Monday, January 28, 2019

Overflowing with gratitude...

Sunday night we welcomed grandbaby number seven into our family! She is 9lbs. 11oz. and 21 inches of sweetness! We are so very grateful for her safe arrival and relatively easy delivery, in spite of being the biggest grandbaby of the bunch! We had a lot of people praying for a safe and smooth delivery since the doctor had warned our youngest daughter that the baby appeared to be a big one. She is exactly two pounds to the ounce bigger than her older brother was when he was born, and his birth was the most difficult one I've ever seen. So we consider her birth an answer to prayer. We are so very grateful!

I'll be helping my daughter with the little princess above, and her brother, (age 20 months), for the next week or so. If I'm not on the blog very much, you can always follow me on Instagram!
Big brother appears to be smitten with his new sister! He tenderly kissed her on the head and very gently patted her this morning when I brought him to the hospital to see his mama, daddy and sister. This is another answer to prayer! Being too young to really understand, we were concerned how we would take to the new member of the family.
Now that I've caught you up on our exciting news, here's the rest of my weekly gratitude journal post.
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)

-seeing God at work when we pray and trust
-a day spent resting and recuperating from the flu
-our home

-our personal, yet powerful, Father God
-God's faithful provision
-texts with my oldest granddaughter

-another day to take it easy and regain my energy
-"KonMari" folding my clothes while I rested
-my secondborn daughter and grandson stopping by

-Yay! Up, dressed, and running errands like normal after three days homebound
-mid-winter blooms in our front flowerbed
-my husband's love for me 

-Friday date day!
-a cloudy day that turned into a beautiful evening
-the excitement of the soon arrival of our newest grandbaby
-a phone call with my oldest brother

-a great night's sleep 
-God is just AND merciful
-a beautiful, brisk winter walk after a week of not walking

-good reports from church
-my son-in-law, my daughters and my oldest granddaughter and me in the delivery room together
-the safe arrival of our beautiful granddaughter-mama and baby both did great!

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Saturday, January 26, 2019

When it feels like wickedness is winning...

I've felt such heaviness this week about the current events in our nation. Sometimes it looks like wickedness is prospering, doesn't it?  But through all of this week's heavy news, the Psalms have been a great comfort to me. It seems that the Psalmist David was having some thoughts similar to my own. "Why are the wicked not being dealt with? " "You are a God of justice, why aren't you doing something about this mess?" As I pondered these questions, I felt like I received a couple of insights.

1) God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of mercy. In His mercy, He doesn't mete out immediate judgment for mankind's wickedness. He gives individuals, and even nations, time to repent,  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 27th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Belated weekly gratitude journal post....

From this morning's post on Facebook and Instagram, "I took an unwanted, unplanned trip to
FLU-ville the past couple of days". This explains why my Monday gratitude post is just now getting written and posted!

I didn't sleep well Saturday night so I thought that was why I woke up not feeling well on Sunday. I went to church as usual, but by the end of the service I knew I was getting sick. Nausea, aches, fever...yuck!

The only good thing about having the flu is the valid excuse to wear pajamas and stay in bed all day. I drifted in and out of sleep all the rest of Sunday and all of Monday and still slept a full nine hours Monday night. By this morning I felt well enough to get out of bed to have my devotions, do a little tidying and laundry, make a pot of chicken soup and take a bath...just in time to get on fresh, clean pajamas and lay back down for some afternoon rest. I'm definitely on the mend, but need to fully recovered a.s.a.p.  Grandbaby number seven is due any day now and I'm not about to miss out on being there!

With all that being said, here's my belated weekly gratitude post!
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 peace-knowing "God's got this"
-God's evident working
-middle grandson's new buzzcut after confidently trying to give himself a haircut
-a cold, but lovely walk to the park with three of my grands
-the way the cousins love each other
-getting to visit with my daughter's in-laws
-God's provision
-my nephew coming to my rescue when a bird flew into my range hood vent
-heart talk

-praying with my husband before he leaves in the morning
-loving hugs
-our first winter small group gathering
-our soon coming King

-my "meeting with Jesus" cozy chair
-our oldest daughter's wisdom
-a few minutes with my little buddy before preschool
-the hawk that I've been seeing lately on my walks

-the connection between Genesis 1:2 and Isaiah 51:3 re. "waste places
-good talks
-a good time of prayer

-a lazy, Friday date day morning
-my favorite rainy day lunch with my guy
-watching our funny, silly youngest grandson while Mama and Daddy went to dinner

-the Holy Spirit teaching me things to prayer about
-this foggy, cozy day to get chores done
-a fun evening with my oldest granddaughter and middle grandson making meatballs together

-the God Who still heals today!
-my hubs taking care of me when I got the flu

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Keep your mind set on the higher things...

Let's be honest. It's really easy for our mind to get stuck in the muck and the mire and the mundane of life on planet earth. At any given moment my mind might be wrestling with a worrisome situation, thinking about my to-do list, making a mental list of things I need to pick up at the grocery store, stewing about an offense in a relationship-all while I'm putting a load of laundry into the washer and chopping onions for the pot of chicken noodle soup that I'm making for that night's small group. Whew! Keep my mind on things above? How in the world do I do that?  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 20th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday gratitude...

It's Monday! Youngest daughter has a doctor appointment this morning that will hopefully enlighten us a bit on when to expect grandbaby number seven, (granddaughter number four)! We are under two weeks out from her due date, but indications are that she might be born sooner. We shall see. Meanwhile her big brother, seen above, is almost twenty months old and is keeping his mama on her toes!

