Chambersburg, PA

There is a place for you

there-is-a-place-for-you-photo

While growing up, my mother had a gift at making Thanksgiving glorious! Every delicious item she made was a handcrafted work of art with a symphony of flavors that came together like a beautiful masterpiece.

Real homemade pumpkin pie, her fresh baked loaves of bread, and the infamous “Nana’s stuffing” were always my favored accompaniments that covered my grandmother’s china dishes sitting at my place setting.

To this day I still remember the antique cherry dinning room table, beautifully decorated for the special holiday. The fine linens, the crystal glasses, and the sliver trimmed plates and flatware, patiently awaiting the grand feast.

And although the people that were able to gather around the table changed over the years, the place settings and all the trimmings remained the same. Eventually the day came when I too moved away, and was no longer capable of faithfully attending my mother’s festive celebration of thanks. Even though I wasn’t able to be present, I knew there was always a place for me at her table and in her heart.

Many years have past since the days I sat at her table on Cherry Hill Lane, and instead I now have a table of my own. Beautifully decorated with linens, glasses and the same special china set I ate off of as a child. All gifted to me by the sweet hands of my generous mother.

When I laid out the plates again this year, I couldn’t help but be thankful for so many things. Thankful for having a mom who always did her best to make our holidays special. Thankful that she placed within me the love of preparing a table for my family and friends. And thankful for all the years I got to sit with her at that old cherry wood table.

How I wish we could still be at the same table this Thanksgiving day.

As I pondered these thoughts, and positioned the last place card at the last table setting, the Lord very lovingly brought to my mind a very comforting verse,

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3

I know in my heart there will be a day when we all will get to sit at the places He has prepared for us at His table, and death and distance no longer will separate us from the ones we love. Where we are, not only will He also be, but we will all be together.  A place for each of us.

But until that glorious day does appears, I will cherish all of those treasured memories. I will choose to celebrate all that is left at my table instead of all that is lost, and I will eagerly await to sit at my place at His table.  I pray you too are able to do the same.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-5-40-41-pm Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook Pinterest – Twitter – Website

Give Thanks!

give thanks

My family immensely enjoys teasing me about several silly habits and hobbies I have. One in particular they delight taunting me about is my passion for placement cards.  Whenever we have  a holiday meal I believe that it is a table decorating must to have personalized placement cards.

My husband and children “mockingly in love” thank me for these directives to their seats and express their sheer gratitude for these cards, because without them they just might not find their way to their appropriate positions at the dinner table. (Such little stinkers they are ; )

Last year while searching for the perfect pintrist worthy placement card, I came across these foam turkey cut outs and decided that they would be the ones that would adorn our festive table setting. Not only would they serve as seating arrangement identifiers, but also provide an opportunity for each of us to list out what we were thankful for that year.

As I started contemplating the major life decision of what creative cards I would utilize this year, I looked back at our turkeys of thanks from the previous year, and I took special notice to one item I had written down . . .  “My jobs”.

Little did I know, at that time I was about to lose my primary employment in just three short months. On that Thanksgiving day I did not know this unexpected event was coming around the corner in the New Year. I did not know how devastated, humiliated, and scared I was about to become with the news of this great loss.  I just knew that I was thankful for the ability to work at a job that provided financial stability and allowed me to do something I loved.

Ladies, let me tell you this, it’s really easy to say you are thankful for something before you know how it is going to tear you apart.  And tear me apart it did . . . at least for a moment.  But in that same moment of desperation and scorn, I did the one thing that I knew how to do, and that was cry out to Jesus.

I called upon His name and I cried out “Jesus, I need you now! I need you this very instant! I need you to show up and tell me that it’s going to be alright and that you are still in control.”

I felt in my spirit the Lord direct me to read the verse of the day on my phone’s bible app.  The verse was Jeremiah 33:2-3, and it reads:

“This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”

I read those words and a supernatural spirit of peace came over me.  I sat as the Lord revealed to me that although I did not know what was around the corner, He did.  He shared that there were remarkable secrets, secrets I wasn’t aware of, about things that were coming .  . .  and He was right!

Through this trying loss I learned that sometimes when we lose things in life its because He has something better He wants to bless us with, something even more remarkable.  Just like in my last blog post “One Thing Remains”, I lost those three precious charms, but through that loss the Lord gave me a message to share that will hopefully live on and impact more lives then those charms ever could.

I can say today that losing my job was definitely one of those times when He had something better for me. Through that loss, that difficult circumstance, the Lord has brought me to a place that He promised to me many years ago. A place of prosperity and blessing. A place where I can step into the fullness of what He has for me. For that I will be forever grateful.

This year when I go to write down on my silly little placement card what I am thankful for, you can be sure that it will say “losing my job”.

How about you? What is it that you can say you are thankful for this year? I would love to hear about it! Please share your items of thanks in the comments below, and may the Lord bless you this Thanksgiving by revealing some remarkable secrets He has for you!

 Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8