Sunday, February 27, 2011

He Is My vision

"My tongue has had a razor edge and my eyes have rolled haughty and my neck has been stiff and graceless and I have lived the filth ugly, and idolater, a glutton, and a grace thief who hasn't had time for the thanks." ~ Taken from 1000 Gifts, Ann Voskamp

God gifted me with so much more than just a clean space to look at in my house. He filled me with new vision today. He reminded me as only He can, that He is the vision upon which my eyes should look at. He has set a new path before me. He has given me another day, another chance to be grateful FOR EVERYTHING... Another opportunity for me to extend grace to others... And yes, even to myself.

Oh Lord... Be my vision... My hope. Take this grace thief from me and replace it with someone that lovingly, willingly, over abundantly extends grace. Forgive my eyes for their wandering ways. I want these eyes to be focused on you.. focused on the purpose You have set before me. Let my tongue speak words of kindness and genuine love. Let it not be sharp... Even when the distractions around me are overwhelming. I want to teach peace, not destruction.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for gifting me with so much more than I even asked for. Thank you for gifting me with what I REALLY needed. You are always good like that.

~ Amen

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Letter To God

Dear God,

Please bless me with JUST ONE clean area of my house. The clutter is driving me to a nut house!!

Thank you...

~ Me


Please pray for me and my very short fuse as we pack this house. I don't do well in these situations. Where there is no order, my brain feels disabled...Thus making me feel utterly hopeless. {Sigh}

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Time and Time Again


That is a word that has been on my brain a lot lately.

How do I slow down time?

When will time stop a little?

When will it be time?

How may times will this be?

I woke up early this morning. I did not sleep in the comforts of my own bed because J wasn't feeling well. I gifted him with a bed to himself to hopefully get some rest in while I gifted myself with hopefully not catching whatever bug he may have.

I woke up early to a glow of white coming in through my windows. I put my feet on the floor and slowly made my way to the window. It was still dark outside, but the glow of white was astounding! It was so white that my dark house was made bright.

The snow came again... More snow.

Just a week ago we were enjoying a near 65 degree day with a picnic lunch in the higher hills. Today, a blanket of snow covers the earth and time has stopped... If only for a while.

Almost every year that we have lived up here we have experienced this kind of snow fall. Snow that comes so surprisingly after the warmth of January. It almost always catches me off guard. I am prepared for it. There is food in the house, wood stacked for warm fires in the stove, snow clothing for the boys to wear. My spirit though? Not always prepared.

This morning I woke up early. However, I know it was more than just waking up early. It was a call for me to WAKE UP and memorize THIS day. It was a call for me to be IN this day.... For we don't know if there will be any more like it. This could be it. The white that covers the ground and the excitement in my children's eyes over the white they see out their own window might be coming to a season end.

I brew the coffee. The scent fills this house.

I squeeze my youngest as his squinty eyed self joins me on the couch. He notices the glare of white too.

I gaze out the window again. More snow is falling from the sky. Big, giant flakes.

I am awake now. My spirit is ready. Time is here. Time is now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

His Love & Delight

~ The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17

This morning I woke up and the first word that came to my mind was 'delight'. I knew there was purpose in this, so I opened my bible's concordance and thumbed through the scripture references having to do with 'delight'. I found this scripture, and immediately... my spirit was renewed. I took a deep breath, I thanked God for the gift of His word, and I began my day. Little did I know what was in store for me ON THIS DAY.

Last night after church I spoke with my pastor about how J and I have recently learned about being bold... PRAYING boldly. We have always been the ones to pray for general things... not always specific things. We pray for God's will to be done. This weekend though, we felt like there was a house that is supposed to be ours. It's a house that has had a 'for sale' sign in the front of it for several months. J called the owner and told them that if they were ever interested in renting instead of selling... call us. We left that conversation and started praying that if it indeed WAS God's will (like we were feeling it was), that He would open doors. That he would change hearts that needed changing. That He would change minds. Our pastor grabbed some friends of ours after our conversation and they came around J and I and prayed this specific prayer. A little more than twelve hours later, we unexpectedly received a call from the owner. They want us to rent from them. Friends... WE HAVE A HOUSE!!!

God is so big. He is so all knowing. He is so sweet. He knew that this day, I would wake up feeling His love... That I would feel His delight in me. He knew that He would go a step further and SHOW me in BIG ways how He delights in me. The picture is so much bigger too. My husband's faith is ON FIRE right now. It's not about the fact that we got what we wanted either. It's about feeling God IN this. It's about being still and listening... and then being obedient and brave. It's about witnessing first hand the STRENGTH and POWER of a God that only wants to save us from our own brokenness.

Originally, I had thought of another song that I would want to post along with this post. I actually told my sweet friend about that a couple of months ago. However, I heard this one today and I knew it was the one.

