And so we begin … 30 Days of Thanks, hosted by The Ordinary Hausfrau … Year #4!
I love this time of year – and today it is SO easy to come up with something to be thankful for! I can’t wait to share this with you.
Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite actors. Quickly, here’s why: I have read the autobiographies of several of the actors of his time – and many of them were so immoral, which totally ruins that wholesome scene image many of them had. One of the worst offenders was Gary Cooper, star of a great movie Sergeant York. And Grace Kelly … yep, her too. I told my husband to not give me any more books about these actors that I always thought to be so wonderful and glamorous in a more wholesome kind of way than actors are today. I did read Jimmy Stewart’s biography – and he did not commit adultery or get into “relationships” with his leading ladies every movie, and he was married for a long time and attended a Presbyterian church,(also proclaiming himself a Calvinist but believing in God’s sovereignty).
ANYWAY, my point of this post is this: Jimmy Stewart – one of my favorite actors; It’s a Wonderful Life – one of my favorite movies.
Lately, I’ve felt a little like our lives are some parallel to It’s a Wonderful Life’s plot. We’ve gone through some pretty rough waters these last about 18 months … we’ve wondered if the ministry we surrendered to some 7-8 years ago made a difference in our church and its Christian school – although we really DO know it has … and we can honestly say we did our dead-level best to help that organization (and support it still from a further, safer distance right now).
And now that Daniel is unemployed, stuck at home with a severely broken (but thankfully HEALING!!) leg, we are undeservedly reaping some of the blessings of his surrender to work in the ministry here on earth for just a few years. This ministry time is over now, but it almost seems as if God is confirming to us that what we did by leaving the military to work at our church and its school – and even now in the leaving of that ministry – was the right thing. It is hard to explain something like this unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
Unemployment is not something we ever dreamed we’d experience on this scale – 3 months after working his last day at our church and then a brief stint as an independent contractor, Daniel CAN’T work … at least not unless he gets one of the nice (safe!) desk jobs he is applying for fervently. I am looking for a part-time job … but for now, doors aren’t opening. And so, other than put out applications, search on-line, talk to contacts Daniel still has from his prior career, and make phone calls and send emails, there is NOTHING we can do to make a job happen. It is somewhat of a scary, disconcerting position to be in … and mostly, it is very humbling.
As the picture above of the scene in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, where the money from friends came pouring in for the Bailey family when they needed it most, that is somewhat how I feel right now. Aside from some saved money and a little bit of borrowed money, we have been living on the mercy of others since Dan broke his leg! And we haven’t had to ask … people have just done things for us that have left me thankful, humbled, and absolutely in awe of how God takes care of his children through people who are open to sharing. Money has been handed to us, sent to us in the mail, and given anonymously. And not just money – our freezer is full right now of meats – roasts, beautiful steaks (!!), chicken, pork, and crab legs (? which someone will have to teach me to cook!!) that are far more expensive cuts of meat than we’d ever buy for ourselves.
In fact, our son Drew commented recently that we’ve been eating better since Daniel broke his leg than we ever have. Friends have brought by meals as well. I am probably gaining weight right now thanks to all this kindness to us.
And so, I begin this month so incredibly thankful for God’s provision through His people … our mortgage and our bills this month are PAID IN FULL … and my husband has not been able to work for over 3 weeks now and we have not received any financial aid from any government or state organization – just family and friends. A-MAZ-ING!!! While it humbles the very independent people that we are – it blesses us incredibly. It has strengthened our faith a ga-billion times … and as I remark over and over when someone asks me how I’m doing through all the recent events: “I am calm… amazingly calm.”
God’s peace has been with us through the prayers of many, no doubt … and I can give this testimony that HE IS FAITHFUL even when circumstances are hard, seemingly impossible, and when you are pretty much down to nothing (and honestly, we have SO MUCH so I can’t say we have NOTHING). Material things become less and less important, and it really does – as I’ve been told – bring into focus what is really important: the people in our lives and GOD Himself.
We’ve really had a WONDERFUL LIFE!
So, that’s my story … what are you thankful for today?