Monday, November 18, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

We had the three middle grandkids all weekend-our oldest daughter's two girls and our middle daughter's youngest son. Our granddaughters are now home back home and our grandson is going home this evening.The house is cleaned and tidied after letting the grandkids camp out in the living room together and cover the dining room table with craft projects. I think a good time was had by all. Now Nana needs a bubble bath and an early bedtime!

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)

-Veteran's Day! Thank You, God for those who serve/ have served our country
(my dad)
-taking the day off together since we'll have three of the grands here on our usual day off
-taking our two youngest grandkids on a walk on this beautiful day

-a delicious dinner at our youngest daughter's 

-thank you God, for an unexpected blessing
-catching up with a friend I haven't heard from in a while
-pork chops in mushroom gravy. Yummy.
-God's provision 

-a friend coming to see me
-a beautiful autumn sunset on my walk
-God who works out the details on our behalf

-God working out today's busy schedule
-our neighbor who leaf blows our whole cul-de-sac
-a single, large, golden colored maple leaf floating in the air
-the workers and volunteers who keep our neighborhood park clean
-a powerful night of worship and prayer

-a quiet Friday date day morning before getting the three middle grands for the weekend
-dinner with the kiddos at Spaghetti Factory
-doing crafts together
-watching old movies on the new Disney app

a good night's sleep for all of us
-an afternoon snack for the grandkids of cookies warm from the oven and a glass of cold milk
-ending a fun and noisy day with with the grands by reading a Bible story, worship and prayer

-a fabulous message at church this morning
-our youngest daughter and the grandbabies surprising us by visiting our church
-the grandkids and I spending Sunday afternoon in our pajamas

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Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Lord Directs Our Steps

There have been times when I've questioned the direction of the Lord in our lives, times when things didn't turn out the way I thought they should, times when He led us through valleys that I didn't think we were going to make it through. It's afterwards, (Not always right away. Sometimes it's taken quite a while!), that in hindsight I can see how He set us up to not only make it through, but to come through the valley stronger in Him. Looking back I see His handiwork in the details, the ways He provided just in time or the way He would send some encouragement when we were just about to give up. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 17th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

We took an extra day off on Veteran's Day since this coming Friday on our day off we will be caring for three of the grandkids. For that reason, I'm posting my weekly gratitude journal a day late. 

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)

-Romans 8
-a walk around my hometown with my youngest grandson
-youngest granddaughter's toothy grin
-taking our two middle granddaughters to Starbucks after picking them up from school 
and a fun visit with them while we enjoyed our treats

-sleeping in a wee bit
-a big cup of coffee made for me by my guy
-foggy mornings outside and a warm, cozy house inside
-making homemade bread and soup for tonight's small group, 
(I love to cook and bake!)

-our small group

-lunch at my favorite restaurant by the river with my sister and brother-in-law
-the smell of woodsmoke from the neighbor's fireplace while out on my walk
-"God is kind, but He's not soft. In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand 
and leads us into a radical life change." Romans 2:3-4MSG

-a sweet friend and her baby boy coming over for tea and a visit
-a good book that made me cry at the end
-a really good prayer and worship night at church

-Friday date day
-God's provision through finding really good bargains on Christmas gifts
-dinner with my guy at one of our favorite iconic Portland restaurants

-a wonderful prayer time 
-God's work in people's lives
-a walk on this drizzle-y beach-like day while having a good chat on the phone with G.

-all of our dear ones from Truelife Espanol
-a great combined Sunday service and a great dinner together afterwards
-God at work in making us one
-returning visitors and more new faces

still following,

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Developing A Thanksgiving Lifestyle

Thanksgiving Day is quickly approaching! I believe that thanksgiving should be more than something we focus on for one day a year. For that reason, I am repeating this post about a simple way to make thanksgiving more than just a holiday. I believe it should be the lifestyle of the believer.

 It was really eye opening to me the day I stumbled upon Deuteronomy 28:47,(Amplified Bible, Classic Edition), in my Bible reading. In this verse we find out that one of the reasons that God's people were living a less than life was "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of mind and heart in gratitude for the abundance of all with which He had blessed you." Gratitude is important to God and it's life changing for us.  Ann Voskamp, author of the book One Thousand Gifts, writes, "Give thanks if you are joyful is, in reality, to be joyful give thanks." Did you notice in that verse in Deuteronomy how, to God, both our joyfulness and our gratitude are not only important, but connected?  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 10th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Choosing gratitude and keeping a journal of at least three things each day that I thank God for helps me to cope with the reality that time is zooming by. How is it already November? How are we already on the cusp of a new year?  As we get older, the days seem to go by faster and faster. I don't know why that is. But, what I do know is that these years of gratitude journaling have helped me to see that God is always faithful and it reassures me that He always will be faithful. Always. Yesterday, today and forever.
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)

-God's care for me
-frosty mornings and cold weather with clear blue skies 
-laying in my granddaughter's backyard swing under the branches of their oak tree 
turned all golden while they play on their trampoline
-getting to chat with my oldest daughter and son-in-law
-my husband surprising me by having the grocery shopping done and dinner ready for me
 when I got home from grandkid sitting

