Monday, January 25, 2010

1000 Gifts: A Conglomeration of Praise

I will sing praise, I will lift my voice.
I will sing praise, I've made my choice.
I will sing praise in all I do.
I will sing praise to You.

No matter the storms that come my way,
No matter the trials I may face,
You've promised that You would see me through,
So, I will trust in You.

Copyright ©2002 Tayken Music / BMI /
Experience Worship Music Publishing / ASCAP. 

0169.  Having a few more precious moments with a furry friend

0170.  Friends who call to check on you.

0171.  My sensitive husband calling to apologize for his attitude and realizing why I didn't want to go.

0172.  prayer requests to lift before the King

0173.  my position as daughter of the King, having His ear inclined to my voice, my needs, my requests.

0174.  sweet fellowship in the wee hours before anyone is read the Word.

0175.  a full sanctuary singing praises to God - just a taste of what Heaven will be like

0176.  a roof over our heads

0177. warm cozy covers at night

0178.  two rambunctious boys watching football with daddy on Sunday night.

0179.  a broken fever

0180.  a clean kitchen

0181.  piles of laundry needing to be folded reminding me that we are blessed

0182.  crocuses in January - too early - but signaling that spring is coming.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Hurting Heart

It's hard to try to ignore what is happening in our house right now.  While we were gone this weekend my mother-in-law came to dog sit her favorite granddoggy.  She is wonderful about doing that, I must say.  So when we came back we noticed our boy limping, favoring his right shoulder.  Thinking that he may have slipped and strained it, or maybe even dislocated it - we sat on just giving him aspirin and fish oil and glucos/condroit  mix to help try to lube the achy joint.  So with no improvement we took him to see our favorite vet in the world.  J took him last night - it was a cold and rainy night - you know the type.  While there, they took him back for an x-ray to see what type of injury he had.

Fast forward - I was at home feeding  and bathing the kids, and J and Shiloh walk into the bathroom.  I completely expected for J to tell me that the dog was going to need some outrageously expensive surgery to fix the dislocation (not like we could've afforded it)... but what I heard was worse.  J said that the doctor found cancer in his bones.  Our vet said that he believed this to be the most aggressive kind of the three types that it could be.  UGH!  My heart was pounding in my throat at the news.  I wanted to vomit.  Feelings that had long since gone away were right in my face again.  Three years ago we had to put to sleep our wonderfully silly wigglebutt boxer, Mattox.  The experience was horrible.  I was eight months pregnant with Chopsy.  Here I am again faced with the grim reality that our time with our Shiloh is very limited.

Right now I find it hard to sit for any period of time without distractions - because I start to tear up at the thought.  Even now my eyes are leaking.  The fact is it's hard for the healing to begin while the wound is still open.  Unfortunately, the wound will not be able to close and begin to heal until the inevitable is done.

I know that many don't understand grieving over a dog.  It really is true that a furry friend becomes like one of your children.  You care for him and walk him.  You play together and laugh at the goofy things he does.  You even get mad at the any number of times that you have to call the ER vet because he got into something that wasn't meant for puppies.  He's just a part of the family. He was a part of our "pack" before either of our boys was born.

That being said, I am just so glad that God cares for all His creatures.  I find comfort in the verses in Matthew that state that the Lord clothes the lilies of the field and He knows when a sparrow falls.  How much more does He care for us.  So I know that in the midst of this tragedy in our home, our LORD is with us through every step and is here to console and comfort us in our grief.  We are so thankful that He allowed us to be Shiloh's family.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

see this blog

Funny enough - but not really - my best friend and I have gone through a lot in the last 24 hours... she with her dad, and I with my dog.  Both verdicts were the same... the results will be drastically different... however, since she said it so beautifully this morning I will direct you to her blog as it says exactly how I feel right now.

Please read and enjoy... be uplifted... for you have a Savior who loves you and is concerned about your every care.

Sometimes  (the title of her post)

Of course - there really is no comparison when you look at our issues, though the hurt feels very much the same.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1000 Gifts: A Weekend Getaway

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

Psalm 105: 1-2

We visited my best friend this long weekend.  What a treat!  I am still amazed at how God chooses your family (a blessing in itself) and then gives you friends who are just as close.  I am truly thankful for God's gift of friendship. I love how God shows us a bit of Himself in friends... maybe through gentle loving admonishing, through uplifting concerns in prayer, and just enjoying fellowship with each other.  For God's gift of Friendship I am truly thankful.

