Monday, November 22, 2010

1000 Gifts: Thankful

"Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His name;
make known among the nations what He has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell of all His wonderful acts."

1 Chronicles 16: 8-9

Another week of counting. Another week of heaven-sent gifts.

God's amazing love


gray days for refocusing; sunny days for reflection

We can only be said to be alive in those moments
when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~Thornton Wilder

this upside down kingdom blogger and her willingness to serve

His desire to use her continually... and the many, many ways in which He does just that

the challenge-- the constant challenge... more of Him, less of me

the Refiner's fire, the Potter's hands, and safety under His wings

indoor forts

the two-year old thought process... so very, very randomly sweet~
Lolli: I like my ears, Mama. Do you like your ears?
Me: Yes, I do.
Lolli: Me, too!

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year;
to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

~Edward Sandford Martin

napping children, a clean kitchen... rest.

two older brothers... sharing the Gospel... with their 2 yo sister... with excitement, enthusiasm, and joy

and then later... from her precious lips... "Jesus loves you, {Big Man}!!"

a sunny afternoon and a well-worn football

impromptu sword fights with a light saber, a rake and a broom

AWANA verses and "lessons" from our 6-year old "teacher"

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

~George Herbert

big brother shoulder rides

her hand in his... his attention, his direction, his care

tire swings

smiley faces on Costco receipts

very special friends and our time together-- spontaneous dinners and pages to color, trampoline bounces (for hours on end), laughter and camaraderie and blessings galore, and by the end of the day~ weary, nay exhausted, bodies... with hearts filled to overflowing

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.

~J.A. Shedd

Thanksgiving and the joy of family gathered round the table

favorite holidays

His extravagant love

"Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise Your glorious name."

1 Chronicles 29:13

Happy Thanksgiving!

holy experience

and the list continues...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

These days I'm loving...

:: this scrumptious fall weather and afternoons in the leaves

:: a sickness- free home. Ha. lle. lu. jah.

:: fresh apple cider, straight from the orchard

:: and a freezer now full of homemade applesauce for winter-- I'm feeling so very domestic these days :)

:: this baked oatmeal recipe... no more need for the prepare-the-night-before-and refrigerate-while-I-sleep variety (which rarely gets made anymore because, by the time I get the kitchen cleaned up after dinner and the littles tucked warmly in bed, I'm too tuckered out to go in and make another mess). This one is a lovely substitute!

:: the bittersweet my mom tucked into my front door wreath

:: a clean carpet in my family room & Chick-fil-a sweet tea (it's the little things, you know?!)

:: this book... I'm almost/only halfway through, but so far it's given me much, MUCH food for thought. I highly recommended it!

:: the work of Marcia Somerville and her team~ their writing and their finished product, Tapestry of Grace. Rich, full, abundant. Every thread pointing to God, every strand telling History. A blessing, for sure... a gift.

:: my husband's heart for our family... his provision, his dedication, his love

:: my little people's Thanksgiving anticipation... and the reminder that EVERY day is a day to give thanks

:: train tracks and teamwork

:: The Jesus Storybook Bible... now on our second (or is it our third?) trip through. Our very, very, very favorite children's version and a morning staple for all. And as an added bonus-- each week on their website, they share a different video... one of the 44 stories contained in the JSB. Once again, a blessing for both young and old(er :)

:: this time with my babes. Yes, the house is a mess. And yes, the pantry is bare. The laundry... let's not even go there. But oh, how I cherish these days of books and lessons and shared meals and laughter. Stories and hot chocolate and walks in the sun. And His hand through it all... weaving and sculpting and shaping our hearts... even through tears and struggles and misunderstandings galore. Yes, He's here. And with Him, all things are possible.

:: His grace, so marvelous and full.

"... My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness..."

2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, November 15, 2010

1000 Gifts: November Abundance

Blessed beyond belief, loved beyond measure, and reminded of both...
over and over and over again.
I give thanks for my family~
for time outdoors,
for time to play,
for time together.
For every single day... each one a beautiful, beautiful gift.

