Thankful Thursday! December 21, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for the hope we have in You!!!  And:

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Talking to my mom, crying about the heavy things in life  

Talking with Sandy (my mom in-law)   She gets it.  I’m thankful for her experience! 

Got all my counters and floors cleaned!!!

Lexi Loo coming over and hanging out with me and Whitty for a couple hours!💜

Whitty going to church and lunch with us.

A lovely Christmas brunch with my Wed morning strength class.  Thank you, Vicki!   I’m so blessed to have these beautiful, loving and experienced women in my life!   They’re so dear to me!💜💜

“There was also a prophet, Anna,...” Luke 2:36

Anna was not worn out by her years of waiting for God to show his face. No, instead she was strengthened by them, her hope so clear and so pure that she had no doubt about what she was seeing the moment she walked into the scene of Simeon holding out a tiny baby—who by all accounts looked just like all the other tiny babies he held in the Temple. Anna’s was a hope refined by prayer and by letting go of her own expectations so as to do the work of the Lord. Anna was a woman with the vision to know the difference between expectant hope and hope in her own expectations.

Are you that kind of woman, friend? 

To be a woman who recognizes God because she has learned to hope only in him, I first have to be a woman like Anna, a woman of prayer and fasting, a woman from whom thanksgiving flows, a woman who speaks of the Lord with great joy to those waiting to know him. Anna doesn’t just recognize Jesus at that moment in the Temple, but she is transformed by the recognition. She lets the unexpected blessing of the babe in Simeon’s arms and the glory glowing on his face turn her heart to rejoicing. Her hope blossoms into joy and thanksgiving in the presence of the Messiah, and she shares it with those who are waiting with uncertainty, unsure of what they are looking for.

How many people in your life are like the ones that Anna proclaimed the presence of Christ to that day? People who are searching, hoping, and waiting for something but unable to define just what it is they are waiting for? Where will you find the courage to tell them with great joy that the one thing that satisfies all their searching, the One to fulfill their hope, has come, is here now, and they can rejoice with you?

The courage to live the call to share Jesus with others comes from a hope that gives way to the discipline of prayer. Prayer inspires a life of joyful dependence on the Lord, which allows us to see and recognize him at work in the most surprising of ways. And from a heart focused on God blossoms the thanksgiving that overflows into sharing Christ with a waiting world. This is the call of the seer, the prophetess.

This is our call, friends. It wasn’t strange for the Jews in the Temple to receive Anna as a woman of vision, because women who had come before her had set the precedent. And we do not have to shy away from being women of vision, because we have Anna as our example and our guide. We, like her, have Mary too to show us what a woman’s heart can look like when it has fully embraced life with Christ. Their examples are rich with fodder for our own transformations, friends. Let us take their stories to heart. Let us allow ourselves to be defined, not by the way we live on the outside, but by who we are on the inside. Let us cultivate lives of prayer and purpose, of grand hopes and humble graces. Let us live fully alive and aware, prepared to see God work and to proclaim his goodness.

Our world is one that is breaking from pain and sin in every direction we look, it seems. But we do not have to give up hope, sister, because we are women who see. If we will set our hearts on the discipline of prayer and give up the things that keep us from living wholly dependent on him, we will see God in action, recognize him at work, and have the courage to go out and proclaim his presence with great rejoicing. Our homes, our towns, and our world need us to be women of vision. They need us to know when God is stirring and to show up to witness his coming. They need us to run out rejoicing because we have hoped in him and seen our hopes confirmed. Our world is waiting for its prophetesses. My sister, let us answer that call.

~ Let Us Pray ~

Dear Jesus, surprising Savior, I want to be a woman of vision, a woman who sees you in action, recognizes your presence, and has the courage to offer the hope you bring to those waiting to know you. Help me, Lord, to become this woman.

Give me the grace to give up the things that cloud my heart and that keep me from a hope wholly dependent on you. Help me to recognize the surprising ways you speak. Teach me to sense with confidence your hand at work. Give me the gift of a disciplined heart, Lord, so that I can have clear vision, know my purpose, and live it fully. Teach me to rejoice with a thanksgiving that becomes a proclamation of your presence to those around me.

Make me, Lord, a prophetess, whose life is spent looking for you to move, listening intently to your voice, and seeing you at work.  Make me a woman who hopes in you above all else and whose hope is forever renewed by seeing you present in my life in the most unexpected ways. Give me a heart that goes out rejoicing and proclaisming your praise to the hearts in my midst who are still waiting to know you.

Make me a woman of vision, God, with a heart that sees and a clear purpose to proclaim you. I am waiting, Lord, with a hope that can be satisfied only in you. Amen.

 

Excerpt from:

“Who Does He Say You Are? “  by Colleen C Mitchell