Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal




I hope you all had a good Memorial Day. I'm a day late posting my weekly gratitude post due to spending the holiday with my husband.  It was also our youngest grandson's third birthday so we a fun Mickey Mouse themed birthday breakfast at our house for him. 


Our fourth grandson, eighth grandchild, is scheduled to be born on June 16th, what would have been my mama's 95th birthday. So, we are only three weeks away! Unfortunately, the coronavirus procedures mandate we won't be able to be at the hospital for his birth. I'm sad that I won't be able to see and photograph him in his first moments. Life in this season with Covid-19 has definitely had it's disappointments and challenges, BUT, there are ALWAYS so many things to give God thanks 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)
#13,307-#13,228

5-18-2020-
-a sweet morning of the Word and Prayer
-singing with my oldest granddaughter in the car
-God hearing and answering our prayers 

5-19-2020-
-our middle daughter on her birthday
-a fun afternoon with the two youngest grandkids
-hosting a birthday dinner at our house for all of our daughters who have had birthdays during quarantine

5-20-2020-
-the book of Hebrews
-a friend to call when I need prayer
-the God Who I can trust

5-21-2020-
-this quote "We offer our prayers up in weakness but they ascend in power." Mike Bickle
-encouraging support from our church during this time
-praying the Word together

5-22-2020-
-fresh haircuts!
-hope on the horizon for reopening church
-God at work when we pray and trust and obey

5-23-2020-
-our oldest daughter's 22nd anniversary and our youngest daughter's 5th anniversary
-a friend who asks if we can pray together
-a sweet afternoon with our middle grandson
 
5-24-2020-
-Sunday "church"
-texts of encouragement
-a nice long visit with our friends while  sitting around their backyard fire pit

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

An Invitation to Peaceful Living


(A repost from my archives updated for times like these!)

We are living in tumultuous times. Once again, this week's news has been filled with political controversy, pandemic updates and economic upheaval. I long for peace and quiet in the midst of this world's chaos. In Isaiah 32:18 we read that God's people can dwell in peace, safety and quiet. I'm longing for peace in the midst of the chaos, are you? Perhaps there are some things we can do invite more peace into our lives.

1) Ask the Prince of Peace to dwell in you and in your home and family.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  Invite Him into every area of your life, home and family.  Give Him permission to show you anything in you, your home and your family that is a peace robber.  There are many things that can steal your peace. 
 (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 24th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Monday, May 18, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal



I don't think that I'm an anxious person, but I do have my triggers that can cause me to have anxious thoughts. Last night as I went to bed I felt anxious and asked God to show me the root cause. He so graciously showed me a few small things that I let worm their way into my mind and heart. Of course, those small things quickly morph into big "what if" fears if not identified and rooted out. One way God has given us to conquer worry, fear and anxiety is to shift our focus onto God's faithful care for us in the past. David conquered the giant Goliath, not because he was so talented with a slingshot, but because of His trust in the One Who had previously helped him to triumph in his battles against the lion and the bear. (I Samuel 17:34-37 
 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.  The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”) My years of gratitude journals are not just diaries, they are weapons. They are recorded memories of God's faithful care in my life-from big miracles to small, unexpected blessings. They are the proof that God who has always been faithful in my past will be faithful to the end. 

**********************************


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)
#13,279-#13,306

5-11-2020-
-our second grandson-today is his 6th birthday!
-our whole family together to celebrate his and his brother's birthdays
-"the cousins"
-sweet youngest granddaughter wanting me to play "pony girl" with her

5-12-2020-
-our oldest grandson on his 16th birthday!
-him facetiming me to show me the new shoes he bought with his birthday money
-seeing God's work in answer to prayer

5-13-2020-
-God confirming that it was His leading when I felt led to pray for someone 
and they texted that they were needing prayer right in that moment
-praying with my friend over the phone for her loved ones
-praying together for our nation
-ultrasound photos of our newest grandbaby due in mid June
-watching our middle grandson while our daughter was at her pregnancy check appointment and having lots of fun making play dough together 

5-14-2020-
-digging deep in the book of Daniel
-prayers that I was struggling to get out during my morning quiet time flowing out of me on my walk
-forgiving each other after a day of letting the stress of current events make us grumpy

5-15-2020-
-a slow relaxing morning off
-a phone call from my big sis
-a fun Friday Date Day drive to one of our favorite burger and milkshake stops
-a beautiful walk around the lake
-peonies bursting with buds

5-16-2020-
-listening to encouraging podcasts while cleaning house
-a pitcher full of charmelia
-a powerful time of prayer
-my chunky, cozy soft new blanket

5-17-2020-
-an encouraging comment from my sister
-an answer to prayer
-youngest grandson deciding to call my husband "Pops" instead of "Papa"
-youngest granddaughters big gap-toothed smile

still following,

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Call to Prayer



This week I posted something on Instagram that a lot of people found helpful and asked if they could share with others. I felt prompted to share it here as well.

