[caption id="attachment_685" align="alignleft" width="150"] My daughter, Stephanie, and her husband, Matt, two of my special encouragers[/caption]
Eileen: Recently, I flew to Washington state to visit my sister with stage three cancer. Our time together was a mix of uncertainty, yet peace and laughter. You see, Lois, doesn't share my faith, and though I've witnessed to her over the years, she's always turned a deaf ear to my attempts. Surrounded by my prayer partners and my daughter, Stephanie, who sent me away with scriptures, I plunged ahead, not knowing what would come of our time together. In her letter to me, Stephanie expressed her prayer that warrior angels would surround me in the airport and during the entire trip. Little did I know how God would fulfill this request through three special people I sat beside at different times on my return trip. One right after the other, they prayed for me, then looked into my eyes and said, "Don't give up! God's not done with your sister." I'm so thankful for the body of Christ doing what the Body does best--encouraging others!
Jennifer: I'm thankful for grace, for the chance to begin again, no matter how bad I've flubbed it. I'm thankful that nothing in my life--not the most difficult or painful triumphs, the most mundane, or even the most celebrated triumphs--is wasted. I'm thankful for the gift of purpose, knowing that this crazy world truly isn't spinning out of control but rather, that each one of us are part of a greater story. And I'm thankful that I don't have to figure any of this out. Rather, all I have to do is draw near, rest in what Christ has done, and respond with surrendered obedience. Such simplicity!
Carole: I'm thankful for the legacy of faith my mom and grandmother have left to me. My grandfather died when my mother was eight years old, and her sister was ten. My grandmother's faith was simple, but strong. When her life-long friend was dying of cancer, I don't think it ever occurred to her to ask for healing. She asked instead for strength to deal with the pain. When I lost a baby a year before Emma was born, her journal said, "Carole lost her baby. Made soup today." It sounds strange, but I derive great strength and comfort from that. She just knew God would be there for her and life would go on. My mother is the same way. Even when life batters her, her faith never wavers. I want to pass that on to my children.
Tanya hosted a giveaway last week. She asked me to let you know the winner of that contest, so congratulations to Frances Cavallo! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address so we can get that prize package out to you!
What are you most thankful for this week, aside from the most obvious things (God, family, friends)? Leave a comment and I will choose a winner and send a copy of either of my books, In the Shadow of Sinai or By the Waters of Kadesh.
Have a wonderful thanksgiving!