Thankful for the Fleas

man praying

Thankful for the fleas? Seriously? Betsie and Corrie Ten Boom were.

Near the end of World War II when Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie first entered their barracks at the notorious women’s death camp, Ravensbruck, where over ninety-six thousand women died, besides the stench of backed up plumbing and rancid bedding, they discovered their new residence was swarming with fleas. As Betsie prayed, she told Corrie they were to be thankful in all circumstances. Even for the fleas.

Corrie agreed to be thankful the two of them were still together. She agreed to be thankful they were able to smuggle in their Bible. But when Betsie told Corrie to be thankful for the fleas, she balked. Surely God did not expect Corrie to be thankful for the fleas that bit her.

It wasn’t until Betsie was assigned to a knitting job in their barracks with some of the other prisoners, that Corrie understood to be thankful for the fleas. You see, because of the fleas, the guards refused to enter the barracks. Without the guards coming in, Betsie was able to read aloud from their forbidden Bible to the other ladies in the group. Not only did the fleas allow Betsie to read the Bible to those around her, it also protected the women in the barracks from being assaulted by the male guards.

Not only during this time of Thanksgiving, but everyday, may we be like Betsie and Corrie. May we decide to be thankful for the fleas, however they manifest themselves in our lives.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lordis the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Psalm 95

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You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Photo by Terren Hurst on Unsplash

Be Thankful

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

Henry Alford, D.D. 1844

This song was my favorite Thanksgiving song growing up, and it still is. I love the melody. I love the words. I love the call to acknowledge our Lord as the giver of every good and perfect gift. I love the call to come before God with thanksgiving, realizing he owns it all. Every blade, every fruit.

Life today no longer looks as it looked twelve months ago. Many of us here in the States will celebrate Thanksgiving differently than we did in the past. For some of us there will be empty chairs at the table where loved ones once sat. The size of our gatherings may be reduced per Corona Virus guidelines and restrictions. Limits might be placed on what we can afford to purchase for our meal.

Yet amidst the many many changes 2020 brought, some things remain unchanged. God is in control. He loves us unconditionally. His love will last forever. Nothing can separate us from him. Though the mountains should crumble and fall into the sea, God is on his throne.

In good times and bad may his holy name be forever praised.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100 (NLT)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Thankful Heart

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

What are you thankful for on this day set aside in the United States as a day of Thanksgiving?

The old song told us to count our many blessings, naming them one by one. How long has it been since we actually took the time to do just that? 2016 is rapidly drawing to a close, so now might be a perfect time to take up pen and page, or computer, and start a list.

Look back over the previous months. What do you have to be thankful for? Start a list. Write it down. As you write from a thankful heart, thank God for what he has done, is doing, and will do.

Thank God for the things he gave you, and the things he withheld.

One of the things I am thankful for is you. Those of you who take the time to read what God gives me to write. I’m thankful for your comments that add to our conversation. I’m thankful for your support in my writing journey and your encouragement.

Don’t just focus on what some might call major “Yay, God” moments alone, such as healing from serious illness. But focus on what some might call the common everyday things as well. Thank God for the pastel palette of colors in each sunrise and sunset. The laughter of a child. The presence of a friend. Gas in the car. Heat in the house. Food on the table.

Be thankful for the things we sometime dismiss and overlook. They are all gifts from a God who loves us with an everlasting love.

We appreciate others expressing thankful hearts to us, right? Don’t you think God does too?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100 (NLT)

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Thankful

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Thanksgiving blessings to one and all.

May each of us take the time during this day set aside in America to give thanks to the Maker and Creator of every good and perfect gift.

Whether we are gathered together in a large group or we are spending the day alone, I pray each of us reflects on what God has given us, brought us through, blessed us with, and thank him for his mercies which are new every morning.

May we also reflect on how we can be a blessing to others, how we can give back, how we can make the world a little brighter as we journey through it.

Thank you, dear readers, for faithfully joining me on this journey. I appreciate you and thank God for each and every one of you who takes the time to read what God gives me to write.

I pray Woven and Spun touches you in a special way, draws you closer to God, blesses and encourages you to keep fighting the good fight.

