The art of giving thanks

November has been a difficult month for my husband and me.

Michael’s co-worker, the one I blogged about who was injured at the mill, died. He had been doing better than expected, but he contracted a blood infection that led to heart failure. We’re also facing a personal sorrow in our own family. Besides that, Michael has yet to be moved to the long-promised day job. He is spending this Thanksgiving working his regular 12-hour shift. I’m spending it alone at our apartment. As winter comes, the days are so short. Some days it seems the sun never comes out at all. Between sickness, cold, and rain, I can rarely muster the will to get out of the house.

Despite the struggles – perhaps because of the struggles – we see clearly how much we have to be thankful for.

God is giving me peace where peace is needed. He is constantly teaching me to be still and know that He is God. I have never been more aware of how blessed I am to have Michael. There is no one I would rather go through life with. He understands how to be what I need when I need it.

Being apart from family is just a reminder of what a wonderful family we have. Others are not so blessed. And they aren’t so far away. Our friends new and old keep life bearable. It’s amazing to me to support base of people and church that we already have here in Indiana and all those back in Missouri and across the country who are somehow with us when we need them most.

Although Michael’s job can be challenging and is dangerous, we are blessed that he has a stable career and income. We are blessed that God has kept him safe so far and is laying a foundation for the future, whatever that may bring. We are blessed that I am able to stay home. It has given me time to get more involved in church work, which I feel very called to. It has enabled me to be flexible so Michael and I can take advantage of all the time we have together, even when that means staying up all night and sleeping half the day and having “weekends” any day of the week. It means that I have unlimited personal days and sick days when I need them.

We have so much to be thankful for. I haven’t begun to scratch the surface. God asks that we give thanks and praise in all circumstances. And He provides enough blessings, even during turbulent times, that it’s not hard to find the reasons for thanksgiving. It is good for the soul to be thankful. Let’s not forget to do it every day.

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About Nicole

Daughter of God, wife, mother, volunteer youth leader, substitute teacher, aspiring writer, rabbit owner, nature lover. These are some of my titles.
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3 Responses to The art of giving thanks

  1. Beth Pack says:

    Nicole, you have an effective way of expressing how wonderful God is via personal illustrations. I have had occasion to feel the same peace that surpasses all understanding and I so relate to your words. You are inspiring! God is allowing all your uncomfortable circumstances and they are all working out – somehow – in the overall plan for you and Michael. Hang in there and don’t lose faith! I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. God bless! Beth Pack

  2. Fleastiff says:

    Thanks and praise in all circumstances? I feed my hungry cat but must bend over to do it and feel my already fluttering heart stop pumping. I next step slowly on gout-wracked joints to feed the dog and then outside to feed the feral cats certain in the knowledge that if I trip I will probably not be able to get up. In truth, I do not stand condemned in Fortune and men’s eyes, I stoop there. A broken old man at the end of a wasted life. Perhaps someone wrongfully convicted prays to God but does he praise and thank him? Does a coward and mass-murderer pray for courage or does he pray for forgiveness or does he pray for amnesia? It varies, but it is done with precious little thanks or praise. So yes, I’m thankful for the otherwise homeless cat that bats me awake at night whenever I stop breathing but I’m still bitter about the denial of medical care when I needed it. Someone youthful can offer thanks and praise in all circumstances; someone old just doesn’t have the strength.

  3. Nicole says:

    Fleastiff,
    I won’t pretend to understand how you feel. But God does understand. And He offers courage, forgiveness and peace to anyone who will accept it. Human life will always be full of pain, sorrow and struggle. It has been that way ever since sin entered the world in the beginning. But when life is over, we will find that all of our suffering amounts to less than the blink of an eye in comparison with the eternity that awaits us. For those who have hope in Jesus, there is a joy that transcends everything we suffer in this world, and it enables us to offer thanks and praise in all circumstances.

    Some verses from Isaiah 40:
    “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her sin is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins…The grass withers, the flower faces when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the world of our God will stand forever…Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

    God offers this strength and comfort both to the saints and to cowards and mass murderers. His forgiveness extends to everyone who trusts in Jesus, and it certainly extends to you, too. I hope and pray for you that you will find this forgiveness and peace, and that even in your suffering you can know joy.

    “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

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