About the Author

Sara Frankl entered into the arms of Jesus on September 24, 2011, but her legacy of choosing joy lives on. Her blog, Gitzen Girl, is about her commitment to embracing the story God had for her. Her illness stripped her of the potential for a job and family and status,...

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  1. hi Sara,
    I see that you are sleepless in this late night also…or maybe you just worked on the post and now are heading to bed.
    I want to thank you for this post, because I’m in one of those bad spots you mentioned, having dealt all week with the worst Flare of the psoriatic arthritis that I have ever experienced. And while I haven’t been really grousing about it; I haven’t left it behind me “in the rear view mirror”…I’ve been dwelling in it and on it. ..Wondering what new damage I”ll be left with; if this will mean more needed surgeries added to my already long list of pending operations.
    Today, earlier, it had occurred to me that I haven’t Thanked Him for this attack on my body by this disease. So I did that today. I felt kind of awkward doing it. But I really want to be able to say and MEAN it.
    And your blog has added another dimension to my “to do list” in regard to this process. Leave it. Put it in HIs hands and walk away from it. Look ahead to what is coming in my life; attend to the state of my heart and forget right now about what’s going on in my body.
    So thank you, once again, for the tutelage you’ve given me in living with a chronic, destructive disease. Blessings to you.

    • I’m sorry you’re in such a flare, Cynthia. There are many things that happen to me that I can’t find a direct blessing to attach it to… there are symptoms that hit that i can find nothing good resulting from it, but I can always find blessings surrounding it. that’s when I just lean on my trust that He knows the reasons and that’s enough for me, and set about seeing all the ways he has showered me with reminders of Him in my life. it’s hard to let it go… to have that trust sometimes, but I have never once regretted leaving my life in His hands.

  2. Gitz- your heart of worship is such a blessing all the way on the other side of the world. Thank you for the gift of perspective. Truly. Praying for heaven to open over you today.

    Thanking Him for the opportunity to slow in a land of no electricity or running water. The chance to see in a land of great beauty and great destitution. The chance to love in the face of impossibility, the chance to sing in the rain, the chance to fast the meals I am allergic to here (over half) and identify a little more with the hungry, to become more hungry for all that truly satisfies.

    With love from an unpaved and often bumpy road in Sudan, michele

    • you have a beautiful open heart, Michele… and that is from keeping your eyes open to His blessings, I’m sure. thank you so much for sharing this today. praying for you and your fortitude right now.

      • Gitz, your response and prayers humble me. Thank you. It means so much to know the prayers of family I have yet to meet in person go with us and carry us. I am just a little white woman with one leg and a healthy dose of good ol’ fashioned gumption. And a lot of dreams born in the heart of her Papa in heaven that no child would be without a home. I am privileged to be off to a war zone in search of the smallest treasures that are worth everything to Him. Remembering His Love’s audacity that gave all so that all I am might be His. I look forward to introducing you to His Promises Found one day… For surely your prayers are sowing an inheritance from these lands for you where time will never rust it away! For all of that thank you. With love – Michele

  3. Thank you, Sara, for reminding me that while my husband just took another pay cut that puts us at almost poverty level, he still has a job and benefits. God is sowing us for something better…that empty place is filled with Him, and we look for better chances to improve my husband’s employment status. God is showing us our blessings first.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the pay cut, nanette… it’s such a hard time in this economy. but i am praying this is all a stepping stone for you and your family, that while you wait with patience great things are stirring.

  4. Thank you so much. I am struggling with health and grief at the moment and your words were just want I needed to hear. I struggle to let the rubbish out which I know can make me sicker – I guess I am scared of the emptiness and what the sadness can become. I am going to try and let it out and then leave the emptiness to God to fill for me in the way that is best for me. God Bless you. Caroline

    • grief is a hard road to walk, caroline. and it’s ok to be afraid. the key is to trust Him in your fear, to still hand your tears to Him and then set about the task of filling yourself up with His blessings. it’s amazing how many small looking blessings end up being the big things that carry us through. praying peace for you.

  5. hi sara… sweet sis in Christ. THANK YOU for your words of hope and strength… i dont understand why i have to go to such great lengths to believe am sooo dearly LOVED. reading your post here… reaffirmed His Great Love for me… so thank you. and GLORY TO GOD!

