Sometimes it's the little things in life that make it all worthwhile.
Today was that kind of day!
Today, we sat together in church. Our whole family. It's been so long since my husband has had consecutive Sundays off that it's quite wonderful to have him there by my side. A blessing, to be sure.
We are already seeing that we will need to guard this gift we have prayed so long for.
Yes, my husband needs work.
No, he's not available on Sunday.
Thanks for offering though...
Yes, my husband needs fellowship.
No, he's not skipping church to have it.
Thanks for thinking of him though...
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
The cyclone hit hard.
My husband, the sole "breadwinner", was forced to quit his job without the opportunity to look for a replacement beforehand. The shock has him immobilized. It's all surreal. An eerie calm has settled in, but what will tomorrow bring?
Matthew 6:31-34 ESV
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble...
You know our needs. Help us to not be anxious and to remember that you are our Provider. Thank you, Lord, for ALL that you have done for us and for all that you WILL do. Guide us as we seek your kingdom and your righteousness. May our hunger be for you alone!
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Let me just get this out of the way: I am not particularly fond of sugar cookies. I'm the girl who passes on them at Christmas time (or any other time) if I can have oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip instead...or *gasp!* none at all.
Until my friend MADE me try hers.
Oh, these are good. They are the only sugar cookies I ever make. EVER.
Even better? I don't have to refrigerate the dough. Perfect for impatient kiddos :)
NO CHILL SUGAR COOKIES
1c. Butter, softened
2t. Baking powder
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar.
Beat in egg. Add vanilla.
Add dry ingredients 1 cup at a time until thoroughly mixed. (Dough will be stiff.)
Do not chill dough!
Roll out to 1/4" on lightly floured surface. Dip cookie cutters in flour. Cut.*
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes. Cool on track.
*To cheat like I do: roll a ball of dough in your hands, press ball flat with palm of hand on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cute little shapes are optional. So is the chocolate drizzle :) Simply melt chocolate chips in baggie and clip corner. »Squeeze« to please!
|Cow says moo!|
|Valentine for a Friend|
Jan 26, 2014 a gift at dawn, at noon, after dark
#76 daylight revealing freshly fallen snow
#77 leftovers for lunch
#78 a cup of tea
Jan 27, 2014 3 gifts in the kitchen
#79 my gigantic, much-used stock pot (despite the fact one handle broke off)
#80 the wood handled pastry cutter that belonged to my mom
#81 my new blender, given to me by a friend :)
Jan 28, 2014 3 graces found in friends
#82 a phone call from a friend that picks up right where we left off 9 months ago like it was yesterday
#83 total "as is" acceptance
Jan 29, 2014 a song heard, a soft word, light seen
#85 my wedding song heard in an unexpected place, like the grocery store
#86 "Mama?" at 3 am (he still needs me)
#87 spotting a light left on for me when i turn into my driveway when I arrive home after my family's gone to sleep
Jan 30, 2014 3 old things seen new
#88 a tablecloth from my husband's grandmother gracing our table for a party
#89 sharing songs from my childhood with my own children
#90 watching an old war movie and understanding it better 20 years later because of what I've learned from homeschooling my kids :)
Jan 31, 2014 a gift on paper, in a person, in a picture
#91 when my mom writes me notes, she still dots my "i" with a little heart
#92 real hugs from real friends, the kind that squeeze tighter and hold on a little longer
#93 the picture of my boys holding a picture of my husband holding a picture of his late father
Photo: gift #93 thanks to Pinterest for this great Father's Day gift idea
Jan 15, 2014 a gift worn, given away, shared
#43 socks from my Mommy :)
#44 making a quilt for my cousin
#45 a cookie with my son
Jan 16, 2014 3 witnessed blessings
#46 a wedding
#47 a baptism
#48 a helping hand
Jan 17, 2014 a gift bringing laughter, prayer, quiet
#49 my son's interpretation of a British accent ;)
#50 a text from my sister
#51 my boys sleeping in
Jan 18, 2014 3 gifts from God's Word
#52 James 1:2-4, 12 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing....Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
#53 Isaiah 41:10 "...fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
#54 Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord , and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord , and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile."
