She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

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Frankly Phyllis

Thankful ....for WHAT, to WHOM?

I'm writing in West Seattle, looking over at snow capped, majestic Mt. Rainier! Five sunny days in a row where, they tell me, people don't die, they rust! I believe them about the rain. Spectacular vegetation! I think if you plant a pencil out here a pencil tree pops up! It's calming, this view of the mountain and the sea, both centerpieces of everyday life. I've just keynoted a women's event at Miracle Ranch in Port Orchard, WA with the theme, "Give Busy the Boot!" It was easy to get into on a pristine lake, under pine trees reaching the sky, with a dedicated staff serving meals, leading horseback riding and building campfires with songs and s'mores! (Visit my blog for a picture of me with the Seattle ranch retreat committee!)

Meanwhile, in the "real world," this same week the economic crisis turned the USA on its ear. Here we were, a group of women pulling away from the obsession, the headlines, the enormous angst, in an effort to be still. Our inter-generational group ranged from two nursing moms to 92-year old Olive Spannaus who taught line-dancing! The perspective was fresh and enlightening and the encouragement contagious! It was real life stuff. I met an oncology nurse who works part-time, is a wife and mom full time. She never knows what her day will bring. That week she pulled alongside a young mother with infant twins, facing leukemia. Her husband left her. She needs treatment now while she's strong enough, but can't get insured for a few more months. This nurse finds help where she can, in addition to the medical skill she shares. The stock market, the dollar, the mortgage crisis, health issues, most of my Woman to Woman show topics...highlight that not only do some things not make sense, sometimes there's little we can do to change them. But we can do that!

I'm finally to the point in life where I realize I cannot be in control most of the time! I've learned to let go of that. But I still hate the pain -- of illness, of economic woes, of only being able to help others beyond a certain point. Maybe that's ok. It keeps me focused on The One Who IS in control, Who literally says, "Bring it on!" That would be Christ. Ok, He didn't exactly say Bring it on! But how close are His words, "Come to me, you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest!" Does that walk me around a dilemma? No, but it gets me through, because Jesus is with me always. That doesn't mean He just stands there with me, invisibly, shaking His head, throwing up His hands with, "Ain't it awful!" He's working it out -- for my good, for His glory. I can go back to mountain watching or mountain climbing and live in the moment. I can see the snow caps, feel its chill, hear its crunch...without ever going up that high. In the same way, when I call on God, He gives me a fresh view, a new option, another angle or approach in my situation. Mainly, He gives me faith to trust Him with thanks because He sees it from all sides, knows me inside and out and that'll do it for now. In fact, that'll do it forever!

How's your world rockin' today? How do you celebrate Thanksgiving when the $700 billion bail bites back at a bewildered banking system? Mt. Rainier, by the way, was not rocked by any of it. All rocks in place, it appears. I want to be more like that! So what's my rock in this when the headlines scream bad news and when my life seems to crumble? This verse from the Bible quotes God on that one. He is saying this to me and to you. Hold this up to your mountain shaker and see what happens! It's from the book of Isaiah 54:10, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you." Kind of puts it out there, doesn't it? Thankful for what and to Whom? Happy Thanksgiving!

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