Numbering Days and Counting Blessings

For Don Elliott, in Christ’s Love, as he is practicing being thankful in all things:

Today, I am thankful for the life that I was granted in Massachusetts and Ankara. I am glad that I was born in that place which is known for being the location where those who loved Him gave us the name Christian. I am delighted to have been born to a faithful soldier, that I might be transported back across the sea to the land that I love in the arms of my mother.

Today, I am glad that I was brought to the southern United States, to Texarkana, to experience the ups and downs of close-knit living among extended family- both my mother’s relatives and those of my father- all in one stew. I am a person of greater depth for having lived clannishly among those colorful members whose blood stirs in my own veins.

Today, I am thankful that we moved to Memphis when I was six, and strangely grateful for the move to Arkansas that I thought had surely ended my life, when I was three days shy of my sixteenth birthday. I am happy to have experienced the fragmented formal education that was my own as I bounced between county, city, protestant, and catholic schools during those years in Shelby County, Tennessee.

Today, I am glad to have been delivered into the hands of those in a tiny rural county school in Poyen, Arkansas for the final two years of my learning as a child, and to have been the President of our largest campus club- The Future Homemaker’s of America!

Today, I am thankful for the perilous years closely preceding and nearly following the final breakdown of our home, and for the emotionally chaotic years that ensued. I am grateful for each event that transpired during those turbulent and often sad times, as even those most regrettable are part of who I am now- a fierce God-lover.

Today, I am grateful to be married to one who loves me, and who is learning to be the person that God has created him to be, as I love him and am learning to be the person God has created me to be; and I’m happy- again oddly as the many moves involved many hardships- to have followed him around the country for more than twenty years- from Foley, Alabama to Little Rock, to Houston, to Liberty, Missouri. I learned, studied, and grew under each pastor to whom we were given during the course of the journey, and I was privileged to be able to home school our children- allowing me to place great focus and quantity of time on the study of The Word of God, and on many of the great minds of our faith.

Today, it appears that I have come nearly full-circle, as I am currently living in Memphis. I am delighted to be the mother of seven wonderful children, and to continue in home education of the younger ones. I am loving and learning here, as I have in each place I have traversed. I am glad to have pieces of my heart strown from here to yonder, planted- I hope- in the hearts of friends collected at every bend and turn in the road. I am enjoying my God, and I am confident that He is continuing to mold and to make me into the one that He intends for His heavenly purpose.

And I am most thankful because it is becoming increasingly obvious to me that He has used every incident in my life for this present moment, and for those to come in which I will see more of His likeness and less my own; and so I understand as Joseph did, that whether a fellow traveler meant it for evil or for good, or though my own hand was the evil, was of no matter to my Savior, for He has meant it all for good.

©2010, L.L. Shelton

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