Monday, March 1, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I can't even begin to describe to you the tumultuous two weeks we've had. It began with a huge snowstorm in our area, which was freezing rain just south of us where two of our daughter's live. The damage to the area caused by the heavy ice looks like a tornado went through. The power company is still working on some areas to restore electricity. 
Then, just days later we had the traumatic surprise of a phone call about a huge mistake made by the the title company, the mortgage company and our county property tax division over five years ago when buying our home-a mistake that literally could have cost us our house. God mercifully helped us to stop that disaster. Then I went on a pre-scheduled trip with our oldest granddaughter and so, that is why I am just now posting two weeks of my gratitude journal. Today I want to just pause and thank God for His WITHNESS-for being with us in every moment of our life through all of it's highs and lows. That, above all, is what I am most thankful for today!
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)

-reading books before bed with my grandkids
-making cinnamon rolls with Cyrus

-our kid's power being restored 
-facetime with our granddaughter who is in Hawaii on her 12th birthday
-dinner and heart talks with my guy

-my first walk outside since the "big snow"
-a long talk with a good friend 
-our friend's help with a car problem

-stumbling upon a real American girl doll at the Goodwill for under $5= one happy granddaughter!

-spending time with my grandsons

-walking to the park 
-a vase of pussy willows from Trader Joe's

-God's prevention what could have been a big disaster with our home
-my sister's wisdom and advice
-prayer support and encouragement from our church leaders

-my husband's love 
-God's help and provision
-unexpected help from a county bureaucrat

-Psalm 37 from the Message Bible
-daffodils in bloom in my front flowerbeds

-listening to worship as I clean house

-such powerful worship
-our church's love and support for us
-a safe trip to Kansas City with my oldest granddaughter
-a fun free upgrade on our rental car

-God speaking to me about the Hebrew word "yada"-intimately knowing Who He is, His ways, what He is doing (Psalm 25:4, 14, 46:10, 16:11, Isaiah 43:19)
-my husband's texts that He misses me
-this week with my oldest granddaughter before she graduates and moves away

-breakfast with all the kids from our church who now attend IHOPU

-a sweet visit with a dear friend

-a good heart talk with my granddaughter

-an answer to prayer
-God speaking to me through His word
-singing aloud with my granddaughter as we are driving in the car

-getting to spend time in the prayer room
-God WITH me!
-our granddaughter getting to spend time with her good friend

-finding our misplaced rental car keys
-the airlines holding our connecting flight for us when out arriving flight was delayed
-being home!

-my husband's birthday
-our family coming over to celebrate together
-baths for two grubby grandsons

-God's work in us
-such a beautiful, powerful morning in our church
-lunch and a good visit with friends

still following,

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Honoring Others

It's been ten years since my mama went to heaven and there are still moments when I have an overwhelming sense of missing her. I think of the five grandchildren that have been added to our family since she passed away and how tickled she would be with each one of them. I think of questions I wished I had asked her about her life or how she made some of my favorite dishes. With the missing her, comes the knowledge that, at age 63, there are still times I find myself needing my mama. I don't need her to take care of me or to help me; I don't need her for what she could do for me. I need her for what she was to me. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 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

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Rock Solid Truth You Can Count On

"You have bereaved my soul and cast it off far from peace; I have forgotten what good and happiness are.And I say, Perished is my strength and my expectation from the Lord. O Lord, remember earnestly my affliction and my misery, my wandering and my outcast state, the wormwood and the gall. My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me. But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being, my inner self ; therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. Lamentations 3:18-24

I love how gut level honest the Bible is. God's Word doesn't gloss over the way God's people struggle. Suffering, disappointment, frustration, doubt, fear and anger are common experiences and emotions for us all and the Bible reflects those experiences and emotions even in the lives of those we consider the Bible's heroes. 

Jeremiah, prophet to the people of Judah, was given a not so pleasant assignment by God. His job was to tell the people that they were going to go into captivity as a consequence of their continual disobedience and unfaithfulness to God. Needless to say, Jeremiah, being the bearer of this bad news, was not received graciously. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 21st 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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Post

Where I live, in the southwest corner of Washington state with just the Columbia River separating my city from Portland, Oregon, we are not used to, nor prepared for, significant snow. But wouldn't you know that this winter, after a year of pandemic losses and shutdowns, relentless social unrest and violence in Portland and Seattle, and after a summer with the most horrific wildfires ever in our area, that this would be the winter when we have a real snowpacalypse. What we usually get is 24 hour news coverage of possible snow that actually ends up being a light dusting. But beginning Thursday evening, it began snowing and didn't stop at our house until we had about 14 inches of snow. South of Portland, Oregon, they didn't get as much snow, but they got much worse-freezing rain that ended up coating everything with an inch and a half or so of solid ice. It brought down trees and power lines and left  hundreds of thousands without electricity for days. Some areas still don't have their power restored.

