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 Sweet Gift of a Child: Peanut Turns Two!

Tomorrow, my just-born-yesterday baby turns two years old. Two years of joyous noise, messy rooms, helpless giggles, cascading tears, boundless love, and amazing amounts of pink. Cut straight out of the womb, she drew her first breath, and snuggled into a place inside my heart that had never before existed.

 

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Our tiny Peanut was a low-key newborn, sleeping most of the way through her new life and calmly observing the world when awake. Two years later, she still loves to sleep – slumbering on average 11 hours a night and two hours or more during the day. But when awake, this fiery toddler is nothing less than a whirling dervish, experiencing all life has to offer.

 

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She developed a love for music very early, and she moves easily to the beat of any melody she hears. Our lives are filled with the sounds of Peanut serenading us by playing her harmonica, singing Song Sung Blue, and singing just behind most songs as she picks up any word she recognizes. She loves to dance, and swirls to worship choruses, twirls to Mary Poppins tunes, sways to Michael Buble jingles, jives to Bon Jovi rock, and bounces to John Lee Hooker blues.

A girl after my own heart, she loves books, and asks me to read to her often. She’s a rough and tumble rug rat, and loves Jeeps, horses, and being flung, swung, and flipped. She’s fearless and adventuresome, and she loves to pray.

 

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My heart flutters each time she stretches her chubby starfish hands toward me and pleads, “Pay, pees!” (Pray, please.) No matter how many times a day – or how many times during one meal, I never miss an opportunity to allow those soft, precious fingers to curl around mine and go before the throne of grace with my child.

As we enter the third year of this most treasured life, I find my heart is happy to see her grow. I look back at the fragile infant I held in my arms, as I sheltered her from all that may seek to harm her. While I reflect on those sweet, irreplaceable memories with nostalgia, there is nothing like continuing to raise a child. The delicate babe I brought into this world is an amazing creature, filling my life with sweet affection, and teaching me how live life through the eyes of innocence.

Each new milestone is full of wonder and awe, and I look forward to what the future holds. Below are a fraction of the gifts I’ve unwrapped this year from the hand of a loving heavenly Father as I am honored to mother this beautiful child.

 

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     Unwrapping the Gifts

 

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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

Beginning my journey as a “hunter of beauty” has, more than ever before, opened my eyes to the joy and blessing that surrounds me daily. But there are two sides to every coin, and where my eyes have been opened to pleasure, I have also seen pain. At times, this exercise in giving thanks and unwrapping joy has proved to be a medicinal sacrifice of praise (Proverbs 17:22; Heb 13:15).

This past week, my world has been filled with uncertainty, confusion, and questions, and the unknown has loomed large. Jobs have seemed uncertain, hard decisions have needed to be made, solemn words were broken, hearts got hurt, and the choice to trust has been difficult.

I have looked hard for my joy-gifts this week, but with seeking, I have found what I was looking for. I have sought to not only discover and unwrap the gifts, but to trust the Giver and experience life fully, right where I am. I have felt the love, joy, and peace that is present in every situation where a heart chooses to trust.

Count blessings and see Who can be counted on…Trust is a bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks. Remembering frames up gratitude. Gratitude lays out planks of trust. I can walk the planks – from known to unknown – and know: He holds…Can God be counted on? Count blessings and find out how many of His bridges have already held.” ~ One Thousand Gifts

My Thanksgiving List, 8/16/12

48. Forgiveness and healing 

49. My daughter loves books (joy for a bookworm-mama’s soul!)

51. Rolling a ball on the sidewalk with Shelby 

53. God’s discipline, because it means he loves me (Heb. 12:6) 

54. The beginning of football pre-season! 

55. Our National Anthem 

56. Homemade Mojitos 

59. Early morning snuggles with my husband 

60. My magic Mary Poppins bag

             

 

 

 

 

         

62. Front porch time till 1 AM with my best friend 

63. The hot dog stand at Lowes 

66. Funniest Home Videos re-runs 🙂

67. Paul Ryan 

69. Bittersweet moments when selling baby items on Craigslist 

71. An email from an accountability partner that spoke the truth in love

79. Our front porch haven 

72. A Turtle Pecan Blizzard, hand delivered by a handsome hottie 

76. A good camera 

77. The faithful wounds of a trusted friend (Prov. 27:6) 

78. That God speaks directly to my heart through his Word (Lam.3:20-26)

 

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