When the Feeling is Gone

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Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks.

My daughter asked me on the way to church, “Mom, what are you thankful for?”

I answered, dutifully, “My family.”

She asked, “What else?”

“Hmmm…?” I responded, not really sure what to say, “I am thankful for our home, our church . . . friends who are thousands and THOUSANDS of miles away!” (added with much sarcasm and resentment)

She seemed dissatisfied with my answer.

(hmph)

So I did the typical defensive maneuver and put the monkey on her back, “So Mags, what are you thankful for?”

Without hesitation, “Jesus dying on the cross.”

Feeling two feet tall, the conversation took on a much different tone. Of course, I was thrilled — author of the blog, “Consider Jesus” — and humbled. We found our parking place and walked into church, arm in arm. She went to her meeting with the teens and I went with Phat into the church service.

I must say, as the service went on and the mention of Thanksgiving week, I was still feeling a bit reproved. I could not say the feeling of giving thanks was there. This has been one of the most difficult years of our life. We’ve had some tough years, but THIS year…wow.

So…yeah…I’m struggling in the giving thanks department. But…

I do know what the Word says…so, I will say, without much more hesitation:

I am thankful for God — for ALL He is…the Beginning and the End…and the Redemption in between. We’re living between a rock and a hard place. It feels tight and we feel stuck, but I WILL thank God for being my God. I WILL hold on until the end, knowing He is real.

He has seen the end from the beginning and He told us, it gets better.

I am thankful for God and His perfect plan.

And here’s hoping, tomorrow the “feeling” will come.

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52 responses »

  1. Truly wonderous the mind of a child! And it was kind of funny, to me anyway, that a daughter reproved her own mother–it’s a clear testimony to excellent parenting from you and Phat.

    The struggle with giving thanks is very difficult to do in the midst of a storm. I know that I have failed tremendously in that sense. But He has promised a sunrise. And though the days are dark and the night is long…

    …it doesn’t matter.

    God always keeps His promises.

    ALWAYS.

    And the sunrise is coming.

    Like Charles Schultz once said, “It’s never the end of the world. It’s already tomorrow in Austrailia.”

    Welcome to tomorrow, Michelle! 😀

  2. in everything, give thanks. not easy all the time, but youre doing it.

    and i was thinking the same as Nor. Mags response is definitely a testimony to some good upbringing by you and your husband.

    how blessed your family is to be “your” family. crafted and put together for a purpose. what an honor to get to do this life together as a team.

    i love you…

  3. Your daughter got it right:)

    Often looking at circumstances there doesn’t seem that much to be thankful for. Sometimes I look at my life and I think ‘what a mess’. But then I’m so thankful that God is control, not me. That because of Him I have hope and a future.

    And you testify this hope in spite of circumstances every day to us Michelle, and I’m thankful for that and God will bless you.

    And here’s me praying for you, for a reason to get that feeling, for a special blessing from the Father:)

  4. Hey Michelle, I know the feeling, or lack there of. This year will probably be a very difficult Thanksgiving for our family. Thankful for the cross and for the reminder from Mags.

  5. Perhaps thanksgiving isn’t always an emotion, but rather a choice. In spite of what we see. This will be a tough Thanksgiving holiday for us this year, but thank you for reminding me to choose to give thanks.

    Love you,
    Heidi

  6. Good morning, Nor! Your words always bring peace to my mind. Really. Somehow the continual admonition to seek the sunrise is exactly what I need to hear.

    “Welcome to tomorrow, Michelle!” I love that. I love you.

    “how blessed your family is to be ‘your’ family. crafted and put together for a purpose. what an honor to get to do this life together as a team.”

    Thanks, Tam. We really are a team, and the struggles of the past three years have solidified that even more, in all of our minds.

    Hey, Ripple! (I now know your name is Irene, but RippleGirl still comes to mind when I see your avatar.) Thank you for those words of encouragement. I get feeling like your life is a mess. It’s a good thing we don’t live by our feelings, but by the truth that is Jesus.

    I almost wished you a Happy Thanksgiving, but…that’s an American thing. 😳 Well, if you want a day to stuff yourself full of turkey and watch American football all day, take Thursday off and give thanks! 😉

    Hey, Ric. I’ll remember to pray for y’all on Thanksgiving, in particular. I understand the lack there of.

    Yeah, Mags usually gets it right. She’s awesome.

    Good morning, Heidi. It is an obedience thing, isn’t it. To choose to give thanks. I was singing the words to “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart” as I was trying to fall asleep last night. I finally begged God to make my heart grateful…I’m beginning to feel it. Today is a better day.

    I’ll remember your family on Thanksgiving, Heidi. And I’ll pray.

