Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A mosaic of Grace

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day describing to her what God has done with me and friendships.   Ever since I moved to this always transient area I have made incredible friendships, only for the LORD to allow the most special friends to be removed from proximity.  Most have been moved by the Navy, some for other jobs, or to be closer to their parents.  But after I finished the conversation, I realized not only do my circumstances make up the picture of who I am, but also those spectacular people that I call my friends shape me.

Lately, I've been feel like I've been going through the ringer.  I am more tired than normal due to a surprise pregnancy.  So especially in the early stages - you ladies who know - as soon as you wake up from 8 hours sleep you feel like you need to go back and get 8 more.  My two spirited boys that I have keep me going, and my poor husband, I'm sure, thinks the house has been hit by a whirlwind and my cleaning skills have left the building.   As a result of all of this excitement and physical change I have been stuck in a pit.  What a blessing that the LORD secured those gals as my friends, those who support me, pray for me, love me beyond myself, and just listen to my daily struggles and share their own, reminding me that I am not going through this roller coaster ride alone.  It may be an email, a phone call to check up on me, a stop by the house to drop off a special thing, or a quick post on facebook to ask how things are going.

 (And alas - I searched the internet to find a photo mosaic maker for free so I could illustrate my blog - but none that I found worked well... so sorry for the lack of illustration.)

So as I consider who I am, really consider who God has created me to be, I know that circumstances have made me stronger and shaped me, but I also am sure in my photo that there are the faces of those that have made a difference in my life.  Those whom I have the privilege to call friend.  Thank you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1000 Gifts: Another Monday of Blessings

 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
 the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
 and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 
Isaiah 55:12

0277.  adventures to the zoo, the botanical gardens, and Chick-fil-A with GrammaHio last week

0278.  clean windows to let in the light of spring (thanks mom!)

0279.  Bunco - a game with friends to chat, laugh, and enjoy each other

0280.  free ice cream for wearing our pajamas from our favorite ice cream place

0281.  spring finally on its way - bringing flowers up from their hiding places and trees to bloom

0282.  a friend stopping by with a homemade pick me up made by her hands to decorate my house

0283.  a Saturday mantown adventure - a dad with his boys on a hike in the woods to give mom a few minutes of peace to clean

0284.  Sunday afternoon naps

0285. a plan for a much needed haircut

0286.  the first day of spring = family haircut day for the men in my life

0287.  78 degree temps in March signaling that summer days are not too far away.

For these and so many more I lift my voice to heaven in praise to my Father who gives all good things.


Monday, March 15, 2010

1000 Gifts: Hooray for Moms!

My mom came to visit us this week.  She just got here Saturday evening and is with us for almost a week!  Time for some much needed, out of the ordinary FUN!  And who better to share it with that GrammaHio!

So another week of thankfulness to mark the many things for which we praise God!

0264.  the many memories of my furry pal - following me around the house, greeting me at the door - now quiet.
0265.  a moment of snuggle time with my oldest - discussing how God is like the things He created so that we could know Him more

0266.  a rainy day field trip with friends to the magic doughnut shop to see how they make yummy treats - even getting to sample one free.

0267.  my boy changing his attitude

0268.  my mom - willing to come visit - even if what she is doing isn't always fun - folding laundry for her exhausted daughter - thanks mom!

0269.  hearing my Chopsy, after seeing his gramma in the kitchen when she first arrived, going back in the bedroom to tell his brother - "GrammaHio is HERE!"

0270. the same boy, so excited, giving his gramma a piece of celery for breakfast because it was what he had to share.

0271.  realizing my children's strengths and challenges are all in how God made them - for HIS purpose- - remembering that some of those things are difficult now - but may be beneficial in adulthood.

0272.  Rain reminding me of my baptism - making the foulest clean.

0273. being confident that ALL OF GOD'S WAYS are PERFECT - He makes NO mistakes.

0274.  daily reading God's Word - ruminating on every God-breathed word that is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword.

0275.  resting in the fact that God has it all under control and doesn't need a lick of help from me. 

For all of these and so many more - I give thanks.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Isa 55:8-9


Monday, March 8, 2010

1000 Gifts: A matter of TRUST

A year ago this time the Lord was teaching me obedience.  He has shifted the life lesson to trust.  As I walk through the path of obedience I am learning true trust in the LORD - and am blessed - being uplifted by friends who love me and are helping me through this journey - and so I give thanks.

0250.  the excitement and preparation in getting ready for a visitor from far away... Mom is coming!

