Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over

I marvel daily at the blessings in my life.  I've learned to count my blessings whenever my heart starts to feel doubt or fear.  Today, as is fitting, my assignment for WEGO Health's National Health Blog Post Month is to write about the three things that I am most grateful for in my life.  And ,ultimately, to name the greatest blessing of all.  Considering all that I have to be thankful for, this is not going to be easy, but I know where the heavy hitters are.   

First, I have to say that I am thankful for WAGR/11p Deletion Syndrome, and all our WAGR families around the globe.  Certainly, when we, the Heftys, are
Girls Night Out as WAGR Weekend

 in the midst of pain and heart-ache, the syndrome does not seem like a blessing; but God holds up his end of the bargain when he says that he will work all things for our good, according to his will.  Ten years ago, I could never have imagined saying, "I'm blessed to have a daughter with WAGR/11p Deletion Syndrome." Heck, I don't think I could have said it five years ago!  But, within the last two years or so, I realize that I have gotten more good than bad out of WAGR.  I'm blessed by friends around the world; friends who don't even speak my language, but with whom I can share a smile or some tears, and we totally understand each other. Our hearts are connected, so no words are required.  I find that God shows his love for us so richly through our struggles with Evie's health; he provides in ways that I could never imagine.  

Family Fun in MN

Although I just spoke of my wonderful WAGR family, I would say the second thing on my list of top blessings would be my immediate family and friends. Through the years I have felt surrounded by love, support, faith and encouragement.  They have showered me with gifts, both tangible and intangible.  I have friends and family who pray for me, and for my family.  I have friends and family who call, send letters, write e-mails, and let us know that we are never far from their thoughts.  I look around at a world of hurting people who may have never been told that they are loved; but in my life, I have been told repeatedly.  I am so very thankful for that.  
Family fun in Boston

At the tippy top of my thankfulness list is my husband.  Once we were trekking through snowstorms to go to house parties in college, and years later we were trekking through snowstorms to take our daughter to chemotherapy appointments.  It's amazing where God has taken us through our years together.  We have grown closer still to one another the past few years as we worked through couple's Bible studies like Fireproof Your Marriage.   People will take certain verses out of the Bible, several of them about marriage, and use them to humiliate Christians, when in reality, the verses, (when read as they were supposed to be, "as a whole") mean so much more, and are extremely insightful.  
Skillet Concert at Lifest 2013

For example, I've come to realize that one of the curses of original sin is that marriage will be difficult!

"Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

We are set up to be at odds with our spouses from the very beginning.  Husbands desire respect and wives desire love.  So, if the wives don't feel loved, they have a hard time respecting their husbands, and if husbands don't feel respected, they have a hard time loving their wives.  Well, now, ain't that a catch-22?  When it boils down to it, that's why we need God so much in our marriages.  Because without God, it would be impossible to overcome all the challenges that we face through out our lives.  I've realized that my best friend HAS TO BE my husband. He's the one who needs to know every part of me and hold me accountable for who I am.  I'm very thankful that Jeff and I both have a relationship with God, and continue to work on staying close to each other by remaining close to the God who glued us together with his Divine Plan.  

Finally, the ultimate of all thanks goes to God.  (Shocker, I know.  I totally wasn't leading up to that at all...)  I am amazed by the stories he writes for all of us.  He is the most remarkable creator and director of all things.  Just when I think that I have a GREAT plan, God comes along and really shows me up.  I am here on earth to learn and demonstrate that God's will is perfect.  

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Henna Tattoo
in Key West
I need to look different and act differently so that others will say, "What does she have? I want some of that."  In all things, in all circumstances, I am commanded to trust that his plan is better than my plan.  It's not always easy, but as I become older, and have more experiences to look back on in which that was the case, I find my first thoughts in difficult circumstances are more commonly, "God has a plan..."

Happy Thanksgiving, to even my friends that don't celebrate Thanksgiving!  This is a day of thankfulness created here in America for us to thank our God for his bountiful blessings upon our lives.  Can you look into the "cup" that God has given you today, and see the answered, as well as the answered prayers; can you say in your heart, "It is good?" Consider the jobs you prayed for that you didn't get and how much better off you are.  Consider the failed relationship that didn't lead to a marriage and family, and what you would have missed  had that relationship not failed.  Consider the riches and wealth that you have not acquired, and how it would have changed you if you had.   God's plan for us is limitless in joy and bountiful in good and perfect things; his plan is better.

My cup is full, and it is overflowing with blessings. 

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