0145.  getting away early on a Friday afternoon... bags packed, house cleaned, excitement in the air

0146. the Truth Chronicles - Adventures in Odyssey to listen to all the way up

0147.  arriving to smiles, hugs, and a fun night of pizza

0148.  restful sleep

0149.  morning plans for the day

0150.  hunting, searching, success in finding treasures hidden

0151.  dinner ready in the crock pot after a day outside

0152.  dessert and a movie for all to enjoy

0153.  kids in bed, grown ups talking, laughing, reminiscing, sharing

0154. prayers answered

0155.  rejoicing in God's goodness

0156.  worshiping  the LORD together, side by side, mindful of His gifts

0157.   a rough morning getting ready, dad apologizing for wrongs committed to a son, and the son applying it to the lessons learned in Sunday School - the Spirit at work

0158.  a quick lunch then back in the vans for a trip to a museum to see aircrafts galore

0159.  the girl's van - a sleeping Lolli and two friends discussing families, choices, and life - so engrossed in conversation we miss our exit to the museum - just a few more minutes to chat. :)

0160.  home again for playtime, trains, wii, - the bigger boys willing to play with the younger - special times.

0161.  a boy learning how to throw a football with his dad.

0162.  pancakes, more playtime, grownups sharing stories, kids sharing time.

0163.  sharing more concerns to lift to our Father 

0164.  getting advice from a veteran homeschooling mom for direction for our family

0165.  another movie night, more brownies and ice cream, and laughter, snuggles, and bedtime

0166.  one last breakfast together, a few more minutes of play, sweet times spent together until the next time

0167. laughing about puffy hair - and the pleads for a cut 

0168.  my best friend, her husband, her sweet handsome boys, an adorable baby girl, and fuzzy pups  all sharing there home with us for a weekend of good times

Tried to share pictures - however all of my attempts to include failed - will check blogger to figure out what's wrong.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

1000 Gifts: God's Tapestry

God has really imparted to me this week how He is involved in all aspects of our lives... friends,  worship, study, extra curriculars, home, school, work, etc.  I was amazed as I studied the WORD this week at how many times the information was repeated somewhere else, showing me that He was doing something in more than one place.  He weaves a tapestry not only in my, so often self-absorbed, self- centered life - but weaves different strands of my life, and the lives of friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers.   He doesn't sit silently, but is active - working as the fine Craftsman taking time to  blend colors and masterfully pull certain pieces so they lay "just so."  For how He moves and loves, and weaves - I have an attitude of thanks.

0133.  A fresh new start to studying God's Word - a plan, a journal, His message specifically for me that day.

0134.  Scripture, alive and active - flowing like water, refreshing the soul, guiding the lost - meaningful every time it's read.

0135. God's Providence - His Word - Scriptures being repeated throughout my day - reminding me of what He's imparted in the morning.

0136. New relationships made while on a LONG EARLY trip to training - advice, encouragement, and friendship all sweetened by God's aroma... priceless

0137.  Little boys popping out of bed on Sunday morning telling me how much they missed their momma.

0138.  A daddy who lovingly cared for them - a mantown weekend - complete with a trip to the local jumping place - to wear all three of them out!

0139. Catching a glimpse of God's beautiful tapestry... created by Him for His glory... but involving me - woven through time, relationships, experiences

0140.  a weekend full of information - incredibly busy - yet refreshing - being away

0141.  having a full conversation - from start to finish - without losing track of the topic of conversation

0142.  a paradox - being humbled at the fact that God would use me - but realizing that He does because I'm His child.

0143.  An accountability partner - full of style :) and love for the Lord. Looking forward to studying and learning and growing.

0144.  The anticipation of yet another trip this weekend... to continue more of God's amazing weaving of hearts, lives, and relationships.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A 5 year old's questions

Today while on the way to BSF my 5 year old, Monkeyman, sneezed several times.  I followed up - being the oh - so - polite mother (have to do it myself - if I'm gonna teach my boys) with "God bless you".  Monkey quickly said thank you and then asked the question.



"Does God sneeze?"

"Well, I don't know. "  (pause for contemplation) "No.  I don't think so."  (more pause for contemplation)

"Why not?"

(continued contemplation)  "Well, I don't know. Because He's God and He probably doesn't have tickles in His nose."

"I think He does. That's how this cold wind blows.  It's a God sneeze."

"Oh. Okay."

Then at BSF - our lecturer spoke of secret things that only the Lord knows.  This conversation came to mind... and I smiled.

Deuteronomy 29:29
The secret things belong to the LORD, our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.


Back in September I started attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) which is an interdenominational Bible Study which does just that - study the BIBLE - nothing more.  They don't use any additional resources but the Bible. 

