Tag Archives: Blessed

Counting Up

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Today I begin. I begin to live with an attitude of gratitude. I tell my kids to be thankful all the time.  Then I wonder, do they need to be told …. or do they need to be shown?  Is gratitude something that is taught? ….. or caught?

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily to-do list around the house, running errands, wiping little noses, getting swept up in the scurry of BLESSINGS that are no longer counted as such.

That cluttered countertop? Be thankful. It means you have the blessings of modern appliances, the postal system as a means of communication, the funds to purchase coffee, and yes, toys for the kids.

Take a look around you. What do you see as you are seated in the comfort of your home? What does it tell you …. really, what does it tell you when you start seeing it as a blessing? It tells me I am blessed abundantly, beyond measure.

Today I begin.  May I challenge you, Reader, to start counting your blessings too? There are still 293 days left in 2013. Begin today. Count just three blessings a day and you will amass nearly 1000 blessings before the end of the year!  1000 blessings! So very much to be thankful for. Start.  Today.  Do it.

  1. 3/13/13:  I’m thankful for the blessing of the beautiful, bright sun filling my house with natural light  and warmth.
  2.  3/13/13: I’m thankful for the blessing of friends – near and far – who are there for me and with me as I navigate this wonderful life.  Hope to see you all in the next life!
  3. 3/13/13: OK. The clutter. Yes, I’ll be thankful for the blessing of the clutter too, because it tells me I lead a very FULL life.
  4. 3/13/13: And today I’ll be thankful for the time I’m given to CLEAN the clutter. I am a stay at home mom, afforded this time, and it is a blessing indeed!
  5. Just before the stroke of midnight on 3/14/13:  I am blessed beyond measure with an automobile that navigates well in the MN winters!
  6. 3/14/13:  I am oh-so-thankful for the gift of our 9 month old puppy, Dutch. He is a counter-surfer extraordinaire, but he loves us all, all the time – even when we are unlovable.
  7. 3/14/13: And today I am thankful for effective allergy meds since I’m not sure I’d manage well without them!
  8. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the seasons and the gorgeous flaming fall leaves that dot the landscape.
  9. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for a loving husband who adores me and tries his very best to understand me.
  10. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the ability to homeschool my youngest kiddos this year! We are having so much fun and they are seriously enjoying the learning process.
  11. 10/7/14: I so thankful to be part of a church that is alive, well, and proclaiming the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ!
  12. 10/7/14: I thankful for the unusually warm weather that we have had this fall.  The cold and snow are inevitable, but being able to hold them at bay for a while is absolutely wonderful!
  13. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for good friends in every walk of life!
  14. 10/7/14: I’m really thankful for my new pink and lime green (yes, you read that correctly) Bible! 🙂
  15. 10/7/14: I’m thankful that Halloween candy is not available year round. Those *fun sizes* can get me into so much trouble!
  16. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the life of my littlest man, who actually didn’t make it through the birth process, but was later revived. We celebrate him on his birthday … in just a bit more than a week from now.
  17. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the quiet of the late nights. It gives me time to reflect on and savor all my gifts in this life!
  18. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for my 18yo son and his quick wit. He keeps me in my toes, but in a happy way!
  19. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the academic ability of my 20yo son. At just 18 years of age, he was halfway through his college career, having amassed 72 college credits.
  20. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the caring heart of my 3rd born son. The love he shows others far outshines his quick temper!
  21. 10/7/14: I’m so thankful to have found a martial arts family that our family can embrace. We have received a gift in the new friendships that we have developed over the past three years.
  22. 10/7/14: With the GIFT of a smartphone this year, I am SO thankful that I am now beginning to feel organized! I’m missing fewer appointments … AND I can keep the littles entertained while AT the appointments! A double blessing!
  23. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for the new/used leather sofa that we found on Craigslist for only $20.
  24. 10/7/14: I’m so thankful that we got our tire replaced for free when I drove over a screw in the road two weeks ago.
  25. 10/7/14: I’m thankful that I still have eight healthy fingers after having broken two of them within six weeks at karate.
  26. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for our new homeschool co-op, River of Life in Lindstrom, where our children are establishing healthy friendships with other like-minded kids.
  27. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for my Bonsai Tree bought for me with love by my husband. Maybe this is one I won’t unintentionally kill. He demonstrates his faith in my each time he brings home a live plant!
  28. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for extended family. While I always wish I had more time to spend with them, I know they love me, near or far.
  29. 10/7/14: I’m so thankful for the abundance of books that we have, for it means we will never have to experience a dull moment.
  30. 10/7/14: I’m so very, very thankful for my new Vitamix Blender. We have had so many enjoyable smoothies in the past three months!
  31. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for my membership with our local food buying co-op. Because of that, our family is able to eat mostly organic food at very affordable prices.
  32. 10/7/14: I’m incredibly thankful for my new hobby – knitting – and my knitting friends.
  33. 10/7/14: I’m thankful that I have yarn (MUCH yarn) with which to create wonderful knit projects!
  34. 10/7/14: Did I mention my incredible Addi Turbo Click knitting needles? I’m really thankful for those. They make knitting so very enjoyable!
  35. 10/7/14: I’m thankful for WordPress.com – My avenue to my creative expression!
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It CAN Always Get Worse!

