Saturday, December 22, 2012


It's after midnight and I am still awake. Not because of some intriguing TV show or some awesome crafting I've got going on. Nope tonight it's because of some deep thoughts that keep swirling in my head and the weight of feeling like I need to journal them before they get lost in "just another day's events."
For several days now I have been ever so content. Peace has surrounded my heart and soul and I have just been able to see the blessings in so many things - including tragedy and hurts. I'm not sure why I'm seeing this now - whether it's because I have been so focused on the true meaning of Christmas lately and how much we have been teaching our children about advent, the birth of Christ and what it all means for us. Or maybe it's just because I have a fresh perspective on things now that the chemo is finally almost out of my body and I am feeling better and better every day.
So here is what I have been internally celebrating and praising God for over the past few days:

1. My little brother is finally drawing near to the end of a LONG and difficult deployment to Afghanistan. He should be home in around 30 days (give or take a few of course). I'm so thankful for the times that the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart to pray for him extra. I mean, I prayed for him and his soldiers every day, but there were some days when he would enter my mind and I couldn't stop thinking about him. I knew then that it was my cue to pray fervently for him right then. During those times I felt so incredibly close to God and so desperate for His protection over Jordan, yet a perfect peace overwhelmed my heart while I was calling out to Him.
2. My husband's grandmother is 92 years old and fell and broke her hip a few days ago. They were very worried about her having surgery because of her age and fragile state, but she came through it just fine and will be in rehab by Monday if she continues to do well. Praising God for her healing, her doctors, and the sweet nurses that care for her daily. Also grateful to have a husband who loves his Granny so much that he drove 4 hours to be with her during the surgery. His heart is so big!
3. Jesus - I've been so incredibly grateful to have a Savior who I know I can depend on in this broken and fallen world. There are no real words to express how desperate I feel for Him in times like these - the school shooting in CT, soldier's dying in war or being wounded so severely that their lives are forever changed, broken marriages all around us, kids who are starving for not just food but attention and love also, friends who have lost spouses this year, a close friend who is dealing with her own mortality because of how cancer has invaded her entire body, and I could go on and on. Nothing in this world will make any of those things better or easier to handle than Jesus. Without Him we are destined for defeat. But the good news and the part that I am so excited about is that the victory is ours if we have Jesus as our savior. The battle is won! Thank you God for sending your Son to this earth many many years ago. As we celebrate Advent now, I look forward to the second Advent...the second coming of Jesus.
4. Health - I feel so hopeful and excited to be entering into a new year with no chemo treatments scheduled at all. I have not started a new year since 2009 when I didn't have chemo on the books so this is quite simply a GREAT feeling. I feel like I can start this new year off "free" and ready to take on what other things that God has for me.
5. Orphans - My heart has really been burdened lately for orphans. I don't know why exactly but I am already beginning to pray for the orphans we will meet and have the opportunity to love on when we go to Ethiopia in 6 months. I know that God has great plans for every single one of those kiddos and I am so grateful that I get the chance to go be with them.

And I could go on and on, but those 5 things are the ones that have been on my heart so heavily lately. While there are many many sad and tragic things going on in the world all around us, if we continue to look to Jesus and have eternal perspective then there are reasons to still praise His holy name despite the circumstances surrounding us.