By Sarah Langness
I don’t know what it means, by actual definition, to “throw your back out”. But I may have done that last Thursday afternoon. If it wasn’t “thrown out”, my lower back was definitely stretched and strained to the point of extreme pain in a way I hope to never endure again. The problem is, sometimes I forgot that I’m a) pregnant and therefore my body is already stretching and pulling in all sorts of different directions; and b) that even if I wasn’t pregnant, it’s never a good idea to hold a 24-pound weight on one side of your body while leaning down in the opposite direction to lift a nearly 10-pound purse. The result? I walked around with an ice pack stuck in my pants and could barely stand up straight due to the pain in my lower back.
I never really realized how vital the use of my back is to every day, ordinary actions. Like rolling over in bed. Like being able to sit on the floor and change my son’s diaper. Like putting on a pair of pants.
After last week’s incident, I realized how often I forget to be grateful.
And so often, I think we all forget. We get so used to what we have, with the people that we are blessed with in our lives, that we begin to take it all for granted. It seems like, more often than not, we become grateful for something only after it’s gone.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I encourage you not to forget. To not just take a moment to thank the Lord for the “big” things, the “obvious” things, the “generalized” things. But take a moment to consider the little ones, the less-noticed blessings. For the fact that the furnace is working. For being able to roll over in bed without pain. For the blessing of hearing laughter. For fridges to store that abundance of leftovers in. For the inventor of disposable diapers. For soft toilet paper. For electric mattress pads.
And whatever you do, don’t just be thankful on Thursday. On Friday, as you brave the Black Friday crowds or pull out your Christmas tree or simply enjoy the presence of family, remember to thank Him. Because all good things, all blessings, come from Him. And we have so many reasons to be thankful.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” – Psalm 136:1-3, NASB
Dear WMF Friends,
Thank you so much for your support of the Bible School Ministry here in Ukraine. Your prayers are integral, and we depend on them as we look to the Lord for His grace and power to work in and among us here.
Our Bible School students are on Christmas break now, and we request prayer for them as they spend time with their families and close ones. Would you pray especially for protection, assurance and comfort of His presence, guidance in family relationships, opportunities to share the Lord, and for His blessing in their lives? They are an awesome group, and we know you would love them!
We hope that each of you has a joy-filled and peaceful Christmas as we celebrate our Savior.
Love in Christ,
Andy and Monica Coyle
Precious Ladies of the WMF,
The middle of Advent is a wonderful time for thinking about the gifts the Lord has brought in to our lives! I am so grateful for the Gift of life, grace and power God sent in His Son. And I am grateful for the lovely sisters in Christ I have in the WMF. You have encouraged me in so many ways and I can only thank the Lord and you for the rich blessing you have been. The Lord bless you in wonderful way this Christmas and in 2013!
by Sarah Nelson
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Thanksgiving always brings to mind one of my first attempts at making gravy. I was a
young bride bursting with domestic enthusiasm. My husband and I invited another
young family from our church over to celebrate the giving of thanks, including sharing
what I envisioned to be the Good Housekeeping seal of award Thanksgiving dinner.
The turkey was roasted to a nice golden brown crispiness on the outside, and tender
perfection on the inside. Marshmallow covered sweet potatoes were ready to be popped
in the oven for a quick bake. Now it was time to put what I thought would be the easiest
of all food preparations together. The gravy. How hard could this be? I had my pan
drippings from the turkey. Had some salt nearby. Was it cornstarch or flour? I could not
remember, so I got both out from the pantry. Browning liquid? Oops – didn’t have that,
so I was set to be creative with just the right mix of food coloring. How hard could light
brown be, really?
After several emergency phone calls were placed to my grandma and mother who
graciously didn’t laugh at me (at least that I heard), I was ready to proceed. Why wasn’t
my gravy thickening? Must need more flour, a little more cornstarch too couldn’t hurt.
A few drops of this color, a few drops of that, surely soon this gravy would look
As we gathered around the table I explained that the gelatinous glob of lemon yellow
foodstuff in the gravy boat was not a custardy dessert, but indeed gravy. My dear
husband tried to be a good sport with his affirmation that it was sure to taste good. I did
my best to hold back the tears and enjoy the presence of my dear friends and our little
family gathered around the table. The truth was, the “gravy” didn’t taste good. It was
like trying to swallow wet chalk. Believe me, the last thing I felt like doing was giving
As I think back to the circumstances of that long ago Thanksgiving feast failure, I am
reminded that all of us as women have seen circumstances of much greater depth,
disappointment, and discouragement than a batch of botched gravy. Giving thanks in
seasons of grieving the loss of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, the pain of
moving, all are difficult if not nearly impossible in our own strength. And yet, as a
follower of Christ we know that His will for us is to give thanks in ALL things.
This Thanksgiving, whether you are in a season of rejoicing, or in one of pain, let’s give
thanks together to the One who deserves our gratitude every moment of every day. When
we feel like the world is crumbling around us, let us rest in the One who holds every
moment of every day together by His will and perfect plan. It is His will that we give
thanks in all things. Will you?