One Thousand Gifts

Being A Person Who Overcomes

There are many Sunday's when I sit in church listening to our Pastor speak and it feels like God is shining a spotlight on me.  As if I'm the only person sitting in the sanctuary listening to this message from Him, spoken directly to my heart.  It fits my particular circumstances like a glove.

I wonder how many other people sit there on Sunday morning feeling the exact same way.  Like God's message was crafted especially for them to hear and feel a certain stirring in their soul.  You know, a small voice that says, "Hey you!  Listen up!"

Yesterday, in church our Pastor spoke about being a person who overcomes.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.  This is how we know that we love the children of God:  by loving God and carrying out his commands.   This is love for God:  to obey his commands.  And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.    ~1 John 5:1-3

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Praising God

Praising God

 

 

Between the blessings of warmer than usual Spring temperatures and precious moments to spend with my children and husband, I'm starting the week off by continuing to count my gifts, recognizing just how much God loves me and provides every need.

 

#160 -  The gorgeous flowering trees that bloom during Spring time here in Pennsylvania.  God provides such beauty in our surroundings.

#161 -  Those bright, eye-catching, blue wings on the Bluebirds living in the trees behind our house.  They are seriously breathtaking!

#162 - The clean scent of rain.

#163 - The most awesome telephone conversation with a dear friend who I have been blessed with in the online world of blogging.

#164 - Sunglasses, to make spending time outdoors playing with the kiddos in the sunshine even more of a blessing.

#165 -  The safe, loved, and secure feeling I have when my husband wraps his arms around me. 

 

Even in the most difficult of times, our God provides.  He knows what we need, when we need it.  He knows our hearts and ...

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The Grass Is Always Greener…Or Is It?

The Grass Is Always Greener…Or Is It?

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.  ~Exodus 13:21

 

Wouldn't it be awesome if God revealed Himself to us in the form of something visibly substantial, such as a pillar of cloud or fire, so we would know where to go or what to do?   This way, we would never question if the decisions we were making were God's will or our own selfish desires, because we'd simply be walking toward the giant pillar of fire we could see off in the distance, knowing it was God.

Sometimes I think the people from the old testament had it so great.  God would just show up, speak to them, or send His angels to deliver the message He wanted the people to hear.  Some of them got to see with their own eyes, the magnificence of our Lord.  Because of the way He communicated with them, they ...

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What Joy Looks Like

Living Fully In The Moment
What Joy Looks Like

I am blessed.

You are too!

So many days have come and gone where I didn't feel like life was treating me fairly.  Hard times seem to happen more frequently, the older I get.  Sometimes I find myself so upset over something that I could literally vomit.  What's worse is looking back over it later on realizing I was an emotional wreck over something that wasn't really worth getting all fussed up about.

Can you relate?

Yes, it's real life.  Not always easy to face.  Often times scary, as we wonder what 's next.  It's easy to become consumed in negative emotions, seeing and feeling only our pain in the moment of our circumstances.  Our tunnel vision takes over, blinding us from our countless blessings.

Instead of taking the pity party route, we should learn from our children.

  • We should be willing to dance in the rain (or the storms) of life.
  • We should be willing to open our hearts, even though we might get hurt.
  • We ...
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Grateful For Snugly Hugs

Grateful For Snugly Hugs

I'm fairly certain my mom gives the best hugs around.  I miss her so much.  Miles of land and lack of travel funds separate us, so it's been at least two years since I've felt the warmth of her hug.  As a child I remember always wanting to crawl into her lap for snugly hugs.

No matter how busy she was, she always stopped what she was doing to welcome my hugs, never missing an opportunity to hug back.  This was a sensitive subject for her as she had always been pushed away by her mother.  She swore she would never do that to her own children, a promise she kept well.

Without realizing it, my mom has planted her legacy in my heart.  When my girls approach me for some snugly hugs, I always stop what I'm doing, offering and receiving love.  I'm so grateful for these snugly hugs.

Last night I found myself feeling blue after chatting with my mom on the phone.  My heart broke at the reality that the distance between us prevents my daughters from ...

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Where’s All The Snow?

Where’s All The Snow?

