? No. I know modern man and medicine can’t cure her at this time. I have to remind myself to put my hope in God, not in man. Does that mean I’ll get my miracle? Not necessarily. It just means that I’ve set my sights higher.

 

Gorgeous red vines on a fence.

Gorgeous red vines on a fence.

 

Sometimes we need to make a choice to be grateful even when we don’t like what’s happening around us.

Don’t like the new president? Well, just be thankful we don’t have a dictatorship type of government and that ultimately, the president doesn’t have the final say in how this country is run. He has to get all of his ideas approved through congress. Be thankful for that.

 

Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections

My father didn’t get to go back to Papua New Guinea for the dedication of the mini Bible in our village on the 25th (which will be our Thanksgiving day over here as they are a day ahead of us.) I’m sure he’s disappointed that he’s unable to see the culmination of a project he’s been working on for over 30 years of his life due to my mom and his own medical issues right now. …I am thankful we’ll all be together for the holiday.

 

Autumns glow

Autumns glow

There was a time in my life when I felt like I had nothing good to be thankful for. My ex-husband was abusive and and I was always walking on eggshells, never knowing when he might blow up. I would sing the song ‘To God Be The Glory‘ – sometimes through clenched teeth because I was so on edge. Mostly through tears. I didn’t really know what I was thanking Him for or why I was thanking Him. I had no reason. I was making a choice during the worst time in my life to thank Him anyway. I think there’s something poignant to God in those moments where you choose thankfulness, knowing you’re in a bad place and need something more. You’re making a decision to give thanks despite whatever awfulness is going on in your life. That moment you’ve come to the end of yourself and surrender it all back to Him.

 

There's beauty all around us, if only we open our eyes to see.

There’s beauty all around us, if only we open our eyes to see.

 

Whatever is going on in your life, good or bad, choose thankfulness.

 

The Promise of the Rainbow

I get really excited this time of year when the weather is constantly changing back and forth from rain to shine because that means it’s rainbow weather! One minute it’s raining, the next minute the sun is out, and I’ll go running to the windows to see if there’s a rainbow outside. Easter Sunday I saw not one, but two, or technically three rainbows. First a double rainbow which disappeared, the clouds came out and the rain started again – then a beautiful brilliant single rainbow. And it got me thinking about the promise of the rainbow. God promised it would never rain for 40 days and 40 nights and flooding the whole earth like that again. So I started telling Him that, you know, it’s been raining in my life for longer than 40 days and 40 nights. I’m not talking actual rain which, believe me, we’ve had a lot of here in the Pacific Northwest as well. I’m talking metaphorically. So I told God I was holding on to the promise of the rainbow in my life – not about the real rain, but about all the bad stuff that is happening. My husband and I split up, my job is a sinking ship and I’m going down with it. Things are not good. And yet here I am on my blog trying to sound positive and upbeat, when really, maybe I’m just trying to encourage myself along through a tough time.  So this week, I’ve been holding on to the promise of the rainbow, and I’m starting to see little whispers of hope coming into my life…

God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us – in the dreariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope. ~ Maya Angelou

 

Rainbow at Seaside, Oregon

Rainbow at Seaside, Oregon

 

Lake Manapouri, The Kepler Track, NZ

Lake Manapouri, The Kepler Track, NZ

 

Yakima, Oregon

Yakima, Oregon

 

Doubles, Badgingarra, Western Australia

Doubles, Badgingarra, Western Australia

 

Some days, you need to remember the promise of the rainbow. The storms won't last forever, and the sun will come out again. Just keep moving forward.

Some days, you need to remember the promise of the rainbow. The storms won’t last forever, and the sun will come out again. Just keep moving forward.

 

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