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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Little Things

While my posts have been sporadic as of late, my blessings have not!

I have tried to spend this CHRISTmas season truly focused on preparing my heart and home for the coming of the LORD. That was the plan anyway...

 "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." ~ Proverbs 16:9

Instead, I found the LORD leading me on a little journey of discovery. Who knew?? ;) Each LITTLE THING that He has revealed to me has been a blessed gift in, and of, itself...

With the last days of autumn, here are My Autumn Blessings:

#95...having a dear friend join my family for dinner and staying to bake cookies with me, just because ♥
#96...attending a beautiful CHRISTmas concert that touched my heart and made my soul sing in praise!
#97...hearing the LORD's Prayer spoken in another I do not know or comprehend, but God does.
#98...getting ready for my husband's company Christmas party and taking joy in "getting pretty" just for him:)
#99...sharing my childhood Christmas memories with my husband, the good ones and the not-so-good ones.
#100...spending an hour on the phone talking to my mom. I miss her so much, especially at Christmas time. We decided that if we can't get together next Christmas, we will set up the webcams when we make our gingerbread houses so we can "share" the time together and laugh at the sugar-induced fun!

It has been a beautiful, blessed season...even if it wasn't what I had planned. I didn't even finish my advent countdown...I was too caught up in each LITTLE THING...each little gift.

Thank you, LORD.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..."
~ James 1:17

Monday, December 5, 2011


God’s provision is so perfect, so timely, that I can’t help but be amazed at how I try to put Him into this little box, defined by my little brain! He’s so much bigger, greater, mightier than I can ever hope to imagine…

God Provides in such abundant ways, that I must count them or forever lose them:

My Autumn Blessings…
#78…for turning my house into a home.
#79…for my husband who loves me.
#80…for my children who bless me with their “antics”.
#81…for the opportunities He gives me to bless others.
#82…for the LIFT my spirit receives after time with a friend.
#83…for my sister who challenges me to be honest with her, even when it hurts. I’m also thankful she knows I still love her!
#84…for brides-to-be ♥
#85…for baby giggles ♥♥
#86…for genuine laughter that makes my sides hurt & my cheeks ache! Even better when shared with loved ones:)
#87…for my son who is becoming a young man.
#88…for books that encourage and inspire.
#89…for movie nights, curled up on the couch with my honey.
#90…for songs that express my heart~ and I can’t sing them without crying!
#91…for God’s healing, even when it’s slow-in-coming.
#92…for the silly little thrill I get when I make hot chocolate with my kids. (or mochas for grownups!) Yummmm
#93…for new recipes that turn out better than I hoped!
#94…for my phone that shortens the distance between faraway family.

Lord, you provide so, so much! You are my Jehovah-Jireh! Thank you for each and every blessing you shower down on me. My heart sings with joy ♥

Saturday, December 3, 2011



Over 100 “gifts” in the Bible, almost half of those in the Old Testament…but I want to look at the rest, the New Testament gifts…

For the Newborn King…
they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. ~Matthew 2:11

From our Father in heaven…
If you…give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! ~Matthew 7:11

As an Offering…
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. ~Luke 21:1-2

Of Living Water…
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." ~John 4:10

Of the Holy Spirit…
And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ~Acts 2:38

Encouraged by faith…
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. ~Romans 1:11-12

Grace by faith…
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…by his blood, to be received by faith. ~Romans 3:24-25

Of Eternal Life…
…the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 6:23

Of Spiritual Gifts…
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. ~1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11

Good and perfect…
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ~James 1:17

Of service…
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. ~1 Peter 4:10-11

So many gifts…

My Autumn Blessing #77…
…God’s gift to the world, Christ Jesus. ♥

Father God, the greatest gift of all was Your Christmas Gift to the world, Jesus! It is because of Him that all these other gifts are possible. Thank you, Lord…thank you.

He IS the Newborn King.
He IS from our Father in heaven.
He IS the Offering.
He IS the Living Water.
He IS the Holy Spirit.

It is our faith in Him that encourages others.
Through His Blood, we receive His grace by faith.
Jesus IS our gift of Eternal Life.
Our spiritual gifts are to glorify Him.

Jesus, You ARE the Good and Perfect Gift, the beginning of all other gifts. Without You at the heart of it, all other gifts pale in comparison. As each of us has received a gift, help me to use the gifts you’ve given me to serve others, to be a good stewards of God’s grace. When I speak, let it be as one who speaks oracles of God; when I serve, let it be as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through You, Christ Jesus. All glory and honor are Yours now and forever!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room


♫Joy to the world! the LORD is come;

♫Let earth receive her King;

♫Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,

♫And heav’n and nature sing,

♫And heav’n and nature sing,

♫And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing!

Today, we began our advent celebration by preparing our hearts for the coming of our King. I can’t think of a better way to honor our LORD than to truly give Him what He wants for His birthday~ all of me!

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:1-2

My Autumn Blessing #75…
…preparing our hearts and home for the coming of our King…CHRISTmas has never looked as lovely as it does in the Light of Jesus.

LORD Jesus, Thank you for Your gift of salvation! Following You has been a continuous growing process and I am so thankful that You continue to mold me, change me, love me. Help each us to prepare room in our hearts for You this CHRISTmas season, to last the whole year through. Help us to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Help us to discern what is Your will, what is good, acceptable and perfect. Thank you, King Jesus!

