Monday, May 20, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal...


My husband and I spent last week at our youngest daughter's in-laws little cabin on the Umpqua River. It was a wonderful time of rest and refreshing and recuperation. I didn't blog while we were gone, so this week I have two weeks of gratitude journal entries to post.

One change I've been making as I count my blessings and write them down in my journal, is to include the words Thank You, God. I never want to forget that this isn't just about counting my blessings, but about giving thanks to the One Who is the source of my blessings!  With that said, here's two weeks of gratitude!
****************
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)
#12,046-#12,095-

Thank You, Father God, for...
5-6-19-
-youngest daughter and the two youngest grands coming by for breakfast
-a walk with my youngest grandson
-an afternoon at the park with the two middle granddaughters and my youngest daughter and youngest grands
-meeting up with our oldest and youngest daughters and their families for Hawaiian grill

5-7-19-
-sipping coffee in bed and reading Ephesians in The Message Bible
-summer-like weather
-vases of viburnum in my kitchen
-a really good prayer time with our small group

5-8-19-
-Eugene Peterson's commentary in The Message Study Bible
-God's help when I cry out to Him and trust Him
-my sweet friend got a good report from the surgeon-BENIGN!
-another good medical report about a loved one

5-9-19-
-texting with our oldest granddaughter about her sweet sixteen birthday plans
-picking up my little buddy from pre-school and surprising him with a Frostie and fries
-a good prayer time

5-10-19-
-coffee, oatmeal, and feasting on the book of Galatians
-another beautiful, warm summer-like day
-freshly mowed grass

5-11-19-
-our middle grandson's fifth birthday!
-time with our grandkids before next week's vacation
-writing a blog post that reminded me of God's faithfulness to me through the years

5-12-19-
-sweet written words and gifts from my family for Mother's Day
-chocolate covered strawberries for all of the ladies at church made by two of those sweet ladies
-remembering a God given dream that came to pass more abundantly than I could ask or think
-a safe trip to the cabin

5-13-19-
-sitting on the deck overlooking the river with coffee and God's Word
-1 Peter
-Thank You, Father, for a wonderful, long walk on the beach while praying and casting all of my cares on you
-seeing a whale spouting!

5-14-19-
-rainy weather that gave way to sun so I could have another beach walk!
-fun photos of the grands who are at Disneyland this week
-my husband seeing an eagle swoop down and catch a fish in the river, then sit in a tree and eat it
-$18 off on the best, most comfortable, casual pair of Levi's

5-15-19-
-a drive to the beach town where we lived when our youngest was born
-beautiful Sunset Bay, Cape Arago, and a walk on Bastendorf Beach


-cooking a yummy dinner for my guy back at the cabin-steak with sautéed mushrooms and onions, baked potato, roasted carrots, and spinach-he even ate the veggies!

5-16-19-
-a wonderful day together
-warm berry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream
-a long walk on Heceta Beach
-watching a favorite movie together before bed

5-17-19-
-God Who bears my burdens and carries my load
-seashells lined up on the cabin windowsill
-my daughter's in-law's generosity in letting us use the cabin

5-18-19-
-morning coffee made by my guy
-our home
-talking to my big sister

5-19-19-
-our middle daughter's birthday!
-powerful presence of God in worship
-God speaking to our church
-a clear word from God to my heart

still following,

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Does God promise not to give us more than we can handle?


I've heard it said many times that God promises not to give us more than we can handle. It's often preceded by the words, "In the Bible it says". So, I've unsuccessfully tried to find a verse that says that. If you know of such a verse, please let me know. The Bible does say in 1 Corinthians 10:13,
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." But it seems to me that this verse is talking specifically about temptation. It is saying that God always provides a way of escape out of temptation.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 19th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,



Also happily linking up with:

Sunday Scripture Blessings




Crystal Twaddell

Saturday, May 11, 2019

By grace...


I have always loved Jesus. From my earliest memories He was very real to me. I was so young that I can't remember the first time that I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart. I do remember asking Him into my heart repeatedly whenever I felt that I had done something wrong or when there was an "altar call" at church or a question of "who wants to give their heart to Jesus?" in Sunday School class. My sensitive spirit, tender conscience, and the lack of teaching on assurance of salvation in the churches we attended contributed to this. I also didn't fully understand salvation by grace. When I failed at being good enough, I'd just go back to square one and get saved again!

In spite of my lack of full understanding, Jesus and I had a strong friendship. You've heard of children having invisible friends?  When my best friend moved across town and no longer walked to school with me, I used to imagine Jesus walking to school with me instead. I guess you could say that Jesus was my invisible friend. He was also my confidant. Things between Mama and Daddy weren't good, and while I sensed it more than understood it, I would lay in bed at night and talk to Jesus about all my worries and fears.

When I was in fourth grade Daddy left Mama and us kids. Shortly afterward, we began to attend a a little church in the next town over. That church became our support system. They loved our little broken family into wholeness. I could go on and on about various milestones in my relationship with Christ that happened in the following years, but perhaps the most significant one happened when I was about sixteen years old.(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 12th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,



Also happily linking up with:

Sunday Scripture Blessings




Crystal Twaddell



Monday, May 6, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal...