-an answer to prayer for more workers in children's ministry
-Jeremiah 31
-cozy candlelight and a fire in the fireplace

-a day stuck at home waiting for a service appointment with the gas company 
that resulted in getting my pre-holiday deep cleaning done. YaY!
-our gas fireplace all cleaned for free!
-letting go of more stuff

-photos of the grandkids in their costumes
(oldest granddaughter)
(oldest grandson with his sister's best friend)
(the two middle granddaughters, in the middle in this photo, with their friends)
(middle grandson)
(youngest grandson)
(youngest grandson and youngest granddaughter in their lobster boat that their daddy made)
-chai tea lattes and a visit with my friend
-a cold but clear day for all the little trick or treaters

-my husband taking me to one of my favorite lunch spots for Friday Date Day
-oldest grandson mowing our yard and oldest granddaughter folding a load of laundry
 for us while we were out-what a surprise!

-spending the day in Kirkland/Bellevue with youngest grandson while Papa, 
his parents and baby sister were at the Huskies game

-this beautiful day by Lake Washington

-lunch with my little buddy at Teriyaki Madness-they had worship music playing in the restaurant
-my grandson taking a long nap in the stroller while I walked 
-our granddaughter facetiming with us

-God answering prayer
-the truth that God really is a good, good Father to me
-my husband's message today
-Sunday afternoon rest

still following,

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Life Does Not Consist in the Abundance of Possessions

I love beautiful things-I love all of the pretty things for my home and all of the pretty clothes, shoes and purses. When I was a child, I flipped through the glossy pages of the catalogs that came in our mail from Sears and Montgomery Wards and JCPenney's, dreaming about and wishing for all the pretty things. Oh, how simple and innocent those days seem compared to the present. Now, I am bombarded with a constant display of all the pretty things on my Facebook and Instagram feeds, through the way Amazon seems to read my mind with their pop-up ads and through the social media influencers who take me along on their shopping trips and online try-on sessions and tell me that I MUST GET TO TARGET RIGHT NOW OR I'LL MISS OUT ON ALL THE PRETTY THINGS. 

On the other hand, on those same social media platforms, I see an opposite trend happening-the opposing trend away from excess toward minimalism. I look at the media feeds of minimalists and I love the peaceful, clean, organized surroundings I see and the clean closets with their simple capsule wardrobes. I begin to long for more simplicity.

The scripture above from Luke chapter twelve is in the context of a parable that Jesus told about a rich man who lived his life on a quest for more and more. He had to build more storehouses in order to house all of his stuff.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 3rd at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Posting my weekly gratitude journal is a habit that I picked up in 2009 when Ann Voskamp used to encourage us to keep a gratitude journal and she had a blog link-up party every  Monday for us to post the previous week's gratitude list. She no longer hosts that link up and has gone on to become a well known author of several books and is a gifted speaker as well.  Her first book, One Thousand Gifts, was based on this practice of writing down at least three daily blessings. Though I'm a day late this week in getting this posted, I continue to do so each week as a testimony to others and a reminder to myself that in all of the highs and lows of life, in the best of times and the worst of times, God is always present and always extravagant in His love and gifts to us. We just have to have our eyes open to notice them!
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)

-my husband taking care of me by doing things like filling up my car with gas
-my husband finding his lost debit card
-dinner with family before watching our youngest granddaughter's soccer game

-God given friendships
-God working in mysterious ways when we pray and trust Him
-the row of trees all ablaze with color that I see from my kitchen window

-God's provision and guidance
-some time with my little buddy, (five year old grandson)
-a good walk on this beautiful autumn afternoon 

-waking up headache free after two days of migraine
-golden leaves fluttering down from the trees as I walk around the trail in our neighborhood park
-Canadian geese in V formation flying south

-a beautiful autumn Friday date day and a daytrip to the beach!
-lunch with a view of haystack rock
-a bit of drizzle that gave way to clear blue skies
-finding a long searched for set of gold colored candlesticks for my Christmas mantel
for a great price at a store on the coast

-Handel's Messiah playing while do my Saturday chores
-being a part of Forward Edge's annual dinner and child sponsorship program
-seeing a friend we haven't seen in year's at the Forward Edge banquet

-my husband's Sunday morning texts to me-"Time to get up! I love you!"
-all of the Truelife Church people, (the church we pastor),  
who volunteered to help with childcare for Hope City's Vision Night,
 (the church our son-in-law and oldest daughter pastor)
-a powerful Vision Night full of God's presence and testimonies of changed lives

still following, 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A Transformed Woman

"A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!" Those words from the thirty first chapter of Jeremiah in The Message Bible stopped me in my tracks during my morning quiet time of prayer and Bible reading. In context this chapter is talking about the nation of Israel as God's wayward daughter who turns back to Him. Not all of the Bible was written to me. This book is the story of the prophet Jeremiah's life and his prophetic assignment to the nation of Israel at a specific time in history. However, all of God's Word was written for me. His Word is more than just historic fact, it is living and active and meant to speak to me in the present of my everyday life.  

As I read these words my first thought was that when I let God transform me, then I readily embrace Him. But as I pondered the words throughout my day I thought of the verse in a different way. I began to see it as cause and effect.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, October 27th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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