Tag Archives: God

Have A Happy Thanksgiving: You are Blessed

Alright, so I know I am a day early on this, but since I post a whole three days a week I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving today. I think the older I get the more it becomes my favorite holiday. It is a day set aside to remember our blessings. No matter how bad things get there are still things to be thankful for.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving: You are Blessed

This last Sunday in church the pastor told a story about a local man who had just lost his home in a storm. It was a horrible storm that had completely scattered his four walls and his belongings. One of his neighbors had come up to him and said, “Bob.” (Let’s call him Bob because I don’t remember his name. “Bob, you have lost everything.”

Bob replied, “No I have not. I still have my wife, my family, my friends, my health, the ability to work and the drive to go earn a living. And not least of all I have the assurance of my salvation through my faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross.”

Now while I may not have quoted the tale exactly I know I have captured it’s essence and that is what is important today. See Bob understood that there are things in life that are far more valuable than his stuff. It is those intangible things that we possess even in the trials that we should be remembering to give thanks for.

Sometimes though life might throw you a curve ball or two or ten, and you can’t claim to have your health, job, family, etc… It is then I would suggest that Christ is there for you more than anyone else. He has stepped into the gap, washed you clean, and provided you a chance at salvation. All you need do is believe in him. Believe that he was, who he said he was. Believe that he was persecuted for you, and that he died for you. Christ died for each of us, while we were still yet sinners. He did not wait till we got things right. So when things are a mess Jesus is not revolted. He is there, ready to welcome you with open arms. If you have turned from those arms, run back to him today and wait for his warm embrace. If you have never known the love of God, and want to accept him, I am here to pray with you.

Happy Thanksgiving

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

***What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?***

As always please feel free to share or any post if it has touched your heart in anyway. I appreciate the support that you show me by sharing my posts with others. Thank you.

 

The Blessing That Was Cancer

Today’s post is one that I have thought about before and often rejected writing. So often, when I state the words that my experience with cancer blessed me it brings out the hate in people. I get it, I do. So today I ask if you are still battling cancer, have a loved one who is still sick, or perhaps it is still recent for you, consider skipping this post. In no way am I trying to minimize anyone’s pain. These are lessons and reflections from my journey with cancer.

The Blessing That Was Cancer

I remember asking at least once after my diagnosis, “Why me?” Not long after that I began reading many different stories from people who had battled cancer or been by the side of someone battling cancer. One story stands out in my mind, I don’t remember what it was called or even what it was about. What I do remember is how the author said they had a choice. They could ask, “Why me,” or they could ask instead, “Why not me?” I contemplated this question, and I prayed over it. And yes I concluded why not me? What made me think that I was better than anyone else? I wasn’t. There wasn’t anything I did that caused this. It was, what it was, and I was no better than anyone else. The way I saw things after this was asking, “Why me,” was part of a whiny self-indulgent pity party. I did not want pity. Instead asking, “Why not me,” helped me to realize this could happen just as easily to me as to anyone else. Let me tell you I have found when I encounter tough moments in this in life, if I remember to keep this perspective then those tough things are just a little bit easier to deal with, because I can tackle the issue at hand and not instead throw a pity party.

It was also during this time that I found myself knocking on death’s door, or maybe instead death came knocking at my door, I am not sure which. Then again I am not sure it matters. Either way this point in my journey found me broken on my bedroom floor. Crying, I prayed to God. I told him I was done, I just couldn’t fight any more. It was then I felt his presence say it was okay. If I wanted to be done fighting I could go home. He nudged me back though with another thought, not just leaving it there. What about my husband, and my family? I answered that I didn’t want to leave them but I didn’t want to fight anymore. In that moment though I became convinced that I didn’t want to fight for myself, but I needed to fight for them. A peace fell over me when I came to that point. It was a peace that said everything would be alright, that with the Lord by my side I could battle through this.

The Gold ribbon is the color ribbon for Osteosarcoma. That is the kind of cancer that I was diagnosed with.

