MORE than just Survive…Thanksgiving 2014

This Thanksgiving I am thinking of WHAT truly MARKS a Christian.  As I have completed a most precious and timely book on Psalm 23, A Shepherd looks at Psalm 23, by W. Philip Keller, given to me by my most CHERISHED mentor, Julie M., my mind feels renewed…and my heart too.  A Christian is meant to be serene, trusting God always…that “surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,” no matter what trials may come.  I must learn to TRUST my most capable master and Shepherd.  He always has good planned for us and is with us in every trial.

Julie gave this precious book to me last spring and I needed it desperately this summer and fall.  This season has been one of great pruning for me.  A time of learning…mostly learning to rely on Him.  I have had the joy and hardships of learning a new neighborhood with a somewhat unexpected move, learning new relationships, a new job, supporting and loving Brian through his rigorous studies for SAMS and his Kansas State degree, loving him through multiple tough surgeries on his wrist…and preparing our family for Brian’s departure for a year to Kabul in just 4 weeks now.

Honestly, as Brian graduates SAMS THIS THURSDAY…I can barely believe we have made it all intact.  The past two years, while we have been here in Kansas, EACH of the kids and Brian have had broken bones….so we are not quite all intact 😉 …but as our gracious HEALER continues to heal, we might just come out of this Kansas experience more whole because of it all.  By His Grace, we have made it…and He has allowed us to Thrive.

Last summer, with a move and pending surgery for my hubby, I started out my position as Spiritual Life Coordinator for PWOC, pondering all that God had planned for me in this role and excited to step into a new role in supporting others in ministry.  I sensed I wouldn’t be able to do everything I WANTED to do for His Kingdom…during this season of my life.  Desperately wanting to give more to the care group leaders…to invest more in THEM…more in PWOC…but already doing all I was able, I feel right now, as I take a moment to reflect as the most special Advent Season and Christmas break is approaching, left with the same feeling I had ending my role as prayer coordinator…wanting more to give. When Christ calls, I feel beckoned to give my All.  I have been learning to balance family and work for His Kingdom.  Some days, I feel torn and long to run to my first calling…and focus only on them….and some days I have needed to do that and take a respite…but He keeps me going, keeps me pressing forward, working in His Kingdom.  ….But, aren’t we always called to do work for His Kingdom?  Whether we have an official title or not?

My theme song for this fall has been “THRIVE, by Casting Crowns”  Oh, how I love this song!  The word “Thrive” means ‘to grow or develop well or vigorously.’ God keeps reminding me to “not just survive” during this season, but to THRIVE.  It feels like some days I truly am surviving…but each time I made that my goal, God reminded me..”I have so much more planned for you than you could ever know.”  My plan for you is to THRIVE right now.

Here are the beautiful lyrics to this beautiful song:

~THRIVE~

Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died

Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry

So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire

Just to know You and
To make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Into Your word we’re digging deep
To know our Father’s heart

Into the world we’re reaching out
To show them who You are

So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire

Just to know You and
To make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Joy Unspeakable, Faith Unsinkable, Love Unstoppable, Anything is possible
Joy Unspeakable, Faith Unsinkable, Love Unstoppable, Anything is possible
Joy Unspeakable, Faith Unsinkable, Love Unstoppable, Anything is possible
Joy Unspeakable, Faith Unsinkable, Love Unstoppable, Anything is possible

Just to know You and
To make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Hey!

We were made to Thrive

~~~~~~~

Last fall I remember God telling our family to “WALK WORTHY.”  And in the Spring, He called me, as I stepped into a different role in ministry, to be a GENTLE, BOLD SHEPHERD.  It’s amazing how He tells us to do that…and then makes it possible as we take steps to trust Him.  I think our family is walking more worthy of His calling now, by His Grace.

THIS FALL, He is asking me to step out in FAITH despite my inabilities and lack of qualifications.

I’ve been working through First Timothy, Titus, and now Hebrews the past month and today I read Chapter 11, the renowned FAITH chapter.  As I read, I literally felt God bring up all the areas of my life that I am struggling to BELIEVE Him for.  I felt so humbled, confessed, and asked Him to help me overcome my unbelief.  I WANT to believe Him for MORE.  I want to go with Him to the next step…to trust Him and let go of all my weaknesses, truly trusting His power to be perfect…His GRACE to be sufficient.  I had to tell myself that today.  It is sufficient.  It IS sufficient.  Sometimes, it doesn’t feel enough…but that is when I have to remind myself of God’s Word…it is perfect and He says His Grace is sufficient…so…IT IS!!

I feel as though God has sent me through a most wonderful leadership course over the past few months…I have learned so much through people, through church, through Sunday School, through parenting.  It is a wonderful privilege to lead…  It is a tremendous responsibility.  It is a calling.  And it is Anointed and Enabled by Him.  This gives me great comfort and confidence in Him.

~This Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful.  Grateful for my salvation…grateful for His Grace…grateful for the INCREDIBLE things He has done for us this year.

Things I am thankful for this sweet year in 2014:

*He has SAVED one of our own…a family member who confessed Him as Lord and Savior this summer!!!

*An HOUR long phone call with my sweet mother…!  These moments are irreplaceable! I love you mom!!

*TOTAL HEALING over a cousin, Andrew, who had cancer for the past 3 years.  He is 6 now and CANCER FREE!!

*A precious bible study with many co-workers who walked from one school program into the next right with Brian!

*Guiding us through this time of school for Brian and service in ministry for me, and seeing HIS hand even in Brian’s exercises and books, papers, and briefings…God is so NEAR and in EVERYTHING!!

*My treasured mentor, Julie….Her deep love for our family, how she has taken me in, loved on my kiddos, spoken truth to my heart, helped me learn to lead women, supported and encouraged me, and worked alongside me for Christ.  I am deeply grateful for her and her humble leadership.  On Thanksgiving morning, (in her pjs…she wouldn’t let me get a picture!)…she spontaneously shared with my kiddos Hot chocolate with yummy BIG sticky, gooey marshmallows, and allowed them to ring her beautiful bell 100 times!! (at Lewis’ request) …we are overjoyed to live right next to her!….her house is literally right behind our backyard across a fence 🙂

*Precious answers to prayer through our prayer team!  God has healed people and performed miracles before our eyes.  Truly, God’s power to heal and transform never ceases to amaze me.

*Precious things He’s done in Ethiopia…in our most precious friends lives…in remote Ethiopian tribes’s lives…in the hospital in Soddo…He has healed, He has reached into the edges of the earth and humanity (these tribes are so very isolated) to touch lives with His Word, His Message, His Love…through PEOPLE.

*Deep, deep work He is doing in my heart…as a wife, a mommy, a friend, a daughter, and neighbor.

*Growing each of our family’s hearts, transforming our minds.

*Allowing us precious time…4 weeks…CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’s with daddy before he departs!

*Sweet visitors throughout the year and a most cherished visit with Brian’s parents as he departs.

Each day, He reminds me to savor, to cherish all the moments and all that He brings forth in them. Each one is a GIFT ~

Happy Thanksgiving 2014 sweet ones!!!

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3 thoughts on “MORE than just Survive…Thanksgiving 2014

  1. Dawn, I am so in awe of how God is working in you and your family’s lives. I will pray for you during your husband’s absence and for a meaningful and loving time these next few weeks. I love you sweetie.

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