Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today was glorious!  It started with a 5 mile run with three great friends.  I came home to the smells of coffee and bacon cooking on the griddle.  Ryan had made breakfast and the boys were all snuggled up on the couch with their big cousins.  After a leisure morning we went to my in-laws for a full day of family, food, relaxing and laughing.  We enjoyed wonderful food, a beautiful table and headed out for a walk in 65 degree weather.  The kids played together beautifully and the grown-ups got to laugh and reminisce about Auntie Lois and all the treasured Thanksgiving traditions we have.

We have more family time ahead with my side of the family.  We have more football and friends to look forward to as well.  The abundance of grace poured out on this family is overwhelming.  God is so obviously good to us and I am so, so, so thankful.

This heart of mine is still in training.  I know that as I learn how to give thanks when goodness and grace is obvious that my heart and mind are learning how to give thanks for times ahead when grace looks unexpected.  I remember that He asks me to give thanks all the time.

I read one time that when we presume something is bad we are really trying to be God.  Remember back in the garden.  Adam and Eve wanted to have the knowledge of good and evil to be more like God, as if His proclaimed goodness wasn't to be trusted.  We still fall into the same sin when we judge something as good or bad without knowing the past, present and future.  I think that's why He asks us to be continually giving thanks.  It is an act of trust.  In essence, when we say thank you to God we are saying, "I trust your love, your goodness and Who You Are no matter what."

These words from Colossians say it better than I ever could...

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace, AND BE THANKFUL.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs WITH GRATITUDE IN HEARTS TO GOD.  Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM."  Colossians 3:15-17


"Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way.  Bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you will have great endurance and patience and JOYFULLY GIVING THANKS TO THE FATHER who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."  Colossians 1: 9-12

I am forever thankful for...

~salvation.  He rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the son He loves.  In whom, is redemption the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:13-14)
~books that inspire
~family that I love
~poppyseed bread
~lunch with my mommy
~shopping with my mommy
~Nannie and Hallie making up stories
~My kids running with great big smiles to see Nannie
~Zac's thanksgiving play at school
~holding Ryan's hand
~A back rub from Ryan
~Cousins playing the Princess Pink Restaurant
~Zac saying, "I'm thankful God had me adopted to you, mommy."
~My children
~meeting Melia's cardiologist. It was exactly the meeting I needed.
~Hope, no fear.
~friends I can count on
~comforts of home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Passing along the gift of thanks...

One of the things I love about my job as a PA is patient education.  I love to explain how the body works, why I am prescribing a certain regimen or medicine and especially what lifestyle changes may help improve well-being.

Well, this whole gratitude thing has started to overflow into my daily clinical practice.  There are so many, many people living out of control lives with hurts, habits and hang-ups that disrupt sleep, relationships, jobs...the list goes on and on.

My approach first addresses a person's physical needs, immediate and long term.  Sometimes this involves medicine for a multitude or reasons.  But, then I also address a person's spiritual and emotional needs.  One of the easiest ways to approach this sometimes sensitive topic is to invite my patients to start a gratitude journal.  I have not run across one person who isn't willing to entertain the idea of giving thanks for small things and big things and everyday things in their lives.  Of course, the act of giving thanks begs the question, "Who are you thanking?"

So, time will tell if this practice and these conversations impact my patients for the kingdom, but I certainly have seen it transform things in my mind, heart and life.  I hope it will do the same for others.  I believe it can.

This gift God has given us in inviting us to give thanks all the time and in all circumstances is part of our freedom in Christ.  We are set free from worry about tomorrow or regret about yesterday when our mind is fixed on giving thanks for every small detail about today.  Sure, if a person has spent the majority of their lives fixed on worry, regret, anger....then the transformation of the mind will take time and practice.  But, that is what the gratitude list is all about.  Practicing and in doing so, being transformed.

We have had a lot of things in our family lately that could and should, according to the world, bring fear and anxiety.  But, I am thankful that God is good and thankful that He is faithful and thankful that His plans for me and my family are based on eternal purposes and He acts in love and thankful that He works all things together for our good.  Here are the latest gifts He has given...

~more days with my mother in law, Jean
~cousin time in Kansas
~calm, sure faith seen in my father-in-law
~seeing a good friend, healed of cancer
~first Husker game with Hallie and Jacob
~Zac's hugs and positive attitude
~a healthy report on Melia
~warm house when the wind blows
~wrestling, giggling brothers
~coming to mom for hugs when the wrestling gets out of hand
~coming to mom for a hug when Hallie bit her tongue
~dinner with our friends, celebrating our dear friend's birthday as one of the family
~hockey game with the kids
~Zac falling asleep in the car.
~Jacob's last words tonight, "I want Husker gear for Christmas, #22" (after a loss)

...the list goes on and on and makes me smile every time!