My Autumn Blessing #76…
…hearing my family sing CHRISTmas carols together…off-key…and loving every minute of it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Treasure Hunting

“You’ll find what you want to find, if you look hard enough.”
Sneaking away this morning to have coffee with ‘my girls’ was the perfect start to my day. Sharing Thanksgiving stories, victories and struggles, family dynamics…all come tumbling out onto the table, like a giant collective EXHALE. *sigh*
While discussing the difficulties of being critiqued (and sometimes judged) by well-meaning family members, one friend stated that “You’ll find what you want to find, if you look hard enough.”  Hmmm…really??
At first I didn’t agree…Do I do that? Do I just wait (like a predator) for that one relative  who always gets under my skin (my chosen prey) to just rub me the wrong way so I can say “See what I mean?! He’s impossible!!” (ATTACK!!!) or does that friction just exist and sparks are sure to fly, no matter what?
But, my God is so good…He got me thinking about this in a positive way, a godly way…What if I choose to find the GOOD in people? What if I look for the person God sees? What if I hunt for the treasures this one person…this beautiful, created-by-God individual…holds, until I find it?
A pretty big “what if?”
What if I looked for the blessings in every circumstance? …in every person? …in all Creation?

My Autumn Blessing #74...
...godly friends who challenge me to think.

Father God, Thank you so much for these beautiful women you have placed in my life that challenge my thinking. I know Your Hand is at work here! The big “what if” can be answered by the Great I AM. To see others as You see them, to love them, to treasure them…for Your Glory, LORD. Thank you also for the challenging people you place in my life that keep me focused on Your Beauty in all Creation, seeking You through it all. You are my Treasure, LORD! ♥
Treasure Hunting for the Kingdom of God…
what if we all looked at life this way…

Friday, November 25, 2011

Preparing for His Coming

Christmas carols before Thanksgiving? I am usually one to wait…until December!
Not this year.

Honestly, this grateful heart could not wait to celebrate the coming of Our King! I’m not talking about Jingle Bells and those silly Santa ditties (whoa…I just said ditty…who am I???) you hear in every retail establishment this year with their subliminal message *shop, buy, spend* being chanted through every aisle. No, I’m talking about True Christmas.
♫♪O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.♪♫

Free from Ann VosKamp
Our family will spend the next month preparing for the coming of Our King. We will (re)turn our focus towards Christ Jesus by creating a Jesse Tree during this advent season with our children. We will make simple, thoughtful gifts for our loved ones. We will fellowship with each other without distractions (so long, Facebook!Winking smile). We will take God’s gift of love to the streets & spread CHRISTmas cheer wherever we go!

My Autumn Blessing #73…
…streaming unlimited CHRISTmas music anytime I want!

Mighty God, You are Lord of Lords, King of Kings,  Emmanuel, the Great I Am, and the Prince of Peace. And I will worship you, love you, adore you any time of year, any season, any place, any time!

♫♪O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.♪♫

I invite YOU to come, let us adore Him…together! Rejoice with me! ♥

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am full…

I am full.
“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Full of thanks.
Full of joy.
Full of prayer and praise.

LORD, from the bottom of my heart, thank you… This blessed season of Thanksgiving should last the whole year through! I am truly humbled by Your love for Your children, Your love for…Me. Thank you, LORD. In my thankfulness, I say YES! to your grace! My joy is complete in You and only You…now and forevermore…

My Autumn Blessing #72…
…experiencing the FULLness of Thanksgiving with my family and my friends! I could not have asked for a better day ♥ and yet You knew, LORD!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Great is Our God!

How Great is Our God….Well, let me tell you!

In trying to stick to a budget, we bought our November groceries a few weeks back and, even though we had figured Thanksgiving into our budget, when it came time to shop, we had enough money for everything but the turkey.

“We can't have Thanksgiving
without a turkey!”

I told my family to just wait patiently and see if the Lord would provide one, but that we should chose to be thankful regardless.

With the big day getting close, we were all kind of sad that we had no one to celebrate with turkey. A chicken would have to do and since it was just the 4 of us, it would be plenty. *sigh*

On Sunday, after church, one of the other wives was asking what each of us was making for Thanksgiving dinner. I told her ours would be simple, that we had everything but the turkey -literally- but that God's provision is perfect and complete.

Would you believe she gave us her turkey?

They were thawing a bird they didn't have room for in their fridge, but they didn't need it since they were eating at their inlaws’.

God's provision IS perfect and complete! And now we also have company coming for dinner :)

My Autumn Blessing #71…

…God’s perfect provision in the form of a turkey. ☺

LORD, how can we ever doubt you?? Thank you for your Perfect and Complete Provision! My heart is swollen with thankfulness and love for You, Father God. Your loving blessings are poured out on us, even when we don’t deserve it. Your Grace covers us, Your Mercy astounds us. Thank you…thank you…

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh, the beauty of Your Majesty

The battle between snow and rain was waged today. Though the rain won in the end, I crave the snow…I long for the calm overtaking as it blankets the world around me. Oh, the peacefulness, the silence, of a moonlit night on a snow-covered land!

My Autumn Blessing #70…
…the hopefulness of snow…even when it doesn’t come today, it WILL come someday!

Lord, I long for YOU this way too… to take over the land, filled it with Your Perfect Peace. Thank you for these beautiful reminders of Your Never-ending Presence! Oh, beautiful blessed day!

♪♫When the storm is raging all around me
…You are the peace that calms
my troubled sea
And when the cares of this world
Darken my day
…You are the light that shines
And shows me the way

Oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me!

The battle begins....between snow and rain ♥

♫Beautiful Lord
Awesome and mighty
I'm captured by this love I see
♪Beautiful Lord
Tender and holy
Your mercy brings me to my knees
It's Your mercy that has made me free
♫Beautiful Lord
When my sin is all that I can see
Your grace remains the shelter that I seek
And when my weakness is all I can give
Your gentle Spirit gives me strength again
And oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me
And I am lifted by Your love to sing!

