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Posts Tagged ‘Being thankful’

Last night I simply could not fall asleep.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  The kind of night where no matter what you do, you just can’t shut the brain off.  Somehow, your very own brain declares a mutiny against you and, in some sort of strange overdrive, begins taking all sorts of inventory of your life – the past, the present, and the ever so elusive future.

My brain seemed determined to torture me with thoughts of all my past failures, shortcomings, faults, and lost dreams.

I finally sailed into the land of “Fed Up” with it all and got out of the bed, hoping to find something to help me fall asleep. I refuse to drink milk- cold, warm, or otherwise- so instead… maybe an old movie, reading a book, playing a Kindle Fire game (Triple Town is a mighty little game that’s sure to drive your family crazy), perhaps boring myself to sleep by checking out Facebook in the middle of the night?

I ended up trying it all, with the exception of an old movie and the yucky milk thing.  (Well, I mean really…. vomiting up disgusting milk is not the way I wanted to end the mental gymnastics meet my mind had in full swing.)

In addition to the bout of insomnia that I was having, I was also enduring some pretty horrific tooth ache pain – which wasn’t helping one tiny bit.

So anyhow, there I was… it’s like after 2 am (Sorry, but I so do not see what Taylor Swift sees in the whole “2 am thing”… Seemed like a pretty miserable time of night to be up to me, at least at this stage of my life and not at all the dramatic and romantic time she sings of so very often – my daughters are fans – of her music – not so much the 2 am itself…) and I’m not only wide awake, but in a whole heaping lot of pain.  I thought for a little while that perhaps I was birthing a baby tooth!  Labor pains in the mouth – oh yeah…. Ouch doesn’t cover it.

The thought of counting sheep crossed my mind and got me to thinking.  Why do people count sheep in order to help lull themselves to sleep in the first place?  Which led me to Wikipedia to find out the answer to that very question – which frankly… wasn’t all that interesting. You can look it up and decide for yourself whether you think it’s an interesting tidbit of knowledge to have.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_sheep

Right in the middle of all of this – insomnia, pain, sheep and more….  I felt a little tug from my Creator.  In the very center of it all, I realized that I had even more to be thankful for than I did to keep me up at night.  I realized that no matter how much pain I felt because of the tooth, that I am blessed because I was born in a country where dental care is possible.  There are so many that have no choice but to suffer with things as seemingly simple as a toothache.

Counting Blessings GSSimply put, my blessings far outweigh the rest in my life.  Out of that thought came the idea that instead of counting silly sheep to try to lull myself to sleep, that I would count my many blessings from the Lord and let Him rock me to sleep with His never ending, all consuming, amazing, love.

So – Late in the night, when you find you cannot sleep, count your many blessings, instead of silly sheep!

*** You can also write a really dorky short poem too.

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It’s that time of year.  The time when we spend a lot more time thinking of all the reasons we have to be thankful.  When I do stop and really spend some time going over all the blessings I have in my life, I become truly amazed and a whole lot in awe of God’s love for me.  He is so gracious and so good!  My family and I have been so very blessed.

In the midst of all my thankfulness, I keep having these thoughts and feelings rise up in me.  Holy Ghost “suggestions”. Thoughts that tell me that there is no way that God could possibly have chosen for me to be born here in America, with all these truly incredible blessings, for me to just sit around and luxuriate in them.  Not while more than half the world’s population is trying to live off of less than two dollars a day.

Can you stop for a moment and simply think about that?!   Yesterday, I went out and did my Thanksgiving Day food shopping and while doing that I picked up some highlighters for our school work.  After we got home and were putting up our purchases, I was putting away the highlighters and the Holy Spirit stopped me right there and brought to my mind that those highlighters alone cost MORE than what that more than half the world has to totally LIVE ON for an entire day!   Can you imagine?!  That quite simply blew me away.

In American terms my family and I are hardly considered wealthy.  Far from it.  However, when you bring in the entire world and the overall levels of poverty that are out there, we are stinking filthy rich.  That thought totally blows me away!   I can get on Pinterest and it won’t take me long looking at all the gorgeous homes and rooms people post on there in their “Dream Home” boards to start feeling like what we have is pitiable, but when compared to most of the world, we truly are wealthy in our “stuff”.  Mind blowing!

The point, however, is that to be born here in such a wealthy land as America must come with a huge responsibility too, at least when you’ve chosen to give your life to Jesus Christ and follow Him the way He has asked us to in the Bible.  There are way too many Scriptures I could use to show exactly what Jesus thought of earthly riches for me to use them all.  Luke 12:15 tells us simply to “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”  

But isn’t that exactly what we do here in America?  Don’t we measure our lives and our worth in our stuff?  The very idea of the “American Dream” is to grow up, go to the “right” schools”, get the “right” job, marry the “right” person, buy a house in the “right” neighborhood, drive the “right” cars, go on the “right” vacations,  have children, teach them the same things….. and so on.  Once we’ve accomplished all of that we can then look forward to retiring and having the “right” hobbies and enjoying our lives and all we’ve managed to acquire.  

Could this really be what Jesus would consider good though?  Is this what He wants us, His followers, to do with our lives?  Is this what He did during His time on earth?  I don’t know what your Bible says, but mine doesn’t say He did any of those things.  In fact, He did the opposite and warned heavily against doing exactly what I just described.  He tells us in Luke 6:24-25a “What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now. What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now for a time of awful hunger awaits you.” 

Yikes.  That doesn’t sound too good.  Sorrow awaits us?  I don’t think I want to only have sorrow to look forward to.  So, I think that what I’m most thankful for this year, is that God loves me enough to bring this to my attention.  That He loves me enough to show me these warnings over and over until I “get it” and begin to live as Jesus Christ asked all of his followers to live.

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