Living the Greatest Blessings

 

I swung my feet out of bed and grabbed a cup of coffee. I sat down with my husband to chat for a moment, kissed his lips then took his hand and we invited God into every part of our day. I heard chatter so I sat on a little girl’s bed and giggled and dreamed with my bubbly and bright-eyed child before getting her up. I fed her breakfast while reading Bible stories and trying to keep the dog from begging at the table.

 

I completed the near-daily chore of vacuuming and mopping the house, took my little one to the potty for the twentieth time, and praised and cheered for a job well done. I shooed a hyper dog away from a hissing cat for the hundredth time, and worked out while my daughter banged on a tin can with a metal hinge that I’m pretty sure was a fairly important part to a weight machine. I created sand castles with my tow-headed toddler, swept rocks from the walkway and collected sticks. I picked up my frightened child who got knocked down by the dog chasing a ball, and belly laughed with my mama over comical Facebook posts.

 

I said a prayer and fed my girl who fed the dog, cleaned the broken glass and spilled milk, arranged letters on a blackboard and talked about words and colors and numbers. I read a book about red fish and blue fish and sang about sunshine and happiness and gray skies. I settled the girl into bed for a nap, and sat down to work on a small client project, and then to try to put my heart on paper.

 

I grabbed my thanksgiving journal to jot a few things down and to read through the week’s gifts unwrapped. I smiled. I am living my greatest blessings.

 

   There are no interruptions in a day.

There are only manifestations of Christ.

You are doing something great with your life – when you’re doing all the small things with His Great love.” – Ann Voskamp

 

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The Shepherd, Bell Sheep, and Lamb

I recently began reading Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George. She begins the book by defining a bell sheep: “When a shepherd noticed a sheep who willingly followed him and stayed near him, he hung a bell around the neck of that sheep so the flock would follow the bell sheep…who, in turn, was following the shepherd.” She then says, “A mom should be the bell sheep for her daughter!

 

And how are we as mothers to become the bell sheep for our children? We “shall love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our soul, and with all our strength. And these words which He commands us…shall be in our heart. We shall teach them diligently to our children, and shall talk of them when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise up,” Deuteronomy 6:5-7.

 

As I read, my heart cried out, “Oh, God, let me be Your bell sheep for my daughter! I will – I do! – love You with everything in me, Your words are in my heart, and my delight is in talking about You! May my consistent and diligent teaching help my little girl become a woman after Your own heart!”

 

As I poured out my heart before God, He showed me how my mother had been the bell sheep that led and trained me to become one for my daughter, and now, she and I are living as unified partners in this high calling of training up a child. I realized how great the love of the Good Shepherd is for my daughter…He has surrounded my baby with bell sheep!

 

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This year, I will spend Mother’s Day enjoying my own gift of motherhood, as well as celebrating my mama, the one who diligently taught me the Word of God. Through her, I was introduced to the One I love with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I pray that as a mother, I can teach as diligently, love as wholly, live as sacrificially, and raise a child after God’s own heart as well as she has.

 

Three Generations

 

 

Unwrapping the Gifts

 

922. A good, Good Shepherd Who loves my little one even more than I do

 

932. Hugs that heal sorrow, laughter that follows tears, and love that never fails

 

959. Clocks

 

923. The honor of being a Mother

 

Of All the Rights of Women

 

911. Not having to worry about the words our little Peanut-Parrot hears her parents say

 

969. Peanut loves her new house

 

995. Sharing in the sacrament of Communion with fellow Christ-followers

 

Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

A Million Faithful Moments

It has been several weeks since I’ve written a post here, and life has blown through my hours and days like a whirling dervish. Rushing winds of life change, peculiar blessings, and unimaginable joy have replaced the gentle breeze that was my life. Gentle breezes will return again, but for this season, I’m panting from the gusts of new adventures.

 

Breathe Deep

 

In just two months, my mama became single again, my husband lost and gained a job, I’ve battled a painful, exhausting illness, I’ve felt the healing hand of the Great Physician, we’ve moved 40 miles south from our little haven-home into my childhood home and in with my mama, and rented out our little haven-home.

 

There is so much I could tell you of God’s grace, goodness, mercy, and blessings over these past months; He has been so good, and we have been so loved. It’s the strangest thing: the greatest happiness comes in such unexpected ways.

 

I sat in my computer chair, twirling it round and round as I talked with my mama who was standing on the steps that now bridge her home and mine together.