It's Your mercy that has made me free!
You're beautiful, my Lord
You're beautiful, my Lord♫♪

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And still I will count…

I have been sick and tired this week…of being sick and tired. And still I will count my blessings…

♪♫How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing♫♪

To know I am loved by the King is more than enough, isn’t it? ♥

My Autumn Blessing #66…

…finishing my keepsake wreath using the paper flowers from my vow renewal celebration. Love it!



…the gentle pitter-patter of rain lulling me to sleep at night, no matter how long it takes…


…having children that are responsible enough to fend for themselves while I rest.


…having those same children take care of me too.

Heavenly Father, Your Provision is perfect in every way. I don’t have to understand it to know that I am loved by You, my King.
Thank you for each season, each lesson learned, each day I have to sing your praises!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sisters of my heart

When I was 2 years old, God gave me a little sister. When I got married at 24, God gave me a big sister. They are both my “very bestest friends” and I love them dearly!
I’ve noticed lately that God’s not done yet.
Who am I that He would bless me with the sisters of my heart? Those special friends who just bless your socks off~ every one should have at least one in their life!
“…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”~ Proverbs 18:24

My Autumn Blessing #64... sisters who make lovely friends♥

and #65... friends who make lovely sisters♥

Father of Lights, You truly are the giver of every good and perfect gift! That You would send me gifts from above to be sisters of my heart, to walk in this world, to journey alongside me, to encourage and exhort me, to edify me…Thank you. I do not deserve these special friends, and yet here they are. Guide me, LORD, help me to be a godly friend to them, to love them, to be a good listener, to be their sister in Your Holy Name.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Straight-faced Circle Time

I really do try to be serious when necessary, but I will admit, there are times when I just HAVE to laugh…or it’ll burst out of me!

The ladies of my small church were invited to gather tonight for a time of crafting and getting to know one another. I had (foolishly?) assumed that we would just kind of “land” wherever when the time came to get settled, probably depending on who we were talking to when that moment came. I was wrong. Instead, we joined together for prayer (yay!), vision, and Straight-faced Circle Time.

I mean no disrespect…I loved the purpose and intentions motivating this activity. To build relationships, to foster community, to possibly get to know someone new. But while we were in Straight-faced Circle Time (sorry, I had to say it again!), we were each asked to write down on a slip of paper an “I wish…” statement in regards to our church. General or personal, it didn’t matter because these slips of paper were to be anonymously read to the group in hopes of prayer and possible action.


What if I wrote “I wish I could tell who my REAL friends are-not just on Sunday, but the rest of the week too." Or some other embarrassing statement??? I’m a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. My face reads like an open book. Sitting in a circle with a dozen women who I’ll see every week…what if my face gives away which one was mine??

So, I crack jokes. I can’t keep it inside. I need an excuse to laugh…or the little girl in me might just cry with anxiety.

Ha ha…now I’m the only one laughing…even more embarrassing! So, I laugh at myself…solo. Now I just sound like I’ve had too much caffeine!

Straight-face Circle time was productive and everything turned out just wonderful. I don’t think anyone figured out which one was mine (or so I’ll be telling myself!) so I guess my anonymity remains intact. I’m just thankful I can laugh at my self…or by myself!

My Autumn Blessing #63…

…I can laugh at my own jokes, even when nobody else does. And then I can laugh at myself!

Thank You, Father God, for giving me a sense of humor. Please, please, please help me to control my mouth when my laughter (regardless of how nervous I am) is inappropriate.

Thank you for a beautiful, unique time of fellowship. Thank you for the smiles and the tears, the laughter and the joy. Bless each of those that came and those that couldn’t, as well.

Lastly, LORD, thank you that laughter is good medicine. And a smile, hug or laugh shared with a friend is twice as good!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shades of Gray

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the drastic variations of the colors all around me. Everywhere I look, from the vibrant colors of the leaves to the heavy rainclouds in shades of gray, all Creation is God’s canvas. I ♥ His work!

I was blessed with a good, productive morning followed by a peaceful afternoon with my children. This evening I was able to visit for a bit with two dear friends and one had pointed out how beautiful the gray skies were today. I don’t normal find gray often leads to (feeling) blue! But today, when I looked up, the sky was AMAZING.
There were so many different levels of clouds, all in their own shades of gray. And there, in the midst of all that gray, bursting through, was the beautiful sun.

Sometimes life’s like that. This fallen world we live in, full of sin, pain, illness, hurts…so many shades of gray. And right in the middle of it all, bursting through, shines the Beautiful Son.

My Autumn Blessing #61…

…the vibrant colors all around me. The changing leaves on the trees remind me of how different each of us are, how beautiful, how unique. Oh! I am so thankful!


…gray clouds. To remind me of just how bright the sun is, persistent to do what God created it to do. To shine!

LORD of all Creation, Thank you so much for the love letters you sent to us through your Creation, if only we would open our eyes to see! I am amazed at how different each of us can be- How You created each of us to be-  yet essentially we are much the same…and You know each of us by name. Thank You, LORD.

Thank you for blessing me with gray skies so that I can see your Son shine through. Thank you for the time with friends…Bless them, LORD, as they have blessed me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Brand New Day

Yesterday was a bit difficult…okay, it was a LOT difficult! Today was proof that God’s mercies ARE new every morning…

At 1 am, I made the decision to turn off my alarm clock. I didn’t have to be anywhere in the morning and there wasn’t much sense in waking up early, if I hadn’t slept! I finally fell asleep and slept through the night.