Being blessed, seeing life through the lens of gratitude and thanksgiving, doesn't mean that life is always a bed of roses. Difficulty and blessing are present in our life simultaneously. Having a mindset that looks for the blessings even while living in the midst of difficulty, in my opinion, makes the hard times bearable. Seeing God's goodness in the middle of our mess reminds us that He's right there, in the middle of our mess with us. Thank God for that! 

****************
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)

#12,019-#12,045

4-29-19-
-my Papa God's love for me
-God's provision
-a walk with youngest grandson around my hometown
-and ice cream treat and a sunny afternoon at the park after I picked our two middle granddaughters up from school

-early to bed 

4-30-19-
-tea with friends
-feeling 100% better after fighting a bit of a cold
-a good walk with a friend
-ministry friends to share with

5-1-19-
-May Day!
-sleeping with the window open and waking up to birdsong
-picking up our middle grandson from pre-school for my daughter 
and spending some time with my little buddy

5-2-19-
-the treat of a fresh haircut and pedicure
-a bouquet of white tulips
-catching up on the phone with a friend who's been out of town
-praying with my friend who's having surgery tomorrow
-a phone chat with my granddaughter
-a great time of prayer at church

5-3-19-
-Friday date day!
-a beautiful day for lunch outside by the river
-my friend's surgery went well

5-4-19-
-praying with some of our leader's wives
-a walk and talk with a friend
-reading Philippians and Colossians in The Message

5-5-19-
-God's strength 
-steak on the grill after church
-a visit to the lilac garden with a friend

still following,

Saturday, May 4, 2019

More of Jesus...


It starts the minute I wake up. My mind starts telling me the things that I need. "I need coffee. I need peace and quiet. I need more help or more attention or more affection or I need to be left alone. I need more money. I need a vacation."
This morning I had an unusual experience. I was praying while I was tidying the house in preparation for a time of tea, muffins and prayer with some leaders' wives from our church. Suddenly I heard, not with my ears but in my inner being, the words, "Wherever there's a lack, I will fill the gap." I knew God was speaking to me. I immediately thought of myself, and many others in my life, who look to something or someone other than Christ to fill up areas in my/their life where there is a lack. There can be a multitude of ways that we feel and experience lack, and a multitude of ways we try to fill up our own emptiness. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 5th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,



Also happily linking up with:

Sunday Scripture Blessings




Crystal Twaddell


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Weekly Gratitude List...


Monday was a full, busy day and then on top of it all I'm fighting a cold/flu bug. Last night I went to bed early and, therefore, am a day late posting my gratitude list. 

This past week I passed the 12,000 mark in my gratitude journal! This coming fall I will celebrate the tenth anniversary of when I started keeping a gratitude journal. What a life changing blessing this practice has been in my life.

****************
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)
#11992-#12,018-

4-22-19-
-morning snuggles with my grandson
-the last of the spring cleaning chores finally done
-bluebells from my granddaughter in a vase on the kitchen counter

4-23-19-
-my husband, daughter and son-in-law all safely home from their trip to Ghana
-a yummy homecoming dinner together
-early to bed for jet-lagged Papa and tired Nana

4-24-19-
-sipping a cup of coffee in bed
-sunshine streaming into our kitchen
-my favorite little succulent
-twelve thousand blessings!
-strawberry crepes for breakfast
-lilacs in bloom
-youngest daughter and grands stopping by to see us

4-25-19-
-pink sunrises
-tea and gluten free lemon muffins and a good visit with a friend
-God's work in mysterious ways
-a night off together

4-26-19-
-rhubarb crisp make from the rhubarb in our yard,
(and a blackberry crisp with frozen berries)
-lunch eaten outside in the sun
-G. surprising my oldest granddaughter at opening night of her play
-our granddaughter's acting talent

4-27-19-
-a vase of apple blossoms
-lily of the valley popping up in the flowerbed
-babysitting the two youngest grands


4-28-19-
-this beautifully sunny Sunday
-God's peace
-a fun baby shower for a sweet young mama


still following,


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Growing the Fruit of the Spirit...


Today I walked to a vacant lot near my house and clipped a few branches of apple blossoms off of a crabapple tree. The blooming branches look lovely placed in a vase and sitting on top of the cabinet next to my favorite chair in our kitchen nook.

While I love the beauty of fruit tree blossoms, blossoms aren't the fruit, are they?  They are the sign of fruit to come. When autumn comes, that tree in the vacant lot will be full of crabapples. In the meanwhile it isn't stressed out about bearing fruit. It doesn't strive, work and sweat to produce fruit. It simply soaks up water and nutrients from the soil through its roots and absorbs sunlight as well as carbon dioxide through its leaves and the fruit eventually comes!

For too long I've treated the list of the fruit of the Spirit as a to-do list. It was the list of character traits that I needed to strive toward. I needed to try harder to be loving. Try harder to be patient. Try harder to be gentle. Try harder to have more self-control. And then one day, I actually noticed these words in my Amplified Bible. "But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]." Galatians 5:22-23 AMPC  

(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 28th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,



Also happily linking up with:

Sunday Scripture Blessings




Crystal Twaddell