Friday, March 8, 2013

A full week with much thanksgiving

This week has been unusually crazy for our family, and that is saying something for a family with four kids 8 and under. But in the midst of it all we have so much for which to be thankful! One of the things going on this week is a tile and painting project in our laundry room and bathroom. So we have had a toilet on the front porch, a washer and dryer in our kitchen and all the other stuff usually in those rooms strewn throughout the house. As a person who enjoys organization, the clutter has been getting to me. But I am trying to be thankful that we have been given the money to do these projects in preparation for renting the house, and thankful that we can do them now rather than right before we leave. Below is a photo of our bathroom in process. The floor is done, the walls are prepped, and now we just need to paint and reinstall towel racks etc.

While the tile was being installed I tried to have naptime at other locations since I doubted the boys would rest with so much excitement and noise. So we have been all over town this week. I am thankful that we have so many friends and family who love us and let us crash at their houses. We truly are rich in relationships! Leaving these friends and family is the hardest part of going to Uganda. But I am trying to focus on being thankful right now, so I'm not going to think too much about that.

To add to the craziness this week, at a routine visit, the dentist noticed a sore in my mouth that looked suspicious. I was sent directly to the oral surgeon to see about a biopsy. Thankfully, the surgeon believes that everything will be fine, and I did not have to have a biopsy on my tongue, which sounded pretty painful and a bit scary. In the midst of that crazy day, after freaking out a bit, I was reminded that I have been learning to trust God with our health, and I could trust Him with this too. I could even thank Him for giving me the opportunity to meet this oral surgeon who has been on several short term medical missions trips. The next day, my Women's Bible study group was discussing the good, sovereign plan of our loving Heavenly Father as we see it in the book of Esther. We talked about so many different passages of Scripture in which God reminds us that He is in control of all things and is working for our good. The passage that I often go to is Romans chapter 8. This is one of my favorite passages. Here are a few excerpts:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:14, 15, 18, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32, 38, 39 ESV)

There are many other passages which have also encouraged me. I am so thankful for the many years of Christian school and Sunday School where I learned Scripture and was encouraged to "hide God's Word in my heart." It is amazing how often these verses come back to me.

I was also reminded this week of God's loving care for us through our monthly support update. We currently have about 70% of our needed monthly support committed. It is easy for me to worry about the other 30%, but I want to focus on thanking God for the 70% He has already provided.

A good friend from our gospel community group reminded me that God's Word often reminds us to offer a "sacrifice of thanksgiving." As you pray for our family, please pray that God would give us thankful, joyful hearts.

So today, I am thanking God, for the provision for home improvements, for my health, for the faith to trust Him, for friends and family, for many years of being taught His Word, for 70% of our needed support, and for reminders to be thankful. God has been very gracious in so many ways. But most of all, I am thankful that through Jesus and His sacrifice, I have peace with God and the promise that He loves me and is working for my good, to make me more like Jesus. I pray that you will know that peace and joy today too!

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