Thursday, July 31, 2008

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."~ 1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV emphasis Iris')

This week Iris has focused on being thankful for relationships. I had the opportunity to focus on some relationships in my life this week, particularly the one with my earthly father. Lately, I've been trying to love as Jesus loved, seeing people as Jesus sees them and it's very hard to do when it comes Da Chief, as I affectionately call my daddy. I realized this morning that he does not hold my past against me. Just as my Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally, so does my dad. My earthly father may have been a lot of things, but he was LOVE. And he still loves.

Oh, God, let me be the same way! Take away the issues of the past and erase them completely and totally from my memory. Replace aggravation and irritation and confoundedness with pure, unadulterated love! Whatever part of my heart is still bitter, melt it into putty and help me love my father COMPLETELY. Remove the fear, the anxities, the anger and hurt and replace it with a love that forgives as You forgive.

Whew. That felt good!

Relationships take a work, some more so than others. I guess it's the "relating" part of the word. Are you more of a solitary person, content to float through life alone, or do you prefer the company of many?

God's promise to us is that we are never alone. Once we accept Him as our Savior, we become part of the body of Christ. We are God's people! We are no longer solitary people, standing on the sidelines or drifting along through life. We are a part of the family of God! Praise Him, indeed!
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." - 1 Peter 3:8
So I am going to focus on thanking God for some more of my relationships now...
  • Steve - he rocks! He's the best husband ever. Well, my only husband ever, but I love him so much. He is steady love. He doesn't run hot and cold with me, depending on if I've cooked his favorite meal or given him a mean look. He loves me unconditionally. And he knows how to fix things around the house. I love that about him.
  • Kristyn, Corey & Nolan - the best bonus daughter, son-in-law and grandson a woman could have. They are walking examples of love.
  • Mother - she is so loving, kind, and is in the throws of excitement right now, anticipating her first biological grandson from my sister Jenn. 20 more days! WOO-HOO!!!!!!
  • Jenn - my sister - see above. My sister is joy, kindness, love and goodness and should win "The Best Sister Ever in the Whole Wide World" award. Is there one of those? If not, I should make her one.
  • My best friend Harriett. She is closer than a sister to me and I love her so much. We are true spiritual sisters in Christ. She is my angel-friend. God truly blessed me with her.
  • My Blog Friends - oh what a a joy it is to be blessed by you daily. God has used each and every one of you tremendously in my life. I am a new person since Twinkle Mom introduced me to the world of blogging - really blogging. God bless you, Twinkle Mom!
  • The WOW Gals - a great group of sisters. We are a group of friends on yahoo that talk daily about everything from chocolate-stealing mice to how God blesses our socks off.
From Da Chief to my husband to my parents to my sister to my friends, God has stirred my heart this morning to be truly appreciative of relationships. They are the stuff life is made of.

What have you to say about the relationships in your life? Are you grateful and appreciative, thanking God for the people God has placed in your path? Join our host, Iris, and see what she and the other women are thankful for today. I truly believe you will walk away blessed if you do.


Denise said...

Wow, such an amazing thankful post sweetie.

Susan said...

Hey Laurie Ann,

This was just such a great post. Thank YOU for sharing your grateful heart today.

God knows your disires and hears your prayers concerning past issues. He will continue to give you the GRACE you need for that...

Looks like the Lord as surrounded you with such loving family and friends. Isn't He wonderful?

I'm thankful for YOU too, thanks for being such a source of joy and blessing in my life here in blogland!

Blessings to you on this TT☻

Melanie said...

Hey, Laurie Ann. This is a beatiful post about all the special people in your life. You are so blessed! And I am so blessed, too, that God placed you in my life as one of my blogging buddies!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Kristi said...

We have so much to be thankful for! Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart.

Peggy said...

Bless you Laurie Ann and all your
treasured relationships! This was a great post filled with aMazing words of LOVE! Beautiful freeing prayer...may God hear your cry!
Very true your heartfelt words, especially "relationships take work"! Thank you for sharing so well.

Come over to my place on FRIDAY!
It's a very special day! Thanks!

Earthmommy said...

Very well said. It's so important to be thankful for the people in our lives, the Lord has put them there for a reason.

Nancie said...

This is such a great thankful post, Laurie Ann. Thank God for blessing you with so many family, loved ones and friends. You are very dear to them too. I am thankful to God to "meet" you and so many others through blogging. I am praying with and for you. Thanks for sharing your thankful heart. Take care and God bless!

Darlene said...

Wonderful thankful post! I too am thankful for blogging friends!
Have a fabulous day!

Serendipity said...

This is a lovely thankful post! Remain blessed!

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

This is a great post. Some relationships are so easy; and some not so easy.

Thanks for sharing your heart!


Colored Heart said...

"Relationships take a work, some more so than others."
Praising God for your brokenness that yearns to forgive and be forgiven. We may not help but hurt the ones we love sometimes, but that is just an opportunity to bless one another through love and forgiveness. I am in the same boat with you to my earthly father. Let us win this battle together. Happy weekend!

Why 2nd Cup of Coffee? said...

I'm a very task-oriented person, so I have to remember to invest in relationships. I love people, I really do, but I get so focused on tasks.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Laurie Ann:
I have so many people to be thankful over. My family means so much to me, along with my church family and my friends. People are a rare gift that we rarely take the time to celebrate. I so enjoy sharing in the joys of "community" with so many different groups of people. One of them is my bloggie network. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Feel free to stop in at anytime.

By the way, Kelley did a beautiful job on your blog. I met her at She Speaks. She is precious beyond description.

Be blessed, dear one.


Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hi Laurie Ann,
Great prayer, and I stand in faith that you are free from past issues with your Dad. My Dad pretty much left us when I was about 13. I really felt like I missed out... you know? I forgive him for his abandonment but my heart broke for quite awhile. One day I went to the alter at church, and gave it all to God. God said, "Lea... It's okay... Let me be your Daddy, I will NEVER leave you." I thank God to have a heavenly Father who truly loves me and replaced my past hurt with complete Love.
I loved your post,.... and count YOU as an absolute blessing to me.