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Having a Heart of Thanksgiving in a Difficult Waiting Season

Hey friends!

This blog post is going to be different than the usual blog posts I write. I want this to feel like a “coffee in hands, curled up on the couch in my living room” kind of chat. The kind of chat where you leave feeling hopeful and encouraged.

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. We all have so many reasons to be thankful. No matter what season of life we are in. Whether you feel the blessings have been abundant, or you are in a difficult season, we can all find reasons to be thankful.

I love that we have a holiday where we can celebrate having thanksgiving in our hearts. I feel that when we are not constantly thinking of the reasons we have to be thankful, it is so easy to get caught up in the things we want but have not received.

For me and my husband, we are in a 2 year and counting “waiting season”. It would be so easy, and human nature even, to focus everyday on this one thing that we want so badly, and ignore all of the other things that God has blessed us with. I’m sure you can relate. However, it’s a miserable feeling to focus just on that one thing you want instead of focusing on all the things that you HAVE been blessed with.

I was talking to God this morning and sharing my heart with Him, and I was reminded of all the blessings He’s given Luke and I this past year.

For example, this apartment we are living in was a huge blessing. Last December, before we moved from Eastern Washington to Western Washington, we weren’t making enough money to be approved for an apartment over here in Western Washington that was in a safe area. Our salaries when living in Spokane (Eastern WA) were significantly less than what we were going to be making at our new jobs here on the west side. Even though we had money in savings, they wouldn’t approve us. We had to be making 4X the amount of rent that our current apartment charges in order to be approved. And even though our new jobs would be meeting the requirements, our previous salaries didn’t and that’s all we had to show because we hadn’t yet started our new jobs.

We were in a dilemma.

With only 2 weeks left until we had to move out of our apartment in Spokane, and no place to move to on the west side, we prayed desperately. We applied to several apartments and had the same issue arise. We had one apartment in mind that we liked the most, and was affordable in comparison to our new jobs’ salaries. However, our old salaries from Spokane still didn’t meet the 4X the amount of rent cutoff.

Well, one evening, less than a week before our move-out date in Spokane, we received a call from the manager of the apartment we wanted the most in Western WA saying we had been approved. She added that at first the documents she received back said we had been denied, but less than an hour later she received an updated document saying we were approved. I don’t know what happened to change us from denied to approved, but we gave all the glory to God and were so thankful. It truly felt like a miracle, and I will give the glory to God and say it WAS a miracle because I don’t know what else could have caused our status to change from denied to accepted. I will always remember God’s provision for us last year, when we felt hopeless and had to count on God to guide us and provide for us.

Another way God has provided in this last year was jobs for both Luke and I. Luke got a job very quickly as an EMT with AMR, an ambulance company, within a week of applying. Even though his job isn’t want he wants to do for the rest of his life, it provides for us, is stable, and allows Luke to keep his EMT license updated and active, which is important for the future job he desires. I also got a teaching job at my dream school, a Christian school, and the same school I grew up attending for Kindergarten through 8th grade. I wake up in the morning excited to go to work. I love my kids more than I thought possible, and I get to teach them about Jesus and pray with them every single school day. It’s truly the most fulfilling work I’ve ever been a part of. Also, I get to teach the grade that was my first pick, and usually as a first year teacher, you get what you get and don’t have much say in the matter. So that feels like an extra blessing on top of it all. God knew the desire of my heart and blessed me with it. I don’t deserve any of the blessings He gives, but our God is a gracious one and loves to bless His children.

There are many other blessings I could go into detail on, such as my brother and sister-in-law getting pregnant with their first child this year, and my sister getting engaged after years of praying for a husband. The blessings are ABUNDANT. Even the simple things we so easily forget but that are truly huge blessings such as food on the table everyday, a roof over our heads, having an education, my amazing and godly husband, a church and community group, and most importantly, my salvation in Jesus Christ. The blessings are endless.

My point in all of this is, it would be so easy to continue focusing each day on that one thing Luke and I have been wanting so badly for the past two years. BUT, that would so easily steal the joy from being thankful for the abundance of blessings we already have.

I can honestly say that Luke and I could be content with what we have (and even less) for the rest of our lives even if we never were to receive that thing we desire so badly. And I believe that’s the heart God desires for us all. To be thankful for what we have because we already have everything we could ever need. Our salvation is the greatest gift of all. All these other blessings are nice, but all we truly need is Jesus. Because our time here on Earth is short, and our time spent with Jesus in heaven is eternal. So if I have my salvation and get to spend the rest of eternity praising God in heaven, I have everything I need. And I’m so thankful for all the other ways God has blessed my family because He chooses to, because He loves us.

I hope this encourages you in one way or another. We are blessed beyond measure and have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving (and every day!).

I would love to hear from you what you are thankful for this season. Answer this question either to me or to yourself, “How has God provided for you this year?”

Go ahead and hit that reply button if you feel so led. I’d love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody!

With much love and Thanksgiving,

 

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