Now I know you're wondering, "What in the world is this blog post going to be about?" Don't worry. This post won't be stinker or a blow-out :) This post is a reflection on the amazing ways God reminds us of His provision.
The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone. We're all busy finalizing our Christmas lists and frantically shopping for the best deal. Others are busy baking cookies. This is definitely a busy time of year.
Busy. Do we often pride ourselves in how busy we are? Do we boast in how many "things" we've accomplished and show all the "stuff" we've done? Busy. That's how my heart has felt lately, and it's keeping me from focusing on the important things this time of year.
Like I said, Thanksgiving came and went. I realized afterward that I forgot to reflect on what I was thankful for. Normally at each of our family gatherings, we go around and say one thing that we are thankful for. I left each family gathering this year with a tummy full of yummy food and arms full of left-overs but not necessarily also with a heart of thankfulness.
See, I was so busy with planning the meal, prepping the food, and timing everything so that the meals would come together beautifully, that I forgot to pause and give thanks for all of the blessings in my life.
Christmas is next weekend. IT'S NEXT WEEKEND. I wanted to remind you just in case you haven't seen all the decorations in the stores and crazy drivers searching for last minute gifts. As I pause today and reflect on the nearness of Christmas, one thing resonates most with me: I don't want to passively pass through Christmas too and forget to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I don't want to miss reflecting on His grand but humble entrance into the world as a baby which He did in order to fulfill the prophecies and to connect with us on a human level. I don't want to miss the chance to pass on the beauty and the majesty of the Christmas story to the next generation: my son.
If I could press pause on life, rewind to Thanksgiving, and re-do the holiday, I would pause every breath to give thanks.
In Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces, she talks about living a life of thanksgiving every day in order to cultivate joy that is not dependent on life's circumstances: I want to "move thanksgiving away from a holiday to a lifestyle-- that all the days might be holy and set apart for the real joy" (p. 11). She goes on to recommend that we open our hearts and hands to God's "simple, daily gifts, writing down all the unique and ordinary things you notice, from the grand and obvious to the humble and hidden" (p. 10).
So where do toilets fit into all of this? I know you just can't wait to get in the loo--p! :)
God surprises me daily with his love and provision. Some challenging health stuff came up recently and clouded my view of his constant provision. So, God got my attention with a humble and hidden blessing.
As I mentioned in my post about our chore list, my dear husband assigned himself bathroom cleaning duty. Sunday rolled around and Marc went to work on his chore list. As I was busy checking off my list, I hear, "Uh... Cait? Can you come here?" coming from the bathroom. I walk in to a sparkling mirror and vanity thinking, "Wow, this looks like a hotel!" My husband though is standing by our toilet, brush in hand, and says, "When did our toilet bowl get a crack in it?"
WHAT!? My brain went into high anxiety mode: "How does a toilet bowl crack? How are we going to pay for that? When in the world are we going to replace it? Is the floor going to be wrecked? Oh man, I wanted to replace the bathroom floor, but not now!" I'll spare you the rest of my monologue and cut to the part about blessings.
The following day, I reluctantly called our plumber... my amazing and handy father. As I start on my saga about the cracked toilet bowl and worrying if we need to replace our flooring soon, my dad interrupts me: "Oh, Grandma has been asking me for a while to replace her toilet with one that has a higher seat."
My mind is still panicking... come on Dad, I have some more anxious thoughts to share. My dad continues, "Her toilet is in, like, mint condition. I can just swap yours out with hers when I replace hers with a higher one." This was the Holy Spirit's moment of conviction. He whispered into my anxious mind, "Caitlyn, I hear you. I know your needs. I have a plan." The words of Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
I couldn't wait to text my husband after I got off the phone with my dad. This was my text of thanksgiving: God provides toilets.
In conclusion: This Christmas week, I'm reminding myself daily, maybe even with each breath, that God provides blessings, even with a new/gently used toilet. DON'T let the busyness of this time of year prevent you from pausing to give thanks, treasuring the majesty of the Christmas story, and sharing the truth the Christmas story with others.
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
Caitlyn J. Hanson
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