letting peace rule

Sometimes, the stress creeps in and overwhelms.  Like the smoke from some far away fire that’s enveloping our valley today, it fills every corner with its smell, its taste, its power. And when it does, I have to slow.  I have to stop.  I have to take my Bible out to my chair and listen to the stillness of His presence.  I read that I was called to peace.  I’m to let it rule.  And? I’m to give thanks. I start with that nap yesterday (#432).  The longest stretch of eyes-closed-snoring-restful-sleep I’ve had in a long time (or at least so it feels).  … [Read more...]

flowers along the path…

426. two little aproned helpers doing dishes. 427. flowers along my path to the chicken coop. 428. little black shoes tap dancing in happiness. 429. an afternoon on blankets in the grass. 430. fifteen minutes of coos and happiness at 4:30 a.m. before he decides he's hungry. 431. cousins. (counting the Multitudes on Mondays at aholyexperience.com) … [Read more...]

hugs, tears, and thanks

I went to hug her after church yesterday. She’d been in the doctor’s office waiting room, too, that morning exactly four months ago when I’d been induced with Daniel. She’d had toxemia, too, with their first.  She told me of the new grandchild that was on the way.  And how eagerly they were anticipating meeting him, but pictures would have to do for now, because he was being born so far away. They don’t know now when that meeting will take place.  Perhaps sooner, perhaps later. 3-month-old Benjamin woke up in Jesus’ arms yesterday morning. I heard the news during prayer time at … [Read more...]

pausing to write, pausing to give thanks

It’s Tuesday evening.  I’ve been dying to write all week (all two days of it feels like a whole week already!) but I’ve been so busy with this project and that urgent thing that I haven’t gotten to sit down and write.  Truth be told, I’m not even sitting yet—I’m standing by the kitchen sink watching a little person have his bath.  (A precious little person who is getting chubbier and chubbier and more active and more mobile!)  But I’m echoing Lisa-Jo’s words tonight (not to mention re-tweeting her Tweet): When I write, I feel God’s pleasure.  So why don’t I make … [Read more...]

counting with family and friends

“Writing down the gifts that He fills our days with isn’t as important as letting gratefulness permeate our lives and our thoughts. It is the being aware and the taking time to notice more than anything. Writing it down just keeps us accountable, it helps us to remember on rainy days what the sunshine looks like, and how refreshing raindrops can be if we let them wash away the dust. It gives us a chance to share, and connect, and rejoice together in the good things that He is doing for us. So, I don’t write these lists to show off, to look more thankful than someone who doesn’t write them … [Read more...]

a week of Mondays, a week of gifts

Sometimes, it feels like a week of Mondays.  I’m always behind and never rested and it gets worse as the week progresses.  Then we’re to “Thank God it’s Friday!” but so exhausted we’re not sure we can make it through Saturday.  But on Saturday comes a breath of fresh air and a slower day and more rested children and, Thank You, Lord, for Saturday.  And that it’s not always a week of Mondays.  But even a week of Mondays is full of gifts… 380. Garage sales with just my baby boy (in the wrap carrier) and me. 381. The gratitude of a child. 382. Iced coffee. 383. Gentle … [Read more...]

pausing to be grateful

Watching my girls—their spontaneous thanks, their quickness to long for what they don’t have, their joy in the simplest of things—leaves me pondering gratefulness quite often these days (even when it’s not a Five-Minute Friday topic).  How to raise children who are thankful for what they have instead of always wanting more?  How to teach them about using what we have when we’re always making shopping lists for the grocery store?  How to teach them that less is more in this consumer society? Tomorrow, the story of the sunglasses that sparked the five minutes of questions about gratefulness.  … [Read more...]

garage sale gifts

Two weekends ago I took my son to his first garage sales.  He was not impressed. On Friday, I wondered (for a while) why I even bothered to check out the sale that was so many miles out.  And came home with just two shirts for 50 cents a piece.  (Daniel slept through that sale, and the beautiful drive to and from!) That night, I read some of Kimberly’s Yard Sale Rules and laughed.  If I never looked at the newspaper I wouldn’t know where to go garage sale-ing.  Out in the country, it’s not like we have a standard “route”—we go where the sale ads sound best (and hope we don’t drive for … [Read more...]

a hospital stay overflowing with gifts

Last Friday, our 7-week-old son had surgery to fix an incarcerated hernia.  We'd known for a few weeks that he would have to have surgery eventually.  But I had no idea when I took him to our family doctor Thursday morning that he would be undergoing surgery from a pediatric surgeon within 24 hours.  It was a weekend of much coffee, little sleep, and continual lessons in trust.  We saw God's hand in so many things, like the timing being such that my husband could drive us to the appointment and then be there for the surgery.  And we counted some rather unusual gifts, like dirty diapers and … [Read more...]

waiting to be seen, waiting to be counted, waiting to be thanked

Don’t look now, but it’s been three weeks since I’ve been chronicling gifts.  I’m not sure where the time went.  Or what I have to show for those three weeks.  (Other than a lot of laundry). I am fairly sure I’ve been perpetually tired—and almost as frequently overwhelmed.  Which is why blog posts have been at a minimum around here. But if all the blessings below can be remembered in mere minutes, then these past three weeks have been filled with a lot of gifts, as well as a lot of laundry.  I’m afraid I’ve been looking too much at all I have to do, all I haven’t done—instead of all that … [Read more...]