Harder Family

Harder Family

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Month of Thanks: Day 25,26, 27, 28

Psalm 118:28 "You are my God, and I will give thanks to You; You are my God; I will extol You."

1. I'm thankful for being able to bake with each of the girls on Wednesday. The day before Thanksgiving I always try to get my baking done (less to do on the actual day). This year Sophia helped me make homemade dinner rolls, Naomi helped me bake pumpkin pie, Grace made the apple pie, and Micaela & Joella helped me make cinnamon rolls. It was a busy afternoon, but what a fun way to spend our afternoon off!

2. I'm thankful for the wonderful time we had yesterday as a family. 

3. I'm thankful for leftovers. I made a ton of food yesterday. The girls asked me why I made so much food. I told them, "Well, my thought is this. If I'm going to spend so many hours cooking, why not make enough so I don't have to cook for a few days?" They liked that idea. I'm sure by the end of the week we'll be tired of turkey and side dishes.

4. I'm thankful for fun crafts with the kids. 

Micaela making turtles for the letter "T"

5. I'm thankful for a great bootcamp yesterday morning to work off some of the food. Thank you Wayne for that birthday gift. I have a love/hate relationship with my bootcamp classes.

6. I'm thankful for the wonderful Thanksgiving Eve service we had at church. I love hearing people share stories of how God has been moving in their life.

7. I'm thankful for a brisk run (5K) this morning with friends. The best part of the Beverly Turkey Trot is that part of the proceeds go to support the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. It was sobering to see the names of children who have been lost to brain cancer along the fence. After the race, we all enjoyed brunch at church. The hot chocolate did a good job warming me up after a cold run.

8. I am thankful for naps. I love taking naps on the weekend and the rest they provide.

Yesterday I spent some time reflecting on the last nine months. When I hear nine months, my mind immediately thinks back to being pregnant. I guess being pregnant six times will make you remember that number. A lot can happen in nine months. In terms of being pregnant, it is a miracle to see how a baby develops in their mother's womb during that time. In terms of cancer, a lot can happen in nine months too. God has taught us so much and has grown us in many ways during this time. Yesterday was a great opportunity for me to sit down and think about all that God has done for us and give Him thanks.

God has been so faithful and good to us. When you are given a terminal diagnosis, you have two responses. The first response you can have is to dwell on the negative. I'm not saying you have to ignore the reality of the diagnosis, but you can get so focused on the diagnosis that you forget to live. I know people that have chosen to read numerous books on dying and these people have had the joy sucked out of them. Cancer is a horrible diagnosis, but when you dwell on the negative, you can't function. I was saddened yesterday to see so many people on the GBM Facebook page say they had nothing to be thankful for in their lives since cancer was stealing everything from them. I know everyone deals with life and death differently, but as Christians, we have so much to be thankful for in our lives, despite the suffering we are facing. Romans 8:18 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." 

1 Peter 4:13 "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed." We can find joy in our suffering because we have hope in Christ. This is just our temporary home. Therefore, we can be content in every situation, regardless how difficult it is. 

This leads me to the second response we can have when facing death. Instead of dwelling on the negative, we can chose to live each day to it's fullest for the glory of Jesus. If we think about it, all of us are terminal. We are all going to die. Many people don't want to talk about death, but it's a reality that we all must face. In Ecclesiastes 7:2 it says, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart." I think the Bible says this so that we remember that this life is short and fleeting. In seeing death, we remember what is important and focus on that. I know from personal experience that when I have attended a wake or been around someone who is dying, it makes me focus on eternal things in life. It helps me keep my eyes fixed on God instead of the temporal things of this life. 

Wayne may have been given a "date" for his termination, but we all are walking time bombs. God has ordained the number of our days before we were even born.  Job 14:5 "You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer." Each one of us should live as though it is our last day and judgement is imminent. The other night, Wayne and I read about a woman who lives in Washington who has stage four cancer. She was given only 18 months to live, but that was 18 years ago. She decided to live every day to it's fullest. Slowly the days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, and the months to years. This is how Wayne and I are choosing to approach his terminal diagnosis...day by day and with hope! God has Wayne in the palm of His hands and He has ordained the number of days Wayne has to live. We will live every day we have here on this earth to the fullest to bring God glory.

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