About the Author

Ann Voskamp is a farmer's wife, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the...

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  1. Ann, as always, I am inspired by your words.

    Perspective is such a gift, isn’t it? Perspective of what matters, how rich and full and blessed our lives really are. And I know for me, it’s so easy to live in the smaller picture, where dishes and attitudes and money and tiredness and isolation, seem like such a big deal, and it’s only when I can somehow morph my eyesight to Bigger Picture that the perspective I need is granted. Because if I look at my life from the bird’s eye view, the struggles do seem to be swallowed up by the gifts.

    Today? Today, I am thankful for time with my kids– uninterrupted by phone calls or places to go. Acting out the life of Julius Caesar on the living room floor with stuffed animals. A sweet lady who is helping me with laundry and cleaning today. Our health. Hope.

    Thanks, again, Ann, for reminding us to remember.

  2. Thank you Ann, It has been one of those weeks here. Thousands unofficially are missing and presumed gone in a state to our north and east here in South Sudan, caught in a rebellion of another’s making. Again. My gut lurches with the thought. Again. It must not be.

    Here closer to home 5 run away children (all found again), needs that staggers (what do you say to the woman with 3 gorgeous babies and hiv who wants to give you her children?), resources that were coming that now aren’t (at least through the same channel) with bills that come anyway, onslaughts of sickness (happens with a 100+ kids and no running water), internal mutinies and personal threats, my own mom just coming through her own battle with stage 2 breast cancer a world away and yet… I read your post and just cried.

    Just stopping by to say thank you. Now off to teach and watch for butterfly gifts on the way and re-member. Sleepless in sudan, tired, dusty and grateful for the reminder, here I am: praying healing, miracles and hugs from heaven for you and yours.

    Sending love from a very unpaved road in South Sudan-Michele

    • Thank you for your words to challenge and call us to be His hands and feet. May the Lord bless you sleepless in sudan! He is a strong tower –we can run to Him when all around is falling down. Your comments blessed me today. Thank you!

      • Rhonda- it really all is as simple as hide and seek 😉 isn’t it? Hide in Him and seek the lost. Hide in His heart and seek first His Kingdom. I have been reminded of that today as I re-membered His goodness. Thank YOU for your precious encouragement! Much love from dry season in Sudan- Michele

  3. Thank you Ann for this post. We take so much for granted, and always need reminding to give thanks… I weep for your friend, and her family, please Jesus help her.
    Trish

  4. Today, my heart is heavy for my ex-husband. He knows of God, but he doesn’t KNOW God. He’s obstinate in that matter. He is beginning to fall to the bottom of his barrel and honestly I hope he hits bottom. Not out of malice but maybe if he does, just maybe, he will turn to God. He literally has no one else to turn too. That was evident to me when he called me to tell me about his situation. Let me explain that our only conversations if you can call 1-2 minutes phone calls or simple texts about the children conversations. I’ve been in the place he is now entering-I was in it 2 years before he left our home, I stayed in it 1 year after he left also. Its a very hard place to be in, a very hard place to find anything at all to be thankful for, its a hard place to own up to your own issues and stop blaming others for what is really yours to own. Its very hard to find someone to confide in, completely, honestly and without fear of rejection. I know. I’ve done all of these things in those 3 years. But I had hit bottom and felt I had no way out. I could barely function even for our kids. He needs to get there, he needs to turn to God, he needs to make better choices, he needs to stop using band-aids to fix what really requires surgery. Pray he makes choices that are good for him, pary I can keep all my anxieties, fear, issues in check when he calls me, pray that I can be the person he looks at and sees the face of Jesus. Pray that I stand strong in my boundaries I have put around me so that when he attempts to use me as a band-aid which I believe he will, I can still say no, thats not a good option at this point. Pray that I can continue to support our children the way they need me too as their Dad works through all of this. I know he has to do it, no one else can.

