Tuesday, December 20, 2011

By the light of my camera screen...

On this cold December morning, hours before light seeps into the dark horizon, I had an epiphany as I sorted through smiles of children, happy moments and dear memories. I am positive, no I HOPE it is certain that many others have had this same desire and idea, and I am so glad God whispered it into my heart as well. I share that you too may be inspired to participate!

I am going to start a new blog project where I will begin documenting 1000 gifts via photos I take personally! Awesome, right?

After being loaned the book One Thousand Gifts by a long-time friend and sister in the Lord, I was moved so deeply by Ann's words.  My overall outlook on life so drastically changed, that I decided I MUST begin a list of simple daily gifts I for which I am most thankful.  I walk through my day now, thanking God as I go often but do not always take the time to scribble the memory down, or snap a photo to remember it always by. God has blessed my family richly, but I intend to dig deeper, look closer, open my heart's eyes to new and previously un-noticed gifts and be thankful in every moment of everyday for the small glimpses of God in everything and every situation. Not just the "good" gifts, but every touch, word, moment, manifestation, and situation that our Creator lovingly lets come our way. 

"Eucharisteo – life-filling gratitude – the practice of which is exercised in recording blessings, one by one."

I am SO thankful and EXCITED! I hope you will follow my blog; the one thousand humble photos of things, people, places and those little moments of life that I am thankful and grateful for. They will fill it's pages over the course of this coming year(and beyond) until I have at least 1000 "gifts" recorded. You can check out my up and coming blog Eu.char.is.te.o and maybe even be inspired to start a list for yourself if you haven't already! Let's all, friends, choose to be thankful. Choose to live a life drenched in life-filling gratitude. Let's all make a choice to live a life of eucharisteo soaked in gratitude,  giving thanks and praise to God in the midst of even grief, loss and uncertainty; for He Is all good, in all and holds all things together.Though darkness spots His rays of beauty, He is light complete. Always light. The kind of light that fills the deepest darkest cranny's of our scorched souls and brings life to our hopeless wastelands.

Blessings to you, and merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mum's the WORD!

Secrets, just between God and us-I believe they make Him happy!

     Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Matthew 6:2-4

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A house is made of walls and beams;
a home is built with love and dreams.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"How I want to see the weight of glory break my thick scales, the weight of glory smash the chains of desperate materialism, split the shell of deadening entertainment, bust up the ice of catatonic hearts. I want to see God, who pulls on the coat of my skin and doesn't leave me alone in this withering body of mortality... isn't He the face of all faces? He is infinite and without end, without jaw or sockets, everywhere eye. The face of the moon, the face of the doe, the face of derelict, the face of pain, His, the countenance that seeps up through the world, face without limitation, face that "plays in ten thousand places."

All beauty is only reflection.
And whether I am conscious of it or not, any created thing or person of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down. Do I have eyes to see it's Him and not the "thing"? Satan came in the scales that gleamed, a thing of beauty, and he lured the first woman and she was deceived. Beauty, the disguise can slide dangerous. True authentic Beauty requires of us, lays claim to us, and it is this, the knees bent, the body offered in obedience. A pantheists god is a passive god, but omnipresent God is Beauty who demands worship, passion, and the sacrifice of a life, for it is He who owns it. Do I have eyes to see His face in all things so I'm not merely dazzled by the trinket, glitzy bauble dangling for the ogling, till it flakes and breaks and I strain for more to lie prostrate before?"

~One Thousand Gifts

Why are we constantly as Christians lifting up and magnifying the names of the vessels, those "good" outspoken saints and not the only worthy One, Jesus Christ, God, Spirit within us, Creator and illustrator of ALL things good?  Let's be amazed at Him, not his children! Let's scorn Satan and his tactics and leave the judging of radicals and sinners to the One true Judge over all and only One who intimately knows all men's hearts!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A notion

I am overjoyed
that it's not about
how good I am
but so much more
about how good
I am not and how
GOOD God is.

Oh, happy day it is when we grasp on to that concept and let it weave itself deep into the very fabric of our daily living.