The Gold ribbon is the color ribbon for Osteosarcoma. That is the kind of cancer that I was diagnosed with.

The trust I had in my God in those months is honestly unlike anything I ever experienced before or after that time. I have been blessed to understand and experience a complete trust in our Lord. It is a trust that I can only hope to come close to again. In the meantime I know I have been blessed to know that sort of close connection.

This experience also sent me into early menopause. It was from that experience and the subsequent  miracle of getting pregnant , that I can truly appreciate the miracle that is my children. If you want to read more about that experience you can read about it in last weeks post titled,  From Menopause to Motherhood: The Blessings That Are Children.

If you want to read more about my experience from another perspective, my husband, wrote a touching piece titled, I’m thankful for my wife.

***The toughest moments in our lives can bless us, and be blessings to us if we learn from them. What are some of the lessons/ things you have learned during the tough times?***

If this post has touched your heart in any way, I would ask that you share it today. Thank you.

*** Disclaimer: While I claim cancer was a blessing in my life because of what I learned from it I am in no way wishing it upon anyone. It is one thing I sincerely wish that no one would ever have to go through. It is tough. It can be messy. It is hard. But for me I found there was blessing in it, that is all.***

 

 

Creative K Kids

From Menopause to Motherhood: The Blessings That Are Children

Rusty and I knew we wanted children even before we were married. We wanted a house full of laughter and love. Less than a year into our marriage we faced a stumbling block to whether or not this might ever happen the way we envisioned, I was diagnosed with cancer and would need chemotherapy. The chemotherapy did as chemo often does, it took a devastating toll on my body. By our first anniversary we had already had one of what would be many conversations concerning what we would do if we came out of this unable to get pregnant.

From Menopause to Motherhood

By our second anniversary we knew though. We knew that the chemotherapy drugs had thrown my body into an early menopause at the age of 21. In the years that followed we talked to three different fertility specialists, tried rounds of different drugs (to stimulate fertility,) and during one of his deployments we had hoped to save up enough money to try the donor egg program. In the end the doctors didn’t provide much hope. They explained how multiple tests showed I was post menopausal not even pre. Even the fertility drugs seemed to tell us that donor egg was the only way to go. Yet during his deployment we never quiet got the 10s of thousands of dollars set aside.

It was during that deployment I started to think that maybe a life without children would not be so bad. I know that there are many paths to parenthood, but at that point in our lives we were at an impasse concerning what that would mean. Yes I knew anything was possible with God, but at this point in my life it seemed to me that miracles happened to other people. We went back and forth on whether a donor egg was a way to achieve that miracle, or maybe we would adopt. In the end though I decided I was comfortable not having children of our own.

God had other plans though, as he often does. When Rusty returned home from Iraq, we had not saved up for the donor egg procedure, and I was alright with that. What did happen though was he came home in December and by Valentine’s Day I had learned I was pregnant. To say the news thrilled us was an understatement. We were walking on air. After all I had been through to get to this point, including two miscarriages even before the chemotherapy, I knew that this was nothing less than a modern-day miracle. My doctors all declared it was a miracle as well.

That pregnancy, as things were, turned out to be pretty uneventful. I was blessed with a pretty easy pregnancy. It gave me time to think. Think about how we hoped that this meant a door was opening so that we could have more children, yet even if this was not the case we were still thankful for one. In October of 2009 I gave birth to Chloe, my sweet, beautiful, servant-minded child.

By the time she was 6 almost 7 months old, I would learn I was pregnant again. It was another miracle! In February 2011 we were blessed with our second little miracle. Miss Paige is our rough and tough little girl who has a tender heart and wants nothing but to share her love.

In March of 2012 the blessings seemed to come to a terrifying stop. I miscarried again, and this time I was in the ER, after having arrived by ambulance. I lost enough blood that I needed a blood transfusion. We knew though, as sad and scary as this was, we had already been blessed. Those two girls were and are, blessing upon blessing.

