Monday, June 28, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 30

365 Days of Blessings, Day 30

1. The Freedom to Worship the Lord!

2. My oldest daughter had a wonderful time at her first Middle School Youth group event at our church. They played lots of games, went to play laser tag and see Toy Story 3, and then played more games. They stayed up late, and woke up early to prepare a slide show skit for the Children's message at worship. We are so thankful that our congregation is blessed with a dedicated, wonderful Middle School leader.

The funny thing is that although my daughter was excited about going, she knew they were going to do some Bible study and devotions and thought they were going to be doing more of that, and less of the game playing. She said to me yesterday, "It was even more fun than I thought it was going to be!" I'm glad for that, because she needs those fun moments. She studies her Bible every night at bed-time without me asking her or prompting her. I am so thankful that the Lord is actively shaping her life, and I'm glad she can know the joy of fun fellowship with Christian kids and leaders.

3. I survived another moment of realizing that my "baby" is growing up.

4. I'm thankful that although my daughter was hesitant to hug me goodbye on Saturday night, on Sunday morning after the sleepover, she ran up to me and gave me a big hug.

5. A wonderful children's message yesterday morning at worship, hosted by the Pastor, the Middle School Youth leader, and the Middle School kids.

6. Anticipating VBS!

7. Anticipating Vacation!!!

8. Driving to the Spotlight National Dance Competition held in Seaside, Oregon - in less than two hours!!!

9. Having a good time with my youngest daughter, while my oldest was at her youth group event. We talked, went to see Toy Story 3 with Daddy, and just enjoyed being together.

10. My husband's help in preparing for this two day trip he can't take with us, because he is filling in for his boss at work. He is so thoughtful, and loving. My daughters are blessed to have him as a Dad, and I'm blessed to have him as my husband. Thank you Lord!

Bonus three: 1. A beautiful solo sung at worship yesterday. 2. The spirit of God working among the people of our congregation at a congregational meeting yesterday concerning our church budget. 3. A softball team that stays positive and loving, even in defeat. We have wonderful young man on our team that keeps us going with scripture, prayer and team cheers. He is a huge blessing to us.

And three Birthday Blessings: My mom is 69! My niece Stephanie is 20! My nephew Jacob is 16! Birthday Blessings to them all!

Psalm 9:1-2
"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise you your name,
O Most High."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 29

365 Days of Blessings, Day 29

1."For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

2. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:13

3. The Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, knit me together in my mother's womb. He knows me, and he knows you. (founded on Psalm 139 and other scriptures)

4. My husband helped me with some housework yesterday, early in the morning, before he put in a full day's worth of work on his Dad's RV.

5. Batting practice for church softball yesterday . . . I made contact with the ball most of the time! And I caught a few! I needed that since I'm not an experienced natural with team sports of any kind.

6. My oldest daughter went to her first Middle School Youth Group event last night, an overnight at our church with an amazing youth leader. I'm excited for her, and yet I wish I had a little more time with my "baby" girl.

7. My youngest daughter had fun helping with the RV roof yesterday, even though I wasn't sure I liked her tap-dancing up there. With her daredevil attitude I guess I can be thankful that she's not one of those Charleston dancers from the 20's who danced on airplanes in flight. Hopefully my husband and I can steer her towards fun thrills with a safety harnass involved.

8. New Windows in the entryway and Kitchen!!! All installed, cleaned up, and double-paned with sliders in the kitchen . . . which means I can open my kitchen windows for the first time!!! Woohoo!

9. A great team of window guys who installed our windows with friendly professionalism, cheery attitudes, and hard work. Plus, I'm thankful for the "window guy" who set it all up . . . he happens to be the Dad of the smallest company dancer at our dance studio. She's five years old and competing at nationals with a tap trio. Watch out Shirley Temple!

10. Sometimes nothing is more profound than the masterpiece that God paints every morning in the sky.

Ezekiel is a tough prophet to read on some mornings. The majesty, wonder and full sensory detail is captivating. The judgement of the Lord is hard, and yet just when the depravity of the people is described. However, these passages bring me to my knees in thankfulness for Christ Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. Throughout all time the Lord has desired for our return to him. Jesus is the way he has provided for us. Thank you, Lord!

"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their heads what they have done, declares the Lord." Ezekiel 11:19-21

Saturday, June 26, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 28

365 Days of Blessings, Day 28

1. Jesus!

2. Forgiveness!

3. Redemption!

4. New life!

5. Dancing a "silly" dance with my husband and daughters last night, just before bed time.

6. The smell of damp earth.

7. Wading through tall, wet grass, and smelling the richness of it while my dogs chase a moth.

8. New Windows being installed in the kitchen, and in the entryway today! Double-panes! No more single pane/pain windows from 1960!

9. My kitchen is a lot cleaner right now than it has been in months - the window change is causing me to clean to the corners so the window guys have room to work, and since I have to do that, I might as well go through all of our home-school stuff that happened to be living in the kitchenette area. I'm kind of embarassed at how messy I let it get, and how piled up my "neatened" piles got . . . but no more! Today is a new start!