    Thanks,

  5. Quite timely for me to read this I must say. Daughter fractured fingure last night and possibly tore a tendon requiring surgery. Not that that’s anything MAJOR but it is all her medical issues, the 5 broken bones in her 14 years. The Celiac disease and the eye disease that if progresses may need cornial transplant. The fainting spell last week at school. I am beginning to ache for her. Seems the world just knocks on her door all the time. She is such a trooper and I lay with tears…she doesn’t see them or the questioning to God. I just want to say,” leave her alone already.” Words I find actually hard to say. But then I remember Ann. Eucharisteo…

  6. I found your blog by searching for somthing new to read. Just reading the excerpt from you book “One Thousand Gifts” and the reviews posted by other readers, sent me searching for info on you, it also had me in tears. I haven’t experienced the joy or grace in the everyday things of life in quite a while now. We had a beautiful little grandson who died 18 months ago; I still grieve for him. I just seem to be going through the motions of life… not really living. Doing what I have to do to take care of family, get through a 10 hour work day, pay the bills, survive. Where’s the joy? Reading of this young mother’s battke withe breast cancer reminded me of how much I have to be thankful. I’ve been so burdened down with life, that I haven’t been living. I’ve been complaining to God that I’m not appreciated, compensated enough, understood by Him or others. I’m ordering your book today and hope to change my attitude and my outlook on life, with God’s help, as I read the book.

    • Judy, I had to comment to you.
      I am so sorry about the loss of your grandson.
      I have recently ordered “One Thousand Gifts” on my Kindle…I couldn’t put it down. It is attitude and outlook-changing for sure! I “second” Ann’s challenge to begin your 1000 Gifts Journal. I am already looking at “life” through different glasses.
      Hoping your new book arrives soon,
      Rebecca~

  7. I have been going through this same spiritual growth lately, learning how Paul even felt like singing in prison and rejoicing when beaten. When we look at it all from the world’s perspective, we look for “success” by the world’s standards, but God sees the heart and His purpose is to mold us according to His purpose. Our goal should not be ease of life, but pleasing the Lord. We all lose sight of that, or perhaps we really do not fully realize the depths of that until we are tested and called.

    I weep when mothers die. I cannot even watch movies about it, but I also have faith in the Lord that if healing is not given then the life and death has a higher purpose, God’s purpose, within the illness. If we view all within the Kingdom, we could see it clearly, but our vision is obscured by the world. There is a purpose in all things…one, at least, is this: her thankfulness for one more suffering day has touched you and you have written on it to touch many others with her bittersweet story and all this glorified God. There is a blessing in that.

  8. This is really what I needed to read this morning, thank you! So many of my friends are struggling through hard, thin places right now and my heart is breaking for them. This reminder will keep me grounded and keep my eyes toward heaven as I pray for them and stand alongside them.

  9. Thank you Ann…
    It’s still so hard though…I still want to yell to make sure God hears, “this isn’t fair…this isn’t how it should be…do you need me to be in charge, b/c I’d fix this!” Sometimes, the circumstances are sooooo incredibly painful, that I just want it to stop…to be made better…I don’t want to learn or gain perspective…thank you for reminding us that there is a net to catch us as we fall deep into that pit of despair…your words provoke such soul-searching…I am grateful for that:)

  10. such a great reminder. i recently did in my knee while skiing – not life threatening in the least, and yet discouraging nonetheless.

    he does take all our brokenness – bones and hearts – and mends them up for us. such is sweet mercy.

  11. Reading stories like this often strike fear in my soul. Will this happen to me? How will death touch my life in these early years? I have to remind myself of the Lord’s purposes. In Mountain Rain, a biography of missionary, James Fraser, he is often running from danger. In the opening paragraph, he reminds himself that he will not live a day short or a day longer than the Lord wills. And that the Lord will not take him until he’s accomplished all the Lord has planned.

    This, for me, is so key in remembering to be thankful for each moment…not because I fear death but because if I’m still breathing, then God has a purpose for me in this moment-to glorify Him and love those around me.

    I don’t want to fear a diagnosis of breast cancer, but instead trust that God will keep me breathing until his purpose for me here is accomplished. Love the challenge to be thankful in all our small or big pains of each day.

  12. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. My aunt, mother to an eleven year old daughter, lost her battle with cancer a few years ago. This brings back those feelings the days before she passed away. My aunt’s testimony through it all was an amazing display of God’s grace.

  13. Living fully awake, not in denial of real brokenness and loss, but in the face of it, not waiting for answers, but by saying thank you. Beautiful truth (again), Ann.

