Tag Archives: Thankful

Thanksgiving 2020

22 Nov


Judy Wills

Thanksgiving 2020.  Well, we have to think seriously about what we have to be thankful for, don’t we?  

It’s certainly been a year of turmoil – but we are still alive!  I am thankful.

It’s been a year of uncertainty – but God is still on His throne and in control!  I am thankful.

It’s been a year of so many “hiding out” – but I/we have not done that.  I am thankful.  

Have you ever heard of Dr. David Jeremiah?  He is pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California. (www.DavidJeremiah.org)   He has a TV program called Turning Point.  I’ve not listened to his radio program, but I suspect it’s called Turning Point, as well.  He preaches God’s word, and we are blest every time we watch his TV program.  His organization publishes a monthly magazine and devotional guide called Turning Points.  The November 2020 issue interested me,

and as I was thumbing through the scripture and comments, I came to November 26.  What Dr. Jeremiah wrote really touched my heart, and I would like to share some of what he wrote:

“In the most general terms, the way to give thanks was expanded from the Old Testament to the New.  In the Old Testament, God was normally thanked “for” things – His works, attributes, and blessings (Psalm 106).  While that focus is maintained in the New Testament, it is expanded to giving thanks “in” all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  That is, in all circumstances.  We can do that because we know God causes “all things” to work together for our good (Romans 8:28)” [used by permission]

So how ‘bout it – do you give thanks to God “in” all things?  In every circumstance you find yourself?  How about if you lost your job during the pandemic?  Something in there to be thankful for?  How about if, during this year of lockdown, you find yourself developing an illness?

Way back, 20 years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I tried very hard to not feel “WHY ME????” 

It helped me to see others who were worse off than I was.  There is always someone worse off than I am!  Okay, I had cancer; okay, I had a breast removed.  My mentor had both breasts removed!  She eventually died from a cancer they couldn’t totally remove with surgery.  

And so, I began to think of the “good” things in cancer:

1) yes, I had a breast removed, but I live in the age when they no longer remove the chest wall, and I can do everything normal with that arm.

2) God has used me to help other women who are going through the same thing, and are discouraged or frightened.  He has allowed me to be His instrument in many, many ways.

3) God used my cancer to bring me and my husband closer together than we had been.  Fred was my cheering squad – he even changed my drain tubes following surgery!

4)  God brought me closer to Him than I ever have been.  My church family has lifted me up time and time again.  Following my diagnosis, my first surgery wasn’t for another month, since it was a slow-growing cancer.  We had a trip planned and paid for, that we couldn’t miss.  When we returned home, there must have been 50 cards waiting in the mail for me – all from members of our church family.  And each one gave me encouragement – and all gave their favorite scripture – none of them the same.  God’s word is FULL of encouragement.

So yes, it’s been a time of confusion, but God is still on His throne, I am still alive in this world, and…


May your Thanksgiving be a blessed one.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Life During Covid-19 Part 8

23 Apr

We Are So Blessed

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We have toilet paper, hand sanitizer and paper towels. Two months ago, these items would not have made my thankful list of blessings. Coronavirus has changed our world. We definitely spend more time together.

Saturday night we watched the 25th anniversary of Phantom of the Opera from the Prince Albert Auditorium. It was free on You Tube. I am not a huge fan of the show but Mike and Rebekah love it. The best was the finale. Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife made an appearance along with the original Phantom. Sarah Brightman sang an except with the original Phantom then with great drama several actors through the years joined them onstage to sing. It was magical.

On Sundays we eagerly tune in to a couple of our favorite churches online services. During the week we each have favorite churches and ministers that we listen to. If nothing else, this virus has created in us soul hunger.

Sunday night we watched Hope Rising, a group of Christian singers and speakers on Facebook.

Over 3 million people watched and worshipped together. Our churches are closed but our hearts are praising. The concert was to raise money for Samaritan’s Purse and their medical team. It accomplished so much more, inspiring all with a sense of unity in Jesus. As of Tuesday 1.6 million dollars were donated and this was a zero budget production!

Our daughter has been fortunate to not be furloughed from her job as most of her team have been. Monday was her first day of working from home. We rode with her to east Orlando (Any reason for an outing!) to meet a coworker and receive the “work” phone. She will be working 3-1130 pm. A shift in our family dynamics, but not a bad thing. Before The meet up for the phone was set in the deserted Chilli’s parking lot (Which felt kind of like a drug hang off. ) Before the meet up we went to the drive through at Culvers and got their cashew chicken for our supper. We really enjoy Culvers. And I love not cooking!

It’s warm in Florida but Wednesday there was a steady breeze that held a hint of cool. Any day now, the winds will shift and feel like they are coming off the equator. After a grocery run to Aldi, my daughter and I decided to sit out on the patio. We have an abundance of birds at the feeders and in the trees. Much more than usual. I choose to believe that God is providing them to enliven our days as we enjoy watching them. Rebekah put up the patio umbrella while I made each of us a granita.

I modified the recipe for the granita, which is an icy coffee drink, from one that I found on Cooking Keto with Kristi. This is a good blog if you eat low carb. Currently she is sharing 10 days of sheet pan meals using meats and foods one has on hand.

