Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

It has been an interesting week, full of good things and those circumstances which frustrate one's soul.  For instance...  I peeled and diced the rest of the butternut squash a few nights ago, an effort worth the outcome but a sharp knife is a necessity!  When they were almost finished roasting, hubby arrived home a little out of breath and tired.

It seems the van ran out of gas just as he was reaching the mailboxes near our gravel lane. Thankfully, it was a quick walk home where he had gas left in the gas can he keeps for the lawnmower... and no one hit the van flying over the small hill near our home.

I am SO thankful he didn't run out of gas on the other country roads in the dark.  He hadn't taken the cell phone with him since he was only going to one food pantry at 5:00 (it is getting dark now by 5:30).  This was the week he goes to a few food pantries.

I must admit, I was thankful that he didn't run out of gas until he was close to home but I also was frustrated that it happened at all.  Do you ever stomp your feet and complain about circumstances that come from living in a fallen world?

I don't want to put a few dollars worth of gas in the van at a time.  I don't want to have to go to food pantries.  I mean, really... complain, complain, complain.  But then I had to repent and become thankful again for He does take care of us in such a lovely way.

God uses us where we are... all of us.  For instance, my husband is on a committee researching ways to better the food pantries in the community.  He would rather be there as a business owner instead of as one who uses the pantries... but he is still where God wants him. 

That goes against some theology today but if we weren't in this position, he would not be able to change some practices (like handing out rotted food, yes... they have in the past).  He has also ministered to people he has met through the food pantries, those much worse off than us.  

Sometimes He places us where we do not want to be so He has people in places where they can minister... to be His hands, His voice, and His representative in the darkest places.   How we choose to act in the darker circumstances of life is how He can use us.

We have had two complete financial reverses due to my husband's health (the second from which we never recovered) but God has given the grace to go through it.  We did everything we were suppose to do... go to college for a good job, tithe, put money in an emergency fund, etc... but the very One who created us said He had a detour off the expected path. 

I  have a few friends who have wayward children over whom they lose sleep, others have sit in a hospital waiting room while a family member suffers, siblings have fought and lost life threatening diseases, and many Christians in the world suffer the true hardship of persecution. 

I can't really complain, you know.   I live not that far from Canada and they are a friendly people.  I don't know what it would be like to live in Syria, Israel, or other countries where war is either raging or soon to explode.  I watched a news account this week of a church in Moscow bulldozed to rubble while the police watched and did nothing.  Amazing...

He understands when I stomp my feet and pout a little, especially when I think of how dangerous it was for the van to be out like that.  Just recently the left headlight went out and the right side mirror broke, too.  AAAACK!  But then I remember the family who gave us this van and how we don't owe anything on it... I am thankful!

People are still suffering on the East Coast and I am in my own, home warm and cozy.  I was shocked by the explosion in Indianapolis that leveled part of a neighborhood... and I can curl up with a cat, a throw, a book, and a hot pot of tea.

Thursday is the American Thanksgiving Day celebration... my favorite holiday.  Proclaimed a special day to give thanks for the Harvest.  A Feast Day!  A day I refuse to be taken over by the shopping god.

No... this day belongs to the God who created the seed and the sun and the rain and the people who have Someone to thank for it all... and I can thank Him.

You see, life does not have to be perfect to be good.  :)

This week, you can give Him the best gift... the one He can receive from no one but you.  A thankful heart... a thankful attitude... a sacrifice of praise in the midst of imperfect circumstances.

You cannot always control your circumstances and what life throws at you.  You can control how you let it define you. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

What true things you say, always. I'm sorry that the van ran out of gas, but glad -as you were- that your husband was so close to home!
And how good that he can be on that committee and minister to the people who especially need his help, or should I be saying, who especially need God's help and can receive it through your husband.

We are all blessed in more ways than we can count. This feels like a special time of year to reflect on the blessings of home and family just as we are spending more time inside.

Anonymous said...

We can give God a thankful heart. Absolutely. I love that.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Timelesslady said...

Lovely post...perfect to read with! I'll have tea later. Blessings to you! Kathy

Anonymous said...

Thankful for your blog and this excellent post. I picked 250 pecans fallen from our tree in the backyard this afternoon. I am constantly thanking the Lord for that tree which produces every other year - just when the previous crop runs out from eating and sharing. The LORD is good - in every situation. Sometimes we have a harvest and sometimes we do not but he stretches us and His provision until the next comes along. He knows and He cares!!
Bless you Brenda and I thank God for you!