:: my front porch cheerleader

:: sunny Sundays... to climb and laugh and climb again

:: success

:: these four

:: strong arms and the love a father shares with his son

:: daddies and their little girls... especially this, my favorite combo

For You are holy, great and mighty,
The moon and the stars declare who You are
I'm so unworthy, but still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are.

~Phil Wickham

holy experience

and the list continues....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The caterpillar

Upon discovering a new silly band in the still-growing collection:

Lolli: Mommy, what dat?

Me: It's a caterpiller.

Lolli: Caa-er-pih-er?

Me: Yep, it's a green caterpiller.

Lolli: God. made. it?

Me: Smile.

Thank you, Lord... for sweet, sweet moments and the chance to share Your love.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

If at first you don't succeed...

try, try again.

And if that still doesn't work... improvise!
How I love his determination... and his industrious thinking, too!

Thank you, Father, for precious, precious boys~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hiding words

It's funny. One year ago I wrote this post after making a decision, a commitment, a choice... to do what's best for me and my house... to hide His Word in my heart, over and over and over again.

So now, after one whole year, I offer my progress report:

I failed.

I started strong, but then... well... deadlines, obligations, play dates, meal plans, swim lessons, exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion. I'm certain I could offer every excuse in the book. And not a single one of them would be a lie. But I won't. Because there really is no excuse.

If I had really made it a priority, it would have happened. I would have made the time. I would have made the time. I would have made the time. Period. Just like I do for all the other things that really must get done.

Like my co-op lessons. I would never show up for class unprepared; in fact, I shudder at the thought of it. So why on earth do I choose to show up each morning with the task at hand-- to raise my littles in the nurture and admonition of the Lord-- with a heart that could hold so. much. more. Why do I make time in my day for 20th century historians and presidents and economists... for their words... but not for those of the King of the kings. Are their words more important than His very own? Are accounts of sinful foibles and deceits and exploits more critical than Truth and Light and Bread?

May it never be.

So I think that now, on the almost one-year anniversary of my pledge, I'll try again. This time, however, I'm gonna recruit my little ones to join me. We'll start with a favorite,

"I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against Thee."
Psalm 119:11

And then I think we'll tack on verses 9 and 10:

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word.
I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands."

And from there, I'll let the boys choose a selection or two as they wish, and then I'll fill in the rest. We'll surely add a few of Big Man's AWANA verses to the bunch, and together, we'll hide His Word in our hearts.

Together. Accountable. Responsible. Obedient.

And this time, by His grace, I'll (nay, we'll!) succeed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't forget!

Yep. It'll be a late night... but I'll be up... with snacks and goodies and all...
just waiting to see how things turn out.

And in the meantime, I'll be praying here for His mighty hand...
for His divine intervention...
for His perfect will.
Please don't forget to play your part!

Monday, November 1, 2010

1000 Gifts: I Sing the Mighty Power of God

I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.

I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God's command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.

Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where'er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There's not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known.
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;

While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.

~ Isaac Watts

Rejoicing today in the beauty of His creation... giving thanks for all He's made:
(numbers 818 - 830)

leaf-littered gardens, glistening in reds and oranges and yellows
crisp blue skies lined with feathery white clouds... the call of a brand new day
bird chatter out back, the door open wide
laughter & giggles & more
tiny tomatoes, still clinging to the vine
autumn's harvest... not quite ready to quit
dogs on leashes, babe in stroller, the big ones on bikes down the street
around and around and around we go-- the outdoors still calling for more
summer sheets put away, beds blanketed for warmth
mornings to snuggle and cuddle and rest
homemade soups and freshly baked bread
hot chocolate, applie pie, and more
the thousands of ways He says, I love you
around every corner, in every tree, just waiting.... waiting to be noticed
eyes to see and ears to hear
and a heart... desperate to receive it all

"God made the earth by His power."

Jeremiah 10:12-13

holy experience

and the list continues...