Monday, September 28, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I can't believe that it will be October in three days. It's easy to give into the feeling that we have been robbed of this year and "normal life" by the pandemic, the economic shutdown, the rioting and looting in our cities and the civil contention. I have to purpose to remember all of the good gifts God has given me in the middle of this messy year. We have no guarantee of life returning to the way it was. What we do have is God's promise that He never changes, He never leaves us or forsakes us and He is always faithful.

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)

Thank You, Father God, for-
-a sweet time of prayer
-family dinner
-texts with my oldest grandson

-the first day of autumn

-heart talks
-listening to encouraging podcasts on my walk

-a Venti Starbucks to start the day
-the neighbors ducks, (that look like they are straight out of a Beatrix Potter book), 
running away from their home and hanging out in our yard

-God hears my cries even when it's hard to articulate my prayers

-cleaning the garage
-roses from my guy
-getting lost in a good book

-a relaxing date day together
-sipping hot jasmine tea and eating spicy pad thai on this rainy day
-a husband who takes me to my favorite antique store on our date

-praying along with the Prayer March 2020
-a phone call from my big brother
-pots of cheery green plants by my kitchen sink
-a much needed fun afternoon with a friend

-s sunny Sunday autumn day
-such a good word and prayer time at church today
-our eight grandkids

still following,

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Earnest, Heartfelt, Continued Prayer

Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. 
James 5:16 AMPC

Today tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington DC for Prayer March 2020. The event was not a protest or a political rally. The gathering was simply to pray for our nation. I was able to livestream the event and I prayed along in agreement with the various people who led in prayer. There were prayers of confession of our sins as a nation and repentance for our wrongdoing as well as intercession based on seven prayer points. I thought the prayer points were so good that I am reposting them here from the prayer march website.  I believe that God heard the prayers that were prayed today but I also believe that God wants to hear our earnest, heartfelt, continued prayers and will respond in tremendous and dynamic ways. Let's turn our worry and anxiety about the condition of our nation into prayer. I believe that God will hear us and will heal our land. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, September 27th  aWoman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Monday, September 21, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I've got a to-do list nagging me, so I'll not be wordy today. This week was not an easy one, but always, always, always, God is good and His blessings are all around me. Some days I have to work harder to pay attention and notice them, but it's always worth it when I 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)


-a reminder to "keep your heart right and God will take care of the rest"
-a place to walk indoors when the air quality outside is hazardous due to the wildfires
-encouraging texts and prayers

-our daughters
-God's Word
-being able to talk to God about anything and everything
-trying my hand at making Mama's New England Boiled Dinner

-a friend to talk to, pray with, and even cry with
-God's provision in big and small things
-a sermon that we needed to hear

-the detailed way God cares for us
-trusting that God is working in situations even when we can't see it
-such a sweet prayer time at church with our oldest granddaughter helping to pray

-the blessing of rain to help put out the wildfires and to clear out the smoke
-lunch with my sister and brother-in-law
-a long walk on the beach

-our car battery dying when we had help nearby

-our youngest daughter and grandkids coming to see us
-getting today's to-do list done
-a wonderful time of prayer at the church tonight

-God's wonderful presence
-the song, "Christ Be Magnified"
-a fun "pie night" fellowship at our house 
-our girls making a "Church Kid" spotify playlist of worship songs they grew up with

still following,

Saturday, September 19, 2020

To the Weary, Weak and Wounded

 “...Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬

To you who are weak and weary in well doing. To you who have been wounded in the good fight of faith. It’s ok to be gut level honest with God.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, September 20th  aWoman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Monday, September 14, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

This week started out with a wild and crazy ride, literally, as I went whitewater rafting for the first time. I loved it! We went through class three and four rapids and even went down a class five waterfall! I never expected to love it so much and definitely want to go again!

By the time we finished our ride down the river, the sky was filling with smoke from area forest fires. A windstorm hit at just the wrong time, rapidly spreading existing wildfires and exacerbating other circumstances causing new fires. Friends and loved ones as well of hundreds of thousands of others were either evacuated or on alert to be ready to evacuate. A million acres of my beloved home state of Oregon was up in flames, not to mention all of the fires in Washington state, where I now live, as well as in California. As I write this, the air quality is still highly hazardous due to smoke, drastically limiting any outdoor activity. Some of the forest fires are still at zero containment while some have a small percentage of containment. Please pray for much needed rain.

The week began with a literal wild and crazy ride down a river, but the wild and crazy ride of life has continued all week long with the fires and a hurtful trial that we are going through. But, one by one, out of the fires there have come reports of miracles. My sister and her husband had to leave their retirement home/RV behind when they were forced to evacuate. Fire came within yards of their RV but it is undamaged. Likewise, our youngest daughter's in-laws had the forest fire reach the trees behind their property but hero firefighters, (with some angelic help in my opinion), helped to prevent the fire from progressing further. A young family we know was told that their whole little town was destroyed including their home. They later found out that their home, their church, and their pastor's home was spared. 

I don't know why God miraculously spared some lives and properties and others have lost loved ones and homes. I don't know why God allowed a heartbreak in our lives this week instead of miraculously smoothing it out. But what I do know, is that God is still with us, in the fire, in the trial, in every part of life's wild and crazy ride.
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)

-our youngest daughter and her two kiddos coming to church with us
-our church family
-grandkid's faces sticky with melted ice cream
-the simple pleasure of playing in the water from the backyard hose
-races down the slide with my grandson at our neighborhood park

-a fun day whitewater rafting adventure with friends from church

-God's peace and stillness within in the middle of stormy circumstance
-God's provision, care and faithfulness

-a sweet prayer time on the drive to Portland to see my grandgirlies
-a sweet visit with my oldest daughter and her girlies
-our family and my siblings texting back and forth and praying together about the fires

-my sister and brother-in-law's RV spared!
-prayer walking
-dinner with my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and his family

-their RV completely unharmed by the fire!
-other reports of miracles
-youngest daughter's in-law's home spared

-Friday date day!
-a lazy day at home together due to the smoke
-an encouraging text

-God speaking to me from Nehemiah 2
-support and encouragement 
-talking to my sister

-God's presence very real with us at church today
-God's peace in the middle of what feels so messy
-youngest grandson's big smile

still following,

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Our Ways or God's Ways?