It was upon the heals of that miscarriage though, I would get pregnant with our youngest daughter! Miss Madelyn was born January of this year, 2013. God is good.

I tell you this to let you know I have been there, I understand the pain of infertility, but I also know the joy of motherhood. Yes motherhood has its challenges and raising three strong-willed children between the ages of 4 and 9 months can be taxing. But it is a journey that I appreciate, and I value. It is a journey that is from the Lord.

From Menopause to Motherhood

To this day if you were to run a blood panel on me it would show that I am in menopause. I should not be able to have children according to modern medicine, yet the Lord has blessed me with 3 little girls. So it is for these three little miracles I want to thank the Lord for today!

***Do you have a story of infertility, miscarriage, or pregnancy you would like to share today? Or perhaps you are in need of a comforting ear. I am here for you. You can reach me through my contact page, Under the Sun’s Facebook page, or just leave a comment.***

 

{Cheri} Under The Sun- Thankful For the Fleas

Rusty and I have moved around a lot in our almost 10 years of marriage. In fact, we have had 7 major moves. (That does not count the moves within the same city or to the next town over.) It is in one of those moves that I met Cheri. Cheri is a sweet lady, who has a passion for the Lord and homeschooling. Even though she and I only spent a short time together we are still in contact, and when I began searching for people to contribute to this month of thankfulness she is one of the people I turned to. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thankful For The Fleas

We’re all thankful for our families, our friends, our homes, and food on our tables. We’re also thankful when things work out the way we want to, when someone we love recovers quickly from an illness, isn’t hurt in an accident, or avoids a disaster of some sort. Most of us can even be thankful by finding the good in a difficult situation – a couple of weeks ago I was grateful that, even though my dad was in the hospital, he didn’t end up needing surgery.

I was reminded recently of Corrie ten Boom’s story about her time in the concentration camp – she and her sister were assigned to  barracks that were infested with fleas.  As they prayed together, her sister insisted that they express thanks to God for everything – even the fleas!  Corrie really struggled with this idea (in the same way I struggle with some of the crosses I have to bear in this life) but ultimately, she did join her sister in  thanking God for the fleas.  You probably know the rest of the story – how it turned out that the fleas were the very things keeping the guards out of their barracks, allowing them to continue to read and study their Bibles together!

I always have to remind myself that it isn’t really about making lemonade when life gives you lemons but knowing that God has a plan that includes the lemons in my life – we just can’t always see it from our vantage point like He can from His. Sometimes He doesn’t reveal the purpose for the fleas in my life and I never come to understand why He’s allowed them, but because I know that He is faithful, I always know that He does have a purpose for them and that He is using them for good in my life.  And, that is what makes me thankful, even for the fleas in my life.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.   Romans 8:28

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,  your faithfulness to the skies.  Psalm 36:5

 

Cheri Pelic is grateful to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. She lives in Northville, MI with her husband Ed, teenagers Molly and Max, and their dog, Toto.

***Have you ever considered being thankful for the fleas in your own life? What are some of the challenges you have face when trying to being thankful for the fleas?***

Give Thanks

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the holy one, give thanks because he has given Jesus Christ, his son…” (When I think of those lyrics I think of the version by Praise Baby, but Don Moen originally sang it.)

A thank you card I had my 4-year old write.

A thank you card I had my 4-year old write.

Those words remind us how we are supposed to live our lives. Every day we should be seeing the good in our lives. Even if we are on the darkest journey we carry the brightest light with us, the love of God, but only if we have accepted it.

Because we are still human we are prone to wander. When we wander it may not always be far, but it is then we have lost sight of what really matters, God’s redeeming love.

So it is months like November, that serve as a reminder to give thanks. To give thanks to the Lord not only for food, a warm home, health, friends, or family. We should also be giving thanks to the Lord, for the Lord, and for his sacrificial love.

