Category Archives: Giving thanks

He gives gifts – always


We get up

We go through the routine of getting ready to send my window cleaning husband out for the day

Rags are folded and by the door

Invoices ready

Lunch packed

Uniform on

While this routine is now familiar, it still feels strange.

So different from what we once did

What we thought we’d do for life


Here we are now in this season

We have peace that for now this is where we stay

This is where we work, live and play

And there are days when we really don’t want to do this


What has come of it?

Incredible blessings – without a doubt.

Along with the uncomfortable, the sometimes painful, the weird…

There is joy


Our Father, He gives gifts – always

I don’t always see them, yet they are there


And so I count:

#1087 – Family who is there for us

#1088 – Kids growing and learning lessons not learned any other way

#1089 – Peace and freedom found in following God’s voice

#1090 – Cardinals singing to each other in the back yard

#1091 – Pink streaks in the sky as the sun comes up

#1092 – Food to eat

#1093 – Plateful of cherry tomatoes, green and red

#1094 – 4 kids sleeping in their beds

#1095 – Meeting new people

“…and it’s counting the ways He loves, this is what multiplies joy.

The life that counts blessings discovers its yielding more than it seems.” ~Ann Voskamp




Give Thanks – Part 2

It was January 2011 and I was having a very discouraging day. It was about 2 months into our family’s new reality.

We had hoped we’d be returning to Peru in January.

Back to ministry with the Quechua people.

Back to our friends, team mates, and all that would come in the new year after a time of rest.

Instead God had closed all doors in that direction (for reasons I still don’t totally understand) and allowed some very hard things to happen to us.

Here we were trying to start a business, trying to adjust our thinking in so many ways.

Facing some new realities or as some said “your new normal”. Ugh.

So on this day in January while I was particularly discouraged, I went online looking for some encouragement from some ladies who always seem to have a way of encouraging me.

It’s a great site called…get this, (in)courage.

I had found it a few years before about the time it got started.

I honestly was not expecting to get anything out of it this time.

Who’s going through this kind of turmoil?

And why would they talk about it online in a way that could be encouraging anyway.

I read this post: Come Take the Dare to Live Fully Alive

Go ahead, click over and read it, then you’ll know what I mean.

I actually stopped part way through to read the whole thing out loud so my husband could hear it too.

We bawled.

And then I wondered what this was all about.

1,000 Gifts.

Am I just going to find myself mad again? Or trying hard again and failing at this whole giving thanks thing?

Or is this different?

Since it was an online book club starting up and I actually caught the info. BEFORE it started, I hardly had to ask my husband if it was ok to buy the book and read along.

I ordered it and found myself cautiously optimistic.

I started reading and participating in the Bloom book club.

Interacting with others about this subject was so helpful.

One woman in particular really stuck out to me.
Gitzen Girl, who’s blog I had read before because she wrote for (in)courage.

Here was someone else who’s life had taken a difficult turn only, Wow! She couldn’t even leave her bed?

Sarah, like Ann, was telling the hard stuff and digging deeper to see what Truth might be there to see and understand.

If they found real TRUTH and it made enough of a difference that they kept going, could I?

More than finding an answer from someone’s story or someone’s book or blog, I wanted to know and find that God is REAL, that He SEES and CARES about what is going on down here in my life and the lives of others.

I wanted to really KNOW that I could hang on to Him and count on Him more than anything or anyone.

Because frankly, my life was a mess!

I felt like it had been completely ripped open, dissected and discussed, was falling apart and falling away.

I couldn’t tell which end was up.

Whether anyone could be trusted from one moment to the next.

Whether everything and everyone would be taken away from me and the ones I loved the most, or whether it would all settle down.

Total chaos and pain would describe the whole experience.

Even with all that chaos, I found it helpful to read or hear from others who seemed to speak my language.

They asked the hard questions I was asking or wanted to ask. They said what I was thinking.

In wrestling with this whole issue of “bad things” happening and how to be thankful it was a huge relief to know that others had asked the same thing…

”How can I be thankful when ____ is happening?”

And they too had wondered where God was in all of this.

Have you ever wondered if God is REAL, if He Sees you and your circumstances and CARES about you and what you are going through? Have you come across a person whose story asked the hard questions and said what you were thinking?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts. If you blog about it and want to share, leave a link in your comment so we can check it out. Thanks for joining me in this “Give Thanks” series.

Give Thanks – Part 1

ImageGive thanks.

These words bring to mind so many contradicting things.


Generous gifts given…so thankful and amazed at their kindness.

People were there in a time of need…grateful for the love shown.

A beautiful day, a wonderful relationship, a lovely flower.

Good news, a happy event, an answered prayer.

In all these, of course it’s easy to give thanks.

ImageBut when the day is hard, the relationship is strained, the flower dies?

God seems to be silent.

Did He notice what’s going on?

Give thanks?

How? Why?

Be thankful you say?

I want to fling that thought away with a big “NO!”

It seems like I am being told to be happy about this.

Give thanks.

Like an insistent voice in my head saying I MUST do it.

I give in.

But in my own strength it is only possible for a time.

I can put on the face, say that I am thankful.

Beat off all the questions in my mind and make.myself.give.thanks.

And then I break. I cannot do it.

How do I reconcile these questions in my mind.

ImageHow do I give thanks on the hard days?

Why is it important that I do so anyway?

Does it really make a difference?

I want to give thanks, yet how when I am struggling with the reality of the now?

More questions than answers as I wrestle with these words.


I’m going to start something here today on this blog and talk about giving thanks for a few posts.

It’s time for some interaction!

I am thankful (you heard me!) for those who have taken the time to click over and read and I hope that those who want to will at least from time to time feel comfortable sharing in the comments. I do review them first before posting but don’t let that stop you.

Share with us today or consider:

When you hear the words GIVE THANKS, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s positive or maybe it’s negative. What words, phrases, messages or pictures come to mind? Do you struggle like I do? In what ways?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts. If you blog about it and want to share, leave a link in your comment so we can check it out. Thanks for joining me in this “Give Thanks” series.