We lost power for only about an hour.  My children who lost power were able to get to our house and stayed with us until their power came back on. Our oldest daughter and her family, who had a pre-scheduled trip to Hawaii planned, were still able to fly out and are currently enjoying the sun. Four wheel drive vehicles made necessary trips to the store and trips between our home and our local daughter's house possible. Meanwhile in our church, growth group leaders and members were in frequent contact with one another to check on each other and Zoom made Sunday gathering still possible. There is always something to be thankful for and, personally, I am thankful for being snowed in with my three year old grandson, two year old granddaughter, youngest daughter and son-in-law, for the grandkids coming over to play in the snow and watching them make a seven feet tall snowman and ride my kayak down our steep driveway like a toboggan, for making a big pot of chili and a pan of cornbread to feed them afterwards-in spite of the storm, there is always so much to be thankful for!

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)

-insight from Is. 43:18-19 as I look up the original word meanings
-a sweet time of prayer on my walk
-God's help getting so much done today

-phone conversations with my siblings
-God clarifying my thoughts for tomorrow's message to our church's women
-communicating my heart to my daughter and her understanding my heart

-peace and assurance about God's leading me
-many hands make light work-all those who helped me with tonight's meeting
-thank you, God, for a beautiful time together 

-holding my youngest grandson and singing with him
-our warm, cozy home

-a lazy snow day at home
-Psalm 46:10 and Isaiah 43:19-the same word KNOW is used
-dinner at our daughter's and getting to see our oldest grandson who has been out of state

-a great turnout for our church's men's prayer in spite of the weather
-a fun afternoon/evening with our grandkids playing in the snow

-our youngest daughter and her family staying with us while their power is out

-a sweet Valentine card from my guy
-our oldest daughter and her family getting safely to Hawaii
-our church meeting via zoom together

still following,

Saturday, February 13, 2021

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward...rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV

 We had three growth groups meeting in separate areas of the main meeting room at our church. One group was posting their discussion on zoom. Later, when I watched the zoom video, I was dismayed to hear my own voice participating in the discussion with a completely different growth group halfway across the room. "Am I really that loud?" I wondered.  "Have  I always been that loud?" "Did I become loud because our family tends to be loud?" "Have I developed a loud speaking voice because of decades of public speaking?" 
To be honest, as is prone to happen, the thoughts magnified the more I dwelt on them and I became disheartened and wondered, "will I ever have the gentle and quiet spirit that is precious in God's sight?" "What does that even mean and how do I do it?"

I decided to try to unpack what God was really saying to me through those verses by using one of my favorite bible study tools. I simply typed the words, "greek lexicon for 1 Peter 3:4" in the search engine bar on my computer. Up popped Bible Hub  which took me to the definitions of the words of the verse in the original language. What treasure and reassurance and comfort I found!   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 14th 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

Monday, February 8, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal

No matter how old we are, I believe that if we aren't growing and changing, we are choosing to wither up and die. For over two years my husband and I and our church family have been in the process of some beautiful changes that God is doing as we are growing in maturity and letting God transform us. It hasn't come without a price. Change always involves letting go of our comfort zone. It has even involved some loss-not everyone likes change! It has involved a lot of work. Stagnation is the lazy way to live but change requires movement. In our case it involves leading a church into what God wants us to be. On top of all of that, our family is going through some changes. Change doesn't have to be something bad to be hard. So this mom/nana has wrestled with the coming changes, cried about the coming changes, and to be honest, I have not yet given thanks for all of the coming changes. I'm still a work in progress in that area!
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)

-It's February!
-a sweet visit with my sister
-God's comfort and help
-a walk in the rain

-reading the Sermon on the Mount in the Message Bible
-talking and praying with my friend on the phone
-a beautiful time of worship, prayer and planning with our women's leadership team

-finding four boxes of my favorite plant wax tea lights at Homegoods
-listening to worship and singing with and having good conversation with my granddaughters while driving in the car with them
-a fun time with them at Lake Sacajawea

-eating dinner outside in tents at El Ranchero and them declaring that it was the best food ever

-my husband and I agreeing in prayer together for God's peace to rule in us in these times of change
-God's help when I need His wisdom and strength
-dinner out at our favorite restaurant by the sea

-a walk by the sea


-my husband's love and care for me

-going antiquing with my friend
-listening to encouraging sermons while doing my Saturday cleaning
-yummy homemade soup for dinner on this rainy day

-hugs from my grandsons
-our church family
-our daughters

still following,