As we approach Thanksgiving 2008, I feel more reflective and thankful than ever. I have been reading a wonderful book to the girls called "Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember" by Barbara Rainey. It recounts the first 2 years of the Pilgrims and all of the amazing miracles God performed on their behalf. Funny, I never learned about them in public school!!! I feel so cheated because the story is truly amazing and makes me want to trust God with even bigger things. Did you know that the Pilgrims were on the verge of starvation and half of the Mayflower passengers had died when out of the forest walked Samoset saying, "Welcome." He brought back Squanto who could speak even better English. How did they know how to speak English? Squanto had been kidnapped as a young boy, taken to Europe as a slave, his owner taught him English and then later allowed him to return to America. He returned to find all of his tribe had been killed by a plague 4 years earlier. Now, in their place, were the Pilgrims. Because Squanto spoke English, he was able to teach the Pilgrims how to plant and grow corn and because of that, they survived! And now we are privileged to live in America. Is that not an amazing example of God's perfect provision? It reminds me of the story of Joseph--when his brothers sold him into slavery. He eventually said that what man intended for evil, God intended for good. If Squanto had not been kidnapped (evil), he would not have been used to save the Pilgrims (good). Such a great reminder that we cannot always see what God is doing from our limited perspective. He is always at work.
So, I am SO grateful for what God has taught us this past year. I think I have aged 5 years in one, but I would not trade it for anything. My love for God, understanding of Him, and relationship with Him is so much deeper than it was a year ago. I have learned that keeping my focus on God, not my circumstances, is the secret to true peace. There is nothing beyond His control, reach, sovereignty. He can be trusted with every situation. I am so thankful for Reese. She is blessing--that could be her name because she encompasses that word in every way. She causes me to slow down, appreciate everything, love deeper, look to God, bend to my knees, hunger and thirst after God, desire to know Him more and more. I am thankful for Faith. She has grown into such a sweet, tender-hearted delight. I am so proud of her and am thankful for God's grace over her heart and life. I am thankful for Mia. She is a confident, spunky, friendly little lady. She loves school, her teacher, her friends, and especially Reese. I am thankful for Olivia. She lights up our house. She is sweet and has a pure heart. She cracks me up most of the day and loves animals and insects more than most humans do. I love the way she genuinely loves others without any pretense. I am thankful for Mario. God has used his unbelievable faith to sustain all of us this year. I don't think I could have made it without him. I know God has plans to use Mario in a big way because his faith reminds me of the Apostle Paul, Noah, Abraham--it's hard to believe at times! I am thankful for God's provision for us this year. We went months without a paycheck, owned 2 homes, and had stacks of medical bills all at the same time. But GOD pulled us out, we always had food on the table, we sold our house (2 days before the economy began its collapse), and we still have a beautiful roof over our heads. Praise the Lord!!! I am thankful for our tremendous family and friends and our new neighbors. I am thankful for the wonderful therapists, doctors, nurses, and sitters who love and care for Reese.
Here is my encouragement to anyone who reads this:
Always keep your eyes on God--always. Do not look to the left or to the right. If you are in Christ, your life is about Christ. Don't let anything else steal you away.
By the way...Reese is doing great! We are continuing the wean, which is always difficult, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are very close!!!