10. Our wedding pictures.

Psalm 32
"Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man
whose sin against the Lord does not count
against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
your heand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord" -
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly
pray to you
while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of

I will instruct you and teach you in
the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over
Do not be like the horse or the mule
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or theyw ill not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord's unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad,
you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart."

Hope you all have a blessed day!

Friday, June 25, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 27

365 Days of Blessings, Day 27

1. The Old Testament and the New Testament.

2. God is just, and keeps his promises from age to age.

3. Jesus sacrificed himself, as the perfect sacrificial lamb for our/my sins.

4. Our judgment is not God's judgment.

5. My mom's prayers. She has written a beautiful one recently.

6. Psalm 139 . . . I have it memorized, and it keeps coming up lately. I happened across it in my daughter's Bible. My mom read it this morning, and read it aloud on our 2 mile walk. I think God is trying to tell me something.

7. My husband's listening ears.

8. Encouragement for my fiction writing from a friend of my daughters. She asked me yesterday, "Have you written more on that 'Crystal Sword' story? I really liked it."

9. Shakespeare websites, books, and resources. I've been delving into different areas to prepare for a class I'm teaching next year at home school co-op.

10. Christian men and women who pray, work, and serve the children and families at our church, and throughout the world.

Psalm 139 (21st Century King James Version)

O LORD, Thou hast searched me and known me.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue, but lo, O LORD, Thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Where shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me," even the night shall be light about me.

Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.

For Thou hast possessed my reins. Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.

My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret, and intricately wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuity were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with Thee.

Surely, Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God. Depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy name in vain.

Do I not hate them, O LORD, that hate Thee? And am I not grieved with those that rise up against Thee?

I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them mine enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts.

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I have a hard time with the "perfect hatred" part, but I do feel that way when I encounter a news story about violent criminals who have committed crimes that seem inhuman and disgusting, so I understand it then. I am thankful that God is our judge, and not mankind/womankind.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 26

365 Days of Blessings, Day 26

1. The Lord gives us enough strength for each day.

2. Knowing that others have been overwhelmed in their experiences with God, like in Ezekiel 3:15 "I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days - overwhelmed." I'm thankful for this because there have been moments when I have been overwhelmed by God's grace, and all I could do was sit and take it in. Then there are those moments when life has seemed overwhelming, and I feel called to just rest in the Lord, and let it all wash over me. Seven days . . . sounds like a good retreat, but I can't imagine taking that much time to just sit. I'm kind of glad that God hasn't chosen to overwhelm me to that extent.

3. The wonderful, restless urge to move that comes from the habit of walking each day for 2 miles. We went 2 and 1/4 miles this morning, and I feel like I could do more. Praise God for energy!

4. Friendly neighbors who walk in our neighborhood. I don't know all their names, but I see them all and we exchange "hellos" and deer sightings regularly.

5. Taking my kids for a walk.

6. Being able to talk to my mom and dad nearly every morning. We enjoy each other's company. They are good, next-door-over, neighbors.

7. My mother-in-law's passion for tennis. She will go to great lenghts and stay up all night to see all of Wimbledon.

8. My father-in-law's cheeriness.

9. Dance auditions with a wonderful coach and dance director.

10. My husband's need to sleep in occassionally . . . I used to think he had little need for sleep, but now I know that it just catches up with him every few weeks.

"Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
It is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice,
the earth is full of his unfailing love."
Psalm 33:1-5

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 25

365 Days of Blessings, Day 25

1. God's creativity, and expression.

2. The Book of Ezekiel.

3. The amazing, surround sound, 3D, supernatural affects, and fully expressive appearance of the Lord to Ezekiel.

4. That humid, sticky skin-anticipation of a storm, which is swept away with cool winds and rain as the storm hits. This is what I feel what I read: "I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north - an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by a brilliant light." Ezekiel 1:4a

5. The awesome, overwhelmingly wondrous sight that Ezekiel describes for us in: "The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, but each of them had four faces and four wings." Ezekiel 1:4b-6.

6. I love how the sound of the Lord is heard in so many ways in the Bible, including: "When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings." Ezekiel 1:24

7. The Lord's ability to place into our mouths His words, with a full, tangible taste like this: "Then he said to me, 'Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving to you and fill your stomach with it.' So I ate it and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth." Ezekiel 3:3

8. The rich fullness of being alive, and being able to hear, taste, touch, see, and even smell the awesomeness of God's creation.

9. The softness of my husband's curly, strawberry blonde hair.

10. The wide awake excitement of my youngest daughter when she wakes up ready to go in the morning, and the sleepy quiet of my oldest daughter as she wakes up, and sits for a while in stillness, letting the day seep into her skin.

"Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him." Ezekiel 1:26-28

Hope you have a blessed, surround sound, 3D, supernatural affect, God-filled day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 23 and 24

Whew! I'm still catching up with my 365 Days of Blessings posts, but I'll try to stay caught up from now on . . .at least until we go on vacation.

