It's been a pretty good today here. Billy was off work (because he has to work Saturday...bleh), and it's always fun to have him off and home during the week. We celebrated Mother's Day early...Billy and the kids had surprises and just couldn't wait. :) He also did some much-needed and much appreciated repair work on the house today...I am, as always, very thankful for my handy husband! I felt better today than I have in weeks...that was a blessing and I'm praying it continues to improve. Bayley and I have made a lot of progress in the dining room/school room/scrapbook room this week (okay, I'll be honest...Bay has done most of the work, while I've supervised, and Peter's entertained the little girls. She LOVES to organize, and she is *good* at it! :)) As a result of that, I've actually managed to pull some things out and get a bit creative...still trying to overcome the latest bout of brain fog and get the creative juices really flowing, but it's been *really* nice to even play with it a bit. And we saw *sunshine* here today...seems like it has been *forever* since the sun has popped out. "Yay!" for no rain!!
But at the same time that the weather has been sunnier, there have been some major overhanging clouds today. Two friends with health problems...one whose long-term issues seem to be advancing and deteriorating way too rapidly, and one who received very bad news this week that just seems to be getting worse. A friend with overwhelming extended family issues for which there are no easy answers, and which sometimes seem unbearable. It is so hard to watch people we love hurt...and I so badly want to make it all better...to fix everything! It frustrates me to no end sometimes that I can't!!
Tonight as my heart was breaking for a friend, I found myself fighting that frustration again...wanting to "help", to "do something", to make it better. And then God reminded me again of what He so often reminds me (usually about my children)...that He loves them more than I do. He has them in the palm of His hand. Nothing can come to them that He hasn't allowed through the filter of His goodness and love.
Oh, that's hard sometimes!! It doesn't *seem* like love right now. It doesn't *seem* good...AT ALL. But then...God began to remind me of other things. He began to remind me of all the times in the past few years when we have been the ones in the horribly painful situation, and our friends have hurt for us. He began to remind me of all the things He has taught us during those times...and most of all, of the ways He has used those times to enable us to *know Him* better, more deeply, more intimately. As deep as the pain has been (and is), the blessings have been infinitely more precious.
I ran across this Nancy Leigh DeMoss quote on a friend's blog earlier this week. Beautiful quote, and beautiful translation of one of my favorite verses...
"God closely monitors the depth and length and height of every trial that you endure;
He will not allow into your life a single circumstance that will thwart His eternal, loving plan for your life."
Jeremiah 29:11 - "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
In my quest for a creative spark today, I ran across the blog of a pro scrapbooker whose work I've admired for years. I used to be very involved in the online scrapbooking world, and *up* on all the news in that creative culture, but in the past few years have rarely opened a scrapbook magazine, much less visited online scrapbooking forums and blogs. I had no idea of the difficulties this designer had experienced over the past few years, and I was fascinated by this recent blog post. She and her husband had built a hugely successful business from the ground up, becoming millionaires in their 20s, and "had it all". Then a tragic accident wiped it "all" out. The premise of her blog post, "If I was the QUEEN of the WORLD..." is that now, looking back, despite the fact that they live in a rent house (in which one of her children has to sleep on the sofa because there aren't enough bedrooms) and that their "liability-only" insured van was totalled last week leaving them with woefully inadequate transportation...she wouldn't change a thing. The benefits of "losing it all" have just been too great.
As I was reading, I was struck by what I am most thankful for this week. I am thankful that I am NOT "Queen of the World". If I were, I would be so busy "fixing" the painful circumstances in the lives of my family and friends...and they would never experience the deeper blessings God has in store for them. I would have "fixed" the painful circumstances of the past few years in our family...and missed the blessings He provided through them.
I am so thankful that while I am not "Queen of the World", I do know the King of Creation. The ache is still there. My heart still breaks for hurting friends. But how incredible to know that He *does* have a plan, and that no matter what it looks like, His plan is a plan for wholeness, a perfect plan to give us a future and a hope! I am so thankful that He is never "out of control" for even a second. I am so thankful that He loves my family and my friends *even more* than I do, and that He is holding them...and me...in the palm of His hand, close to His heart. (Psalm 91, Isa. 40:11) I am thankful that He is working to show us wonders so many and so great that we cannot even describe them all. (Psalm 40:1-5)
For more Thankful Thursdays, visit Lynn's blog.