Sunday, November 29, 2009

"I wait for the Lord..."

A week ago today (or was it a month ago?!) I blogged my thankfulness for the Psalms. I had found another special thought from God just for me, just for that day. Only it seems it wasn't just for that day as I was to soon find out.

But first things first, here is the verse:

Psalms 130:5 says this, "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."

Because that verse leaped off the page at me, I pulled out a pad of paper from my desk and jotted it down quickly before heading off into my Monday of fun hanging out with Big D.

About noon, I noticed some strange changes in my left arm. It was slightly larger then usual, it was a different color then arms are supposed to be, and veins that don't usually show themselves were obvious on my chest and bicep. So I called my favorite doctor, my dad in Oklahoma, and left a casual little message asking for a call back when he got a chance. Meanwhile, Darril and I decided to cash in a gift card at Olive Garden. We had just gotten our food served when the call came and my dad calmly instructed me to go immediately to the ER.

Long story short...I was diagnosed with a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in my left clavicle and I was admitted. Just like that. No warning.

Even the nicest of hospitals, and I was in a very pleasant one, is still not home. By the middle of that first night, I was going stir crazy.

I felt completely healthy. No fever. No painful symptoms. Yet I was trapped in a drafty hospital gown chained to an IV drip with nothing to do but think or watch t.v. Sleep was hit or miss, with the hospital staff coming in on an average of once per hour to check up on things.

At some point, very possibly my lowest emotional point, it occurred to me how very interesting it was that this month I decided to focus on thanksgiving. (Oh, the irony!)

Tuesday morning my husband showed up with the list of items that I had requested he bring...necessities like makeup and my Bible. And in my Bible he had tucked the slip of paper I had jotted that verse down hours before. There was a reason that verse had popped off the page for me! God knew I was going to need the encouragement.

In answer to fervent prayer, I was able to get home Wednesday night to enjoy Thanksgiving on Thursday with my family. And oh how easy it was to be thankful for everything...everyone together, my children's hugs, my own bed (with J snuggled in next to me just for the special occasion), non-hospital food, privacy...

I am still not completely sure what God would have me to learn in this new opportunity/challenge.

Is it simply a matter of honing my thanksgiving skills? (Thank you God for the opportunity to give myself two shots a day in the tummy so I can be home with the kids and Big D.)

Or do I need a tutorial on "waiting for the Lord" and "hoping in His Word"? (Thank you God for showing me that You are in control and that my grasping for control only stresses me out.)

Or is this not all about just me, but also for someone else whose life touches mine? (Thank you for bringing that sweetheart of a housekeeper into my hospital room each day. Work during the day, classes at night...please bless her, Lord!)

And on a final note today, I am comparing the name of my blog, Biding My Time, and the principle in the verse of "waiting for the Lord". Hmmm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Venison for Thanksgiving Dinner

Growing up in the family I did, I was always well-aware of my own family's Christian heritage as well as the Christian heritage our nation enjoys. We would re-tell the story of those first Thanksgiving feasts, praise God for His provision then and now, and marvel at how he bonded Squanto and other American-Indians with those early Puritan settlers. The newcomers would never have survived without the kindness of the Indians.

I am so thankful today for my parent's hammering that story into our reluctant heads...God's provision is after all timeless and ever so worthy of Thanksgiving.

Big D, true to his American-Indian heritage, has shot two deer with his bow and arrow in the last two weeks. When we join big D's aunt and uncle on Thursday, he will proudly provide venison for the Thanksgiving Feast this year. (My kids love being 3% Indian and think it is really cool...too bad 3% doesn't qualify for scholarship money! Then it would be WAY cooler!!)

Interestingly, my side of the family has some Mayflower roots deep back into our family tree. So, true to my heritage, I will be glad to enjoy and give thanks for the feast that is being provided for me. (OK...that was a joke! I am sure I will contribute something, probably chocolate...)

Anyways, that is our go at an authentic Thanksgiving Feast this Thursday!! Hope you enjoy yours as well!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today I am...

thankful for the book of Psalms!

I love how I often find just the right wording that has been escaping me as I try to communicate with God or wrap my brain around something my heart is feeling.

When my heart catches sight of a special phrase, it is like a gift directly to me from the Lord, through the ages, through the fog of my own issues, right into my soul.

God's Word is amazing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dublin Update

Dublin has wisely decided to embrace his injury as an opportunity to fine tune his already stellar "pathetic puppy" look. Check out the droop in his eyes. Classic!