365 Days of Blessings, Day 23 and Day 24

1. God's mercies are new every morning.

2. The book of JEREMIAH in the Bible. I dreaded reading it again, but with a lot of prayer, and God's provision, I found myself enjoying it so much that I didn't want it to end.

3. RUN WITH THE HORSES by Eugene H. Peterson (translator of the Message Bible) has been a huge blessing to me in the last few months as I've read through the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations. As a study of Jeremiah's life, the book of Jeremiah, with a look to our own times, this wonderful book gave me a great deal of inspiration, as well as challenges. I highly recommend reading it, especially while studying the book of Jeremiah in the Bible.

4. The book of Lamentations, which I read this morning in my Bible study. It is a blessing to know that our time is not the only time in which there has been destruction and despair, and a need to cry out to the Lord for salvation and strength. In the community where I live, a handful of teenagers have committed suicide in the last year, and these painful deaths are weighing on many hearts in our faith community. Despair is not new to us, but I believe that God always provides hope, life, and a way to live.

5. My husband's ability to capture, render, and edit videos. I know this is a total brag, but he is really talented! We recently watched an old video of our youngest daughter's first dance recital done by a different videographer, and I have a renewed appreciation for the amazing job that my husband does with his "hobby."

6. My daughters' excitement about going to Spotlight Nationals, a national dance competition being held next week.

7. The wonderful half hour sun break we received yesterday. It seems like we've had days of damp, chilly clouds, and so that moment of open blue sky with sun was a real blessing.

8. Being able to celebrate a friend's birthday. She is a wonderful woman, and I really appreciate her encouraging, loving attitude.

9. Gluten-free, chocolate chip cookies made by my daughters - all by themselves!

10. My cat's love of newspapers. I think she thinks that our recycling pile is a bed made just for her to enjoy.

11. My Naturopathic doctor, who is a kind, hard-working gentleman who keeps us all healthy. (my youngest had a check up yesterday)

12. Being able to choose naturopathic health care, and having an insurance company that actually pays for some of it. I think that medicinal doctors are great, but for everyday, regular care we prefer to go to a naturopath, and I'm just thankful we have a choice.

13. Good sleep.

14. An old dog that shows me that she wants to keep walking, keep playing and keep cuddling with the lift of her head and the wag of her tail, despite all those sore joints.

15. Our Beagle's tail that he holds like a flag, waving the white tip at the end now and then.

16. My dog's anticipation of the daily walk. They are ready to go right now!

17. Tea in the morning.

18. My laptop.

19. Fun gadgets.

20. White roses.

"I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord's great love we
are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion;
therefore, I will wait for him.'"
Lamentations 3:19-24

Monday, June 21, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Days 21, and 22

A full weekend of dance production fever, and Father's day fun left me with zero time to write blessings. I started to yesterday morning, but realized I just didn't have enough time. So today is make up day, broken into two categories: Dance, and Dads. Since these are make-up posts I'll also post my Day 23 stuff this evening.

365 Days of Blessings, Day 21 and Day 22

Day 21, Dancing Day
1. The Lord provides a time to dance.

2. My husband and I danced on stage with 14 other parents and our kids, all at the same time. We had so much fun! And since I just saw the video, I can honestly say, we did pretty well too.

3. That rush of pre-stage performance excitement that happens while we're waiting in the wings, listening for just the right moment in the music to dance onto the stage. I think this applies to all those kinds of moments in life, when we are ready to dance onto the stage of the world with the gifts God has provided for us . . . like writing, parenting, editing videos, fixing cars, planting beauty in an outdoor garden, and so much more.

4. Calm stage moms, waiting in the wings to help their kids change costumes, and encourage them.

5. Fun, age appropriate costumes, chosen by a great dance director and teacher.

6. Bling and sparkles on costumes! So much fun.

7. Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, and Hip Hop . . . all fun forms of dance.

8. Six dance numbers in one day, danced beautifully by my daughters. (total mom brag moment)

9. The energetic happiness that shines through my daughters when they dance. They just seem to light up from the inside and shine through the pores of their skin.

10. The incredible, wonderful joy of dancing with my family, in practice, on stage, and around our house.

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to
gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to fear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war, and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Day 22, Dad's Day
1. The Lord is our most awesome, and most loving Father. Thank you, Father God!

2. The Lord set me up with a great man, my husband, who is a wonderful dad to our daughters. They laugh together, play together, study together, cook together, ski and snowboard together, talk together, ride bikes together, cuddle together, and even dance together.

3. The Lord blessed me with a loving, gentle Dad, who raised me to think independently, to listen, to serve others, and to know that I could call on him at any time for help.

4. My Dad's stories about his life. I love the one about his motor scooter drive to Disneyland with his younger brother, the year that Disneyland opened. They didn't have to wear motorcycle helmets in those days, and they were so excited about their day at Disneyland, they didn't realize they were wearing their mouse ears until they received strange looks from other drivers.

