Selah~Day 196

My 27 Thanks:

1. My mom kept Judah for us, so both Gary and I could attend the funeral of a retired firefighter and family friend.

2. The funeral service for Paul Benson was full of beautiful memories and honor.

3. I got to say hello to many faces that I haven’t seen in a while.

4. All the firemen wore their Class A uniforms to show honor and respect. They looked so sharp.

5. I got to sit next to the most handsome one of them all…and, he is my husband!

6. After the funeral, we all went to the fire station so Station 8 could get a group picture in their Class As. In the 10 years that Gary has served, he has only worn his Class A two times. So, we needed to capture a picture.

7. Gary and I got a great picture together too.

8. I love the guys at Station 8. I will be so sad when Gary has to leave in a month or so. It has been his home away from home for 6+ years now.

9. Gary will be transferring out of Station 8 due to a promotion! I am so excited for him and this new opportunity for leadership and growth.

10. The guys at Station 8 will miss Gary too. Gary is the type of guy that people want to be around. Okay…I am a little partial.

11. We didn’t go true black Friday shopping. But, we did get out a little bit and got a couple of items for a great price.

12. The stores make it easy to shop from your home computer and still get in on some of the savings. I prefer that over crazy crowds any day.

13. Some of my family members went out in the madness and they got amazing deals. I am so glad for them.

14. Gary got a great deal on a set of drill bits. He already used them today. He has been so excited about those tools. I even heard him thanking God for his new tool set.

15. A Spirit of Thanksgiving resides in our Home. Even Judah’s getting in on the action.

16. We ate yummy leftovers all day. And, someone left a chocolate pie, a pecan pie, a pumpkin pie, and a pumpkin cheesecake at my house. What were they thinking? Thankfully, I have only eaten ONE piece of dessert in two days!

17. My family made it home safely to their homes.

18. We played Legos together as a family. Both Gary and I enjoy building different things with Judah. I actually find it very relaxing.

19. We had a lovely, relaxing evening at home.

20. We put up all of our Fall decorating items and pulled out Christmas.

21. I finally figured out a way to rearrange my furniture so the tree will fit. I had to get rid of one chair, but it works.

22. I am so glad I have wood floors and felt bottoms on all furniture. It makes rearranging a breeze.

23. Judah had a blast helping us put up the big tree. He was a little sad though when we turned on the lights and realized they were not rainbow-colored.

24. Everything I have is because of God’s Grace…EVERYTHING. I am thankful for His Grace. 

25. I am not entitled to healing, but it is a gift given. I am not entitled to a spouse, but I am blessed with one. I am not entitled to receive a job, but I am provided with one. I don’t want to take for granted the amazing things God has blessed me with.

26. I am not thankful to God in order to remind Him how good He is, but rather, I am thankful to God to remind ME  how good He is to me.

27. I serve an extraordinary God.

Selah~Day 195 “A Thanksgiving Psalm”

Thanksgiving came a week later this year. Usually we have Christmas in full swing at the Hendrickson home by the end of November. But, Gary and I purposed in our hearts to make Thanksgiving a priority and center stage in our home this year. So, we decided to push Christmas decorations off for another week and give Thanksgiving the spotlight it deserves as well.

Thanksgiving is a choice. You can choose to find a reason to be thankful even in the most dire circumstances. And, thankfulness changes who you are and what you perceive. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 100:

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before Him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are His.[a]
    We are his people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
    go into His courts with praise.
    Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and His faithfulness continues to each generation.

This is a popular Psalm. If you have attended church for any number of years, I am sure you have heard or sang songs that incorporated lines from this Psalm. It is a Psalm that beckons us to go before the Lord with Shouts of Joy and Singing with Joy. The Psalmist paints such a great visual image of entering the gates of our God with Thanksgiving and His courts with our Praise. You see, in the Old Testament, the law of our Lord would not allow for “normal” people to enter into the Holy place. Only the Priest were allowed to enter. But, the Psalmist encourages us to go into His gates and His courts, the outside portion of “God’s House.”