Jan 19, 2014 3 gifts that might never have been
#55 my children
#56 my marriage
#57 my thirties
Jan 20, 2014 3 gifts only seen close up
#58 my feet in the sand ;)
#59 the real color of my husband's eyes
#60 the wrinkles on my hands
Jan 21, 2014 a gift in the sky, water, memory
#61 the moon on a clear night, knowing my mom sees the same one many miles away
#62 stones from the river bed made smooth over time
#63 walking in a frozen lake for the first time
Jan 22, 2014 a gift wrinkled, smoothed, unfolded
#64 baby clothes packed for years in my hope chest
#65 new fabric
#66 a handwritten letter
Jan 23, 2014 3 gifts found in Christ
#67 my salvation
#68 unconditional love
Jan 24, 2014 3 things blue
#70 my birthstone
#71 the ocean
#72 my son's new shirt
Jan 25, 2014 a grace borrowed, found, inherited
#73 a book
#74 a ring
#75 a handmade quilt on our bed from my husband's grandmother
Philippians 3:13-14 says-
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
My husband read these verses to me this morning and short commentary from his devotional book. Even though I have heard these words many times, I had him read aloud to me once more. Something about it bothered me...my husband could see that, but I couldn't explain why "forgetting what lies behind " troubled me so much.
As I discussed this frustration with my husband, one thing became clear...I don't want to forget what lies behind...
Oh. THAT'S what it was.
I grabbed my bible. I'm no theologian, but I wanted to read it in the right context. I wanted to know what Paul said before and after, who he said it to. Maybe that would help me. And I prayed... Surely God would give me wisdom to understand this!
I have to say, it made me very uncomfortable to read God's Word telling me to forget what lies behind and then realize I had no intention of doing so! Here's why:
By remembering the mess I left behind, the nightmare I was rescued from, I have a clearer picture of who I am today because of Christ. By forgetting, I felt that I wouldn't give proper glory and honor to Him who deserved it all. I needed the contrast of light vs dark, good vs evil, LIFE vs DEATH. I needed it to see clearly.
I don't ever want to forget.
But I also don't want to burdened by it. I have freedom in Jesus that allows me to move forward, to press on toward the goal.
Is that what this means? Or am I inviting trouble? My desire is to obey God...
I welcome your thoughts on this too.
Photo: My husband and I, just a month or two before we were saved. Despite our smiles, we were not "happy" and were each a wretched disaster. God is good. :)
We've all been there.
·Customer service reps that are too busy socializing with co-workers instead of attending to customers.
·A cashier that doesn't bother to greet you or make eye contact after you've loaded hundreds of dollars worth of groceries onto the belt.
·A phone call put on hold...and forgotten.
Good customer service is out there, but it is experiences like these that leave a bad taste in your mouth. Or at least that's how I feel.
This week, my cell phone bit the dust. Since my husband is the "primary" on the account, he has to be present to make any changes. We coordinated our schedules to meet at our local cellular store after work. And to make our visit go faster, I stopped in a day earlier and Mr Friendly&Helpful told me my options and showed me the phones I was eligible for. Thank you very much! We'll be back tomorrow.
Typically there is a short wait, so when we arrived, we gave them our names and took a seat. When the young man called our names, we followed him to his desk, sat down, and explained the problem. Since I had already been informed of our options, we wasted no time in telling him which phone I was interested in getting. So far, so good.
Then he asked for our phone number to pull up our account.
Ding ding (buzzz)... what was that?
Ding ding (buzzz)... oh. It's HIS phone.
I was shocked to sit there and watch Mr CantBeBothered slide his phone across his desk and check the message. And then he asked us for our phone number again because he wasn't listening the first time.
It was so cute when he asked me if I wanted all my contacts transferred to my new phone! Seriously? All while he was returning a text. 3 times this happened as we sat there in shock.
God bless my husband. I left him there to handle the rest of the details before I made a scene. I just couldn't believe it.
Colossians 3:23-24 says-
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
I don't know if Mr CantBeBothered is a believer. I know he certainly wasn't working heartily for his employer, left alone anyone else. Sadly, this type of "service" is quite common, yet there still is an expectation of reward. Why?
All of my years of employment were spent in customer service: retail, food service, tourism, hospitality, sales, and as an event coordinator. My husband's resume looks similar. Neither one of us can relate to this even being called "service".
I like to think that God's Word gives us a great example in Luke 12 of the type of workers, or servants, we should aim to be.
