Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Tired, Hard Thanks

Feeling *very* exhausted, but surprisingly fulfilled tonight. After a day that started out and continued to feel out-of-whack, off-track at the end of it, through my worn nerves, tight, achey back and shoulders, I still find myself grateful.

Grateful for a hubby who comes to my 'rescue' in the middle of his own 'day' to resuscitate a dead car battery...that God is teaching me to be flexible and not be so dependent on my time table with constant 'plan changes'...Grateful that I'm fortunate enough to be able to buy groceries at 3 different choices of places...that I can spend quality time with my Grandmother even when she's challenging (while also helping out my parents)...that I have an awesome LifeGroup that loves me (us) in our lateness, because I wanted to bless them w/some yummy homemade snacks...that our kids love us so much they don't want to go to bed and be without us.  Etcetera.

I'm reminded of a passage I've recently read from the book, Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow, speaking of how we should respond to our circumstances:

There are difficult circumstances in the life of every person...We each have a choice. When the hard times come, we can put up our fists and fight with anger and resentment, or we can give the situation to God and trust He will cause good to come out of even a bad situation. 

...By thanking God for the unreliable and difficult circumstances, we are saying, "God, You are the blessed controller of all things.  You are sovereign and in control. I don't understand all that is happening, but I thank You and trust You to teach me what You want me to learn, and to work it all together for good."  God commands us to thank Him and is pleased when we do.  "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  1 Thess. 5:18

...Giving thanks is different from being thankful...When I give thanks to God for a trial or difficult circumstance, it is not a feeling of thankfulness but a decision of my will to choose to trust God and thank him in spite of my feelings.

...When Paul wrote the book of Philippians, he was in jail...He had been terribly beaten, was in jail for an undetermined amount of time, and yet as he wrote to the Philippians, the theme of joy was evident. Paul lived not in his circumstances or under his circumstances, but above them!

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation...I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Phil. 4: 11-13 (NIV)
Just a few thoughts from a tired sojourner in a land I don't belong. But I'm sure glad He put me here...'cause I sure wouldn't wanna miss it. Worn nerves and all. ;-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Multitude Monday

A few words on my heart from Ann Voskamp usher in my One Thousand Gifts list today:
"To learn how to be be grateful and happy, whether hands full or empty. That is a secret worth spending a life on learning."

"Perspective can always adopt gratitude - and gratitude always parents joy."  (Eucharisteo!)

141.  A drive through the wide-open countryside
142.  AWESOME women's event at our church
143.  An incredible word of Abiding Hope from our amazing Senior Pastor's wife, Amy Groeschel
144.  Silly, goofy kids who make me laugh!
145.  Date night with the hubby!
147.  Kids' tickle pleas and belly laughs
148.  Watching/listening to my kids connect with & love their grandparents
149.  Watching Hollie love on her Daddy
150.  Lazy Saturdays watching cartoons in our pj's with the kiddos
151.  Finishing a great marriage class
152.  Making holiday weekend travel plans!

"We're ready for McDonald's!" :-D

With a grateful heart...


Thursday, April 7, 2011

He Promises

I was going though and cleaning up some draft posts I had started and never finished and I stumbled upon this one.  It's an excerpt from "The God of Promise" post, by Edie over at Life in Grace.  She and her family had recently experienced a house fire, which resulted in these thoughts that I found so moving and just wanted to share:

"I know that God knows our groanings and He calms our fears with promises from His word, which can never be destroyed. He loves us with an inexorable love and He will burn away all impurities until we shine like gold.

He is the God of the burning bush. He is the fourth man in the fire. And He will lead us safely home.

Christ has come in the flesh to bear our sins, our burdens, our guilt. To restore what has been lost. To bring life where there’s death. To raise from the ashes beauty untold.

We are clinging to His promises.
We are humbled by His grace."

And then this from Edie's "About Me" post:
"...We are trusting God to restore the years.....the years the locusts have eaten—the mess we’ve made with the gifts he’s given us—the disgraceful way we’ve trampled on his goodness time and time again. He makes all things new. For the sake of Christ, alone.

