Endure and Encourage

I am thankful for food in my belly. For a dishwasher to clean all the dishes so I have time to get other stuff done. I’m thankful for a microwave to heat my food. Oh what a world of processed foods that are available to me now that I have a microwave! I’m thankful for a furnace that works and a warm apartment. I’m thankful for a soft bed. For internet hook-ups. For more than enough money to pay my bills. For meetings with the bank so I can learn how to handle my money wisely and plan for the future. I’m thankful for more material goods than I could ever need or want. Money doesn’t make me happy but I am grateful for the luxuries that I can afford. And if God decides to take it away then so be it. I’m grateful for the time I had it. Hopefully, I’ll steward what I have well while I have it.

I’m thankful for my kittens, Marilyn and Sophia, from Regina Cat Rescue. I was planning just getting Marilyn but she had a sister and she was the last one of their litter so I got her, too. They are only six months and complete darlings (even when Marilyn has diarrhea on the floor. She’s still pretty cute anyway. but I don’t think I’ll give her anymore Fancy Feast). They are shy and we’re still getting to know each other but the two of them are inseparable. Where ever one goes, the other is sure to follow. They are getting a little less skittish when I walk into the room. Last night, I found them on my bed cuddling with me before I woke up and they scurried away. I’m thankful for those moments. I’m even thankful for the moments when they wake me up because they are getting into mischief or being too loud. Because I’d rather be woken up by them than have no one to wake me up at all.

I’m thankful for marking. I got most of it done this weekend but still have to record it. It’s my first go at it. Made lots of mistakes but will do things differently moving forward. I have about 250 kids to assess. Multiply that with the number of assignments we’ll be working this year and, um, I’m not that great at math but basically, it’s a lot of marking. But I got a lot done this weekend. I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for school. It’s a lot of work but I’m grateful to be there.

I’m thankful Dad’s surgery for his appendix went smoothly. His gut is still healing and he’s got a ton of allergies to meds but he’s on the mend and I’m grateful.

I’m thankful for my friendly neighbours. When I was moving last week, I didn’t know who to ask for help so I did it mostly by myself. But I was getting very tired toward the end of the day and still needed to unload. One of my neighbours, came out to say hello and offered to help. I told her she didn’t have to but she insisted and I was so tired, I agreed. What took me 3 hours to load, took us 30 minutes to unload. She was such a great help and answered prayer.

I want to show you what the Lord taught me today because it was something I needed to hear. I’m grateful for the lesson, so I’d like to add it to my list of thankful things. I follow the S.O.A.P. method. (S = Scripture, O = Observation, A= Application, P = Prayer)

SCRIPTURE – Romans 15:5, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.

OBSERVATION – 1. God is the source and the giver of endurance and encouragement. While others can be a tool God uses to encourage us, they are not the source. 2. These qualities, endurance and encouragement, help us maintain unity. Please note that neither of those words are criticism, anger, revenge, gossip or whatever harmful words and actions we’re tempted to use in conflict. Endurance and encouragement are two of the driving forces in bringing unity.

APPLICATION 1. We can’t manufacture either of these qualities. I mean, we can but you can tell when someone is trying really hard and even though they want to have endurance/patience or be able to encourage, their hearts are far from it. When we trust God to build those qualities in us, it’s far more genuine and rooted. 2. Let God do His work in our hearts to build the endurance we need and give us the encouragement we hunger for so that we can help others. 3. Trust God is doing the work in your heart and those qualities are being built there already. He has equipped us to do every good work (Hebrews 13:21). Choose to use them daily. Choose to endure or be patient, rather than impatient and give up. Trust God will encourage you. Then encourage others.

PRAYER – (I usually just do this privately and it comes out very raw. So I think I’ll just leave this as is for now).

I’m thankful I’m a work in progress. I’m thankful Jesus hasn’t given up on me yet. I’m thankful He’s so much better than any other person on this planet (even my cats!). I’m thankful for another day to try again.