So as it would be  here at {Sara} Under the Sun, I want to share stories of thankfulness  with you  this month. Some from myself and others from friends around the world. Each story is unique. Each person sharing is very different. It is my sincere hope though each one will bless you just the same, and remind you to give thanks each day.

***If you have a tale of thanks and blessing that you can share, let me know. You can share it in the comment section, put it on Under the Sun’s Facebook page, or possibly you could be a contributor here this month.***

Birthday Reflections

Four years ago at this time I was just getting used to my new role as mom, and now four years later I am mom to 3 beautiful girls.  As much as my girls have grown and changed, I have as well in equal proportion. Four years ago I would never have imagined spending half my night awake tending to a sick baby and then awake  writing my blog  and celebrating a little girl’s birthday. Once upon a time I could not function on anything less than 8 hours sleep. Now all I need is a cup of coffee and a little time to re-adjust in the morning.

Birthday Reflections

This is a sweet day for me. My four-year old birthday girl is busy playing with her princess castle. Her younger sister is busy playing next to her, and her baby sister is asleep in her grandmother’s arms.  It is so wonderful to have a houseful, and the mess of children all around.

Before kids I was able to workout and exercise when and where I pleased. Now four years later and after five weeks of The Living and Active Challenge I have learned more about flexibility than just how far I can stretch forward. I have learned that my workouts don’t have to look the same from week to week or even day-to-day. I have also learned how to incorporate preschoolers, toddlers, and babies into any workout.

This challenge has also blessed me through the scripture. I am able to take the scripture and share it with my children. My girls are learning the value of scripture as I learn to memorize it. Never before have I actually attempted to memorize it. I have always taught myself the principles, the general locations of where to find them, but now I am learning the verses word by word and the exact locations. Yes some verses are more difficult than others, but persistence pays off and my girl’s are learning the value of these things through watching me.

Thank you, Lord, for granting me these last four years of Motherhood. Please bless me in the years ahead that I may further learn and grow in my role as a mother. Thank you for these blessing that are my daughters. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

***What are you learning through this journey of parenthood? What so far has been your favorite age or stage your child/ children have gone through?***

Previous Posts on my Living and Active Challenge:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Living and Active

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Yesterday kicked off Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge. My first week did not go anything like I imagined it would when I started the week. I pictured being able to carve out 25 minutes a day 4 times a week easy peasy to do the routines suggested at Peak313. Instead I found myself getting creative and doing things that involved the kids and things they could get excited about.

My first day we went for a long walk. While a walk may not sound like much of a workout at first blush, I would say that it all depends on what you do to challenge yourself during the walk. I walked with the 16 lb baby strapped to my chest, while we trekked up and down hills. So with this walk I was really able to get my blood pumping. Also on the first day I spent a couple of hours in our garage lifting and moving  boxes. While the work in the garage was not a set routine it was still just one more way to be active.

On my second day of working out for the week the girls and I held a dance party. I set up some music and for 30 minutes we moved and we grooved. There was lots of fun and silliness to be had. 🙂

My third day of working out last week was on Saturday. Since Rusty was home I was able to find time alone (at least for part of it) to workout. Still instead of doing a prescribed routine I made up my own. I marched  (knees high) around the house for 20 minutes. When I was done there I did crunches, scissor kicks, and honestly I can’t remember all that I did. I know I did calisthenics and stretching though.

Sunday, my 4th day, I got to the end of the day and I realized I had not done a workout routine up to that point. I had a decision to make. Go to bed early, and give up on successfully completing the challenge before the first week was even up.  I decided it was only 25 minutes I was just going to go for it. My workout  was the same as the day before.

By the end of the week, I had got four workouts in. I was sore and exhausted. Not only had I done four workouts I had been busy in the yard most of the week.

The verse for this next week comes from Matthew chapter 6 verse 34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

*** How did your first week of  The Living and Active Challenge go? Did you complete all four workouts? Did you memorize the scripture verse?***

Living and Active

 

Previous posts in this series

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12  Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

I have decided to participate in Peak 313’s  Living and Active Challenge. I want  to invite you to join me in the challenge. It may have started yesterday but it is not too late to join. For the record, while I am naturally thin that does not mean I am in shape. So I am using this challenge as a spring-board to living healthier, getting in shape, and finding another avenue to getting into the word.

