30 Days of Gratitude – Day 17

Today I’m grateful for the wonderful relationship that I’m in.  I may have been grateful for this in the past but what I’m most grateful about it is that he is willing to walk with me through my Bi-polar disorder.

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So you can understand why this is such a big deal let me share a little of my history with you.  I was married once a long time ago and my husband never asked questions regarding my disorder, or did much of anything to try and understand me.  He did however bring a lawyer to a hospital I was at, under the guise of a “friend of the family, helping my ex make some decisions”.  I thought that he was a psychiatrist or therapist so I answered all his questions to be of help to my ex.  I thought this would help our relationship and he would better understand me.  I was way off base.  His plan was to see if I could be institutionalized.  He ran from my disorder and wanted nothing to do with me, so the marriage eventually ended in divorce, since I wasn’t fixable.

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That pain, hurt, betrayal hit me hard.  I thought that I was permanent damaged goods that no one in there right mind would want to have anything to do with me.  So I resigned myself to being single the rest of my life and believed it was preferred as Paul mentions I believe in Corinthians.

God saw things differently He decided to bring healing to that area of my life in the form of the most amazing man from my past.  I had cherished his friendship always but something caused us to loose track of each other.  I now believe it was God’s providence.  We had the basis of a wonderful friendship but it wasn’t the right timing for more.  While we were apart I kept praying that God would bring a man like him into my life.  I missed getting the male perspective on things.  Twenty years I prayed hoping God would one day answer my prayer and He is so good.  He didn’t give me a man like him He gave me the original.

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He has always been compassionate, man of God, Godly leader in the relationship whatever form that took, a gentleman, knows me well, but now I’ve noticed that he really pays attention to me and has insight to me.  He also works very hard to understand my disorder and assures me that he isn’t going anywhere.  Those two things alone make me so grateful for this relationship that I’m nearly bursting with joy.  He also warns me that there will be times when he gets frustrated with the Bi-polar disorder in not being able to understand it.  That’s comforting to me in two ways; 1) I don’t have to worry that it’s me personally that’s got him frustrated and 2) It’s a human thing, I get frustrated with this disorder as well.

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Waiting 22 years after my divorce to find the perfect man for me was well worth the wait and all the work that had to be done in preparation for it.  If you find yourself newly single can I give you some advice and words of encouragement.  Don’t rush into anything.  Give yourself a chance to heal.  Give God time to work.  And always hold out for God’s best for you, you’ll never regret it.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 16

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Today I’m grateful for our unsung heroes.

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Those men and women in uniform that spend their lives making it possible for us to live free and wonderful lives.

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They are working hard and dealing with things we can’t even imagine and some of those wonderful heroes will be doing all this while missing Christmas with their loved ones.  For their selfless acts I’m eternally grateful.  I wish them the safest of Christmases and that they will be able to be reunited with their families soon.

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Let’s not forget our wonderful men and women of the military this Christmas time and say prayers for them and thank them when you see one walking down the sidewalk or across the street.  It is the very least we can do for them, after they have done so much for us.

And let’s pray for those and their families who didn’t make it home.  They need our support always but especially during the holidays.  So while we are celebrating let’s not forget those less fortunate than us.

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Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 15

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Today I’m grateful for the ability to be content.

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The Lord has blessed me with the ability to basically have what I desire and know what it is to live relying completely on Him to get you through the month.  I have learned to be content in each situation.  For which I’m eternally grateful.

He has taught me how to be content in His leading.  How He restores my soul with quiet waters and makes me lie down when needed.

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He knows what is best for me and always has that in mind.  To know that He has my best interests in mind and that I’ll never lack for anything that I really need, is very comforting and brings much contentment.

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Just like His eye is on the Sparrow so is it on you and I.  From the fact that He cares for such a little bird and knows just how it’s doing, we can confer that He is even more concerned about us.  Whom He sent his Son to die for us.

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I love this song and it rings in my heart!  Because His eye is on the sparrow I know He watches me.  And if that isn’t cause for contentment I don’t know what is.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 14

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Today I’m grateful for the fact that in Christ I am a new creation.  The old is gone and the new has come.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  –  2 Cor.  5:16-21

How can one not be grateful for God making it possible for us to be new that we might be reconciled to Him?  What an honor and blessing!

