I can look back over many decades, remembering how worried I sometimes was, how bewildered at things God had permitted to happen, but now I see them all as a golden chain of mercies, gifts from a merciful Father who, like the father Jesus described, would never give his son a snake if he asked for a fish. . . . How thankful I am for God’s withholdings, for His unfailing faithfulness.
Elisabeth Elliot in her newsletter
869. God's withholdings (The biggest one ever is the withholding of life in Russia. I'm not sure I can be thankful for this one now, but it is one of God's gifts to me, and I accept it. And Amy Carmichael pointed out that the Bible says we are to be thankful in all things, not necessarily for all things.)
870. That my life is a golden chain of mercies and gifts, even though I can't see them yet
871. Johnson’s lavender baby shampoo and sweet-smelling children washed in it
872. "Joy is the keynote of the Christian life. It is not something that happens. It is a gift. . . . God gives to us a heavenly gift called joy, radically different in quality from any natural joy."
873. Finishing crying out "why? why? why?" without answers, and finding that the next chapter in the book I'm reading is called "Why Suffering?"
874. Still no answers, but such comfort
875. The pain, the agonizing, heart-rending pain: it is better to love and to hurt like this, than not to love and to be able to move on unhurt
876. Six years in Russia, one of God's biggest gifts to me!
877. This list that keeps my mind going, looking for and noticing the gifts in life
878. I am not alone.
879. Friends are crying with me.
880. Strawberries "fresh" from the garden--via the freezer--in January
881. "Our joy will be in collecting the happiness of living the everyday well, in gathering the memories of common (and yet painfully rare) loving. For therein is the God of the universe."
882. Asya all excited, cooing, kicking, squirming, flapping and trying to run away
883. A sparkling clean kitchen (without having done any work myself!)
884. Amy Carmichael called her children "our little lovables." How perfect!
885. A spring-like day (minus the mud) in January!
886. Jaan and Raia, holding hands to pray
887. Happy baby again, after a week of fussing!
888. Raia bringing me little "ladybugs" (that were really specks of dust) with as much care and joy as if they were real live creatures from the garden
889. A little flock of European goldfinches on the thistle right under our window