Peace.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Come, let us praise the Lord! Let us sing for joy to God, who protects us! Let us come before him with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise. For the Lord is a mighty God, a mighty king over all the gods. He rules over the whole earth, from the deepest caves to the highest hills. He rules over the sea, which he made; the land also, which he himself formed. Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! He is our God; we are the people he cares for, the flock for which he provides. Psalms 95:1-7 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire December 1, 2015. Please stop by.

Sunday Scriptures — Gratitude Not Unforgiveness

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

With the day often comes family and friends. For some that is a good thing. For others it isn’t.

While some folks celebrate the day with gratitude and thankfulness, some folks spend the time together in unforgiveness rehashing past transgressions, wounds and hurts.

When I taught elementary school one thing I liked to do as a pre-Thanksgiving craft was have each child spread out the fingers of their hand and trace around them.

If you use your imagination, this looks like a turkey. Construction paper feathers of multiple colors were glued to the four fingers. An eye was drawn on the thumb, or turkey’s face. On each feather was written a different thing the child was thankful for. These turkeys were presented to family members on Thanksgiving Day.

Might I suggest instead of coming to Thanksgiving with thoughts of unforgiveness in our hearts, we make hand turkeys and fill them with thoughts of gratitude to distribute to those we’ll spend Thursday with?

Is there a special way you show your gratitude to those in your life?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Thanksgiving, Not Just A Once A Year Thing

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Here in the United States, today is the day set aside as a day of Thanksgiving.  All through the Bible we read of times of praise and thanksgiving. Not just once a year. It was a continual occurrence. I believe the same should hold true for us. I believe we should have thankful hearts every single day of the year.

During the time of King David, the sacred Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines. When it was returned to the Tabernacle, David wrote a song of thanksgiving to the LORD.

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the LordGive thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:7-10 (NLT)

Many of David’s psalms expressed his gratitude to God for who God was, and what he had done.

 Oh, how grateful and thankful I am to the Lord because he is so good. I will sing praise to the name of the Lord who is above all lords. Psalm 7:17 (TLB)

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul eloquently expressed how grateful we should be for the victory we have over death because of Jesus’ victory over death.

 So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”

 “Where, Death, is your victory?
Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”

Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (GNT)

Finally, Paul again tells us to be thankful … all the time. Even when we are going through tough times.

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (CEV)

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Enter His Gates

Come into his (God’s) city with songs of thanksgiving and into his courtyards with songs of praise.Thank him and praise his name. The Lord is good. His love is forever,and his loyalty goes on and on. Psalm 100:4-5

Here in the States, we are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. It has always been a puzzlement to me, that one day is set aside to give thanks, when in my mind, we should give thanks every day. Am I the only one who feels that way? I hope not.

While I definitely do not want to eat, or prepare, the large amounts of food that are consumed on Thanksgiving every day, I believe we should celebrate the giver of those gifts every day. Just as God doesn’t withhold his blessings and save them up to dispense on just one day of the year, I don’t believe we should save up our thanksgiving, and dispense it on just one day of the year, either.

Come before him every day with thanksgiving and praise.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Thanksgiving 1621

What many of us in America have grown up believing about Thanksgiving, may not be altogether correct.

We know that in 1939 Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving for the next-to-the-last Thursday in November. Two years later, in 1941, Congress permanently established the holiday as the fourth Thursday in the month.

But as James W. Baker states in his book, Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday, “despite disagreements over the details” the 3-day event in Plymouth in the fall of 1621 was “the historical birth of the American Thanksgiving holiday.”

One place that tries to sort out the myth from reality, is a place I would someday like to visit. Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA.

According to 1621 A New Look At Thanksgiving written by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac with Plimoth Plantation, when the Wampanoag People brought food to a three day feast with the English settlers, who were living on Wampanoag land, in 1621, they probably brought with them food from the sea. Mussels. Clams. Fish. From the fields they probably brought deer and fowl, possibly turkey. From the ground they probably brought “sukahtash”; corn and beans, berries, nuts, squash, and pumpkins.

The English had gone “fowling”, and may have brought ducks, geese, and swans. They may have brought turkeys, as well.

