Monday, December 31, 2018

Christmas Week Blessings....

It's New Year's Eve and we are cozied up here at home, me, my husband, and our oldest grandson. Papa, a friend from church, and our grandson will be up well before dawn to catch a flight to southern California to go to the Rose Bowl Game. Go Huskies!!! My grandson is already asleep, Papa is watching something on his iPad, and I'm here blogging. We are partying like crazy this New Year's Eve! Ha!Ha!

Christmas week was wonderful. The only thing that could have made it better was having our whole family together-our second born and her family are in South Carolina visiting family and friends. We are blessed to have our girls and their families living nearby and around most of the time, though!

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll post about my word for the new year.  For now, I'm going to dive right in and post my weekly gratitude list accompanied by lots of Christmas photos!
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 Christmas Eve!
-getting my two youngest grand girlies ready for Christmas Eve service-curling their hair, etc.

-youngest grandson in his cute Christmas sweater
-snacks and games and laughter at our youngest daughter's and son-in-law's house after church

-Christmas Day! Thank You God, for sending Jesus!
-youngest granddaughter still fast asleep while all the rest of us are awake
 and waiting to open presents

-our middle daughter making and freezing the sausage balls for us so 
we didn't miss out on her traditional contribution to our Christmas breakfast
-oldest granddaughter's patient determination to complete her new Lego house
-youngest grandson hopping into his stroller the minute he saw me 
because our thing together is long walks
-facetime with our daughter and grands that are in S.C.
-texts with our siblings

-Nothing is impossible for God!
-a bunch of Christmas cards in today's mail
-my beautiful new sweater from my husband

-Christmas decor all down, reorganized, and put neatly away
-a nap!
-a post-Christmas trip to look at lights with our granddaughters

-God confirming my word for the new year and all of the scriptures about it
-my husband cleaning the garage
-youngest daughter and grandson stopping by

-fragrant bouquet of after Christmas clearance sale eucalyptus
-a sweet thank you for some Christmas goodies
-honest heart talks

-an amazing time of worship and timely word
-lunch with my nephew and his family, my sister and her husband, and our good friends,
 (who also happen to be my nephew's in-laws!)
-our oldest grandson's safe flight alone from South Carolina to PDX 
so he can go to the Rose Bowl with Papa

still following,

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Eve Eve 2018...

 I'm usually more active here on my blog during the Christmas season as there is so much to share- Christmas decor and recipes and all of the spiritual richness that the Advent season brings. We've hosted a lot of events at our home this month, and church and ministry life is busy this time of year. But, the truth is that isn't the main reason I've not posted more frequently. I've just felt a bit quiet. Quiet in a good way-in a peaceful way. It's easier to pop in to Instagram and to share a photo and a few words, so if I'm quiet here you can check in with me over there. Hopefully, I will be back to posting more consistently after the holidays!  May your Christmas be merry and filled with God's peace, love, friends, family, joy and laughter!
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)

-details for the next weekend's church Christmas breakfast and service coming together
-big hugs from the grandgirlies when I picked them up from school for their mama
-nine year old granddaughter practicing her speech for school to me,
(she's sharing about her family's Advent traditions)

-the beautiful winter sky on my walk
-finishing our study on the book of James with our small group
-friends who hosted our group this week

-Christmas cards from friends and family arriving in mail
-the neighbors' houses all lit up for Christmas
-munching popcorn and watching a Hallmark movie

-our cozy home
-oldest granddaughter got a part in the school play
-the huge moon in the moody, cloudy sky

-morning rituals-candlelight, coffee, quiet time with God 
-Friday date day!
-the full moon as I came out of the grocery store
-texts with oldest granddaughter

-Isaiah 61
-a phone call from a dear 92 year old friend
-taking a walk with and baking with G.
-facetiming with the grands that are on vacation in South Carolina

-thank you, God, for sending Jesus
-a dear friend from years gone by showing up at church
-the waitress from our Ladies' Christmas dinner and her sons coming to church
-a joy filled church Christmas breakfast and celebration today
-sweet photo of youngest grandson with Santa

still following,

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