5. My Dad's strength. So many times people are amazed at how strong he is because he is "little". My dad has never been little in my eyes. He is stronger than most people I know, and always has been. He is inventive, thoughtful, and tough physically and mentally, and yet is still a very gentle soul, who will cry for the pain of others.

6. My Dad's hands. They are older now, and he can't use them so well anymore to button or hold small things, but his hands have fixed many cars and airplanes, tilled the soil, planted vegetables, pressed jam, held large hands of slapjack cards, run power tools, driven vehicles of all kinds, fidgeted with coffee mugs, and given comfort when it's needed.

7. My Dad's love of flight and adventure. I took my first airplane ride in a Cessna at the age of 2 months, and I flew a dual control Ercoupe at the age of 12 with my Dad showing me what to do. He sold his Ercoupe not long after that due to tough financial times for our family, but later he used some of that money to buy two canoes, and our family took two 70 mile canoe trips. We were greenhorns when it came to canoe camping, but we learned a lot, and we had a wonderful time. Whenever I hear a small engine plane flying overhead, I think of flying with my Dad. Whenever I see a canoe, I can feel the wooden canoe paddle in my hand, hear the drip of the water from the paddle, see the green trees reflected in the lakes of Lake Bowron Provincial Park.

8. My Dad's love of dancing. He taught me how to waltz, two step, swing, and once, we danced a polka together with a lot of laughter involved.

9. My Father-in-law's deep faith in the Lord, and his desire to share his faith with others.

10. Father's Day. I'm thankful we have such a day to take time and honor the men in our lives who have been Fathers to us, and a day to honor our loving, steadfast Father in heaven, the Creator of heaven and earth.

"This, then, is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven
our debtors.
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'"
Matthew 6:9-13

Friday, June 18, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 20

365 Days of Blessings, Day 20

1. The Lord is always near.

2. My husband is dancing on stage tomorrow night! I think it will be his first stage performance ever, and I'm proud of him. He usually spends all his time behind a camera.

3. All the dance pictures are done.

4. Last Dress Rehearsals are today! From 1p.m. to 3p.m., and then from 6p.m. to 9p.m. I'm really glad we have a break in the middle.

5. Homeschool Convention this morning!

6. Ripe Bananas at breakfast!

7. Lupines and daisies on the roadside.

8. Roses from my garden in a vase on the table.

9. Time to write.

10. Time to love on my family.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, June 17, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 19

365 Days of Blessings, Day 19

Today, I am thankful for the basics of my life, those things I take for granted every day and often, every moment.

1. Jesus loves me.

2. My husband loves me.

3. God granted me two beautiful daughters to raise.

4. I have two, fun-loving dogs.

5. I have a cat, who is full of purrs and mischief.

6. I have chairs to sit on. That doesn't sound like much, but there are places in the world where there aren't chairs to sit on. Of course, I might be healthier if I sat on the floor more often. Hmm. Still, a chair seems like a good thing to me.

7. My heart is beating.

8. I can breathe.

9. I have a house.

10. I have a refrigerator. I'm so glad I don't have to "cure" my meat like they did 100 years ago or so, and like they still do in many places in the world where electricity is unavailable.

"The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 18

365 Days of Blessings, Day 18

1. The Lord is my hope and my salvation!

2. The Lord leads me in right paths for His name's sake.

3. My husband takes his softball bat to work, so he can go to the batting cages at lunch.

4. After a few days of full sun, the enveloping moist rain is soothing to my skin. (sometimes I think that living in a humid area has made me value moisture in the air more than other people do. I don't like dry heat, and have a hard time understanding when everyone says how good it is.)

5. Big, warm sweatshirts.

6. Family pictures set in collages, reminding me how little my girls were . . . not that long ago.

7. Scorched brown white roses, bending under drops of rain, soaking up the moisture deep in their roots.

8. God does my watering for me with frequent rain, when I am slow to pull out my sprinklers in early summer.

9. A mostly clean house, due to visiting friends.

10. The sight of a looming storm cloud, after we've gone swimming. The timing worked out for us yesterday.

Psalm 23 (NIV)

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not
be in want.
He makes me lie down in green
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 17

365 Days of Blessings, Day 17

1. The Lord makes be lie down in green pastures.

2. The Lord leads me beside quiet waters.

3. The Lord restores my soul.

4. My husband knows how to comfort me, even when we disagree.

5. Prayers that heal old hurts.

6. Families who adopt children.

7. Adoption Ministries.

8. My neice Amanda's mission trip to an orphanage in Kenya last year.

9. Having two very loving daughters.

10. All the kids in my life, in my family, in church, and in dance.

In explanation of some of the above: Years ago when I was young my parents discovered they couldn't have any more children. They embarked on a discussion about adoption, and decided not to adopt. They had friends who decided not to adopt. From that time to this, my heart filled with a longing to adopt children. I paid attention to the families I knew in my neighborhood, and in my church who adopted. I hoped, planned, and dreamed.

