The Heart of Thanksgiving

I hope to sum up one holiday message. Don't be thankful because your life is happy, that is shallow. Be thankful because despite circumstances, Jesus has given His life for you and blessed your life with many things. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Always.

Your attitude is everything. If you have a easy life and things normally go your way, you probably find yourself very thankful. If your circumstances are difficult, a thankful heart is pure gold. For a long time I struggled with believing a "health and wealth" Jesus. If you were a good christian, worked hard, went to church, served others, took care of your body, invested in your marriage and children, then you would be happy.... have healthy babies..... make a lot of money...

Right?? WRONG!!!

Since I have heard this straight out of the mouth of many recently let me just be the first to tell you, "It's wrong people!!!! It's a straight lie from the enemy!! If you believe Jesus gives you health and wealth for all the "good" things you've done, you are 100% wrong." I'm not going to throw up a bunch of verses on you, but here are a few to think about.

Isaiah 64:6. All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

What if??? What if..... what if all you had was Jesus? Would HE be enough to be thankful for? What if you didn't get YOUR way? Or your wants?? Would you be thankful?

To redeem those who are under hard circumstances, we have been there. And we have felt the weight of those circumstances. It's hard to fight the thought of, "Did we do something wrong?" to try and explain hardships. To try and justify why things may have gone bad for you at times.Let me shine some truth:

You are promised trouble. You just are.

In John 16:33 Jesus says in this world you WILL have trouble... not IF, but WILL.

We live in a fallen world and right now, sin reigns. Jesus says not to love the world or anything in the world.

God also disciplines those he loves. If He loves you, you will be tested under trial. How deep is the love and thankfulness this year in circles where there is loss, hurt, and pain. We have so many friends and family going through a hard time. And our life has not been a bed of roses either.

Tim has one semester left of his HVAC degree. He has crammed a 2-3 year degree down to 18 months. One top of a full time job, full time school, and him starting at the bottom of the chain ladder in his industry, we have fought hard and are getting close to the finish line. After 2 miscarriages in 2011, we are thankful for our 2 babies here.... but often think about being a family of 9 in heaven with our 5 babies there! Earth is not heaven. If you live around people that think that way, find new friends. Comfort those during their hardships..... soon enough, you will have some of your own. I can't imagine going through trials of life without family and friends.

Our trials have made us and have deep gratitude for family and friends on this Thanksgiving holiday.

I love reading the Cathy Blog (chick-fil-a) founder. It's neat that we had the exact same thing on our heart:

One of my favorite holidays is just a few days away. I love Thanksgiving. I think any time we can pause and reflect on the things we’re thankful for is time well spent. Sometimes, though, that’s not so easy. Sometimes it’s hard to see past our circumstances.

Let’s face it; times have been hard for a lot of people for a long time. A still-struggling housing market and poor employment conditions continue to put a strain on companies, individuals and families every day. Unfortunate circumstances can penetrate our hearts and hinder our ability and willingness to take time to be thankful. For some, Thanksgiving might even seem like a reminder of what’s not-so-great. It can hang over us and cause us to focus on all the things we wish were different.

A friend of mine’s father passed away when my friend was just a teenager. A few weeks before his father died, my friend woke to a note taped to the outside of his bedroom door. His dad had written the note some time in the middle of the night. He told his son that he was just up thinking about how hard it must be to be an eighth-grader.

Here’s how the note read:

You are going to have a great day. It’s yours, and you can make it anything you want it to be. If the weather calls for rain, decide now that you will enjoy getting wet. If the test score is low, make up your mind that ‘it can only get better from here.’ If punished unfairly for something, just smile for the many things you’ve not been caught for… Attitude is everything. Today is not yet anything. Fill it with laughter. Dad.

Talk about perspective! My hope is that we can all take a deep breath – even for just one day – and rearrange our thinking to focus on the wonderful grace we’ve all been given and the opportunities we have to choose joy over circumstance.

Here is some pictures of some blessings Jesus has given me that I don't deserve!


Football player, Cinderella, and the big 30

Here is a Halloween picture of my babies!! What is hilarious, is that for 11 months straight they wanted to be a skeleton. It all started from going trick or treating at The Avenue in West Cobb last year. A man was there doing a puppet show and had a skeleton named "Top Hat Bones". My kids were obsessed with him. We talked about top hat bones at least weekly for 11 months.
October comes and I already have the skeleton costumes ready. Low and behold, the morning of Halloween, they run off to their closets and completely pull out dress-up clothes they have.
So..... a last minute decision:

Georgia Football Player and Cinderella. Whatever!

Also, I am now married to an older man. Tim turned 30!! Chef, his dad, of course went all out! We had a small dinner party (ok small still means at least 30 people at his parents house). It was delicious! We had Shrimp and Beef Empanadas as the main course and they were awesome! My mom thought she was hilarious by bringing an "over the hill" cake. As if the party wasn't enough, everyone brought him Home Depot giftcards- and enough to build a deck! Surprise Nellie Mae, you are getting deck! Of course Tim is building it himself so this project will kick-off in December. We think it's great for a little more "living space" and of course re-sell. If you can't tell, Tim had the best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday Tim!!



