Sunday, June 8, 2014

God's will for us...

"How do I know what God's will is for my life?" is a common question ministry couples, like us, get asked.
We always point people back to the Word of God and urge them to study what it says about God's will.
One thing that God makes very clear is that His will for us is that we give Him thanks.
In everything is the part most of us stumble over.
It's easy to give thanks when all is right with the world, but in times of trouble, trial and testing
 it's a lot harder, isn't it?
I've been deliberately giving and writing down my thanks for almost five years now,
  and it's still a challenge to do so in some situations and circumstances.
But, while I still struggle to thank God for the trial itself,
 I can thank Him that He is with me through it all and that He is working everything out for my good.
I can thank Him for all of His faithful blessings I see even in the middle of hard times.
 I guess the honest truth is, I still have a lot to learn about giving thanks.
But, I intend to keep trying!


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 little black journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-fresh local strawberries!

-grocery shopping - having an abundance of choices and food
-$5 worth of thrift store fun
-our church leaders
-a "Jesus date" (what I call buying a coffee and finding a lovely place to sit and have devotions)

-Brienne Kristen photography taking amazing photos of our grandson!
-stock flowers from Trader Joe's

-walking around the fitness trail with my hubs
-a simple supper of egg salad sandwiches and fresh watermelon

-making jam

-our daughters
-my three week old, (born premature), grandson, (who isn't even "due" for two more weeks"), rolled over four times!!!

-working in the yard
-an old ironstone pitcher filled with flowers
-prayer and worship

-our granddaughter's graduation from preschool
-lunch with our oldest daughter and her family and our second born and the baby
-"the graduate" so excited because Papa took her to Target and let her pick out a box that locks

-Wendy's Frosties for our two youngest granddaughters after lunch

-buying flowers and plants for the yard
-working in the yard together

-going to our grandson's baseball games with all three granddaughters

-salty peanuts in the shell
-cold, juicy, ripe cantaloupe
-"deep conversation" with my five year old granddaughter
-playing in the backyard

-a full class for our book of Acts study
-wonderful worship
-communion-remembering Jesus' broken body and shed blood
-our grandson's first Sunday at church

gratefully yours,


  1. What a precious post! Your granddaughters are adorable! Enjoy these summer days with them:). I also bought local strawberries over the weekend, and made some jam. My family always requests some in the summer, besides it's fun to make. I think your jam-making photo with the big bowl of crushed berries and your strawberry coffee mug is beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much, Leslie. I plan to make some more strawberry jam! We can't get enough.

  2. As usual, I came away from reading your thanksgiving all the more full of my own reasons to be thankful too. I love the photo of your grandson (actually ALL grandchildren, He's just so new that I particularly loved that.)

    And I love that you call it a Jesus Date. I am going to have to copycat that phrase in my head.

    1. I go on Jesus dates with my favorite leather tote that carries my bible and journal. I call it my Jesus date bag and our tradition is to give one lady at our annual ladies' retreat a nice Jesus date bag to encourage her in her times with the Lord. Going somewhere other than my usual spot at home for devotions seems to break the dryness that can occasionally hit.

  3. Sweetest, sweetest list! I love the "Jesus Date". I love summer when I can have those on the porch.

    1. Yay that you are on summer break! I hope it's a summer for you to slow down and savor!

  4. As usual, I loved your pictures and list. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed week.


    1. Thanks so much, Debbi! Hope your week is blessed as well!

  5. I just love your gratitude list and all your pictures. Beautiful and precious. Blessings.

    1. Beth, counting my blessings has been life changing for me! It really helps to set my mind on the goodness of God in my life.

  6. Beautiful list and photos!

    Ok..a couple years ago I memorized this verse and had this "aha" moment. Since then, I've never uttered the phrase "I wonder what God's will is for my life". This verse says it all...actually, I go back a couple verses...Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances... THAT is God's will for my life!

    1. I so agree that there's a whole lot of God's will for us to follow in that chapter of 1 Thassalonians!

  7. Pictures of Praise...I felt my own spirit lift as I read yours. And a Jesus date--I'm going to adopt that phrase. I love Jesus dates! Sweet grands and I wanted to reach right through the computer and eat one of those strawberries! I love that God's will is for us to praise Him. We never run out, do we?

    1. Pamela, I'm so blessed that my post encouraged you!

  8. I always love seeing your grateful blog posts, Elizabeth! They make me smile--every one of your numbers on your list! BTW, you have a gorgeous handwriting. :) Thanks for letting us take a peek at your adorable new grandson.


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