This week’s verse is: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

You my dear friends will be my accountability partners. If you decide to join me in this challenge I would be honored to be your accountability partner.

So if you want to join me in this challenge, I encourage you to click the link I provided, and learn a little bit more about it. I think you will find that it is manageable, and there will be much encouragement along the way.

At this point I plan on trying to go with the workout routines provided, but considering the issues with my left arm that may not be completely feasible. I will more than likely have to modify the routines to fit my ability. I will also be walking with the kids as another form of exercise and getting moving.

Another before photo.

Another before photo.

***So will you take the challenge and join me?***

LAButton

Sweet Words and Even Sweeter Hearts During Bedtime Prayers

Each night before bed my husband or myself says bedtime prayers with our girls. It is a sweet time, especially now as their vocabularies are starting to expand. It gives me such insight into what is going on in their hearts and what they found important from their day.

Bedtime Prayers

My oldest likes to pray for daddy every chance she gets. She prays, “Daddy home, please.” (Translated as: Bring Daddy home, please.) “Daddy home now, thank you.” She will also go through and list every family member and friend she can think of and ask for blessings for them and thank God for them. Sometimes she prays for her owies to go bu-bye or perhaps just for sleep. I think one of my favorite requests she has put before God was tonight. She prayed for our friends’ chickens and their garden.

My middle daughter still mostly lets us pray and she repeats what we say. That is until we start asking for blessing for the family. Then she has to name her favorite people off. It usually goes something like this “Mannie, Daddy, Mannie, Nama, Papa, Ama, Mannie, Papa, Nama, Papa, Nama, Mommy, Mannie, Ama, Papa, Nama, Daddy, oh…. ya… Cloa!”

Bedtime prayers are a great way for children, not only my own, to remember their blessings and remember to thank the one from whom all blessings flow. In my experience it is also a great vehicle to enforce the idea that God has them in his arms and he plans on keeping all the monsters away. I mention this because I have used this time to explain that they don’t have to be afraid, because as The Veggie Tales say, “God is bigger than the boogie man.”

 

***What are some of the sweetest things you have heard your little ones say during prayers?***

 
TheBetterMom.com

“I no like you, Mommy!”

In the interest of full disclosure I want to say that I have recently taken to writing these blog entries the night before they are published. That being said tonight has been a rough night in my house. I want to talk about it because as I share thoughts and wisdom I have collected about children I don’t want you to think I have it all together. I am still learning and growing too. I also have nights where things have gone so poorly that my three year old yells, “I no like you, Mommy!” Those words may not sound like much but they still hold a powerful punch, especially considering she uses like and love interchangeably, when dealing with family. They are even more powerful when I am struggling with liking myself, because I had a temper tantrum at the same time as my preschooler. I no like you Mommy I decided the best thing I could do for her tonight was apologize for my behavior, and just be there for her while she was angry and trying to fall asleep. As I sat there and listened to her spew, about wanting me to stay behind when we move, how she doesn’t like/ love me, and how I should just go away. It wasn’t easy to listen to. It occurred to me though, as I was listening to her, how much this is often how we treat God. His love is patient and kind, though. He is slow to anger. (1 Corinthians 13: 4&5) When we are upset and spewing at him, about what we feel he has or hasn’t done in our lives, you will not find him having a temper tantrum of his own. We show him blatant disrespect each day and still, he is there for us, ready and willing to accept everyone who is ready to turn to him. I thought on this a little more and all I can pray is I can show my daughter’s even a fraction of that sort of love. If I can show them how I am working through my own unhealthy habits then maybe I won’t pass them down. Maybe then my children will never have a temper tantrum of their own when their children yell, “I no like you, Mommy!”
TheBetterMom.com