  6. The gifts He has placed…

    Oh the relationships! The deep, surging, layered, lived-out relationships in my life. My brothers and sisters who have sunk to the deeps and scaled to the heights, and then decide to share their hearts with me and make room for mine in return.

    It is not always a paved, holeless road, but it IS always a blessing. It IS always growth and beauty in the end (and abundantly sprinkled in the in-betweens as well). I’m learning more and more about the Body each day. I’m learning to see the good and lay the bad down at His feet, for it’s not mine to carry or obsess over. LEARNING is a long process. But Grace is endless. The blessings are endless.

    So that is my gift that I am in complete awe of. The people in my life. The people who somehow got branded to “partner” with me in seasons or longer stretches of life. I can only plead with my Father that I’m somehow a blessing in return. I can daily ask to be, to ready myself to serve SELFLESSLY in the lives of the Body’s memebers.

    Regardless of the harship – the beauty of sharing the sojourn with others far outweighs the pain. Thank you for sharing your heart once again. There is such treasure in the words He places in your heart.

  7. “And I say โ€œacknowledge Himโ€ instead of โ€œlooking for Himโ€ because He is everywhere. We donโ€™t need to go in search of His steadfast love and blessings, we only need to open our eyes and realize He is the source of all good things in our lives.” YES! This was so good. So much truth here, I have found over and over again than when things get hard, to just acknowledge his presence in it, and He blesses me through that, time and again. What an inspiration you are- Bless you, sister.

    • thank you, kris… it all comes down to trusting that there are blessings we can’t even see, doesn’t it?

    • you always humble me, friend. i’m just so grateful to get to do life here with all of you. it is always on my blessings list.

  8. My gift was passing my gestational diabetes test yesterday. I had it with my first pregnancy, and now, stuck in the middle of a very difficult pregnancy with bad news after bad news, failing test after test, God showed His grace yesterday and gave me this one gift. It certainly lifted me up in a time that has been filled with immense gloom.

    Another amazing gift is my sweet 3 year old little boy. Every single time I look at him I am reminded of miracles, despite my current circumstances!

    • Sarah, I’m so glad for your good test result! I have a friend who just had a trying pregnancy, so i know how exhausting it can be on you. praying you have a smooth delivery…

  9. Wow! How is it that God draws me to read something that is EXACTLY what I needed to hear? Thank you for sharing your heart. I know we all have our burdens to bear. Mine is unemployment. My husband lost his job 2 years ago. So I stopped homeschooling and got a job. That was quite a shift for our family, but everyone adjusted well. Then last week I was laid off. We have lost all income as well as our health insurance benefits. It’s such a scary place to be in. Since it happened, I have felt such grace and haven’t been worried. But I woke up this morning with so many doubts and fears. God hasn’t stopped caring this morning. I know that He is in control. But for some reason my emotions are running crazy with “What if…?” So I am choosing this morning to be thankful for all that we do have – our house, cars, healthy children. And I will choose to acknowledge God’s work in my life. Thank you so much for sharing your life. It has made an impact on mine!

    • i’m so sorry to hear you lost your job, tracey. it’s hard when you feel like you’re doing everything “right” and it doesn’t get easier. just know He sent you here to whisper in your ear that it will get better. i’m praying that the right thing comes to you at just the right time in terms of employment. that the right opportunity presents itself in your search.

  10. Hi, Sara!
    You are such an inspiration! Bailey couldn’t have a better Godmother. Thank you for the positive influence you have on her life. I’m sure you are praying for her and all young people, as there are so many distractions and temptations in today’s world. They need to be enfolded in prayer. I’m praying for you, too, Sara, that God will continue to give you the strength and courage you need to meet each day. I think you’ve discovered the merit of redemptive suffering. If we could all be so joyful and trusting through our trials. May God richly bless you. With love and prayers, Carol Bailey

    • you have no idea how big I smiled seeing you here today, carol. ๐Ÿ™‚ i do pray for Bailey and all the kids… she has blessed my life beyond measure and I am so grateful for the opportunity to love on her.

  11. The first thing I thought of when you asked us to think of a blessing in our lives was my oldest friend Lynne, who lost her husband suddenly from a massive heart attack last year. I have been there for her, but amazingly, she has also been there for ME, through my own pain. She is an incredible blessing in my life, and has been since I was 6 years old.

    Thanks for the opportunity to remind myself of her and the blessing she is in my life.