I love seasons of life. Even the hard ones. They make the sweet ones so much sweeter. I had a great conversation with my friend, Sara, today. Sara has been fighting for her 2 year old to hear after being told he was profoundly deaf and lost her mother this past year to cancer. We both talked today about how life has taken a turn and started to go uphill in both of our lives.
I am so thankful for friends who walk transparently through their journey. And to see God not only change circumstances in your own life, but in the lives of our friends.
And to find contentment. God will not always change your circumstances to bring contentment, but He will change your heart.
God promises that. Because He who is in me is GREATER than he who is in the world.
And ultimately, we will rise..... out of these ashes.


My Creation is With Me

Yes! I still have to upload halloween costumes and some fun halloween pics on here!
Even with all the fun we've been having this fall, i have to take a time out and share a little bit about the season of life I'm currently in...

At the end of the summer, we joined a small group with our pastor and a small group of others. The group our pastor is leading is called, Deep Roots, and it has been really deep. We've been studying large amounts of scripture. It's been awesome. I also started attending a weekly mothers Bible study at our church on wednesday mornings that is pretty intense. And again, really awesome. We are going through a study called, Wisdom for Mothers by Denise Glenn. It is intense b/c the material is lengthy and is pulling a ton of scripture. There are videos to go along with it also. Again, we are really going deep and getting into marriage, our relationship with the Lord, and how we discipline and are raising our kids.
And lastly, about 100 people have told me to read Heaven is For Real. It is a story about a little boy who undergoes surgery at a young age and tells his dad that he went to heaven and met Jesus while he was under anesthesia. Whether the book is fake, real, or just a dream..... the point I took away from it is that well.... heaven really is for real. It's a real place. And it's cool to read what this little boy believes about it.

Anyway, I am obviously feeling super encouraged right now and filled with truth. If only every season of my life I could just be deep into the truth of the Bible and surrounded by transparent believers! Tim and I are really trusting and asking God to do some big things with us, his career, and our children. It has been really exciting to have a vision together and beg God to show up in our lives in a big way.

I know a lot of people don't share what God says to them on such a public level, but I really feel like what God spoke to me 2 weeks ago could bring encouragement to so many. So, here goes...

After reading that book, it stirred up a lot of emotions from all the babies we have lost. That's why so many people told me to read the book was b/c the little boy told his mom one day after surgery that he had 2 sisters. The mother told him, no you just have 1 sister. (In the story, the little boy has one older sister) And the little boy said, No. I have 2. I met my other sister in heaven. She said she died in your tummy. The mother had never told her children about a miscarriage she had years before she was pregnant with them.

Okay, I know... when I read it I thought.... oh how sweet. Good for them. Despite the fact of indeed this book is true or not, heaven is real and babies go to heaven.... right?
For some reason, it's always been easier for me to think of the babies we have miscarried as "gone". And not picture anything more. To count it as a loss. Almost like.... well, my body messed up and how does a 2 inch baby go to heaven at 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, or 12 weeks? It's too confusing to comprehend? I mean, is there a 2 inch baby in heaven? Are all babies that die in the womb just fast-forwarded to a certain age? My head and heart start hurting when I try to think about why and how and where. Like I said, it was easier to just think of these lives as gone b/c we never met the person that the life could have been....

Anyway, I knew I was wrong. And I knew God wanted to settle this issue with me. I hated to think about it. I hated to dwell on each baby we lost and think about it's life. 5 lives that were created that aren't here.... where are they and what are they?

During a church service, this song playing was being sang by our worship team. The words all of the sudden just cut like a knife:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.
Who was and is, and is to come.
With all creation I sing
Praise to the King of Kings, you are my everything and I will adore you.

And after the chorus, A sentence was "spoken" to me that was not me:
Jennifer, that is my creation. And my creation is with me.

And that was it. God answered my question and then my thought process finally was logical.

God creates life. God created a womb, grew a baby, gave it a heartbeat. We can't "make" life appear. Only God can breathe life into a person. It was nothing I did or didn't do. It was Him.
For whatever reason, God took the life He created with Him.
And that's what He told me. That is my creation. And my creation is with me.
And as believers we all end up there anyway.... I still don't know what that "looks" like, but I know that probably doesn't matter. The lives God created in me, he took, and they are with him.

Pretty cool, huh? God clearly thought I needed an audible intervention on this one, and I'm super grateful for that.

Anyway, just wanted to share. I'll just let that sit with you.... it has with me for a couple weeks and it brings me to a place where I am in awe of what a big, big God we have and how personal and awesome He is. I'm so thankful to be a literal vessel for His work.

Popular Posts