Sunday, September 26, 2010

Celebrating Purpose


My husband and I marked an anniversary last month.

It’s been three years since he lost his job and career. Construction Management died in Florida and pretty much throughout most of the country. Our life has been challenged, to say the least, to discover creative ways to survive until we can find new jobs.

But on that day, August 29th, 2010, we celebrated.

It was a first in three years. Do you wonder why I would want to?

The answer is simple-- Because we’re still here.

I’ve gotten pretty amazed at how God has sustained us, even through the darker days. And trust me, there have been many, and I know we have more ahead of us. Days when all I wanted to do was cry and stay in bed. Days when I thought the world has gone on and we were stuck in our hopeless situation. Yeah, there are dark days, but I’m trying to count the good ones instead now.

This week we finally dropped cable but have been blessed to discover free HD channels by using a cheap $75 satellite. We smile at each other over such a great picture for free. Last week we enjoyed a complimentary meal in Perkins by signing up on their website, and a free cookie at the mall from a cookie retailer.

My list goes on. I’m grateful now in ways I never thought I would be.

And through all of this, I write. Some days I write only as an escape from thinking about the day’s pressures. Some days I write because it gives me hope that maybe life can be different and I can show that through my characters.

Today, as I sat in church, and heard another sermon about counting it all joy when we go through trials, I was reminded again that God has this plan for me if I would look not at the trials but, instead, look through them. Maybe that plan is with my writing. Maybe it’s just being a wife and support.

Maybe it’s by coming on here and writing every now and then about how God is getting us through.

Because, He is. He does. He will.How are you celebrating today?

55 comments:

Deb Shucka said...

Wonderful, Terri! We're having similar experiences in the last couple of years because I'm staying home to write. Our income is half what it was and some of our best fun comes from creative ways to manage that. I've never felt more alive or closer to God.

Thank you for this inspiration.

Shirl said...

I just wrote a comment and got an error! Now I don't remember what it was! Sometimes there are issues trying to post through open ID on blogger. I'll just post with my blogger account (although I no longer have a blog here).

But I do say blessings to you both!!!

Amy DeTrempe said...

Terri, this was so inpiring to read. Thank you.

Karen Lange said...

I celebrate because He saved me and sustains my family and I every day. Thank you for sharing, Terri. We are blessed:)

Lin Floyd said...

My mind is busy clustering for my new book that an editor wants a completed manuscript for...time to get writing more. Love the challenge.

Gaia said...

It is God's grace that kept me going. Finances may be tight, but he provided me insights to like u, look for better buys, freebies and learnt to budget. It helped. Blessings.

Carolyn said...

What an inspiration! All week long I've been humming this song...
"Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky;
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by." - Mosie Lister
Some days the storm clouds are all around us; the thunder is so loud we can't hear ourselves think. And all we can hope for is to be held in the hollow of His hand.
Thanks for your blog - and your inspiration! Keep safe...in the hollow of His hand!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Being in the same boat, I understand the dark days. I also relate to the wonderful ways God provides.

I've found blogs and websites with creative ways to save money on necessities. The Lord continually surprises me with blessings.

I continue to pray for you and others, who need work.

Blessings,
Susan :)

B. WHITTINGTON said...

Terri,
I was so moved by your blog. I don't have any words of wisdom but just to say, keep on keeping on. Doing exactly what you are doing and trusting the Lord to see you through another day.

Blessings to you and yours!

Diane said...

Close friends of mine went through a similar hardship for a number of years also and she did exactly what you are doing.... looking for those ways God has blessed her. They are finally through their drought and all is being restored. Hang in there. You're doing it right! :O)

Julie Gillies said...

You know, Terri, I'm amazed that even though you have endured such a long season of fiery trials, you always encourage me.

Your tenacity and honesty touch me deeply, and I truly appreciate you.

Praise God for His blessings as you walk faithfully through this long, often dark season. But never forget that you are being a light to many.

(((Hugs)))

Kenda said...

Sharing how you are celebrating as you go through tough times is a testimony to faith, trust, and gratitude--and a timely encouragement to others. Thanks:-) Wishing you the best in the days ahead... What am I celebrating? The small gifts and mercies that come as we walk alongside our aging parents through their difficulties...

Sally said...

You are in my prayers as is your writing. May you feel a blanket of peace in these days.

Joanne Sher said...

