Thanking You With My Whole Heart

My dearest heavenly Father, how much thanks I owe You. During these trying times of this COVID-19 outbreak… this pandemic that has brought out the worst of people and the best of people. I see negative memes, encouraging memes, and even funny memes. Some not funny at all, but there are some to smile over. I particularly LOVED the little girl who was hugging the first fish she had caught. It was as big as her, but she kept hugging it so dear and say, “It’s okay, fish. It’s okay. I love you, fish. It’s okay.” How that must have tugged at your heart. ❤

From the first time I heard about this virus, I had been thanking you for so much, but have failed to share it with others. Sometimes I had simply been so scared. When I has scared, like serious scared, I tend to go quiet. The more afraid, the more withdrawn. It’s not a good place to be. You were the one who brought me out of that fearful and confusing time of my life when I became afraid to even leave the house. You have taught and given me peace in Your word… faith in prayer… and beauty in You unconditional love.

Lord, please don’t let me go back to anything
I had to Pray my way out of. Don't let me go backMy friend Charity (aka Confession and Thoughts of a Reluctant Preacher’s Daughter) shared this after seeing it on Facebook. It did not have a name attached so we do not know who to credit…. down here anyway. 😉

How unfair of me to withhold Your praises… and keep such good things to myself. You convict me of others who are locked away in a corner of their room, horrified of the killer germs just behind the wall, or creeping so near the door. My dear friend Caralyn (aka Beauty Beyond Bones) has been shut in over a couple of weeks in her New York apartment. They NEED to know, You are with them. They need a way to distract their mind, a reminder of Your goodness and mercy, Your mighty power, and Your never ending love. ❤

Thank You for allowing our quarantine, our shelter in place, our Stay Home, Stay Safe is in the comfort of our home. Thank You for the comfort of my own bed, a private toilet, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and even blessed with toilet paper. I know many think that is pathetic. I even took part in sharing a fun post about it (which I ended up removing). But when one has a family full of digestive issues and on medications that have unpleasant “side effects,” one cares about these things. 😉 So thank You! And thank You for locking me down with family, family times, and family devotions. Thank You for the much needed rest You have clearly instructed many times… Convalesce. ❤

Lockdown is a very stressful word for those in prison, detention centers, hospitals, and more. Thank You for internet connection that allows me to check email, check FB, do a daily bible reading plan on Lent through YouVersion, do doctors appointments and therapy at home, and encourage others… whether through Facebook or WordPress. And, Lord, what a blessed family I have in WordPress. Many are stressed, scared, or simply trying to get by. They need to be remind You are there… with them… in this world… on the throne… in charge… and full aware of what is going on. You are right there with them, even if the world is locked away, and they are forbidden to leave. Thank You that we have food, shelter, cool in the heat, warmth in the cold. And a nice hot shower either way.

Thank you, God, with my WHOLE heart.
Not just the happy heart,
or the got it altogether heart.
I love You with ALL of my heart.
The beaten, the broken, the bitterness of heart,
the weary, the tired, the scared, the uncertain.

There are no better pair of arms to cling to.

Psalm 9.1“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart;
 I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
 I will be glad and rejoice in thee:
 I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.”
– Psalm 9:1-2 KJV

You make me think of the song
Whole Heart by Brandon Heath.

Praise Your Holy Name, Lord!
You are worthy to be praised!
There is no other like You!

Barnabas Award 2.27.2020

“And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
– Acts 4:36-37 KJV

Dear, Lord! How Encouraging You are! You are my Consolation! Every day! How blessed I am to be Yours! Thank You for thinking of me and whispering my name to Charity of Confessions and Thoughts of a Reluctant Preacher’s Daughter to nominate me for The Barnabas Award. Bless her and her blog, Lord! ❤

Thank you, Charity, for nominating for The Barnabas Award! Your name is very fitting! You are filled with love for others! I am blessed that you have shared with me! 🙂
May the Lord continue to bless you and your blog! Me and God love you! ❤BARNABAS AWARDHere are the guidelines:

– Thank the person who nominated you and share their blog.
– Think of five bloggers that encourage and inspire you and nominate them.
– List five things about yourself.
– Answer the questions you got asked.
– Lastly, ask your nominees five questions. Why five? Because it is the number that signifies grace.

“You have been chosen for this recognition because of the encouragement and inspiration you bring to your readers.”

5 Things About Me

1. I love my Abba Father! ❤
2. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! ❤
3. I love my Holy Comforter! ❤
4. I love God’s Holy Word! ❤
5. I love God’s hymns! ❤

Charity’s Question for Me

1. What inspires the topics you write about on your blog?
The love of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! ❤

2. Who is the person that encourages you the most?
My precious Holy Spirit ❤

3. What Bible verse inspires you the most?
I have so many! I love God’s word! But the one He currently brings to mind is the one above regarding Barnabas because I have been told by so many that I am a Barnabas.

