Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Blog!

I have started a new blog in 2013 at

I ran out of space here at Blogspot so please click on over to my new blog site.

Thank you for stopping by!

If you want to read posts from prior to 2013 you are in the right place.  I started blogging to track my #1000gifts.  Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" was my prompt to start my own blog in order to look for God's graces in my life.  I'm still going!  Just not counting...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

N is for Nature

Nature surrounds us.  Thank God!  I truly love being outdoors.  Addison and I started a morning "adventure walk" mother son outing in Kansas a few years ago.  On Saturday mornings, he and I would embark on a nature walk/jog around our home.  In Kansas we lived near a creek, trails, and many beautiful trees.  Here in Florida, we live by a natural spring, trails, and again many beautiful trees.  We are truly blessed.

The blessing of being one on one with a child is enormous in and of itself.  We truly treasure these moments.  About a week ago, Addison and I went out on an adventure walk with the camera, an index card, and a red pen.  I wanted the camera.  He wanted the cue card and pen.  He is really into writing these days.  He has discovered how to sound out any word and put it in print.  Remarkable.

More remarkable are the things we saw on that morning walk.  His list, I have kept on my desk as sweet reminder of that day.  Below are pictures of flowers that caught my interest, and the list of items he saw/heard:

acorns falling
birds chirping
squirrel jumping
cat stretching
baby caterpilr (caterpillar)
fom (foam)
a prsin  (person)
grapfrot (grapefruit)

Spelling errors and odd first grader hand-writing.  So precious.  Thank you God for this sweet note on my desk to remind me to post about this today.  Also thank you for the beautiful flowers that are in our neighborhood...

Okay, just got a notice that I have exceeded my 1GB of free picture storage space.  Off to delete some old/non-relevant images.  Not wanting to pay to upgrade?!  Argh.

Back now...trying to update this entry with some photos:

Still not working.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A is for Authenticity

When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.
-Martin Buber

I love this quote!

We live in a world of processed foods, fake idols, and visual stimuli that are on the television, internet, and video games...a lot of fake "worlds."  I like authenticity.  I like to sit with real family and friends.  Heck, I even like meeting strangers out shopping for real stuff!  I guess the stuff part isn't always what we truly need, but I do enjoy the interaction that results when we walk into a local store and buy from vendors.

Dear God,
Help me to be authenticGive me grace to accept myself & others as you created us to be. Thank you for walking among us.  You sent an authentic version of yourself to our broken world in the form of a baby.  The Christ child, YOU, arrived as a simple blessing for all the world.  
Help us see authenticity around us and rejoiceAmen.

This is the A of T.H.A.N.K.S.


Friday, November 23, 2012

H is for Humble

H is for Humble.

Part two of T.H.A.N.K.S.

I woke up early this morning again.  I decided to snuggle on the couch with a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and one of the three books I'm reading..."7, an experimental mutiny against excess" by Jen Hatmaker.  I plowed through a few chapters, and I come out feeling humble.

I live a world of excess.  My closet overflows with clothing, shoes, and my dresser is also full.  I still buy more almost weekly.  We talked yesterday of new televisions, new cars, and this morning many are out shopping for more stuff.  It is "Black Friday."  I used to love waking early with my mom and sister to go out shopping for deals and Christmas items/gifts/decor.  This year we decided to skip it.  Mom has to work.  Jackie and I are tired and our finances are low presently.  However, low is relative.  Many homeless people, struggling families, or people in other countries would look at our bank accounts and possessions and see extreme wealth.

Jen Hatmaker's book "7" has encouraged me to humble myself a little more.  Focus on the true riches of Christ this holiday season, and continue to give a little more and cut back on the stuff that crowds out my time, money, and attention to the true King.  Today, I started a Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter fast.  I will still do emails, my blog, watch TV, and use my cell phone.  However, I hope the free time I spent hours on these other sites will allow for some humbleness to creep in.  I get sucked into the lives of others, wishes/dreams on Pinterest for projects to do/things to buy.  Twitter often gives me useless news/links to blips in our fake/real world?!  Okay, so I'm off the soap box, and on to the day.  I hope to clean out some time and make room to clean house, play, write real letters, craft, cook, etc.

I hope each of you feels humble in some way today.  We often have BIG egos, and it is easy to lose sight of others' needs.  I'm totally guilty.  I get impatient with others who want stuff that I see as trivial. 