Think about this for a moment…if someone came to your home and stood outside in your front yard (your Court) and began to sing with shouts of joy and songs of praise and thanksgiving on your behalf, I am sure it would draw you outside with them. When I read this Psalm, I couldn’t help but think that as the people entered His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, God’s presence came outside to meet with them! God doesn’t need us to worship Him, but it is HIS WILL that we do so. When we are obedient in this act of Worship, He meets us with His Presence. And, it is in His presence where there is fullness.

He is our Maker. His hands fashioned who we are and we continue to be His. Not only are we His sheep, but we are His sheep in His pasture. He continues to provide for us and give us all that we need. He is our Provision, our God of more than enough. His love and His faithfulness never ends.

My 27 Thanks:

1. I can boldly approach the Lord.

2. Thanksgiving and Praise draws the presence of the Lord close to me.

3. In His presence, there is fullness.

4. I am His sheep. I am a sheep of His pasture.

5. His is Loving and Faithful always and forever.

6. My mom woke me up this morning and reminded me to put on the turkey. I am thankful my mom still wakes up before everyone else.

7. Gary ran to the store on the way home from the fire station and picked up a couple of forgotten items.

8. My home is hosting both Gary and my families for Thanksgiving.

9. Everyone is participating in the cooking of the BIG meal, so it isn’t too stressful on any one person.

10. I have a turkey roasting pan. It makes the job of cooking the turkey cleaner and leaves the ovens open for side items.

11. My mom, sis-in-law Madison, and I stood around my kitchen island and cooked together.

12. I love my kitchen. We really broke it in this Thanksgiving. There was plenty of counter space and the Island worked perfectly for serving food.

13. My dad and brother Jake helped Gary finish our fence project.

14. Gary saved us a lot of money by doing the backyard fence himself. I am so glad that I have a handy husband.

15. Gary is very particular about his projects, so I know he did the fence perfectly.

16. Judah has loved having family at his house. My nephew Gatlin and Judah have played so well together.

17. This is the first Thanksgiving in at least 10 years that Gary and I have not traveled to my parents. Usually the boys have to deer hunt, but this year they didn’t. It was a nice change. We all got to spend a lot of time together visiting both before and after the meal. No one wore a single piece of camo!

18. My grandma and Uncle Danny got to come! It was so good to see them too.

19. The food was wonderful and we had more than enough leftover. Every family got to take food home with them.

20. The weather was amazing. I am so glad because all together we have 9 kids under the age of six. It was so good to get them outside.

21. We played games together.

22. We told stories about one another and laughed together.

23. My family and Gary’s family love one another and get along really well. We are truly all one big family.

24. Big Messes=Big Fun. And, everything can be cleaned.

25. Everyone pitched in to clean up both the inside and the outside of our house.

26. I am the Pastor on call this week and have not received any urgent, tragic phone calls. I am so glad all has been well with others too. It is so sad when tragedy happens around a holiday.

27. I have so much to be thankful for…

Selah~Day 194

Wednesday, November 27

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I enjoyed a relaxing morning at home.

2. My mother-in-law kept Judah for a while, so I could go and work on Christmas decor at the church.

3. I got more done in a shorter amount of time than expected.

4. My friend, Heather, helped me decorate one of the trees on the stage. Heather has a great eye for design like her sister, Holly.

5. Aaron ran to Chick-Fil-A and brought back lunch for all of us, so we could keep on working.

6. Holly and her family have spent hours working on the church Christmas Decor. I am so thankful they have been willing to give up a holiday week to serve at the church. They are multi-talented.

7. Many people volunteered to help in the kitchen as we prepared to serve 1,000 people in the church Thanksgiving feast.

8. I love seeing new, random groups of people have a good time together and form friendships. Serving is good for the heart and soul.

