Friday, December 12, 2014

Giving Thanks Friday



This week I am thankful for: 



The little grids printed on the backside of wrapping paper - makes it SO much easier to cut straight lines. 


An afternoon of sharing my home with lovely friends, a time to share a meal and share our hearts.  So thankful for the gift of friendship.


A small gift exchange between these friends and myself and the way the two of them so thoughtfully chose things that look beautiful in our home - like the above ornament : )  Giving gifts is one thing; putting thought and love behind those gifts takes them to a whole other level.


Our warm (and very wet and windy) weather.  We hit 60 degrees this week - a record setting December and a warm reprieve from the previous week that found our temps down into the teens.  


A fellow shopper who took the time to come over where I was trying on a jacket to tell me how nice it looked on me and went so well with my hairstyle.  I have a "feeling" I may find this very jacket under the tree come Christmas morning : )


Reading glasses (that I have been thankful for before...) that possibly should be worn for more than reading these days given the fact that while making a sandwich the other day I went to pick up a stray seed from the bread and it started crawling away.  The "seed" was actually a tiny bug!  


VERY thankful I did not actually eat the above "seed"!   


The generous in communities everywhere who are filling bins with toys and food to be shared with those in need. Praying that the spirit of giving will last throughout the year.             


    


What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1) 


Friday, December 5, 2014

Giving Thanks Friday



This week I am thankful for: 



Giving Tuesday and the many generous hearts who gave and the wonderful and creative ways they did so.  


A lovely friend from church who put together an effort to gather items for a family in need who were starting over with basically nothing.  When I dropped off household items and thanked her for doing this she said that she had so many people help her out when she "fell flat on her face" that she was grateful to do the same for someone else.  Pay it forward.  Love...


Peppermint.  Specifically, peppermint ice cream.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good pumpkin bread but refreshing peppermint is one of my favorite flavors.  Mmmm - wish I had some right this very minute : )


Discounts.  I am SO not a coupon queen but a 50% off any item from the fabric/craft store makes me a happy girl.


Not one but TWO first row, first car parking spots when I took my mom shopping (to above fabric/craft store and more) today.  In the rain that is a definite SCORE!  Also thankful for the time spent with my mom.


THIS flash mob that took over a store in Bangor, Maine that fits perfectly with my last post.  The display of pure joy had me in tears - happy ones! 


Beautiful frosty winter mornings and that our heated home that keeps us toasty warm.   


    


What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1) 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

This little light



It's still there.  

This little light of mine...

I know it is,
 for it keeps my heart warm.

I'm gonna let it shine... 

And in the darkest of days, 
the blackest of nights, 
it shines to remind me

This little light of mine...

I am never alone,

I'm gonna let it shine...

for God is with me.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

In this world of dark

Hide it under a bushel, no...

we need to be reminders,

I'm gonna let it shine...

encouragers,

Hide it under a bushel, no...

light bearers,

I'm gonna let it shine...

holding high the flame of Love.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!






152 Insights to My Soul




Linking up here and here today.





Photo credit:  Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_peterkai'>peterkai / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Three Word Wednesday: I get to

This is my first time linking up for Three Word Wednesday.  I have read many posts when it was hosted by the beautiful Beth Stiff but never participated.  Now she has passed the torch to the wonderful Kristin Hill Taylor.  I decided that a new beginning for Three Word Wednesday could be a good time for a new beginning for me.  So here goes…


 (my Grandma Margie and her sister Marlene on Gram's 90th birthday)


 I GET TO:  

My family recently experienced the loss of my Grandma Margie after a short hospitalization with pneumonia.  It was rather quick but not entirely unexpected for a person in their nineties.  Nonetheless, the loss still hurts.  We lost my Grandpa Ray (her husband of 74 years) just four months earlier.  My other grandparents, Grandma Peggy and Granddad Blaine, had passed away some years previously.  I miss them all.  They have each impacted my life in ways they probably never knew. 

I was so blessed to have grown up knowing not only both sets of grandparents but living within 5 to 20 minutes of them all most of my life.  I didn’t just love them, but actually got to spend time with them on a regular basis.  I got to see how they cared for their grandchildren, their adult children and their aging parents.  (Yes, I was blessed to have also known three great grandmother’s!)  I got to observe them caring for others in the family and serving their community.  I got to feel how they handled loss and pain in their own lives.  I got to learn how to iron, cook, sew, bake, budget, recycle and repurpose.  I got to develop my confidence, enhance my personality and find my voice in their presence. 


Now, I get to hold tight to memories made.  I get to share what they have taught me with my own family.  I get to live life fuller, hold to faith harder and love people deeper having had them all in my life.  What a legacy they have left behind…   



152 Insights to My Soul

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday here.   

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Introducing Kristin Hill Taylor



This month is National Adoption Awareness month and I cannot think of a more perfect time to introduce you to Kristin Hill Taylor: wife, mom, writer/blogger and lover of Jesus.  She has written a recently published e-book titled “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" which is available at a special price ($2.99) from Amazon (here) in honor of National Adoption Awareness month.  Kristin is sharing a part of her journey with us today: 


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 for adoption to sonship 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. … In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. … When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory.
(Ephesians 1:4-14)

I never thought to tell the receptionist we were in the process of adopting Cate when I made her appointment at the local health department to get her 4-month immunizations. While checking her in the morning of her appointment, I realized I didn’t have the necessary paperwork, most importantly the court order giving us guardianship until Cate’s adoption was finalized. Honestly, I never thought to bring it to prove Cate was my daughter even though she didn’t officially share my last name yet.

