Wednesday, March 31, 2010

94 years

My grandma turned 94 yesterday.

Thankful for...

256. Her testimony of faith
257. Her faithful prayers for me and my family
258. Her coffee cake...she is going to teach Hallie and I how to make it just right in May.
259. Playing cards. The smile I get when she cheats and doesn't admit it!
260. Her smile, her laughter
261. Her nose...I got mine from her.
262. Her German. Listening to my heritage in prayers before we eat a meal together.
263. Memories of gardening, summer days spent with her and grandpa.
264. Her enduring love.
265. Her forgiveness.

Happy Birthday Grandma...I love you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Daily Choices

Lately, God has been speaking to me about choices. The day to day choices. The small decisions that are shaping me, my marriage, my kids, my faith. I listened to a song as I ran today and it's lyrics rang true with all the the Lord is teaching me...'s your life, what you gonna do? The world is watching you. Every day the choices you make, so who you are and what your heart beats for. It's an open door. It's your life.

Ryan and I have been watching adults around us on a slippery slope away from Christ based on small, what would seem, insignificant decisions. It is eye opening and has caused me to be more intentional about my day to day moments with Ryan, my kids, friends, family and co-workers.

Ryan and I got our our globe (yes, we have a globe for kids) and discovered that if you start off in Tokyo and want to get to L.A. if you are off course by five degrees you will end up in Equador. At first those steps away from God's perfect plan for us may not seem that significant, but they are sure to land us far from God down the road. I have to be intentional about speaking truth to others in love, putting laundry away cheerfully, encouraging my kids, connecting with my husband, calling a friend or family member, not putting great kids' activities before family time and God, eating healthy, choosing excercise, going to sleep on time so I wake up rested and ready to be a blessing to others...

Where do I want to be in 5, 10, 15 years (Lord willing)? I want to be more like Christ. That doesn't just happen. It is intentional and depends on submitting to him all day long. The best part is that when I submit, day in and day out, when I put the needs of others before my own, when I obey His commands, life is better. Life is more fulfilling. Life is full of joy and contentment despite my circumstances.

Daily choices matter.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Sun is Shining

Today is such a wonderful day to give the Lord thanks! Not because life is perfect, but because He is working His perfection into the dust of this family. He is and will always be faithful to me despite what circumstances appear to be. Day by day He is giving me His eyes, eyes that see things unseen, eyes that see a hurting world instead of a world that is attacking and hurting me or the ones I love. He is reminding me I am small, He is big. Big enough to handle people and their choices with mercy and justice. I am trying to abide in Him through prayer to keep me on a righteous path. All the while keeping my eyes open to the needs of a hurting world so I can join Jesus. I am convinced He cares more about my heart's motives then my actions. So, I try with the Holy Spirit's help to, "keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith."

Thanks for...

241. a girl running home from school with her puppy

242. boys riding bikes and daring "pop-a-wheelies"

243. refreshing breeze blowing across my face. Jesus telling me He loves me

244. playing at the park

245. Ryan's phone call...every day he calls me

246. my daddy's heart of gold. Teaching me to never give up.

247. smiles as my boys snitch some dough

248. birds singing. A cardinal's bright red belly. The excitement it brings to Nebraskans who have been waiting through a long, cold winter.

249. singing songs of praise as I run.

250. Neighbors, friends, Christ-followers. The safety of those friendships, the blessing of that friendship for me and my kids.

I also give thanks for...

251. Hallie's art show. She took an amazing 8 week art class with Paige Anderson at the Just Be Free Art School. There she learned about the fruit of the Spirit and put her ideas about this into beautiful art. What a joy to have her share this with us.

252. Friends that share our faith and little girls sharing their faith. Learning about Jesus.

253. A woman of God teaching my girl how to express her love for Jesus through art.

254. My little boy's passion for sports. Confident God will use athletics to mold and shape him into a man of God!

255. Watching him shoot hoops, dribble, jump stop, pass. Marveling in the amazing body and talents the Lord has blessed Jacob with.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Adoption Moment

Most days go by without a mention about adoption in our house. It is certainly not in any way a taboo topic, but "adoption talk" is not a staple in our conversations. Yesterday, however Zac brought up a question that helped me to see inside his thoughts.

He said, "If we ever move to a new house will I be adopted again?"

I wasn't sure if he meant adopted by us again or if he would be adopted by a new family again but Ryan gave him a great answer.

Ryan said, "No, buddy. Adoption is forever. You will always be our son and you only get adopted once. Does that makes sense, buddy?"

To which Zac responsed, "Yeah, hey where is my ZhuZhu pet?" :)

Zac's adoption comment resonated in my own heart as well. Adoption is forever. I have been adopted into God's family for good! It feels so good to belong and be loved by a Father that will NEVER disown me or ask me to win His affection. It's a done deal.

"For God chose us to be adopted as His sons and daughters through Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 1:5

"For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life." John 3:16

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My trip to Louisiana

What a wonderful gift of a weekend with girlfriends. We picked up right where we left off and enjoyed lots of encouraging words, laughter and great food! Let me tell you how thankful I am for...

226. exquisite hostess who is teaching her daughter to do the same. Her hospitality was seen in her inviting home, clean sheets, cozy blankets, delicious dinner, coffee with caramel machiatto creamer...

227. Lindsey...a generous, giving, humble soul. Our conversation never turned into gossip. She is a woman that lives out gentleness from the Holy Spirit is such a beautiful way. It was uplifting being in her presence.

228. Jennifer...such a genuine friend. From the hug she gave the moment she picked us up at the airport to the hug that said good-bye we shared a timeless, enduring friendship. She challenges me and encourages me in my walk of faith with her wise words and example.

229. Ryan...for encouraging me to go. For supporting these friendships. For parenting for two while I was gone. For not making me feel guilty about being gone, but making me feel needed when I returned home. For the hug at the we had been apart for weeks, not days.

230. My parents...despite illness and distance traveled they helped to care for my family while I was away. They are so giving of their time and love!

231. Safe travels.

232. Delightful conversation.

233. Laughter

234. Learning to love no pressure shopping with friends.

235. Lunch by a fountain.

236. Worshiping with my friends. A glimpse of heaven.

237. Warmer weather, the smell of freshness. Trees with green leaves.

238. Talking about faith and loving Jesus with my friends.

239. Making dinner with friends.

240. A dogpile of hugs and kisses and "I missed you mommy" when I returned home!