Ohhh, Terri, I have so been there. Life is hard, but God is good. Praising Him for sustaining you in the past, and for what He has yet to do.

I have so many things to celebrate, but I absolutely needed the reminder today to celebrate them.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

Hi Terri...How well I know about these days of unemployment. It is an act of true faith to rely upon the Lord in the darkness.

Joel Osteen, evangelical preacher, has been a light for me during these times. He said discouragement cannot enter a heart filled with gratitude. So, so true.

There is SO MUCH to be thankful for on a daily basis. First thing in the morning...thanks for the night that just passed, the comfy bed and covers, and now, thanks for the new day of life. And so on.

Thanks for your post. Keep on writing! Keep on trusting! Keep on keeping on! Susan

KarenG said...

Omigosh I could have written this post. 3 years, yep. My husband was in the mortgage business, same exact thing. Odd jobs, cutting back, yadayadayada. And we keep saying, "Wow, we can't believe we are still here." Now I'm starting back up the cookie business I had 2 decades ago, and it looks promising. My older son was here, remembering how well those cookies sold back when, and he said, "Mom, we've always believed in your cookies." I said, "Don't believe in the cookies. Believe in Christ." We both chuckled but it really wasn't a joke. How are we still here? Faith in Christ, and thanking him daily for the miracles He has performed in our lives the past 3 years.

Thank you for this wonderful post!

Tamika: said...

You have given me such encouragement. This day has been dark, and I was wondering just how much more I could take.

I'm off...to count it all joy:)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Terri--Your positive outlook in this tough time is amazing...I know your faith is what is holding you together. :) Things will get better...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband...

Jackee said...

We talked of similar things at church today: How trials can make us stronger, more sensitive to others, and how we're never given more than we can handle. Refiner's fire!

Today I will celebrate the power of prayer, how that can soothe souls and mortal pain. In so many people I know including myself. :o)

Have a wonderful day, Terri. And thanks for making me think on my blessings!

Michelle Massaro said...

Aww, Terri- hugs to you! I've been there, it's tough. Once we came through it, I was able to look back at that time as one of the sweetest in my walk with the Lord and even in my marriage. It was a freeing thing to let go of all my felt "needs" and realize we were in the palm of His hand.

Nichole Nordeman has a song called "Gratitude" that spoke so deeply to both my husband and me during those days. I hope you'll take a moment to read through the lyrics:

***

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid

But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

(Chorus)

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

(Chorus)

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .

(Chorus)

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

***

Powerful stuff, isn't it? Keep hanging in there!

~ Michelle

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, He is, He does, and He will. Wishing the best for you.

careann said...

Sometimes we wonder if there is ever going to be an end to the dark tunnel, but God is with us all the way. My husband used to say that we may not know what our tomorrows hold but we do know Who holds our tomorrows. He is sufficient for all our needs.

Blessings to you and your family.

Carol Garvin

Jan Cline said...

Joy has been a common thread at our church lately too. You just have to celebrate that He is God and we're not!

Nehha N Josshi said...

I respect those a lot who make it through. Best wishes!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri, my sincere wishes and prayers are there for you and your husband. You will soon come out of all this.

Jody Hedlund said...

Love your outlook, Terri! You've really been through a lot and are still hanging on to hope! Blessings!

Lynn said...

He always comes through even on your darkest days. Faith grows so strong during the tougher times. Your faith is inspiring and a blessing to others. I celebrate by taking time to read you.

Sarah Forgrave said...

I'm celebrating that my life is insane because it means God is moving.

Claus said...

I'm celebrating by being thankful everyday!! It's pouring out in Guatemala, yet I have a home to come to! I have a job that's terrible some times, but that helps me pay the bills! I have a beautiful baby niece that smiles and makes me and everybody around her smile. I have two beautiful puppies that make my life much more wonderful....life is not easy and perfect; but it could be worse! We ought to make the most out of each situation and feel happy and thankful. He has reasons, which might not be completely understood by our minds. Later on, though, you go "ohhh that's why" and you feel blessed.
Celebrate each day!

Jennie Allen said...

Girl- praying for continued provision for you! Thankful with you for the past!

paulgreci said...

Beautiful post, Terri. I am celebrating by walking, breathing, and smiling.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I so admire you, Terri. You are proving God's love and faithfulness in your very decision to celebrate every good thing.

I am celebrating a warm home, healthy kids and grandkids, and Jesus.

