Monday, July 30, 2018

A shift of perspective...

Have you ever seen someone that appears to have the perfect life? You look at their life from the outside and it seems as though their marriage is relatively conflict free, they are doing well financially, and their children are all serving God and prospering in life. Meanwhile, looking at your own life from the inside, the problems you have feel overwhelming. You may even think to yourself, it sure would be nice to have their life. The problem is that you are seeing their life and your own life from two different perspectives-theirs from outward appearances and yours from the middle of the mess. Sometimes we need to shift our perspective and look at our own life from a different vantage point. When we look at our life from the middle of the mess we can become hyper focused on our problems and the things that we wish were different. Because we are so focused on the negative, we can become blind to the blessings all around us. It's possible that while we're wishing away our life longing for someone else's life, someone is wishing away their life, longing for ours. Contentment is found when we shift our focus to the blessings found in the life we have. Even in the middle of our mess, in the middle of our difficulties, the goodness of God can be found. We just have to choose to shift our perspective in order to see see it.

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)

-the good feeling that comes with getting today's to-do list all done
-a text from my guy-"I'll take you out to dinner tonight"
-a beautiful evening walk

-listening to last Sunday's message-so good!
-talking to my sister
-air conditioning in our house during this heat wave

-another beautiful summer day
-lunch by the river with my friend who's visiting from Guatemala 
-the gorgeous moon tonight

-a book loaned to me at just the right time
-my youngest daughter and her husband getting the keys to their new house
-a breakthrough in my own heart during prayer and worship

-rainbows in the water as I watered my plants
-a bald eagle soaring overhead
-a fun day off with my guy
-a safe delivery for a special mama and baby after a bit of a scare

-a sweet time of worship and prayer while driving
-helping my girl strip the old kitchen wallpaper in her new house
-the perfect pantry jars for under $25 for a bit of pantry reorganization

-such a good word from the Word!
-lunch after church with my sister and brother in law
-peace that passes understanding

still following,

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation...

The Lord is my Light-(my Dawn, my Daylight, my Sunshine, the Light of my Life)

and my Salvation-(my Deliverance, my Safety, my Rescue, my Victory)-

whom shall I fear or dread?

The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold-(Defense, Fortress, Helmet, Protection)

of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?

We don't have to live very long before we realize that life on planet earth is unpredictable. All of us have been in the middle of an ordinary day when, suddenly, we are faced with a test, trial or difficult circumstance that we didn't see coming.  After a while, it can make a body gun-shy, causing us to live in dread and evil foreboding of what might happen. We can actually stop really living life today because of fear, worry and anxiety about tomorrow. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, July 29th, 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, July 26, 2018

Friday Faves...Kitchen Remodel One Year Later

It's been a year since our kitchen remodel. I thought I'd write a post about how things are holding up,
the things I'm loving and anything that I would change if I could.
I LOVE the quartz countertops. I love the cement look of the color I chose. I don't set hot objects directly on the countertops or cut with a knife directly on them, but I wouldn't do those things on any type of countertop. 

The large subway tile backsplash, no regrets! Timeless and easy to clean. 

I love the sink that we chose.   We also chose to not put in a garbage disposal. We thought we could put one in later if we decided we wanted one, but I honestly don't miss having one at all.
The professional paint job on the 1990's oak cabinetry is holding up very well. It was definitely worth the money to have the cabinets painted right. If I wasn't on a budget I may have purchased new cabinetry with a more simple shaker style look since I don't love the decorative curve in the cabinet doors. On the other hand, two of my daughters have brand new white cabinetry and both have had cabinet doors that came off and some cracking and chipping on the finish. There were some benefits to keeping the older sturdy, solid oak cabinets and, of course, it saved us a lot of money.

I am so glad that we cut out the wood inserts in the upper cabinets and replaced it with this reeded glass. I love it. I am also glad that it's opaque enough to not show all the items inside the cabinets, but see through enough to feel more open.

All in all, one year after our kitchen update, I'm still loving it!

It's almost FRIDAY, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A walk on the beach...

Our family reunion last week was at a campground about a mile walk from the beach. The walking/biking path to the beach led through some beautiful woods. At one point on my walk two huge, beautiful elk were standing just a few yards from me, but a noise spooked them just as I raised my camera to take a photo. Darn!

When I walked over the sand dune between the woods and the beach, it was a bit hazy. But, to me, any day by the sea is a beautiful day!

still following, 

Flower Friday

Monday, July 23, 2018

My gratitude offering...

The past two weeks have been a wild ride on life's roller coaster. We have experienced the pain and grief of another family loss, a nephew, just three months after grieving the death of a niece. Only two days later we received the joyful news that our youngest daughter is expecting a baby girl. In the two weeks since my last gratitude post, we experienced some hurt and frustration that comes with ministry life and just a few days later some life giving encouragement. We worked and we played. We laughed and we cried. We gathered together and said goodbye. Life is full of both ugly and beautiful. Sometimes it comes all twisted up together and it's a choice to look for the beauty and the blessing. When you do, before you know it you've passed another milestone-eleven thousand things to be grateful 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)

-Vacation Bible School

-seeing all six of my grandkids today
-reading Ramona Quimby aloud to my granddaughters

-exploring Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge with my granddaughters
-my granddaughters' giggles
-the grand girlies talking Papa into taking us to our favorite restaurant for dinner

-a successful V.B.S.
-a fun afternoon swimming at the lake

-our oldest grandson having fun with his younger cousins

-meeting our new neighbors
-yellow butterflies dancing in flight
-prayer and worship

-a bit of morning quiet time 
-our first time trying out our new kayaks
-being able to laugh when things didn't go quite as we had planned

-watering the outside plants in the cool of the evening 
-a Saturday morning walk

-faces I had missed, back at church today
-seeing God answering my prayers
-the way my siblings and my children rallied together 
when we got the news of my nephew's death

-God's provision
-talking to my sister 
-my husband's care for me as I processed the sad news

-seeing God help my sister with the details she is having to take care of
-happy news! our baby girl is expecting a baby girl!
-God's help when we ask for His help and wisdom
-a sweet time with our "unofficially adopted granddaughter" 
who will be leaving for college soon

-the comfort of baking one of Mama's recipes to share at our family reunion
-talking to my sister-all of us deciding that continuing with our reunion plans is the best plan-
we need to be together at this time of loss
-a wonderfully encouraging evening for our church leadership team

-our four year old grandson riding to the reunion with us
-yummy clam chowder at a favorite Oregon coast restaurant
-getting to hug my hurting, grieving sister
-my brother-in-law who is taking good care of her at his time of deep loss
-my brothers coming to our little cabin at the campground for coffee and a visit

-morning coffee made by my guy
-going on a bike ride to the beach with my daughter, son-in-law and three of the grandkids
-a stunningly beautiful day at the beach
-walking to the beach with my brother, brother-in-law and grandson
-playing Catch Phrase around the campfire

-a long talk with my sisters
-two huge elk right by the walking path on the way to the beach
-holding hands with my guy

-stopping at the Farmer's Market with my kids
-a good report on how amazing church was today
-a safe drive home
-texts with my siblings about how good it was to be together

still following,

Saturday, July 21, 2018

God's amazing love...

Last Sunday my extended family suffered a tragic loss of a loved one.  I don't have a lot of words today. But, that's okay. One word from God's Word is more powerful than anything I have to say.

This verse has been comforting me this week. When it says that death cannot separate us from the love of God the definition of the Greek word for death adds some insight.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, July 22nd, 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