Monday, June 27, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (241-248)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for over a year. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.

#241 - #248 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

241. celebrating Pentecost - the gift of the Holy Spirit

242. 11 yards of new mulch covering the flower beds and surrounding the trees

243. God helping me to forgive another in my heart. A miracle in that it didn't take me a week, a month, or a year. I prayed. I forgave. Thank you Lord!

I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard grounds of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.'
Hosea 10:12 (NLT).
(underlined emphasis mine)

244. Shauna Niequist's book Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way

245. the delivery of three new books from Amazon. Written words feed my soul.

246. the beauty of sunlight shining through stained glass windows at our church. The refracting colors on the white walls make me happy.

Refraction (noun) - Physics - the change of direction (in this case) of a ray of light in passing obliquely from one medium into another in which its wave velocity is different. (Vocabulary class is over! lol)

247. attending a family high school and college graduation party. Celebrating the end of one type of education and celebrating the next step in education, whether at college or at life. Cheers!


248. daylilies! I love that they are no-muss, no-fuss perennials!

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Having A Baby


Our daughter is having a baby. She went to her ultrasound appointment thinking that she would find out if she was having a boy or a girl. The technician told her that the baby was in the worst possible position to determine the gender....tushy down and curled up in a ball.



I am sorry she was disappointed yet I had to laugh since this is only the first of many times that the child will not cooperate with her wishes. Darn kids! Ha!

Oh and while I've always tried to be careful about how much of my adult kids' lives I share....let me say that it will be "open season" on the grandkid.

Grandma is counting down to November Sweet Baby and I am limbering up my fingers in anticipation for some great blogging material!

No pressure. :)

Update: Our daughter had another ultrasound and found out she is having a girl!

Monday, June 20, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (229-240)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for over a year. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.



This week I have been showered with blessings. I had started a post about worry and stress and the next thing I knew, God readjusted my thinking and my mind started realizing all the encouraging written words that have been sent to me.
 
It all began with meeting my Bible Study Buddies to talk about One Thousand Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, then the following Sunday was our wedding anniversary. There is a lot to be thankful for in acknowledging these two events.
 
#229 - #240 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:
 
229. receiving cards from Laurie and Kaye thanking me for sharing how One Thousand Gifts has focused my spiritual vision into actively looking for God's blessings which surround me

230. our receiving a thank you card from my sister and nephew for his birthday money that he's saving up to purchase the latest Nintendo game system

231. not having to think about the latest game systems anymore since my kids are adults and if they want something like that...they can buy it themselves :)

232. receiving anniversary cards from my mom and Wonderful Husband's parents

233. receiving a thank you email from Anne B. for being together with the Bible Study Buddies and for her receiving my anniversary card (the four of us share the same month and day for our wedding anniversary). Anne and her husband celebrated their 46th anniversary!

234. receiving a happy anniversary text message from my sister

235. receiving Facebook anniversary greetings from our daughter, and from Diane (we share the exact day, month, and year wedding anniversary)

236. being married to Wonderful Husband for 29 years and yes, he gave me a lovely card

237. when I feel burdened and tired by life, God taps my shoulder and says, "Look at all the blessings you have, and remember to thank me!"

238. absorbing the encouragement from written words and being nudged into sending encouraging cards to others

239. the love I received from written words in cards, by email, on Facebook, and by text messaging which saturated and renewed my weary soul

240. the hope I receive from reading The One Year Chronological Bible

4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

It has been a good week after all.

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (222-228)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for over a year. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.

I was invited to a get together with my Bible Study Buddies. These are women whom I've shared the last 5 years meeting with on Thursday mornings during the school year. Since I've been working full time for the past 6 months, I have kept in touch by meeting some of them for Saturday breakfast or coffee, and through our weekly prayer requests.

On Wednesday, we were meeting during the evening at our Bible Study leader's (Charlotte's) home with the main topic being Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I am not a public speaker and felt my "anxiety meter" start to rise when I received the email reminding everyone about meeting at Charlotte's house and it included that I would be "the guest."

I started re-reading Ann's book to prepare and organize my thoughts and although it had already been highlighted like crazy, the second time through was a brilliant reminder of her journey and other parts were calling out to me, speaking to me where I am today versus where I was in February.

Wednesday arrived and I felt anxious throughout the day thinking about the evening ahead. One Thousand Gifts opened a new door for my life. For my faith. For my way of living.

While following the GPS directions to Charlotte's house, I asked God to please be with me throughout the evening. (And in case you are wondering....He never disappoints!)

Handouts recommending visiting "A Holy Experience" before purchasing
 the book just to give a taste of Ann's writing.
Twelve of us were sitting in the livingroom. Some had read the book, some had started reading the book, and some hadn't heard of the book. I had come to the conclusion that I couldn't do justice in describing the book so I talked about how God has been leading me through a process of gratitude, how the book fit into my journey, and how it has helped me continue with writing down all the blessings that otherwise I wouldn't have noticed.

I brought show-and-tell items: "Be Thankful" and "Grace - a gift from God" sculptures. I spoke about the word "grace" being my focus for 2011. The realization that our daughter's first name means "God's grace" and our shared middle name (Anne) means "full of grace."



I've realized the gift of God's grace to me and I have been committed to sharing and showing His grace to others. God knowing I needed to walk through and with His grace because He knew what was coming this year in our adult children's lives. He has allowed me shining moments of (verbal) self control that I have jokingly and earnestly pleaded for many years.

I explained how writing the blessings has made my vision sharper in looking for them and recognizing them. Ann's book helped focus my awareness of all the blessings that I am surrounded by every day. I felt calm and connected to my Bible Study Buddies and can only thank God for His presence among us.

Some of the buddies expressed an interest in reading the book and gathering together later in the summer for a discussion.

#222 - #228 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

222. God's loving, calming, tangible presence

223. my Bible Study Buddies and their grace toward me

224. Charlotte's encouragement and hospitality

225. God leading me to these women years ago and all according to His plan and His timing

226. lives shared and prayers asked for

227. my anxiety and burdens lightened when being open about my life circumstances and faith, which led to

228. not feeling judged but feeling loved by my Bible Study buddies

Do you have a faith-filled friend or godly group that you have a relationship with whom God must have orchestrated?

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Monday, June 6, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (213-221)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for a year. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.


 
A week of new experiences:
 
I had an appointment with my orthodontist on Thursday morning. I left three hours later with braces on my teeth. He estimates 10-14 months of treatment. I was going to post a picture but couldn't take one flattering enough for my vanity. Take my word for it...I look like a 50 year old woman with braces. Ha!
 
On Saturday, I replaced my trusty old cell phone. I'll learn how to use the new one and become a semi-expert with it by the time I trade it in for the next confusing one.
 
#213 - #221 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:
 
213. our daughter's first week of work

214. our son appreciating apartment living with a swimming pool open for the hot Virginia days

215. an orthodontist who can visualize my future. He is an artist.

216. braces at 50

217. technology continuing to teach this "old dog," new tricks

218. the temperature going from 90s one day to 70s the next. Spring time in PA.

219. seeing butterflies for the first time this season. I want to grab my camera and run after them every time.

220. a robin perched on a fire hydrant that I noticed while waiting at a red light

221. a friend treating me to breakfast for my 50th birthday. (Turning 50 has been filled with many moments of being spoiled. I highly recommend embracing 50!)

Turn on your speakers.
Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.