She had been my daughter since she was born, but in reality, well, at least from the government’s perspective, it wasn’t official. While the health department may be cheaper than the pediatrician’s office for immunizations with our health insurance, there’s a bit more red tape to maneuver without getting stuck. I reminded myself I was saving at least $100 – even though it required another appointment the following week with the proper paperwork.

We had to wait on the legal process before Cate could have our last name. I had to prove to the health department she was mine. The whole adoption process gives me perspective on how God adopts us.

Before I knew God, he chose me. Because he chose me, there is glorious grace poured into my everyday life and an inheritance prepared for me. Read Ephesians 1:11 from The Message: "It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Other translations of that verse say we were chosen (NIV), we are united with Christ (NLT), we were made a heritage (ASV), and we have obtained an inheritance (ESV).

We are family. I get that. I didn’t grow Cate in my womb, but we prepared for her and embraced her from the beginning. Greg and I named her and prayed for her before we held her in our arms. We’re grateful for Mandy, who chose life for her, and that God chose her for us.

Cate didn’t have to do anything to be our child. She’s named in our will and was called daughter long before the court recognized her new birth certificate. We chose her in the beginning and we have chosen her every day since. Likewise, God chose me in the beginning and still chooses me today – even when I stumble.

Jesus says people will know we are in his family by our love. Of course, sometimes I don’t do a good job of representing my eternal family name. But this truth is my foundation. And it’s why I was surprised when the health department wanted me to produce some piece of paper to prove Cate was my daughter.




Kristin Hill Taylor tells about the two adoption processes that followed a hard season of infertility in “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” which is available at Amazon. She believes in taking road trips, living in community, and seeking God as the author of every story – many of which she shares at www.kristinhilltaylor.com. She lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her college sweetheart husband and their two kids.  







Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From ashes to beauty

(via)

It happened again last week.  Another senseless school shooting.  This one was on our side of Washington State at Marysville-Pilchuck High School around 10:30 in the morning last Friday.  I was away from the television and computer until late in the afternoon.  When I turned on the television our local channels were all still covering the tragedy.  A 14 or 15 year old Freshman (who had been voted to his school's homecoming court the previous week) opened fire in his high school cafeteria shooting five of his friends.  FRIENDS.  He apparently stopped to reload and was confronted by a young, first year, female teacher (HERO) and then security before taking his own life.  He and one female student dead. Four others (two males, who we would later learn were cousins of the shooter, and two females) rushed to area hospitals.  Three with head wounds.

Since then another female victim has died from her wounds.  Two remain in critical condition and one in serious.  We have since learned the motive "may" have involved a girl.  The gunman lured his victims to the lunch table to meet him via text message.  Haunting.  Tragic.  Senseless.  


ASHES


Before last Friday's shooting the Marysville-Pilchuck football team (which the gunman was a member of) was scheduled to play Oak Harbor to determine first and second places in their division.  Obviously, the game would not be played.  But a winner was determined (two of them in my book).  The Oak Harbor team decided to forfeit the game giving Marysville-Pilchuck the win.    

"It's not all about football, but it's about the habits of the heart and what our kids learn that are far beyond reading, writing and arithmetic," said Dr. Becky Berg, Marysville School Superintendent.  "And I think this will be a great lesson for all of our kids."

Marysville-Pilchuck got the win.  Oak Harbor got my heart.  But wait, there is more...

Friday night, instead of playing a football game, the Marysville-Pilchuck football team would attend a vigil at at The Grove Church honoring the victims of the shooting.  They would find the Oak Harbor players in the front row.  Touching.  Selfless.  Love.    


BEAUTY





(As a side note, yesterday, the Coach of the Seattle Seahawks invited both teams to practice at the Seahawks training facility.  Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called the forfeit "an extraordinary gesture".)  May the healing begin...  


Friday, October 17, 2014

Giving Thanks Friday: Oh baby edition

This week I am thankful for: 

 (Precious in His sight...)

Two beautiful preemie newborns.  My niece delivered twins (about 6 weeks earlier than hoped for), Mason and Brooklyn, earlier this week.  Mason weighed in at 3 lbs 15 ounces and Brooklyn at 2 pounds 12 ounces.  They have made great strides in just days and only have feeding tubes at this point.  They could use some extra prayers though as could their first-time mama and daddy.  


(Marcia and one of the little's blessed by having her generous heart and fantastic skills available)

Those who care for babies in need.  Marcia (you can read her story here) made it to Rwanda over a week ago and has been holding, loving and caring for babies with serious medical needs ever since then.  Thankful for all she is doing so far away and in less than desirable conditions to say the least.  Thankful for those who do the same around the world. 


   
(This little one was found along side the road with placenta still intact...please pray for her and the mama who felt she had to leave this one behind)

Those who care for babies in crisis.  There are so many loving foster parents out there caring for babies and children temporarily while their families are in crisis or are unable to care for them period.  It might be for days, months, years and some who even end up adopting as they live out the caring for orphans in real time.  My cousin Glenda and her husband have fostered several, adopted two and three of their young adult daughters, now out on their own, are also now fostering.  They are my heroes! Thankful for the countless others who do the same.


(Beds are often shared in this Rwandan hospital)


Those who support moms in need, physically, emotionally or financially.  Whether it is dropping off a much needed box of diapers, providing a listening ear or an offer of a few hours of childcare, you are providing a lifeline to these moms in need and helping them love their babes a bit easier.    


(Dog available for adoption in Natchitoches, LA Paws where Breanne is living) 

Those, like my daughter Bethany and my (almost) niece-in-law, Breanne, who have a soft heart for the fur babies of this world.  These lovelies take in the unwanted, provide financial care, adopt and or find homes for some of the sweetest of God's animal creations.  


Indeed the world is a much brighter place with the love in action ALL these servant hearts are displaying!   


  


What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1)