“And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
– Acts 4:36-37 KJV

I first did not understand what that meant and was told that it meant I was an Encourager. When I later read God’s word referring to Barnabas as the son of Consolation, that touched me so because many need encouragement and consoling. If the Lord gives me even a small part in encouraging one or consoling one, praise His Holy name! ❤

4. Who was your mentor growing up?
I wasn’t really much of a “hero” kind of child. The closest anyone came to being anything like a mentor to me would have been my granddad who died when I was 8, and then my dad. In my teenage years I had a few teachers who made it a point to mentor me. I am grateful to God for each one!

5. As a blogging community, how can we encourage one another more?
Communicating our love for God!
Communicating God’s love to one another!
Patience and kindness to one another.

My Questions for My Nominees

  1. Do you know how much God loves you?
  2. What is a fond childhood memory that comes to mind?
  3. What encourages you?
  4. How do you console others?
  5. How does the love of God encourage and console you?

Nominees

Holly of Wholeness Haven
Bee Love of It’s All About Love
Caz of Invisibly Me
Hazel of Pure Glory
Jacquie of Joy Cottage

Praise the Lord for each one of you and many more! Thank you for allowing God to use you to encourage me and console me! God’s blessings to me through others is endless… just like His great love!
He is the greatest Encourager and Consoler of all!

Me and God love you! ❤

Sunshine Blogger Award 2.6.2020

Dearest, Lord! The Sunshine of my life! Your Son shines His light so bright. And I love every warm ray of Him! And I love every loving moment of You! Thank you for this delightful surprise in using Charity of A Reluctant Preacher’s Daughter to nominate me for The Sunshine Blogger Award, and for allowing me another opportunity of sharing Your light with others! Sunshine Blogger Award 2020Thank you, Charity, for allowing God to use you in lightening my day. 🙂 May the Lord continue to bless you, your ministry, your blog, and your family. Your light shines bright! 🙂
Me and God love you! ❤


Here are the guidelines:

  • Thank the blogger (s) who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  • List the rules and display an award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger (s) asked you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
  • Ask the nominees 11 new questions.

🙂

Charity’s Questions For Me:
I know the rules say 11 questions, but I was only given these 7.
As deep as they are, they are plenty!

1. We all have goals in life but what is the one true desire you have for your life?
To please You, my Lord, my God! My Heavenly Father! To let everyone know how much I love You! And how much You love them!

2. Are you of the belief that children under a certain age will be Heaven? Why or why not?
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 19:13-14 KJV

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
– Mark 10:13-15 KJV

“And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
– Luke 18:15-17 KJV

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
– Acts 2:38-39 KJV

God, Your word settles the matter and answers the question. You created the heavens and the earth, and the new earth that we are promised when the current earth we live on is destroyed. Only You are able to say who can and cannot come in. You states 3 different times in the gospel that the children are of the kingdom of heaven/God. And You follows with warning adults that if we do not come to You as little children that we will not enter in ourselves.  
People tend to either be critical of children and what they think of as a “lack of wisdom/maturity” or be doubtful of children being old enough to have earned Your love through finding salvation. We must remember that salvation is NOT OF OURSELVES, it of the You, our Lord Jesus Christ.  You say they are of the kingdom of heaven/God.

3. What is your go to Bible verse you when struggles abound?
Oh, Dear Lord. There are so many verses. You are faithful to Your word that if we hide Your word in our hearts, that what we need when we need it will come to us because it will be You giving it to us. The Holy Spirit will guide us and teach us. The ones that come to mind at the moment are John 14:27 (because YOUR peace is like nothing else) and John 14:18 (because if there is anyone I can count on to be there when I need them or just because, it is 100 % YOU)!! The whole book of John is like a highlighted section of Your love letter that we call the bible. ❤

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
– John 14:27 KJV

” I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John 14:18 KJV

4. Do you feel a revival coming, not to the US but to other parts of the world?
I pray it is! We could sure use one! We ALWAYS benefit from them.

5. What song lifts your spirits the most when you are down?
This questions reminds me, Lord, of the blog You’ve been whispering for me to do regarding the music You’ve given me so far for the new year/new decade. When I get it done (By Your grace and with Your help), I will link it here (with Your help to remember to link it 😉 ). I know 2 of those songs are Grace Got You by Mercy Me and Let It Rain by Crowder.

I cannot keep from smiling, taping my finders and toes, and singing along. Especially Grace Got You. It reminds me of when others use to ask, “Do you EVER stopping smiling!” Some asked in open disgust, saying it wasn’t normal. That if I knew suffering I wouldn’t smile. I guess they would be thrilled to see me struggling to smile. THAT disgusts me… not them and their sad attitude… but my struggle to smile! Because I KNOW You are worthy of every smile! With songs like these, You give my spirit such a boost!