Anyone who comes within his range of vision is the "chosen one"...the one who may stop everything to sit at his side and stroke his fur and say sweet nothings to him like:

Who is the best puppy in the world? You are!
You are so brave!
Do you want a treat?

Admittedly, I am the worst offender.

And to top it off, he has now received mail in our mailbox...addressed to him...someone actually paid for a stamp to mail him get well cards. You can see below how excited he is about his mail as he "reads" his cards... Oh wait, dogs can't read! Silly me!

And he has received two chew toys from a family at church. And organic doggie treats from a neighbor to top things off.

I have one word for it...spoiled!!

But I am so thankful that he is still with us! And while I think it is funny how we are all treating him, I do think it is sweet that people care!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nothing Trumps Forgiveness

I am, in fact, a fairly forgiving person. I have taught lessons on forgiving others. My children are expected to communicate forgiveness to each other.

Forgiveness is what we, as Christians, have experienced and so it is what we, as Christians, are supposed to do. The whole "forgive as the Lord forgave you" idea.

And yet I am also a loyal person. Loyalty, most will agree, is a great character quality.

But on this past Sunday, God showed me that a tiny seed of bitterness had grown silently in my heart because my sense of loyalty trumped forgiveness. I am so thankful today that God used that sermon to reveal how misguided that unspoken notion of mine really was. Loyalty is a nice thing, but nothing should ever trump true forgiveness!

Yesterday morning I went through my own process of personal confession. Then I went to work on the forgiveness part, painstakingly uprooting each ugly little shoot from that original seed of bitterness. It wasn't easy. I was afraid of letting go of something that has been genuinely difficult over the last couple of years. Afraid of releasing control, as if I ever had control over the original situation in the first place. Afraid that I would fail to completely remove it to truly forgive...and find myself back where I was before.

As I put my thoughts and prayers on paper, I also made a list of each grievance that I had not forgiven in this particular situation. And then I pulled out our shredder, breathed, prayed, and watched each of those grievances get ground up into confetti.

And I felt freedom.

Last night I ran into someone closely connected to the fact, one of those old shoots that I had just uprooted. Not a coincidence, I think, but certainly a test of that new freedom of forgiveness. And by the grace of God, because of His power to forgive, I was able to not just pretend to be nice. I was nice from a genuine heart. And afterwards, my mind was able to move on to other things without my thought patterns taking old routes into old grievances.

I experienced freedom.

I am so thankful today that nothing trumps forgiveness!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dublin broke his leg...

The poor puppy was playing and jumping after a toy and somehow landed wrong...and broke his leg. Big D and I weren't at the house when this happened, which was very frustrating, but in the midst of that frustration, I still have some things I can be thankful for. It is amazing how many I can think of when I just try!

I am thankful J was at a friend's house when this would have been really hard on her to have seen Dublin in pain and panic!

I am thankful that D3 was home, and for his calm and capable handling of a terribly traumatic situation. He will truly be a great veterinarian some day!!

I am thankful for M's attempts to clean the carpet in my living room after the incident, making my job much easier then it would have been. (Dog's, according to my future-vet son, evacuate their bowels when in crisis. Dublin did alot of evacuating!)

I am thankful for C's willing heart to make and serve lunch to her brother and his 2 guests while I finished cleaning the carpet.

I am thankful that though the vet wanted to do surgery, she was still willing to give the cast a try. (So we are praying like crazy! Surgery isn't an option for us.)

I am thankful that God hears our prayers regarding our puppy.

Does God care when animals get hurt? Absolutely! "Yet not one of them is forgotten by God." Matt 12:6

Friday, November 13, 2009

Give Thanks In All Circumstances?!

"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thess. 5:18

RIght! To say the least, this isn't always easy for a pessimist/realist like myself. But I can be a creative realist, so when I put some thought into it I can usually formulate a fairly decent thankful attitude.

When the scale is saying ugly things to me when I step on it, I am thankful the only Trick or Treat candy left in the kids' bags are of the non-chocolate variety.

When I dread the ordeal of parent/teacher conferences this morning, I can be thankful because it means I don't homeschool anymore. ( Hey, it was great for the season God called me to it, but no one can deny that it is challenging.)

But what about the big stuff in life.

