A time to dance

A time to dance

The calendar on my desk reads January 1 and it glares hard. There’s a new sign on a fresh coat of paint, “In everything give thanks” and the smoke is rising from the old brown trash barrel.

The words like the smoke irritated my eyes, caused me to lose my breath at times.  And as I read page after page I found a pattern in a time past, not so many years ago—a time when days led to weeks and sometimes even months.  The pen had inked negative in the pretty journals.  But we all know a pen has no ability to write alone.  That’s what happens when the heart dwells in hardness too long rather than being sheltered in grateful. And there was no better place for the journals than the fire.

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_DSC0113.JPGA few months after my Daddy crossed over into his heavenly home this lady said to me, ‘You’re a strong girl.  You’ll get over this.’

And at the time I wanted to scream at her–tell her strong had nothing to do with it and no I won’t get over it. But the words wouldn’t come and I just broke. Again. And knowing and loving this lady for years–honestly, she meant for her words to be of a comfort.  But me looking at the dark–I took them as just that–a dark hurt rather than being grateful for her love and concern.

The words we often speak to each other hurt and sometimes the negativity of sadness we choose for ourselves has an even greater power.  For if we focus our thoughts and words to reflect only on the weeds and thorns, we will miss the true beauty of the blessings of the most beautiful of flower gardens.

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_DSC0137.JPGIn five short days it will be another new year.  Time sure is spinning fast.

And life seems to be getting harder.  Sadness. Troubles. Sickness. Negativity on every corner. And make no mistake about it–giving thanks in everything is hard. But what blessings are we missing while dwelling on the negative?  What are we taking for granted when we should be thanking God…Every. Single. Day.

_DSC0135.JPGTalking with a dear friend a few days before Christmas and we stood together in the mire of deep tears as she asked me to pray for a loved one who was struggling with a sadness. She explained to me what had caused the hurt and then proceeded to tell me what she had shared with her loved one–about the letting go of her sadness while trusting in God’s plan….

‘In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, she said. ‘God’s word speaks of seasons in our lives and the words are there, right there side by side–a time to mournand a time to dance.’

And she explained to her loved one there are times of great sadness but there is always Jesus with His hands outstretched–reaching, waiting. And then she ask her–‘Are you willing to take His hands and dance?’

And I stood there with chills. Grateful for His hands. Grateful for the dance.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastes 3:4

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;  To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalm 30: 11-12

 

 

 

…hard thanks: The Saturday Gratitude Journal

…hard thanks: The Saturday Gratitude Journal

I am counted among the numbers now.

According to the U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics, in 2018 an estimated number of 63,960 women will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer.  (breastcancer.org).

I once heard Pam Tebow, mother of Tim Tebow speak to an audience of women about the importance of giving thanks.  She told the story of how she was walking near a construction site and a piece of debris fell on her head. Her next memory was waking up in a hospital.  And she said of this experience, ‘this was not something I had planned and it was difficult but according to God’s word we are to give Him thanks–in everything.  So I am thankful He allowed this piece of construction debris to hit me on my head.’

In every thing give thanks.

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My cancer diagnosis–on a scale of 0 to 4, I am at a zero, the beginning stages.  And in next few days I will have out-patient surgery, a lumpectomy to remove the area followed by six weeks of daily radiation treatments–30 minutes per day, five days a week. If all goes well with the surgery on Friday, I will be back at work on Monday. And my follow-up treatments can be scheduled around my work on most days. And unlike chemotherapy, there are fewer and less severe side effects to radiation treatments.

In every thing give thanks.

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And this year I will hit a milestone birthday–never had any type of surgery, no medications so to speak.  Three overnight stays in the hospital, two of those–I brought my beautiful babies home.  The other was a one-night stay while I was in high school.  A. Long. Time. Ago. So to say God has blessed me with good health thus far is an understatement and a huge blessing.

I can’t begin to write the ways in which God has prepared me for this.  How I can look back over the past few months of yesterdays and see how He provided for today and the days to come.

And this week as with any week I have so much to be thankful for…..

My grand baby boy Wyatt celebrating his first birthday. 

Praying friends 

My daughter and son-in-law celebrating birthdays

Coconut Fudge Ice Cream

Pink ribbons 

My family

Birds at the feeder

Sweet tea with crushed ice

My church family

My cancer diagnosis 

Before the month of January ended my baby brother was rushed to the hospital and he fought hard to live.  And after he was released from the hospital he was placed on a strict diet, daily insulin shots, and other medication. Today, seven months later his diet is not as strict and he is completely off insulin.  When I explained to him about my cancer diagnosis, I told him I had nothing to complain about or feel pity for myself.  And what he said next humbled me to the core–‘if you think about it, no matter what, none of us have reason to complain.’

In every thing give thanks.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:8