Monday, June 17, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal...

I slept fitfully the night before a friend from church was coming over for tea and a visit. Thoughts of too many things to-do and too many activities scheduled in the coming weeks had me feeling anxious and stressed. Before my friend left our time together I asked her to pray for me about the anxiety I was feeling. Nothing changed about my circumstances, in fact, it was possible for our bathroom and laundry room remodel to be started this week so that's happening right now as well. Yet, I am full of peace! I'm so glad I asked my friend to pray for me and I'm so thankful that God hears and answers!

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

Thank You, Papa God for-

-a walk around my hometown with my youngest grandson
-sweet youngest grandbaby's smiles, giggles and baby noises 
-laughs with our two middle granddaughters and fun wading in the Clackamas River

-chamomile flowers from Trader Joe's
-seeing God at work when we pray and trust

-clear blue skies with Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood showing off in the distance
-a large sack full of delicious salmon and halibut filets from our dear friends
-having central air conditioning on these unusually hot ninety plus degree days

-our oldest granddaughter's sixteenth birthday!
-my sister's birthday, too!
-our granddaughter got her driver's license!
- a fun birthday dinner at our daughter's house

-God's peace and order in place of my anxiety over too much busyness going on at once
-God's provision of things big and small
-our middle grandson's preschool graduation

-God's help and guidance
-a really great price on new flooring for our bathrooms and laundry room
-a sweet time of Bible reading and singing worship with the three middle grands who are spending the night

-the way our grandkids love each other
-a family bbq at our house to celebrate Father's Day a day early
-our loud, wild, crazy family

-God working in people's lives
-our tender hearted five year old grandson looking like a cute little Mr. Tough Guy
 with his spiked up mohawk and Superman muscle shirt
-lunch after church with our son-in-law, granddaughter and grandson, 
(middle daughter and oldest grandson are out of town)

still following,

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Abba Father...

This Sunday we celebrate Father's Day.  No earthly father is perfect, but some people are blessed to have a father who lovingly tried his best to be a good dad. There are many others who had a father who failed them, who left them, who hurt them, and for them Father's Day may be difficult.  If you grew up with a loving father, thank God and remember to tell your dad how much you appreciate him. If your father failed you in some way, I pray that you will allow God to take you through the process of forgiveness and healing. (If you're interested, here's the story of my journey of forgiveness  towards my dad. Click here for part one  part two  part three)

(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 16th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal...

I'm hopping on here before I get too involved in the busyness of the day to quickly post my weekly gratitude journal. I'm not sure anyone really cares about these weekly posts that list the previous week's daily blessings, but it's important to me that some of these words that I fling out here publicly include an acknowledgement that everything I have is an undeserved, unearned gift from God and that I'm so very thankful for each one!

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-thank you, God, for a helpful specialist on a business call
-youngest grandson's first Frosty and fries at Wendy's
-looking through our oldest daughter's baby pictures with her and the grandgirlies

-Gods Word that keeps me, encourages me, strengthens me, sustains me
-youngest granddaughter making sounds back at me when I talk to her
-our small group's love for one another

-drizzly beach like weather
-a good cup of hot tea
-God's provision 

-tea and a long overdue visit with a sweet friend from church
-a walk before the rain came
-my husband's voice when he sings

-spring weather
-a really fun date day
-a fabulous meal paid for with a gift card from a sweet couple in our church

-the promises in Zechariah 10
-texts with my oldest daughter
-a friend who came and helped me with yard work

-this beautiful, hot, sunny day
-God's work in us and our church
-a fresh coat of paint giving my old potting bench new life

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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Thriving in the messy stage of God's rebuilding work...

The book of Zechariah is all about the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem after decades of being ruled by their enemies. In The Message Study Bible, Eugene Petersen begins each book with some commentary about the history. In his commentary on Zechariah about this time in Israel's history he writes, "Their self identity as the people of God was in ruins...they had been knocked around by world powers, kicked and mocked, used and abused...they were in danger of...losing their magnificent identity as God's people."

If you've ever lived in a house during remodeling, you know that it's a challenging situation to deal with. It always gets worse before it gets better. While Demo Day might be a day of celebration on the popular TV show, Fixer Upper, in real life there's nothing glamorous about living in the demolition stage of a home remodel. 

This year, as I'm reading through the Bible, I'm noticing how consistent God is in His patterns. I am also noticing that what He does in the physical realm is a pattern for how He works in the spiritual realm and in our inner being. Let me give you some examples...

The Bible begins with the story of creation. It opens with these words.
 "Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottom-less emptiness, an inky blackness. 
God's Spirit brooded like a bird over the watery abyss" Gen. 1:2 MSG 
To brood means to sit on or incubate, to produce, to cover with the wings. The Holy Spirit was at work in the middle of the chaos and darkness to create. I believe with all of my heart that God's Holy Spirit is brooding over our chaos, our emptiness, our darkness and will create something beautiful out of it all.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 9th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Weekly gratitude journal...

Monday and Tuesday were full of unexpected interruptions-some frustrating ones and some lovely ones-so that's why I haven't written this post until now. Today, the opposite of unexpected interruptions happened, some previous plans were canceled. Now I have a day to catch up on things like this and other things that can be done from my home computer. I'm whispering a surprised thanks, for the days full of interruptions, for this quiet day, for all of God's gifts to me.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-Memorial Day! Thank God for those who laid down their lives for our country
-youngest granddaughter is four months old today
-dinner and a good visit at our daughter's 

-praying together
-a day spent getting a long procrastinated job of organizing in the garage done
-reading old letters from my mama and realizing 
she was much better at expressing her love in writing than I remembered

-a visit with a sweet friend
-thank You God for your help and work in our lives
-thank You for answered prayers in so many ways

-good coffee made by my guy
-peonies blooming

-healthy grandkids
-an unexpected sale on some new summer sneakers I was buying
-a lazy date day evening at home

-It's June first!
-planning a trip to Maine in October!
-a fun with our middle grandson afternoon at Fort Vancouver

-a text of encouragement and prayer for us
-God speaking to our church
-our oldest granddaughter hanging out with us
-looking through our daughter's baby pictures with our granddaughter and grandson

still following,

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Trusting God's leadership in our lives...

"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and loving-kindness and truth go before Your face." Psalm 89:14 AMPC

God is perfect in all that He is, all of His ways and in His leadership in our lives. Yet, if we had our way, we'd want Him to be full of mercy and loving-kindness, but ease up a bit on all that righteousness stuff and maybe not be so dog gone unbending about the truth (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 2nd, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

When you are refined by loneliness...

My earliest memories involve feelings of loneliness and longing. Born with a highly sensitive personality, my little spirit was continually bombarded with all the feelings of life in our sin broken family. Even when I was too young to actually know and understand the facts of what was happening under our roof, I felt it. I sensed it. 

Mama was busy with all of the needs and cares and work of having seven children. She didn’t have the time, nor perhaps the ability, to delve into the deeps of her own emotions, much less mine. Daddy, while perhaps a bit more in tune with my flights of fancy and imagination than my practical mama, found someone that took him away from mama and us kids. 

The combination of my sensitive spirit and the secrets that lived in our house and in my little heart reinforced my feelings of isolation, loneliness and longing to be really heard, really seen, really known, really understood. I didn’t know who to turn to and so I’d lay in bed at night and talk to Jesus about it all. He was the one to whom I poured out all of my little girl worries, fears, longings, hopes and dreams.  (I'm privileged to be guest posting at Lyli Dunbar's and would love for you to join me for the complete post HERE.)

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