Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thankful for a little adjustment {day 29}

Tonight, as I drove home from the chiropractor, I was thankful for the adjustment. I noticed immediately that the tension that I had in my neck and shoulders, tension which I knew had been contributing to my five day migraine, was gone. As I breathed a sign of relief I reflected on the other noticeable differences that have occurred over this past year since I first started going to Dr. Nick Pratt's Maximized Living Clinic.

A year ago I had many aches and pains which I just attributed to be "over forty". When I woke in the morning it was painful to get out of bed in the morning. Just sitting up hurt my back and then there was standing up to walk. I felt like a little old lady, back hunched, knees bent, feet hurting as I walked down the hallway to prepare for my day.  Those pains are gone....for the most part anyway as I still get those occasional backaches after a day in the garden or migraines due to spending too much time worrying. The worry I can give to God.
    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God...  Phil 4:6
Thank you, Dr. Nick, for making my mornings a little easier. 


Belated Day 28 ~ Let All Things Praise the Lord



Let All Things Praise the Lord ~ Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament! 
Praise Him for His mighty acts; 
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; 
Praise Him with the lute and harp! 
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord
Praise the Lord!






Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27

Sometimes rest is found when one re-evaluates priorities. Last night my headache/migraine that seems to have been present more times than it was absent over the past few days, had disappeared. AH, I thought, finally I can think clear enough to write. My boys were gone - my son was at a weekend youth retreat and my husband was on a day-trip with his mother. The house was quiet and it was a perfect time for writing. Then I realized I'd rather hang out with my girl. I skipped writing my "Day 26" post and it was well worth it. My girl and I ate milk duds and popcorn while watching a movie and it was divine! So although I didn't write yesterday my heart was still full of praise.



Tonight I made another choice. Instead of a fun night out with some girlfriends, I felt God nudging me to stay home with my family. The Boy is back home and even though he's been busy napping, showering and playing his guitar at least he knows his mama is here. We had dinner together and my daughter and I even tried a new soap recipe (honey lavender!).  Although I would have loved to have spent some time with my friends whom I rarely see, again I was thankful for the choice I had made.

Thank you, God, for a weekend of rest and for each moment that I have with my family.

And my migraine? It's back but writing hurts my head less than watching the Viking/Packer game. ;)



Friday, October 25, 2013

Rest {day 25}



Whew, it's Friday. It's been a great week but I'm a bit worn out. Though my "to-do list" is long, I am so thankful for a bit of rest that I will get this weekend. Sleeping in past 6 am, drinking coffee for a bit in the morning while still in my pj's.......this is what I look forward to. I may even decide to skip a few to-list items and take an afternoon nap. :)

Thank you, God, for always sustaining me and providing rest when it is needed. 

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."


Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Family {Day 24 of 31 days of praise}

In the back row: Stepson, Hubs and Stepdaughter
Front: The Boy, Me and my daughter

Tonight I was blessed with time. Instead of quickly eating dinner together and rushing off to bible study, we were given a night to stay home. As we sat around the table, sharing a meal, sharing in conversation and laughter, I was filled gratitude for my family. My family is my greatest blessing. 

Thank you, God, for each moment that I have with my family. May I cherish every single moment. 





Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eyes of Wonder


I appreciate snow but only the view from my window as I sit inside my warm home with my hand cupped around a mug of something warm. This morning however the snow surprised me. Wasn't it just a week or so ago when I was still sporting shorts and flip flops?

So although I do not look forward to winter, the excitement of the daycare kids over the fresh layer of white stuff caused me to join in the excitement, grab my camera and head outside. It's amazing how the wonder of a child can spark a little wonder in this "old girl". As I snapped a few shots of the snow I went to check on my girls...usually by this time in the morning they have flown the coop and are rooting around the yard. This morning they were still roosted. My heart swelled with appreciation for the girls that would be providing eggs for our evening quiche.

Back inside I went to search for my coffee......ah! Gratitude again overwhelmed me when I found my favorite cup (one my dear hubs spent weeks searching for - I have a few particular characteristics I like in my coffee cups) next to my chalk-board-planter-turned-pencil-holder (a sweet gift last spring from my sweet girl).