Every year they study a different theme or book... this year the book is John.  Oh how God has opened my eyes to so many things.

Today I helped out in the 3-4 year old class.  The lesson for them is the same for the adults.  It was about the blind beggar in John 9.  Even in the telling of it to the little ones my heart was tweaked and moved at the realization of how blind I am at times.  Blind. To my own sin, to my own prejudices, to my own preconceived notions.  Blind.  Sometimes to what God is doing in my life, to which way He is leading me, to why He allows suffering or difficulty.  In my life, in the lives of my friends and family, or even in the lives of strangers I encounter.  I am blinded to the way God is leading me to help others.  I am blinded to how God is moving in my life because I'm not expecting Him to move in such a way - I sit an wait for Him to move the way I want Him to move - then I miss it... an awesome opportunity to see Him at work.
I am like a Pharisee - who is supposed to know the Bible - supposed to know Him...

I am reminded by the passage that God works in the hearts of the humble.  Those who call out to Him for mercy.  Those who are blind and know they are in a state of need.  He hears. He heals. He helps. 

The neatest thing is that the blind beggar was not only physically blind, but also spiritually blind.  By the time Jesus was finished with him he not only saw his parents for the first time in his entire life, but he also saw His Lord!  He recognized that Jesus was the Savior. His Savior.  Neither change could have occurred without Jesus.  That is simply. Awesome.

Today it really hit home that every time that someone trusts Jesus as their Savior it is a miracle.  No one can just do that.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit alone.  A true miracle. The Holy Spirit's work.  To make a blind man see... to change a blind heart.

Monday, January 4, 2010

1000 Gifts:January 2010 - new beginnings

0123.  arising early to meet with a Friend, a Savior, a Mentor, a King, a Father to see what He has for me today.

0124. the quietness of early morning - when all are dozing through the last few minutes of sleep.

0125.  God's Word being fresh every time it is read - renewing the mind and bolstering the spirit.

0126.  Eric - a man from a heritage of faith - sharing, admonishing, encouraging, and supporting his flock day after day - because he loves Jesus.

0127.  an opportunity to sit under an excellent Bible Study teacher - one who takes so seriously the task of leadership - and does a God honoring job of it.

0128.  questions from my 5 year old - about faith - and Jesus, and heaven, and sin... seeing his faith grow

0129.  sweet hugs from my Chops - wanting to snuggle inside momma's big blue robe - to stay toasty cozy for a few more minutes of morning.

0130.  the brisk cold of winter

0131. the smell of coffee

0132. God's grace - sufficient for all humanity - personally for me.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Potential to Possibility

Potential is defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as existing in possibility. 

A friend I greatly respect recently gave me a book for Christmas.  In the book was a typewritten note from my friend conveying that he believed that we (my husband and I) "have great potential for applying the principles of this book- namely those of intentionally investing in the lives of others to make a difference."   At first glance of this note I was deeply touched, to the point of tears, that my mentor would think that I had great potential for reaching people.  I was humbled, excited, and touched that he would write such things.  

After pondering for a while I reexamined what he said.  In his comments he stated that I have POTENTIAL. That is the possibility of reaching people to make a difference.  What is the difference between having the potential to do something and actually doing it?  It is the action of the person. I could have huge amounts of potential, but if I do nothing then the potential is wasted.  For example, when an archer pulls back on the string of the bow to shoot an arrow, the string has potential energy.  If the archer never lets go the arrow goes nowhere and affects nothing.  However, if the archer lets go of the string and the arrow the potential has become possibility. 

In 2010 will I be just potential or will I crossover to possibility?  I desire to leave a mark on my world for eternity.  I want to make a difference in the lives of people, not for my success but for my significance.  You see the world drives after success - a bigger office, a higher salary, a newer car, a larger house. Unfortunately, there's always more for which to strive. Success ends at the point of loss - loss of job, loss of house or money, or loss of life.

Being significant doesn't have to do with success.  Significance has to do with investing in people.  Showing people you care.  It takes much more time to be significant, but the rewards are endless.   Significance is spending time with others, investing in their lives... teaching them, being transparent with them.  Significance trickles down.  Teaching others how to be significant so they in turn take up the mantle and become a mentor in someone else's life teaching them to be significant in the lives of others.  The results are exponential.

So back to the challenge... will I choose potential or possibility?  Will I accept the challenge, or will I sit and do what I have done in the past? Will I use the tools written in the book, or will I put it on the shelf and get to it when I have more time? Everyday, on my knees, I'll choose significance.   Not because I have potential, but because I want my potential to turn to possibility!

 Matt. 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."