9. My family is here. For the first time in a year, we will all be together at my house.

10. I am getting to host both my family and Gary’s family at our home for Thanksgiving.

11. Judah and Gatlin had fun playing together.

12. Judah took Gatlin upstairs to the playroom by himself. Judah has never gone to the playroom without Gary or me. Progress, people, progress.

13. My friend, Sande, is finishing her doctorate degree in Education. She asked me to proof her thesis. Wow! I am honored.

14. Zach is home for the Thanksgiving holiday. He had safe travels and I know his parents are thrilled to have him home.

15. Holiday Spirit.

16. My mom rode with me into downtown. If I am going to drive at night, downtown, I definitely appreciate a riding partner. This country girl still gets a little nervous driving in the big city.

17. My whole family met up at Bricktown for a visit with Santa Claus and dinner.

18. All the boys enjoyed their time at Santa’s Workshop at Bass Pro.

19. We all planned to meet at Outback for dinner. We got stuck in horrible bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-35. I am thankful for alternative routes.

20. There is usually more than one way to skin a cat. Think outside the box.

21. We went right in and sat down at Outback…I love no wait.

22. We shared childhood “embarrassing” moments with each other. I love reminiscing.

23. Gary wasn’t with us because he was working. I am so thankful that I still miss him greatly anytime he isn’t there.

24. Today is my friend Debby’s birthday. She is a special friend. She is a bright light in a room full of dark. She is helpful, dependable, and always sees the beauty in someone. She not only serves faithfully with me in kids ministry, but she also has a special place in her heart for the tougher kids to minister too. She loves finding a way to bring a smile to their face and make them feel super special. Debby is a great wife, a great mom, and a great friend. She also loves the Lord with all her heart.

25.  Today is my friend Abby’s birthday. She is a fun friend. She is a hard-worker who is determined to do her best at all tasks and she always looks great doing it. I especially appreciate her laid back personality. She is a “glass is half full”  kind of gal. She has a fun, Audrey Hepburn sense of fashion. She loves “nerdy” games and travel. I am so thankful for her friendship and I am super glad that she is bringing her talent back to OKC.

26. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel.

27. Discernment.

Selah~Day 193

Tuesday, November 26

My 27 Things:

1. I slept most of the night.

2. I enjoyed a warm/hot shower.

3. I love my morning kisses from Judah when I head out the door for work.

4. Gary always steps out and gives me an “I LOVE YOU” sign language sign as I drive out of the driveway.

5. He stills looks at me the same way he did when we first fell in love.

6. I enjoyed Pastor Sam’s teaching in staff chapel. I am glad he is on my team.

7. We all pray for one another.

8. The Christmas production stage is coming together nicely.

9. Many hands make less work.

10. Gary helped me pick up a Christmas Tree last-minute.

11. We got it for 50% off and it is pre-lit.

12. Hobby Lobby gives churches an additional discount. I love the heart of stores like Hobby Lobby.

13. I found the perfect props to use for the production and they are all purchased.

14. Gary mowed our lawn and even dead grass looks good mowed.

15. Pastor Marc took our raw footage video and turned it into a great promotion for Celebrate Christmas. He is multi-talented.

16. I totally missed a deadline on turning in an important paper and Brandon is giving me GRACE. I love Grace. Too whom much is given, much is required.

17. Holly and her team of volunteers are working so hard to turn the church into a beautiful place for Christmas.

18. We had a special practice for our clown sketch. It was awesome!

19. Both Mike and Michael are working so hard.

20. Teachable Spirits and hard work!

21. Quality is in the details. I am thankful for details.

22. Gary had dinner ready for me when I got home late at night.

23. It was so good and he made one of my favorites…tacos.

24. Judah and I had fun playing in the playroom. We put together his nativity set once again.

25. The Lord hears my prayers.

26. Divine Intervention.

27. The Lord completely healed me from a migraine headache today. I battled with a horrible headache all day. I could barely keep my eyes open and it was making me sick to my stomach. Finally, on my way back into production practice, I said out loud, “Jesus, I have authority over this headache in your name. So, right now in Jesus Name, I command you to leave. You are under the blood that was shed on the cross. His stripes have already bore this sickness and I am free.” By the time I arrived at the church, the headache was gone. I am thankful!