  14. I could relate in so many ways to this post. I severely sprained my ankle, it’s wrapped and propped up now, three weeks later…and I have become a bit bitter about it at times, being a mom of two who’s so frustrated with not being able to keep up with everything I need to do. I’ve even thought how silly has has been to feel so broken over such a small thing when their is so much worse, but have fallen into some valleys after truly being on mountain tops. Thank you for writing this. Praying for your ankle as well as your friend’s cancer and am glad for the reminder to be constantly thankful.

  15. Bless you, my friend Ann!
    Ouch! Your ankle! I see you hobbling around with all those children to care for, and all the housework to do! May the Lord touch and heal even as He has so graciously healed me one more time! A week ago I could not walk, for Satan attacked my right knee. But I kept praising God and tried to keep my thoughts on Jesus. Retreat I was in charge of was great! Two daughter-in-laws cleaned my house, for I was expecting 9 guests to stay! He healed my knee and receives all the glory! Have given away or sold 32 of your GREAT books! God receives all the glory! I will pray for all these dear friends who have such great needs while I iron today. You are a blessing to so many!

  16. Dear Ann:
    A tip my mom received as she went through chemo. for breast cancer …
    live/active culture yogurt (just the stuff you buy with fruit at the grocery store) can ease and help minimize the mouth ulcers brought on by the medication. On your next visit to the grocery store, buy your friend a few cartons of yogurt and some happy colored spoons. It could help a bit ….
    Praying she finds comfort soon – Jamie

  17. ((tears)) I will think and pray for your friend throughout today. I pray to be able to give thanks in the middle of depression and insomnia. I pray for the graces because I can’t do this on my own. I am struggling to figure out how and I wait…and pray for His guidance…His answer…How? Blessings to you…

  18. Praying for your friend too…I just can’t imagine…and yet, Grace for this too? In some way we can’t understand for the one beautiful enough to be given such a challenge…such Amazing Grace that is a gift to all she touches–all of us now that you have shared her with. Thank you Ann.

  19. I just want to cry today, actually for the last two weeks, when cornered by my supervisor and school psychologist they said the words that tore my heart in two: “We don’t know if we can trust you.” Me, who had poured my life and heart and all the rest of me into that school, that wonderful place where I love the children and know the families, each by name, and give my best. Forty-five minutes of character assault left me broken and weak and fragile. I have been struggling to pull this deep splinter from the inside places where the bleeding continues,trying to connect with God yet can’t quite find Him there.Yet, woundedness in life is no stranger, battered and bruised as little girl, I am again victim. Trapped in the corner with abusive words coming at me. Little girl, rise up. Take His hand, Reach out. Forgive.

    • Dear Kim,
      OW! I rise up, in Jesus’ beautiful name and PRAY for healing for you!! For true in-filling of the Lord’s peace. For His mending of the relationships at your work. For a rallying of those love you (and for a rising up of those you don’t even know love you). For His Spirit to encourage and enliven you with great courage. For His Spirit to bring to mind specific Scripture verses to minister to you. May His very real love infuse you with warmth and comfort.
      Grateful for Him Who ‘established the heavenly lights’,
      Jackie -:¦:-
      -:¦:-¸¸.·´*
      (Psalm 74:16-17)
      ~::~ ~::~ Quote of the Note ~::~ ~::~
      daily ask Him what needs forgiveness in my own life, burdens to lay before His altar, forgiveness to accept, bad feelings toward others (which I HAD been guilty of last week) put away, not to be a stumbling block to another… giving grace, breathing grace, walking in grace. ~ Brenda Nuland, Coffee, Tea, Books & Me
      ~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~

  20. From a mother with a fractured heart… a broken body… a wounded soul… this post is quite remarkably profound to me. Picking up the pieces… putting them back together… moving, looking and breathing forward… and God is still good.

  21. This is the only way to really live – praying for you Ann – and your dear friend. God’s grace in every moment.

    lovingly
    Kathie

  22. And He knows. These things never surprise Him as they do us. And I am so thankful. Because He knows, He has prepared the Grace for me, for us. It’s already there before I reach the crisis that reminds me of my need for it. The Grace is prepared ahead of my need. Always it is already there. And I am so very thankful. And He is Sufficient. Always. For whatever I face.