My Autumn Blessing #59…

…restful sleep! Woohoo!!!

It gets better…

I received good news today…Many prayers have been said for my brother, the prodigal son, and today they were answered, Praise the LORD!


…answered prayers!

Thank you, LORD! I am so blessed to know that You are in control and nothing happens without Your knowing. Thank you for the rest I find only in You, only…in You. It is perfect. Peaceful. Plenty. A lovely gift.

Thank you for restored peace, for restoration and for forgiveness. Thank you that we can offer it…and receive it…and both get blessed. Let the healing continue and, if it be Your Will and Timing, let each of them come to know where it all comes from from…soften their hearts to receive Your Gift.

In Jesus’ Name,

*LORD, all this in one day???
I can’t wait to see what you
have in store for tomorrow!*

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #58

Don’t you just LOVE it when your well-loved bible opens up the very words you needed to hear? Me too… ♥

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

~Lamentations 3:22-24

Yes! Amen!

Counting my blessings

Something different…

There comes a time, when life is looking a little darker than usual, and a girl must tell it like it is.

This is that time for me…

Counting my blessings started last summer as a little challenge the Lord had placed on my heart to look at all He has blessed me with, rather than the ugliness surrounding me. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by the YUCKY STUFF. It has been therapeutic to see “the little things” that God daily blesses me with!

Last week, I spent a morning having 9 vials of blood drawn. It just so happened to be Halloween, a day I don’t celebrate, and would you believe that the gal who took my blood was….a vampire? Yes…

More tests on Friday…thankfully done by a normal human being. ☺

Today, I am overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness and physical pain. The myriad of symptoms my team of doctors have been trying to diagnose and treat have left me exhausted….I also underwent a nerve conduction test this morning (OUCH!) and was informed that surgery was necessary to avoid imminent and permanent nerve damage.

Lord, WHY can’t I just be normal??? WHY haven’t you healed me yet??? WHEN can I rest??? I’m so tired…WHEN will You heal me???…I’m tired of hurting…


In the midst of my rollercoaster ride that is my life, I have still been able to count my blessings.

#53…I am thankful for the husband God blessed me with.

#54…I am blessed by my tenderhearted children who see the pain in my eyes and know to hug gently, but sincerely.

#55…I am thankful for friends who ask “How are you?” and want an honest answer.

#56…I am thankful for my partners in prayer, those I pray with, and for, and those who lift me up in prayer too.

#57…I am thankful that when I go to see a new doctor and have to fill out the stack of new patient paperwork, that I can gracefully, thankfully, joyfully write homemaker as my occupation.

Father God, You bless me so completely. You know exactly what I need because You SEE me…Help me to see others with the love that You see them with. Thank you for my family and friends, who surround me with Your love and grace…Help me to extend Your grace to others, even when I don’t understand why I should. Thank you for calling me to be a mother, a wife, and to be home where You want me to do what You would have me do…Equip me for each day as You see fit. AMEN.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #52

Warm Autumn Blessings...

...a warm fire in the fireplace - the first of the season!

My Autumn Blessing #51

Harvesting Autumn Blessings...

...harvesting the last of our garden!

Thank you, Father God, for the abundance You provide. It is always "just enough" to meet our needs.

My Autumn Blessing #50

Good Blessings...

...receiving good news from my doctor! ☺

Regardless of what obstacles life may bring, God is good. No matter how I feel, God is always there for me. I will keep my eyes focused on Him, come what may.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #49

Autumn Blessings of LOVE...

...fall baking made even better when shared with a friend ♥

LORD, who are we if we don't share all that you have blessed us with? Keep me humble, LORD, ready to do Your Will, to be Your Servant. LORD, I love to spread Your LOVE!

Mmmm.... ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Autumn Blessings #48

Glorious Autumn Blessings...

I am thankful for this autumn weather that invites me to enjoy the sunshine on my skin, quickly followed by a breeze that chills to the bone! I ♥ Fall:)

Thank you, LORD, for allowing me to feel the difference- the warmth of the sun, the chill of the breeze. One without the other isn't nearly as pleasant.

My Autumn Blessing #47

Cold Autumn Blessings...

...the divine combination of sunshine on my skin mixed with a bone-chilling breeze...

Thank you, LORD, for allowing me to feel the difference- the warmth of the sun, the chill of the breeze. One without the other isn't nearly as pleasant.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #46

My Autumn Blessing #46...

 ...having the freedom to slow things down and listen for those words of love God wants to speak to my heart...but I'm sometimes too busy to hear.

Thank you, LORD, for Your sweet whispers.

My Autumn Blessing #45

My Autumn Blessing #45...

...watching my son take the stage for an operatic performance of Pinocchio. Even as an impromtu extra, that kid is a natural!

LORD, thank you for allowing me to delight in my child the way You delight in Yours!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My October Blessings

A Month FULL of Blessings...

The month of October has been an absolute blur for me! So much going on in such a short span, but so many blessings to be counted!

#27...driving 5 hours to my inlaws and leaving the kids so I can get a date with my favorite man ♥
#28...wearing skirt on a rainy, windy day just so I can look (and feel) pretty for my husband...
#29...sipping hot coffee while people-watching downtown...

#30...finishing the last of our adoption classes! One step closer to expanding our family☺

#31...a field trip to the deepest lake in the United States. Nothing compares to the sapphire blue of Crater Lake!

#32...having a surprise me with an overwhelmingly kind & generous gift...and still having no idea who to say thank you!
.... So, thank you, Jesus!

