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,


  1. Great inspiring gratitudes showing God is still with us. Thankful for the miracles of your family this week. Happy Tuesday


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