Blessings abound when one chooses to see with eyes of wonder. May my eyes always be open to the wonder, the miracles, the blessings found in each and every day.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22 ~ Dr. Mukwege, a voice against injustice

Last month I shared a story from Noel Brewer Yeatts' book "Awake" about Evah, a girl who was captured by the LRA, was forced to carry weapons and was repeatedly raped by her captors. The story broke my heart. The stories that Noel shares in her book are continuing to break my heart. And then at church at last week we honored with the presence of a man who has made his life mission to serve girls and women who have suffered from war crimes. Women who have suffered greatly. As Dr. Mukwege spoke tears ran down my face. Although my heart ached I lifted up praise to God for equipping people such as Dr. Mukwege. People who are courageously raising their voices against the injustices found around the world.

"Our call is call to serve. Our call is a call to care for, to comfort, to restore women who have been hurt in their bodies and hurt in their hearts because of the atrocities of war crimes."

To read more about Dr. Mukwege and the Panzi Hospital in which he founded to help survivors of sexual violence go HERE.

Monday, October 21, 2013

This Day

I will praise the name of God with a song,
 and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. 
Psalm 69:30


On this cold day, I am thankful for a home that gives me shelter, a furnace which provides heat, a warm cup of coffee to wrap my chilly fingers around, and the foresight to cover my bed today with my "winter" comforter. 

On this Monday, a day dreaded by many as the "back-to-work-day", I am thankful for a job that provides for my family, a job which I love and allows me to serve both my family and the children in my care, a job which allows me to work from home and makes it possible to home school my son. 

Thank you, God, for this day.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Six years of field trips

This weekend didn't go quite as planned. You see, in Minnesota we have "MEA weekend" every October. This is a four day weekend for public school students and one that we've taken advantage of for several years (even if we are homeschoolers). I usually take the time off and take my boy on an extended field trip.

In 2008, my son and I traveled to Hannibal, MO to explore the childhood home of Mark Twain.


In 2009 my stepson was attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI so in lieu of a field trip, hubby, The Boy and I went for a visit. The following week my son went to Disney World with my parents (lucky kid).


My dad and The Boy, Disney 2009

In 2010 we decided to stay a little closer to home. We took a Wisconsin road trip, stopping at neat places along the way and ending up in Eau Claire, WI. We stayed in a hotel that was sandwiched between an awesome water park and a super cool "fun center" (laser tag, arcade games, batting cages and go-carts). The Boy loved this trip. Before heading home we stopped at the Chippewa Valley Museum because of course this was a "field trip".


2011 ~ Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL and The Creation Museum
This was my favorite field trip! Although our destination was the Creation Museum (which was phenomenal) we saw so many neat things on the way.

























2012 ~ The Boy went on TWO trips with his grandpa - Colorado for a "father/son" retreat (or in his case, a "grandfather/grandson" retreat) and a fishing trip to Canada. My mom took my daughter and I on a trip to NYC.

We often refer to 2012 as the "Year of the Accident" but it was the year of so much more. It was the year of seeing God's goodness, the year of awakening.......the year of GREAT trips! Earlier that year my dad had begun planning a special trip for my son. He'd heard of great father/son retreats that were hosted by Vision Forum but when this led to dead ends he decided to plan a fishing trip - a Canadian "fly-in" fishing trip! After booking the Canada trip my dad was contacted by Vision Forum about a father/son retreat being held in Colorado. So they did both.

Since grandpa was taking The Boy on a special trip my mother decided to take her "girls" on a special trip too. NEW YORK CITY!!
My sister, my niece, my mom, me, my daughter and my grandmother
I must point out how God's perfect timing orchestrated these events. This trip to NYC was planned in the Spring, my daughter's accident was on June 4th. Our trip was scheduled for mid-October. Not only was Breanna physically able to travel and participate in the non-stop sight seeing that we did but it was a trip in which I celebrated even more with her by my side.

But back to my boy...........

MEA 2013..........not what we had planned
I wanted this to be four special days with my son. I had chosen Missouri as I wanted to extend our warm weather season (it's been pretty cold up here in Minnesota). I was thinking we could kayak, hike, camp. For some reason I kept dragging my feet on making plans. Money was tight and I was brainstorming on how to still have our trip but not spend too much money. I couldn't make up my mind on destinations....St. Louis? Kansas City? Branson? I was indecisive. And then The Boy hurt his knee during a football game. After spending 5 days on crutches I brought him in to find that he a misplaced/bent over meniscus and a torn ACL. The soonest they could operate was the day before MEA weekend.......