Luke 12:35-37, 42-43 says-
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Be like the faithful and wise manager. Be ready. Work hard. Receive the blessing of the Lord!
Photo: borrowed from The Time-Warp Wife at timewarpwife.com
Still counting my blessings!
Jan 12, 2014
Something Above, Below, Beside
#34 the roof above my head
#35 the pillow beneath my head
#36 my wonderful, beloved husband :)
Jan 13, 2014
3 Things About Myself That I Am Grateful For
#37 my willingness to keep learning new things
#38 my hair (yeah, I'm weird like that. I hated it as a kid!)
#39 my resourcefulness
Jan 14, 2014
3 Startling Graces of God
#40 a potential car repair that turned out to just be user error ;)
#41 a "quick chat" with my sister that turned into a 2 hour phone call that never got interrupted on either end! A Mommy Miracle ;)
#42 a broken cell phone meant less distraction while doing errands today with my son- for both of us
Photo: My husband, who has oddly developed a slight fear of horses (???), has the amazing ability to draw them to him like a magnet. I love him :)
The blessings keep on coming!
Thank you, Lord, for the God gifts you give :)
Jan 9, 2014 - A gift held, passed by, sat with
#26 a bowling ball at my son's birthday party
#26 the horses in the field as I go down my driveway
#27 my family together at church
Jan 10, 2014 - A gift sour, sweet, just right
#28 kombucha ;)
#29 this morning's coffee
#30 an "Arnold Palmer" while out with friends
Jan 11, 2014 - 3 yellow gifts of fresh mercy
#33 the blooming color of the rising sun
Keep counting, my sweet friends!
"I'll be praying for you."
I used to wonder if the well-meaning people that said this to me really meant it. Did they really take the time? Did they remember? Were they just saying that to be nice or because they thought that's what I wanted them to say? Do they really care?
I can't answer that. In fact, I can't speak for anyone but myself. I suppose it doesn't really matter if they do. God knows my heart and He hears my prayers, even if I pray alone. And thankfully, I don't worry about that about more.
But I want to be a woman of my word. I strive to keep my word when those words cross my lips. What would be the point of telling someone I'll pray for them if their need is not my concern. If THEY are not my concern. And then I think... If God has placed this person in my life, at this time, and brought their need to my attention...how can I not?
So, I do. And I will. I will pray for you. Any time, any place. I will gladly pray for you. Because I love you. So does Jesus. And I believe that's exactly what He wants me to do.
So, when I drop by your house and you tell me you're nervous about a recent doctor visit, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray. When I run into you at the library and you tell me you're trying to sell your house against the odds, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray. When you're pregnant or sick, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray. When you're worried about your child, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray. When your mom's in the hospital, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray. When you're facing a big move and new people and nothing familiar, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray. When your job is not all you'd hoped it'd be and you don't know what to do, and I tell you I'll pray, I'll pray.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says-
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
By allowing me to pray for you, I also get to rejoice with you when those prayers are answered, to give thanks, to lend a hand when you need it, or a shoulder to cry on.
Thank you for the privilege!
Photo: a peek at my Prayer Board. My way of keeping track of who I'm praying for and how, as well as prayers that have been answered. How can I pray for you?
And my 3 gifts of the day:
#22 afternoons in my house, a reminder that the day is drawing to a close
#23 my husband's face reflecting off a picture as he plays his bass guitar
#24 the ceiling fan shadows spinning as it pushes the warm air through my house, keeping us warm and cozy
Today, we celebrated my "baby" boy's 12th birthday. 12 years of his slow but sweet smile. 12 years of his silly little belly laugh. 12 years of being his Mama. 12 years...
What a handsome, intelligent young man he's becoming! I love his fun personality and seeing him grow in the Lord.
Happy birthday, Nathan! I love you so very much :)
3 Graces from People I Love
#19 a friend's thank you so precious
#20 my son's delight at his birthday gifts and foods just what he asked for
#21 my husband's praise of my pie crust "prize worthy" :)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. ~Proverbs 19:21
May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans! ~Proverbs 20:4It is my understanding that God does still want us to make plans. How else would we take steps forward or prepare for the future? But He wants our hearts aligned with His. We need to be willing to trust Him at the helm, to let Him lead us, knowing that He sees the full picture, knows the full plan, knows the best route for us to take to get there.
|Blessings #10, 11, and 12|