When I met my husband and we grew serious in our relationship, I told him of my hopes and plans for adoption. He seemed interested in the idea, but wanted to have our "own" kids first. We have two beautiful daughters. He is a wonderful dad, and a loving husband. But he no longer wants to adopt. I've come to accept that slowly as something I can't change, but there are days when it hits me. I feel that old longing, and I pray, and pray, and pray. Eventually, the Lord gives me peace; He lights up my path. I believe that God has a purpose for everything in my life, and even for those few things that are not in my life.

I have been abundantly blessed beyond my wildest dreams in some areas of my life. However, that doesn't mean everything goes my way every moment. It does mean that I've been called to be a blessing in others lives, and I hope that my writing, my teaching (Sunday School), and some of the other stuff I do actually fulfills some of my calling.

"Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world.'" John 8:12

"Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path."
Psalm 119:105

"Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:3-6

Monday, June 14, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 15 and Day 16

365 Days of Blessings, Day 15 and Day 16

I feel a little like I've been living in the Calvin and Hobbes book, "The Days Are Just Packed." It's a good feeling, but so full that I'm playing catch up once again for my blessings so I'm combining them for the weekend.

1. The Lord answers my prayers!!!

2. The Lord is my shield, my salvation, and my rock.

3. My husband has boundless energy. Have I said that before? I could probably say it a few thousand times and not have said it enough. He is a whirlwind of love in action on a regular basis.

4. My husband wears pink shirts on Mondays. It started when he and a few of his co-workers all showed up in pink shirts one Monday and they joked about it being better than a pink slip. Every Monday for nearly four years, three of them have worn pink shirts on Mondays in camraderie, for a sense of fun, and I think a sense of thankfulness for having work in tough times.

5. My husband can wear pink, and wear it well. I'm not just saying that because he is the love of my life, but because I'm proud that he is confident enough in himself not to let other people tease him into wearing just blue all the time.

6. My daughters have fun friends.

7. We had fun at our dance pictures and extra rehearsals. Even though we were exhausted at the end, and there was some stress over a lost pair of pants which we actually need for show-time later this week, we did get to have fun most of the time. The girls are blessed with wonderful kids to dance with and have fun with at their dance studio.

8. I went to a Sunday School teacher's meeting feeling prepared, lost my footing in surprise, was a little nervous, and then God showed up (or at least I noticed His presence when He was already there) and everything went really well. In fact, I felt like divine intervention, and blessing were key parts of that meeting for me.

9. I'm excited about teaching Sunday School next year!!!

10. I've been learning a great deal about Sunday School curriculum lately. I had no idea how much there is to choose from.

11. One of our worship leaders shared about an opportunity she had to share her hope in Jesus while at work, and moved our whole congregation to tears in less than three minutes.

12. Our Pastor told us this wonderful story yesterday: There once was an old man who told his grandchildren that inside of him lived a wolf and a lamb, and they were battling within him all the time. One of his grandchildren asked him, "who's going to win?" The grandfather said, "The one I feed." We are at all times saints and sinners, and which side will win within us? The one we feed. Of course, there was more to this story and the sermon, but that part hit me in the right spot yesterday.

13. Our church's A softball team won both their games this week. Our B team - that's my team, tied yesterday in a fun, hard fought game. I'm thankful we can come together and have fun together as Christians. Our area has a huge church softball league and it is a great way for us to invite others to join us in faith and fellowship. Of course, sometimes it's hard when the fields are so busy that we have to finish with a tie, but it's ok. We all enjoyed ourselves, and encouraged one another.

14. My daughters went with a friend to see and pet some alpacas yesterday afternoon, and even had the chance to see and pet a one day old baby alpaca.

15. I had a fun conversation with a friend yesterday for about an hour.

16. My in-laws came and did a huge amount of my yardwork this weekend. I know where my husband gets his energy and his servant's heart from. They usually help us, and each of their daughters with yard work each spring or early summer. They are amazing, and I am thankful for all their help.

17. Fresh strawberries from our own strawberry plants are so sweet.

18. Hearing my youngest daughter say, "Everything we grow ourselves tastes better."

19. My daughter's helping hands with dinner last night, and breakfast this morning.

20. Those moments on my walk when all I can hear are the sounds of my dogs paws/claws on the pavement, and the huge variety of birds calling and singing in the trees that cluster by the road.

"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?'
'Yes, Lord,' he said, 'you know that I love you.'
'Jesus said, 'Feed my lambs.'" John 21:15

Sunday, June 13, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 14

365 Days of Blessings, Day 14 - ONE DAY LATE!

Yesterday, as I went along the path that God planned for me, I noticed many rosy blessings along the way, and tried to stop and thank the Lord for helping me smell the delicate richness of each bud. However, the time I spent on my laptop never brought me here to my blog, only to my writing So, here I am, 7 hours late by my Northwest clock, putting in those 10 blessings. I'll stop by later and add the next 10 for day 15, since that should be the number for today.

