Monday, August 3, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

The past two weeks were jam-packed with fun and adventure! I also celebrated my 63rd birthday, which I can't wrap my mind around. I don't feel old. I don't feel like a senior citizen. But, the truth is, I am! One advantage to growing old is being able to look back at life and to track God's faithfulness in the best and the worst of times. I can clearly see how what the enemy meant for evil against me, God has always worked out for my good. I can see how God has made all things work together for good in my life. I have seen God's goodness in the land of the living, in the days full of fun and adventure, in the middle of the mundane moments and in the days full of difficulty. God is good and I am blessed. Of that I am sure.

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)

-a reduction in our car insurance this month!
-a good friend to talk to
-talking and praying with one of the young mamas from church

-my husband carefully planning all of the details of my trip to the Grand Canyon
-a fun day at the river with the grandkids

-my guy saying to me, "You are the best thing that ever happened to me"

-watching our youngest grandson, grandkid number eight!, for a few hours
-a fingernail moon in a blue hour sky
-God at work in a situation I've been praying about 

-a morning with my guy before I leave on my trip tomorrow
-our church family's support for a grieving member
-rehearsing God's faithfulness

-my guy getting up at 2:30AM with me to make me coffee and take me to the airport
-a safe trip in spite of a delay on my layover
-surprising my grandkids

-black eyed susan growing by the highway
-praise God that my daughter's thumb that got smashed in the tailgate of the truck wasn't broken or severed!
-so much fun playing with the grandkids
-a delicious steak dinner made by my daughter

-a spotted wild horse running next to the train ride to the south rim of the Grand Canyon
-the AWEmazing Grand Canyon

-a good report from home about church

-seeing the Grand Canyon's changes in color as the sun sets and as it rises
-showing my youngest grandson a hummingbird sipping from a bright pink flower
-a California condor flying right over our heads
-a thundershower in the canyon
-making fun memories with my grand babies

-a good cup of coffee after a few days of not so great hotel coffee 
-texts and calls from my guy
-my Navajo bracelet
-rocking my youngest granddaughter to sleep
-God's goodness to me in the land of the living

-this amazing time away
-all of the walking we've done
-the hot/dry Arizona weather
-a little afternoon nap

-quiet time devotions before heading home
-phone navigation for this directionally challenged girl
-being housed in a nice hotel after a long delay that made me miss my connecting flight in Phoenix

-listening to worship and prayer on the flight home
-lunch at our favorite spot after my guy picked me up at the airport 
-a nice evening home together

-puttering around the house

-a miracle that the mechanic found nothing wrong with the kid's truck when the check engine light came on still a long way from home
-flowers from my guy

-sweet birthday texts, messages, etc. from my family, siblings and friends
-God's love and care and faithfulness to me these 63 years
-a fun family birthday dinner at my daughter's 

still following,

Saturday, August 1, 2020

God Wonders and God Thoughts

I just got home from spending time with my youngest daughter and her family at the Grand Canyon. I'd been there once before, the summer I turned six, but the memories are vague. What a wonder it was to see it again! There are some God wonders that are smack you in the face obvious, like the Grand Canyon. It's so massive and awe inspiring that I don't know how someone sees it without knowing that there has to be a magnificent Creator Who made such majestic beauty. Then there are some God wonders that we can miss in the mundane or the busyness or the stress of our ordinary days-the dimple in your son's cheek when he smiles, the freckles sprinkled across your granddaughter's nose, a hummingbird sipping nectar from a bright pink flower, a field full of Queen Anne's lace, a perfectly ripe, juicy cantaloupe. These God wonders take more intention to notice. These less obvious God wonders can be like treasure that is buried in all the other things of life that clamor for our attention.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, August 2nd, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Rehearsing What I Know of God

I love the honesty of God's Word. There is so much evidence that the Bible is truly God-breathed and true-things like prophecies fulfilled over the centuries and archeological evidence confirming Biblical history. But, one of the things that, to me, is evidence that the Bible is not just some made up religious volume is the fact that the Bible clearly shows the human frailty, weakness and sinfulness of  all of the God/Jesus followers, all of the heroes of our faith in both the Old and New Testaments. There is no effort to make the life of a believer seem anything but down to earth and real, struggles and all.