But I also have to say, Lord, that I don’t always have a computer, radio, or any way to play these songs. And when my spirit is extremely heavy,  I feel too down to play music. Instead of being disappointed in me or throwing me away in anger, You allow the Holy Spirit to bring Your hymns to mind. Many times I am singing before I even realize it. My son, family and friends know if I start singing them without worrying about my cracking voice that I am in need of them, cling to them, and LOVE them. It Is Well is the one I seem to sing the most. Yet when I am singing it, I am not thinking of the gloom in the words, or the tragedy in the testimony of how the writer was inspired to write it. I truly think of as being with You! 🙂 That’s the gold of hymns! They sing Your Holy Word! And Your word does NOT return void!

6. Are you a front row pew sitter or a back row sitter?
I prefer to sit up front so I can hear better, see better, and not be distracted. 🙂
Unfortunately, Lord, You know I tend to sit in the back or at least somewhere that I can get up to go to the restroom without disturbing the service.

7. And lastly…just a random thought of mine while talking to one of the guys at work…
Why is it that Jesus got totally ticked off with the money changer, made a whip, overturned tables and ran everyone out, but yet was quiet with Caesar and on his way to Golgotha?
Jesus, in the turning the tables over You were upset with the people for setting up a market at the temple. They used the items needed for sacrifices and offerings as an excuse to make money for their own gain, often robbing each other. In Your word You referred to it as turning God’s house of prayer into a den of thieves. You were exercising what the bible calls righteous anger. There are times we are to speak up loud and clear.

When You were before Caesar and on Your way to Golgotha, You were fulfilling God’s prophecy in being “silent as a lamb sent to the slaughter.” You were not there to fight as Judas, Peter, and many people wanted You to do. You were there to fight for my Salvation! You did it silently to carry my sins to the cross, and bear the burden of them for me. I am so grateful to You! You did not deserve them. But You were not thinking of Yourself. You were thinking of me! ❤

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
– John 15:13 KJV

My Nominees:

Efua of Grace Over Pain

Karen of A Couple of Stars and a Happy Face

LaBranda of My Thoughts Exactly

Herry of Herry Chic Counsels

Beverley of Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Grace of Following Him Beside Still Waters

Michelle of The Mimosa Blossom

Realistic Beginner

Jacquie of Joy Cottage

Richa of iScribler

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Do you know how much God loves you?
  2. What makes you smile?
  3. What do you like to do on a sunny day?
  4. Do you have a favorite bible verse?
  5. Have you ever seen the movie… Brothers of the Wind?
    (It’s a very moving story involving flying, wind, and freedom. ❤ )
  6. Who was the last person you received a text from?
  7. What is your favorite fruit to eat?
  8. Do you have a favorite hymn or spiritual song?
  9. Name a blog you follow and link to share with us?
    (It’s a question as long as it ends with a question mark… right? 😉 )
  10. What season is it where you are?
  11. Did you know that the promise to all in Acts 2:38-39
    (my answer to #3 in this post) includes YOU? 🙂

Please do not feel obligated to participate.
Just wanted you to know you and your blog
are thought of and prayed for!
God loves you! ❤

 

The Decade Tag 2.4.2020

Dear Lord, How many ways You give to challenge me, to testify of You, to encourage and share with others, to do things only You know why You send my way. It might seem trivial to some, but even in awards and tags Your purpose is still Yours. So when Charity of Confessions and Thoughts of a Reluctant Preacher’s Daughter nominated me for the The Decade Tag, I am somewhat bewildered to think over the last ten years, but know there have been so many blessings that far out weigh the loss and changes that You have used to make all things new… including the new creature in me, and Your renewing my mind in You! ❤The Decade TagThank you, Charity, for thinking of me with the Decade Tag. May the Lord bless you and your blog ministry! An honest and bold voice… for the Lord and for yourself. Honesty is a rare trait. I am blessed with your sweet fellowship! Me and God love you! ❤


To play along:

1- Please share a link to the creator of the tag- jesusluvsall.wordpress.com

2- Share some highlights for you over the past decade and if you want a few low points

3- Tag whoever you wish to.

4- Ask them some questions

5- Use any picture appropriate for such a tag.

As I have watched so many references and challenges going around on Facebook, WordPress, the doctor’s offices, physical therapy, on the news, and among family and friends, I have constantly found myself absolutely stumped to find a word to describe even 2019 as so many would question. When one individual asked waiting for an answer all I could think of after a long pause was… DONE. It wasn’t to be cynical. It was just simply being grateful for Your bringing me through so many things.
In trying to find a word or goal for the new year/new decade, YOU gave me the word when I became so ill in November that I was sick the whole month… CONVALESCE. You call a time out and tell me to come convalesce with You… to come away with You to nothing but rest, with my feet up, to heal and grow strong. And that is what You and I have been doing. You are setting the pace.