T. Anne said...

I read something in a novel this weekend that said if your not underground and in a box you have enough. Somedays it is the only thing we feel we have, but yes, it is enough. God bless you for blessing me!

Janet Johnson said...

It's easy to count blessings when things are going well, but it's true happiness to be able to count blessings when things aren't going well.

I wish you well in your hard times, and congratulate you on your attitude!

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm celebrating by being thankful!

Rhonda Schrock said...

We have been there, done that, and would've bought the proverbial T-shirt, only we couldn't afford it. Sigh.

Today, I celebrate the fact that in the midst of a different, also ongoing trial, I can rest quietly. I can - yes, I can - sit still and humble myself beneath His mighty hand so that in due time...(Thank you, Apostle Peter!).

K9friend said...

What a positive and uplifting post! Sometimes it's hard to see through the forest of negativity to find the fruitful harvest of blessings that we've taken for granted.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How inspiring! Your bravery& courage, faith & gratitude is a real gift to all of us. Thank you for sharing your struggles.

Tabitha Bird said...

I have so much to celebrate. Some days I forget that. Some days I don't want to. But the truth is, I have days. THAT is my celebration. I am still here. I am living my days. Seems BIG to me :)

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through but I'm happy to hear you've remained upbeat and positive. I can learn a lot from you...
CD

Jen Daiker said...

God is amazing, he works in mysterious ways. I have to say the one thing I've always remember my father telling me "God can only give you what you can handle," I think it's great that you have an anniversary to celebrate the new beginning.

You're an inspiration to me!

KelliGirl said...

Praise God for His provisions. Thank you Terri for being living testimony that He is the great I am.

I'm awed and humbled by your examples of faith through an incredibly stormy journey. You inspire me.

Love and prayers,
Kelli

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Terri, this is so encouraging. Thanks for your example. I have friends going through the same thing right now, and it is TOUGH.

Amie B said...

gosh teri - you're posts bring tears to my eyes.

we, too, have had a rough couple of years.

from advocating for my learning disabled daughter (and making tons of enemies in the process because no one else is willing to take a stand), to my eldest daughter receiving a medical diagnosis that will change her life forever to financial stress because of attorney fees....the list goes on and on.

i'll admit that two years ago i was in a very dark place. i couldn't believe how all of that was happening to us. WHY???!! it was too much for one family to handle....

but it was only because my faith in the lord that i got through it. and i'm a better person for it.

Jill Kemerer said...

Thanks for uplifting my spirits today. I'm grateful, too.

Nicole said...

I'll tell you. I am personally blessed by reading your blog. You are such an encouragement to me, and I really appreciate your comments on my blog from time. It's refreshing to know that you haven't given up on your writing. I am still trying to find my way, but I thank God for the little things as well. Things are not as bad after all I guess.d Keep your head up and stay encouraged.

Maria I. Morgan said...

God bless you and your husband, Terri! Your posts have been uplifting and inspirational to me! I appreciate your willingness to praise the Lord in spite of such difficulty. No doubt, your relationship with Him has grown tremendously over the past 3 years. Praying for you in a special way, my friend! God bless!

Nancy said...

I'm celebrating wonderful people, blue skies, beauty, and God's watchful care over me.

How wonderful for you to celebrate God's goodness even when things aren't clear. You are very encouraging.

Warren Baldwin said...

You have a great spirit. God will continue to be with you guys. God bless!

Julie Musil said...

Terri, your wonderful attitude is EVERYTHING. Yes, you're experiencing a tough time, but you will get through it. Your ability to see all the blessings around you is amazing, and God will reward you for it.

Diane J. said...

Terri you are amazing. You have such a wonderful outlook. Sending continued prayers. Thanks for the reminder.

Jackie said...

Terri......This post really blessed me......Your words here are straight from your heart and minister hope to many. Thank you for sharing, friend!

My current post "Through Stormy Seas" echos what you've shared .....HE WILL SEE US THROUGH! Thought it might encourage you, too!

HE IS FAITHFUL!

Hugs and Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Terri, you are an inspiration to us and to many other people around you, I am sure.

I love your FAITH, and your positive thoughts despite the challenges you and your husband are facing.

Praying for you!

Doris

Susan Roux said...

Terri I admire you. I had no idea of your troubles. I come to read because you uplift me. God is truly working through you and I too believe good results will happen from this. Hope it all comes together for you soon...