1. The Lord is my Shepherd. Thank you Jesus!

2. My husband is the best man in the world for me.

3. My husband is a great dad!

4. Yesterday, we had a family picture taken for the first time in five years. We were all in dance costumes.

5. A wonderful mom and friend from our "Dancing Daddies and Moving Mommies" class made everyone "bling" sunglasses from dollar store sunglasses and fake rhinestones.

6. The heat from the sun warmed me up so solidly from skin to inner marrow that I knew for certain that summer is here, or at least very close.

7. From the view inside our tree-ringed yard, all I can see is blue. Not a cloud in sight, not even the white puffy ones, or the stringy long ones (I should remember those names - cirrus? cumulus?). That's kind of a small miracle where I live.

8. Roadside plants, and spring flowers mixed along a 2 mile walk, ferns and blackberry brambles, orange poppies, wild grass, and the cattails' sword-like leaves growing up from the ditches.

9. A tiny, wild, cottontail bunny rabbit hopping swiftly into a blackberry bush.

10. Feeling blessed moment by moment, as God shares with me the treasures He has placed in my life.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

Friday, June 11, 2010

365 Days of Blessing - Day 13

365 Days of Blessings, Day 13

1. God's plans are bigger than my plans.

2. My husband is really supportive of our daughters in all that they do.

3. My daughters like all of their dance costumes this year. Their Hip Hop Costume is pink, white and sparkly, where the older girls' Hip Hop costumes are a color and design disaster.

4. The costumes for my daughters' end of the year dance production have been relatively inexpensive, and have been paid for since January.

5. We have this amazing dance teacher at our studio who made sure that pictures tonight were hassle free, and positive.

6. I'm thankful that my mom is willing to hang out with my daughters when I go to a meeting.

7. Our Pastor has a heart for Youth ministry, including Sunday School.

8. Sitting with my girls on the same tire swing I sat on as a kid, hung from a different place, but still a great place to talk and play.

9. Keeping a journal.

10. Butterfly wings.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, June 10, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 12

365 Days of Blessings, Day 12

1. God is glorious!

2. Jesus loves me, and you!

3. My husband's boundless energy for church softball. He is rooting for our church's "A" team tonight in a chilly wind, looking forward to our "B" team first game of the season on Sunday afternoon.

4. Geometry blocks for math. There is something wonderful about something tangible to hold onto when you are figuring out the volume of a cube.

5. Protractors are cool, and angles are kind of fun whether they are obtuse or just "cute" (acute).

6. Having stories play out in my head as I go about my daily chores like cleaning house is a wonderful blessing. Will my MC for a certain short story be knocked unconcious by space pirates, or will she see the blow coming in time to duck? Will she save the day by herself or with the help of someone she isn't sure she trusts? It's like playing out a "choose your ending" story moment by moment while the laundry gets folded.

7. The steadiness of the giant cedar in the midst of a flurry of maple branches, tossed by the wind.

8. The sound of boiling water! Mint tea coming soon!

9. My youngest daughter's nerf dart attempt at art on the window - a dog's profile in vibrant orange and suction cup blue.

10. My oldest daughter's read aloud sessions with our dogs and cat. She reads to them and pets them at the same time.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 11

Ok, here goes, 10 blessings in less than five minutes plus a one sentence book review. Can I do it? We'll find out here.

365 Blessings, Day 11
1. God is beyond time.
2. God always gives me enough time to do what I need to do.
3. I have an amazing husband who holds down a good, full-time job that allows me to home school our daughters. Praise God!
4. Only 7 more days of full home school days left.
5. Math is fun on some days. I really love practical applications.
6. I had time to spend going over our calendar this morning.
7. Two mile walk, every day, is like that apple that keeps the doctor away.
8. The cat rubbing against my legs.
9. Two dogs sleeping.
10. 10 Blessings in less than three minutes, and I usually think of many, many more after I'm done.

Psalm 19:14
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation
of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer."

Now for that book review: QUIET STRENGTH by Tony Dungy is a must read, even if your a non-footballer like me. Inspirational, and thought-provoking, I've been reading it in five to fifteen minute spurts for a few weeks now. At first, only because my mom handed it to me to read (we lend each other books all the time), but now near the finish, because I think is a great non-fiction account of a life of faith in today's times.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 10

365 Days of Blessings, Day 10
1. The Lord is our Creator.

2. We were made with a purpose.

3. My husband has long enough hair on his forearms to trap unsuspecting insects. Don’t ask me why I just thought of that since it usually a summer-time event that fills us with laughter.

4. We don’t have many big bugs in the Northwest where I live, and I am extremely thankful for that.

5. Ants clean up some of our messes, along with a huge host of other insects.

6. Tonight was the last night of “regular” dance classes for the school year. We love dance, but we are always ready for a change of pace for summer.

7. I get to shop for a costume for my husband and I tomorrow for our Dancing Daddies and Moving Mommies dance.

8. Dance Production Fever is upon us . . .pictures, dress rehearsals, the big stage, all the excitement, glory and smiles.

