Skip to main content

Choosing to Give Thanks

There are days, weeks, even, when my natural reaction is not one of thanksgiving or praise.  On Monday morning when I connected to the internet, the first thing I found out was of the death of a young man just a few years younger than Suzanne and who had been in the same youth group as our kids in one of our supporting churches.  Then the week ended with churches and Christian schools as well as businesses and homes owned by Christians being burnt in three different cities in Niger.  

How can I give thanks for those things?  It's interesting that "rejoice in the Lord always" and "in all things give thanks" are not "if you feel like it" sometimes, maybe statements.  They are commands.  And it's hard.  I think the key word here is to have "joy" which is not to be confused with happiness, silliness, or frivolity.  It means to see how God is present in the situation.

For example, I remember the smiles this young man who died so young shared with everybody.  Wherever he went, he brought joy.  I'm not saying his life was easy or that he didn't have struggles, but he loved people and it showed.  

This weekend was tragic here in Niger, but we can be thankful that buildings and not lives were targeted.  We can look forward to see how God will rebuild, how churches will be unified, how God will use this to bring glory to His name.  There is still hope and for that I can be thankful.

Sometimes it seems that giving thanks for a cup of hot Milo is frivolous, but there are pastor's wives this morning who would have been thankful to be able to come up with a cup to give their children a hot drink.  A warm blanket may seem like a given, but so many people slept last night without one.  I never want to take little things for granted. So here is my thankful list for this week.

Sunday -- I finally had time (or maybe I should say MADE time) to catch up on some letter writing.  I'm thankful for people who still send us "real letters".

Monday -- I'm thankful I had a few weeks to get up whenever I felt like it, but I'm equally thankful to get back into my routine. Yep, that's a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call.



Tuesday -- I've discovered my best time to get some exercise is early in the morning.  Exercise isn't something I really enjoy, so if I plan to do it later in the day, it just doesn't get done.  If I do it first, then it's done. I'm thankful I've found the right time for me to take my daily walk.

Wednesday -- I'm thankful that we're back to having weekly Bible studies.  We had almost a month off for Christmas, New Years, and our conference.

Thursday -- One of my friends, Joy, has cancer.  She's currently in the US undergoing chemo.  We ladies here in Niger each have a bracelet to wear to remind us to pray for her.

Friday -- A cup of hot Milo, yum yum!  I'm thankful it's cool enough for this comforting drink.  I don't drink it much when it gets hot.

Saturday -- Saturday was a dark, difficult day.  I spent the day staying in touch with people by phone and internet.  I'm thankful we had phone service all day and that I didn't run out of credit.  

Sunday -- It sure is nice to need to use a blanket on our bed.  I'm thankful for cool nights and warm blankets.Your prayers for the country are appreciated.  Pray for God's name to be glorified and for attitudes of love and forgiveness.

Comments

Deb said…
Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  




I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.



While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…

Happenings in November

Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November.  It was a fun, busy, and eventful month.  We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.

We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month.  Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight.  He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now.  We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.  





We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.



Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed.  Whatever the …