    OK…so I must say…I’m TRULY thankful for each one of you! Y’all are a huge part of those friends who are “thousands and thousands of miles away.” Y’all have made this year a bit easier. Love ALL Y’ALL! 😀

  7. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Your humility is truly wonderful to see. “Give thanks in all things.” Definitely a challenge sometimes … but so powerful. Love you too!!!!!

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  8. I think Annie discoverd how to make hearts. It’s really cool ’cause she’s putting them in all the right places. And Michelle got a lot of hearts. From Annie.

    And, you know, she had to give a lot of hearts. ‘Cause they’re so small. But they’re going to hearts so big. And coming from a heart so big.

    Sadly, though, I “don’t have heart.”

    Bah ha ha ha!!! 😆

    (That was 😈 joke!)

  9. Hey sweet Michelle! I have to go with HW on this…God does not require an emotion, but HE does require that we choose to be thankful, to forgive, to extend mercy…we all get into that funk and just choosing to be thankful will stir your heart…it works for me! love you so much!

  10. Okay, so do you say you don’t have a heart, or did someone else? You seem rather adamant on this ‘no heart’ business. Which, anyone who’s read any of your writing, or heard just a bit about what you do would have to contest. ??

  11. Hey, Sparkle! You know, I can give thanks for knowing all of this will work together for good because we truly do know God and want His will for our lives. So, I guess I can be thankful with the disappointment, the hurt of it all, for what it’s doing in us and, hopefully, through us. Thanks, Annie. ♥ ♥ ♥

    Nor doesn’t have a heart??? NOT true. You have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. A beautiful heart.

    There you go, Annie! AMEN! NOR HAS A HEART!!!

    Hey, Princess! Yeah, I agree with Heidi as well, it is a choice. I have been in a funk but with blog buddies like y’all and the love ALL y’all so freely give, I don’t stay down too long anymore. I love you so much!!

  12. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    How’s that!? 😆 😀 😉

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  13. Nor- are you going by way of the yellow brick road for that heart? can I come along , I’d like to get a brain… 😉 😆

  14. I don’t know what the deal is with moderation, Darla. I keep getting errors due to server issues. Maybe it’s all related? 😕

    Saved you…cause I love you! 😉

  15. Michelle: Now THAT’S more like it!!! 😀

    Darla: I was actually thinking of getting a heart, a brain, and courage so I don’t know if The Wizard is going to have anything left for you. But you’re welcome to join me on the journey! 😀

    Annie: Where’s my ♥ ? 😐

  16. ♥ Hey Nor! ♥

    OF course you have a ♥. If you didn’t have a ♥, you wouldn’t be Nor! God gave you a ♥ and you use it wonderfully. Besides, one of my favorite verses on this subject is “We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our ♥ before Him in whatever our ♥ condemns us; for God is greater than our ♥ and knows all things. Beloved, if our ♥ does not condemn us, we have confidence before God…” (1 John 3:19-21)

    ♥ you Nor!

  17. My comment got stuck in moderation three minutes before you posted that wonderful passage, Annie!

    But now I’m all smiley! 😀

    And I’m so feeling your ♥ !!!

  18. And hey, it’s 1:40am and Annie is up. You don’t have a cell phone, by any chance do you? Texting is quite addiciting, you know! 😉

    (Besides, I want to make your long lost sister jealous! So she seriously considers getting one, too!)

  19. (Besides, I want to make your long lost sister jealous! So she seriously considers getting one, too!)

    NOT funny!!!

    I WAS feelin’ the love. Now? Not so much!!

    😥

    The ugly green monster is definitely rising…thanks, Nor. 👿

  20. I think that was his plan…are you thinking….MUST…GET..CELL..PHONE…MUST..TEXT..

    if you are let me know I will text you! 🙂

  21. Haha – yes, I was up, Nor – sorry I didn’t come back here! And I do text message quite a bit. Don’t be cruel to my sis, though! 😉 I was on hubby’s computer studying glory. 🙂 So hopefully I can blog said thoughts from earlier. 🙂

  22. You guys are all too cool for me! 🙄

    I’m not too sure I’ll ever enter the 21st century. 😐

    But then, I wasn’t too keen on the 20th century either. 😕

    I’m looking for another place and time. 😉

    And if you’re not nice to me, Nor, well…you have to be nice in heaven! AND I won’t have to deal with the green monster there. 😯 😆

  23. “I’m looking for another place and time.” LOL! I understand that! Although … each place and time (except heaven) has their own set of difficulties. “Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” Jesus knew of which He spoke!

  24. Now, ain’t that the truth!

    I told my mom once that I really feel I was best suited for the time of Jane Austen’s writing, late 18th early 19th century. When ladies were meant to care about art, music, gardening and romance. She just laughed at such a thought and let me know we were not aristocracy. I would be the poor pauper working my fingers to the bone to try and stay alive. 😯

    So, yes. I get your point.