I can’t speak for all, but perhaps my perspective will give you some insight about what it’s like to try to lead a church during these times of the coronavirus pandemic. Our situation is different than some as in our home state we are still under strict shutdown due to the coronavirus with no real end in sight. To lead our flock responsibly while trying to carefully listen to and heed the leading of God’s Word and Spirit KNOWING that people are polarized between the scriptures that say we are to obey God rather than man, (Acts 5:29), and the scriptures that tell us to submit to those in authority over us, (Romans 13:1), is excruciatingly difficult. There is utmost concern for people’s physical safety as well as utmost concern that constitutional freedoms once relinquished may never be recovered. My greatest concern is that God’s people are focusing on the physical issues we see-the virus, the impact to our economy, the government over reach and are ignoring the spiritual battle going on over our state, nation and world.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 17th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal


Today I will be posting two weeks worth of gratitude journal entries. We were at our son-in-law's parent's little cabin on the Umpqua River for three days last week so I was unable to post. What a blessing it is every time we get to go to this special place. It was also wonderful for my husband and I to have a change of scenery after weeks of being at home. The cabin is not far from the beach and the county beach accesses were open so we were also blessed to get some walks on the beach. The time spent enjoying the beautiful view of the river from the back deck of the cabin and those beach walks did me a world of good. Upon coming home, I feel a bit like we are living in a dense fog as in the photo above. In our state, everything is still pretty much on lockdown and there seems to be no clear vision about moving forward. The morning this photo was taken the sun came out and the fog was completely gone before mid-morning. I pray we will soon have some clarity about things such as being able to have church again and for businesses to resume and most of all for the virus to be eradicated. 
****************
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)
#13,232-#13,278

4-27-2020-
-spending time with my grandson trying to help him learn to ride his bike
-God's continued blessings on our church and us during this time of the coronavirus quarantine
-God's fatherly correction in my life

4-28-2020-
-Romans 8
-a really sweet afternoon with my granddaughters 
-the freshly mowed lawn

4-29-2020
-a miraculous answer to prayer for healing
-finding out our newest grandbaby will be born on what would have been my mom's 95th birthday
-a sweet zoom call meeting with some of the young parents from our church

4-30-2020-
-kind and helpful call center employees 
-details for my daughter's baby shower coming together 
-praying together to record our online prayer service
-oldest granddaughter getting some good news

 5-1-2020-
-May first!
-God answering prayer when I trust Him and don't try to fix everything myself
-friendship

5-2-2020-
-our grandkids
-a successful drive by baby shower for our daughter
-youngest daughter's in-law's driving such a long way to come to the shower

5-3-2020-
-rain showers that turn to blue skies
-texts with our girls
-a safe drive to the cabin
-sitting on the deck and enjoying the view of the river while sipping a good cup of tea

5-4-2020-
-a sweet time in God's Word
-morning coffee on the deck while watching the fog on the river lift
-a wonderful walk on the beach

5-5-2020-
-assurance from Daniel 2
-another wonderful walk on the beach while worshipping along to music via my headphones
-sitting on the big rock overlooking the river watching my husband fish
-watching an old movie together before bed

5-6-2020-
-glancing up while praying just as a bald eagle flew by the cabin window
-getting to see our goddaughter and her husband
-a good talk and beach walk with them

5-7-2020
-a safe drive home from the cabin
-all we have needed God's hand has provided
-praying for our nation together online

5-8-2020-
-Friday!
-praying and trusting
-God's provision of beautiful handmade face masks via a stranger I met in line at the store

5-9-2020-
-my little backyard herb patch
-our viburnum full of blooms
-a backyard bbq
-a lemon tree from our nephew and his wife
-a sweet card from my friend

5-10-2020-
-so many Mother's Day greetings from family, church family and more...
-our two oldest grands helping me put together two wagons-one for their brother's birthday and one for their cousins
-Papa buying us a yummy lunch 
-getting to see my grandgirlies

still following,

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Grace Covered Motherhood



More than likely, the majority of us grew up with mothers that were neither horror movie horrible nor Hallmark card perfection. For most of us our mothers were a blend of both imperfection and awesome bonded together with a generous measure of what we perceived as just ordinary. In our earliest years we could easily see the wonderful. I can clearly remember when I was very young thinking that my mama was the most beautiful woman in the world. As we get older we can become a bit more jaded and aware of and judgmental about our mother's imperfections. I realized that my mama was not the most beautiful woman in the world when my girlfriend down the street invited me into her house and I saw that her mama was beautifully attired in a full skirted dress accessorized with pearl earrings-and on an ordinary weekday! She was dressed just like June Cleaver from the Leave It To Beaver show that was so popular in my childhood. Suddenly my mama in her homemade cotton house dress looked so plain to me. And then I began to notice and judge her for her other "flaws." Mama's love language was acts of service. She worked continuously sewing clothes for me and my six siblings, making us fabulous meals and homemade bread, pies, cakes, pastries and cookies. But my heart wanted Mama to stop working and to hold me and talk to me. Sometimes I'd daydream about what it would be like to have a mama who was more emotionally nurturing.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 10th, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Endurance For Times Like These


Five years ago God spoke to my heart that my word for the year was to be endurance. I wanted God to give me a "happier" word for the year. Endurance seemed like such a hard word and I dreaded embracing it. I was just plain afraid to. I thought of it as meaning, "just grit your teeth, hold on and don't let go" until you get through this coming year. I almost rejected the word God was clearly speaking to me due to foreboding and fear. It turned out that the word endurance was one of the richest, most meaningful words I've ever focused on. When I looked up all of the scriptures with the word endurance in them, and related words like perseverance and steadfastness, I was amazed at all of the God given benefits and promises for those who have endurance.

We are in the midst of a pandemic that has rocked the whole world. Our lives have been turned topsy turvy by an invisible virus and the sickness, death and economic upheaval that it has caused. I thought now would be a good time to revisit some of the scriptures about endurance that impacted me all those years ago and that I am leaning on during this time.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 3rd, at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,