Friday, December 2, 2011

favorite things

Here are just a few of my favorite things from around my house recently. I have MANY more... just have to clean up around them before I go posting pics. Even I have my limits! 
As we know, I am NOT perfect, so therefore neither is my house... and I love it.
I adore BOLD simplicity. Latch onto homemade, kid-made goodies- my son's hammer marks can be seen on the vertical coat hook board... he was a huge help and had a grand ole time in the process.
Projects finished, mirrors hung and a huge satisfied grin sitting happily on my face.
That's the view from here.

Passing on a sweet reminder of how blessed the majority of us American women are and how we can be in prayer for those who are without such handicapping conveniences, for their hard work is truly blessed work and completely fed and spurred on from above. In my ungratefulness and selfishness I may get upset that I have sick kids keeping me from my appointments all the while completely overlooking the fact that some women may be losing their little ones lives to mere colds due to a lack of money and medical care... 

I am thankful today for the things God has set before me. All of it is a blessing to walk through with Him.

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: Keep A Quiet Heart

"I must admit I feel a lot of pressure with two children under two years of age. I am committed to do it until they are in school, however, and feel it is God's will. At times like this--when I wonder if I will even be able to finish this letter with both of them screaming for something--or when I miss going to lunch or getting dressed up, everyday life seems a drudgery. I worked hard to get through college--to be a scrubwoman, ha!"
I understand this mother's cry. So does the Lord. He has given us this word: "No temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13, PHILLIPS).
"A way out," I can hear her say, "What mother has a way out?"
The New English Bible translation throws light on this: "a way out, by enabling you to sustain it." Think, too, of Jesus' words, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29 AV). He is willing to bear our burdens with us, if only we will come to Him and share the yoke, His yoke.
I saw this principle in operation when I visited the Dohnavur Fellowship in India. There, day after day, year in and year out, Indian women (most of them single) care for little children, handicapped children, infirm adults, old folks. They don't go anywhere. They have none of our usual forms of amusement and diversion. They work with extremely primitive equipment--there is no running water, for example, no stoves but wood-burning ones, no washing machines. In one of the buildings I saw this text: "There they dwelt with the King for His work." That's the secret. They do it for Him. They ask for and receive His grace to do it. I saw the joy in their lovely faces.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Farewell Fall-Good morning frost!

Sub-freezing temperatures,

grey snowy mornings and quiet icy streets

glistening in the light of the moon,

can only mean one thing-

The beauty of Winter has arrived

to our little northwestern farm town

with all of it's blustering glory!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"To occupy oneself with God's Word, talking about it and thinking about it, is also a most tremendous help against the devil, the world, the flesh, and all evil thoughts. In such reading, discussion, and meditation the Holy Spirit is present to supply always more light and new insights.
Psalm 1:2 calls those blessed who meditate on the law of the Lord day and night. It is certain that you will be offering up no incense or candles more potent against the devil than by occupying yourself with God's commandments and words, by takling of them, by singing them and by meditating on them. That, let me tell you, is the true holy water, the sign before which he flees and by which you can rout him."

-Martin Luther, Luther's Large Catechism

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Perfect "real life" photo here folks-dust on the mantle,
vacuum cleaner in the background, still dressed in my
bleach and coffee soaked work shirt but deciding,
yes, prioritizing and choosing to spend time with my
little dear blessings nonetheless. A perfectly clean house
completely pales in comparison to sweet moments
like these.
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Galatians 6:9

"Take heart sweetie, all of your hard work plowing the ground of our kids hearts and minds WILL PAY OFF. The warning from this passage is to not lose heart and become discouraged. For many of us, we lose heart and feel like we can't go on, before we actually can't go on. I will be lifting you up in prayer today...and defending you the best that I can... I love you."  -My Main Man

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I adore rainy fall days.
A refreshing run through the cloud's tears.
Quiet time snuggled on the sofa, reflecting while being serenaded by the gentle patter of drops on the window pane.
Open windows, candles lit, bread baking in the oven and steamy coffee in hand.
A handful of my children cuddled close as books take our minds to far off lands, where stories always end happily ever after.
The softness of the soil and green of the leaves they brings... I adore rainy fall days.
Thank you, Lord for today. Refresh, wash, yes, cleanse my heart and soul just as you are the earth this day. Show what wicked ways have become set in my heart. Pour your healing grace on those desert places, Father. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My dear husband,
so thoughtful and sweet,
used craft material
left from hours of school fun
to leave his droopy-eyed wife
a good morning message...
it made my day!

