This is a two-part post!
First, I'd like to share a little bit about our Thanksgiving Day.
This was our first time (Brian and myself!) hosting Thanksgiving dinner in many, many, MANY years.
It was a WONDERFUL day of food, fun and family!
The week before the big day, I enjoyed making the menu, working on a grocery list and creating a "to do list"! One of the greatest blessings for me personally was that the Lord gave me the strength to do some of the cooking!
We had Brian's Mom and Brian's Grandfather over for lunch/dinner.
Brian's Grandfather will turn 102 years old on December 18th!
I never had a Grandfather whom I can remember since both of mine passed away when I was just a baby.
But, on Thanksgiving Day, Brian's Grandfather took ahold of both my hands and said to me, "I may be old, but I AM your Grandfather and you ARE my Granddaughter!"
HONOR TO ME!
The four of us enjoyed a blessed day together!
Truly a great memory-making day for all of us!
Okay, onto the second part of the post which is also a celebration of the Lord's goodness!
This past Friday, November 25th, marked ONE YEAR that this website went live!
THE TIME GO???
Have I really written fifty-two posts?
It seems utterly impossible!
And guess what? IT IS!
"Barb, have you had someone else writing for you all this time?"
You see, in actuality, the Lord writes the posts! He's the One who gives the words, I'm just the instrument whom He chose to use to write down those words!
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
I gotta be honest and tell you that I came close on a few occasions to totally trashing this whole idea of having my own website!
There was one time in particular when I was about ready to take, "Casting Your Care" , and cast it right into the depths of the ocean never to be seen again!
"What's the point?"
"Why am I spending so much time writing these posts?"
"Do the posts even matter to anyone?"
So WHY was I asking these questions?
Well, hang on REALLY tight as I give you my "depths of my heart and soul answer!"
I had made this website into an idol.
I said an IDOL!
I had become consumed, infatuated, totally overtaken with the stats.
How many people were viewing each post?
How many shares was each post getting on facebook?
Was each post getting exposure into any new foreign countries?
How many people were writing comments after each post?
I had COMPLETELY lost focus of the REAL reason why I began this website in the first place.
I continued on in this extremely destructive behaviour for many weeks, until one afternoon, when, thankfully, the Lord broke my spirit.
With tears streaming down my face and after much prayer, confession and repentance, the Lord lead me to a place of rededicating the site back to the Lord and to the purpose for which it was developed.
To bring honor and glory to my Saviour. To bring help, comfort and encouragement to others. To share the Gospel so that many might come to know Him as their personal Saviour.
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
This all occurred after I published the post, "Taking An Intermission From The Election", which was a post filled with light-hearted jokes and stories.
Within minutes after my talk with the Lord, I received a text message from one of my most favorite adopted daughters!
She told me her nine-year old son, Chandler, was reading all of the jokes as they were driving home from school and there was MUCH laughter!
But the "kicker" was when she texted back and told me Chandler was now reading the jokes to the barber as he was cutting his hair!
I stopped right then and humbly thanked the Lord for allowing that particular post to brighten up the day of a nine-year old boy, as well as giving me reassurance of why I was doing what I was doing!
Yes, I know I just told you that I got caught up in the stats and made the site an idol, but I still DO check out the stats! I just look at them in a different way now!
There's always one thing that leaves me speechless! As of today, the site has reached into fifty-one foreign countries! Right there just verifies it's ALL the Lord and NONE of me!! Places like Italy, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Nigeria, India, China, Ghana, Russia, Zambia, Lithuania, Chile, France, Thailand, Greece.
"The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."
The lady who hardly ever gets out of her house due to the symptoms of a chronic illness is traveling around the world!
PRAISE THE LORD!
A special thanks to my "bestie" Shelly for giving me my start in writing and then gently nudging me to fly solo! A special thanks to her hubby and all his hard work in getting me up and running!
A special thanks to Linda, my Barnabas! She diligently prays for me and the website and we stay in contact through email since she lives in New Zealand!
An extra special thanks to my beloved husband who patiently listens as I read a post to him, make some changes, read it to him again, make some more changes, read it to him again, etc! I thank the Lord for the unconditional love and support of my man!
There are so many other friends I never would have had the privilege of meeting if it were not for the website. I praise God for each and every one of these dear friends!
Thank you to all who read the posts and have followed me for this past year. You are a huge blessing and encouragement to me!
A huge thank you to the Lord for taking my smaller than a grain of mustard seed faith, watering it, tending it, pruning it and allowing it to grow in His mercy and grace. For giving me the desire of my heart and for leaving me SPEECHLESS over and over again!
I give you
ALL THE THANKS!
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May God Bless You,