So our long weekend began with surgery. Again, I am thankful for God's timing. Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday and I had already taken Thursday and Friday off of work for our field trip. Having the time off meant that I could be available to wait on my son. Since he had decided to camp out in the living room instead of attempting the very steep stairs to his room this also meant that he would be able to nap, play guitar and read from the comfort of the recliner without a bunch of daycare kids to bother him.

Although our plans changed, I know that memories were still made and isn't that really the point? Looking over the photos of the last 6 years I am reminded of the memories, those precious moments......even the photo of my boy lying in a hospital bed. I'm so thankful for a God who has the plan and knows what is best for me......and my boy.


By the way, did you notice how much my boy has grown in the past six years? I better cherish each of these moments!

A song of praise {day 19}








Friday, October 18, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Laundry, my nemesis [Day 18}

Today I'm joining a community of writers. Lisa-Jo gives us our writing prompt, one word, and we write for five minutes with no worries of spelling or grammar. We just write. Today's word is laundry.

Here we go!

Laundry. Ugh. It's my nemesis. The one chore that I can never seem to battle.

I find it in a pile on my bedroom floor. If ignored, something I occasionally do during a laundry strike, it becomes a mountain. Not a pretty mountain but a mountain that causes feelings of disdain.

I peer into my son's room and see it scattered all over his floor. No matter how many times I organize his drawers and teach him of the neat system of shirts go in this drawer and jeans go in the other, his clean and dirty clothes get strewn from wall to wall. To get through his room means to wade through his piles of clothes.

The laundry room? It seems as soon as it's empty of clothes to be washed and clothes to be dried and still more clothes to be folded, there's yet another pile on the floor waiting to begin this cycle. But weren't all the clothes cleaned yesterday?

Yet, despite how hard it is to change my attitude towards my enemy, I will continue to grit my teeth and attempt to sing my praise.

Thank you for the pile on the bedroom floor which means my husband worked hard this week. Clothes filled with wood shavings from the sanding booth. Jeans smeared with grease stains from working on our vehicles.

The Boy's room full of clothes.....thank you, God, for that boy. Thank you for providing an income for me to cloth my boy, even if those clothes are tossed on the floor. Thank you for the door in which I can shut to his room and pretend that it isn't there.

Thank you, for my washing machine and dryer which make this job I detest so much easier.

Thank you, that laundry, while often viewed as a hardship is nothing compared to the hardships that really are hard.

In ALL things (even laundry) may I praise you!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 17 ~ My Boy

My boy had knee surgery yesterday. At the ripe old age of fourteen. The days leading up to his surgery The Boy, as I fondly call him, was worried only about what this meant for his future. My strong, courageous boy who just a few weeks ago thought himself invincible was humbly recognizing that he was not.

He had been experiencing some pain in his knee since track season this spring which returned in the fall when football practice began. A visit to the doctor taught us that he had a "loose knee" which would slide too far to the outside of his leg and could be remedied with exercises to strengthen his inner quad muscle. Despite this knowledge and his mama's constant pleadings, he chose not to do his exercises.

On October 1, during a football game, The Boy made a pivot/sharp turn and immediately dropped to the ground in pain. After several days of not being able to straighten his leg and with no decrease in the swelling we visited an Orthopedic doctor. An MRI indicated that when his knee shifted the meniscus folded in half and was now pinched between the bones. His ACL was completely "shredded". Surgery was necessary to mend the meniscus however the reconstruction of the ACL would have to wait until he is nearly done growing (6-18 months).

I was happy to find out a cause and a solution to his pain. I was also happy to know that the exercises that he DIDN'T do may have helped avoid his predicament but it may not have helped either. The Boy initially wasn't worried about the surgery but was worried about his future. Although he loves football, he was very willing to give it up to protect his knees. He was worried about having problems with his knees for the rest of his life. I find this remarkable for a boy who once thought himself invincible.