9. With plenty of Company Dance Performances under their belts, my daughters aren’t nervous about performing for the Dance Production. They’re just excited.

10. I’m thankful that I remembered to count my blessings, even if it is so late that I’m feeling kind of quirky. (#3-5)

“Rejoice in the Lord Always. Again, I say, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Monday, June 7, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 9

365 Days of Blessings (and thankfulness) - Day 9

1. God is everyday, every moment, all the time.
2. The True Transformer: the Alpha and Omega. Codename: Jesus. (from a kids sermon yesterday with transformer toys vs. the true transformer)
3. My husband's dedicated practice of the Dancing Daddies dance for the end of the year production.
4. The Dancing Daddies, Moving Mommies class that is helping me truly see (full length mirrors - aah!) why I don't want to eat snacks.
5. My youngest daughter attended a birthday party today with a friend she made this year at Home School Co-op.
6. My oldest daughter and I had coconut ice cream with toppings together while her sister was at the birthday party.
7. Shakespeare's play, Much Ado About Nothing, one of my favorites.
8. Friendship with faith.
9. Anticipating dance productions.
10. The amazingly friendly atmosphere at our dance studio.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21

Sunday, June 6, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 8

God is great!
God is good!
Let us thank him all the time!

365 Days of Blessings, Day 8

1. God is great!
2. God's provision.
3. My husband is a tech guru and makes the days when Children's Ministry needs sound and lights go smoothly.
4. My oldest daughter is growing up, but not too fast.
5. My daughters were awesome helpers today for our Celebration "Funday" Sunday, end-of-the-Sunday-School year event. They helped me prepare, and they had some fun too.
6. Being a Sunday School Teacher. It's a priveledge.
7. Coconut ice cream - yum, yum. Traditional dairy enthusiasts don't know what they're missing.
8. Bounce houses, and little pre-schoolers who say, "teacher, come bounce with us!" To which I said, "Yes!" and bounced until I was too tired.
9. Rainy afternoons which encourage indoor relaxation on Sundays.
10. Church softball practice in the rain . . . coming soon. I'm on the best team of people!

Coming up tomorrow - The True Transformer blessing . . .

Isaiah 40:28-31
"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not grow faint."

Hope you all are encouraged to give thanks, and praise to God, and count those amazing blessings!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 7

365 Days of Blessings, Day 7

1. God's faithfulness to me, and to each of us.

2. My husband's faith. I'm so glad that we both know Christ's saving love and grace.

3. Being able to talk with my husband about about the Bible, and Bible studies. We had a wonderful morning this morning!

4. My Dad's faith in Christ, which he didn't have while I was growing up. I am so glad that my Dad is a believer now.

5. Being able to raise my kids in faith. God is an ever present help in parenting.

6. My kid's test scores for their state testing were an awesome blessing.

My 5th grader scored at a Post High School Level in reading! (this is the girl who didn't want to learn to read until partway through her second grade year) She also scored above average overall in math, with one specific below average score in estimation. I definitely have some plans for next year.

My 3rd grader scored at a 6th grade leaving in reading! She scored average overall in math, but had some above average areas like problem-solving! Makes sense to me, since she likes to solve problems and is adamant about right and wrong solutions.

7. We had a wonderful time dancing and walking in the Gig Harbor Maritime Parade today, although I forgot to take pictures.

8. The sun came out, and it actually was warm with temperatures nearing 70 degrees.

9. We have a cold, clean pool. Very refreshing. Definitely less than 70 degrees.

10. Had a short date with my husband while my girls shopped "all by themselves" at a store across the outdoor mall area where we sipped sodas. However, I thought they were going to get summer tops, and they came out with Webkins. I guess they aren't growing up too fast.

"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 100:5

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you his faithful and he will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Friday, June 4, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 6

365 Days of Blessings, Day 6
A.K.A. - 10 Things I'm Thanking God for this morning.

1. Prayer that gets me through night and day.
2. My husband's servant heart. He's always helping others in big ways and small ways.
3. My daughters' love of dance. It shines through them whenever they move.
4. My Mom and Dad's desire to have Grandma and Grandpa time with the girls each week.
5. My dog Lady's golden brown fur. She's part Rhodesian Ridgeback and before I had her, I never knew how beautiful and how varied the color brown could be, just from ear tip to tail, to belly to ridge.
6. Knowing the Puget Sound is only a little ways away, even if I can't quite see it through the trees.
7. Friendships that survive political differences.
8. Jeweled drops of water that hang from our deck railing, seeming to defy gravity until they drip.
9. Green grass, green trees, all the green around me that soaks up the rain, and grows.
10. Sleeping in for the second time in two days . . . a really good thing since I had an hour awake last night wrestling with some sore feelings leftover from a single conversation yesterday. Thank God for extra sleep, second chances, and friendships that endure differences.

"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Writing Goal Today
Write one devotional - I've got ideas for 25 scribbled out on notebook paper, and I want to start getting them into a more formal format.
and for extra: draw a map for one of my stories today.

