A Hero Seen and More Unseen… Gratitude

This is several days of posts combined into one long gratitude…

Day 1 ~

Reading Ann Voskamp’s book this morning. This woman has such an incredible way with words. I sense a bit of a revival here in her book that will carry over into the blog sphere, and it’s all about giving thanks in all circumstances.

I can feel the beauty of thankfulness when she says something like… warm toes under white sheets.

But how do we be thankful for…

My 19 year old having the chicken pox?
Or standing on the scale and weighing 5 pounds more than last week? :0
All my life I have battled this weight. I have always had to watch what I eat. I’ve always been so thankful when I could put on a pair of pants that don’t fit tight. But now in my older years it seems that anything but fasting puts the pounds on…even the air I breathe. I’m tired of always having to think about this and at the same time I don’t want to buy clothes the next size up.
I am thankful for all the wonderful foods that Yahweh provides.
I wish I could enjoy them more without always having to say “No, thank you.”
I’m thankful for being an easy keeper. It doesn’t take much to keep me plump.
I’m thankful that the Bible says He will make our bones fat.
This is a blessing. In the old days artists acclaimed a woman’s beauty with lots of voluptuous rolls. It isn’t that way now. Why do so many of us fit into the old school. If it was considered beautiful now, would that change the way we think about ourselves?
The Holy Women at the Sepulcher by Paul Rubens
I strive to overcome my self-criticism by saying to myself that God created me this way and I should accept being that plump grandmotherly type…the cute little round gray-haired grandmother that so many children adore. But that is not me…I’m tall and my hair isn’t even gray yet. Fifteen years ago, twenty-five pounds thinner I had written in my Bible…”Please Father help me to keep my weight down.”
Ann would say the answer is in gratitude
Margaret Clarkson would say the answer is in acceptance
Paul would say the answer would be in contentment
About the chicken pox… “This too shall pass.”
I am thankful for long soaks in oatmeal baths and a sighing of contentment in the midst of intense itching.

Day 2 ~

The early morning sun glistens on silvery snow;
Diamonds scattered near and far…
Like manna of old it feeds my soul;
The early morning dew from heaven.
From the song Manna…by me. : )
Can there be anything quite like the beauty of the sun pouring forth through the trees on fresh snow? The day before, a blizzard raged cold and fierce, blinding the eyes of the traveler ~ danger lurking at every turn. But joy comes in the morning, and God gives good gifts once again.
My son delighting in an opportunity to help others gets acknowledged…
We are all so proud of him.
But I am proud of all my young people because there is so much going on behind the scenes that will never be acknowledged, but is just as profound…
The hero sister making waffles for him before he sets off for another day shoveling people out of the snow.

The hero brother recovering from the chicken pox, not able to venture out in the cold, but instead cleaning up the messy room that the hero brother left behind. Servant heart in someone speaks volumes to the heavens above…

The hero father who trained up his sons goes along with the hero son. He’s the one that taught him to travel in the snow, taught him to be strong, taught him to help the stranded and the weak.
Another hero brother, also not feeling well, feverish and achy, but seeing the beauty of the snowflakes falling gets out the old dusty microscope and begins to bring the microcosm to life with his camera…
The hero sister who last year braved the ice and storms to feed and take care of horses that no one could get to.
The hero daughter who picked me up when I was weary and worn and turned me into a guinea pig in her precision nutrition streamline program. Maybe there is hope for me yet…
And my hero martian child daughter and our “nice talks”.
And there are so many more, but today I am thankful for these.

Day 3 ~

This morning we wake up to -7 degrees, the water stops flowing. Dad goes out early in the cold frigid air to heat the well house. Hopefully nothing is broken.
Dads are such heroes. Venturing out to fend for their families, to rescue, to provide, to support , to teach the good things…how thankful we are for them.
We had a long Bible this morning. No one is in a hurry to go out into the frozen world until it warms up a bit. After talking about time wasters like TV and DVDs (we haven’t had a TV for over 25 years, but we have been watching way too many movies on our computer screen), we all are in unity that we want to limit watching “time wasting movies”. Dad, who has not been enforcing so many restrictions, because all the children are grown adults and need to develop their own convictions says, “So as far as the rules and standards I do have, is there anything you would like to see changed?”
And hero son looks over with tears in his eyes, and says, “Dad, I think you are awesome!” And they all agree that they are glad that they grew up without TV and movies. And I feel the warmth of blessing wash over me…
Christian parents ~ you are going to feel persecution. Your own children and your families will persecute you. But mothers, always remember the promise,Her children will rise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31:28. I think this goes for dads as well, who are seeking God with all their heart. When you are feeling weary and persecuted never forget the promise…Train up your children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:5
I remember so well when our children were little and there were those days…tiring days, the days where everything seemed to go wrong and when the crying went on and on, whether it was from getting hurt, or being disciplined and we being weary of being faithful in disciplining and often questioning what we were doing, always praying. And then our child looks up into our eyes and gives us the smile that melts away all the weariness and frustration, and the blessing flows down and melts all the tension and stress…and we smile.

It is blessing washing over and over.

And the storms always come before the stillness of the dawning of a new day…
and here the snow glistens in the morning sun like diamonds…

And there is gratitude…

One happy Mac in the snow. : )

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