In Psalm 42 the psalmist writes about his soul being "cast down." In The Message Bible it says, "my soul in the dumps." Perhaps due to our current circumstances-the coronavirus pandemic, the economic impact of the shutdown due to the virus, the civil unrest or any number of other personal struggles you might be going through-you too have had some days when your soul is cast down or in the dumps. The writer of this Psalm encourages himself by "rehearsing" everything He knows of God.  What are some things you and I know of God that can help us in times like these?   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, July 26th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Monday, July 20, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Giving thanks to God, making the choice to notice some of His blessings in each day, has become an anchor in my life in stormy times. I now have almost eleven years of gratitude journals full of the evidence of God's care and faithfulness in my life. Giving thanks daily has also helped me to resist my natural inclination to try to fix things or people, to take over the control that belongs to God alone, because I have the written evidence of how He has repeatedly taken care of situations, circumstances and people that I have surrendered to His care. Gratitude has, indeed become center in my life of faith, and it has, indeed, been life changing. And for that, I give God thanks.

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)

-God's peace within
-taxes all done for another year!
-a little green hummingbird flitting around the wildflowers on my walk today

-God's continual help in my areas of weakness
-such a fun afternoon at the river with my grandgirlies
-these hot summer days

-time at the cabin with the grandkids to look forward to
-our neighborhood park's shady walking path on hot days
-this album that I love! 

-wispy cirrus clouds in a blue, blue sky
-facetiming with our vacationing grandkids
-praying God's Word together

-God's encouragement from Psalm 40
-lunch with my sister, brother-in-law and nephew at one of our favorite restaurants
 outside by the river
-youngest grandson's first big smile at his six year old brother who adores him

-fresh fish and crab caught by the guys from our church
-God's sweet companionship
-God's help writing this post

-God at work in us and our church
-lunch with our kids
-sitting outside on the patio in the cool of the evening and eating fresh crab with my guy
-an offering from our church for my sponsored girl's family's medical needs

still following,

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Christ's Rule and Christ's Peace

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7

At the beginning of this year I wrote a blog post about the scriptures above, mentioning that my word for the year is peace. I also noted that I was surprised to read this same passage in The Message Bible and to discover that instead of the title Prince of Peace it says Prince of Wholeness. This sent me on a search of what the Hebrew lexicon said about the original word used and it is, of course, the Hebrew word shalom. While that didn't surprise me, I was surprised that the word shalom means, not just peace, but also wholeness and completeness. What an encouragement this discovery was to me, as God had already been speaking to my heart about the theme of rebuilding, restoration, completeness and wholeness. This was a confirmation to me of His dealings and direction.

We are over halfway through 2020, and I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that this year has been a wild and crazy ride. It has not been a peace filled year, but it has been a year of learning to be peace filled in the midst of difficult circumstances. This week, God brought me back to Isaiah 9:6-7 and showed me an important connection about His peace that I hadn't made before.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, July 19th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Monday, July 13, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I'm grateful to God that He has given us resources to navigate through challenging times. We're all still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic consequences. (Masks are mandatory in all places of business where we live.) Then there's the division and strife and civil unrest as well which is affecting us greatly here in the Pacific Northwest. There's also the political backbiting thrown into the cultural mix. Time in God's Word, prayer and worship are sustaining me and strengthening me and helping me to experience God's peace in the midst of the turmoil. Daily focusing on writing down at least three things that I thank God for is also helpful. What are you doing that is helping you to cope with the times we are living in?
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)

#13, 466-#13,486-

-group texts with my siblings on our youngest brother's birthday
-God's help and wisdom and guidance
-going out for my favorite fish tacos with my guy

-our youngest grandson is one month old today!
-making jam with our two oldest grandkids

-getting caught in a warm summer rainstorm-oh that fresh rain smell!

-periwinkle blue hydrangea blooms
-two gorgeous pottery mugs that I won in a giveaway
-a sweet time of prayer with our church leadership team

-a fun walk around the lake

-God at work in our times of prayer together
-seeing God working when I leave things in His hands

-a Levi's jean jacket in my size for 70% off!
-lunch together outside by the river at our favorite restaurant 

-walking by the river holding hands

-God's help with writing a blog post
-trusting God with hard things

-seeing God give my husband His wisdom 
-lunch with friends
-God's care and provision in our lives

still following,