 

 

I can't believe it's the end of February and we are putting homemade bird feeder crafts from our last Daisy Troop meeting in the trees around the backyard.  Only 48 hours ago we were under a lake effect snow warning.  Today, it's in the high 40's and sunny.  On the way out to the gym earlier, Abby asked, "where's all the snow, Mommy?"   I wish I knew.  We've had such a mild winter that we haven't even pulled our sled out of the basement yet.  Not that I'm complaining...in fact, I'm continuing to count my blessings.

Today I'm linking up with Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.

 

 

 

 

 

#115 - Abby singing the Zacchaeus song she learned in Sunday school.  It's so adorable!  Instead of Sycamore tree, she pronounces it as the Synctamode Tree. 

#116 - Watching my husband have daddy-daughter play time rough housing with the girls.  They love it and giggle so much.  I really should catch it on video but it's hard for ...

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What’s Your Favorite Flower?

Reflections From My Heart
What’s Your Favorite Flower?

Every once in a while I like to share reflections from my heart, from my life, and from my thoughts.

Today my thoughts are on flowers.

Because my birthday is in May, I was always taught that my birthstone  was an Emerald and my birth flower was Lily of the Valley.

The beautiful green stone I loved!  The flower...not so much.   See my favorite flower was always the Rose.   Rose is even part of my name.

In fact, I was named in part, after my sweet great Grannie, Rosella Smith.  As a child, I hated my name, always feeling like it was so old-fashioned.  But the one way I was able to rationalize it was by the beauty of the flower tied to the name.

So today I did a search on Lily of the Valley in Wikipedia.  I was thinking perhaps I didn't give it enough of a chance as a child.  Maybe as an adult I would see it from a different perspective.   Haha...well, that's an understatement.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Lily of the Valley:

  • commonly ...
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When God Speaks

When God Speaks

Funny, how God works in our lives, isn't it?   When He wants us to move on something, He knows exactly how to get our attention.

Whether it's in that still, small voice inside, gnawing at us about a particular area of life needing some adjustments, or whether He simply flashes obvious smack-us-in-the-head signs to convict us into action, God speaks to all of His children in the exact way He knows we will listen.

Maybe His message is spoken powerfully in a church sermon or you read it on a blog or in your favorite book.  Perhaps you hear a new song with a catchy tune and before you know it, you're singing the lyrics of the very  words God wants you to respond to.

Sometimes we even shrug off that small voice thinking it's our own crazy mind at work.  But God continues to seek our attention and before we know it, His message for us is everywhere we look.

The Message Is There, But What Does It Mean?

He's been hard at work on me lately.  I feel ...

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Do You Ever Feel Like You Just Want To Run Away?

Do You Ever Feel Like You Just Want To Run Away?

In the darkness of early morning, I struggle to open the overflowing drawer of workout clothes.  It's fullness demonstrates my lack of exercise in recent weeks.   I may strive to be a supermom, but I'm not that good at keeping up with the laundry.

The truth is, I haven't opened that drawer in far too long.  Instead, I've made excuses and let other things become the priority.

And emotionally, I've felt the difference.

Do you ever feel so psychologically overwhelmed that you just want to run away?

That's the spiritual battle I've been fighting lately.  One could label it a post-traumatic response to a major life crisis coming to an end.   The enemy has been on a mission to steal my joy.

Slipping one foot and then the other into my running shoes, I still fight a great lack of motivation.  However, I keep moving because I know it's good for me.  It's what I need right now.  Running  has always been a very therapeutic outlet.

Pulling disheveled strands of hair tightly into a ponytail, I think about how far ...

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Mom, How Did You Do It?

Mom, How Did You Do It?

 

"Hello?" 

(voice trembling) "Hi mom, how are you?"

"Good…what's wrong?"

(crying) "Mom, how did you do it?  How did you raise three kids by yourself, while working two jobs?  How did you keep your sanity while worrying that every parenting decision you made could potentially mess up your child for life?  How did you stay strong during the heartbreaking moments of discipline that taught us right from wrong and showed us who was in charge?  How did you love us so unconditionally and patiently when we challenged the limits and the rules over and over again?"

"Honey, I just did the best I could.  God watched over us.   He's watching over you and your children too.  You won't always get it right, but you are and you will continue to do a great job as a mom."

In a nutshell, this is the phone conversation I had with my mom last night.

And while the conversation started with me in tears, it ended with me laughing and loving my mom more than ever.  I admire her wisdom and pray ...

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