Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gratefulness

grate·ful  (grtfl)
adj.
1. Appreciative of benefits received; thankful.
2. Expressing gratitude.
3. Affording pleasure or comfort; agreeable.

I have recently watched a lot of different things happen to people I know and love and some people I only know of through friends, but in a way I think that God bonds us together. I have grown to love and respect them as well because I have watched them experience trials I can only imagine trying to get through and only by the grace of God I have not experienced in my life.


Like the death of a baby that was born with a rare heart disease that was hospitalized for the whole 8 months of his precious life, or cancer of your teenage or adult son, or an aneurysm and blood clots, or a heart attack, or cancer of your mother who finally couldn't fight it anymore and went home to be with Jesus and the list goes on and on.


Over the last year some of these things have occurred in the lives of my sister, grandmother and dad, others to friends I have grown up with and members of their extended family and friends I have only know a short time since living in Abilene.  Yet with each one I have found it has affected me in both big and small ways.  One of the biggest ways is that it has brought more attention to the fact that I have so much in my own life to be thankful for, to get down on my knees before the throne of God and with a heart full of gratitude be thankful for!


While going to have an ultrasound done on my stomach the other day (since aneurysms are hereditary and Jackie, my sister, had one rupture last year) I was thinking a lot about what being grateful really meant. Going in the hospital, lying there during the ultrasound, leaving with no answers but the Dr. will call in a day or two, to then later that day coming home to a message to call the office and not being able to because they were now closed so I had to wait till the next day to find out the results-made me stop and think-what will I do or say if there is a problem?  How will I react? Will I be joyful, grateful, no matter what it might be?  Thankfully when the Dr. office called the next day every thing was fine, but I thought about it all day-how would I have been had it not been ok?






I am so blessed-beyond what I deserve I know for sure.  Sometimes it is almost overwhelming that God loves me so much that He has blessed me with a wonderful, godly, husband, 4 beautiful, healthy children, my home, by family (mom, dad, sister,grandma who is 95!), my part-time job, my church and church family, friends all over the world( literally) from all the places I have lived and traveled, and most of all the promise and gift of my salvation and what that means for my future.  

I heard a pastor speaking the other day and he said if anyone told you being a Christian would be easy-they fed you a line and I am sorry.  The bible never promises that once we become a "Child of God" that the pathway will be straight and problem free, that life will be a bed of roses-what it does promise is that He will never leave us or forsake us and that doesn't mean a problem free life- just that when those times happen He is there to help us through the storm-to hold our hand and our hearts and to even carry us during the times we can't take one more step.

I have been through a few times like that in the past few years. The lose of two babies to miscarriages- finding out my dad has a form of cancer in his bladder-my daughter drowning and God sending an angel there that day to do CPR and start her breathing again-my sister having an aneurysm rupture and getting a call that she might not live-to Mike's dad having an accident (to this day we don't know what happened or how he got home) and being in the hospital for 6 weeks and almost losing him-lots of things that I felt like I am not sure I can make it through this let alone be "grateful" God. Yet the bible calls us to be "Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16  

Easy when life is hunky dory, not so much when the water is a little rougher-when the waves seem to be swallowing you up and you can't come up for air. I have watched people go through trials that only God's grace can get them through-grace that only God can give us when we are passing through the trials in our lives-we can't understand it unless we are there experiencing it-He gives us what we need when we need it.
I guess that is how and why we are to be "joyful in all circumstances."

I am learning to try and take each day to find the "joy" in that day-even hour by hour!  To be "grateful" for even my trials because they are what makes us stronger in our faith I think-closer to Him-to be still and listen to what He wants from us and even what He may have in store for our future.  

Valentine's Day is tomorrow-I love that day because it is the day God brought Mike into my life 16 years ago and we have been together even since.  From that He gave me not only a wonderful husband but 4 beautiful kids and a wonderful life-full of blessings.  One more of those blessings is that Derek (my 8 year old) accepted Christ in his heart about a month ago and he is getting baptized tomorrow on Valentine's Day-giving his heart to God.  As a mom that is one of the greatest blessings I have to be grateful for and like when Alyssa did this 3 years ago my heart is overwhelmed with joy.
  
So much to be grateful for-so much still to learn to accept and be grateful for-on this



My treasures that I am so "grateful" for!






Pathway to Purpose
 Jill

2 comments:

Barbie said...

Hello! I stumbled upon your blog today from another blog. I am looking forward to getting to know you better. Seems like you've been through a lot in your life, and God has been so faithful. I too have 4 children -- ages 18, 15, 9 and 6. I work full time (my Pastor's admin) and homeschool my 2nd child at night. Hardly time to breath most days, but God is good. Blessings!

JillAileenJones said...

Barbie-

I have gotten on your blog as well and am excited to get on and read your blog and get to know you better. You sound as busy as me-my 4 are 11-8-6-2 and I work part time at First Baptist Church our church as the Children's Choir Coordinator and I take Analeigh with me. We are looking into home schooling our oldest daughter next year she is ready to start Jr High and we are not sure if we are ready for her to be there. She is a little behind in school and so we are worried about how she will do. How does it work for you to home school at night.
God is good-hope you have a blessed day too! Looking forward to getting to know you better and become your friend and sister in Christ.
Jill