The life-blood of Thanksgiving Thursday is gratitude: unwrapping gifts and giving thanks to the Giver. One of God’s greatest gifts to me is my husband.
Six feet of God’s most magnificent handiwork, this man is nothing less than my constant rock, best friend, intimate ally, steadfast partner, and covenant lover.
My ultimate gratitude for my husband belongs to God. But I am grateful – so very grateful – to my husband for everything he is and everything I’ve known with him and everything he gives me to look forward to.
Friday is his birthday, and I give the gift of thanks for all his gifts to me.
Unwrapping the Gifts
He has character
Character denotes many qualities, and my husband exhibits all of character’s indications. He’s honorable, ethical, compassionate, honest, courageous, passionate, and teachable. He is tender and responsive toward God’s leading, and stands ready to do all that is asked of him. With Joshua’s fearlessness, Daniel’s courage, and David’s faith (Joshua 1:7 & 6:17; Daniel 1:8; Acts 13:22), he is a man of integrity and love.
He lets me sleep
I’ve never been an early riser, and he’s never asked me to change. Through 15 years of marriage, one daughter, and many life changes, he’s always let me sleep.
He gives amazing back rubs
His powerful hands work with precision, talent, and erotic strength. A back rub is only a back rub, though. And that leads to the next gift.
He gave me a daughter
Of all the things he’s given me over all the years we’ve been together, our daughter stands supreme. And he’s a rock star dad!
My beloved is mine, and I am his. A cord of three is not easily broken.
He’s a man
He’s sweet, smart, kind, and loving, but he’s made of brawn, backbone, bravery, and bold confidence.
He talks – really. Sweet, laborious, fun, hard, dreamy, frightening, or silly, he communicates. Long chats are our Modus Operandi.
He lets me buy books
He doesn’t know how much I spend on Amazon, and he doesn’t care. I love to read, he loves me.
He holds my hand and he kisses my daughter. He canoodles on the couch and he hugs my mama. He throws his arm over me as we sleep and he lets me toss my leg over his. His touch is soft, his hold firm, and his cuddles perfect.
He’s my kind of groovy: innately fun and full of laughter.
He works hard so I can stay home
He knows I am ardently dedicated to raising the child I brought into this world, and so is he. He loves her enough to work skillfully and capably to provide for us so I may bring up and nurture our child.
He supports my work-from-home love
I have found my life’s passion in writing, and he supports me in every way. He proofreads, keeps the kid while I write, lets me work in bed, and tells me I’m fantastic at what I do.
He creates a haven-home with me
Our home is a shelter. We do love. He makes it that way.
During her exam, Joy asked the technician if she could see her baby on the ultrasound monitor. Her request was denied, and she was told that it was not even a baby yet. She was instructed to come back in 24 hours for the abortion procedure.
As she left the clinic, she met a woman who asked if she had been allowed to see her baby on the ultrasound. Joy said she had not. The lady then invited Joy to visit the Women’s Resource Center so she could see her baby.
That ultrasound photo became the most important picture of her child’s life.
“I cried and cried as my heart was changing. I was bonding with this tiny life within me,” Joy said, “I took the picture home and called her ‘my little gummy bear.’” Joy and her boyfriend married, and this year, her ‘little gummy bear’ started kindergarten.
In the 40 years since Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the U.S., over 54 million babies have been aborted, and a heart-wrenching number of women have lost their lives from abortion-related hazards, including breast cancer, uterine perforation, hemorrhaging, medical error, allergic reactions, infections, suicide, and lack of post-abortive care.
But people are beginning to see through the blood-thirsty lies of the abortion industry, and are recognizing that much of the pro-choice agenda isn’t really about choice or health care at all, but rather about suppression, ignorance, exploitation, greed, and narcissism.
Many women, like Joy, are courageously standing up to claim their right to choose life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for themselves and their children, regardless of their religious or political party affiliation. Many strong and beautiful ladies are making the difficult choice to grow and nurture the unplanned yet miraculous life growing within them.
Those who have had their body invaded and brutalized through rape are grasping the difficult truth that having their bodies ravaged again through abortion will not heal their physical and emotional scars. Instead, many report feeling empowered by not only surviving the ordeal, but thriving, as they find the strength to carry life instead of bring death, supply compassion in the face of hellish fury, and preserve innocence when theirs was taken from them. And that is the true essence of strength, beauty, courage, and power.
And on this 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, these powerful women stand as a challenge to all women to take a stand. A stand for the most helpless of our citizens. A stand for those who are facing unplanned pregnancies. A stand for the rights of women to live. A stand for the compassionate care of the unborn. A stand for strength, dignity, and posterity. A stand for courage, common sense, and truth. A stand for health, happiness, and a future. A stand for the beautiful choice of life. A stand for love.
If you or someone you know is facing an unplanned pregnancy, and you want to make a powerful choice, pregnancy resource centers around the country are standing with those who are in need. Visit difficultchoices.org to find assistance near you.
“When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen…there will be something to stand on you will be taught how to fly.”*
Hobby Lobby, the retail arts and crafts giant, is in a fight against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate that defies their freedom of religion and forces them to provide abortifacients to employees. Hobby Lobby does pay for birth control for their staff members, yet objects to funding the morning-after pill and week-after pill, both of which can end an unborn child’s life.