#33...taking 10 minutes to lay in my hammock and enjoy the colorful canopy of the autumn leaves.
#34...a beautiful sunset shared with loved ones♥

#35...answered prayers!
#36...having family arrive, gradually over 3 days, as they gather to help us prepare for a big celebration! out "many hands make light the work" and loving every minute of it!
#38...borrowing a daughter to help me, my son and my niece bake 50 cupcakes and a huge cake...
#39...having my sister, the cake expert, make my vision a reality!

#40...renewing our wedding vows before God, family and friends!♥

#41...totally overwhelmed by God's gifts of love, raining down on us, surrounded by friends and family, the amazing celebration our anniversary, so many hugs, smiles, tears, heart is just bursting with joy!

#42...looking forward to when I will see my long-distance family again...instead of looking back. I will miss them, but I hold them close to my heart.

#43...preparing for some family time away from the daily hustle and bustle...

#44...spending time in the woods, loving God's closeness in creation, while my boys learn wilderness survival skills!

Thank you, LORD, for the great gifts that You give. Thank you for the blessing of friends who become family, and family who becomes friends. Thank you for the love that You pour out on your children who love you! May we always choose to follow You, all the days of our lives.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #26

Autumn Blessings...

...having a friend pass me a "love note" in church today blessed me to the tip of my toes!

 Thank you, LORD, for your angels here on earth, to remind us of the love you have for us! Bless these sweet messengers for being Your Hands & Feet ♥

My Autumn Blessings #23, 24 & 25

Autumn Blessings...

...spending most of my day sorting, cropping & putting together photos in my wedding album. After 13 years of marriage, this is truly a gift to finally have! ♥

...having a helpful friend to inspire and encourage me to complete the project was a great excuse for productive fellowship and made to time go so much faster!

...having a church family that takes good care of us. Leading us, guiding us and always lovingly pointing us back to the Cross.

Thank you, LORD, that your plan for me included others to bless and be blessed by. Thank you for each perfect gift you give- each helping hand, each smile, each hug, each "knowing" look from those that reflect Your Light and your love in this world.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #22


...a beautiful day for meeting friends in the park. I love the cool feel of the fall air on my skin, slowly warming up from the sun breaking through the clouds.

LORD, only you would have the perfect combination of cool air and warm sun to create such a beautiful autumn day. Thank you for the friends we got to visit with, bless them, and thank you for the easy-going day with my family.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #21

My Autumn Blessing #21... date night with home. My favorite!

Thank you, LORD, that even when we can't get away, we can still find time for each other at home:)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #20

Autumn Blessings abound....

Yesterday, while sitting at my younger son's football game (in the rain!), my older son commented on how several of his brother's teammates were there without their families. "It's kind of sad because their parents are never here. They just drop off and pick up their kids."

Yes, Son...


I don't know...various reasons, I suppose.

"I'm glad our family is different."

Me too!

LORD, I am so thankful for moments like these, where my children understand that choosing to follow You, to honor and glorify You with our actions, DOES look different! Thank you, LORD, for the opportunity we have to be together as a family, supporting each other, cheering each other on. Thank you for little heart-to-heart conversations like this. May You be magnified in all we say and do!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #19

From today's lesson
 More Autumn Blessings...
...a productive day of homeschooling my children is not about the number of pages we read, the projects we completed, or the amount of time we spent studying. It often has more to do with the depth of a lesson, a life skill taught, or observing the wonder of God's creation in us and around us.

O LORD, I do not deserve these precious children, yet you called me to be their mother. Thank you for the lessons that I have learned from them and through them. May each of these moments not be spent in vain, but to Your Glory!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #16, 17 & 18

My Autumn Blessing #16, 17 & 18...

...waking up to the pitter-patter of rain.  *sigh* son playing football in the rain, coming in the house soaking wet with a huge grin on his face.

...building new friendships, for me and my children, one smile at a time.

Thank you, LORD, for the changing of the seasons, the watering of the earth, the cooling of days. Thank you for the simple joy found in raindrops from heaven. Bless my family today and guide us through our week. May you be our focus each and every day that you give to us.

A Bushel of Autumn Blessings

My Autumn Blessings #11-15...
#11...a "solo" mini roadtrip means I can listen to my choice of music, uninterrupted, and sing praises to my King at the top of my lungs. Total abandonment!

#12...visiting with friends I haven't seen in a while, meeting their new baby, and staying up til 3am chatting is worth the sacrificed sleep.

#13...taking 2 teenage girls to a concert with my sister...priceless! I'm a firm believer that music can close the gap between the generations.

#14...full awareness of God's protection as I slept at a rest stop when I was too tired to continue driving.

#15...home sweet home!

Thank you, LORD, for the perfect gifts you give. I am blessed beyond measure that you would choose me, love me, provide for me, protect me, with gifts I couldn't even dream of asking!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #10

My Autumn Blessing #10...

...seeing my child who hated to draw or write anything is now a young man who takes a pen and paper everywhere we go.

Thank you, LORD, for making me like the farmer, waiting for the precious fruit, being patient about it (James 5:7) and looking forward to Your perfect timing and provision. Please help me to be patient in all things.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #9

 My Autumn Blessing #9:

...15 minutes invested this afternoon in my strong-willed child turned a rough morning into a great day for all.

Thank you, LORD, for guiding me and for Your Grace that covers me.

My Autumn Blessings #7 & 8

My Autumn Blessings #7 & 8:

...finding time to run errands while having coffee with a friend makes my time doubly productive and extra enjoyable!

...being okay with not knowing everything because I trust and serve the One who does.