Selah~Day 192

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah woke up and wanted to watch the weather channel. He got so excited that the weatherman said, “the snow is coming.”

2. We made it to church safely.

3. The roads were pretty slick and icy in spots, but everyone was driving carefully.

4. Most of my leaders came to church too. They are committed to the call God has placed on them.

5. No one slipped in the icy parking lot.

6. Because we had such a small group of kids due to the weather, I made the decision to change my message for the morning. My team took the change and executed flawlessly.

7. Now, I have all my props, notes, videos, and small group activities already to go for this coming Sunday!

8. We got to spend some one-on-one time with our kids because there was such a small group. It was really nice getting to enjoy them.

9. We had so much fun and laughed a lot. The kids loved the Holiday matching game, Turkey Trivia, and our small group Thankfulness activity.

10. Ava has the Angel Tree ready to go and Angels are hanging from it. I love this project.

11. We have the opportunity to bless both kids and senior adults this year.

12. I go to church with a very giving group of people.

13. Even in the ice and snow, guest came to church yesterday. I met a new little boy named Tyson. When he left KidMotion, he told his grandpa, “I want to come back here everyday!” I love hearing how much fun kids have with us.

14. Kids will either remember you for being fun or for being mean. You get to choose the memory! I will totally be the fun one.

15. We made it home safely and had amazing chilli for lunch. Even though it was left-over, it might have tasted even better than the night before.

16. We spent the afternoon in our PJs.

17. Sundays are usually our busiest day of the week. But, the weather changed our day and it turned out to be a surprisingly relaxing family day.

18. Judah and Gary both took 2.5 hour naps. They must have been really tired. I wish I could just fall asleep during the day.

19. Gary played Christmas Carols on the guitar and we sang Away in a Manger together.

20. Judah and I put up his Nativity scene together.

21. Because Judah was so rested, he was ready to play hard the rest of the night. I love his energetic spirit.

22. Gary and I got to enjoy a movie together. I am so thankful that he doesn’t mind watching Hallmark movies with me. He is such a romantic sweetie.

23. We had a blast reading Sam’s bitstrips on Facebook. Sam and Starla are so funny. They make us laugh.

24. I am so thankful for funny people.

25. I was spontaneous today.

26. The laundry is caught up. It seems like a never-ending task. So, when it is all done…I celebrate.

27. We celebrate big and small victories in our home.

Selah~Day 191

Saturday, November 23

My 27 Thanks:

1. There is no better way to start your day with morning devotions. I am so glad I have both Rick Renner’s devotion, Sparkling Gem, and Smith Wigglesworth’s devotion book. Two great devos!

2. I could hear Gary in the other room praying over us this morning.

3. Judah makes his eyes really big and uses dramatic speech when he is telling me something that he is excited about.

4. I have a house to clean.

5. Gary helps me clean.

6. All bathrooms are ready for guests this next week.

7. Gary and I turned cheap crates into a really cool, cost effective book shelf. I will have to figure out a way to post pictures. But, I am super pleased.

8. We took Judah to Bass Pro Shop to have fun in Santa’s Village.

9. Santa’s Village is well done at Bass Pro. Judah wanted NOTHING to do with Santa Claus. But, Santa was kind and gave Judah a candy cane anyway.

10. We ran into JL Hurst and his grandsons at Bass Pro. It was so nice to visit with JL. He is a great man of God and a wonderful granpa to his two grandsons. I love running into families outside of church.

11. We went to Hobby Lobby and they took back curtain rod parts that were at least 3 mos. old. I am so glad I was able to return them since they didn’t fit my curtains.

