"We have never been called to define God, we have been called to behold Him." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Moment in Time Photography - Blog

January 13, 2012

Counting Grace, Finding Joy, Choosing Thanks

It is hard. So hard. 

But for me, it is worth it, pointing back to God when I sit and question and wonder when it will ever stop. 

Yup...trials, love them and hate them all at the same time.

So what will I do?

I will (ahem...try) to consider it ALL joy. Yup, all of it. 

Because in the midst of it God is teaching me to trust Him, and sometimes His love brings pain.

But you want to know something?
That's a good thing. 

It really is.

It means I stop and consider God's Character, Who He is and what He does. Not just in my life or the lives of people who I know, but through out history.
And guess what...."The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful" (James 5:11)

Did I happen to mention that I am involved in 2 (yes, 2!) Bible studies on the book of James?

What are the chances that God is trying to tell me something that is not making it's way past the stubborn, me-focused walls in my heart and mind?!?!

One of them is this:
James:Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore

and the other is the Bible Study Troy and I go to Wednesday nights at our Pastor's house. Just looking, verse by verse, chapter by chapter at James and learning how to apply it to our lives and to live for Christ by showing mercy and living in community even in the midst of trials.

We are still waiting to hear if Troy will have full-time work come the start of second semester in February.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Sometimes I don't wait all that patiently and I get discouraged and frustrated and lose sight of the fact that God knows.

He has this all under control and none of it (did you just read that?) NONE of it, is a surprise.

Not the joblessness.

Not my reactions to it.

Not Troy's reactions to it.

Not the effect it is having on our family.

NONE.OF.IT is a surprise to God and you know what? It's all good.
So at the start of a new year, I count blessings - those little glimpses of light and hope and joy - in the midst  of my day:

178. kids laughter

179. family board games

180. sleep

181. encouragement

182.anticipation of a visit

183. little boy *tiny hugs*

184. gentle kids kisses

185. a house becoming (slowly) organized

186. Kijiji

187. Etsy

188.stepping out in fear and faith

189. two (!) Bible studies on James
190. vanilla ice cream

191. gift cards

192. silly kids

193. snow-pants, hats, mitts, slush strewn in our enterance

194.beautiful sunrises

195. hand written letters

196. bear, deer and cow in the freezer

197. no meat on our grocery bill

198.waiting on God

199.struggling to grasp joy and have it placed in my lap
200.coffee with a friend

201.cuddles with sick kids

202.an evening to myself

203. Anthony truly happy

204. gift cards from a number of different people (some who know me well enough to know that Starbucks is the way to my hear *grin*!)

205. rain (in January, in Northern Ontario)

206. friends at a distance, connected through Facebook
207. time to clean my house

208. booking a 5 day trip just for me.

209. cheap airfare

210. new meals to make and try

211.kids playing kindly together

212. chance to play with my kids 1 on 1

213. work for Troy for a day...another day booked

214. warm, warm January weather (like windows open, heat turned off)

215. night-time pictures

216. McDonalds with a good friend and her kids

217. tears

218. waiting

219. purging of old toys

220. learning (again, continually) to die to self

221. home-made pretzels

222. a daughter who loves to cook.

223. Dell costumer service and a replacement labtop.

May God's grace find you this weekend. May His joy surround and bring laughter.

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