The night before his surgery he began to worry about the actual surgery. Would it hurt? Was there anything that could go wrong? I told him of all the people who were praying for a successful surgery and quick healing. This only made him more nervous. I calmed his fears with the usual, "You are in God's hands." and "just think how wonderful it will be to walk again without crutches....it will be worth a little bit of pain and discomfort that you may have for just a short time". He buried his worries and put on a brave face. I admire his strength.
Before surgery

Best pain medication acording to The Boy? His guitar.
On our way home from the surgery, still under the influence of pain medication and anesthesia, he talked. This isn't unusual for my boy of many words but his words were deep, filled with self-examination. And because he had just had surgery, I really listened as my boy rambled on. He spoke of dreams - his dreams for himself and others expectations of his future. He spoke of his love and passion for music and how to use it to glorify God. And then he spoke of his anxiety regarding his surgery. He spoke passionately about how his worry for the surgery paled in comparison to the greater worries in this world and how his worry was so selfish. In that moment I was inspired and proud of my boy who feels deeply, is compassionate to the hurts of others, and has the ability to look beyond himself.

Thank you, God, for this boy...my boy who often drives me crazy. His energy and his noise-making (if it's not his mouth it's another part of his body tapping out a rhythm) often leaves me exhausted but oh how I am thankful to have such a boy. Thank you, God, for entrusting him to me. Help me to encourage him to live for you in every moment. May he do great things for you and your kingdom.


 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7

World Food Day (Day 16)


**I began this post yesterday as I wanted it posted on World Food Day. Unfortunately exhaustion consumed me and I was unable to finish it. I'm not going to let being a day late to join the voices that are being raised to end world hunger stop me from completing my task. **
.









This morning Yesterday I was up earlier than usual as my son had an early morning appointment for knee surgery. As we sat waiting for him to be taken for surgery my stomach grumbled and my thoughts turned to food....and coffee. In my rush to get out the door, at an hour earlier than I'm even thinking about hitting the snooze button, I was unable to have my wake-me-up coffee. By 8 am I was longing for coffee and I was starving. STARVING! Friends, I have never known true hunger. I may have been a bit hungry as I hadn't eaten since dinner. Dinner which was only a mere 13 hours ago. I'd live. I was not "starving to death", a phrase which slips so easily from our mouths although many of us have never been close to the point of starving to death. Yet, around the world, there are people who are hungry. 1 out of 8 people are really, truly hungry. So hungry that starving to death is a reality. 

868 million hungry people living in the world, 49 million of whom live in the United States alone.


We don't have to look across our U.S. borders to see hunger. It's here. It's in our backyard (not in my backyard as even my chickens don't know hunger). 49 million people in the United States live in hunger and yet 41% of Americans are on diets. Livestrong.com states:

The Boston Medical Center indicates that 45 millions Americans diet each year and 

$33 billion on weight loss products.

$33 BILLION.......what could that kind of money do to solve/help the crisis of world hunger? Most Americans live in such excess that it shows up our hips. Friends, I'm not pointing any fingers here as I am just as guilty. Instead of showing restraint, I continue to satisfy cravings and wants instead of using food as a means for life. Eating becomes a past time, a want rather than a need. What if, instead of spending money on the newest diet fads - books, supplements, pills, etc - I used that money instead to help others? 

About once a week my family travels to "town" for some sort of errand. Usually this trip means a stop of Kwik Trip for gas....and snacks. Instead of waiting the 30 minutes to get home we've fallen in this terrible habit of getting just a "little something" to tide us over on our long journey home (sarcasm here). Coffee and donuts for the hubs, coffee and a Kind bar for me, chips/candy and a soda for each of the kids and we've spent $20. Twenty bucks on a snack. Snacks which are giving us little nutrition and are simply adding to the spare tire around our waists (my son is only 14 with an active metabolism so he doesn't have to worry about the spare tire. yet.). What if instead of spending $20 a week on unnecessary snacks we donated $20 of food to our local Channel One or to an organization, such as World Help, which is helping to supply not only food but also water, medical supplies and education to places that need help the most? 

What can we do to help feed the hungry? I've mentioned before that three ways in which we can help is to PRAY! GO! GIVE!