  23. My heart breaks for your friend and for her family/children … pain is such a part of our daily existance and your perspective helps me remember to keep a proper perspective. One of my favorite movie lines is from “Shadowlands,” where CS Lewis says, “The pain is part of othe joy…” So true.

  24. exactly the words i need to re-member after a week where betrayal from a close friend stung and wounded more than almost anything i’ve ever known. your words are always beautiful, ann. and always point us back to Jesus.

    “therefore, we do not lose heart. though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” – 2 cor. 4:16-17

  25. Oh how we need to be reminded how precious time and life really are. And what a powerful testimony of your friend/mommy with cancer, how she “gives thanks to God for the medicine that takes her hair and her strength — but keeps her living and mothering one day more..” I’ll be lifting her up in prayer and remembering how each day, each moment, truly is a gift.

  26. God decided to make sure the rubber hit the road over here. God has been working on my heart, massaging in a message of “Do you trust me? Do you truly believe me?” Now, as I told my dear mother-in-law, God is taking us on a roller-coaster ride to take learning into action. Two days ago I was laid off from my job that provided us with more than half of our income and all of our benefits. I didn’t enjoy the job but I definitely enjoyed the security it provided. Now He is challenging me to find my security in Him alone, it is an hour to hour struggle to not worry and to chose to believe that “God is who He says He is”.
    But even in the crazy, He is giving crazy growth. I am so thankful for the severance package my company gave to me, I’m thankful for my co-workers who support me and tell me they miss me, I’m thankful for all the ways benefits work to allow me to get my much-needed dental work done, I’m thankful for the time to spend looking for His hand… no, His face. My gratitude journal is getting right filled up quick! Any prayers would be greatly appreciated, fear and worry have been my friends for too long.

    • Praying for you, V. Higgins. Fear and worry are such tiring companions, aren’t they? Hoping they’re replaced soon by hope and peace 🙂

  27. The longer I live the more I learn whom to trust and where my strength comes from. We do need one another and need to love one another. My family has been hit with every imaginable physical ,mental, and spiritual struggle for the last 3 years. Yet God has been there with us. When I get my eyes off Him and onto my problems or people is when the human pain of it all comes crashing down around me. Each issue has the potential for a negative stronghold .Choose to press on. Renew my mind with his word and know the Lord is able His Grace and Mercies are new everyday…..and we All only have the next moment.

  28. I have thought about you so much these past days and weeks, not knowing you were hurting so. I am so grateful, Ann, for the ways the Father is using what He has taught you – for the way it is changing me.
    I am praying for you, for your precious friend and for so many others who are hurting so deeply. It seems overwhelming at times, but He knows – He knows and loves each one as if they were the only one. And oh the peace of knowing that.

  29. Beautifully said. All I can say is a simple , “Thank you” as I try to find words to give to Him.

  30. I know people are floored when I tell them that I am thankful for my past; alcoholic father, verbal abuse, sexual abuse from an uncle, abandonment, neglect etc. Because if those things hadn’t happened, I couldn’t help others heal from their broken, bleeding wounds from childhood. What satan meant for evil, God is working for good. Thank you Jesus! I am eternally thankful for the pain that I have endured because it causes me to cling tightly to the robe of the one and only!

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  31. My sister in Christ left her earthly tent two months ago to be clothed in her heavenly garment. The last email she sent to me was of such deep profound truth as only those who have drank the cup of suffering to its dregs can comprehend and give voice to.
    She wrote that she was starting to understand that she too is being allowed to carry sickness and disease within her body…for she is ONE with her Lord… the deep joy of knowing that she was counted worthy of FILLING up what is left of the sufferings of Christ. Oh! how I give you praise Yahshuah even now! (Isaiah 53:4,7)…(col.1:24; 2cor.1:5).

    It truly is the mystery of Godliness. For the Lord of Glory brought my sister into such a place of true surrender…for it is one thing to know and quote those scriptures but quite another for THE WORD TO BECOME FLESH IN YOU.
    Once again precious Yahshuah I praise you and give you all the glory!
    Truly, she also became a lamb led to the slaughter and did not OPEN HER MOUTH.
    She took the cup and drank and rejoiced…. Her last words to me where this…”HE IS REAL AND SO VERY ALIVE TO ME! ….(tears rolling now).