    • that’s a beautiful relationship, janet. i hope you tell her that… i’m sure it would bless her, and I’m sure she feels the same way about you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Sara
    Great encouraging words!! Not that I want others to have trials and tests but it is comforting to know that I’m not alone when it comes to trying to stay positive.
    Have a great day!!

    • we are never alone in the things we think we’re the only ones struggling with ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s why we always need to talk about these things… to remember that we’re in it together!

  13. Hey Gitzy – I have a lot ot worry about and a lot to be thankful for – you always keep me reminded of the positive – Love you Sis!

  14. God, I acknowledge YOU are in this. I acknowledge that from my broken oven, mice and ants in the kitchen (again), to a loved one passing away into your arms this week, I feel weak and tired and sad. Please make your grace sufficient in my life today and fill me with your Spirit so that I can boldly say, “The LORD is my helper.”

  15. In the midst of my storm, God placed my friend Jenny in my path. Jenny is my gift.

  16. Years before dealing daily with a 7-yr old’s extreme frustration and anger, God had planted a patient and helpful (now 10-yrs old) brother in his life. He’s helping his little brother with a game as I write this….. and I offer up thanks!

  17. I was sitting here, reading your blogs, and my son came to sit with me. And I told him your story. And he started to cry for you. He’s a sensitive and empathetic boy, and so today, our blessing is the conversation we shared about you. Our time together and your writings made for a truly blessed way to start off my day. Thank you. We’re praying for you to feel better soon.

  18. God has place my two children in my life as miracles to be enjoyed every day, Emma was born at 26 weeks and now is 8 years old. She lives with low vision but praises Gpd every day by inspiring everyone who meets her with her joy and zest for living. Aaron was born with two knots in his cord but is alive today at 4 years old an energetic boy who loves mud puddles, and frogs and kisses all around!
    God has also, through the internet allowed me to meet you, Sara, an inspiration to continue to praise God through pain and joy. Thank you, Sara, for being so faithful to GOd almighty.

    • I smiled all through your comment, envisioning those sweet kids and the love they bring to everyone around them. He is good.

  19. This post has particular authority because you’re writing it ๐Ÿ™‚ The positive atitude you live with and the encouragement you share with others has raised the bar for the rest of us. Thank you.

  20. I love this. Though there is so much heart in your words, they also gave me a practical tip: Give myself that time-limited moment to grieve, then consciously leave it behind. And I like the idea of having an actual physical space (the car) where it gets left behind. Thank you, Sara.

    • it’s not always the easiest task, but when i feel the grief and fear creep in, i ask Him for help and start with my “thank yous” … it’s amazing how attitude changes the heart.

  21. In the middle of moving (we’ll have to move three times before we can move into our new house) with 3 children under 5 years old (including a newborn), my husband starting a new business and working ALL. THE. TIME., sleep deprivation, a difficult 4 and a half year old, financial stress, bills, and challenges with extended family members, I am going to choose today to acknowledge HIM! Thank-you for this incredible post. I am thankful that His mercies are new every morning (or every hour if necessary), access to worship music (which my sanity), a hard-working and incredibly faithful husband, friends who brought me meals for two weeks after our baby was born, and three places to live for free until we get into our new house. May we all learn to acknowledge Him in all things – be it good or difficult. He gives and He takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

    • Music makes a HUGE difference for me, Erica. It sets the tone for the words of our heart… I’m so grateful you feel that, too.

  22. True words – beautifully stated. Thank you. I always look forward to reading your blog and seeing your pics and hearing Christ in your life. You continue to inspire me and point me to the cross. May God bless you abundantly today and everyday.

    • thank you, maggie. truly. i do the blog simply for the community of all of you. thank you for being a part of my little world ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I am a newly divorce christian single mom. But, in the middle of this situation and Iam so thankful of praise and worship music thru my iphone.

    • music always makes a huge difference for me in keeping me focused and my heart right. i’m so glad you find that to be true as well.

  24. Sara, thank you for your words. You are such an inspiration and give great encouragement. My gift would be my 7 yo son. His sweet smile and “I love you, Mama” bring out my smile in return. The song “Give Me Jesus” is also a balm when my heart aches and the tears flow.

  25. No doubt, there is power that comes when we acknowledge Him. He enters our circumstances and equips us with everything we need to make it through anything we might be going through…big or small. Thanks so much for this reminder.