12. We let Judah pick out his very own tree to decorate. He picked a perfect tree.

13. We had  a blast putting up Judah’s tree together. He was so excited and proud of his little tree.

14. I love working on projects with my sweet little family.

15. Judah picked multi-colored lights, red beads, red ornaments, and red snow flakes for his tree. Yes, his new favorite color is red. He still loves orange, but red is a close first.

16. Gary gave Judah a bath so I could spend some time studying for my KidMotion message.

17. After Judah’s bath, I read him a story by his Christmas Tree. He wanted me to read the story with the lights out because his tree looked so much better. It was tough, but you do what you can do.

18. Gary is practicing Christmas Carols on his guitar. I love listening to him play.

19. Family bedtime prayers.

20. I am so thankful for the little traditions my sweet family is starting.

21. I am thankful for the values that we live by and the committments we make to each other in our family.

22. Gary and I are committed to eating at home for every meal all week. So far, we are successful.

23. When I fix my gaze on Him, I dwell in perfect peace.

24. When I seek first the Kingdom of God, no evil thing will touch me.

25. I huger and thirst for the Righteousness of God.

26. After months or research, years of savings, and lots of internet searches, Gary and I finally ordered Judah’s big gift for this year. It is going to swallow our backyard, but it should provide great fun for Judah and his friends for years to come. I can’t wait for it to be here.

27. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is close.

Selah~Day 190

Friday, November 22

My 27 Thanks:

1. We slept in.

2. I woke up feeling better than I have felt all week.

3. It’s Friday and this is the one weekend in several that Gary is off the entire weekend.

4. We spent the morning relaxing at home.

5. Today is the anniversary of JFKs assasination. After so many years, He is still honored. I love seeing people honor the memory, legacy, and life of others.

6. JFK loved our country. He was a great, inspiring leader.

7. I found my Smith Wigglesworth devotional book.

8. I can have a spirit of discernment.

9. Gary went out and checked the roads before we went out as a family.

10. The roads were not that bad at all. Slow and steady and you are good.

11. Gary usually always drives us. I don’t like to drive, so I love it when he does.

12. We took Judah to North Pole City. I hadn’t been there since I was a little girl. It is a magical place.

13. Judah had a blast.

14. He picked out a really cool candy cane/elf ornament for his tree.

15. I got some great ideas for my own decorating purposes and I think I can do it at a cheaper, budget friendly price.

16. Budgets and Boundaries. Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else, so one day you can live like no one else.”

17. We ran to Sams Club to buy our contribution for Thanksgiving. No one was at Sams. It was a perfect time and day to go.

18. It must have been sample time at Sams. We had mac-and-cheese, broccoli rice casserole, smoked turkey, smoked ham, pumpkin pie, apple dumplings, and scalloped potatoes. Seriously, it was a Thanksgiving feast at Sams. Eat while you shop. We also met a really sweet elderly couple who were married and worked the sample booth together. They were so cute and so funny with one another. They were a perfect picture of what Gary and I will be in 35 years!

19. We bought all of our Thanksgiving items.

20. Judah accidentally dropped some of his mac-and-cheese on the floor at Sams. I stopped and waited for a couple who had stalled their cart over the cheesy noodle to move out of the way, so I could pick it up. When I went to pick it up, a Sams Club employee saw me. He came over and was so impressed that I would pick it up. He thanked me and said no one ever does that anymore. Wow! I am glad that I could make a positive impression and do something nice. My mommy always taught me to pick up after myself! Pay it forward.

21. My friend, Holly, is doing so well at her Christmas decorating business. She is too busy for me…ha ha ha.

22. My little sister, Haley, made a wise decision to NOT drive in this crazy weekend weather.

23. Church on the Move is first class. They sent me a rain check voucher for next year’s Christmas Train. They are insuring me Christmas Train tickets for next year. Wow! First class church.

24. We had a great day together.

25. I have a fireplace and it keeps our living area warm.

26. I have a roof over my head and warmth in my home.

27. Health.