    Ann, I am praying for your precious sister/friend…when one hurts we all hurt. I am also praying for you Michelle in Sudan and for the precious sister that is struggling with depression/insomnia.
    I also want to say that I was blessed by the comments of seekingthelord and I live in an antbed.
    What a beautiful family I have been given today.

    Shalom.

  32. You have orange peels on the coffee table too? Oh, such comfort in knowing others have socks on the floor and doors slamming in anger and dishwashers humming and the support check more than a month late. Eyes leak and I’m grateful for your friend’s one more day. All of us, one more day, to live fully and be grateful!

  33. Oh, and this in my haste to get to the next thing. Praying for you, sweet friend. For complete healing, for grace during the wait and for supernatural patience for all in your household. And a visit by the Laundry Fairy. 🙂

    Love to you!

  34. Thank you, Ann, once again, for your words. I just finished reading your book and am now re-reading parts in the light of my friend’s death (cancer) on Monday. She also was the mother of five children. So much hurt in this world, so much to bring to Jesus. Finding things to be thankful for in the midst of all of this.

  35. Oh Ann, my heart and prayers go with you and your friend. I just lost a very close friend in December who shared the same cancer as I have. It was so very hard to understand all of it . She was such a wonderful mom. So many times we just focus on living and that is all we can do . Living life One day at time, the gift we are blessed with. Seeing all our gifts. Its hard to explain it..But this day this moment is ours!

    Abby, as hard as it is ,,,,Yes Grace for this too! Because through cancer…you see life for what it is and those are around us for who they really are. You give thanks for everything even the hardships. I also know in my heart of hearts God never fails us in this trial. I have learned that no matter what happens. Its a Win /Win situation. Simply because no matter what happens God is always right there with us and for us.

    I also guess we won’t know *why* things happen as they do . Till we make it to heaven. Was He or is He using this illness to test our faith? Maybe. Did He give us this illness so that we can glorify Him by our responses? Maybe.
    So many possibilities , none which help us if we dwell on them. I learned God, has his reasons, and we are not going to know them right now regardless of how much we want to know or spend time thinking about it. OUR job is to repond properly.
    Sometimes we just Focus all our energy to make the most of each day and stay appreciative. I could and most with cancer could torture ourselves with questions you cannot ever answer. Best we can do is set thing straight with God.
    Each moment is truly a gift.
    Having been a mom with cancer tears fell reading this…Its amazing what we can do when it comes to our children no matter how sick we are. My prayers are with her.
    Ann and I am lifting you in prayer as well as a friend and supporter.

  36. Dear Ann ~ How precious it is to have the LORD and HIS strength day by day throughout whatever it is HE calls us to. Yes…HE *calls* us to these things. May the LORD help me to truly live this *knowing* out in the gritty everyday of this life this side of Heaven. That’s just it…this life is not *it*…our HOME is with Him for all eternity if we are HIS. May we be ambassadors for HIM and HIS healing of our real disease…SIN. We are all sick with sin and need HIS cleansing from it to be made whole. (John 3:16 and John 14:6 and John 6:37) How precious HE is…a wonderful Saviour!

    In His Love,
    Camille

  37. This is so beautiful as always your words are so incredibly honest true and deep. I love the story and will pray for her. It is hard to not wonder why and question. Why is it that some suffer with a gentle spirit and some suffer bitterly~ it is a matter of heart and perspective.
    Your book is teaching all of us so much. Personally I have bought six so far this will be my book of the year to hand out as gifts. Thank you for the challenge. God is using you in a mighty way. It is wonderful.

  38. Oh and I so hope I get to meet you some day… it would be a great ‘honor’ my hope is to go to the relevant conference and learn and experience and see, what God is doing in and through others.

  39. mouth sores are the worst. i am praying for your friend today, ann. and i am thankful for you… for your reminders… we all need them daily. thankfully the reminders of grace and gratitude are all around us.

  40. Sweet Ann, this is the reorienting I needed today. Thank you.

    I’m two-thirds of the way through your life-giving, life-altering book, a gift from my mom…a gift to teach me to count the gifts. Every day. I hope your ankle heals soon!