PRAY!
  • Thank God for the way He has provided for you! Ask Him to reveal areas in your life which you are living in excess and how that excess could instead be used to help others.
GO!
  • This doesn't have to be a mission trip to a foreign country. The Salvation Army  and Channel One provide food for many communities across the U.S. The Salvation Army nearest me hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner which my family had the privilege of helping serve a couple of years ago. Channel One uses volunteers to stock shelves at the food bank.
GIVE! 
  • I have a coupon clipping friend who gives her excess to Channel One. She has a limited budget but she has a gift for using coupons on items that are on sale which sometimes means she pays little to nothing for some of her groceries. She uses her gift to bless others.
  • I'm sure some of you, like me, have budgets that are stretched thin. Give of your self and donate your time to be a volunteer. 
  • Short on time and money? Think about something that you "treat" yourself to every week. Maybe it's a pumpkin latte at Starbucks. Learn to make pumpkin lattes at home and put your savings into a jar. Use that money to help others. 
  • Start a fundraising campaign of your own! I did this last week at World Help which helped me set up my fundraising site. Instead of birthday gifts I'm hoping friends and family will help me raise money to help Syrian refugees. 

Join me in providing help for Syria!



Thank you, God, for your daily provisions. Thank you, for providing me with enough. Open my eyes to the areas of my life in which I can use my excess, my gifts, to help those in need. Break my heart for what breaks yours.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Water

I am often humbled when my eyes are opened to the things in my life in which I take for granted. Sometimes it's easy to fall into the habit of grumbling at the work. I'm sure there's a few tired mama's out there that can relate. Dishes, laundry, cooking. The jobs are endless. Breadwinner, nurse, secretary, financial planner, teacher, kitchen manager, gardener......really this list could go on. How hard would each of these jobs be without having access to clean water?

With easy access to clean water, water not only to hydrate our bodies but also to use in cooking and cleaning our bodies, washing our dishes, washing our laundry, it is hard to even comprehend how life would be without it. Noel puts it into perspective when she writes, "Did you flush your toilet today? Just once? You have already used more water than the average African has for an entire day --- for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, washing....everything. Just one flush." (AWAKE, pg.94). One flush my friends. That would give me something to complain about.


If I didn't have access to clean water I'd be cooking meals and washing dishes with water that carries bacteria that could kill my family. Cleaning hands or the many scraped knees that children seem to collect on a daily basis with dirty water? Not a good idea. Can you imagine walking miles just obtain water for your family? Can you imagine walking miles to find only dirty, contaminated water? Having to choose between dirty water or no water? The thought is frightening.

Diarrhoea is caused mainly by the ingestion of pathogens, especially in unsafe drinking-water, in contaminated food or from unclean hands. Inadequate sanitation and insufficient hygiene promote the transmission of these pathogens. Eighty-eight per cent of cases of diarrhoea worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene. These cases result in 1.5 million deaths each year, most being the deaths of children. (World Health Organization)
1.5 MILLION deaths each year from diarrhea!  
"A single sip of water is all it takes to be infected. A single drop of water can contain over 1 billion bacterial organisms." (Yeatts, "Awake"). Among the many water-related diseases are diarrhea, malaria, trachoma, worms and parasites, typhoid fever (600,000 deaths per year), and cholera.

Chapter Seven "Crystal Clear" from World Help on Vimeo.

This morning alone I have taken a shower, brushed my teeth, washed a load of laundry, ran the dishwasher, used water to scrub the carpet under the refrigerator, washed my kitchen cabinets and counters, washed my appliances, ran two pots of water through my coffee maker to rinse out the cycle of vinegar I used to clean it, and now I'm about to add another 12 cups of water so that I enjoy a cup of coffee. Oh, and I've flushed the toilet twice. It's not even noon. I might be a bit mathematically challenged but I think I've used a month's supply of water (or maybe even more) within 6 hours. 

So what can I do about the lack of access to clean water in place that seems so distant? 
  • The first thing I can do is to show gratitude for the fact that access to clean water makes almost every job I do so much easier. 
  • Become educated and then educate others.
  • Find an organization such as World Help which is helping bring water to all corners of the world.
  • Pray for World Help and other "water projects"
  • GIVE to World Help's Causelife water project. For a mere $15 you could provide water for one person.
Noel Yeatts writes:

"The worldwide water crisis can be solved with 20-30 billion dollars a year. Yet Americans spend $16 billion each year on bottled water alone."
Noel then puts the cost into a new perspective, one that seems to make solving the water crisis obtainable. 
"Americans also spend an average of $700 each at Christmas" this equates to $210 billion! "If just half the population set aside $200 of their Christmas spending and put it toward the water crisis, the problem could be solved!" (AWAKE, p.94)