As I was writing this, the radio reminded me that SpaceX would be launching in two minutes with a payload of satellites. These satellites are set to create a new internet delivery system. I should have remembered that the radio is on delay. The rocket was already speeding on its journey by the time I grabbed my camera.

Later I went outside to take a picture of the Town Home construction across the street. The construction has been clogging the road making backing out of the drive a pain. Of course the trucks weren’t there. I am choosing to be thankful the crews are working and people will be getting new homes. It’s easy for me to choose thankfulness. I’m not the one who has to back our truck!

This week as I mentally list the good things happening as a result of what I call The Pause, I also feel guilt. There are heartbroken and frightened people around me and I can’t fix them. Thanks to the masks, I can’t even smile at people or receive a smile in the store, unless my eyes send the smile. Families are being separated at the hospital and die with only the staff at their bedside. This is brutal. I pray that those alone are surrounded with comforting angels. I don’t know it that is Biblical but I am praying it.

I am reminded of a favorite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

I’m counting on this verse!

I almost forgot! Did you see this fun video on Facebook?

The Road to Joy

12 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I read this in Jesus Always a few days ago.

Nurture well your thankfulness for it is the royal road to Joy.

I saw this photo on Pixabay and it brought to mind that beauty and joy can be found even when our path seems hard, even treacherous.

Seeking Peace-In Thankfulness

31 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We spent the past week unpacking and organizing after our migration to our beloved Western North Carolina from Florida. I describe our move as migration because like sparrows and Painted Buntings, we move between the same locals each year. More deep cleaning than deep thinking going on.

As I sat on our back porch this morning and read through the day’s devotional, I focused on choosing overflowing thankfulness. Thankful for what I have and thankful for what I don’t have, and trusting in God’s promises.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. COLOSSIANS 2:6–7

Love God’s unfailing love and mercy centers my emotions.

Joy When I choose joy, thankfulness will overflow.

Peace As my heart and mind embrace thankfulness, peace replaces agitation and fear.

My Internet is Evil

1 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I probably shouldn’t use the word evil to describe my internet, but the level of frustration it provokes in me leads to dreams of random acts of revenge.  It isn’t the internet itself that is evil, it’s my internet provider. It has no respect or concerns for my needs. Whether I am in the middle of booking a reservation or snagging a sudden opening  on a promotional site, it does not care. It will drop me faster than an egg in an egg and spoon race and as often.

Egg and Spoon Race


After a particularly dreadful bout of internet failure, I appealed to the provider on Facebook. Their social media team expressed dismay and distress for my predicament and sent a request to their escalation team asking them  to call me. They did call. I missed it but they did leave a message. It seems I live in a high usage area . No consolation of an impending improvement. Basically too bad, so sad.

Now you might be thinking, why doesn’t the woman change providers?  I would love to. BUT we have DSL and it seems that all of the internet in the area runs over the same system. No matter who we pay, the service will be the same. Now that I have grumbled and groused, I need to say that I am grateful and blessed to have internet service, Many families in rural areas have no DSL or broadband internet.

Another thing I am grateful for is my husband’s improving health after two years of decline. This summer he has completed multiple projects and is almost finished with his current one, replacing our entryway stairs.


I am working on grousing less and giving thanks more, but my internet service is really testing me!


Extra Effort for Ordinary Results

3 Jan

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders

Sometimes I need a reminder
of just how blessed I am-
Especially when my heart is troubled,
as though I had failed an exam.

Perhaps it is age-related-
My arthritis is here to stay.
I sincerely try to ignore it-
but it refuses to go away!

I was on my way to go shopping
when it began to rain.
The car ahead bore a message on its tag-
“Too Blessed to Complain”.

When I reflected on My blessings,
my pains began to subside.
“Dear Lord, You are our healing physician-
In YOU I want to abide.

You provide all of our needs,
according to Your riches in Glory-
As I reflect on Your mercy and grace,
I am humbled to tell Your story.

P.S. We don’t need more to be thankful for-
We just need to be more thankful.

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

A Letter To My Donor

25 Oct

 On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

October 15, 2012, I was blessed to receive a new cornea. Unlike most transplant recipients who wait on “the call”. I knew three weeks in advance and with this knowledge came the realization that a family was going to suffer the heartbreaking lose of a loved one. My heart was devastated for them. I shared my grief with my wise friend DiVoran and we prayed for my donor and their family. During the three-week wait I continued to pray for peace and the comfort of God’s love for the family.

Even though donors and recipients are anonymous, there is a process to write a letter to your donor family. I am sharing my letter with you to honor the courage and selflessness of all donor families.


Dear family,

On October 15, 2012 I received a new cornea with great joy thanks to your incredible kindness. Please know I do not accept your gift without realizing you suffered heartbreaking loss. I knew three weeks in advance my transplant date and I began to pray God’s comfort and peace for you and will continue to do so. This was my third transplant. My first was in 2005 and for no specific reason it failed. I know this may sound strange but your loved one’s gift just feels strong and is healing very quickly. Thank you with my whole heart. Without you and my other donor I would not see and I thank God for you.


This link  has FAQ  regarding cornea transplants.



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