Monday, November 22, 2010

Joy Sage Story 2010 Card

Joy Sage Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Thanksgiving Devotion

Tomorrow, I have the incredible honor of giving the devotion at my MOPS meeting.  I have been indescribably blessed by the women in this group, and I hope that this devotion can bless them in some small way.  Here is what I plan to share...

Someday I’m going to miss this.  You’ve all heard me say it.  It’s sort of become my “coping mechanism”, per se, when I’m having a rough day.  A few weeks ago, when my husband and I, along with 3 of our 4 kids, were sick, I told myself, “Someday I’m going to miss this.  Someday I AM going to miss taking temperatures, and cuddling when they’re not feeling well, and hearing them call for me in the middle of the night when their fever spikes.”  Yesterday, when the noise in my house was deafening from the rough-housing and wrestling on the floor, I said, “Someday I am going to miss this.  Someday my house is going to be silent and I’m going to miss the screaming and the yelling and the laughter and the LIVING that is going on in my home right now.”  When my preschooler came to me teary-eyed because he and his brother were fighting over a toy, I said, “Someday I’m going to miss this.  Someday I’m going to miss teaching my kids how to resolve conflict and watch them learn from those lessons."  Just last night when my kids were being disobedient and ornery and a whole slew of other things, I thought, "Someday I'm going to miss this.  Granted, right now I'm not sure just WHAT about this moment I'm going to miss, but someday I'm going to miss this."

Sometimes, with the hustle-bustle stress machine we affectionately call “The Holidays”, things can seem so tense and overwhelming that we simply want to burst.  For example, it’s easy to wish for a sound-proof plexi-glass divider between the front seats and rear seating on that long drive to Grandma’s.  But someday we’re going to miss this.  Someday it’s going to be quiet in the car, and as refreshing as that will be – and believe me I hear ya that it will be --  a tiny (or BIG) part of me will miss the excitement and energy that comes with a car full of kids who just can’t wait to get there – are we there yet?  Someday I’m going to miss this.   

But guess what?  God doesn’t feel that way.  He has known since the beginning of creation exactly what we’d be doing at this very moment, and He doesn’t miss out on anything.  He is with us every step of the way, even carrying us when we need him and feel like we are completely alone.  That ALONE makes my cup runneth over.  

When we’re overwhelmed and feeling helpless and angry, it’s hard to WANT to praise God, to be thankful for even the hardest things we’re dealing with.  But just for a minute, imagine praising God uninhibitedly! “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD : ‘He is good; his love to Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” (Ezra 3:11, NIV)

That’s what the Israelites did when the Temple was built. They had encountered so many trials –so many fears. Yet their shouts of praise drowned out any pains from the previous years. As moms, we face trials every day – some are really mild trials (such as trying to get your picky eater to eat all of their peas which seems insurmountable at the time) and other trials make hiking to the top of Mt. Everest sound easy, (such as having a child with a terminal illness or behavioral issues).  But God’s Hand still holds us. He’s still there, and he’s not missing ANY of it.  And he won’t MISS this.

PSALM 100 is titled, “Psalm of Thanksgiving”:

 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!

 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
 Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
 For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

·         Try not to get caught up in the little things. Don’t worry about what you’re going to wear; just put on love. Only Jesus can do this. Lean on Him for love. Love on your family with follow-through action! Jesus loves your family members more than you ever could. Ask Him to love them through you.
·         Having a hard time trying to come up with things to be thankful for?  How would you fill in these blanks?
“When I’m at home, I thank God for _______.”
“I thank God that I can still _______.”
“In spite of everything, I thank God that I still have _______.”
·         Want peace with your piece of pumpkin pie? Few things in life are guaranteed to work 100% of the time, but God's Word in Colossians 3 is:
        “But now you alsoput them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him--  renewal in which there is no distinction … but Christ is all, and in all. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should youBeyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
So this year, as we feel ourselves getting grumpy and stressed and crabby and ready to pull our hair (or someone else’s) out, I challenge you to be thankful for all those things that someday you are going to miss.  Praise him, uninhibitedly, for all the things that make you stop, take a deep breath, and say, “Someday I’m going to miss this.”  Thank you, Lord, for this moment that right now seems so hard --  because I know that someday I’m going to miss all of this. 

(portions of this devotion were adapted from Stacie Ruth Stoelting at