You know how someone says something to you sometimes and it gets you thinking? Makes you search your soul, ask yourself hard questions?
Last night I received a comment from a long-time friend on the post I wrote about "Taking the Long Way Round". In case you missed it the post was sharing my new-found understanding about my recent "dyslexia" diagnosis, and here's what my friend had to say...
..."when I think of you, I think of how blessed you are, not about all the things you think of when you think of you! In fact, I often struggle with feeling jealous of your amazing creativity, your ideas in parenting and of how God has blessed you with a lovely lovely home, incredible opportunities and success in the blogging world and in your writing as well as in your travel opportunities. In fact, I have to laugh sometimes, every time I think of something I would like to do one day, there you are the next week blogging that you've just done it! God has certainly blessed you amazingly, I don't think you realize just how much!"Jeepers. All of a sudden I started thinking, what if I come off as a show-off on here? (Do I?) I really am blessed in so many ways... do I actually give enough credit where credit's due? Am I expressing gratitude and "giving glory" to the one that deserves it the most? i.e. God. the Big Guy. The Man Upstairs.
Every single grateful post i have ever written has actually been aimed at Him, really. I might not have actually said it, but if I am GRATEFUL, I must be grateful TO SOMEONE. That Someone is the Person whose grace has literally carried me, at times when I could not face the world. The Person who is the source of all my blessings and Who deserves all the credit, all the glory.
So just in case I wasn't clear enough, today's Grateful Post is dedicated to God, to whom I am literally Eternally Grateful.
Here are just some of the things I am grateful to Him for...
I'm Grateful for the material blessings in my life. I grew up in a household where we were never able to get out of overdraft. Hand-me-downs and making do was the name of the game. In my working life I was employed by a number of not-for-profit organisations, where you apply for grants to cover your salary and do cleaning to make up the shortfall and pay the rent (on your tiny box-like room). I know what it's like to go without, which only makes me appreciate my material blessings more...
...Like being in the position I am work-wise, with hubby's income being enough. God knew that I was in a very broken place and he provided a safe secure way for me to heal. I didn't have to rush back to the pressure of working before I was ready. Even now I can go at my own pace and build up my little businesses at a level I can cope with. I am constantly in awe of this amazing blessing and how God has protected and provided for me.
Grateful for "hearts desires fulfilled" i.e. TRAVEL. We didn't travel as a family when I was growing up, but the travel bug bit me at age 16 when my aunty & uncle paid for me to go to Canada. "To Travel and See the World" was one of those secret desires I had. So what happens? I marry someone from the UK who grew up hopping across the Channel to Europe. Now his job provides opportunities for us to travel as a family and just the two of us, more often than I would have ever dreamed. I am so grateful.
Grateful for my own Home - and a beautiful one at that. I won't bore you with my back-story (constant moving, rented homes, a whole page in my aunty's phone book to allow for all my changes of address). Suffice it to say that when I walked up the driveway of this house I fell in love and have not fallen out of love yet. I am incredibly grateful for the timing and provision which made owning this house in this neighbourhood possible. A series of divine setups. A Miracle. I am grateful every day, to Him, for my Home.
Incredibly Grateful for my counsellor. We found her through a series of events, when I hit rock bottom after more than 10 years battling depression. She is the most amazing wise, skilled counsellor who has helped save our marriage, helped me come off medication and has gotten to the root of the issues. PLUS she "just happens" to be an expert on dyslexia. If that's not divine provision, I don't know what is. Oh I am so very grateful. To Him.
I am grateful for my husband and family. I waited such a long time to meet my hubby - at least it seemed long. And lonely. I was the last of my sisters to be married (me, the eldest, a 30 year old virgin). But it was worth the wait. My mum and dad used to pray I'd meet someone great: "Even if you have to bring him from half way round the world God..." And He did. A series of near misses brought us together, at just the right time. Answers to many many prayers. I am still grateful every day.
I am just grateful that I am still here, living blessed, still connected with my Creator, when it would have been easy at many times to give up on my faith. His practical grace and tangible provision combined with a sense of his never-leaving-me Presence has held me, when I couldn't move forward on my own. His beyond-understanding Peace has kept me. I'm grateful for His Presence, His Love and His beautiful grace.
Once upon a time I was the epitomy of Martha. I thought that if I worked hard, helping people in God's name, I would get into His good books and He would bless me. But the funny thing was that when I was at my weakest, when I was broken and could longer serve Him or "do" anything - that's when the kindness of God took me by surprise.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (from The Bible, 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9)Thank You God for everything. The glory for all of it goes to You.
I'm the broken vessel, and you are the light within. I hope that it shines through enough that others can glimpse You through my cracks....
P.S. I know not all my readers share my belief/faith and may consider this post to be further evidence of a deranged mind... all I can say is, "Don't knock it til you've tried it." (there's NOTHING like the Peace that comes from His tangible presence, and I can't explain it away, even on my darkest days).