I leave you with these words that are framed and sitting on my kitchen counter:

I am so glad that you have come.
I will pour out everything inside me so that you may leave
this table satisfied and fortified.
Blessings on your eyes.
Blessings on your children.
Blessings on the ground beneath you.
My heart is a ladle of sweet water, brimming over."

The Red Tent, Anita Diamanti


Monday, January 24, 2011

Multitude Monday

Cherish Life’s Simple Pleasures  
The above is a sign I have hanging in my living room.  All too often I forget this.  Even when its' reminder is right in front of my face everyday, right there above the television I too often lose myself in. I let myself get so caught up in the 'dailies' of the 'busies' that I allow to steal  my attention and let those simple pleasures slip away. And it's when too many slip away that life's mundane heaviness sets in like a weight on my back, and I find myself asking in achy regret...where did it all go? 

Cherishing those simple pleasures is a choice.  A deliberate, intentional choice. ( Remember -these are my theme(s) for this year?)  No more letting life just pass me by, letting moments with my kids escape me, missing out on opportunities to let God to work in my life  -and therefore missing opportunities to minister to, bless,and encourage others!  I feel like I'm a broken record here, but I'm going to keep saying it until I GET IT!  Habits take time to form, especially when you're having to replace the old/bad ones first.  Although, I want it to be more than a habit.  I want to draw so close to God that it becomes a part of me, that thanks for His bountiful blessings flow freely from my heart and soul and encompass all that I do and say.  That's a pretty tall order, but one that I look forward to seeking out.

So let's begin again, with some highlights of the last couple of week's Gratitude List:

83.  SOOOO thankful for GOD's GRACE!
87.  My hard-workin man!
88.  Love impending inclement exciting!  (Even when it 'flakes out' on us!)
89.  SNOW DAYS...a break in the routine!
90.  My boy wanting me to play Wii with him
91.  Short work/school weeks
92.  Thankful for church online when we have sick kiddos!
93.  Thankful for my cousin the nurse, who gave us all free flu shots a couple of months ago so we're not experiencing the worst of the sickies goin around!
95.  Noticing the clear blue sky just before dusk (when I was out driving) after it had been cloudy all day
96.  For Ann Voskamp, whom God led me to, to inspire me to take this 1000 Gift journey, her book that I'm about to dive into, her blog, her words that encourage, uplift, and take us closer to Him. 


(Click on the picture link below if you'd like to find out more about One Thousand Gifts)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Theme for 2011

Being the new year and all, I've been thinking about my goals for this year.  The thing is, there are so many things I need to work on, that it's hard to make any kind of a list without it being overwhelmingly long.  They are things that each affect another, so it's difficult to even know where to start.  So, I've been trying to come up with a one or two-word "theme" that would tie it all together to focus on.  And this is what I came up with:  DELIBERATE & INTENTIONAL!

DELIBERATE:  carefully thought out in advance; planned; studied; intentional

INTENTIONAL: to be firmly or steadfastly fixed or directed;  having the attention sharply focused or fixed on something; determined or resolved; having the mind or will fixed on some goal; earnest
That pretty much sums it up.  I want - I need - to be more deliberate and intentional with my life.  Specifically, my time - and in turn my actions, and my faith.   As the definitions describe, I need to make a plan, and then firmly affix my mind and attention on it with earnest determination!   That's it!

Wait.....that's it? That's IT? So simple, yet so entangled in poor habits and lack of planning and purpose.  Yes, it will take time.  But I am resolved to make it happen!  I owe it to God and the plan & ministry He has for my life, and to my family, and myself!

“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. 19 Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands."  Isaiah 43: 18-19, MSG

"Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.14 I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.15 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!"  Philippians 3: 13-15, MSG

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR, since I haven't done that yet!  I've been away from the blog for awhile, but I'm working on some posts that I'll have up soon.  Maybe even today! How 'bout that?  And with them seems to be coming a theme of "grace", so stay tuned! See ya soon!  ;-)