While there were cranberries and pumpkins available, there was no cranberry sauce, and no pumpkin pies. There wasn’t any sugar for those two dishes, and sweets weren’t that common. Potatoes were not grown in New England at the time, so no mashed pots and gravy.

For Thanksgiving dinner at our home, we have a “traditional” meal of turkey with the fixings, pecan, and pumpkin pie. With whipped creme. Yum. No clams or venison for us. Although, my Aunt Jeanette made the best barbeque venison, took me years to agree to try it, I have to admit. Had trouble getting past visions of Disney’s Bambi.

Here is a recipe for a traditional Wampanoag dish – Nasaump. It consists of dried corn pounded in a mortar, and boiled in plain water to a thick porridge. Usually fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries were added. Another variation included clam broth (No, thank you.) with native herbs – green onions, wild garlic.

  • 1 qt water
  • 1 1/2 C coarse grits or hominy
  • Options:
  • 1 C clam broth and 1/2 C chopped green onions OR
  • 1 C fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
  • I would think you could substitute dried fruits if you didn’t have fresh.

 

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Gradually add the hominy, stirring until it comes back to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cook very gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and allow to stand one-half to one hour. Before serving, reheat over medium heat, stirring. (If you are adding clam broth and green onions, or fruit, you can do so at this point.) The dish can also be reheated in a covered, buttered baking dish in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water.

There you go. A real traditional Thanksgiving dish. Let’s see how many of you take this to the next church pot luck!

If you do make Nasaump, I’d love to hear about it. I’m thinking of giving it a go. Maybe.

From our house to yours, may you enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving. Count your blessings, big and small. May each day be a day of thanks, not just a once a year, on the fourth Thursday in November, thing.

Cheer on your favorite team, and be a good sport if they lose. As to which team is better, Pilot and I differ. Hopefully, I won’t be forced to be a good sport.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Fibromyalgia and the Holidays

As a fibromyalgia sufferer, the approaching holidays, and all the busy-ness that usually accompanies them, are a time for me to reassess and readjust what activities occupy my time.

Although I would love to involve myself with all the things I used to do, it is not going to happen. Not with the limitations fibro imposes. So, I have a choice. I can listen to my body, and slow down when I need to, or not listen, plow ahead at full speed, and suffer the consequences. I try to listen.

Notice I said, “try”.

Two big triggers for my fibro flares are stress and not enough deep, restorative, sleep.

Both seem to be a given for even “normal” people, where major holidays are concerned, but are magnified for fibromyalgia patients.

In years gone by, I decorated for every holiday. Right down to the shamrock candy dish with pale green mints. Not so, any more. Just getting decorations on the Christmas tree, some years, has been a major accomplishment.

Some things I am learning, in no particular order, which might be helpful for other fibromyalgia sufferers are:

  • pace myself
  • stop when I get tired – whether I have completed what I set out to do, or not
  • fatigue is real – it’s not all in my mind
  • prioritize – do what’s most important first
  • give myself permission not to go to every worthwhile function
  • every meal does not need to be an elaborate occasion
  • ask for help – something I do not like to do
  • exercise daily – something else I don’t particular care for
  • make spending time alone with God number one on my daily “to do” list – no compromise
  • soaking in a hot tub of bubble bath and Epsom salts is not a luxury
  • quit beating myself up for not having a perfectly clean house – those days are long gone, if they ever truly existed
  • I can no longer do what I used to do, and that’s okay
  • fibro fog does not mean I have Alzheimer disease
  • avoid situations, and people, I know will make my stress worse
  • understand what is essential, and what is not – despite what others may believe (I love the poster – Poor planning on YOUR part, does not constitute an emergency on MINE!)
  • don’t cave into others’ expectations, or even my own

Each person is different. What works for me, may not work for you, and vice-versa. If you have any other tips on how to lessen holiday stress, I’d love to hear your ideas.

One song I play as Christmas nears, is Emmy Lou Harris’s Christmas Time’s a Coming. I tried to find a video of Emmy Lou singing it, but couldn’t, so we’ll go with this video of Ricky Skaggs singing it, instead.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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