Thanksgiving Thursday: The Gift of a Man

Skot

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.

Proud Wife

 

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!

 

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   He’s faithful

My beloved is mine, and I am his. A cord of three is not easily broken.

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   He’s a man

He’s sweet, smart, kind, and loving, but he’s made of brawn, backbone, bravery, and bold confidence.

   He communicates

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.

Truths of my life

 

 

   He’s affectionate

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 goofy

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.

They Are Your Work

   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.

Love

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Thanksgiving Thursday, Advent’s Victory

God With Us

I pressed post on my blog last Thursday morning with a breath-prayer that God with us would make strong the hearts of the fragile. Less than 24 hours later, babies at Sandy Hook Elementary died, Jesus wept, a nation mourned, and I read and reread the post: “Believing in miracles before life makes sense…believing in a God bigger than the burdens…This is how the fragile are made strong.” And, once again, I prayed God with us would make strong the hearts of the fragile.

 

Carolyn Arends tells the story of a jungle missionary couple’s encounter with a larger-than-man-sized snake that had slithered into their home. Seeing the snake, they ran outside, terrified and screaming for someone to show them what to do. A neighbor with a machete calmly entered their home and beheaded the serpent with one slice. He stepped outside to rejoin the frightened missionary couple and told them the reptile had been killed, but warned them that it would take a while for the snake to realize it was dead! A snake’s neurology and blood flow make it such that it will thrash and slither even after decapitation.

 

The couple waited outside for several hours while the serpent whipped violently against walls and windows, wreaking havoc and causing much destruction in their home, until the body of the massive reptile finally succumbed to the unyielding truth that he no longer had a head, and had indeed lost the battle.

 

The couple had this to say about their encounter, “Satan is a lot like that big old snake. He’s already been defeated. He just doesn’t know it yet. In the meantime, he’s going to do some damage. But never forget that he’s a goner.”

 

This Christmas, mamas and daddys and siblings and grandparents and friends are suffering, and their hearts are forever broken and their eyes know nothing but tears, because the down-thrown serpent still rages. “Healing may not come in fullness until we are face-to-face with our Victor,” Carolyn says, “but come it will. Guaranteed.”

 

The story of the Victor over the Serpent, the Reason for Christmas, is told from the beginning of the Bible, and seals the Serpent’s real and certain defeat: “He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.”

 

Ann Voskamp writes about Carolyn’s story, and echos the promise of the Word: “Bare-fanged evil may have – did – slither into that classroom in Newtown….But Advent dares proclaim that there’s a way out of this trap – because Christ shockingly stepped right into Satan’s trap – and snapped off his sickening head…

 

Never doubt it, wondering world: Even if the tail still rampages, the snake’s head is crushed.”

 

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15.

 

Merry Christmas, friends. This season, may you feel the sweet Presence of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, our Victor, Healer, and Reason. May you unwrap many gifts from the Lord this Christmas, and may your Christmas celebration be thanksgiving-filled and fit for a King!

May You

 

 

 

My Thanksgiving List 12/20/12

 

 

637. That the Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow Ps. 34:18

Brokenhearted

 

632. Fabulous finds at ARC thrift store

 

618. Going shopping and watching the change, the smiles, the joy in the hearts of others when they hear a cheerful, Peanut-sized voice say,”HI!”

 

638. That Jesus came from God’s heaven to a manger, and that this babe has grown to be my sovereign Lord

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644. My sweet husband closing the bedroom door and playing quietly with Peanut to let me sleep in after a late night

 

625. Knowing that God guided a project I was doing to reflect His glory and grace

 

633. A sweet friend to watch Shelby while my Date took me to a Christmas party

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639. The simple, still, small voice heard in Christmas music

 

634. The pure, simple, amazing joy and blessing of watching our daughter advance to the next stage of life

 

640. That He came for me!

He Came For You

 

 

Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

Thanksgiving Thursday: A Christmas that whispers – Jesus

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?

Thanksgiving Thursday

“Life is a furnace and the faithful live by the Shadrach-prayer of only 4 words: “Even if He doesn’t.” This world doesn’t have anything that can burn down the faith of a heart on fire for God.

Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightening.

God gives grace and ours is to give thanks and in the midst of full days, this is God’s unconditional demand: That we live thankful.”  Ann Voskamp

My Thanksgiving List 11/22/12

476. Toddler games for the Ipad

520. Stocking up on diapers, a full tank of gas, and a large bottle of rum

526. Growing closer and closer to my Mama

533. Writing tithe checks

538. Pain killers

539. A toddler that eats anything

540. Twenty years of holding hands with my boyfriend

541. A good Wal-Mart baby!

549. Celebrating the day that has begun to represent my life – Thanksgiving

Please tell me, on this Thanksgiving Day, what blessing have you unwrapped?

