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Monday, April 23, 2007

Counting My Blessings

“Lord, I praise you for who You are – the Great I Am, Master, Father, King of Kings, Counselor, Redeemer, and Prince of Peace. I praise You for being faithful, loving, sacrificial, holy, almighty, wise, and the lover of my soul. Lord, I thank You for my blessings: I thank You for a husband who supports me, loves our children, and who has taught me more about sacrifice than any other person on earth. I thank You for my beautiful, healthy boys. I thank You for trusting me with them and for giving me instruction in Your Word on how to be a Godly parent. (I also ask Your forgiveness for having to remind me of Your truths and guidance as a parent time and time again.)
I also thank You for the trials in my life, for You so clearly show Your power within the midst of them. You have drawn me closer to You as I walk through the valley. You give me purpose and redefine my priorities through these trials. And, I believe You are giving me a ministry by what I learn through them.
Lord, no matter what happens in my life, you remain the same today, yesterday and forever. I can count on You – Your faithfulness, Your love, Your peace and even Your joy in the midst of turmoil. Who is like You, oh Lord? Where else can I find such unfathomable comfort and hope, even with uncertainty all around me? Lord, continue to use my trials to mold me into a vessel you can use to speak and work through. May the fire continue to refine me. May I reach others for You and show them Your glory and power as I live a life of beauty out of ashes.
You, Lord, are my Rock. There is no other explanation for the amazing joy, comfort and peace I feel as I stand firm among the crashing waves. Thank you, Jesus.”

I feel like I have grown so much over the past week. God is so amazing. There is no one else who can change a life and give a life meaning like He can. More has happened in one week that has changed my perspective than probably all of the past year. (1) Our son’s court date went as well as could be expected – better in fact – as we received even more than we asked for in changing the terms of his current bond. (2) Then on Friday night I had the opportunity to hear Jerry B. Jenkins speak, and I was moved and inspired as he spoke about working with Billy Graham on his memoirs and also about writing in general. (I purchased his book Writing for the Soul and can’t wait to read and apply it.) (3) Coincidentally (or, I like to think of it as a “God-incident”), the next day I happened to listen to an audio tape from Thrive Today that talked about purpose and vision, and how it needs to transcend all areas of your life (in your career, with your family, and all other responsibilities and activities), and as a result I simplified my ultimate purpose into a mission statement that energizes and excites me. (As you might have guessed, writing is part of it.) (4) This past week I was also able to let go of bitterness I was feeling toward my son’s school, as I realized those who acted inappropriately don’t “define” what the school stands for. And, I will continue to choose to forgive those involved until I feel it. (5) Finally, as I homeschooled my son today, I realized how much I enjoy and look forward to spending every Monday with him. What precious time God has given me with my son, despite an overwhelming work schedule. When he was in traditional school, I was able to spend very little time with him as I worked long hours Tuesday through Saturday, and even some Sundays and Mondays. Sunday has become a little challenging as the lesson planning literally consumes hours of my time, but the Monday payoff is worth it. Now, I am challenging myself to find a way to spend quality time with my youngest son. He loves playing games, so I am thinking that a regular game night (or two) would be the answer.

The world says that there is a silver lining in every cloud. The Bible says close to the same thing, but a little differently – “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)” Also, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God and who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)” I pray you will find these truths evident in your life today. If you cannot see the blessings of the Lord, I encourage you to delve into His Word, pray for your eyes to be opened, praise Him in love for who He is (regardless of whether you currently see Him in action or not), and then silently wait for His answer. I believe He will reveal His blessings to you in the most unexpected ways, as you faithfully seek Him and wait upon Him.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Michelle - I clearly had a lot of catching up to do today. Wow! I need to check your blog more often. I remember worrying daily about what would happen to Jeanna, my step-daughter, and the consequences of the less than optimal choices she was making. What I learned is what you learned, God loves them more than we do. He takes care of them and teaches them in ways we cannot. It has been a long journey but there are times when I can see she will end up on the correct path. I support and guide as much as I can and then let go, so she can learn. With three more teenagers to come, my journey is just beginning. It is amazing what the Lord can bring you through. My love to you and your family. You are all in my prayers.