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How was your week? Mine felt unbearably long and there were many times I was sure Friday evening would never arrive – or if it did, I would somehow miss it amid the chaos of life. The proverbial nail was driven into the casket this evening as my six year old spilled his milk on the peanuts I had just spent two hours shelling while our four month old puppy pounced excitedly between his rawhide bone and the sweet, dripping kitchen table unsure which way to run in the 1.5 square feet of space available. Admittedly, bedtime could not come soon enough – if not for the young ones, for me.

OK. It can always get worse. When I’m tempted to feel tapped, I try to remind myself of that fact. For example, Rasputin, the iconic Russian religious advisor to the Romanov family, definitely dealt with greater grievances. Hated by many in a country where he held significant influence and power (not an unusual feat in and of itself), he experienced trials and tribulations beyond what I’d wish on my worst enemy. Rasputin was stabbed, poisoned, shot three times, clubbed, and drowned – and with the exception of the stabbing, it all happened in one evening!

I can’t top that. More importantly I don’t even want to try! Incomplete homework assignments, piles of laundry, sticky floors, dinner dishes, spilled milk, and puppy poo all plague my week, but I can tackle those consistent challenges that attempt to derail my days. And much like Rasputin, I don’t go down without a good fight. But his life, and subsequent death, serve as a stark reminder that it can always get worse!

So how did you say your week went?

Travel Theme: On Display

My travel is often limited to intrastate. This post hails from the northern regions of Minnesota as seen during the hot, humid  summer months when beauty absolutely abounds! 

Owen

Owen

“Can I have a cookie?” he asks with a gleaming ice-cream grin!

[I’m guessing he doesn’t need more sugar!]

Go Beyond Saturated

Saturated. What comes to mind when you read the word saturated?

  • For mothers of young children, it might be a droopy diaper on the occasionally overlooked offspring;
  • Students might feel saturated after enduring a lengthy Latin lesson;
  • It’s a descriptive word for my soaking wet socks after unintentionally finding a puppy puddle on the floor;
  • For the chemist, it simply means singly bonded to an atom;
  • The health-conscious might immediately think negatively of fats on a food nutrition label;
  • It expresses the water content of a swim suit upon departing from the pool or lake;
  • It defines the roaring sound filling the Minnesota Twin’s Stadium in their first World Series games;
  • For the naturalist, it might be the feel of the grass underfoot after a heavy rainfall;
  • It describes the paper towels used by the Kindergarten teacher to clean up juice spills in her bustling classroom;
  • For the pet owner, it is likely the wet dog as it vigorously shakes off the excessive water from his thick fur coat;
  • And for photographers, it depicts the highest intensity of hue in a picture.

Although the definitions for saturated are finite, it can take on varied meanings depending on WHO we are and WHERE we are in any given moment.

While it really only comes down to meaning “filled to capacity,” all too often we mistakenly interpret the word as “filled beyond capacity.” Consider the saturated diaper. The mind automatically conjures up an image depicting a diaper that is too full. That lengthy Latin lesson? It was too long. I feel that my soaking wet socks are too wet, although I’d argue that any moisture contained in my socks is too much!

The question is whether something can actually go beyond saturation. A diaper can be saturated or filled to capacity. But once it is actually filled, any additional input would simply flow out from the boundaries. Most parents can attest to this based on first-hand experience! The student who reaches brain-overload will often shut down, unable to absorb additional information for that class. My socks will reach a point where they will be unable to suck up any added puppy puddles. In many cases, it is not possible to go beyond the saturation point.

However, there are other instances in life where over-saturation is not only possible but preferable. As I contemplated this, various verses from the Bible sprung to mind as I began to realize that God desires our lives to be more than saturated with both His love abounding and His bountiful blessings.  He wants to fill us with joy and peace so that we can experience His overflowing hope.

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

David, the shepherd boy, proclaims the bounty that he experiences from the Lord. His reference to a cup that overflows further indicates the blessings beyond full measure that the Lord intends for us.

Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

God never intended us to live a mediocre life. He didn’t ordain our days that we should proclaim, “Enough! I’m full!” He wants so much more than that for each of us.

When we fully experience God, we can experience a life beyond saturation. But as with any other relationship, communication is required for bountiful fellowship with God. It is our willingness to go beyond saturation in His Word that will help us develop and deepen our relationship with Him and come to appreciate all that He has already given us and all that he intends for our future.

Reader, do you feel saturated in the Word of God? If so, that’s not enough. Go beyond saturation, go beyond full. Be yourself overflowing with thanksgiving and praise so you can fully experience His abundance, His extravagance, His lavish love, His plentiful power. He awaits you today.

Life Anew

All along I’ve been thinking that who I am and what I do

would be seen and blessed by You,

my Lord.

But my desires and my designs

are just that; they are mine.

Now help me see Your will and follow through.

Just on my own, I know I can’t.

But You are there. You promise that.

Show me Your ways, teach me Your paths.

Guide me in truth and righteousness.

Your ways are best. In that I need to trust.

So today I give my life anew.

Help me to see things from Your view.

Kneeling down, my head bowed low,

I hear Your challenge … You say, “Go!”

ImageI’m on my way, albeit somewhat slow.

My eyes refocused, I can see

the road map You have marked for me.

I consider no job is to small,

for that would surely be my fall.

Lord, stay with me and speak to me through all.