    • He is in and around and all over every part of our lives… sometimes I just have to remind myself of that, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. in the midst of a challenging situation at work with a new boss, i am thankful that i have peace because of my relationship with Jesus. i don’t have to fret about what is going to happen there, and i can go and do the job i love because i know Who is really in charge.

  27. Thank you Sara, for once again reminding me that it is really about Him. Nearly two years ago, my husband and I lost a baby at 35 weeks and I still grieve for what might have been. But in the midst of my every day, I am thankful for the hope for the future that only He can give me and the support from a small network of dear friends and family. I am also thankful for people like you that keep me focused on Christ and feeling His love and blessing through your thought-provoking words.

    • I am so sorry for your loss, cori, and so grateful that you are holding onto the promise of hope for all of us. we can never do this walk alone, can we? and I am sure you are helping others in the way your own community has helped you.

  28. Sara, you are awesome!!! What an encouraging, inspirational post!
    Today, I am thankful for the gift of being a stay at home mom to my beautiful daughter…I think I take that for granted too much & it is such a gift, especially in today’s economy…
    I am also thankful for this forum, to which I come daily for a dose of spiritual inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. There have bee a few heart-shaping influences in my life over these crazy-hard months of being in transition that have fostered this practice of acknowledging Him and counting His gifts. It has been a lifeline for me when circumstances have suggested I just sink, sit in it, stay discouraged. And just this week – we had a big breakthrough, we know our next step. Counting His gifts amidst the dark made me see Him in all of my moments – and it’s truly deepened my intimacy with God.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging post, Sara!

    • this is beautiful, amy… and it is in the practice of truly being with Him in all circumstances that deepens the relationship. i’m so happy that you have seen a glimmer of light in the middle of it all ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. I am thankful for…
    a husband that loves me and works hard for our family
    three children that are healthy
    my friend who took them off my hands this morning
    groceries done
    some more space this morning to just breathe
    the bird singing outside my door
    God-given friendships

  31. I followed your suggestion and stopped right where I was to think of a blessing. I’m a mother to a wonderful 4 year old daughter and a soon-to-be mom to another little girl. Today has been an extremely rough day for me at work! But, I can pause to see the blessing of the miracle of life. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in the day to day, and forget that God has answered my year long prayer of giving me another child. How amazing is He!!
    Thank you for your open and honest words and encouraging me to remember my blessings.
    Sharon

    • Congratulations!!! i’m so happy for you and the little one that is coming. praying right now that you feel peace in the middle of the craziness of your day.

  32. Thanks Sara, you have been such an inspiration.
    I am thankful for kindness and encouraging words out of the blue from strangers or people I hardly know. I think they are angels sent from above, seriously.

    I am thankful for clouds. Looking at the sky at clouds, and the beautiful designs they form puts things in perspective for me. Clouds are everywhere! I just need to remember to look up!
    The clouds are the dust of His feet. Nahum 1:3

    Cellina

    • i love clouds, too, cellina. and every time i see your name I smile at my purple fairy from your Sara. you are a blessing.

  33. The blessing that first came to mind is that I am part of a loving, supportive church family who encourage me every single day. I know that kind of unity is rare (sadly). Thank you for reminding me to look beyond my circumstances and acknowledge Him.

    • church family can make such a huge difference in a life. I’m so grateful you have that in abundance ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. This part of your post was so good, “I donโ€™t try to pretend itโ€™s not hard for me. When it hits, I acknowledge it. I feel it. I even let myself cry about it. But I never let myself sit in it.” Especially, I never let myself sit in it. Just tonight we ladies met for a bible study on Psalm 42 where the psalmist cries out, then does not let himself sit in it…he hopes in God…he repeats the same process. He does not pretend, a testimony to faith as he hangs onto to the Lord through all the hard times.
    How frail we all are no matter what burden we carry but how faith building to know He is not frail. thank you for letting your frailty show so we could see Jesus in your words.

    • i love that about the psalms… that they lament and trust. because if we all pretended life was easy, we would never show that we need Him. and we need Him above all else. thanks for that parallel.