Vee said...

Amen, Brenda. Another wonderful post and a timely message in the beginning of this Thanksgiving week. We heard this morning about the Pilgrims and all the provision given even though it often looked as if all hope was lost. The drought that ended in gentle rains, the Indian who arrived speaking English, the faithfulness of having a remnant survive that long first much.

I'm sorry that the gas ran out, yet how close to home and how well the Lord protected the van and others. He is still in the miracle business and how well you allow Him to use your gifts...writing, sharing, teaching.

Simple-Thrift Mom said...

I love your positive spirit. What a good reminder to be thankful for all the things we do have rather than focusing on our troubles. Happy Thanksgiving!

suzanne said...

how timely, and so true. and i'm with you, brenda, regarding not allowing the special Thanksgiving holiday to be trampled on. it seems especially forceful this year, all the christmas ads. is satan hoping we will forget to thank the One who provides for us so faithfully??? most likely, but i wont!

Anonymous said...

Dear friend, Your last statement is exactly what I've been reading lately in Gary Smalley's "The DNA of Relationships". It is his first point ... the Power of One. I'm responsible for myself. I decide how I will react (or act). I decide if I'm going to be thankful. I DECIDE! You hit the nail on the head! It isn't always easy, but it is essential! : >) Thanks for the lovely post. Thanksgiving Blessings, Pam (SD)

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I like your last statement!

So good. I know that it is hard to struggle, but as I know you know, God uses it to teach us.

I have been focusing on being thankful that the last few years and it is amazing what it does for your whole attitude!


Lorrie said...

A timely post. Even though we, your friendly neighbours to the north, celebrated Thanksgiving in October, being thankful is an attitude to cultivate throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea home helpful this is to me. I have been struggling with being content living in 2012. The politics, the fast pace, the lack of manners,etc. I would love to be back in the 1930's and 40's although I am sure I have a romantic view. Esp. after watching "The Dust Bowl" on PBS last night. Thank you for the reminder that I am in control of my response. Have a great day, Dee

mdoe37 said...

I understand the "complaining". I never much gave all the little bills a second thought. Now I spent some time this afternoon, figuring how to cut my phone bill (I don't think we need it we have cell phones -- I got out-voted). If I port my number to Ooma, cancel my phone service, pay the penalty--I will actually come out money ahead by not continuing their service for six months. Crazy. Plus, my internet is then bare and a couple of dollars cheaper plus they would not longer bill me for the modem.

We already share a cell plan with my parents -- 4 phones and 750 minutes (never have come close to using that many). And my satellite TV contract comes due in a couple of months. I'll switch carriers and take advantage of a big discount. Unfortunately, we don't have much competition for this kind of business in my small town.

It used to be soo much easier to just write the check.

And then you have me coveting that pheasant plate. Churchill also has a wildlife series of a pheasant, turkey, duck and deer. No hope of my finding those real cheap. Oh ebay!

loralie said...

great post. God is good. and that says it all. thanks for the reminder to take inventory occasionally of how blessed we are.

Anonymous said...

Brenda I am finding your typeface harder to read than before - has it changed or is it my eyesight deteriorating I wonder. Perhaps it is that the lines are longer across? Warm regards.

Anonymous said...

Yes when I think of all the problems we COULD have but don't. Well that puts me in my place!! We have several friends that go to a church here that passes out food. Every time they get food out of date. I mean food 2 years past the date on them. Every time. Some of the bagged things smell! They open packages of bacon and give each person 4 slices in a sandwich baggie and I wonder how clean their hands are when they do this. Or if it is legal to do so. They are thankful for everything they are given but usually most is fluff things like those rotten pretzels and such. They are not given much basic healthy food. I am so glad your husband came forward and consented to be on the committee to help at the pantry. He has a clear head and I am sure they are grateful for his assistance. He works for the pantry in a way when you think of it. :) Enjoy your Thanksgiving with the family. Sarah

Rebecca said...

Happy Thanksgiving to YOU. I thank God for daily bread, shelter, health, and my PERSONAL copy of His Word. How SWEET it is!

Front Porch Grace said...

Deep truth.