Monday, February 28, 2011

Bucket List

I recently returned from two amazing vacations. First we headed to the mountains of Colorado for a ski trip with my family and then Ryan and I met some friends in Cancun, Mexico for a tropical get-away.

While in Mexico I got to para sail and zip-line through the trees. Both of these adventures were on my bucket list of things I wanted to do. I made an interesting discovery after completing these wildly fun activities.

The activity itself was really not as exhilarating and fun as I thought it would be, but seeing God in the adventure was more than I could have imagined. He is in everything and a ride through the jungle upside down on a zip line is sometimes what it takes for me to open up my self-centered eyes and see Him in it all.

"It's not the gifts that fulfill, but the holiness of the space. The God in it." (Excerpt from Ann Voskamp's book, One thousand gifts.)

This is where I saw Him in Mexico...
716. A squeal of delight as I flew through the trees.
717. Bravery in my husband.
718. Laughter with friends.
719. The sound of blue water crashing against the shore
720. Billowing curtains
721. Toes in sand
722. The rush of calm and security when Ryan holds my hand.
723. Lively Mexican music
724. Scripture shared with friends in the morning
725. Jumping into refreshing water.
726. Reading a book in the hot sun
727. Feeling the sun, the massage, the sand, the breeze
728. Kisses from my favorite person
729. Endless blue stretching to the edge of forever from high in the sky.
730. Coming home to loud, busy children that I adore.

I could go on for days. God is truly in everything and my life is fuller and more peaceful when I acknowledge Him and take the time to thank Him.

Monday, February 14, 2011

God Is Love

"God is Love" 1 John 4:16

God is Love and when I begin to recognize His presence in all things I see His love for me breaking through my grouchy attitude, stressed schedule, irrational fears and selfish ambition. His love is screaming to me every day, all around me and in me and through me. I pray I would have open eyes to see Him more clearly every day. I pray that I would see His love and bask in the freedom that comes from knowing, because I know that I know that I am loved by my Creator eternally.

Glimpses of His love in the last few days and evidence of His presence...

705. Ryan's hand reaching out to touch my fingers as we lye reading in bed.
706. Stopping to watch a bull dozer with Zac while we walked.
707. A sloppy, wet bike ride with my family in February.
708. Opening the windows to fresh, clean air.
709. Sunshine, bright on my face after bitter cold.
710. Dust of the floor amplified in ugliness by the Sun shining on it. Sweeping it away and using this moment to teach my kiddos about how ugly sin is in the light of Him, but how we can shine when we are made clean by Jesus.
711. Anticipating vacation.
712. Holding Jacob's hand.
713. Hallie's 8 year old smile.
714. Zac's growing perseverance. He matched 53 pairs of socks for me today!!
715. Bible study with my friend. The challenge and encouragement from a trusted friend.

Friday, February 4, 2011


(last March for grandma's 94th birthday with all her grandkids.)
My grandma lived a wonderful 94 years and 10 months before she passed away and went to be with Jesus for all eternity on February 3, 2011. Some of her last words were, "Tell my family I love them all" and "Amen." Isn't that beautiful? Our lives come down to living out the great commandment as believers in Christ. My grandma's last words honored Christ command in telling her family she loved them and loving God with a last and final prayer before leaving this earth.

I think Jacob summed things up best when he said, "Oh good. Now she will never be old again and she will live that way forever." Oh, good is right. God is good and basking in his eternal love without the curse of sin is too wonderful for words. I am thankful...

691. God's promise of heaven is true. Really, really true!

692. My grandma loved her family well.

693. She was one of the first to teach me that Jesus loves me.

694. Her German passion

695. Her laugh. Remembering the time we played Catch Phrase and she kept playing it like Charades.

696. How she loved to cheat at cards and never admitted it.

697. Playing that game with pennies at her house. Learning about grace.

698. Picking peas in grandma's garden.

699. The first time she met each of my kids. Hallie was her first great-grandchild.

700. Her hard-working hands, still smooth skin, kneading dough for Runzas, cinnamon rolls or pie crust with cinnamon sugar.

701. Trimming her nails, massaging her hands this last year.

702. Singing to her over the phone the night before she went to Jesus.

703. Her prayers for our family, our marriage and our lives.

704. Passing from this life to the next in peace. The mercy of the Father.

My thanks is truly endless. She was such a wonderful grandma. She wasn't a perfect person, but she loved a perfect God and trusted in His mercy, forgiveness and love. She taught me to do the same. She was everything a grandma should be and I will really miss her. It is comforting to know she has gone before me into heaven and I hope, will welcome me when I come someday. I will love you forever, grandma.