  35. I’m thankful for a patient husband who makes me laugh and holds me when I cry. We’re working through a medical condition that keeps us from being intimate and brings me lots of pain. I’m tempted to focus on what we can’t do and how long this season has lasted…over 5 years…but God reminds me every day to be thankful and rejoice always! Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts” shares a similar message to this post. Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Ann’s book is amazing and I’m so glad you’ve read it. I’m so sorry for your struggles but am so grateful you have a husband who loves you beyond measure. praying for you both right now.

  36. My blessing is being wtih my grandma in her last days. She was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrious and she will be dying with in the next couple months. I am blessed to have graduated right when she was diagnosed. So I packed up my car and moved in with my aunt and uncle. I take care of her everyday and am with her 24/7. It is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t want to watch another grandparent die before my eyes (took care of a dying grandfather for two years until he died last year) but am able to be with her until her very last breathe. The Lord is good and is working wtih me through all of the heartache I am going through.

    • that is a lot to process, Kiersten, and I can’t even imagine how much it means to your grandma to have you there with her. i have never cared for a grandparent but have been with them when they have died and it was such a privilege. praying for strength and peace in your coming days.

  37. Sara – As always, you so graciously and lovingly turn our focus away from ourselves toward our good and loving God. Thank you. And thank you for acknowledging that your life is hard, that the suffering you experience day in and day out is real, and that you have learned to set limits on the tears by looking beyond the immediate discouragement to the beauties around you. This is how we move, by God’s grace, through every difficult thing that happens to us – by weeping, questioning, releasing, praising, saying thank you for the blessings that are there, even in the middle of the messy, painful stuff. I am thankful today for health being restored, for loving family and for wise women – like you – who remind me to keep my eyes always seeking the Beautiful and the Good. Thank you.

    • you’re right. sometimes, when things are hard it is so tempting to try and skip the middle… the hard stuff… but the truth is that is where I find Jesus waiting to help us through the mess. and finding ourselves closer to Him, in the end, is way more important than skipping the painful moments.

  38. I’m so thankful that God gave me an amazing husband. My parents have been living with us our whole four years of marriage and my husband has loved them like they were precious jewels. In fact, my Mother was his very best friend. All through my Mother’s illness that started in early February, through her passsing in mid-March and on through all of the aftermath, my husband has taken such good care of me, Daddy, and the rest of the family. He offers no complaints. We are all still grieving and adjusting to this new life without Mom. He smooths over the rough edges and makes sure that we have everything we need. I went through failed relationship after failed relationship in my early adult years. I finally got to the point where I decided that I would stay single and just take care of my parents. I figured that I was so bad at the whole thing that I had no business being in a relationship. And then, when I was 36, God told me that He had just been waiting for me to let go, and He brought me this most amazing man. People on the outside thought he was a really rough man, but we have watched God polish him into a diamond. He is everything I could ask for. He is the kind of man my parents wanted for me. I cannot imagine going through this dark season without him. (don’t anybody tell him I wrote this or he’ll be strutting like a rooster! hahaha)

    • oh, I say give him the compliment and let him strut a little. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad that God met you right where you were at and provided what you needed. beautiful story, carolyn.

  39. My gift is my friend, Shannon. She has talked with me and was patient with me as I continually went back into an emotionally abusive relationship. She turned my attention to the fact that my comfort is not found in that relationship (since I was used to it) but in Christ alone. She was there when I was tempted to go back to that and held me back.
    She is the one who always turned my attention back to God in my times of weakness. She would tell me “Yeah, you’re weak, you can’t do this. But GOD can.”
    God intervened in her life and she lost a lot of friends, but I wasn’t one of them and I thank him every day for that.
    A truer sister in Christ is hard to find.

    • what a beautiful friendship, and wise words. because the truth is that none of us are strong enough for any of this… but He is.

  40. Sarah,
    Thank you for this amazing post! You have no idea how much I needed this right now. I pray that God continue to strengthen you and bless you! You are an amazing woman of God and it is such a blessing to read your writing!
    I am blessed!

  41. I am a very new visitor to your blog (a friend steered me here) , but I find it VERY uplifting. And today I find that you are a part of God that is all around me. Thanks to all who shared; there are so many blessings, but the first one on the list is always that God loves me as I am.

    • isn’t it always such a blessing to read the other commenters? I find they are often much more inspirational than the post itself ๐Ÿ™‚ i’m glad you found us here… it’s a wonderful community.

