Redeeming Love & Thankfulness

Yesterday, from 3-10pm I read the book “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. During that 7 hour period I cried, punched the book (freakin’ Paul), and audibly told Angel how wrong her thinking was!

My boyfriend mailed me the book as a surprise for me to read during his deployment. He gets home in 2 weeks and I am even more drawn to him now, knowing how much he loved this book and aspires to be a “Michael”.

As I drove to my Monday Morning Meeting with my boss, I was praying to God about the book. Processing and reflecting about what I read, felt, and know to be true. One thing that came up in our conversation was how thankful I am for the gift of reading. He created language- the ability to be spoken and written. He created storytelling to be emotive and powerfully effective in conveying truth. He allowed me to be born in America in the 20th century where people (and even women!) are given the opportunity to learn how to read and write-a privilege many people (especially women) have not known.

Reading Redeeming Love made me thankful for a whole host of things–maybe that’ll be another blog post-but among the things I thank God for is stories and the ability to read. What’s something you have thanked God for recently?

Birthday Bloggggggin’

First of all-I just want to say thanks to everyone who is reading 🙂 I’m excited about this month of writing! My sister complains that my blog is “too serious” 😛 so I decided to start out the month on a lighthearted note (and then be intense for the rest.) (JK!) (But maybe I’m kind of serious…) So here goes!

There’s a running joke in my family that my mom doesn’t know my birthday.

Now, in her defense-I was adopted, so it’s not like she was THERE, but still. Come on Mom. 😉

My birthday is the last day of July-July 31st (just like Harry Potter’s!) and FOR THE LIFE OF HER she can never remember if there are 30 or 31 days in July. How many insurance documents, school papers, and random things during my childhood had the wrong birthday date of July 30th filled in? Juuuust enough to allow us to tease her about it for the rest of her life. (Love you, Mom :D)

 

We also are notorious for not being able to celebrate birthdays on the actual day. Or month sometimes. I’ve had a handful of August celebrations, a few September ones, and one October one. We are busy people, the Pompells.

One of the BEST things about birthday celebrations-of course-is the cake! Every year I ask for an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen-the fudgey cookie crumble crunchies middle is a manifestation of everything that is good in this life. Okay, that’s a bit much-but seriously it’s DELICIOUS and I love it. I only have it once a year, so it’s a special lil’ treat yo’ self moment.

Also, let’s take a pause and appreciate how true this post is:

Oh my word, I love it haha. But actually I still get money every year! My younger brother, David, gives everyone $25 for their birthday. Without fail. Last year I convinced him to give me $2 extra so it’d be one dollar for every year I had been alive, and some how it worked! I’ve told him I expect that for the rest of my life and he seems VERY adamant against it–like it was a one time deal/miracle. I don’t know…it seems like a special tradition to me. I’m going to remind him that this year he’ll need an extra $3…I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Here’s the take away for today’s ramblings by Betty: In James, the Bible says that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”. So when I enjoy the laughter of teasing my mom, the utter delight of the taste of ice-cream cake, or the sweet satisfaction of getting an extra three bucks from my little bro (fingers crossed)–how do I respond? Who do I thank? Our heart’s response for all the little & big joys in life should be praise (thank you God!) and worship (you’re AWESOME!!!). Our God-the Father of everything that is good in this world, who is constant, steadfast, immutable, and so incredibly kind- gives countless wonderful gifts to us. We so often forget to say thanks for his graciousness.

My mom engrained in me to write thank you notes after receiving gifts-it was rude not to! What gifts from God are you enjoying today that you haven’t thanked him for? I know many of you reading may be in a season of deep suffering, and it may be SO difficult to see anything with color in the midst of your very gray days.  I want to encouraged all of us to take some time today and thank God via prayer or journalling for good gifts in our lives-they are there-and I know He will forever cherish your little thank you note <3.

Call Your Sibling Today!

So today is my little brother’s birthday.

Ha. Little. He is now 25 (whaaaa???) and is definitely bigger that I am-but still little brother to me. ❤

David and I have been through everything together. From rough beginnings, through adoption, and all the subsequent trials of life-we’ve not missed a single one in each others journey.

