Ah - yes... my favorite Holiday of the year!
I love how Thanksgiving sets the tone and mood for the coming chaos of Christmas and all that the holiday has come to involve... For me, Thanksgiving puts it all in perspective before the frenzy of gift giving and baking and entertaining and keeping up with the Joneses. The Mary and Martha within me often fight against each other the most during Christmas... but Mary wins out on Thanksgiving without a doubt!
It doesn't matter where your priorities are - at Thanksgiving time - it seems everyones' get shifted around a bit and put back in proper order! We begin to reflect on all that truly matters and we begin to see what is stealing our time and blurring our focus. It is a day set aside to spend with family and friends and to remember over the past year all things GOOD! Even when we have been dealt a hard year and had to work with tragedy and pain... unexpected hurts and betrayals... even then - we are called to focus in on blessings in our lives and as long as we draw breath - we have something to be thankful for!
At Prayer yesterday, we were encouraged to set aside not only tomorrow - but December - to enter into His rest and focus on the reasons for our thankfulness! We were encouraged to look over the past year and reflect on the blessings and the ways that God has come through for us! And oh my - how He has! How He ALWAYS will!!! I normally do this while I am preparing to write our Family Christmas Letter... I am fairly organized and - as many of my readers know - I am a schedule/routine follower - so you can image that just browsing through our family calendar - I am reminded of how God has shown up for us over and over and over again! So - I will do that over this weekend and begin to write our Holiday Letter. I encourage you to do this as well... whether at the Thanksgiving table - or on your own - alone with the Lord... it is such a powerful time of relfection and intimacy ...and it does give a freshness to our perspective and priorities before the busyness of the Season takes hold!
What I wanted to share today really - is that in the midst of the past two weeks - I have dealt with such a Heaviness... such a burden to carry that truly was not my own... I rarely deal with depression or oppression - but I can say that there has been a weariness that settled in over my heart. I believe part of it was an attack and I did what I knew to do to battle that with the Word and warfare in worship and prayer... I entered into His rest and allowed the Lord to cover me and to take most of the burden off of me. The weariness that remained however, confused me for several days. In the midst of the heaviness - the Lord gave me a Promise! I am clinging to it and believing for it... He told me of a change that is coming within my family that has been years and years of prayer in the making! He gave me a promise for the season - and even in that - my heart was heavy. I realized that I was not rejoicing at this promise like I should have been. When I would recall His words to me... I would feel faith rise up within me and I would know that it is true... and yet I felt such sadness that I was not able to really allow myself to get my hopes up. That is when I realized that I have, in the past, allowed my faith and my expectation level to rise so high - that it nearly broke my heart when I didn't see the vision or promise come to pass. I realized that recently I had a similar experience and I was searching my heart to be certain that the expectations that I had - were not unmet due to anything I myself did or did not do. Yesterday, the Lord revealed to me that what I was still feeling- the heaviness I was dealing with - was HIS heart for that situation... His expectations had been higher as well - and His heart was broken for the same reasons. In that knowledge - I felt a release!
Also - yesterday in Prayer - God gave me a new name... I heard Jesus tell me that I am like Sarah... I will have to go back and study it out again... study more about this mighty woman of the faith and see what God has for me in this name... What I do know is that her name means: Lady, or Princess. Given all that He has spoken this year - about being a Lady in waiting... about being His royal Princess.... about being a Queen, I thought that this new name was very interesting!
I pray that God will remind you this weekend - as you gather together and celebrate Thanksgiving - all the many reasons you have to be thankful! I pray that He will embrace you and whisper truths to your weary hearts, and cover you and call you by a new name!
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