  42. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Have been full of sadness over the breakup of my son’s marriage. It hurts to see the family going through such trying times. However, I am blessed to have a loving family including my daughter-in-law and my two grandchildren, who are the light of my life. I know that God is present and will help us all get through this most difficult time. Seeing the smiling faces of my grandchildren eases the sadness and brings a smile to my face. Thank you so much for your uplifting words. God Bless you!!!

    • it aches so much to see people we love hurting, but there is always hope on the horizon regardless of how this has worked out for them. they are lucky to have you there as support as they walk this new road.

  43. Had MRI because of severe pain, it showed two bulging discs. The blessing in the middle of this hardship was that the MRI also showed a badly compressed spinal cord due to a huge arthritic bone spur. If I had not had the disc problem, I would not have know about the compressed cord until it was too late. A blessing in disguise. Surgery on 7/11. You are my inspiration. May God bless your always and hold you close to his heart.

    • wow, terry. i am so thankful that it was found in time and that help is around the corner for you. praying that the surgery goes well and praising that the diagnosis was made in time for you!

  44. Today its such a simple one, the ability to enjoy a sunny day. Its been raining for days, and windy, and overcast, and gloomy- its hardly felt like summer. But today is the perfect summery day- warm, partly cloudy, a slight breeze and it just feels good to be outside. The more I “acknowledge” the blessings that surround me, the more simplistic they have become, and the easier they are to recognize.

    And shoot, girl, get some rest please! Feel better soon and know I am praying for you!

    • hi, sweet girl. this was my only goal today… to talk to all of you. and seeing you here, at the end of the day, has made it so worth it. this infection i’m fighting, all of it, was just made better at the thought of you smiling in the sunshine. i love you, friend.

  45. I read a powerful book when I had lost a little girl half way through my pregnancy “Faith Study Book” by Kenneth Hagan. It taught me to speak Faith Words, despite what satan was putting in my mind. That’s why my 4th son was born healthy and whole. Then God took me away from my support system into a journey of isolation and emotional pain. It put my Faith Words to test. There were days I woke up crying and praying. Like you said, those years I practiced speaking Faith Words, watched those words make a difference – got me through the last 22 months. Monday, we go back “home” – those challenges that broke my heart – well, God took care of those challenges. One son is joining the military and has found purpose, independence and peace. The oldest one, back where we’re returning to, well, he just told me I’m going to be a grandma (with a 10 year old, 13, and 16 year old still at home – LOL). Faith Words DO make a difference!

  46. Hi again Gitz; today I had a little mind picture… of a lump of mucky, clayish goo…. signifying my brain! And my little pointer finger, not very straight and not very strong, drawing a line, a path through the goo; this being a brand new path never taken before. And then using my feeble digit to do it again – same path, same line, same route, and then yet again. It was tough at first… and not much easier the second and third times…. but gradually when I kept at it the chore became easier and the way clearer and soon it was a breeze. The new path I was taking? … oh that would be gratitude. Inscribing and developing and ‘perfecting’ the ‘chore’, the unfamiliar pathway of thankfulness. Really it means many things – I am in process and having to make many changes. some very difficult, some seem overwhelming, some are strange, strange, strange to me. Brand new, virgin territory. Unfamiliar and even scary. But I needed to see that it will not be an easy breezy 1, 2, 3 dance but repeat, rinse and repeat, repeat , repeat, do it again…. and the change will come and will soon or late become habit… good habit! Poke that little finger of mine through the goo and make that brand new pathway of new attitude! (still feeling a lot mucky, but a bit of grit may be good for this process too!)

    • this was FANTASTIC, Annie. a perfect visual. hold onto it, keep rinsing and repeating… this habit is so so worth it.

  47. I started asking my FB friend list what they would like to see more of or less of on my blog as a way to take my que from you. Great blog!

    • gotta love honest friends, right? i figure if i’m going to talk it may as well be something they want to listen to ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Right now I am sitting on the balcony of our condo in Florida while on vacation with my ex-husbands family! Yes, ex-husband. The blessing I can see right this minute as I look into the window, I see 2 beautiful little boys that I’ve not seen in 2 years, I see my ex-in laws that still love me as their daughter in love and welcome me with wide open arms! I saw earlier today how God worked his way again and had my ex-husbands adult son come for a visit after not seeing him since 2004! I saw and captured on camera LOTS of photographs of this adult son sitting and smiling and talking with his brother and sister that he hasn’t seen since they were 1 & 5. They are now 8 & 12! BEAUTIFUL! And if all this wasn’t a good enough blessing, the biggest one is that my ex-husband and I are getting along beautifully as parents to our children without any type of pressure to be anything more than that! Thank you God for this experience!