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God could have wiped His hands of us so many times in history.  With the first sin He could have decided I’m done with them they made their choice against Me, but that’s not who God is.  His love wouldn’t allow Himself to turn His back on humanity when humanity has turned it’s back on Him time and time again.  Anytime that He did divorce Himself of mankind once they cried out to Him, He responded.  That’s just the way of love.

God’s ultimate act of love was; that He loved sinful man so much that He sent Christ to pay the penalty of our sins thus reconciling us to Him and making us new and the righteousness of God through Christ.

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If God never did anything else for me my entire life I would sing His praises my entire life for this awesome blessing!  Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord, God Almighty!!!  Thank you my Savior for dying for me and all sinners!!!

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 13

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“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  –  John 14:27

As one that struggles with General Anxiety Disorder, I’m ever so grateful for the peace that Jesus left as an inheritance for me.

“The word bequeath in this verse is a term used in the execution of wills.  In preparation for death, people usually bequeath their possessions, especially those things of value, as a blessing to those they love who are left behind.

Jesus knew He was about to pass from this world and He wanted to leave us something.  He could have left any number of good things, like His power and His name, and He did.  But He also left us His peace.

You don’t leave junk for people you love – you leave them the best you have, Jesus had a special kind of peace that surpassed anything mankind had ever known.  He knew it was one of the most precious things He could give.

From: “Ending Your Day Right: Devotions for Every Evening of the Year”   –  Day 12/3  by Joyce Meyer

Knowing that peace is one of the greatest joys of being a Christian.

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The peace you have when you’ve prayed over a matter, listened to God or just waited for peace over a matter so that you know what your doing is in God’s will.

The time you thought about buying something and didn’t have peace and decided not to make the purchase and the peace that came with that decision.

Or the tug on your heart to visit a friend or call a friend and the peace you felt and possibly even joy after following your heart, when you learned that you were just what that friend needed at that time.

When praying over something that hasn’t come to pass but you receive a peace about it.  What a blessed gift from God.

All of these and I’m sure you can think of even more ways you’ve felt the peace that only Jesus can give.

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But may I venture to say that being in His will, obedient to Him is the only way you can receive it.  Outside of Him this kind of supernatural peace does not exist. So we must be rooted in the vine to attain it.

I’ve known anxiety most of my life but I’ve also experienced the peace that only comes from Jesus.  That peace is a blessing that I’m eternally grateful for.

All you have to do is ask Him for that peace but if He tells you to do something you better do it, because with obedience comes peace.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 12

Today I’m grateful for my Lord and how gracious He is to me.

The more we’re grateful for the more things come to mind to be grateful for.

“My mom taught me years ago that Thanksgiving is about remembering to focus on good things, even in the presence of bad things.  Recent experience has shown me how remembering those bad things can actually bring divine goodness and mercy into sharper focus.  In the context of being lost, being found is more wondrous.  In the context of being persecuted, finding acceptance is more precious.  In the context of being sick, being healed is more miraculous.”

I’m grateful to God for all that He has allowed me to go through!  A bad marriage so that I may appreciate and recognize a wonderful relationship.  Being in a wheelchair so that I can appreciate being out of the wheelchair.  Being Bi-polar with it’s ups and it’s downs so that I might rejoice in the beauty of a normal day.  Not everyone knows that gift.  Maybe you know it for other reasons of things that you suffer through to enjoy a day of peace and rest from it.  I’m grateful for my parents divorce so I could see my dad and stepmom’s marriage and love for one another.  What a gift that was to me!  I thank God for being homeless, so I appreciate all the shelters He’s provided me and my lovely apartment now.  I thank God for both my dad and stepmom’s lives, what an example they set.  I thank God their in heaven out of all the pain they were in at the end of their lives. It has taught me to cherish the living while they are still here.  I’m grateful for the abuse in my life, now being treated lovingly like a lady is all the sweeter.  I thank God that He saved me from myself, life is now so precious to me.  How could I have ever been so determined to end it?  Praise You Father for rescuing me from that mentality!

A Prayer

“Dear God, how thankful I am for your gracious rescue!  Help me to remember, every moment of every day and night, to live in a way that shows my gratitude and thanksgiving to you.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”

By Lisa Harper  November 22nd  entry “Growing Deep Roots of Gratitude”  from “Daily Gifts of Grace: Devotions for Each Day of Your Year”

Both the above quote and prayer are from the same place.

