Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Unashamedly blessed

There was a period of time here on my blog that I stopped talking about any of my blessings.

I now regret that.

Sometimes we make bad decisions and this was one.  It was in response to criticism about sharing (or bragging as it was referred to) about things I receive from others that I enjoy.  They deemed it hurtful that I write about getting my nails done, mentioning where we went on vacation and what we did while there, or showing pictures from our family activities.  Supposedly this was hurtful to those who don't have as much particularly in this economy, and it was cause to make them depressed. 

Not wanting to ever hurt anyone who is struggling, I decided in response to that criticism to stop talking about any of my blessings here.  It was hard, because I'll be honest with you -- I get excited over things I receive, large and small.  (No, I'm not referring simply to finances -- anyone who knows me knows that I get enthusiastic over a 50 cent pen, or a trip to Goodwill.)  

Perry Noble said something that really helped me with this.  He said that when you come back from a missions trip from a third world country you should not beat yourself up over the fact that you live in America and you are blessed.  Most people tend to do that.  I know I did.  The first time I came back from Africa I would sit and cry every time I was taking a bubble bath in my big tub.  I would look up at my plant shelves at the motivational "cut outs" that I've placed up there.  They say "LIVE"... "DREAM"..."ESCAPE"...and "HOPE" and as I relaxed in my tub I would think of my friends in the slums who have never had clean water let alone a bath -- those who LIVE in poverty, who DREAM of an ESCAPE, and feel like they have no HOPE.   There I sat in a Bath and Body Works Moonlight Path filled warm tub of clean water.  What did I do to deserve this?  Nothing.  But thank God I am blessed. 

I cried and felt guilty over my blessing until I heard Perry say that if you live in America you don't need to hide your blessings or beat yourself up over them -- you simply need to GIVE.  If you live here, just know that God has BLESSED YOU to be a BLESSING.   It's as simple as this -- just give!!!  As long as we are using our resources to bless and give to others who are in need, whether in Africa, America, our local community or anywhere else -- we do not have to feel ashamed about enjoying or talking about our blessings.  Only when we are stingy or we hoard our blessings should we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit over this matter.

Anyone who knows me longer than a few minutes also knows I'm a giver.  I don't need to brag about that, so enough said there.  But back to talking about what I've received...

I realized I don't need to feel guilty over what I have received, or hide it to prevent others from being hurt.   So a few months ago, I decided to start sharing again about blessings on the blog.  It helps that this critical church member is now spending their time blessing another pastor with their presence.  

With that said, today I'm going to share a few recent blessings I have enjoyed.  Please note, if you gave me something for Christmas and I didn't list or post it here it doesn't mean I don't LOVE it or appreciate your generosity.  I'm just posting a few things here that gave me particular joy today.  And my friends, if you are reading my blog and are truly in need I am totally serious about the fact that if you need something and it's within my power to give it to you -- I will.  :)   On with the blessings:


This is my little navity made of dried banana leaves that I brought home from Africa on my last trip.  I couldn't wait to use it!


Our friends the Currie's gave us this for Christmas and I love it!  It's an electric candle warmer.  Candle wax goes in the top and melts from the bulb.  This is keeping my kitchen smelling awesome all the time and is a cute little night light.  I LOVE IT! 


My dear friend Sue Flint gave me this pen for Christmas.  It's leopard print and it LIGHTS UP!!  Is this the coolest thing EV-ER or WHAT?  (Sorry if I've made anyone feel depressed by the fact that my nails look so amazing in this photo.)

Godiva Chocolate Covered Almonds, also from my dear friend Sue Flint.  They are Uh-Ma-Zing.  I have disciplined myself to only eat one or two so far so I can savor them.  I am going to try to make them last at least a month.   If any of you are honestly going without food and this post has made you hungry, call me and I'll make you some chicken and dumplings.


Becca got me this (and a candle) for Christmas...what every women should be for her husband... "Pure Seduction" by Victoria's Secret.  :)   Yum, yum. 


Friends Eddie and Candy Rivera got this for Larry for Christmas...a box filled with boxes of Little Debbie's Zebra Cakes.  He loves them, as most people know.  And, he hates it when the kids eat all of them up.  The Riveras wanted him to have an abundance so this was their gift.  I told him to enjoy now because after the holidays we are getting serious about eating healthy.  If you are truly starving I hate to say it but Larry will probably not give you even one of these Little Debbie's and will hoard them.

And last but not least...

Our sweet Maddie, today.  Oh how she blesses my life every day.  She is our Christmas miracle!


Her last scar is healing well, as you can see here -- it is getting smaller and white hair is growing in.  Her tongue is sticking out as usual.  :)

Thank you for sharing in the joy of my blessings.  God is good. 
 

5 comments:

Ruth, PA said...

I am always so happy to read, hear, or learn of anothers blessings! ALL blessings are from God. (Anyone who has ever been a pastor or a PK knows that every one of those blessings are soooooo deserved!) But God blesses all Christians so that they can in return bless others! Which you do...EVERY day!! Telling of those blessings is my way of showing what a great, wonderful, awesome God we have...Who cares for His children, even in the little ways!

Enjoy your blessings, no matter what they are. They are God's gifts!!! And as you well know, every church has some of "those people." So glad they are off blessing another church! LOL

Thanks Deanna, for sharing pics of Maddie. Do not tell me how I knew, but I knew in my spirit that she would be ok by Christmas! Yes, our God is awesome!!!!

Hugs!
Ruth

Melissa said...

Girl...you have made me so jealous of your nails ;) JK Seriously, anyone that complains that their pastors are being blessed has some real issues! As pastors, we sacrifice so much more than just finances to do what we do! I have always been so excited when our pastors have been blessed.
Now that we are pastors of our own church, every blessing big small and tiny just shows how much people love us but more importantly how much God loves us. I love it when He blesses us with something that we have made no mention of wanting or needing! It truly does show "He knows the desires of our hearts!" Please DO NOT withold your blessings! I rejoice with you when you are blessed!
BTW I LOVE the banana peel nativity, that is one awesome little blessing!!!

DaNella Auten said...

I am jealous cause I want acrylic nails... but can't afford it... However I am not sure jealous is the word, I admire them is more correct, but I am thrilled to hear of the blessings you recieve, I know God has some in store for me too! I can't wait to see them. In the mean time I will enjoy yours... lol

Deanna said...

I am praying that your situation gets better Danella. You have been on my heart. I will believe for your acrylic nails, plus more.

Just FYI, when people read your blog there are plenty of enviable things there. Your amazing photography skills, your marriage, your family, so many things that you have money can't even buy and I know you know all this already my friend, but remember how unique and special you are.

I envy that you just had a book published last year! I wish that would have happened for me too, but you know what, all in due time. I am enjoying seeing what God is doing through your writing. You're an amazing woman of God and don't forget that in the midst of this desert you have been going through. xoxo

Debbie said...

Pastor Deanna!!! You are so blessed and you deserve every blessing! I am so happy about Maddie...she looks beautiful and that scar is getting so small! WOW! amazing...I think that is the greatest blessing you had for Christmas 2009!

Congratulations to Michelle for learning more cooking skills...I think I'm past that...I love not cooking! LOL