I'm going to make this quick. As I write this a bird has decided to take up residence in the vent above my stove-an unexpected Monday surprise to deal with! Ewww!

Meanwhile, God is good and I am blessed. Life always has its challenges and hard things, but the love and mercy and presence of God is ever near. I'm so thankful.
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 provision
-driving my daughter on an errand-a good chance to catch up with each other
-my Monday school pick up of the youngest grand girlies
-dinner with my oldest and her family

-a restful night's sleep
-an invitation to a lovely lunch 
-texts from my guy

-a nice walk with youngest grandson while mama gets an ultrasound
-sweet ultrasound photos of our youngest granddaughter
-a new crib for our little princess

-2 Corinthians 1:3-7 TPT
-sweet video of our grandson singing himself to sleep

-getting my Saturday chores done today so I can relax with my guy tomorrow
-so much treasure in the book of Philippians
-my guy safely home from

-enjoying a slow Saturday morning
-this beautiful cold, frosty, blue skies day
-the smell of pot roast cooking that reminds me of Sunday lunches at Mama's

-another gorgeous winter day
-the power of prayer
-some evening Bible journaling all cozied up in bed with my lap desk

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Clinging to Perfection in this Imperfect World...

I wasn't very old when my youthful idealism and sensitive spirit collided with the ugly reality of this imperfect world-loud, sometimes violent, arguments, Mama's depression and stay in the mental hospital, Daddy's affair and decision to leave Mama and us kids. I coped by frequently escaping into the perfect world I built in my imagination. In my mind I fashioned a perfect little house and a perfect little family-my dream of what life would be like when I grew up. 

It was our freshman year of college. I fell in love with his icy blue eyes, that dimple that only shows up when he's caught off guard smiling or laughing, and his singing voice. We got married the following summer. But, our life and marriage was nothing like I had dreamed it would be! Still in college, we lived in a small, furnished apartment, not the cozy cottage of my imagination. We were opposites from each other in so many ways, except for our common trait that we both had strong opinions that we very stubbornly clung to, butting heads frequently in our willfulness. The perfect life I had dreamed of was not to be. It took me a long, long time to let go of my perfectionist ideals, to accept the life I had, and to see how blessed I was in the middle of my life's messy imperfection.

I still lean towards being an idealist. I'm still shocked when betrayed by a friend, when a church leader fails, when I see the awful things people say to one another on social media, when I watch horrific things on the news. Perhaps the idealist tendency is in many of us. Perhaps it's because something in us knows that this sin twisted world wasn't supposed to be this way. It was supposed to be perfect, sinless, unmarred.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 13th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Faves...How to make your own Beeswax Jar Candles with Essential Oils

Our unofficially adopted granddaughter, (she was our middle grandson's nanny and is our two oldest grands' bosom friend), is home from college for holiday break. This week she came over to spend the afternoon with me. I've been wanting to try making beeswax jar candles, so we decided it would be a fun project to tackle together! 

1/2 cup coconut oil
essential oil of choice
lead free cotton candle wicks
(I got mine at JoAnn's Fabric store.
 Check what size wick you will need based on the diameter of the jar)
three 8oz jars
1 quart jar
bamboo skewers

Pour the beeswax pastilles into the clean gas quart jar and microwave until completely melted.
(A remaining handful of pastilles would not fit into the jar, but as the wax began to melt after a couple of minutes in the microwave, I was able to pour the remaining pastilles in.)
Every few minutes, being careful to use potholders, use a wooden skewer to stir the melted wax.
Continue to microwave until the wax is completely melted.

Meanwhile, put a small dot of hot glue on the metal disk at the bottom of the wick and place it in the center of the inside of the jar.
Place a wooden skewer across the top of the empty jar and tie the wick to the skewer.
When the wax is melted, carefully remove it from the microwave and stir in the coconut oil.
Add and stir in 30 or so drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend.
Carefully pour hot wax into the jars being careful to keep the wicks centered.
This made two 8oz candles but did not completely fill up the third candle jar.

Once the candles are completely cooled and hardened, trim the wick to about 1/2 inch and enjoy!

Have a blessed and happy weekend everyone!



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

An adventure walk with my buddy...

My husband and I raised three beautiful daughters. We both loved having all girls and wouldn't change that for the world. We now have an even three granddaughters and three grandsons, but the tie will be broken any time now with the birth of our seventh, and more than likely last, grandchild-another sweet baby girl. We love both our grandgirlies and grandsons to the moon! They are each one our favorite!

However, having grandsons has been like a whole new world to me.  When our first grandson, now age fourteen, was born, watching him develop was so fascinating to me! How do little boys instinctively know how to make the car sound while they roll a little toy car on the floor before they even know how to walk? Why does any random stick have to be picked up and become some sort of imaginary weapon? 

I love to walk, so going on walks has been something I've done with all of my grandchildren. With grandkids, especially with my grandsons and one of my more nature loving granddaughters, a simple walk around the neighborhood becomes an adventure. My oldest grandson is way past the age where going on walks with his nana is cool. But, his four year old little brother still does! (And, so does our youngest grandson. At nineteen months, he associates me with walks and runs into his room, grabs his coat and shoes, and climbs into his stroller whenever he sees me!) My little buddy, in the photo above, and his family were out of state for three weeks over the holidays. When they got back, he came over to our house, and we went on an adventure walk around the neighborhood and stopped at our neighborhood park.

I love walks with the grandkids. I think it helps me to see things with new eyes and that it also helps keep me young!

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Flower Friday