He makes me laugh more than ANYONE else I know. He is caring and sweet, and puts up with SO (soo sooooooo) many of my shenanigans.

I remember being in high school, getting ready for school in the morning, and looking in the mirror at myself, discontent with what I saw staring back at me. I turned to my (probably 8th grade) brother and said semi-defeatedly, “Well, how do I look?” He looked at me and said, “Smile…” I smiled. He responded “There you go! With that smile, you’re BEAUTIFUL.”

All that to say, this morning I was thanking God for my little brother-for the joy he brings into my life, for the care he has for my family. I don’t tell him enough. There’s a lot I am thankful for, but most of all I thankful for David’s salvation and love for the Lord. What a gift that I can rest in, that He’s got David’s soul!

I’m going to call him and be all sappy to him (cuz that’s how I roll on birthdays) and figured I’d write a blog about this to encourage you to maybe call your sibling today too! If you haven’t recently (or even if you have!) tell them what you love about them, a memory you treasure, or something you are specifically thankful for! If they are believers-praise the Lord! If they are not-KEEP PRAYING!

Happy Birthday, David! I love you!

 

Redeeming Sneezes

It all started with this thing I saw on Pinterest:

Fun and Fails I'm totally gonna try this once and see what kinda response I get haha More at Fails and Fun at our blog http://www.fails.ch:

Hysterical, right?

But it got me thinking about training our minds for godliness. What if every time we sneezed, and someone said “God Bless You”, we took time to identify ways that God already has blessed us? 

So I started doing this with the person across the hall from me at work (work is prime sneezing time for me, I don’t know why…). It just so happens to be one of the Senior Vice Presidents at Lancaster Bible College (he drew the short straw and had to let me work across from him! ;)). I asked him if every time one of us sneezes we would share something specific from that day that was a blessing from God. Whether first thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon-there has ALWAYS been blessings to share- blessings about our families, time in the word, general health, co-workers, etc.

It has been really encouraging to take a few seconds out of the day and randomly give God praise for his goodness that often goes unrecognized. It’s just a little thing–but it’s been an added joy to my days.

Also, Calvin and Hobbes is a joyful thing to add to your day too! 🙂 Have a good one and remember to keep Christ ever before you!

calvin and hobbes | calvin-and-hobbes-wind.jpg:

Valentine’s Day Thoughts!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! And this is what it made me think about today:

Imagine the joy you would have if, come February 14th, outside your door is delivered a huge package! In this package are flowers, candies, your favorite (fill in the blank), and a brand new (fill in the blank)! Woo hoo! You love it! You look for a card, but it is nowhere to be found. You have no idea who it is from, who to thank, or therefore who loves you so much to shower you with such affection!

Imagine if instead, you receive that package, and know exactly who it is from! They’ve inserted a card expressing (as they do often) how much they love you, how much they love knowing you and being known by you, and how much joy you bring them.

Which recipient is happier? The one with the anonymous gift, or the one who can thank the one from whom the loving gifts came? I say, the one who can thank the giver-the one who knows what deep love is associated with this present! There is such joy in knowing the thoughts of intentionality and care behind gifts given!

In this same manner, we as believers are able to KNOW the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Though the rest of the world can still experience laughter, Moose Tracks ice cream, sunsets, sleeping in on a rainy day, the smells of Christmas, and putting on clothes straight from the dryer-WE not only RECEIVE those gifts, but we also have “a card” (the Bible) telling us WHO gave us such amazing things and why! We can know that these gifts are given out of a deep love, joy, graciousness, and desire for intimacy. We can be thankful not just for the gifts, but for the Giver.

All that to say, take advantage of the fact that we can be more joyful and thankful for the pleasures of this life than people who do not know God. Whether you have a Valentine or not-you have been given a LOT! Maybe take some time and stop complaining about the ho-hums of life, and be thankful for the extravagant gifts we’ve been given. Focus on the love of Christ. Be amazed at the sacrifice and the care. Be enthralled with His desire to know you completely, and for you to know Him. Be thankful to the Giver.