Faith and Thanksgiving

A very old hymn popped into my mind this evening,  ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.  It is a song I remember singing as a young girl in the First Baptist Church in Oak Harbor, WA.  I am so thankful for those foundation.years attending Sunday School and Youth Group learning about Jesus.  I am thankful for my father’s love of the Lord.  To watch him lead the singing with his hands in the air praising the Lord with a smile on his face made me long to know his Jesus in the same way.  God gave me this wonderful dad, although who wasn’t connected to me biologically, he influenced my life greatly.  I don’t know if my biological father knew Jesus very well.  From the stories I have heard, he struggled much in his life and that makes me sad.  But, I am grateful for the life he gave us.

Thanksgiving here in the United States is an opportunity to remember the blessings we have received through out the year.  To many its a time to simply gather family, eat turkey and watch football.  Those that stop there miss out so much.  My kids thought it was cheesy and embarrassing to have to “share something they were thankful for” before we ate dinner each Thanksgiving, but some of them continue it in some form or another! It is my prayer that I grow in expressing thankfulness and gratitude, first to the Lord, and second to others.  It changes our perspective, enlarges our heart and helps keep negative weeds from growing in our soul.  Cultivating a culture of everyday thanksgiving is life changing.

I am celebrating with my oldest daughter and her family this year.  My other children are with their in-laws and I am glad they have such wonderful families in which to share their love.  It takes faith for some folks to keep on loving their families in spite of past hurts.  I think God smiles when he sees our efforts to love others who maybe aren’t quite so lovable.  I am thankful we have access to his love, grace and mercy during such times.  I pray that we will continue to learn to love with his love the more difficult to love–even if it is ourselves!

I am so grateful for my biological family members.  Each of my sisters (I grew up with two, but actually have four other wonderful older sisters we met in our teen years) are amazing and add so much value to my life.  We also have one brother–he grew up with the four others, he is probably happy not to have to have us triplets as well!  Not really, he is a wonderful man who happened to have three sons!  I want to take this time to thank the Lord for bringing us all together after we were put up for adoption.  It truly is a wonderful amazing God story how he arranged it all.  My biological mother loved Jesus, but she struggled with mental illness and when we were born the State of Washington felt the family was not healthy enough to raise us.  So we were put up for adoption.  However, in the wings, way back in Kansas we had an aunt who prayed for us.  Aunt Freda prayed and prayed that we would one day find each other.  God made it happen.  She trusted Jesus.  We got to meet her as well as our biological mom before they died.  It was/is something I am forever thankful.  Are you thankful for your story?  Those chapters in the past which led you to your present?  Ask him to help you with the areas you struggle in.  Ask him to help you see things from his perspective.  It may take a while, but it is oh, so worth it.  Learning to trust Jesus with and for our family is not always easy, but it can be done.

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

    • Refrain:
      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  2. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  3. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  4. I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.       This hymn was written in 1882 by Louisa M. R. Stead  If you have never heard this hymn, you can find it on YouTube.  Take time to listen.  It is something for which to be thankful.  Happy Thanksgiving. The picture is six out of eight of my siblings.

    Swift Siblings 2009

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