Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tardy Thursday...(aka Multitudes on Monday)

"We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see." ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Choosing to see the blessings in all things. 

18. Like-minded lives’ brought together for God’s purposes

19. Lunch with Mrs. DiAnne
20. ‘Mommy and me’ field trip to the pumpkin patch

(Picture blurred for privacy)

21. Sunday lunch at Dad’s
22. Accountability
23. A paint mistint returned to the store and on sale for $5 = perfect match for my now newly-painted kitchen
24. A swing-set
25. A little helper in the kitchen
26. Delicious new recipes

27. Open windows and a fall breeze
28. Decorating for Fall for first time

28. Second chances (and third, and fourth, and fifth chances)  

You can read about the beginning of my gratitude journey here.
To learn more about the reason behind Multitudes on Monday visit author of One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp

"We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see." ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Choosing to see the blessings in all things. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Multitudes on Monday

"We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see." ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Choosing to see the blessings in all things. 

#6 Supper with grandparents

#7 Store sales and coupons helping make a Christmas wish come true

#8 Traditions passed from generation to generation

#9 [Humanly] Impossible prayers being answered

#10 New friendships 

#11 Seeing Praying Mantis x2  reminding me of God's unending blessings

#12 Making messes in the kitchen

#13 Laundry to wash, fold, and put away.

#14 Encouraging words from unexpected places

#15 Soap and water for dirty hands

#16 Pumpkins in the fall

#17 Hands for holding

Dear Father,
      I pray You open my eyes to see You in all things - big or small.  I do not want to miss seeing Your Hand in my life.    

You can read the beginning of my gratitude journey here.

Visit author of One Thousand Gifts here

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sparrow and Me

I am a private person when it comes to personal matters. As a result, I suffered through a very difficult time on my own – even keeping the pain from my husband.  You can read about it here. Through the suffering I isolated myself from the people and places I loved the most.  I felt alone.
But the feelings of isolation and loneliness were lies.  I never suffered alone. 
The Word of God says in Matthew 10: 29-31:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Sparrows were abundant when this passage was written that they held no significant value. Yet the passage tells us God, our Father, knows when a bird as insignificant as the sparrow falls to the ground.

I used to view God as an all-powerful Being sitting on His majestic throne in Heaven, looking down through the clouds at the happenings of the Earth.  Required to do nothing more than speak a word and raise His scepter to direct His creation. This idea of God caused a disconnect in my relationship with Him. I never “felt” as though He cared about the details of my life. 
Oh, how wrong I was! He not only cares about the life of a common sparrow, but He cares about every aspect of my life – big or small.  The Truth is He knows when a single hair on my head falls out. 
What do we have to fear?
Finances, a marriage that is falling to pieces, employment, family matters?  No, no, and no to all of these things.  We need not fear anything. God cares about the matters of our lives and is personally involved. He is not distant.  He is as close as we will draw near to Him. 
 At times I forget how much He truly cares.  Just yesterday, I became overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life. Stressed to the max and tears flowing, I stopped and did something out of the ordinary for me. I decided to ignore how I “felt” and trust God with the problem.  I prayed over it and within 30 minutes I received a phone call saying the problem was taken care of.  Gone.  No more.  It disappeared. The lady on the other end of the phone said she sensed God telling her to take care of it.
Not many times in life am I speechless, but this was one of them. I could barely stand as I listened to her tell me my debt was paid in full, requiring nothing from me.  My Father, who cares for a bird, heard my cries and in an instant took away the burden.
Friend, know He cares for you too.  Whatever your life’s circumstances, He knows.  You are not alone.

My Father,
You know all of our burdens even when we tell no one. You know their outcome. All you require of us is to trust You. I pray we have the faith to be dependent upon you and the confidence that You will take care of it all.  Thank you for loving and caring for Your children.   

Let the Change Begin

“Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

“It’s an alligator!” she shouted in terror. As she grabbed my legs, I assured her there weren’t any alligators in our living room. She persisted, “Then it’s a snake!”

Clearly, my daughter had spotted something out of the ordinary. I reassured her there weren’t snakes in the house either, but I began to doubt myself. I cautiously walked toward a pile of toys, looking ever so closely for any creepy, crawly things. I picked up the stuffed black bear, nothing. Then I spied the culprit squirming on a pair of pants meant for Buttercup the Build-A-Bear Leopard.

I laughed as I proclaimed, “Oh, Lil. That’s just a caterpillar.” An ugly, brown caterpillar that stretched no more than an inch. I bravely picked up the caterpillar, ummm I mean, the pants and flung the caterpillar out the door to its proper home-outside.

Then guilt settled in. It has turned awful chilly outside. Would the ugly, brown caterpillar have any chance of transforming into the beautiful butterfly it was meant to become? How sad it may never wrap itself in a cocoon and transform from its current limited state of crawling to a butterfly, free to fly where it wills?

Sadly, I spent much of my twenties as an ugly, brown caterpillar. Emotions took reign and kept me from being transformed for Christ. My walk with Christ was based on how I “felt.” When life was going well and emotions ran high, I felt good. When life through blows and hit hard, I felt like I was crawling around getting nowhere only to be flung outside in the cold with no direction of where to go. This cycle continued much of my twenties.

To stop the cycle, I needed to encounter an authentic transformation from within- a metamorphosis. A Romans 12:2 kind of transformation, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

My emotions controlled my thinking. It was all about how I “felt.” I was constantly changing from feeling one way to another. Growth in my walk with Christ was limited.

Metamorphosis needed to occur. I needed the Holy Spirit’s power to work from within. But how? By the renewing of my mind.

Renewing my mind on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s is not enough. Meditating on God’s Word must be a daily occurrence. As we surrender our will to His through the renewing of our mind, we will experience growth unexplainable - much like a plain caterpillar transforming into a magnificent butterfly.

Will you join me in wrapping ourselves in the cocoon of God’s Word and be transformed? Once the metamorphosis takes place you will never want to be a caterpillar again. Can’t wait to see you flying in the freedom of God’s will!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Multitudes on Monday

This journey began long before today.  Standing in the aisle at Lifeway with the book {One Thousand Gifts} in hand, I read the first chapter.  My tears revealed the inner terror the words provoked in my soul.  Having only read the first few paragraphs, I closed the book and put it back on the shelf.  

Thankfulness?  I think not. The words penned by the sweet Ann Voskamp caused fear to rise up in me.  Fear of the unthinkable happening.  If I am not cautious the same fear I felt in the aisle of Lifeway that day will grip me and hold me captive today. 

I have come full circle. The fear has been laid at the feet of my Father and in replaced by {thankfulness}.

It is my joy to begin my One Thousand Gifts journey.  As author Ann Voskamp encourages, to LIVE FULLY right where I am. 

Life is full of hurts, disappointments, and broken roads.  We have two choices.  We can choose to embrace the negative, bitter attitude with closed fists.  Or we can choose to embrace an attitude of thankfulness living fully with hands open wide.

I choose to live free with hands open wide. 

And begins my journey to naming my 1000 Gifts...

#1 - Truth

#2 - Freedom to choose

#3 - A loving, patient husband

#4 - The pure love of a child

#5 - Faithful sisters-in-Christ who encourage me to press on

Will you join me in choosing to live fully?

Read more about {One Thousand Gifts} by clicking here.