Stand!

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

Recently I started counseling. Better late than never, right? A very good friend recommended a place that happens to be close to my office. It makes it convenient for an after work appointment on nights that I do not have to be home until 8pm.

Last week was my first visit. I was 30 minutes late; not on purpose, but because I wrote the time down wrong. The counselor was very gracious, although I kept apologizing. I’m an “on time” person and it irritates me when I’m late.

Anyway, she already knew a lot of “my story” from an essay-type form I filled out for her online. We talked a little bit about that and then she read the verse above. She pointed out that God not only helps us through our problems, but gives us the strength to STAND.

I’ve read that verse many times before but not in the NLT. The word “stand” caught my attention. I know it’s referring to being able to tolerate or endure, but I also like to think that it’s talking about physically standing through your trials. You don’t just barely make it through, crawling on the floor to get out. You stand firm and walk out with the assurance that you have the Almighty, the King of Kings walking with all his power next to you.

This past weekend was drama-filled, to say the least. I’m not sure why, but it’s as if Satan himself was trying his best to make me give up. I read that verse again last night and realized that God would not let that happen. He has given me the power to stand. Stand in hope. Stand in the assurance that I am treasured and loved beyond what my earthly mind can grasp. Stand in the knowledge that there is someone greater who understands, feels, and knows my every single thought.

I take great comfort in knowing that I am still standing. And more importantly, that I am not standing alone.

Thankful for Feet?

There was a time I wrote a thankful list every evening. I was encouraged to do that because depression had overtaken my thoughts and life. Nothing about life seemed good, or even tolerable.

The first time I wrote my list I remember thanking God for my feet. LOL! Seriously, I’ve always liked my feet. No reason, just always liked them. It actually makes me laugh to type that. :) There were other things like air and sun on my short list. That gives you an idea of how little I thought I had to be thankful for.

Occasionally I come back to this exercise, as I know it is a great way to focus on the blessings. Ann Voskamp in her book, One Thousand Gifts, does exactly this. When I saw it online I knew I had to read it. I have so many friends that love that book, but quite honestly I didn’t care for it. Not the message, just the actual writing. It’s written in what I like to call “fancy writing”. Like poetry. The ironic thing is that I love poetry… but only the kind that makes sense and rhymes. I’m more of a meat and potatoes writer and that’s what I enjoy reading. Plain English, please.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a thankful list so I thought I’d give it a go:

Today I am thankful for…

  • My three kids who make me laugh EVERY day. Life without them would be oh so boring.
  • My family. Their love, support and prayers get me through every day. I know how blessed I am to have the family I have.
  • Milo, our dog. We had a rough start, but he’s become quite the companion and fits in well with our family.
  • The neighborhood I live in.
  • My job. It not only provides for us, but it also encourages me to grow and learn. I also have good friends I’ve made.
  • The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch. LOVE my church family.
  • That we are lice free. Yes, we had our first case of lice and it was not fun or cheap. If you’ve been through it, you know. It can make you go crazy!
  • Accountability. I need it and thankful to have it.
  • My rose bushes that are blooming like crazy.
  • The smell of jasmine as I walk out the back door.
  • Chai tea… always thankful for that, lol.
  • For my past. It’s not pretty but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
  • And yes, today I am still thankful for my feet :)