Monday, December 17, 2018

Expressing gratitude...

Today in my Advent reading I read about how the Israelites made covenants with and worshipped the false gods of the nations around them. As long as they continued in these wrong alliances, God would not, could not deliver them. They needed to repent and break these unholy agreements. 

This reading got me to thinking about how, with our mouths, we come into agreement with the unholy thoughts of the enemy. "This situation with never change." "I will always struggle with this."
"I will never get out of this." We are really good at expressing our doubts, fears and unbelief, but not so good at expressing our gratitude and declarations of God's faithfulness. Is it any wonder that we don't see the deliverance of God in our lives when we are living in a wrong alliance with the enemy through verbalizing his unholy thoughts?  Speak gratitude! Speak about God's faithfulness! Remember what God has done and watch what He will do!
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)


-new glasses!
-staying home due to a cold, but it meant I got my Christmas cards done!
-God's faithfulness

-good news about a dear friend's health
-a new look in our church foyer thanks to some creative ladies
-spicy chicken pad thai

-Jesus, the Bread from Heaven
-feeling better from my cold
-our youngest daughter, her husband and our youngest grandson coming by

-feeling well enough to go on my walk
-reading my husband's annual Christmas blessing over our family
-having my missionary brother and his wife, my sister and her husband 
and my older brother together for dinner and a visit

-God speaking to my heart through my Advent reading
-my hubs helping me with prep for our leadership team dinner
-an early Christmas gathering with all our whole family 
before our second born and her family leaves town for two weeks

-the prophecies that came to pass through Jesus' birth 
and those that will come to pass when He comes again
-classical Christmas music playing while I clean, cook 
and set tables for our church leadership team dinner

-the third Sunday of Advent-JOY!
-what God is doing in and through us
-a wonderful evening with our leadership team
-encouraging texts

still following-

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Anticipating Christmas...

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that on Sundays I write a Sunday Soul Food feature on the Woman to Woman Ministries blog. I just wanted to let you know that W2W is on Christmas break until January 2nd. So, I'll be back with my regular Sunday Soul Food post the weekend after New Year's.

I just looked at an online Christmas countdown and, as I type this sentence, in nine days, four hours and thirteen minutes, it will be Christmas Day! Does that stress or excite you? I've pretty much never lost my little kid, butterflies in the stomach excitement and anticipation for Christmas. When I was a kid, I anticipated the presents, of course, but I also anticipated and loved our family being together. Being one of the youngest in a family of seven kids, I loved it when my older siblings and their kids came home for Christmas. Now, I anticipate my kids and grandkids being together, opening the gifts we've picked out for them, and feasting on our favorite foods.

I got the dreaded signs that I was coming down with a cold last Sunday evening. It actually worked out for my good, because it forced me to stay home on Monday and Tuesday and to get all of the Christmas cards for our church, and our cards and Christmas letter for family and friends done and mailed! I'm feeling much better except for this relentlessly runny nose which I have no time or patience for. 

We have a sit down dinner for our church leadership team at our house tomorrow, so I've been cooking up a storm for the past two days, setting and decorating tables, etc. 

I'll tell you more about the menu next week and maybe link some of the recipes.  Meanwhile, it's time to get some rest before a full day tomorrow! 

still following, 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Advent Gratitude...

Sure, life is busy and there are extra demands on my time and budget this time of the year, but overwhelmingly I feel such gratitude. There are no earth shattering triumphs or changes to report. There are still needs I'm asking that God will supply, prayers I'm still praying and have yet to see answered, longings and heart desires that I still bring to Him continually. Yet, I know that my deep need finds its satisfaction in the deep kindness of God's love, (Psalm 42:7 The Passion Translation), and I am so deeply grateful. He is such a good, good Father 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)

-a beautiful walk with the grands

-youngest daughter's ultrasound of our newest grandgirlie went well
-my guy buying me flowers and dinner 

-frosty morning with blue skies
-snow on the foothills
-tiny gold bird sitting on the fence
-James chapter 3 and 4
-homemade chicken soup
-a great time of prayer with our small group

-waking up at 4AM and being unable to go back to sleep, but having such a sweet time with Jesus
 and catching up on my Advent reading in the wee hours
-healthy eyes per the eye dr.
-an afternoon nap-a rarity!

-Mt. St. Helens covered in fresh snow
-a long overdue hair appointment day-I feel so much better!
-dinner with the two oldest grandkids
-Christmas shopping done!

-sleeping in a wee bit
-all of my grandkids and daughters together for Zoolights

-the grandkids so excited about a sleepover at Auntie's
-catching a precious moment of my nine year old granddaughter turning back to her Mama
 for a second hug goodbye before going to Aunties and hearing her say, "I love you, Mama"

-precious morning quiet time in God's presence
-praying together 
-a beautiful sunset on my walk

-worship that changes the atmosphere
-a deep heart work through the truth of God's Word preached
-His body broken for me-His blood shed for me
-going to the NW Community Gospel Chorus/Oregon Symphony's Gospel Concert, 
(it's the 20th anniversary of this event and we've been to almost every one!)

still following,

Saturday, December 8, 2018

A prayer for peace...

This is part three of a Sunday Soul Food series on peace.
For part one click here.
For part two click here.
A prayer for peace-

Father God,

I thank You that you sent Jesus, my Prince of Peace, so that I can have peace with You.  I want to walk in love and unity with You. I know that I cannot have true peace within if I am walking in resistance or disobedience to Your will and your ways.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, December 9th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Also happily linking up with the lovely

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Friday Faves...Simple Christmas Decor 2018

I love Christmas
I love decorating my home for Christmas.

I am discovering that the more simply I decorate,
the more I love it.

It's almost FRIDAY, friends!

Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Making known God's doings...

Just popping on here quickly to post last week's gratitude journaling, three days late. I've had a busy few days with all of the good things that normal life as well as the Christmas season bring-a Christmas party with the ladies from our church, hosting our youngest daughter's baby shower, babysitting the grands and a small group gathering at our home to name just a few. Today is my day to breathe, catch up on a few things, and get a little rest. One of those things to catch up on is posting this gratitude list, not to give myself some sort of recognition for keeping up with my gratitude journal, but to give God the recognition He deserves for His faithfulness and all of the daily blessings, big and small, that too often go unnoticed, unrecognized, and unappreciated. I want to make His doings in my life known, and to encourage you to pause and notice and give thanks to God for what He is doing in your 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)

-peace in God's presence
-God's daily bread
-a sweet afternoon with my two youngest granddaughter's
-the biggest chocolate cake ever for our youngest granddaughter's seventh birthday family dinner
 (a couple days early)
-all of my grandkids together

-my car running much better after some work on it
-an invite to meet for lunch from one of my good friends from church
-the option to go to bed early!

-our youngest granddaughter-it's her birthday today!
-having our friends from So. Cal over for dinner
-finding just the right gift for a Christmas wish

-1 Peter 5:7
-a walk with a friend from church on a new to me trail
-learning to yield, surrender and trust as God is at work in us

-Friday date day with my guy
-our oldest grandson coming over to watch the Pac 12 championship with Papa,
(YaY Washington Huskies! 
Our oldest granddaughter and middle grandson watched Christmas movies with me in the other room. 
I'm not a big sports fan.)
-my guy excitedly making Rose Bowl plans with a friend

-it's December!
-God's help with a busy day! I even got my walk in and had time to take a hot bath!
-a fun ladies' Christmas party

-the waitress we met at last night's party came to church today
-powerful worship
-a wonderful baby shower for youngest daughter and our soon to be born granddaughter

still following,