    • Lisa, that is beautiful and amazing. i love that you have the presence of mind to take the photos and really capture the spirit of what is happening there. it’s amazing what can happen when all hearts are intentionally focused on all that is important.

  49. Hi Sara,

    Thank you so very much for posting this. I’m at a point where I really needed it.

    To answer your question, I guess the biggest gift I’ve been given since I’ve been in a wheelchair has been the reminder to slow down. I was always the one in a hurry, the multi-tasker, the one who didn’t see why a person would do one thing if she could do two at the same time. I rarely took the time to slow down and enjoy God’s creation.

    Now, there are many days where I can’t even get out of bed without assistance. I’ve learned the value of slowing down. Some days the biggest contact I get with the outside world is hearing the birds chirping or the rain falling, but I appreciate them so much more than when I could be out in the middle of it all.

    My hope is that like you, one day telling my story will allow me to share that message with others.

  50. Thank you, Sara, for pointing us all in the right direction. Whenever I need to take the focus off myself and thank Him for the countless blessings He’s poured out over my life your mentoring is on the list. Last weekend my (new) church in my (new) town hosted a conference by Justin Peters called “A Call for Discernment.” It dealt with addressing where the prosperity gospel veers off from God’s promises in His word. Like maintaining that perfect health is available to all of us here and now if we will only “name it and claim it,” or that God wants us each to be healthy or wealthy and cannot possibly be glorified in our suffering. Of course I thought of you. With all you cope with every single day, you glorify Him so beautifully and persistently. Thank you. Oh how grateful I am that although I have moved we are still connected through the ‘net! I never appreciated it enough before, but now it, too, is on the list of things I’m truly thankful for :). Blessed be the (invisible, electronic, highly sophisticated) ties that bind!

  51. Thank you so much for this post! This week has been hard for me as far as relationships go. Which sounds so trivial to some of the other trials people are going through, but it stilled weighed heavy on me. I found out the guy I really like, with whom I thought our relationship was going in the right direction, is hanging out with another girl. I don’t know the story of it all, but I know it hurt. And that I cried and then felt empty ( i know…all over a boy). But in my moment of sorrow a guy from my past that I never really had closure with, showed up. We had a great conversation about our lives and I felt so enriched. Who knows what it meant, and I am not going to try to figure it out because I know that He knows. I know that my Heavenly Father placed him in my life that night because He knew my heart at the moment. And that was enough. I let it all go and realized I need to let Him be in control. I know nothing, and need Him for everything. I immediately gave thanks for the blessings He has given me and felt so much better about everything after doing so. Sorry to ramble on about guys, but your post meant a lot to me! Thanks so much for the words ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. My husband and I have been working with fertility doctors since September 2010 in hopes to start a family. One thing I have learned on this journey is, like you said, releasing my emotions with a good cry, vent, etc allows an open space for God to come in and fill like no one else is able. In the past 10 months I have become closer to the Lord than ever before. When our fertility treatments don’t go as planned it is slowly becoming easier to acknowledge Him and thank Him for being bigger than any plan I have for myself. He is all knowing and all powerful and wants the best for me. And for you. For all of us. Thank you for such an uplifting post!

  53. Gitz you are such a blessing to so many of us. I am so encouraged by your constant decision to “choose joy” and in reading through these comments, to see your kind, thoughtful words of encouragement for so many women. You are SUCH a blessing!! I love your line, “And I say โ€œacknowledge Himโ€ instead of โ€œlooking for Himโ€ because He is everywhere. ” He IS everywhere! I am so thankful for what he is doing in mine and my husband’s life and for the ability to trust in Him no matter what. I am so thankful for the gift of today … Thank you for your post, I will continue to keep thinking of your challenge to always see and acknowledge Him!

  54. Our reward is found when we acknowledge Him in Every. Thing.

    …even the painful, ugly, confused, scared, anxious times. It is our choice to Seek Him and in the seeking we See.

    I’m learning more about this *surrendering* business. And Seeing how I can Trust in His arms. I so much appreciate your graceful words of Truth.