Thanksgiving Thursday, Reflecting the Light

I remember reading a story once about a young woman with smooth, beautiful hands who was chosen to be a ring model. Stunning diamonds were placed on her long, slender fingers. Her hand was then placed just above a black velvet cloth, and she was instructed to tilt her hand toward a light. Only when placed against darkness with a light above did the diamond shine and reveal its true color and clarity.

 

The presidential election was held this past Tuesday, and President Obama secured his second term. The end of every presidential election brings uncertainty and concern among those who voted for an outcome they didn’t receive. But this election carries with it the possibility of unprecedented change to the American way of life, debt and deficits of epic proportions, and further degradation of the sanctity of human life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

It may feel as though this time is shrouded in darkness, but when we tilt toward the Light of the world, we reflect Him, and shine. His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can choose to reflect Christ’s grace and strength, and let our light shine in the darkness before men, so that they will see our good works and praise God (Matt. 5:16). As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15), and I will let this little light of mine shine. I will not hide it, I will not let it be snuffed out, I will let it shine, shine, shine!

 

My Thanksgiving List 11/8/12

 

467. Bathtime ducks, fish, crab, and octopus that make Peanut happy

 

470. Hoop earrings

 

462. Breakfast of Champions: toast, peanut butter, honey, & banana

 

483. A new cellphone that I don’t have to scream into to be heard!

 

481. Sunflowers in my kitchen

 

482. A curling iron

 

480. Peanut’s sparkling hazel eyes

 

458. Breakthroughs

 

452. Two cooks living together in one household in peace, harmony, and joy 🙂

 

486. That my husband can flip fully loaded omelets in the air & make our daughter giggle

 

398. A squeaky clean, sparkly white bathtub

 

487. Peanut finally & clearly recognizes and says, “Jeep!”

 

477. Getting to church on time

 

483. The right, honor, & privilege of voting

 

 

Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

Thanksgiving Thursday, On This Day…

This day I will marry my friend; the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.” These were the words printed on our wedding invitations, unity candle, and reception cocktail napkins fifteen years ago tomorrow. September 28th, 1997 was a sunny fall Sunday; I was just shy of 19, he was just over 21, and we became husband and wife.

 

He’s all I’ve ever known. I was just 14 years old when he first held my hand and captured my heart, and he still holds both. He’s my sweetest comfort and my greatest joy, my best friend and my only lover, my soft place and my steadfast rock, my daughter’s father and my life’s favorite everything.

 

…the bravest love is wildly faithful and it falls hard again every morning…the happily married have eyes that look long enough to make the familiar new.

 

…my head’s full of how we’ve known each other and how he still is mystery and how the want is still all his. We sleep in matrimony and it is holy.”*

 

 

 My Thanksgiving List, 9/27/12

 

231. That he made me his 15 years ago

 

 

228. The having and the holding 😉

 

226. Homemade chicken noodle soup on a rainy evening

 

224. The energy in a great workout

 

221.That in this house, we do love

 

229. Raiding the pantry together to come up with fun, goofy suppers

 

232. The way he makes me laugh until I cry

 

213. Spring’s buds of life in my heart even as the world goes into fall’s hibernation

 

230. Butterflies in my tummy when I wake and feel his legs wrapped around mine

 

231. His smile. His character. His body. His heart. His long fingers. His spirit. His hazel eyes. Him.

 

 

 

Please tell me, what blessings have you unwrapped this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

*A Holy Experience, The Bravest & Most Beautiful Affair

Thanksgiving Thursday, Time to Grow Up

Do you ever wish you could tell someone to just grow up? I do, and this week I have dealt with a woman, well into her thirties, who has whined, grumped, and sniffled her way through childish, unattractive tantrums.

A couple of days ago, I decided enough was enough. I am old enough to know better, and I just want to grow up.

…Control, pseudo power from the pit,” Ann Voskamp says. Yes, it had been control I was after. And it’s hard for me to see. When the desire to control others sneaks up on me, I often don’t recognize it, there is just a sinking sense of helplessness. “Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is.” Once again Ann speaks to where I am.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a [woman], I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11.

This week I am thankful for the grace that enables me to see with new eyes, empowers me to be transformed, and speaks when it’s time to just grow up. All is grace.

 

My Thanksgiving List 8/30/12

 

107. Apologies

 

118. The scent of fabric softener

 

98. Standing on the promises of God my Savior

 

102. Funny Facebook posts that make me laugh

 

101. Chardonnay

 

110. New books arriving in the mail!

 

113. Long family walks

 

111. A true parenting partner

 

121. The best workspace ever

 

120. Yard sales

 

106. Watching movies with Peanut in the living room…on a weekday…on a hide-a-bed

 

100. My faithful, trustworthy husband! Thank you, Father, for this wondrous gift!

 

119. A sweet Sabbath day in the House of God with the people of God

 

122. Dollar days at the Colorado State Fair with my family