Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November's Thoughts

Many of my facebook friends have done the "November Thankfulness Challenge" (or whatever it's called), where each day this month they list something they are thankful for.  I almost jumped on that bandwagon until I realized it would be very difficult to choose just 30 things I am really thankful for this month.  I know I'd end up leaving out some of what I am most grateful for.

November has always been one of my favorite months. I love how I am reminded daily of all I am so blessed with.  When I turned the calendar to November last Monday, I saw that I had written "Holden's first Thanksgiving", decorated with pumpkins and a cornucopia.  Today I am so reminded of how blessed I am, even though I miss one of the greatest blessings ever given to me. 

It all started on July 18, 1983 when [and I have no idea why I was chosen to be so blessed by this] I was born in the United States of America.  That in and of itself is a bit overwhelming, and almost unfair in my mind.  Billions of people are born in countries where disease, filth, starvation and oppression are rampant.  Billions of people are born in countries where the Word of God is illegal, they know nothing about the freeing power of Salvation, have no hope of redemption and eternal life and are immersed in sorrow, hate, pain and false religion.  Why was I chosen to be born in the U.S.?  I don't know.  I don't deserve it.  Even on my very worst days, I know that simply being born in the U.S. has made my "very bad day" pale in comparison to what billions go through each and every day. 

I have had unlimited access to the Bible every day of my life; the one thing that people all over the world die for, just to possess and read.  Have I taken that for granted?  Yes.  Nearly every day.

Not for one day have I ever starved or drank a single sip of muddy, fecal/bacteria-filled water.  Not once have I ever had to endure freezing or sweltering temperatures, without knowing I could easily be relieved by just walking into my home.  Not once have I not been able to turn on a faucet without warm, clean, flowing water to bathe in.  The water I bathe with, rinse my mouth out with, flush the toiilet with, and water my plants with is cleaner than what most people on this planet will ever see.  I wash my hands about 20 times per day, using more soap and clean water than most people use in their lifetime.  As I am typing this, I reach for my bottle of purified spring water to quench my thirst. 

Most of all though, I was given the redeeming love of my Saviour, Jesus Christ as a child.  I have been forgiven, loved and pursued ever since July 18, 1983.  His mercy has overflowed on me for 27 years.  His love has covered and embraced me for 27 years.  He has pursued my whole heart, never giving up, for 27 years.  He has never, ever forsaken me, even when I forsook Him.   He has not grown weary of forgiving me, every day, for about 10,000 days.  He has healed me.  Restored me.  Blessed me more than I can ask or think.  He has prepared a place for me, for all eternity.  He is the only One who will ever love me perfectly, without fail, regardless of how much I will never deserve it.  He yearns to have all of me.  All of imperfect me.  When I think about how much I love my husband, son, siblings, friends, family, etc., I just think of how much my love does not even compare.  Unconditional love...love without limits...never a day in my life have I not been loved like this. 

I stopped typing for a minute and envisioned being born on July 18, 1983 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (or anywhere else in the world for that matter). How different would my life be.

It is hard to list what I am most grateful for, but I think I should write out a list nearly every single week, 52 weeks a year, just to put my life into perspective.  So today I will type some of the things I am thankful for.  It always makes me smile to realize how blessed I am.

*Chet: I really cannot imagine where I would be without Chet.  He has been my leader and strength, a source of comfort that I cannot ever be grateful for enough.  I'm so blessed to be married to a Christian man who loves and adores me every day.  I would not want anyone else to be my chidren's Daddy.  He is handsome, funny, passionate, provides for our home, puts up with any moods I may have, irons (yes, ladies, he irons), has not once complained about any food I have cooked, dreams and plans with me, informs me of any music or football stats I may have missed (haha), etc.  There are too many great qualities to this man I call my husband to list! ;) 

*Holden: My life and heart have never been touched by a person in the way my little Holden has changed me.  I am eternally grateful to get the privilege of being his Mommy.  Next month will be a year from when we found out we were pregnant.  This past year has given me so much love, I simply cannot ever be the same.

*Charys: My sister and I have been best of friends, in such an intense "twin way" all our lives.  She is a beautiful person inside and out, who I love more than I can type.  I just wish I had some of her talents, she so selfishly stole in the womb. ha!

*Joel: My brother is one of the strongest Christian men I have ever known.  He has a humble heart to serve the Lord with his whole life...and he does happen to make me laugh every single time I talk to him.

*Charys and Joel's families:  My nephews are pure joy and being an Auntie is awesome!  I am also thankful for the sweet in-laws I have because of my siblings. :)

*Shuffields:  Who else steps in to become family to a person, gaining nothing in return?  This family is more of a blessing than any parents I have ever known.  I hope to be 1/10th of the Christian example to any future Erwin children, as the Shuffields are to me.

*Family in Christ: There's not enough that can be said about my friends in Christ.  I just don't even know where to begin.  I know why the body of Christ is mentioned so often in the Scripture.  It is a gift from the Lord, and I believe completely necessary as Christians.  My family in Christ has been such a source of strength and comfort, especially these last few months. 

*Prayer: I serve the one true God.  The God who always listens to my desires, hopes, dreams, plans, heartaches, pain, sorrow.  He gives me joy that no one else can.  He restores my heart each and every day, and never tires of our conversations.

*My animals: I know they might seem trivial on this list, but they are not trivial to me.  I love animals and I know God must love them as well, since He created them.  Henri, Luke and Rusty can make me smile no matter what. :o)  I am very outspoken about animal love and care (just had to add that hehe).

*Health: How blessed I am to have a very healthy, "whole" body.  As a friend Jennifer said, "I'm thankful I can walk on my own two feet, scratch an itch, sing, smell the fresh air, hear my loved ones' voices and feel the breeze blowing my hair."

*My job: I am one of the few blessed people who can say that I truly love what I do.  I rarely get up and think, "I don't want to go to work today".  I have an amazing boss and coworker who are both friends as well.  We laugh, talk and enjoy working together.  I love working with my high school students and learn something new each day.

*Seasons: I know each season of life has its purpose, and makes us stronger.  I am grateful for the lessons I gain through life's seasons. (I also like the four "spring, summer, autumn and winter" seasons too!) ;)

I am also grateful for a myriad of more trivial things, which if I typed them out it might constitute the longest blog post I would ever write.  I noticed when I start thinking about all I am thankful for, it is easier to live for the eternal.

Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Hebrews 12:28

Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Pslam 106:1

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post!!! Thanks for sharing. Wanted you to know that I think and pray for you every single day.