You see it printed on art to hang on your walls or on t-shirts for you to wear. "Follow your heart" it says, but the Bible gives us a warning about that motto. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 In other words, our deceitful heart and our unruly, unsurrendered soul, (mind, will and emotions), can lead us astray.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, September 13th  aWoman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Wow! It's been four weeks since my last gratitude post! Of course, I've still been writing at least three things I'm thankful for each day in my gratitude journal, but I didn't post them here yet because we were out of town for three weeks and I purposely left my computer at home.

The first week that we were gone was our annual grandkid trip to the little cabin on the Umpqua River. We had such a wonderful time! Only five out of eight of the grandkids could come. The two oldest grandkids have jobs and activities and couldn't get the time off. Our youngest grandbaby is only three months old and so, of course, he still needs to stay home with mama. But, we really enjoyed our time with the five "middle" grands. We came home for one day to repack and then left for two weeks of vacation the day after that. We went to South Carolina, where our middle daughter and her husband own some properties. They are there now taking care of things and seeing my son-in-law's family. We stayed in their farmhouse with them for a few days, then my husband and I took off on our own for a week to spend some time in a condo on the beach, then to drive south and explore Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. When we got back from Savannah we rejoined our family at a rented beach house in North Myrtle Beach until it was time for us to come home.

With that said, this post is going to be long, but to me, it's important that I give God public praise and thanks for His faithful care and abundant blessings. Life definitely has highs and lows, but never, never, never has God stopped caring for us and blessing us. Oh, how thankful I am for that!

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 fun of creativity 
-our silly grandson
-my David Austin rose heavy with blooms

-texts from my cousin in Maine
-a day of cooking and baking prep for our annual grandkid cabin time
-praying God's Word back to Him

-a fun time spent with a friend
-a walk in the evening with my youngest granddaughter who gets to spend the night
-and our oldest granddaughter stopping by

-my oldest (living) sister's birthday-I thank God for my big sister who thought I was her tenth birthday gift as I was born eleven days before her tenth birthday 
and who I have always been able to turn to and to count on
-God's help when hard things happen that we don't understand
-seeing God's transformation in people's lives happening
-a sweet time of prayer together

-Friday date day
-our favorite summer lunch spot
-oldest granddaughter staying with us for the night

-a sweet time of prayer on my walk
-God's help with my long to-do list 
-writing ideas that I know come from God

-God's sweet presence 
-our helpful, caring nephew
-a safe trip to the cabin with the grands

-kayaking with the grands

-my nephew was able to fix my dryer for free when a part came loose
-"the cousins"-the way our grandkids love one another-
-Papa playing in the river with the grandkids

-morning hugs and kisses from our grandkids
-wlldflowers and blackberries picked by little hands
-a beautiful afternoon playing at the beach

-one last swim before we pack up and go home
-tired grandkids falling asleep on the drive
-all of us making it home safely-another great grandkid getaway in the books

-one day at home before we leave again
-having lunch with our friends from Missouri
-trusting You God, with everything at home and church, while we are on vacation

-a safe, uneventful flight
-homemade peach ice cream from a little roadside market
-getting to stay at the kid's farmhouse with them

-morning quiet time on the porch of the farmhouse
-a walk with my grandson and God's protection when we saw a cottonmouth snake!
-a seafood supper at a fun lakeside restaurant followed by peach cobbler topped with ice cream!

-a text from my friend
-listening to our church at home online
-exploring new places

-God's help to untangle a frustrating mistake our bank made
-a safe drive to Myrtle Beach in a monsoon style rainstorm
-a walk by the sea-my favorite thing to do
-a fabulous dinner together

-our nice little rented condo right on the beach
-another long walk by the sea
-time away for just the two of us

-coffee and devotions on our balcony overlooking the sea
-three year old grandson facetiming me and asking me to tell him a story
-exploring Pawley's Island and Murrell's Inlet

-capturing the best photo of my guy
-going over notes from Sunday's message at home and God speaking to me from Hebrews 12:25-28
-a friend who is watering my flowerbeds for me

-a safe drive to Charleston
-exploring new places

-coconut cream pie-yummm!

-a safe drive to Savannah

-our beautiful nation
-our nephew's help with everything at home

-laughing together about how opposite we are
-a safe drive back to Myrtle Beach
-three year old grandson facetiming us and telling everyone how much he misses us
-listening to church at home-so good!

-playing in the pool with our grandsons

-going on the ferris wheel with my six year old grandson, 
(I swear that kid has no fear about anything!)
-fun moments with our teen grands who have grown up way too fast

-the harvest moon
-it's September!
-God encouraging my husband

-Isaiah 58:11-12
-my husband laughing and playing with the kids
-God reminding me that it's always been in my heart to go deep 
and that there are others with the same longing

-my son-in-law buying me a delicious coconut cream pie
-talking and laughing together on the drive back to the airport
-Chili's chips and salsa-the best!
-a safe flight home

-our anniversary! Thank You, God for your faithfulness to us all of these years.
-puttering around the house after being gone for so long
-celebrating at home with a grilled steak dinner

still following,