  41. This post went right into my heart. How powerful. As a single parent raising children with disabilities, I often lay awake at night worrying about what would happen to my children if something happened to me. Fortunately, I never faced the reality that your friend is facing, but I used to imagine how hard I would fight to stay alive for every day I could.

    I have heard stories of mothers facing unimaginable challenges, either with their own health or the health of their children, who are grateful. Grateful for their blessings in the midst of tragedy. What an inspiration.

  42. Thank you, Ann. I’m so very glad that you write down the things that live and breathe in your heart. Your words are good food for the soul. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m praying for your friend today and I’m praying for my friends who have the same struggles and heartaches. He is binding us up in love – in the very fullness of love.

  43. Ann, I am so blessed by your writings…you truly have a timely gift! I am also drinking in your book as I vacation with my wonderful hubby. I have bought extra books to give away to bless others as you have blessed my life. I thank God for you and pray for your friend…I lost my sister to breast ca, leaving behind young children…

  44. Thank you for your all your posts. I really enjoyed your book on kindle and recommend your book and website often to friends.

    My heart still hurts from the 2 funerals in the last three weeks. One being a childhood father figure. And oh the breaking of so many hearts last week. But the glory to God in the 1,000 souls who showed up for the visitation that lasted 10 hours. In my husband’s singing, “Glory” (Selah) at the service. In his grown son, that looked, talked and spoke for his father in a clear unashamed voice proclaiming the gospel. The mystery that the breaking can be breathtaking all at once.

    All’s glory!

  45. Praying for your friend, thanking our kind Lord for giving her all-sufficient grace even as He takes. It always helps me (re-members me) to remember that God has written our stories — beginning, middle, and end — before we’re born. “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, he days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:16) He knew this chapter would come for this precious mommy and her children, He knows what’s coming next, and He has already made provision for them.

    Grace is such a mystery. It can’t be conjured. It can’t even be imagined. It can only be received, seeping into the cracks in our broken hearts and beautifying them like the scars that still remain in the hands of the glorified Christ. What a wonder.

    Ann, your words always slow me down, make me think, and lead me to worship where I remember and am re-membered. What a blessing you are. Thank you.

    Love, Jeanne

    • Ann, once again you’ve pointed me in the right direction. What a gift you are to so many people! I’m thanking Jesus for YOU today. I love how you see Him in everything and reflect Him to the world, no matter what your circumstances.

      I love this quote, Jeanne: “Grace is such a mystery. It can’t be conjured. It can even be imagined. It can only be received…” So true! Praise God!

  46. I stumbled into a large wooden stool at 3 a.m. and banged up my shin as I rushed to help a child, the same one who left the stool where it didn’t belong. As I lay in bed with an ice pack trying to fall back to sleep, I was looking for something to be thankful for. And I found myself so very thankful for the same child who left the stool where it didn’t belong and needed my help at 3 a.m. I’m learning to see the other side of things. Thank you for your words of reminder. “It’s killing me, but it’s really not killing me at all.”

  47. Okay, so I’m thankful for the enduring love of marriage, when the worse-in-me is more prevalent than the ‘for-better.’
    I’m thankful for friends via web-words, and friends in-the-flesh, who can cry on my shoulder, and whose shoulder I can cry upon.
    I’m thankful for little ones who cuddle and kiss and forgive, seconds after the blowup. And for big kids who think thru, and ponder, and keep me accountable, but then still love me anyway, the day after the blowup.
    I’m thankful, that even tho I can’t count it all joy yet, God’s Word in James lodges in my mind and heart and compels me to trust that these trials are gifts, and are for the perfecting.
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight.com

  48. A hard week of mothering- feeling at times I’m going to ‘explode’, and sometimes doing so… glad for the quiet moment of the hour- bedtime and then reading your post and when I read the, re-member part, it connects. I will make it. I can do this and I give thanks for the 3 sons I tucked into bed and played games with before doing so. Praying for your healing and for your friend. Blessings! Judith

  49. Dear Lord, thank you for being right in the smack-dab midst of this community. Lord ,be with each one. Strengthen those who are worn; heal those who are sick, and send someone to love on those who feel unloved. I praise your name, Father. You are Good. I thank you for this beautiful, faithful community. Bless & comfort each one.
    Amen.