To God ALONE be the glory... It is He who goes before us and completes every work in us. My prayer continues to be that He uses us AND this home to bless others. That it will be a place that always feels this good... This RIGHT... As it does on THIS day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Day of Gifts

Today was a rare day. We had nothing on our calendar. It was another abnormally gorgeous day, so we packed a picnic lunch and headed for the higher hills for some family time. There was lots of time for reflection on all that God has been teaching me lately. It can be a bit overwhelming actually. I have shared with many that this book 'One Thousand Gifts' has been the ONLY book (besides THE Book) that has literally changed my life.

It has changed the way I way view my days... good and bad.

It has changed my faith system.

It has changed the way I feel about how God views me.

The gifts in my life are being numbered in a journal. They are not only being noticed, they are being recorded. The journal sits on the dining room table on top of my bible every day. The boys see me making my notes in it constantly. The other night after dinner, Caleb asked me to read some to him. I opened the book and began to read aloud. It was so neat because suddenly the whole house became quiet and everyone began to listen. That's another rare thing.

As I read my gifts, I saw smiles popping up on all of their faces as they heard me reading things that included them. I thought to myself, "Of course... This is something that they really SHOULD read too. They need to see all the ways in which they gift their mom every day. J needs to know ALL the things about him that I love so much."

When I finished I wanted to cry. That very day was a day that I had become anxious about the house thing again. UGH... When will I not? The very last gift that I had recorded that day that I read aloud to my family was, "A husband that prays". That was a very BIG gift. Don't get me wrong, my husband prays. He has since we've been married. However, he hasn't always TOLD me when he has, and he hasn't always leaned on his faith the way that he is today. That was something that was big and bold in front of my face that day... In the middle of my anxiety. Needless to say, because I felt the gift in that, I was able to rest. My anxiety subsided and the tears came. Tears of gratitude.

Today I couldn't write in my journal fast enough. There were so many gifts to behold. So many ...

Ladybugs in February
Boys climbing up rocky hills
Picnics in the forest
Rivers rushing with fresh sparkling water
Green grasses
A faint smell of spring
Holding hands with my love in the truck
Long, meandering mountain roads
Watching Luke love on Copper
A freshly bathed dog at the end of the day

Those are just a few. Tonight we will sit down at a dinner table and reflect together about these things and just how blessed we are. The biggest blessing that comes to mind for me is...

Eyes to see what's been in front of me for so long.

My heart is FULL of gratitude tonight. ~

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Little Boy Humor

After the Super Bowl last night, somehow the boys got into a discussion about becoming contestants on these reality/game shows. They seem to think it's an easy way to win a bunch of money fast. So... They came up with this idea to make enough money to just pay cash for our next house.

"Dad, you go on Wipeout. Us boys will go on Minute to Win It. Mom, you can be the Bachelorette".


As you may have figured out, we don't watch the Bachelorette show around here. If we did then they might know that the only thing I would win on that show is some nasty guy who thinks he's God's gift to this earth and who has probably slept with as many girls as M&M's in a king sized package!!!

Oh well, maybe I should take it as a compliment that my boys think that my "beauty" is my winning feature?

#53... Boys that make me laugh out loud

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Living In The Moment

A couple of weeks ago I invited those who read here on a journey with me. I began reading a book called 'A Thousand Gifts'.... and OH, what a journey I am on!!

Today Caleb said to me, "Mom, is it already Thursday? This week is going too fast. I wish the days would go slower." In the past, I would have had to agree with him. On this day though, it was different. I immediately thought about this book and how it has changed my days. I started to explain to Caleb that when we stop to reflect on and practice thanksgiving EVERY day, the days are much slower. They no longer fly by as we wait for the next dawn to break. The cool thing was, as I spoke to him about this, he knew that I was talking about this new book I have been reading. He has seen me making my list of "1000 gifts". He could recognize that there was transformation taking place in me. That, in itself is a gift.

#51... Recognizable change taking place in my heart and attitude

My days are full. They are full of gratitude. They are full of seeing God's fingerprints on my life. They are full of God's undeniable grace.

As I move throughout my days, I am making effort not to miss anything. I already feel that there is so much that I have missed, so I want to be more aware now.

# 2 Blue January skies
#39 Boys who take the time to say "I love you, Mom"
#49 Chimes singing in the breezes
#14 The scent of my hubby as he leans over to kiss me before leaving for work in the morning

I am truly living in the moment... Something I have prayed for and longed to accomplish for SO LONG! Stopping multiple times a day to record the things that I see, hear, smell and feel throughout my days has blessed me beyond description.

The other night I was reading out of the book, and this scripture gripped my heart...

He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? ~ Job 2:10

Seldom do I stop to consider that even the bad things that happen in life are gifts. There are gifts to be had in EVERY situation that the Lord puts in front of me. It's always so easy to run to God with joy in my spirit when there is good, but the minute anything NOT good starts to creep in... My first inclination is to run. This week I have learned much about the gifts to be unwrapped when the "not so good" things happen. My running has stopped.

#43 Peace during unpleasant times

I'm so thankful for the daily reminders of God's love for me. I'm grateful for the ability to see what has been right in front of me for so long.

I am grateful to be learning how to live in the moment. I pray that this gift will trickle down to my husband, my children and all those around me.

** Above photo taken by Lucas... Isn't it great? **