    Heaven is now my hope! 😉

  25. you are so right. The feeling is not always there. We just have to remind ourselves sometimes that having a grateful heart is a daily choice. Somedays it doesn’t feel like something we want to do. But it’s something we should because we DO as you know always have SO much to be thankful for.

  26. Hmm. I’m coming in late on this but:

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    That’s for all of you – heartless and heart-ful. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    (I hope that worked!)

  27. We DO, Rachel. You are SO right, it’s a choice. I’ve been neglectful of making the right choice. Well, that’s not completely true. I am always able to come back to the awesomeness of God.

    He is good. Always.

    Hey, Alan! I tried to fix the heart but I couldn’t get it to work either. Hope that’s OK. Hope you’re well, been praying. 😉

  28. Annie: Looking forward to reading those thoughts. But you don’t have to worry about my not being nice to your sister. I am never nice. After all, I just got a ♥ !

    Michelle: The Green Monster is totally cool! I love The Green Monster! The Green Monster is funny and charming and kids just LOVE The Green Monster! 😀

    (And you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Wally The Green Monster is the mascot for The Boston Red Sox.)

    Darla: I think maybe Michelle needs a little more coercing when it comes to that cell phone! 😯 It would be fun, but I understand why she doesn’t want one. I wasn’t too keen on the idea for the longest time myself. But this text messaging? I’m loving every minute of it. It puts me on equal ground with everyone else because they do it, too. (No sound, no worries, no struggles, no frustrations…Is it any wonder I love writing?)

  29. Kids can be convicting can’t they?

    And why do you all keep talking about the out field wall at Fenway park? Green Monster this… Green Monster that….

    Nor and Michelle at some point Darla and I need to introduce you to twitter. Annie also. Nor you can update that from your cell phone also, I believe.

    Peace and love.

  30. NOR, You are such a fanatic!!!
    The Red Sox…The Red Sox…it’s ALWAYS about the Red Sox!!!!
    Grrrrr…

    TWITTER!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, Carl! That’s just 👿 ! Why can’t we all just live within blocks of one another and get together for coffee!!!!!!!!

    I think it’s time for bed. G’nite.

  31. Hi Michelle, Just reading this and seeing that this year has been one of the hardest in your life – I am really sorry to hear you’ve been battling. I left a reply for you on my blog, but just to repeat here, I will be praying for you. These are the times, it would be great to be able to meet for coffee for more ‘in person’ support 🙂
    Anyway, I found it inspiring to read of your thankfulness here. I relate very well to the ‘feeling’ not being there all the time, and so it was motivating to read about giving thanks to our amazing Father anyway. Love you, God bless.

  32. Hi, Birgit. It would be amazing to be able to meet for coffee. That “in person” support is what I dream about most. I am thankful you were inspired. He is truly the Faithful One we can always trust. Love you, Birg…thanks.

  33. Michelle – what’s so funny is that that is exactly the time period I thought about when I read your comment and replied to it. LOL!!! Love Austen’s books and that general time period. Your mom has some wisdom there … 🙂

    And per your comment at Tam’s place (love the new avatar!!) … we have a dissimilarity my dear. You shall have to eat my green bean casserole. 🙂

  34. You don’t like green bean casserole?! That’s just wrong!

    Jane Austen and Brock and Bodie Thoene…my favorites! 😉

    Thanks about the avatar. Kind of got tired of that ghostly drawing. 😆

    ♥ U! Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Sparkle!

  35. Haha!!!! My favorite writers too!!!! 😀 Awesome!

    And green bean casserole …. nooooo …. I mean unless you have a spectacular recipe that is vastly different from others I’ve tried. 🙂 Which I wouldn’t doubt …. but green beans aren’t one of my favorite vegetables as it is … and it could be a texture thing too. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll have to try yours some time. Can’t say I adore cooked carrots either. I do love fruits and veggies in general, though. I’ve gained a liking for stuffing (didn’t like stuffing as a kid) … but not with fruit in it. Don’t like putting fruit in savory dishes. Now I sound picky!! I did grow up picky, but working in restaurants for 10 years has worked a lot of that out of me. 🙂 Love ya! Hey – if you hear of any great story books (self-help are a bit harder for me to get through, even though they’re good), let me know! I’m sure I’d love it too. 🙂

  36. I’ve recently loved Francine Rivers. She was a secular writer for years and then was saved. Her first Christian book was a rewrite, she called it a redeemed version of an older love story. But it’s the story of Hosea set in 1800 Gold Rush era: Redeeming Love.

    It’s beautiful and a shining example of what a loving husband, a true man of God, needs to be for a wife.

    I also enjoyed her series, The Mark of the Lion, tales of first century Christians. The Roman empire comes to life.

    So yeah, Francine Rivers and then, Beverly Lewis has written a slew of books about the Amish. I love their simple, yet hardworking, lifestyle.

