Monday, March 28, 2011

All Grace...

786. Middle of the night snuggles with my sweet boy, Jacob.

787. Pizza and Movie Night with our bestest friends!
788. Clean countertops.
789. The smell of brownies.
790. Anticipating my mom coming for a visit. I just love her so much.
791. The kids excitement about Cousins Camp.
792. A challenge to my heart from Sunday's service.
793. Singing praise songs.
794. Hallie's belting, singing voice.
795. The kids playing piano for their great Aunt.
796. A phone call from Ryan mid-day.
797. Hannah's tender heart.
798. The kids enjoying math problems before school.
799. Getting my hair wet and really playing withe kids at the pool.
800. Reciting God's Word.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It really is true... thanks to God in all things and at all times is where our peace is found. It is what God means when he says that He gives us life to the fullest. We just need eyes, ears and a disposition of thanks to see it is all a gift from Him.

This last Sunday was an all worship service at church, We started off with some great hymns. As I sang these age old verses I was struck by the theme of thankfulness that runs through all these songs. This idea of giving thanks, seeing God in all things is nothing new. I am just beginning to really see Him and the peace from Him and the trust in Him is like nothing I can even begin to describe. It is sooooooooooooooo good!

Remember this hymn...

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness lost in His love.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

As I was recently reading Ann Voskamp's book, One thousand Gifts, I was convicted. This life is surely not all roses and perfection and the moment heartache strikes we are compelled to react with anger to God for, "letting this happen" and all the while asking Him for help. Read the words of Caussade:

You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheaveals, pointless disturbances and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies-though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet (God's) beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.
Ouch! In the midst of my counting blessings at home, I have been counting complaints in other areas of my life. I tell my kids to, "do everything without complaining or arguing" (Phil 2:14) but they listen to my complaints and learn their habits from me.

Oh, how thankful I am for new mercies every day. I am recommiting myself to give thanks in ALL things and trusting God with the results and expecting the promised peace that comes from giving thanks. He is good all the time!

771. A forgiving Father that never gives up on me
772. My fingers running through my boys' hair that is too long
773. In-laws that I adore talking to
774. Time to read a book
775. Just the right amount of cream in my coffee...that my husband brings to me upstairs while I get ready in the morning
776. My mom and dad listening to me talk and talk and talk.
777. Cousins laughter
778. Homemade donuts
779. A new recipe
780. Swinging on the front porch swing with Hannah on the first day of Spring
781. Privelege to pray for a friend
782. Groceries and a little five year old helper putting them away.
783. Sneaking spinach into Zac's smoothie and the look of surprise when he found out (and still liked it)
784. Adoption stories
785. Hugs from Hallie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thanks for today...

743. Looking down at my little foot next to his bigger foot.

744. Fingertips rubbing my back.
745. Fingers interlaced as we pray together.
746. Being like-minded.
747. Corporate Worship.
748. Getting to know my 97 year old Aunt.
749. Kids comfortable with the elderly.
750. Talking for 3 hours with old friends.
751. Hallie teaching her brothers a lesson on how to share God's love.
752. Sunshine in the backyard.
753. The kids marveling at ants.
754. Restful sleep.
755. Vacuumed carpet.
756. Swimming with my kids.
757. Jacob's boisterous laugh.
758. Laundry to fold...I said it and I mean it!
759. Ryan shopping...I asked for potatoes and he bought two! ~Smile~
760. We drove all the way to the Children's Museum and it was closed. The kids did not complain at all!
761. Scripture memory. The Lord empowering me to hide it in my heart.
762. Knowing I am loved by God, my husband, my parents...always and forever no matter what.
763. Homemade pizza with friends.
764. Wanting to submit to, respect and honor my husband.
765. Singing karaoke with Hallie and Jacob.
766. The boys found sleeping together in the same sleeping bag.
767. The boys both saying about the other, "He is my best friend."
768. Scotcheroos. Mmmm.
769. The kids anticipating Cousins Camp in Kearney every day! (it's two weeks away)
770. Seeing our church grow. God moving in our midst.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Counting My Favorite Things...

...makes the soul sing. Remember this...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lunch Today

I had lunch today with one of my dear friends. She is going through unthinkable difficulty in her life. As she walks alongside her child who is battling and defeating (yea!) brain cancer she is also dealing with the loss of her marriage. As she talked honestly about her anger and sadness she was able to supernaturally count her blessings and see God' goodness too. I marveled at how Jesus shined through her as she told me about her son's giving spirit, her family's support and love and how she is pressing in to God through prayer every day.

I realized that this list of thanks I am making is God's way of helping me to see His goodness always and in everything. Days will come when my heart will ache and tragedy will hit and I pray that the training I am in right now will open my eyes to God's grace and goodness always.

It doesn't mean we don't bear the scars of hurts in our past. We most certainly carry that with us, but Jesus still has His scars too. He bears the scars of sacrifice in a perfect place where there is no pain, no tears, no heartache. Is this what scripture is talking about in Philippines 3:10 when it says, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death" ? To be like Him is to be, "content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. We can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength." Phil 4:12-13.

The Lord tells us that thankfulness precedes the blessing. Thankfulness precedes the miracle. Thankfulness precedes the deliverance. Maybe it's because when I am fixed on Him and His abundant provision in all things, I am less concerned with myself and more in awe of Him. Maybe the thankful heart is the deliverance from anxiety, worry and pain. After all He tells us in Phil 4:4-7 to, "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Again I say, Rejoice...Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, with Thanksgiving, make your requests known to God and the peace of God which transcends understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus."

The peace of God...that is the blessing, the miracle and the deliverance! It comes from a thankful heart no matter our circumstances!!

So, I will continue to "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:14

Let the "sacrifice of praise" continue... (read Psalm 116)

731. My friend answering the phone with a happy, "Hi friend, how are you?"
732. The tone of Zac's sweet five year old voice.
733. Kissing Zac's cheeks
734. Reading the Storybook Bible with Zac on our days together.
735. Watching Ryan swim, his long, strong strokes in the water.
736. Kids coming in at night needing Mommy
737. Rubbing Hallie's back as her breath slows and she drifts off to sleep.
738. Jacob's school report at the end of the day
739. Sharing burdens and joys with a good friend
740. A clean toilet!
741. Window marker designs on the window.
742. The daily coloring pages from Zac and him saying, "Here mommy, these are for you. I love you so much."