0251.  prayers from everywhere on my behalf - encouraging, uplifting, and blessing

0252.  recognizing my pharisaical ways  - repenting - and choosing to trust in the ONE who made me and formed the world with His words.

0253.  Words of promise that come when you need them - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.  "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a future and a hope. "  Jer 29:11-12

0254.  my husband... my hero... and his reassurance that "everything's going to be okay"

0255.   "YES!   Thank You God!"  exclaimed by my 5 year old at the news of a new sibling.

0256.  A call to a gramma by a grandson - to tell her the news of the new baby

0257.  blessings upon blessings upon blessings - too many to count

0258.  sitting in Sunday service - hearing a message the LORD had in mind just for me

0259.  second chances

0260.  sharing recipes with friends

0261.  my sharing child - always willing to give

0262.  my dancing child - praising God in the dance

0263. my yet unborn child - anticipating getting to know a new little one and all of his or her characteristics -- a true blessing from the LORD.

For all of these and many others I humbly thank the LORD for HIS good and perfect gifts.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The boys and I were reading In Grandma's Attic as a read aloud for school.  We all really enjoyed the humorous stories that Arleta Richardson (author) had compiled about her grandmother who would tell Richardson stories about growing up.  Some of the stories caught me with tears in my eyes, and my boys would ask me why I was sad - when in actuality I was just touched by the stories.  Today we finished the book, much to our dismay (the boys asked me to keep reading).

The last chapter of the book was entitled What Did You Expect?  This was a brief chapter talking about prayer and miracles and how God answers His children.  One she told was about her grandfather, a preacher, needing shoes, and not having money to pay for them.  They prayed for provisions to be able to get the shoes.  Later, one of the members of his church pulled up in a buggy that Saturday afternoon to give the family a chicken for Sunday dinner.  The member of the church had just bought a pair of shoes that didn't fit him right so he gave them to the pastor.  God provides.

Further along in the chapter the author talked about her grandmother making jelly and heating parafin on the stove to seal the jars.  Suddenly the parafin sparked and fire crawled up the wall to the ceiling. The author said that she remembers wanting to run for the door, but seeing her Grandma stand in the kitchen with the wooden spoon in her hand saying, "Lord, please put it out!"  God answers.  The fire was out.

"Well, child, what did you expect?" she asked when she discovered that I still stood speechless in the doorway.  "Did you think the Lord would let the house burn down around your ears?"
What had I expected? I will have to admit that had there been time to think about it, I would not have expected a miracle.  Oh, yes, I knew God performed miracles.  I was brought up on those stories.  But for me?  That was too much to presume.  My first reaction had been to call a neighbor, not God.
Have you seen any miracles lately? You've never seen one? There is only one reason for that. You haven't asked. God doesn't reserve miracles for grandmas or preachers or people who have had a lot of experience in praying. He has them ready for any of HIs children who call for one.
Remember though, a miracle is not something you could do for yourself.  It is an "impossible" in your life. It is a spot with no out. It is for the place where your only foreseeable future is disaster. This is the time to put in an urgent request for a miracle. And this is the time, as surely as you are God's child, that you will see one. 
Well, what did you expect? That's the way the Lord treats His children, you know!      (In Grandma's Attic, c. 1974, pg 138).

Now, I know I have witnessed miracles.  Things that shouldn't have happened, but did, or conversely, things that should've happened, but didn't.  I can even say that I am privileged enough to have been a part of some of them.  God's fingerprints are everywhere.  He loves to bless His children.  If you haven't seen His fingerprints on your life today, ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  It's amazing what you receive when you just ask.


Monday, March 1, 2010

1000 Gifts: Welcome to a new week

With spring on the way, and my household ready for it, we remember all His gracious gifts, praise Him, and give Him thanks.

0240. a Sunday morning message given with an invitation to trust the LORD in all things personalized just for me.

0241.  a fun filled Saturday afternoon at the park for my boys and husband while momma stays home to clean and rest

0242.  pizza at gramma's

0243.  potty training our Chopsy... not completed - but plugging away.

0244.  the anticipation of a far away Gramma coming to visit soon.

0245.  my 3 year old pirate -  a vacuum cleaner attachment as a sword -  off to get the bad guys

0246.  young ones coming out of Sunday School recalling their lessons and believing, knowing they are true.

0247.  a sunny morning - fresh with new promises

0248.  compassion

0249.  the claiming of an eternal promise:

But as it is written:

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
I Cor 2:9