Monday, January 30, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (553-562)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...


 
I have been working since December 1, 2010, and in all that time I have been the first to arrive at work twice and had to shut off the alarm.
 
The first time, I set off the alarm and it took a few minutes for the alarm company to instruct me how to shut it off. My ears were ringing for quite a while afterward and my nerves were jingly-jangly too.
 
The second time was last week and knowing in advance I'd be the first to arrive at work I prayed before going in. I asked God to help me key in my code and for the alarm to not go off.

All went well with no shrieking alarm yet I must admit my nerves were jingly-jangly anyway.

Do you pray for small things to go well?
 
#553 - 562 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:
 
553. not setting off the alarm at work
   
554. every sunrise I see in the morning
 
555. every sunset I see on the way home from work

556. the startling, icy sting of a cold glass of milk on my fingertips

557. fellowship with our daughter and Presby women at the Funcheon (Fun Luncheon. The word Funcheon makes me smile.)

558. two women sharing their hard eucharisteo. One's husband left after 16 years of marriage and how God helped her to forgive him. The other's soon-to-be ex-husband committed suicide and how she felt God's presence during and His comforting presence after while raising their two sons.

559. sending thank you cards to those two courageous women for sharing their hardships and faith

560. worshiping at the 11:00 a.m. service at our church

561. praying to God for two weeks of energy, wisdom and stamina while celebrating our daughter's pre-wedding party, wedding, and our granddaughter's baptism

562. celebrating God's gifts and blessings showering down upon our family

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

This post is linked to A Holy Experience: Multitudes on Mondays, One Thousand Gifts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (536-552)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...



This past week was filled with moments of joy and moments of sorrow. Isn't that one way to define life as being filled with joys and sorrows?

#536 - 552 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

536. scripture that says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

537. the return of my van, newly repaired from "the deer incident"

538. Mary Beth and Debbie. Meeting for dinner at Giuseppe's, catching up on our lives.

539. Randi, my giveaway winner and mailing her gifts off this week

540. solving a problem (I hope) with the comments section of my blog. I am becoming skilled in troubleshooting technology....this should be described as a miracle!


541. a whispery, fluffy, three inches of snow on Saturday

542. thermal underwear, a hooded coat, and winter boots which kept me warm and toasty while shoveling snow in 25 degree temperatures



543. the neighbor's dog rolling around in the snow. I can only describe him (or her) as a joyful dog!


544. our granddaughter (Youngest Sweetie) in her snowsuit. I don't think she was very impressed with her first snow experience. Ha!

545. oatmeal with blueberries

546. our son telling me about the sermon at his church. Love that I will be able to listen to it online!

547. good use of technology


548. sending a sympathy card to a family whose daughter/sister died of brain cancer

549. praying  for others

550. the CaringBridge website. Another example of a good use of technology.

551. accepting an invitation to join a fellowship/small group beginning in February

552. Dr David Jeremiah's ending of his sermon, "Don't worry about anything. Pray about everything."

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

This post is linked to A Holy Experience: Multitudes on Mondays, One Thousand Gifts.

Do you participate in a small group?

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

I normally live a boring life. I pay the bills in our family and I am quite good at "living within my means."

Last Sunday after church and grocery shopping, I decided to scoop up the bills that had arrived during the past week and pay them online.

I went into the study and looked at the water bill....

(As a bit of a history lesson, our previous water bill which arrives quarterly was $221.26.)

Here is what our water bill from October 1 - December 31 looked like:



Need a closer look?


Really?

$9,769.32????

OK.
So our township made a whopping mistake.
I did call and they sent a corrected bill.
Much better.

Yet even our local government seems to have a sense of humor when on the left side of the bill, I read the message.....




That's right people!

Conserve water.

I can't make this stuff up!

Have you had a mistake on a bill that almost made your blood pressure fly through the roof? Please share.

Monday, January 16, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (522-535)

While Ann Voskamp has challenged everyone to take the Joy Dare 2012, I am continuing my journey toward counting one thousand gifts. I will occasionally use her prompts from the monthly scheduled list because some of them turn my focus and stretch my observation skills. I was a bit concerned though that if I followed her scheduled prompts only, I would miss encountering my everyday blessings.




#522 - 535 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

522. watching/babysitting our granddaughter on New Year's Eve

She did nap but was awake at midnight!

523. neighbors that set off a great fireworks display at midnight. I love watching them from inside our house, the noise is muffled and the view is awesome!

524. my word for 2012: fellowship. I struggled to find it and will live it this year.

525. blogging my first review and hostessing my first giveaway

526. the writers at (in)courage. So much wisdom and encouragement which I read daily.

527. our daughter letting me borrow her car while my van was being repaired. She is a cheerful giver!

528. a text with a picture from Terri of her first grandchild

529. the amazing miracle of birth

530. God's timing and His continuing gift of hope in my life. My hope is in the Lord!

531. beginning to read Philip Yancey's book, Disappointment in God. (I appreciate his provocative titles and his walking through scripture.)

532. a new show I just discovered. "Person of Interest." Loving it!

533. Wonderful Husband. He brings love and wisdom to my world!

534. fellowship with friends of faith at breakfast on Saturday. We laugh, cry, and hold each other in prayer.

535. receiving a save-the-date postcard for our nephew's upcoming wedding in August. Already thinking about buying a new, cool, summer dress...

This post is linked to A Holy Experience: Multitudes on Mondays, One Thousand Gifts.

Are you taking the Joy Dare 2012 challenge or writing a variation of it?