Thank you, LORD, for the bit of time spent with a friend today. May our thoughts and conversations always be glorifying to You. Thank you that I can trust You in all things. Everyday I get to chose to serve you, is a day of blessings!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #6

My Autumn Blessing #6

...realizing that I can do more good on my knees in prayer than on my feet in anguish or anxiety.

Thank you that I have nothing to be anxious about, that I can come to You in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving and may
known to You my requests! I look forward to Your peace, which surpasses all understanding. Please guard my heart and mind as I wait in joyful anticipation,
In Christ Jesus,

(from Philippians 4:6-7)

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Autumn Blessing #5

My Autumn Blessing #5:
...spending this morning with my husband discussing our plans for renewing our vows next month and choosing to glorify God with our time, money and we will continue to pray about what that looks like.

♥Thank you, Lord, for the gift of marriage. Struggles and triumphs, I wouldn't change a thing!♥

My Autumn Blessings #3 & 4

My Autumn Blessings #3 & 4

...Letting 3 sweet, young girls help me decorate a cake for my husband.

...Having friends that I love like family fill my home with laughter!

Thank you, Lord, for the little opportunities you give me to spend time with these daughters of my ♥, for the friends who are willing to share them, and the good memories that you give to us!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Autumn Blessings #1 & 2

My Autumn Blessings #1 & 2...

...enjoying the warm sun on my skin even with a chill in the air. empty house means a clean house....but I prefer to have it full.

Thank you, Lord, for the good gifts you give, for the beautiful anticipation of fall colors. I can't wait to see Your Masterpiece!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My 100 Summer Blessings

·                                  Nothing says "summer" like the sound of my boys whispering & laughing outside in their fort, without a care in the world. *contented sigh* God is good....
·                                 Another summer blessing~ Running into a friend I haven't seen in a long, long time and having her tell me I look beautiful and healthy:) Last time I saw her I was not. Thank you, Lord, for healing and kind words!
·                                 More summer blessings: After spending the day being "taught" that it's all about politics & $$$, I am thankful to know the Truth!
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!"
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
·                                 I think I'm going for "100 Summer Blessings". That would make this... Summer Blessing #4: All 4 of us able to go to church today!
Summer Blessing #5: Having 35 people come to our HSG Family Picnic in the Park! (NOT including my family!) Such a blessing to gather w/friends and family, new & not-so-new

Summer Blessing #6: Having the opportunity to stop everything to spend the day resting and praying, even when words fail me.

“Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear; the upward glancing of an eye, when none but God is near.” ~Margaret Clarkson
  • Summer Blessing #7: God gave me 2 strong young men who can & will help their mom, even at the grocery store.
    Summer Blessing #8: Summer rain means I don't have to water my garden, God will!
·                                 Summer Blessing #9: God's provision for my family means my son can get braces for his teeth :)
Summer Blessing #10: Our sister, Angie, is coming to visit us! She'll be here tonight:)
Happy Thursday, People!
·                                 Summer Blessing #11: My kids did great on their tests! Praise the Lord!: Summer Blessing #12! My big sister's here!!!! :D
·                                 Summer Blessing #13: I am so blessed by the family that God has given me~ The family I was born into, the family that I married into, the children we have in our lives now and the ones yet to come! My is overwhelmed right now....
·                                 Summer Blessing #14: A wonderful walk on a beautiful day with my favorite people:)
#15: Enjoy the relaxed, stress-free, much-needed visit with my big sis. Talkin', laughin', prayin', shoppin'. Love it! Love her!
#16: Attending the equivalent of an Amish quilting bee! A work party to prep for an upcoming wedding was no work at all when gathered alongside other godly women!
·                                 Summer Blessing #17: Hearing Francis Chan speak at Church in the Park. What an encouraging word for all ages!
Summer Blessing #18: Seeing my big sister leave here today with more bounce in her step than when she arrived
·                                 Summer Blessing #19: Having me & my boys welcomed in "like family" to watch the parade this morning! (Thank you, Hope & family!)
Summer Blessing #20: They invited us to stay for lunch & swimming too:)
·                                 Summer Blessing #21: Sitting at an old fashioned soda fountain counter, sipping rootbeer floats with my boys :)
·                                 Summer Blessing #22: Garden fresh food to feed my family!
  • Summer Blessing #23: Running into 2 friends at the library today, neither of which do I see often enough!
    Summer Blessing #24: Having 2 big, strong boys to "carry the heavy stuff" and push the cart at Costco :)
  • Summer Blessing #25: Spending a few hours with friends today and coming home with my cheeks hurting from smiling so big and laughing so hard!

    "A friend loves at all times" -Proverbs 17:17
  • Summer Blessing #26: Meeting a friend's brand new baby! So precious

    * How wonderful you are, LORD! *
  • Summer Blessing #27: Realizing that it's usually more important to listen than to speak, but that there's also a time to speak and be heard. It's good to know the difference!
    Summer Blessing #28: Calling my mom at 9:45pm to wish her a happy birthday and knowing it's not too late to call:) *I love you, Mom!*
  • Summer Blessing #29: Family Work Day! Our home is looking pretty good, inside & out! :) We'll all sleep good tonight (and be bright-eyed & bushy tailed for church tomorrow!)
    Summer Blessing #30: My favorite summer flowers, shasta daisies given to me by a special friend, are bursting open! Love it! Love her!
  • Summer Blessing #31: An amazing message in church today spoke VOLUMES to my . Additionally, it seems that conviction coupled w/repentance can = the gift of an answered prayer I've been praying for 10 yrs+! Yay!
    Summer Blessing #32: Spending time tonight w/my creative son @the Children's Festival. I love that we share this *love* in common! :)
  • Summer Blessing #33: Watching an excellent family movie with my boys, in the comfort of our home:) Popcorn, anyone?
  • Summer Blessing #34: Going through one of the boxes my mom brought me (months ago!)

