Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks and Giving

Thanksgiving clip art This season is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Thanks and Giving campaign.  We are urged to give thanks for the healthy kids in our life, and give to those who are not.  I have a confession to make.  I despise this quote, and those commercials.  I felt this way long before Emma got sick, actually.

Six months before Emma was diagnosed, some friends’ little boy was diagnosed with cancer.  This was right at Thanksgiving time—right when St. Jude was airing these commercials.  EVERYTIME one came on the TV I would start sobbing.  Literally.  I would immediately start praying profusely, thanking God that Emma was healthy.  I would say something like, “Thank you, God.  Thank you, God.  Thank you, God.  Please keep her healthy.  Please God.”

I would usually finish the prayer with words for my friends’ son.  I spent hours upon hours praying for them.  And I begged God to never let “that” happen to me. 
I believe that God was preparing me.  We know from the Bible that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle (that’s not to say that any of us particularly like to hear this quote).  However, getting thrown into the arena without any warning would be much worse than getting a little introduction to the subject beforehand. 

God was letting me recognize what I would come to think of as my greatest fear, so that I could learn to not fear.  He had mercy on me, and said, “While you think this is the one thing in life that you couldn’t handle, I’m going to show you that with My help, you CAN handle it.  With My help you can do anything.”

Today I dislike these commercials because I don’t like being on the receiving end of those “gifts” that St. Jude is asking for. I would much rather be the one doing the giving. Have you heard the Bible verse, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”? Well, I can attest that it is true. And yet, how can I not be thankful for the gifts? The people supporting St. Jude saved my daughter’s life.

So all of that is a round-about way of saying I’m thankful for St. Jude, even their tear jerking commercials, and especially their wonderful, fabulous, kind-hearted, caring, loving donors.  If you have ever donated to St. Jude, I am personally telling you thank you today.

Here’s the rest of my Thanksgiving "What I'm Thankful For" list:

1.      God's mercy.  Without God’s love I would be on my way to hell.  Not because I’m a “bad” person.  Not because I haven’t done enough good to make it to heaven.  Just because Heaven is perfect, and I am not.  God loves me anyway, and sent a way for me to get there—Jesus.

2.       My husband and children.  I have the best husband in the whole wide world.  He is an amazing father, provider (he works himself to the bone sometimes!), and husband.  And my girls?  What can I say about them?  Emma shouldn’t be here, so I am magnanimously thankful for her.  Ashlyn is a spit-fire who never ceases to make us die laughing as she points her finger at us and gives us a piece of her mind in jibber-jabber.

3.      My church.  I love the people in my church, and I wouldn’t trade a single one out for someone else.  Are any of them perfect?  No.  Do we sometimes split hairs and disagree?  Uh, yeah.  But when I needed someone to pound on the gates of Heaven with prayers for my daughter, they stepped up to the plate.

4.    The rest of my family!

5.    Pumpkin Pie. Yum.

6.    Books.  I could crawl up in a hole and read for the rest of forever.

This post turned out much longer than I intended!  Thanks for reading, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S.  The family I mentioned above is still fighting a raging battle.  Please visit their website, and pray for them www.prayfornoah.com


  1. Oh, Katie, I can't read your blog without crying. I admire you so much. Your strength and Emma's strength is something that blows my mind. I wish you both a very happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Oh, I hate to make you cry, Kelly! Come back next week and the post will be tear-free, I promise! : )

  3. Keeping Noah & Emma in my thoughts. You are warm, big-hearted and strong, Katie, and I'm thankful to be (cyber)friends!

  4. Katie, you make me cry in a good way. You remind me of the strength we all need to dig deep to find. That's a good thing. :)

  5. Katie,

    God's strength in you is a beautiful thing! Thanks for sharing your heart with us, once again, in this beautiful post.

  6. Thank you, Claudine and Ruth! And I love having cyber friends : )

  7. Katie,
    I'm way late reading this post(I'm working my way back through your blog), but I wanted to tell you I think your writing is excellent. You have a warm, sincere style that is both humble AND authoritative. A wonderful combination. I'm a fan. I don't know what your writer aspirations are, but please don't ever quit writing.

  8. Sara, how sweet and kind of you to say so :) I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.