I knew it would happen to me at some point along in this journey. Those doldrums days when the winds in my sails slow and I would find that I'm sitting in the middle of a quiet, blazing hot sea, with no where to go. This of course is spoken metaphorically but I'm sure we all have been in that place of dry desertness, feeling discouraged, even blinded to what God is doing in our lives because we are not moving forward. And because I knew this would happen to me I pulled out my secret weapon.
My little black moleskine journal. Sept 25, 2015 " I have begun a journey I could never have imagined for myself. I am now walking a path that God has hand picked for me to walk. I want this journal to forever be a mark that I return to when I doubt and wonder in God's goodness and love. He is the true and mighty Father, I AM, the beginning and end, He is everything and in everything. I want to remember the amazing deeds He has done while I remain still and watch His mighty works unfold..."
And so began my story and my testimony of God's faithfulness to me. I began to read through all the ways the Lord has prepared his ways for me. Like the Israelites I needed a place to go back to and remember because just like those forgetful Israelites I find my memory failing at times. Thank God that He never fails and He is faithful even when I am not.
When I was a little girl I use to sing a song called "We bring the sacrifice of Praise into the house of the Lord." Its got a pretty catchy tune and when I was young, although I knew what the words meant I didn't really know what I was singing until I was much older. Bringing the sacrifice of praise is not easy to do, that's why its a sacrifice...right? Its so much easier to just complain, focusing on the negatives, wallow in self pity (one of my favorite past times lately), or just turn life off with distractions. The harder but more life giving thing to do is to give thanks.
In my minds ear I can hear both my parents singing this song, my dad strumming on his guitar voice loud and confidant, and my mother with her sweet soft vibratos. "... and we offer up to you the sacrifices of thanksgiving and we offer up to you the sacrifices of praise!" If you know my parents you understand the significance of this song. Both of their lives have been fraught with disappointments, fears, illness, death and grief. They know the secret of bringing the sacrifice of praise to their King. Its the best way to do battle.
I spoke with my mother about some struggles I was having lately and she asked "Aimee, are you praising the Lord through all of this?" The answer was of course no. I would rather complain and feel sorry for myself and pout. Yesterday I was praying "Holy Spirit what should I be doing right now!?!?" three words.... pray. give thanks. That's it. So I'm learning to once again pray when I feel overwhelmed and stressed, bring my sacrifice of praise, and look back and remember all the amazing ways that God has provided and worked in my life.Won't you join me?
Things I am thankful for...
~My oldest finished out her 3rd year of school and did well in her standardized testing. This is a huge blessing and I have been blessed this past school year to have a team of people help make this year a success. We are looking forward to a fun, adventurous, and lazy summer break.
~ We had a wonderful trip up north to visit family I haven't seen in a long time. We celebrated my cousins wedding, and then headed down to OBX to spend a week at the beach with my extended family. It was a busy and fun time!
~I continue to have strength to do most everything I need to do! This is such a huge blessing as you Mamas know how much time and energy it takes to care for and love on your husbands and children.
~My older two have been doing drama camp which has given me special one on one time with my youngest son. We have been doing short day hikes, getting treats at our local bakery, reading lots of books from the library and doing a lot of kissing. Yes we still have our hard moments but that's ok.
~I have a phone interview with a Dr. in CT to talk about how to more fully integrate my current treatments with more holistic treatments. Its hard to get in to talk with this specialist so I'm thankful for the opportunity to speak with her and praying that this might be another person to help me on my road to recovery.
Don't you know that
day dawns after night,
drought, and spring
and summer follow
winter? Then, have hope!
Hope forever, for
God will not fail you!
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you
not perceive it? I am making
a way in the desert and
streams in the wasteland
~ Isaiah 43:19