 

This is a dream I didn’t even dream, but it’s a dream come true,” she said.

 

I smiled, but something stirred within me. I had heard that somewhere before.

 

When God’s Word is written on your heart, it becomes second nature to hear it in your ears. And there it was: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us….” Ephesians 3:20

 

A Million Faithful Moments

 

A million moments full of the faithfulness of a good God. This dream has just begun….

 

 

 Unwrapping the Gifts

951. A new haven-home

963. Gorgeous views from our back yard

966. Being surrounded by those who love me when I have no more strength in my body

965. The healing touch of the Great Physician

981. Going back to our wonderful church family after so many years

983. Settling in to life’s new routine

984. Working out again!

985. Watching Peanut thrive in her new surroundings

987. An unexpected date with my husband at a blast-from-the-past local hangout

986. I may not know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future

 

What gifts have you unwrapped this week?

Thanksgiving Thursday: The Gift of a Man

Skot

The life-blood of Thanksgiving Thursday is gratitude: unwrapping gifts and giving thanks to the Giver.  One of God’s greatest gifts to me is my husband.

Six feet of God’s most magnificent handiwork, this man is nothing less than my constant rock, best friend, intimate ally, steadfast partner, and covenant lover.

My ultimate gratitude for my husband belongs to God. But I am grateful – so very grateful – to my husband for everything he is and everything I’ve known with him and everything he gives me to look forward to.

Friday is his birthday, and I give the gift of thanks for all his gifts to me.

Proud Wife

 

Unwrapping the Gifts

   He has character

Character denotes many qualities, and my husband exhibits all of character’s indications. He’s honorable, ethical, compassionate, honest, courageous, passionate, and teachable. He is tender and responsive toward God’s leading, and stands ready to do all that is asked of him. With Joshua’s fearlessness, Daniel’s courage, and David’s faith (Joshua 1:7 & 6:17; Daniel 1:8; Acts 13:22), he is a man of integrity and love.

   He lets me sleep

I’ve never been an early riser, and he’s never asked me to change. Through 15 years of marriage, one daughter, and many life changes, he’s always let me sleep.

   He gives amazing back rubs

His powerful hands work with precision, talent, and erotic strength. A back rub is only a back rub, though. And that leads to the next gift.

   He gave me a daughter

Of all the things he’s given me over all the years we’ve been together, our daughter stands supreme. And he’s a rock star dad!

 

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   He’s faithful

My beloved is mine, and I am his. A cord of three is not easily broken.

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   He’s a man

He’s sweet, smart, kind, and loving, but he’s made of brawn, backbone, bravery, and bold confidence.

   He communicates

He talks – really. Sweet, laborious, fun, hard, dreamy, frightening, or silly, he communicates. Long chats are our Modus Operandi.

  He lets me buy books

He doesn’t know how much I spend on Amazon, and he doesn’t care. I love to read, he loves me.

Truths of my life

 

 

   He’s affectionate

He holds my hand and he kisses my daughter. He canoodles on the couch and he hugs my mama. He throws his arm over me as we sleep and he lets me toss my leg over his. His touch is soft, his hold firm, and his cuddles perfect.

   He’s goofy

He’s my kind of groovy: innately fun and full of laughter.

   He works hard so I can stay home

He knows I am ardently dedicated to raising the child I brought into this world, and so is he. He loves her enough to work skillfully and capably to provide for us so I may bring up and nurture our child.

They Are Your Work

   He supports my work-from-home love

I have found my life’s passion in writing, and he supports me in every way. He proofreads, keeps the kid while I write, lets me work in bed, and tells me I’m fantastic at what I do. 

   He creates a haven-home with me

Our home is a shelter. We do love. He makes it that way.

Love

Thanksgiving Thursday

                 

               My Thanksgiving List 11/1/12

 

457. Paying bills (Yes, really!)

 

462. Long walks on warm fall days

 

413. My kitty’s purr

 

404. A good night’s sleep

 

440. The first snow of the season!

 

444. Our first kiss, exchanged for a popcan tab 😉

 

447. Stacks of wood lovingly prepared for our little wood stove

 

449. Cooking shows on Create

 

454. Skot’s homemade hushpuppies

 

465. Purchasing the first Christmas gift for a special person

 

460, 461. Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness…He makes us holy from the inside out, and when He begins a good work, He will carry it on to completion! 

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Happy November! Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?