    A few years ago, those two writers kept me toasty all winter. 😉

    I think I’ll eat about anything. I don’t really mind carrots that much, but it’s not my first choice. As long as it has onions in it, I’ll eat most things! 😆

  37. The Mark of the Lion is a fantastic series. Actually … the first two are fantastic in my opinion. Something happened to the third book. Redeeming Love is a very well-written book. I did like it, but didn’t have the same reaction to it that a lot of women seem to have. I didn’t know that about her being a secular writer (and not saved) first. For some reason I never get into stories about the Amish. Don’t know why. Have you heard of a writer called Tracy Groot? I just found her recently … I think scouring at the library. She’s written three books – two seem to be about the same story (which I think is about James the brother of Jesus) and the other is centered around the demoniac that Jesus delivered of demons (the one where He sent the spirits into the pigs). The first two I haven’t read because my library system doesn’t have the first one, and I don’t know how to get my hands on it to read it without buying it. Maybe I will buy it anyway. And I don’t want to read book #1 first. The third is called Madman, and I really enjoyed that. She’s not as good of a writer as the Theone’s or Francine Rivers … but she does have a very poetic style. I like how she writes. If you want some good books to read, check them out!

  38. That’s too strange. I feel the very same about the third book in the series. I haven’t ever heard of Tracy Groot. I’ll look into her.

    Do you like Ted Dekker’s work? I can’t really say I enjoy him because he gets too realistically into the evil, psychotic mindset. Quite creepy, almost horror genre. But he does do it for a reason, and usually by the end of his books I’ve understood the point. He’s intriguing. I enjoyed the Circle Trilogy, inspired by Lewis’s works with some elements from The Matrix. Kind of strange, but good.

    Secular works? I like E.M. Forster’s works, A Room With a View and Howard’s End. But you know, honestly, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, and Charlotte Bronte are always excellent. In my opinion.

    (This is fun! 🙂 )

  39. I think I’ve only read anything of Ted Dekker’s when he collaborated with … hm. Someone. Maybe I haven’t read any of his stuff. Circle trilogy? I’ll have to look it up.

    You know, my other friend Michelle (best friend since 3rd grade) also recently recommended Dickens and Steinbeck. Perhaps it’s a sign. 😉 Have to agree on Charlotte Bronte. I do love Jane Eyre. Have you seen any of the film versions?

    I’ll have to hold on to your list here. 🙂 Thanks!

  40. OH! Want some easy reading funny stuff? Check out the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Amelia Peabody is an approaching middle age woman (very English and spinsterish) around the turn of last century (1900s) who discovers a love for Egyptian archeology. All of the books are mysteries (but in a very simple, easy reading way – at least her early ones). Her wit is HYSTERICAL. Seriously some of the funniest wit I’ve read. Definitely start with book #1, though. The Crocodile on the Sandbank. 🙂

  41. Hey, Love! Yes, my children are amazing and Mags being my only girl — well, she’s very special to me! 😉

    OK…one more, Annie. It’s an old series but you’re quite young so unless you read it in your early twenties, Jan Karon’s The Mitford Series is delightful. It is quite well-known so maybe you have read it. I love the down-home manner of the main character as he ministers to his community. Lots of humor with great teaching mixed throughout.

    I didn’t know I could love you more, Annie, but, I do! Isn’t it amazing how God brings people together through this medium? Yeah, we’ve GOT to meet.

    😀

  42. 😀 😀 😀 I am SO blessed by this internet/blog/thingy. Seriously … would I ever have met you this side of heaven?? Doubtful!! I’ll have to look up that series as well. I haven’t heard of it. 🙂 Thanks! I should say that the Amelia Peabody books are secular – the characters can’t seem to decide whether they’re loyal to their cultural Christianness, or the secular mysticism of Egypt. But all religion is definitely a side item. It doesn’t figure in too strongly. ♥ you!

  43. The Picasso-Heads are disappearing! 😯

    Of course, in Michelle’s case, that’s really 😎 because we get to see her in real life. Sort of, anyway.

    Anyway, just wanted to say, Yes, I am a Red Sox Fanatic. I love Wally The Green Monster. And later today I am going have some ice cream, but I can’t decide between Green Monster Mint, Comeback Caramel, or Fenway Fudge. Decisions, decisions! 😕

    By the way, I am NOT going to join Twicker or Flitt’r. The cell phone is enough. Thankyouverymuch.

    And just in case I forgot…

    …Happy Thanksgiving!!! 😉

  44. Hey, Nor! I decided I needed a little more color. That picassohead was looking a bit ghostly to me.

    Oooo, go with Comeback Caramel. Caramel is wonderful and they do need a comeback, right?

    You’re gonna cave on Twitter. I can feel it, just give it some time and you’ll cave! 🙄

    Have a Blessed Thanksgiving, Nor!

    ♥ U. 😉

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