The other day, after reading this, I found myself in a discussion with my mother-in-law about the new football stadium that the Minnesota Vikings want to build. A stadium which will cost $975 million.  For a stadium. To entertain not to sustain a society. Oh, but the Minnesota Vikings will cover some of the cost.
"The Minnesota Vikings will pick up the $477 million share of the new stadium that isn’t being covered by taxpayers. "
Well great then. That leaves $498 million that the taxpayers WILL cover. A majority of those taxpayers who won't ever see the inside of that stadium either because of lack of interest or because they can not afford to pay the exorbitant ticket prices yet they still "get to" contribute. I see something very wrong with this and honestly it makes me sick to my stomach. Children are dying around the world from dehydration yet Americans, in their excess, are more concerned with funding yet another venue of entertainment which contributes to a drug-like numbness which allows us to close our eyes to the hurts around us. 

What can you do for the water crisis? 
REFUSE TO BE NUMB! REFUSE TO KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED! 

Let's wake up friends. Let's do something. Anything. For even a small change creates ripples and one life saved is still ONE LIFE SAVED!

Resources:
Water.org

And because it's 31 days of praise, let's not forget to praise God for water, for those who are providing water for areas where it is inaccessible, and for those who choose to contribute in any way that they can to create ripples of change. God, thank you for opening my eyes. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Babies!



In the last 8 days I've had two babies! Well, I didn't have two babies but two of my daycare families did. One of the benefits I have as being a daycare provider is that I don't have to do the really hard stuff. Like giving birth. Or sleepless nights. I can get my baby fix during the day and then send them home. It's a pretty sweet perk.

Thank you, God, for the families that share their babies with me. I look forward to watching each of them grow. Watching coos turn into babbles and babbles into words. Watching them learn to roll over, crawl and take those first steps. I look forward to baby feet and baby cuddles.

God, equip me to show these children....all the children in my daycare, love. My love and yours. Give me patience and wisdom. Let my eyes always be filled with the wonder of your creation.

Thank you, God, for bringing two bouncing boys into this world and into my life.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Every Day I will Praise Your Name


Psalm 145

I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I[a] will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
And I will declare Your greatness.
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
And shall sing of Your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,
And Your saints shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
And all flesh shall bless His holy name
Forever and ever.



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Full to Overflowing......

are my blessings.

Today my eyes were drawn to my many blessings.........

I spent a few hours cleaning the house and as I washed windows and chased dust bunnies I thought of how blessed I am to have a home to clean. Cleaning was followed by grocery shopping to get food for the week. Again, blessed.

Tonight I attended church with my husband, my daughter, my son and my son's friend. As I looked down the aisle at my family I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude. Church was followed by a "date" with my daughter (the boys went to youth group and hubs went home). Breanna and I browsed Hobby Lobby searching for knitting needles (no luck) and smelling every candle (we chose Baked Apple Pie). Before picking up the boys we stopped for pie. :)

I love spending girl time with my daughter and am so thankful for her!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20


Thank you, God, for your abundant blessings!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Always Rejoice


I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High

Psalm 9:1-2

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4


Early in the morning 
can't wait to meet You once again
I sing a new song
awake my soul awake the dawn

Shout aloud to the Lord 
with all my soul I sing
praise our King hallelujah

I will rejoice in the Lord always
in everything
I will rejoice in the Lord always
oh, i will sing (to You)

Everyday is a new day 
so I will dance and celebrate it
oh, what a joy it is
every teaching be the same

I will sing of Your mercy 
I will sing of Your mercy over me
I will sing of Your goodness
I will sing of Your goodness over me

I will sing of Your mercy 
I will sing of Your mercy over me
I will sing of Your goodness
forever, forever



Thursday, October 10, 2013

I have enough (31 Days of Blessings ~ Day 10)

So last night I may have been a little tired. and cranky. After spilling my frustrations and crying about having a room of my own I was awaken to all that I have to be thankful for. Today, as I reflected on last night's post, my eyes were open wider. I humbly admit that I have little to complain about. I have a home, a family and a job that supports both. I have friends and family. Even though money has been tight in the past few weeks, I cut the grocery budget back drastically and found that I had plenty of food in the freezer and in the pantry to feed my family. I have enough and if I'm really honest with myself, I have plenty. 