Like my two friends who just this week were diagnosed with cancer, one breast and the other lung/brain. They both have children. They both have husbands and parents and on EARTH can there be anything in these circumstances to give thanks? Come to find out, there isn't anything on earth that can accomplish that goal.

As I backtrack my way up the page of the Bible, looking for some context, my eyes find I Thess. 5:10:

"He died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him."

And then what I have just read begins to sink into my heart.

"He died for us..." (!!!)

"so that... we may live..." (!!!!)

"...together with Him." (!!!!!!)

I am not thankful for cancer or my friends' pain. I hate to even think about what their family is feeling, having been there with D's mother's diagnosis several years ago and her death two years ago. But I can be thankful that both of these ladies have Heavenly help in the form of a Heavenly Father. These women can live their life together with His Son, Jesus Christ, regardless of the swirling circumstances that surround them, including cancer cells, and Dr. office smells, and countless medicines to ingest.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Randomly Thankful...

So I am being all thankful lately. And there is just so much to be thankful for that it would seem like the easiest thing to share those thoughts with you in deep, meaningful ways.

But the most random, non-deep, things pop in my head so here is a little sampling from the last few days...

*Thank goodness I don't rake leaves for a living. (My shoulders are still sore.)

*Thankfully, the dog hasn't growled at Jenna in 2 weeks so we aren't going to have to ship Dublin off to that "farm in the country" to the jolly farmer who actually likes to keep dogs that growl at little children. ( A long story that may lead to unthankfulness so I will leave it at that. It seems to be working out!)

*Thankyou, Kelloggs, for ready-made cereal. (As opposed to Kellie's homemade granola recipe, which is delicious AND healthy but my kids eat it like candy so I am continually running out of it. It is on my to-do list today.)

*I am so thankful that God created vanilla beans and cows and coffee beans so that I could put flavored creamer in my coffee and stay awake through the missions meeting last night. (Seriously, I really wanted to be there and be awake, I just needed a little help.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

For His love...

Earlier this week I posted on thankfulness "for love", specifically the love my husband and I share.

(And this is my formal apology for being so sappy. I just couldn't help it.)

Our earthly state of marital bliss is mostly for real, by the grace of God.
But it isn't perfect...our human love has flaws because we are flawed.

Today I am posting my thankfulness for His love.
The perfect enduring love of continual perfection because God is perfect.

"You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
your are my God and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
His love endures forever."

Psalm 118: 28, 29

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Abundant Goodness

Psalm 145:7

"They will celebrate Your abundant goodness..."

Take a look at some of God's abundant goodness poured out on us just a few weeks ago:

Four sweet crabapple trees that will blossom in the Spring, bear darling little red cluster berries, and then in the Fall flaunt red and gold leaves! This picture is from our deck and so you can't see that they are really 10 ft. tall.

An enormous oak, again with gorgeous Fall foliage! Darril's Dad just so happened to be in town to help plant this 700 lb. tree.

And this beautiful maple!

They were all free of charge...a local nursery owner/friend who goes to our church was rotating stock and we got to be the recipients of these wonderful trees that "needed to be moved". God is so abundant and good to us!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

68 degrees

How is it that 67 degrees is a delightful temperature for a summer evening, but a Fall 67 degrees is chilly-hands/cold-nose temperature in my house?!

At the moment, I am feeling thankful I can walk over to the thermostat and bump it up to a balmy 68 degrees!

Monday, November 2, 2009

For love...

"...for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned."
Song of Songs 8:6,7

This picture was taken last month when we were all dressed up for a wedding. I love going to weddings with D. He officiates my dream wedding...the kind of wedding I would do if we had it to do all over again. And weddings remind me every time of how God graciously prepared us for each other, brought our lives together, and has continued to bind our hearts together for these past 20 years.

I am thankful for love, specifically for my love.

"This is my lover, this is my friend..."
Song of Songs 5:16

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness

It is November...the month of Thanksgiving. And I am starting the celebration early!

Colossians 2:7 encourages us as believers to "continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness".

God's abundant goodness is poured out in my own life in thousands of different will be a pleasure for me to overflow with thankfulness for the next 30 days!

Spiritually, words can't do justice to the extent of His goodness poured out on my behalf! Emotionally, He fills my cup! Physically, I am blessed with health. Materially, like a loving Father, He delights in filling my needs and then out of His abundance, He sends me little surprise gifts that aren't necessary, but are just perfect!

This month, I am directing my focus to regularly offering sincere thankfulness to my Lord God.