    *Raggedy Ann, I'm sorry I drew on your face. I didn't know better!
  • Summer Blessing #35: I am thankful for my mom teaching me how to sew I bet she didn't know I was paying attention! (Love you, Mom! xoxo)
  • Summer Blessing #36: Thank you, Lord, for giving me godly women that I can trust and call on for advice and prayer, and most of all, that I can call them both Friend & Sister.
  • Summer Blessing #37: Fellowship with our church family- food, friends, worship around the campfire
    Summer Blessing #38: Finding Charlie's keys (in the backyard) after an hour of searching everywhere, including using long sticks to reach through my car's rear windows. Since he had stashed my keys in my center counsel we thought both sets of keys were locked in the same car!
  • Summer Blessing #39: I am blessed to be married to my best friend. I am thankful that he loves the Lord and allows Him to lead him, so he can lead us! I am honored to be called his wife
  • Summer Blessing #40: Having several hours available to me last night to spend sketching and drawing to my heart's delight! I am even more thankful that I will be able to complete my "blue ribbon hopefuls" in time for the fair:)
  • Summer Blessing #41: Summer rainstorms :) Need I say more?
  • Summer Blessing #42: Being reminded that sick children are slower and quieter than well children.
    Summer Blessing #43: Lessons from our Father in patience and obedience via our example to our children.
    *Thank you, Lord, for this day of rest and for promised healing. Help us to be good examples of obedience to your Word for our children. When we stumble, help us to be good examples then too.
  • Summer Blessing #44: Having a late night heart-to-heart conversation with my wonderful husband who doesn't quite know his worth. He is everything I didn't know I needed and so much more than I could have asked for. God is the best gift-giver EVER! :)
  • Summer Blessing #45: I just won 2 tickets to a concert of my choice from LMG! Woohoo! :)
  • Summer Blessing #46: Listening to the downpour outside and thankful for the roof over my head.

    "Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
    ever singing your praise!" -Psalm 84:4
  • Summer Blessing #47: Attending a baby shower last night that put about 20 women together working to prepare a month's worth of dinners for mama:) Can't wait to celebrate baby's arrival!
  • Summer Blessing #48: Watching my husband's face when he received a call from a friend he hadn't talked to in 10 years:) Sometimes old friends are the best friends! (They know all your dirt & still love ya!)Summer Blessing #49: Receiving confirmation to a long-standing prayer:) While I'm a firm believer in thanking God for unanswered prayers (Garth knew what he was talking about!), I am so glad this one got a YES!
  • Summer Blessing #50!: Realizing that there are so many blessings in my life, many that I tend to overlook, but my decision to count them allows my heart to focus on abundance rather than deficiency.

    "They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness." ~Psalm 145:7
  • Summer Blessing #51: I am thankful for my "transparencies". Not those plastic sheets for the overhead projector, but the see-through qualities of people who have nothing to hide. There is something refreshing about the honesty of a friend who is free to be truthful, regardless of how vulnerable that makes them, new creation and all!

    "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." ~2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Summer Blessing #52: I am thankful for forgiveness. Not only the existence of it, but that I can give it and receive it, even when I am unworthy. Today, I was in need of it & I am very grateful Charlie gave it
    "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."-John 20:23
  • Summer Blessing #53: I am thankful for my little dog who brings such joy and simple loyalty and playfulness to our family.
    Hopefully she'll still love us after we get her fixed today :/
  • Summer Blessing #54: Snuggling teeny, tiny beautiful Baby Kate today! Only 5 days old, she is a pure and precious reminder of God's promises and blessings! *sigh*
  • Summer Blessing #55: Fun (and FREE!) drum demo at the library today:) My little drummer boy was a happy camper!
    Summer Blessing #56: Good reports at the dentist=D That's a HUGE blessing!
    days like today when all the running around is worth it and I can finally sit down with my little puppy and relax for a little while, knowing that God is good no matter what tomorrow bring.
  • Summer Blessing #57: After another busy day, feeling it catching up to me (*ouch!*), it all melted away when I got to cuddle another little baby girl tonight So sweet!
  • Summer Blessing #58: Witnessing my boys getting along for most of this hot day. (A huge blessing when I feel like I got hit by a bus!) I them so much!

    "May they be secure who love you!
    Peace be within your walls
    and security within your towers!"
  • Summer Blessing #59: Baking with my boy while dancin' 'round the kitchen :)
  • Summer Blessing #60: Fellowship & planning with special ladies this morning:) I'm so excited!
    Summer Blessing #61: Having a friend "loan" us their pool while they're out of town! Just me and my boys, swimming on this super,
  • Summer Blessing #62: Lunch date w/ my 3 favorite guys
    Summer Blessing #63: Fellowship with friends at the park this afternoon:)
    Summer Blessing #64: Surprising a special friend on her 50th birthday:)
    Summer Blessing #65: Rolling the windows down, singing praises to my King &taking the long way home tonight...enjoying the drive:)
  • Summer Blessing #66: Having (repetitive) confirmation that "Less of me, More of Him" is a very good thing!