There are many in this world that don't have enough. They don't have enough shelter to protect their families. They don't have enough food and water to survive starvation. My heart broke today as I thought of my cry for a room of my own when there are people in the world that cry for survival, cry for a bed to sleep in or cry to simply have a roof over their head. Lord, forgive me for my selfishness. 

Six MILLION Syrians have fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. And yet I had the audacity to complain about not finding a quiet place to write. Shame on me. 

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. Proverbs 14:31

Today, as I counted my blessings, I was humbled knowing that there are many who have little to nothing. Many have left their homes to escape violence. Seeking refuge, having little, wondering what tomorrow will bring. Will you join me in offering hope to the refugees of Syria? 


 "Millions have fled to escape the slaughter that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 innocent civilians." (World Help)


Often I make the excuses that money is tight and in this season of my life, the season of living pay check to pay check, it's just too hard to give. But if I'm honest I can recall that I still managed to stop at Starbucks last week for a Spice Pumpkin Latte. The reality is that I have enough. The reality is that I have a jar on top of the washing machine to collect loose change. The reality is that even if I only can give a little I can ask others to join me. A lot of people giving a little multiplies and let's be honest, every little bit helps. Even a "little bit" can create change and give hope. 

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work." Mother Teresa

I'm going to cash in my change bucket, what can you do? Will you join me? Please pray for Syria and please consider donating to World Help to help the Syrian refugees. 

Here's what a little can do:

  • $120: Provides food and medicine for six refugee children for one month 
  • $360: Provides food and medicine for twelve refugee children for one month 
  • $1,200: Provides food and medicine for sixty refugee children for one month  
Join me HERE


Help Syrian Refugees - Laurie Byrne

Help Syrian Refugees - Laurie Byrne

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Room of One's Own

I vaguely remember reading Virginia Woolf's, A Room of One's Own, during a Women in Literature college course.  The premise is that  "a woman must have money and room of her own if she is to write fiction". My then very feminist mind, jumped on the band wagon of women's oppression. However this week I gained a new appreciation for this expression as I found myself muttering on several occasions, "Oh, I just need a room of my own!" I don't write fiction and don't care to do so. I'm well aware of the fact that I don't have the creativity to make up a story let alone make up a whole book.

Yet I'm trying to carve out some time of my own to write, even if it is only for this little blog. I decided that I'd cut out my evening television (my routine most nights is to watch tv with my husband from 9-10) so that I can write. This seemed like a fabulous plan. Except for the fact that I do my writing at the kitchen table. Which is next to the living room. Even if I can block out the sound of the show my husband is watching,  bedtime snack traffic to the kitchen comes through the dining room. This means everyone feels it is necessary to stop and talk to mom on their way to and fro. Hubs stopped last night to give me a ten minute description of how much he was craving apple crisp (a hint maybe?). Hence the frustrated cries of  needing a room of my own.

I know, many of you are thinking, "just write when the family is asleep". Let's see. Hubs goes to bed at 10:30, if I waited until then to begin writing I'd fall asleep on the computer. Get up earlier? Ugh. The alarm already goes off at 5:15 am at which time I walk across the room like a zombie to hit the snooze. This zombie walk/snooze pushin' happens at least 2 to 3 times before I'm awake enough to realize that it's time to get up. 5:45 am I'm at the kitchen table drinking coffee and doing my bible study. 6:10 am my first child of the day arrives. Nap time? Oh man, that's when I get the dishes done, the floor swept, a little adult interaction in the form of facebook and a few games of Candy Crush in before the little  buggers  angels awake. I'm not sure how to carve out more time to write but if I'm willing and creative I will find a solution.

Friends, I'm sure you're thinking right about now, "I thought this was 31 days of PRAISE? Where's the praise?"  I share my frustration only to give contrast to all that I have to be thankful for.  I have a dining room table in which to sit at. I even have a front porch in which I'm presently hiding on   finding a quiet place to write. I have a wonderful family whom I adore. My family even likes to talk to me, may I never take this for granted. I have so much, friends. I am blessed. Even if it's getting a little chilly out here on the porch. :)

Besides it's a beautiful day! I was even introduced tonight to a new song tonight which joyfully sings praise to our King. Whatever frustrations you faced today, may you be able to see the blessings, the beautiful that was today.