The CEO of Hobby Lobby, David Green, wrote a heart-rending letter about the loss of religious freedom in America, saying, in part,
“When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God‘s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states…
We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money…We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.
But now…A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs…If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.
Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice…We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.
…The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American – and no American business – should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief…
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.”
More than 30,000 people have signed up to take part in supporting Hobby Lobby today, January 5th, by shopping at the store nearest them.
Here’s a link to a 40% off coupon to use at Hobby Lobby today. Let’s shower this organization with support, help them raise money under the threat of the fines they face, and, most importantly, pray for them!
* Author Unknown
I could not have asked for a sweeter celebration of the birth of Redeeming Love. Our little haven-home was filled with the happy, noisy sounds of laughter, music, and toddler toys, the floors were strewn with paper and ribbons that were pulled off of boxes and bags of love and blessings, our tummies were full of delicious, homemade holiday goodies, and our hearts were filled with wonder and gratitude.
And then Christmas was over. The floors were still messy and the tummies growled once again, but our hearts remained full. God with us didn’t leave. And as we look forward to the beginning of 2013, no eye has seen or ear heard or mind conceived what the Creator of Love and Joy has prepared and appointed for those who are lovers of Him.
“These words have been applied to the state of glory in a future world; but they certainly belong to the present state, and express merely the wondrous light, life, and liberty which the Gospel communicates to them that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in that way which the Gospel itself requires. Such a scheme of salvation, in which God’s glory and man’s felicity should be equally secured…[no] mind but that of God [could] have conceived the idea of so vast a project, nor could any power but his own have brought it to effect.” Clarke’s Commentary
This is the promise of God with us: a blessed assurance of right standing with God and the accompanying joy that is prepared for those that are lovers and followers of Christ. May you have a happy New Year, friends, one that is filled with the unimaginable blessings of good and faithful God.
My Thanksgiving List 12/27/12
651. Colorado sunsets
660. Unexpected blessings and lots of love piled under our tree
664. Celebrating old traditions, beginning new traditions
676. Having my husband home on vacation for a week and a half!
665. The joy of Christmas morning
672. Watching a child play in the snow on a white Christmas
674. The feeling of safety when I’m wrapped in the arms of my husband
678. Excitement over the coming year
673. Lying beneath the tree, talking and snuggling with my child
Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?
In our little haven-home, the Christmas season officially begins the day after Thanksgiving. Well, I fudge a little and listen to Christmas music a bit before Thanksgiving, but I make sure it’s only when my husband isn’t home.
But Christmas time is truly here despite my early transgressions, and I am ready. It has been an odd, often painful year, and my heart, my mind is yearning to celebrate my Lord’s birth. This year,
“I don’t want a Christmas you can buy.
I don’t want a Christmas you can make.
What I want is a Christmas you can hold.
A Christmas that holds me, remakes me, revives me.
I want a Christmas that whispers – Jesus.
I want a Christmas that lives and moves in Jesus Christ.
I want for the God in the manger who makes Himself bread…
For the Savior in swaddlings who makes Himself our robe of righteousness.
For the Christ who makes precisely what none of us can – Christmas.
It is only Christ alone who can make Christmas.” ~ Ann Voskamp
My Thanksgiving List 11/29/12
548. Hugs from my sweet baby girl when I’m on stress overload
550. A divine sense of peace that surpasses understanding, even in the midst of chaos
553. It’s Christmas time!
554. Calmly, gracefully working together through the night to lower Peanut’s high fever
561. A new vacuum and clean floors
518. A golden wedding band on my handsome man
567. A fabulous pedicure with my mom-in-law
565. Meeting “friends” over drinks that we’ve never met before
570. Watching Peanut and my mom-in-law play
569. Having my husband on vacation and home a lot
563. Extra time
571. Going through boxes of hand-me-downs and finding “new” clothes for Shelby
Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?
Saturday was my birthday. This year, I turned 34. I love birthdays, even if this one did officially enter me into my mid-thirties. There is one thing I no longer like about my birthday, though: it means my brother’s birthday is just one week away.
My only sibling, Ron, was three years older than me, but his birthday was one week after mine, and when we were little, he never could understand why my birthday was first if he was older. He died in a roll-over car accident four and a half years ago.
He would be 37 this year. I would like to tease him that, though I may be mid-thirties now, he will be late thirties. I would like to buy him a birthday card and draw in it the hand of the niece he never met. I would like to watch his gleeful, boyish face as we celebrated another year of his life. I would like to feel his strong embrace one more time.
I think it’s one of God’s tenderest blessings that, at these special times, we tend to only remember the sweet memories of a lost loved one. And I am blessed with many sweet memories. And I would have liked more. Happy birthday, big brother, I love you.
My Thanksgiving List 11/15/12
485. Sunlight streaming into my yellow kitchen
503. Sweet birthday wishes from so many friends
494. Waking up on the couch with my daughter fast asleep in my arms
502. Veterans who have fought for our freedom
512. A husband strong enough to do the hard stuff, and gentle enough to hate it
515. Watching Peanut burst into laughter and fling herself into her daddy’s arms when he walks through the door
516. A crackling fire, a humming computer, a raspy baritone sax, a sleeping child, and a blog post coming together
499. The thick, sweet crust and savory, stringy toppings on a Do Drop Inn pizza!
517. The adventure of growing up with and loving a fun, strong, charismatic, and spirited brother
Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?