Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Well, hello again...

What a month it's been. My absence on here is explained by me feeling very, very ill. It's been rough. I've felt in despair. I've felt hopeless. But it's also been a growing process for me. When your health is taken from you, it's very humbling and it made me aware of what an idol I had made my health. Suddenly when it wasn't what I wanted it to be, when I was so sick that there were days I spent the whole time in bed, I became very discontent and hopeless.

And so through all of this sickness and trial, I'm learning what it means to be totally dependent upon God. And I'm also learning what it means to have joy in Christ even when life's not going as planned. And another extremely important discipline God is teaching me about is being thankful in all circumstances! It's so much more difficult to be thankful when your body is aching and you feel like you can hardly move! So despite this being a very difficult time for me, it's also been one of those times when my faith has been challenged and will hopefully grow and grow.

Our pastor spoke about abiding in the vine this past Sunday. And during his sermon, I realized that I hadn't really been abiding fully in the vine. I had been striving and striving and trying to figure out what to do to make myself better. I kept thinking the worst-case scenario. And what my Father really wanted me to do was to just rest and abide in Him and let Him have the reigns to take care of the details. That's hard. But I'm reminding myself daily to just be still and rest in Him.

And I've also picked up my gratitude journal again recently. I just read recently that the best way to chase away the negative thoughts is to fill your mind with thanksgiving. As you fill yourself with thankful and grateful thoughts, the negative thoughts soon become crowded out. I also just read last night about how giving thanks is a practice. Do you know what that means? That means that it is a discipline, something that doesn't come naturally. Something that has to be done over and over again in order to become good at it. I like that. I like that I don't have to beat myself up over my tendency to find giving thanks during the hard times difficult. Rather, I need to discipline myself and rely on God's help to practice, practice, practice giving thanks even when it's hard.

So that's the lesson God's been teaching me during this season of illness. :)

In other news...

The kids have been busy with seasonal crafting. Ian made a big snowflake garland yesterday. We were all feeling a bit festive yesterday as we got our first big snowfall of the year. It was beautiful. I actually spent some time outside shoveling up some snow and just admiring the white snow. So much prettier than brown and gray which is what it had been like around here.

Lily's been sewing up a storm. That little girl's got talent. And she just runs with it. I love that about her. I'm excited about her future and how God will use her creativity. I'm talking to a friend about giving her official sewing lessons on her machine after the first of the year. We just sold her kitchen set and doll house in order to fund a big craft table and storage for her fabric, sewing machine, notions, and yarn. It's a lovely little space now. She loves it and has been using it every day.

That first picture up there? The really cute measuring cups? That was my birthday gift from Brad. I've been wanting those measuring cups for the past two years (maybe three.) Every time we would go into Pier 1 Imports, I would pick them up and admire them. But I didn't need them so I never got them. But my sweetie remembered and surprised me with them for my birthday this year. Yippee!! 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, of course. This is my absolute favorite holiday. I credit my Gammy for that one. She always put her whole heart and soul into making the day extra special, and it was the one holiday that most of the family came back home to the farmhouse and gathered together around the big old farm table. That's what I loved most. My aunt has carried on the tradition. And although not all of the family comes back anymore, it's still such a nice day.

And when I've found the energy, I've been working on my crochet orders as well as the handmade gifts I'm making for Christmas gifts this year. I'm starting to feel the pressure as the days between now and Christmas are shrinking in number. This happens every year! I'm sure I'm not alone.

Well, ladies, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the prayers. And I pray that you and your family have a MOST blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow.

p.s. - DAD - Here you go. Another post. I dedicate it to you, my dear father! Love ya!


Wendi said...

I am happy to see a post from you! :) I am so sorry that you have been so ill. I pray that you are turning a corner and on the road to recovery.

Your polka dot curtains are adorable!

I agree that Thanksgiving is a great holiday. I don't feel the pressure that do at Christmas. I find it simple and so meaningful. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

It's good to hear from you, Amber! I'm sorry you have been feeling so bad. I have never been sick like that before, but I know I probably wouldn't be focused on being thankful at a time like that. So it's awesome that you are able to make it a practice to be thankful even during the hard times. I really admire that! :)

I love those measuring cups - so cute! Hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving :)

Meg said...

I'm glad you're doing a bit better, and are finding something to focus on. I think the hardest part is always to just trust that it will get better, that it's out of our control, and to see what happens. One day at a time! Happy Thanksgiving, I hope it is a joyous one!

PS - those measuring cups are just the cutest!

Anonymous said...

Wow I just love the measuring cups - they are gorgeous. Hope you are on the mend soon and Happy Thanksgiving - we don't celebrate it here but hope you and your family have a wonderful day!

Rachel E. said...

I have to agree with the others. The measuring cups are great! Your crafts you have laying around are even better. Such talent your little girl has. Way to go!

I didn't know you were ill. But, I've been a bit busy around here as well. I do pray you mend soon. It is hard on moms when they are sick.

It's always great when God uses these down times for a building up.

Pam said...

I loved reading your post. I appreciated what you said about practicing thankfulness, and how it is a discipline. It is so true; and such a good reminder.

The measuring cups are lovely, what a precious man to observe, remember and get them for you.

I think it is wonderful that Lily shares your creative talents, and joy in that arena. It will be a life long connection and happiness that you two will share.
The craft table sounds great.

Your Thanksgiving remembrances are very special,
and it sounds as if you are passing on the traditions as well.

Many Blessings,

Sandra said...

I'm so sorry you've been so unwell, I'm praying that you recover soon.

Love all your pictures, and especially love the measuring cups, I have similar ones but mine are polka dots :)

Hope you're having a good start to December.

Unknown said...

A beautiful post. Loved what you said about starting a praise journal. I'm reading A Thousand Gifts right now. In my battles with health I have learned to call for help when I need it, a friend, mom, a cleaning service. It all helps. Hope you feel refreshed soon.