So when it came to looking back on the decade, I found I was always going back to 2000. It seems like it was just yesterday I was graduating with my second college degree when I finished my B.A. in English Literature, and was celebrating with my family. (You can see my son David looking on, a vision You have long used to remind me that I never know who is watching on what I do.). And I still feel like I have never gained the weight I have since then. My doctors can’t believe I was ever small, but I can’t believe I can be this big and live. I always struggle to breath past 135 (which is the lowest of my ideal eight for my height according to the doctors). I did not start to gain until I was 36 years old.

But then I began to lose the ability to be active , which I was very much. It was like my brain found it hard to comprehend that with all of the changes in our family, church, health, and so much more that only 10 years could sum it up. And yet it seemed like it was only yesterday. Especially the losses. But I know You have brought good! A lot of good! So with Your help in walking me through, I will find the praises You so rightly deserve!

Low points:
This picture of me and Irene was taken around the time of 2010. We were doing a late night run to the store, and was testing out my new cellphone camera. 2009.2Irene is now with Jesus. She lost a battle to stomach cancer in 2016, just one year after we lost mom. The list goes on and on. Since 2000 we have lost Gran, mom and dad, my brother Charlie, the rest of my dad’s sisters, my mom’s side only has one of the nine siblings of my grandmother left, and 1 sibling of my mom, and my stepdad Bobby and his sister are the only ones left of 10 siblings. We have lost so many church family, as well as family friends.
My greatest loss (because my family is safely with Jesus in their new bodies) has been my health. I have lost the ability to do too much. It has greatly robbed me of my strength, my spirit, my joy, and some day my hope. Each day I lose more, but through You I have so much gain… even in the loss!
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21

Highs:
You have blessed me with so many people who loved and cared for me, and an abundance of those who still do! I am blessed more than many. Even in the losses, I have their memory with me… laughs, tears, fears, excitements, celebrations, and so many wonderful hugs! Some people have never experienced love, kindness, family, friends, and more importantly YOUR love and hugs. I am blessed beyond measure with Your whispers, Your kindnesses, Your sweet fellowships, Your only begotten Son, Your faithful Holy Spirit, and much more.
As for my health, I still have plenty to be thankful for. I am walking! I am tolerating standing better. I have been able to attend many bible studies and dinners with Keitha, Sarah, and many loving sisters in Christ!

I am better aware of my health, and I have an incredible team fighting for me and educating me in therapies and treatments. My body is Yours to do as You wish. I love You no matter what. And I know You love me no matter what! ❤
“But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” 
– Philippians 1:22-24 KJV

And I am blessed with a wonderful gift in my son Anthoni. You have used him from day one to be a blessing and to teach me of Your love for me. He has had his own gains and losses this decade, and yet His love for You remains steadfast. I am grateful to witness the relationship between You two!46523528_10217102611735691_1941511546358202368_n


Charity’s Questions For Me:

1. What is the most important lesson you have learned in the past ten years?
I have no idea what will happen day to day, but I know that you are with us and care about every heartache, Life is pointless with out You!

2. Can you share a moment where you were laughing so hard you had tears in your eyes?
Yes, though my joy seems completely gone most days, you do surprise me sometimes. I came across this comedienne Jeanne Robertson telling about her husband “Left Brain.”  They are both from the North Carolina area. I started binge watching her comedy and could not stop laughing when listening to her “Don’t Snap an Elephant to a Tree.” I laughed so hard it hurt. 🙂

3. How many jobs have you had in the past ten years?
I am ashamed to say none. Since my back got worse in 2005, I have struggled just to be walking each day.

4. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
If I make it past the grave, I fear being in a nursing home, bedridden, in severe pain. I fear a lot of what I have witnessed in the many deaths I have seen… some long drawn out and horribly painful, some just too graphic, and some just let go because of the inconvenience it was to care for them. I honestly don’t know. God knows that my greatest desire is to be with Him, so I will be excited to be home soon! However… whatever He wants, is what I want! My life and my body are His!
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 
– 2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV

I choose to keep pressing forward, Lord! Whatever You want! 🙂

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 3:14 KJV

I choose to tag:

Caz of Invisibly Me

Carol Anne of Therapy Bits

Maxine of Heaven’s Reef

Wendi of Simply Chronically Ill

Please don’t feel obligated to participate.
Just wanted you to know you are thought of.

Thank you, Charity, for thinking of me!
Your kindness is much appreciated!
Me and God love you!! ❤