Dear Mom, sorry for ruining the picture taking moment yesterday.  I know you like family photos, and they are TRULY special.  A little time out of our day for you is the least we can do after all the YEARS of time you spent humbly serving us.  We love you!  And, thank you Daniel, dad, and Jackie for remaining calm and smiling under the pressure.  We all have our moments!

This is the picture that won't be on a Christmas card, but it shows the mood of the moment.  Bryan didn't want to be in the picture, thus I had to appear in the picture.  We added Jackie for balance...both moms/daughters should be in.  Daniel, told us to look "serious...tough"...Addison complied nicely.  Jackson pondered this.  Bryan hid.  We adults, smiled.  We do our best.  Thank God for family!  We love unconditionally thanks to the lessons of our Father.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

T is for Trust

Last Saturday a few friends and some of my family gathered for a Snapfish House Party.  House Party is an online area to sign up for vendor marketed parties that offer free stuff and fellowship!  I was on board immediately after attending a friend's Fisher Price party.  She and we got so many nice things for FREE!  But, that is not what today's post is about.  Just wanted to explain the silly photos above a bit.

A bit of trust goes a long way.  When we are born we trust our moms, dads, and other caregivers to provide for our daily needs.  We are the center of their universe.  At about age 2 children start to become a bit more independent.  Parents learn to trust the child.  Can she dress herself now?  Can he go to the bathroom and wash his hands?  Can she play with other children without being too bossy?  Can he play with his brother without destroying him or our house?

Trust is a parent and child's daily walk.  We trust God as adults, and the children trust us, as parents to lead them in the way they should go.  Trust is huge!  When a relationship is built on trust it is so much stronger than those founded on doubt.  I love my Lord, my spouse, our children, our family, and our friends...I truly TRUST them.  Thank you god for the beginning of this series...T.H.A.N.K.S.  Today I will Trust in YOU!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall in Different Places

Photo Credit: Donna Black, my cousin who is gifted in the area of photography

Fall in Different Places...
I grew up in Winter Park, Florida, and we recently moved back to Central Florida.  So this fall, is what I remember falls to be like as a child and young adult.  It is cool (at times), and the leaves do change if you look really closely.  However, we do not get the rich colors of fall like states to our north and west.  

In college, Tallahassee, Florida held a little more fall weather with cooler temperatures.  About ten degrees cooler in north FL vs. central FL in the fall and winter months.  After graduation, my husband and I moved to Peachtree City, Georgia.  Fall was even more special in the suburbs of Atlanta.  The leaves really did change, fall, and need to be raked.  The picture above comes from my cousin who lived near us during our early married years.  Our first son was born in the summer of 2006.   This photo marks that special year also.

Our first son just looked at this photo, and thought that it was "some mysterious creature."  I had to explain that it was a photo of a stream with bubbles and leaves.  Interesting how different eyes view things.  To wrap up this blog post quickly since my son is now awake and ready for breakfast...

In 2008 we moved to Overland Park, Kansas.  We spent one fall there and truly saw the four seasons change before our eyes like no other time in my life.  We spent three more years in Olathe, KS before returning this year to Florida in 2012.  Seasons change, our eyes change, and we see things differently each year.  I'm thankful God has opened my eyes to the beauty of each place we have lived in, and He continues to reveal "glimmers of Grace" daily in moments that I capture with my heart and my own camera lens.  Thank you Donna Black for inspiring me to shoot pictures of nature and our children in action!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Words...

Our words can help or hurt.  Words can make a person smile or cry.  Most days we have the opportunity to speak to many people.  I am hopeful that we will choose our words wisely.  Speaking quickly is something I used to do.  My husband in our early years of marriage informed me that I interrupt a lot.  I realized this was so true.  Now, I try very hard to be purposeful about listening and careful to respond.  I still falter at times.  We all do.  God's grace is bountiful.

Our words do not have to be bountiful.  Often people want us to be listeners, patient, kind, and loving.  Children have a lot to say.  We should be okay to stop what we are doing and listen to them too.  They have insights and requests that are important.  We adults get annoyed and busy to easily.  It is God's will that we welcome little children into our lives and love them unconditionally.  God loves me this way, and I hope that I will be able to love others in the same vein.

Off to get dressed for my morning run with a neighbor.  We women do love to chat!  I wonder what we'll talk about today?  What will you talk about today?