I know this is after Thanksgiving but is it ever too late to thank God for all He’s done for us?  I think this is a good daily exercise.  Let me know what your thankful for.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 11

Today I’m grateful for what my Savior did for me.  He made it possible for me to accept Him as my Savior.  He paid the price that was needed for all of my sins and all the sins ever committed when He was stripped whipped and beaten and put on the cross for the transgressions of all time.

What a precious gift He gave the world and at what a horrible price.  But after He died on the cross He raised from the dead on the third day.  Breaking death’s victory and making possible for anyone who believes by faith in Jesus Christ what He did for them and repents of their sin and asks Christ into their lives can become a child of God.  Now it is possible to be heirs of the King of Kings through faith in Jesus Christ.

God is good to us in that respect.  Even though man has turned his back on God time and time again.  Yet God seeks out man even to the point of sending His only Son to earth to pay the penalty that we owe.

Which makes Him a just judge because the penalty for sin must be paid but although we are guilty and deserve the penalty of death Jesus Christ came and paid that penalty for each of those willing to accept the gift He did.

I started this 30 days of Gratitude without thinking that I would be facing surgery during this month.  My right elbow is having surgery do to nerve damage.  I’m going to be recuperating for two weeks so I don’t know how or if I’ll be able to continue this series after Thursday.  It is my intention to restart where I’m stopped at when I’ve healed.  Your prayers for my healing is greatly appreciated.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 10

Today I’m grateful for not just friendship and getting reacquainted with old friends which I got a chance by going to a party last night with a wonderful lady that used to and still does own the board and care I once lived in, but I also got better acquainted with some people that I’ve been meeting with on Friday’s Weight Watcher meetings out side the meeting and made some friends with those at the party I’d not met before.  All in all it was a fun time!

I’m one that loves to be with people but haven’t been doing a lot of that recently do to a bout of depression which causes me to isolate.

But last night was like my old self again and it was party on like old times.  It was good to see that although it had been a while and today I’ve been enjoying a quiet day at home that the gregarious girl is still  there.

There were a few there that were extra special to me and spending some time outside of our normal environment was wonderful!  To those special ones and they know who they are, life wouldn’t be the same without you!

I believe I was fortunate enough to get to know one person there that I might be able to ad to my special friends.  Time will tell but I am hopeful.  We can never have enough good friends.

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 9

Today I’m grateful for gratitude!  I find the longer I do this the more I find to be grateful for.  The more I find to be grateful for the happier person I am.

I think that if I practiced this for the rest of my life as a daily act of worship, my whole life would change radically.  Now I’m not saying that I will no longer strugglewith Bi-polar disorder or even GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), since these are chemical mishaps in my brain.  What I am saying is that I could very well live a much happier and if not happy, grateful life if I decided to make this a daily practice even on my bad days.

That’s the challenge being consistent and doing it no matter how I feel.  Looking at what to be grateful for will at the least help to regulate my chemicals some in my mind.  The challenge is when you’re not feeling well choosing gratitude in the face of depression.

As the picture above says choosing my thoughts and choosing gratitude to be the forefront could make a radical difference in the way I live my life and the attitude that I have.  Not just around myself and other people but my attitude towards God and all that He has done and is capable of doing.

I truly think that an attitude of gratitude would stretch my faith and isn’t that always a good thing?  May I encourage you to try it with me?   Let’s not just make this a 30 day deal.  Let’s practice this in our lives as an act of worship on a daily basis.  Then let us see where it takes us.  Please comment back to me and let me know the journey God takes you on.  I promise to keep you posted past November on the journey God takes me on and in thatway we can be of an encouragement to one another.  Isn’t that what the body of Christ is all about anyway?

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 8

Today I’m grateful for…all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me.

“27All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  28Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  –  Matthew 11:27-30

Thank You for willing to reveal Yourself to me.  I know it was my choice but I also know that You knew ahead of time that I would choose you.

Thank You for a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.  Thank You for being a place where I can find rest for my soul.  Rest for my soul is something that is needed so much and I’m so appreciative that You give that.

Lord You are so good and so loving!  Thank You for coming down to earth to be our Savior and for being obedient to the Father even when You wanted “this cup taken from” You.  I can’t imagine how hard that must have been to do but I’m eternally grateful to You for doing that for me and all the sinners that have ever been and will ever be.  You just never fail to amaze me!

Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!