  50. After reading this, I’m the more determined to take a rest (and hopefully a nap) and gather strength and easy breathing (my stomach illness makes breathing not easy, sometimes I’ve to bite lip to let air through…), so that when I’m stronger and feeling and breathing better, I can sit up and sing praises to the Lord and thank and worship Him with all my being… and remember you and your friend, in prayer.

    (May I humbly suggest that your friend visit http://ministerofmercy.blog.com where I write and share the amazing testimonies of God’s healing in our Church? Maybe she would be encouraged by them? And may I also add the site to our Church where she can submit a prayer request where workers who fast and pray can pray for her? It’s http://www.jmcim.org) Thank you.

  51. pain
    patience and praise – practice at how to avoid the pain throbbing through the body and relearning old routine habits like ironing just to keep getting work done and not fall behind while wondering exactly what is God’s purpose this time. Prayer. Finding prayer soothing
    anger – at the way the pain pulsates with the fluctuating emotions of passivity and anger mixed with thankfulness that acknowledges the hurt but realizes that it could have been worse – to fall into a restless sleep thankful even for a few moments before the throb begins again
    insensitivity – doesn’t the world know that I am tired and hurting? Thank You Lord that I am the only one knows this pain. Only me……..
    noticing improvement – with relief. Even my friend who is coping with cancer is having a good day today and was much improved yesterday…………but it is still her 3rd bout of chemo. Not much to do but to pray……………………………………………………Lord thank you for yet another day.
    Thank you for sharing you heart – remembering you too as my throat hurts – I am not the one after all………and can’t decide if I am sad or glad about this!

  52. Today is the funeral of a friend. A friend that battled breast cancer and fought the good fight for years. To the very end, she was praising God. Thank you, Sherry B., for being such an inspiration to us all. For helping us remember what it’s really all about.

    Great insight, Ann. Thank you.

  53. I am so thankful to God for incourage, and for this post. I’m hurting too right now,but this post has helped me gain some much-needed perspective.
    Sending love from over here in Ireland!
    C x

  54. I am Gran Jan to 3 precious grandblessings, all so young…a boy 2 1/2, a girl 9 months, a boy 8 1/2 months. They all just left – the children of my two boys and their wives, my daughters-in-law. I wept at this post as I think of all the ways I was so blessed by the simple joy of having them all here today for lunch. The weather is so nice, and we just sat outside and enjoyed the babies. Whenever I read anything Ann writes, the Holy Spirit touches my heart and I am so touched – and always so quickly. Her words once again are so anointed. I have been suffering with a deeply bruised kneecap – the result of a hard fall on a slippery wet floor almost a month ago. I am so thankful that’s all it was – nothing broken, just my pride at the embarrassment of the public fall…but my heart is grateful today for health and family. Lord bless all the moms and grandmoms that are ill today with disease and death looming at the door. Give grace and peace. Bless you all my sisters out there…

    Jan

  55. yes, after reading of that momma. I look at my tired irritability with a hanging head. this day with my four…I am thankful for, food to put on the table, material for pretty girl dresses, a pause in the day to take a nap, two young boys going to worship band practice… so much….

    another day….with them. ..

  56. and why must I insist going on with my complaining for I am not thankful then… humbled; forgive me, LORD… thank you, Ann, for reminding words… for allowing God to use you. I am a PW and have had a tough year struggling with a variety of things yet nothing compared to the stories you share. thank you for your beautiful, poetic, artful writings… they are a delight, water for a thirsty soul-drawing me to God, back to Him, remembering what I already know. I have started slowly to mend mainly neglected relationships; I am digging myself out of a dark place I allowed the evil one to creep in, as I seek Him for nourishment by reading ‘1000 Gifts’ and renewing an exercise of feeding on His Word! That would be #1! as this realization brings tears… it is a blessing to feel HIM again!

  57. I pray for all of the needs here. I know God hears and answers prayer. My mother and uncle and many others have been healed of cancer by making healthy diet changes and taking the herbs celandine and sheep sorrel. Maybe it could help this mother with cancer and others. I pray that it will.