The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to Him in song. -- Psalm 28:7
Never have I experienced a year with so much change, so much uncertainty, a time when my pride was attacked as much. And yet, it is a choice, isn't it, how we look at things. Do we see the five loaves and two fish and walk away hopeless? Or do we give thanks and break them?
And so I choose to give thanks...
I thank You, Beloved Jesus, for the deep and intimate relationship that has developed between Al and I. Today, he helped me with my work and it was oh, so sweet! Such a joy to have him share the load, to hear the vacuum running while I cooked. A few years ago, I would have said it was impossible. But here we are.
I thank You, Beloved Jesus, that today I still have a job. I thank You for the boss who appreciates me and tell me so. And for all the times she told me I was wrong when I was, and for the grace You alone gave me to accept that and obey. I thank you for the sweet people in Claridge House and I am grateful for the opportunity and the strength You have given me to serve them. I thank You for giving me words for all those troublesome times, and allowing me to be an instrument of Your peace and Your love.
I thank You, Dear Jesus, that Al has a place to work and that the work has been steady. I thank You for keeping him safe, and bringing godly men in his path, and for giving him others to share Your love and truth with. I thank You for holding him close in this ordeal and changing him gently but firmly, showing Your love and provision throughout.
I thank You, Beloved Jesus, that Christina has been doing well in college, almost done, in fact, with her degree. She loves her part time job and has a man in her life who loves her and her son, is mature and stable and gives her joy. She is such a wonderful mother and our relationship is almost well again, certainly on the right track. A few years ago, I would have said it was impossible. But here we are.
I thank You, Dear Jesus, that Debbie is doing well in college, and has great friends, and has decided that being without a man in her life right now is a good thing. I thank You that she loves her job and that the Olive Tree has been a blessing to us. I thank You, Dear Jesus, for their beauty and their health and their sweetness.
I thank You, Dear Jesus, for Giovanni, the light of our lives. I thank You that by Your grace, we are able to see him every day and partake in the routine of his life. I thank You that You knew we needed Giovanni in our home and have given us provision for him.
I thank You for our Bloomfield home, our beach house, our cars that continue to run like manna from heaven. It is truly a miracle of the magnitude of the loaves and fishes and how I know Your finger prints are all over it!!
I thank You that my mom still lives and that she is enjoying her retirement with a great man who not only loves her and is healthy but who is also able to take her to wonderful places. I thank You that our family lives close and we love each other and enjoy each other. I thank You for the sicknesses we do not have and the energy we do.
I thank You for MCC and ACE and Middle Ground, for the opportunity to continue to teach and how much I am learning. I thank You for each person at the table. I thank You for forgiving my mistakes and for each second chance. I thank You for encouraging me to lay down those things that You never intended me to pick up. I thank You for Your patience and perseverance with me in all.
I give You thanks, Beloved. I give You the glory! I celebrate You and rest in Your arms.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. -- Luke 9:16-17