Feeling complete, full and beautifully blessed.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Stay young at heart my princess. 
True to your Maker.
For completely faithful and loving He is,
sincere, forever pouring His love on you.
Give your everything, wholly to your mighty King.
Truly abandon desire for earthly pleasures,
Let His hands hold and protect your gentle soul.
For He formed you,
Designed you with purpose,
And can't wait to walk through
the rest of your life with you. 

Capture her heart, Father,
Reach out and grasp her hand.
Let her find her worth in You,
and live to kneel at Your throne.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fragile Companion

Every cool summer morning, after spending energy on an invigorating run I look forward to grabbing the garden hose, my straw hat and watering can. I shower my flower gardens with a refreshing drink, faithfully as a summertime ritual. It's my time to pray in silence, tend to my plants, till the soil, dig up impeding grass and weeds and enjoy the warmth and beauty of the rising sun. As summer's end looms near, I was blessed with a visit from a tiny neighbor. It's as if he frolicked and played in the coolness of the water and waved a thank you and farewell as he climbed from his home and back again. God is SO GOOD to his children, he sends reminders of his love and small wonders of his amazing creation. 
I will miss these moments come fall!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A family that works together... smirks together?
Well, I tried. 'Works' rhymes with nothing.
My husband, two oldest girls and I all worked together to install a beautiful laminate floor yesterday. That was our memorial day. I have to say, it was hard work, and not necessarily "fun" but we enjoyed each other's company, laughing at my toilet paper earplugs and protective eye ware, dancing with the broom to Air One radio and using the table saw. YES I DID!
Just call me buff.
My husband and I didn't snap at each other once! We're one of the selective few who can work together without it ending in one of us sleeping on the couch. Heehee.  It was a wonderful day, spent working together.
I love my family dearly.

 Warning: over-enthusiasm is inevitable after 5 shots of espresso, a large Coke, Wendy's cuisine, fried chicken and a frosty consumed all in one day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thy Word

 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid, think I've lost my way,

still You're there right beside me.

And nothing will I fear as long as You are near.

Please be near me to the end.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

I will not forget Your love for me, 

and yet my heart forever is wandering.

Jesus be my guide and hold me to Your side, 

and I will love You to the end.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

-Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith

Psalm 119:105
 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
   a light on my path. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessing is in the eye of the beholder...

Enjoying a morning with these blessings right now. They are beautiful reminders of God's love for us, his children as my heart is only for their best!  God is so good, His blessings are abundant, real and ever so lovely. Sometimes, they are hard to see, buried under the muck of this life, but always there nonetheless, if we just make a choice to look and see their overwhelming beauty through the ashes. 

What a gift!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I took a few photos of my sister at 7 months along in her pregnancy with her third. She's expecting a boy and looks amazing! I love using Picnik to edit the photos color, style and contrast although, I use the free version so I can't touch any of the photos up... LIKE SHE NEEDS IT!  She's beautiful. Here are a couple of my faves!

Gotta love her attitude... and her baby belly!

Wednesday's Word

Cleanse me with
hyssop, and I will
be clean; wash me,
and I will be whiter
than snow. Let me
hear joy and
gladness; let the
bones you have
crushed rejoice. Hide
your face from my
sins and blot out
all my iniquity.
Create in me a
pure heart, O God,
and renew a
steadfast spirit
within meDo not
cast me from your
presence or take
your Holy Spirit
from me. Restore
to me the joy of
your salvation and
grant me a willing
spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach
transgressors your
ways, so that
sinners will turn
back to you. 
Psalm 51:7-13