Card Ministry {A Review and A Giveaway}

I've been writing letters, notes and sending cards for years. I remember that before I could spell, my mother would write my words, and I would copy them in my own handwriting. These were thank you notes to my out-of-state relatives for Christmas or birthday gifts.

I send cards in response to prayer requests, send sympathy cards, birthday cards, and just thinking and praying for you cards. A few years ago my friend Charlotte had a conversation with me about my card ministry. I never tried to define my card sending before and admit that I like her words "Card Ministry."

(In)courage and DaySpring sent me a free Hope & Encouragement Card Pack from Holley Gerth's line to review and I knew I would love them because I had previously purchased the pack and have sent them to family and friends.

Holley's words are loving, peace-filled, encouraging, and there is a scripture verse in each card. I also received six of her thank you cards which I decided to send to my two (adult) children because even my children need and deserve tangible gratitude from me.




That's the beauty of sending a card. A card is a tangible gift from the heart that tells the recipient that they are of value to me and in the case of these cards of value to God too. Every card I read from this pack brought to my mind a particular person who would benefit from receiving it on just a regular, ordinary day. Because even on an ordinary day, receiving one of these cards will bless a person in an extraordinary way.



GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Giveaway:
DaySpring is supplying me with one (1) coupon code for $20 off your DaySpring purchase.
(Please know that shipping charges will apply to the winner’s order. For the coupon code to work properly, there must be a $20 minimum purchase. The coupon code will expire December 31, 2012.)

Bonus:
I will mail the 10 card pack of Hope and Encouragement cards from Holley Gerth's line to the winner. You deserve to get something for free and I hope you will love them as much as I do!

To Enter:
  • Must be 18 or older.
  • Leave a comment sharing either why you send cards OR a time you received a card that touched your life.
  • Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you.
  • One entry only please. 

This giveaway closes Friday, January 20th at 10:00 p.m. ET.

I will use a random generator to pick the winner.

I am linking this post to the (in)spired deals review page and kindly encourage you to go and read what others thought of their card packs, or sending and receiving cards, and maybe they're having a giveaway opportunity too.

Disclaimer: Through signing up at (in)courage for the (in)spired deals review, DaySpring sent me a free Hope & Encouragement Card Pack from Holley Gerth's line to review. I also received 6 premium thank you cards and an accordion card organizer. The opinions contained in this review are my own.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll be back to visit.

Good luck and God bless!

Encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One Word for 2012

(This is the third year of my choosing a word to focus on. I chose Hope in 2010 and Grace in 2011.)

This year I wrote a list of nine words and prayed about them.

Three words drew my attention: fellowship, community, and assembly.

I finally decided, with God's nudging, that my One Word for 2012 is:

Fellowship

fel·low·ship /ˈfɛloʊˌʃɪp/ Show Spelled [fel-oh-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, -shipped or -shiped, -ship·ping or -ship·ing.

noun
1. the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.
2. friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.
3. community of interest, feeling, etc.
4. communion, as between members of the same church.
5. friendliness.
from Dictionary.com

Social situations exhaust me. In my empty-nester season of life, I am happiest at home where it is quiet and soothing and I can recharge myself for the next day or event.

Yet through the years I have come to realize that life is about relationships.

Deepening relationships with God and with people.

Relationships with people take face-to-face time and energy.

I make the commitment to God.

I need to invest myself in being in fellowship with people too.

I believe God places every person in my life for a reason.

Some fit like a glove, others not so much. Yet I become a better woman from each type of person. Spending time and listening to them teaches me things I hadn't thought or experienced personally. Sometimes the lesson is in my personal reaction or thoughts and how God can shift them (my reactions/thoughts) to appreciating who I usually refer to as my "Christian challenges." :)

In 2012, I will focus on fellowship.

Opening my heart and home to people.

Dedicating time to God through worship and studying scripture.

Sharing my time with people,

and with a generosity of spirit, socializing with others.

2012 is my year of fellowship.

Do you choose a word to focus on each year? Would you share it here?

Monday, January 2, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (511-521)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...


 
 
 
"In the beginning God created..."
Genesis 1:1a (NLT)

Over and over I read "and God saw that it" (light, land, seas, vegetation, plants, trees that grow seed-bearing fruit, sun, moon, stars, water creatures, birds, wild animals, livestock, small animals, human beings) "was very good."
Genesis 1:3-31a (NLT)

For the first time in my life, this new year seems to be a year of mystery.
In past years, I would be anticipating upcoming events.
I have no idea what will unfold in 2012.
God knows what is coming.
I will place my trust in Him.


Happy New Year!
In 2012, I embrace:
moving forward in counting toward one thousand gifts;
documenting the easy eucharisteo and the hard eucharisteo;
striving to be a better wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, grandniece, niece, aunt, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend, and co-worker,
with help from God.

#511 - 521 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

511. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit

512. a new year

513. a new calendar

514. a fresh start

515. holidays off from work

516. time intentionally spent with family

517. our granddaughter's loud cries, such healthy lungs :)

518. a couple days in the mid 50s...warmed my soul

519. a new, smaller purse (hoping I'll be able to find stuff easier ;)

520. Wonderful Husband installing new knobs on kitchen drawers and cabinets

521. the year of 2011. God stretched and strengthened me using my (our?) chosen word of "grace." He knew what the year held and how much I needed His grace and needed to extend grace to others.

This post is linked to A Holy Experience: Multitudes on Mondays, One Thousand Gifts.

Do you choose a word to focus on during the year?

I admit I'm struggling this year...still praying for it.