Life Goal Today
Keep a list of blessings going throughout the day.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 5

Today we had a slow start, and then we had to clean house for some home school friends we love dearly. The kids played, moms chatted, we made homemade vanilla and chocolate marshmallows as a yummy science experiment, we reviewed Latin, played more, and ate a little bit of the marshmallow goo that didn't make it into the pans.

And now, here I have time to write, and I'm blogging . . . shh. However, the benefit is that I have a list of blessings I scribbled out this morning, plus all the ones that came with having a fun day.

If you just stopped by, and don't know what this 365 Days of Blessings thing is all about, feel free to see my post, 365 Days of Blessings Day 1 to see what it's all about.

So here's my list for the day so far of amazing things to be thankful for:

365 Days of Blessings, Day 5
1. The Bible, the most life-changing book in the world and in my life.
2. A rare late morning of sleeping in until 7a.m.
3. Sunshine and white fluff clouds after several days of gray rain.
4. The play of sun and shadow over the trees in my backyard.
5. The patch of sunshine that my dogs, and my cat are all trying to occupy on the kitchenette floor.
6. Making marshmallows with friends.
7. The super-sweet taste of marsmmallow goo.
8. Being able to cook without corn syrup, gluten, or dairy!
9. Sharing home school experiences with a friend.
10. The ticking of a new wall clock reminding me of my limited writing time. I'm not a fan of watches, or clocks that tick loudly in my bedroom, but a ticking wall clock where I write is a blessing.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:1-5

Have a Blessed Day!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 4

365 Days of Blessings, Day 4
1. God's refining, fiery love. He passionately reshapes us to be beautiful, necessary people. We are all loved, and we are all needed.
2. The videos my husband captures, edits and produces for our daughters' dance studio - it's a blessing to see those routines later, especially when we see how much they've improved.
3. My daughters' love of all those "girlie" things I didn't like as a kid - nails, hair, clothes. I'm not sure where they got it from, but it's sweet to see them enjoying all of that.
4. Writing poetry that attempts to capture the images of the moment. It's fun to try.
5. The gift of language.
6. The happy, whole body wiggling, tail-wagging of our older dog, Lady, who still wants to play.
7. My Beagle's soulful eyes, even though he's rarely as innocent as he looks.
8. My cat's listening face, ears perked up, eyes open wide, expecting conversation and attention. (we have a family of people who talk to our animals, so the animals attempt to talk back)
9. The sound of my kids putting away the dishes - it's such a blessing to have someone else do it. ;-)
10. Butter. (even though we have it in limited quantities due to some dairy issues, we still love it)

"This third I will bring into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them; I will say,
'They are my people,' and they will say,
'The Lord is our God.'"
Zechariah 13:9

"So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." Jeremiah 18:3-4

"Jeremiah had seen potters at work all his life, but today he saw something else - he saw God at work making a people for his glory. A people of God. Persons created in the image of God. Necessary but not only necessary - each one also beautiful. And beautiful but not only beautiful - each one also necessary." - Eugene H. Peterson, RUN WITH THE HORSES, p. 78

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

365 Days of Blessings - Day 3

Woke up feeling so blessed! Yesterday I actually wondered if I could write up 10 new blessings a day for 365 days. Even looking for the nuances of different "general" blessings, I wondered, could I do it? I started writing blessings down whenever I happened across them. I came up with over 30 during the day. I woke up this morning anticipating finding more. That's part of the reason for this project. I know that when I give thanks, and name my blessings, I am able to see more clearly how amazing, and how awesome my life actually is, instead of seeing only the tough parts.

This morning, during a 2 mile walk, my mom and I managed to "zing" each other several times. It was tough. I love her very much, and yet I often say the wrong things, and she can too sometimes. So, I was standing in my kitchen, feeling grumpy, and I thought, "wait a minute, I need to count my blessings."

So here they are, my ten blessings I'm counting and thanking God for today:

365 Blessings, Day 3
1. God keeps his promises.
2. My husband gives me hugs (and kisses) before he leaves for work each day.
3. My mom has a passion for her faith life, and often gives me words of wisdom. (and yes, that's a blessing I sometimes don't see right away)
4. My dad quietly takes care of my daughters each morning that I walk with my mom, before they wake up.
5. My daughters like to read in bed before breakfast. I just think that's cool, especially since I taught them to read.
6. I have the ability to walk. It seems like a simple thing, and yet since I've known a handful of people throughout my life for whom walking is either impossible or very difficult due to disabilities or illness, I know that being able to walk is a huge blessing.
7. The sight of three young deer frolicking in a fallow pasture of tall grass, nearby our house. They were so playful, so joyful, so beautiful and right just where they were, doing what they were doing.
8. Land owners who allow some of their land to be in a natural state, giving wildlife a place to roam and live freely.
9. Rain-soaked flags proudly beginning to unfurl in a slight breeze over a memorial park lined with graveside flags, and flowers.
10. Fluffy dogwood pollen floating on a wide, swollen river.

2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."