    Rich blessings, Gitz, as you continue to honor Him in your deliberately choosing to See…

  55. Sarah,
    I needed this post so badly today. After losing our infant daughter almost two years ago, we are struggling to find the “right” journey towards having more children. While we both want it, the economy has hit us hard and we are worried about the finances. This morning I had a meltdown over life in general and cried it out. Thanks for the post that reminds us to find joy…choose joy in all we do. Sometimes that is extremely difficult to do, and today was a particularly hard day. But, I’m going to refocus and find the blessings…tomorrow, my husband and I are leaving for a week long vacation and how blessed are we that we’ll get to do that? We’ll get to enjoy each other’s company and relax together and refocus on why we are together. Thanks for the reminder…

  56. I’m so thankful for the gift of YOU, your encouragement, your I-will-not-be-moved attitude. No matter the size of the mountain, your advice to acknowledge but not wallow is perfect. Love this and love you, Sara!

  57. Oh, this is an easy one. I know I’m commenting late, but it’s also because I’m on a wedding/visiting old friends trip in London Ontario (originally from there, came to Calgary Alberta when I didn’t want to, and left all my friends out here at that time). It’s been a really hard time for me right now in Calgary AB. I haven’t left home though I know I need to, even must do (I am of age). I have a priest/chaplain here at my alma mater (Fr. Mike) who has been nothing but unconditionally loving, compassionate, and accepting of me no matter what nonstop since I’ve arrived and likely before. It’s been so hard for me to accept that from him precisely because right now my parents very much are not all those things, though they like to say they are all those thing. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. I have been absorbing as much of that as I can right now precisely because from my family I know I won’t get that. Sad but true.

  58. Your life, your example, your words challenge me, change me, convict me…and convince me that God IS sufficient.

    Do I get two points for the pastory alliteration?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    It seems to me satan delights in our defeat and he’s a master of blinding us to Truth; or at least trying to. YOUR reminder of the difference between looking for/acknowledging an already-there God is wonderful!

    xo

  59. Thank you! i can stop right now and be thankful for gluten free lasagna that i can bake and take to my child at camp, an hour away, so that she can have supper for the next two nights. thankful for an oven, a car, a grocery store, a daughter.
    i am thankful for the 86 year old woman who prays that i will reach out to older women. i am thankful for the friend who is leading our vision committee to better minister to women. i am thankful for the painful ways God is reminded me that JESUS is the gentle ONE and that though i have longed to be gentle, if i were, i would not need HIM.

  60. I am thankful for God giving me a new and different passion to love my husband. As some married people will agree, love and passion is alive, always waxing, and waning. After almost 17 years of marriage, it seems like sometimes finding the energy to repeat this cycle can leave a lackluster feel to it all. I knew that this , my heart, being lazy was not really what God wanted for me and my marriage. I even think it was seeping trouble into other aspects of my family, so I prayed. One day I literally found myself wondering how I was feeling so in-love again, and then I remembered my prayer! God is faithful, and it was how He wanted my heart, full of love and passion, for the man I pledged myself to. There are so many gifts all around, in fact, it is every good and perfect one! .. Sent down from the Father of Heavenly lights… Who does not change like shifting sand!!! Thank you , Lord.

  61. I am thankful for my husband, children, a home, food, vehicle, tweeting birds, the smell of fresh cut grass, that God has allowed me to publish an online magazine. I pray that it will soar around the globe and will inspire people! All glory to God! Thanks for sharing, I now am acknowledging Him, instead of looking for Him. Like you said, He is everywhere! Many blessings to you and your family ; )

  62. What a timely post for me to read! I love your attitude in the midst of challenging times. I too know from personal experience that God is always with me and there are many blessings in the middle of trials and challenges. I love how you wrote about acknowledging the pain and not ignoring and stuffing it. God fills the space with His love. Now that’s something to keep me smiling, no matter what.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  63. As I closed my eyes to do what you suggested – to acknowledge a gift He has placed in my life – I realized how hard my heart has become because I could only see what I have lost, even though I have been abundantly blessed. I am so ashamed that I have closed my heart to the multitude of blessings that God has bestowed upon me. With a jolt I awakened to the realization that indeed I have received a gift, a very precious gift – your words and your example. I am humbled, and oh so blessed, by the gift you are.
    Thank you.