Unexplainable Joy

Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18

Good morning!

Have you ever experienced a season of unexplainable joy? You know, those times in your life when it looks as if you have no reason to be joyful. The past ten weeks has been that kind of season for me.

It all began the last Sunday in January when water seeped from the humidifier onto my tile. In less time than it takes to blink, I was on the floor. My foot throbbed from crashing into the riser. Hubby picked me up and sat me on the couch. Then I laughed until I was crying. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but my daughter began laughing with me. When I finally stopped laughing, I tried to stand.

Yes, I thought to walk it off.

But, I couldn’t put my foot on the floor. It felt like my entire leg was being drawn forward and upward with an invisible rope.  Furthermore, my daughter thought my third toe looked odd.

Well, yeah!

So the next morning, we were off to see the doctor. And this is where it gets interesting. While waiting for the results of the X-rays, the words of a song about praising the Lord in the storm drifted through my mind. And my reply was, “This isn’t a storm. Now, 2010…that was a storm.”

 

I will joy Swan

The doctor told me I had indeed fractured my third toe. She prescribed an anti-inflammatory for the joint and sent me home.

After I had reached home, I exited the truck, made my way up the steps, and with the help of the crutches catapulted myself backward onto the cement walkway. Again, I landed on my backside, but this time my left arm took the weight of the fall. The bulging tendons told me it wasn’t good.

When Lindsay helped me off the ground and onto the couch, I laughed, again! What was I laughing about? I didn’t know. But, my left foot had hit the porch coming down and was no longer pulling upward. That was something. At least, now I could hobble by myself.

I discarded the useless crutches!

Storm? Yeah! I could see the storm clouds now. I could hear the thunder rolling across the skies. ButI didn’t see what was waiting on the horizon.

After a week of nothing but sitting on the couch, I opted to go outside for the afternoon with hubby and the girl while they worked on the 4-wheeler. Standing beside the trailer, I saw no danger when suddenly, the 4-wheeler decided to lurch forward. The trailer wheel caught the same leg. Same foot. Yep, that happened.

Last X-rays showed I had two fractured toes and a cracked wrist. And that was just the bones.

After each incident, when the house grew quiet, I would begin my nights with crying—half from the pain and half from the frustration of not being able to tend to my everyday needs. Ever been there, dear reader? By the end of the day, your strength is gone. You’re in a heap on the floor and He’s all you have left.

It’s a lonely place to be.

But then, the words of that song would drift through my mind, and I could focus on praising Him. Yes, I could see the upside.  I had fallen twice but hadn’t hit my head once. I’ve done the concussion thing, already. Yes, things could’ve been worse. More importantly, God loves me and has rescued me. Blessed be His Holy name. Yes, I could praise Him in this storm.

And in return I received laughter. Through this whole ordeal, there has been an unexplainable joy bubbling inside.

So I ask you, dearest reader, do we have a reason to be joyful in seasons of sorrow, pain, and loss?

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Traditions

Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. Deuteronomy 16:15

For the coming holiday, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting facts about Thanksgiving. For example, although Thanksgiving is often described as an American holiday, its roots can be traced back to the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. And it doesn’t stop there.

For centuries, Israel has celebrated a harvest festival. It’s a time set aside for rejoicing and giving thanks for God’s blessings throughout the year. The holiday Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the 40 years in the wilderness after the deliverance from Eygpt. Today, Sukkot begins five days after Yom Kippur and last for eight days. During this time, the people build small huts and hang fruits and vegetables inside. These harvest-filled huts reminded me of a cornucopia.

Cornucopia

cornucopia-1789664_1280The cornucopia is a horned shaped basket filled to the brim with grains, vegetables, and fruits. Its roots can also be traced back to the Greeks and Romans. Cornucopia means horn of plenty from the Latin term cornu copiae. To those searching for freedom in the new land, the cornucopia became the symbol of America, the land of plenty.

Turkeys

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Another famous symbol of the holiday is the turkey. Ben Franklin thought the turkey to be a bird of courage, unlike the eagle, a bird of bad morals. (Read the article here.) Whether the turkey is a courageous bird or not, its popularity is linked to the Thanksgiving holiday. And while the sides depend on family favorites, the turkey is always the main attraction. Unless your family doesn’t like turkey. Oh, my! What to do, then?

To Turkey or Not To Turkey

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The truth is traditions surrounding this autumnal feast can vary from house to house. As children, my husband and I both ate turkey. It didn’t matter whether we liked it or not. Our moms were traditionalists. On Thanksgiving, you ate turkey. Period. But when my kids came along, we changed that tradition after we’d cooked the traditional bird every imaginable way known to man. Fried, baked, roasted, or barbecued, they still refused to eat it. Now, we have chicken and dressing along with the “must have” side dishes.

Must Have Side Dishes

  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Gravy
  • Pecan Pie
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
  • Grape Salad (Recipe below.)
  • Sweet Iced Tea

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Grape Salad

  • 4 lbs seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Blend brown sugar, softened cream cheese, and condensed milk with mixer until smooth. Combine grapes and pecans. Pour in a lidded bowl. Chill. Serve. Enjoy!

Note: The amount of fruit used is according to individual taste. I prefer fewer grapes for a creamier salad. Pssst…the fruit is just an excuse for me to eat the brown sugar and condensed milk. 🙂

Reflection

No matter how you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, grab your neighbor’s hand and gives thanks for His bountiful blessings!

Are you a traditionalist? What is on your list for must-have side dishes

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay. Public Domain.

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Falling

Isn’t the view spectacular this time of year? Everywhere you look you catch a glimpse of the Creator’s majestic handiwork. The seasonal changes offer an opportunity to slow down and take a moment to enjoy the blessings around us. Fall is a colorful season resembling the diverse hues on a painter’s palette. Take a moment and enjoy the view and remember the Creator of it all.

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 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalm 19:1

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 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. Psalm 19:2

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There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:3

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 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19:4

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Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. Psalm 65:11

 

In which season do you enjoy God’s handiwork the most?