    "He must become greater; I must become less." ~John 3:30
·                                 Summer Blessing #67: I *finally* figured out how to link my website posts to my fb page for The HS Gathering ~Southern Oregon!!!! Yay! Thank you Kelly and Jessica for pointing me in the right direction! :D
  • Summer Blessing #68: Choosing to find the positive side of an unfortunate change of plans. Now I can look forward to new, but different plans for tomorrow:)
  • Summer Blessing #69: A sleepless night affords me the beautiful display of twinkling stars fading away as the sun dawns on another blessed day.
  • Summer Blessing #70: An afternoon at the park with friends = hungry, stinky boys on the drive home:) Bonus? They'll sleep well tonight!
  • I must be crazy. I just finished vacuuming my floor, the furniture....and the walls.

    Summer Blessing #71: A vacuum that....*ahem*
  • Summer Blessing #72: Everybody sleeping in after staying up late for Family Movie Night:) Good rest means good attitudes....I hope!

    *Thank you, Lord, for fellowship with my family, rest when we need it and time to enjoy this beautiful day together.*
  • Summer Blessing #73: I am thankful for the healthful properties that God packed into the foods He intended for us to eat. I am thankful for the space to grow what we can and the resources to come by the rest. I am thankful that we live in a country where clean water is plentiful and available "on tap".

    "And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food."~Genesis 1:29
  • Summer Blessing #74: Learning (again) to be flexible when it comes to our school schedule. *I was NOT destined to control my own little world* In favor of enjoying this late-start summer, we have decided to push back our official start date for the new school year.

    "The heart of man plans his way,
    but the LORD establishes his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

    *Lead me, LORD! Show me the way!
  • And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
    The prancing and pawing of each little...WHAT?!?!
    *I drew in my head, and was turning around*

    "BOYS!!!! GET OFF THE ROOF!!!!!"

    Summer Blessing #75: I am thankful for the adventurous spirits of my boys, but I am also thankful that no one got hurt today!
  • Summer Blessing #76: I love it when you smile, genuinely happy and's contagious! :)

    "For you make him most blessed forever;
    you make him glad with the joy of your presence." ~Psalm 21:6
  • Summer Blessing #77: My *twin* making a special trip to see me, even though I'm running a fever. I'm so blessed!
    Summer Blessing #78: My wonderful husband bringing me flowers & taking care of me after a hard day's work. I don't deserve him, but I'm blessed to have him!

    *Lord, when I asked for rest, you sent me to bed with a fever, but not without sending your angels to take care of me. Your ways are not our ways, but I love the way you love me & care for my needs.
  • Summer Blessing #79: I am blessed to know that God hears my prayers, regardless of how & when He answers them. I know He hears, I seek His Will, I trust His Timing:)
  • Summer Blessing #80: I am blessed with the anticipation of some much needed rest & relaxation:)
    Summer Blessing #81: I am blessed to be well enough to go on our little getaway!
    Summer Blessing #82: I am looking forward to being media-free for this time away with my family!
  • Summer Blessing #83: Home Sweet Home
  • Summer Blessing #84: Miracle of miracles- my friends' home and shop were saved from the fires in Rogue River!
    *Thank you, Lord, for protecting my friends and for sparing their home! You ARE an awesome God!
  • Summer Blessing #85: I am comforted and overjoyed by the reassurance that I have today and always that I am saved by grace through faith! (Who me??)
  • Summer Blessing #86: Some things are (thankfully) not always what they seem to be.

    *"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.* ~Isaiah 55:8
  • Summer Blessing#87: We do NOT have the chickenpox, praise the Lord! :D
  • Summer Blessing #88: Regardless of my situation, life's ups and downs, I will rejoice because of the hope I have in Christ. I ALWAYS have a choice in how I respond.

    "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." ~Romans 12:12
  • Summer Blessing #89: Babysitting 8 childen under the age of 9 yrs old (plus my 2) to bless a young mama :) I'm not sure if I feel 10 years older or younger!
  • ‎76lbs of peaches later....
    Summer Blessing #90: I
    am blessed by all this yummy goodness stored up for "winter" (maybe I'll actually see winter this year!). Good thing I had enough space to stash it all!
  • Summer Blessing #91: Baking a gf cake that didn't rise, but still tastes supper yummy:) So much for trying a new recipe!
    Try, and try again....
  • My phone is broken. :( You can reach me by email or fb. I'm hoping the US Cellular will reactivate my old phone cuz I can't afford a new one! *ugh!* Blessing in this???

    Summer Blessing #92: I am thankful for my husband who is trying to take care of this for me so I don't have to! He's the best:D
  • Summer Blessing #93: Playing hostess to a lovely bunch of ladies. A beautiful start to a beautiful day!
  • Summer Blessing #94: God's merciful answer to my prayers, if only for today

    I will *not* worry about tomorrow!
  • Summer Blessing #95: (#95!!!) Feeling well enough to go for a nice evening stroll with my beloved! I'm so thankful to be married to my best friend
  • Summer Blessing #96: Enjoying a gorgeous day at the skatepark with my 2 handsome young men!
  • Summer Blessing #97: Stargazing in my hammock :) AWEsome, God!

    "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
    what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?"~Psalm 8:3-4
  • Summer Blessing #98: Harvesting odds and ends from my garden:) Only God could have known that I'd have fresh strawberries in September! Or cukes & toms just getting started:)
  • Summer Blessing #99: Getting the grocery shopping done as a family (many hands make light the work!) and saving enough money to treat us all to dinner! 80% savings WOOHOO!!!
    God's provision is perfect in every way:)
  • Summer Blessing #100 (Woohoo!!!): Joyful anticipation of celebrating our September birthdays with a friend tonight and for following through on my commitment to count 100 Summer Blessings! Tomorrow begins a new commitment that I'm really looking forward to!
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