Monday, January 24, 2011

Multitude Monday

Continuing my gratitude list…
151. Encouraging words when the winter blues made an appearance.

152. Getting honest with God and myself about the secret places in my heart that are no secret to Him.

153. Moving past the word “Paul” in my goal to memorize the book of Ephesians.

154. Encouragement from a friend as she joins me in memorization!!!

155. God writing His Word on my heart verse by verse.

156. Snow…snow…and more snow.

157. Sunshine on the snow after the clouds clear.

158. Meeting a neighbor for the first time when I offered to help her shovel her driveway.

159. Thanks from my husband when he arrived home to a shoveled drive.

160. Chili dogs.

161. The words “I’ve been praying for you this week”.

162. Surprise left by a new Secret Sister.

163. The members of our church who clear the parking lot, shovel the sidewalk, and assist the elderly.

164. Safe travels on snow covered roads to and from church.

165. A text from my husband to let me know he arrived safely to work.

166. Schwan’s ice cream miniatures.

167. Wool socks…thick and warm.

168. Our treadmill…I don’t have to walk in the frigid cold through the snow and ice...after eating Schwan's ice cream mini's.

169. K-LOVE playing over the internet.

170. Winter sunsets.

What are you thankful for today? Join us at A Holy Experience and do share!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The sound of silence…

If I can stay home and not have to be out in it then I absolutely love snow.

Snow fall is silent…once it falls it muffles the entire world around me. Even the birds cease their chatter when the snow is falling.

The only noise I’ve heard all day is the sound of the snow plow rumbling by and the sound of shovels sliding across driveways.

This snow fall is not very wet…making for easier shoveling. When we lived in Utah where they have the greatest snow on earth- seriously...our license plates said so- the snow was dry and called powder. The snow fall today here in Missouri is just that kind of snow. Powder is excellent for skiing and snowboarding making for soft landings in the event of mishaps.

As I watched the snow falling this morning I remembered the books I read as a girl written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I remember going to the library and checking out those books one at a time until I read the whole set. I loved her descriptions of life in simpler times but today I am thankful for central heat instead of wood burning stoves or fireplaces that are cozy only as long as you are within the circle of their warmth. I shared my love for those books with my daughter and bought her the set when she was a little girl.

 Snow brings memories of snowmen and forts we built as children in North Dakota. When the wind chill was not too excessive that we could be outside to play where the snow was abundant for snow play. I remember my older brother and the neighborhood boys tunneling through the huge piles of snow standing beside driveways…off limits to girls of course. There were some serious snow ball fights waged from those fortresses. I knew better than to attempt to go up against my brother and his pitching arm, his fastballs were killer and he didn’t play around but aimed for the head of his victims. Being the target of a well shaped cold snowball to the face seemed to put a damper on my desire to play. Even though I didn’t like the “No girls allowed” slogan I respected it out of a sense of self preservation. Mom would make snow cream when we went in the house to warm up, almost as good as homemade ice cream in my memories.

Memories are of my own children playing in the snow bring a smile to my face as I visit the past through photographs. I would bundle them up in their winter attire, smear Vaseline on their cheeks and receive just as much joy from their excitement as I had as a child. I can’t count the number of snowmen they built over the years.

One of my favorite pictures is of our daughter- in kindergarten at the time- sitting in the yard where the snow was so deep you couldn’t see much of her except her head. That was the winter my husband was in Iceland and it seemed to snow every other day. The pile of snow at the end of our driveway rivaled the snow forts I remembered in North Dakota…and I shoveled every inch of it.

Today the drive way needed to be shoveled and the wind was picking up so the wind chill was dropping. I put on the long underwear and thick gloves and socks and went out to help my husband shovel. The best part about going out and shoveling was that we got to come in and drink hot chocolate together.

I wonder if those Little House books are hiding in the basement. If my daughter doesn’t have them I may have to go try to find them.  It's the perfect kind of evening to snuggle down on the couch under a throw and read a good book while drinking my hot chocolate.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year + new goals = new habits.

It's 2011! I enjoy opening a new calendar or planner and seeing the blank pages ready to fill with all the important information...birthdays and anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, vacation dates.

It's a fresh new year full of possibilities and hope. Today is Monday. It’s the first week of the New Year. What is it about the beginning of the New Year that causes me to want to aspire to something new? People want to stop smoking, some want to get out of debt; many want to stop the bathroom scale from moving up yet another pound.

I’m one of those who looks back at the past year and hopes that I can change in the New Year; not just on the outside that is reflected in the number on my bathroom scale or the size of my jeans but change on the inside. I want the deep down in my heart change that only my Lord can accomplish in me. To accomplish the change then I have to seek Him out, search my heart, and cooperate with Him in changing the things that need to change. Repenting of the sins, asking forgiveness, adjusting my attitude are all part of surrendering my will, seeking His will and finding joy in Him
 This year I choose to focus on joy. Not just the emotional, happy kind of joy but the joy of the Lord. Joy is defined- keen pleasure or delight, something or someone greatly valued or appreciated. I want to delight in the Lord, find pleasure in Him, value time spent in prayer with Him and serving Him, and appreciate His working in me and in my life. Too often I focus on the negative, what I don’t like about the circumstances I find myself facing. But if I truly believe that God is in control, that everything is His plan for my life then I want to find the joy in it whatever “it” is.
 So 2011 is going to be a journey to open my heart and mind to joy. Joy in the day to day living and serving my family, joy in the big things like seeing my children and spending special family times together, and joy in the small things like sun shining through the prism hanging in my kitchen window splashing rainbows across the walls and ceiling, or the laughter shared as I watch my husband try to hoola-hoop with the Wii.

Joy in the midst of challenges and facing the hard things as well a joy in the pleasures and fun things in life. The more I come to know and trust my Lord, the fuller my joy becomes. Is it possible to form the habit of finding joy in every situation and circumstance?  I am told all things are possible with God.

This year I will find the joy, enjoy the moment, rejoice in Him, and not allow anything or anyone to steal my joy. There are 362 more days to practice this new adventure in joy with my Lord. I'm excited to see 2011 unfold.

Continuing to count my 1000 gifts…
141. Blank calendars.
142. Seeing my daughters face on Christmas day for the first time in 4 years.
143. Safe travels.
144. Italian restaurants open on Christmas day.
145. Giving good gifts to my family.
146. Watching my husband play on the new Wii…rolling on the floor laughing.
147. The sound of the shovel scraping the snow off the drive.
148. Heated car seats on freezing cold nights.
149. The joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
150. Free ebooks

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