Monday, February 28, 2011

A Mother's Hands {multitudes on monday #97-#103}

It's late and I am pulling thread through stitch creating a little girl's best friend. It's finally starting to look like something, this doll. The arms and legs are now attached to the lonesome head and I am starting to fall in love with this friend I have created.

I'm tired; it's much later than I am used to staying up, but this needs to get finished and I want to finish it now, but decide that the eyes, mouth, nose, and hair can wait for another day. I put these tired hands to rest and save the creating for tomorrow's a new day.

::

He awakes, still, in the quiet of the night, wanting to be comforted. I reach in and pick him up with hands so loving. We embrace and I carry him, humming and whispering sweet prayers of comfort into his soft little ears. "Jesus loves you, buddy and everything is alright. Mommy and daddy are in the next room and you are just fine. Now go to sleep. I love you." All the while caressing his back, his soft head.

I'm tired and my body craves the for me to return to the sweet slumber I had just left, but right now, he needs me and these mama hands providing him with comfort and security before he can return soundly back to sleep.

::

He holds my hands as we sit in church, listening to the words of a faithful, honest, pastor. Caressing it with his thumb, I feel the love just in the small of holding his hand.

I take those same hands and make meals and wash clothes and clean house, all in love for the family I have been blessed with.

::

Mamas hands do so much. They create, they comfort, they heal, they lead, they love. They fold together in fervent prayer for the ones He has given us to care for. Praying everyday for their protection; their faith and that their souls remain in one with Him.

I was blessed with this set of mamas hands. They are worn and tired, but they are not yet done creating and comforting and especially loving all that He has given to me and all that He may continue to give.

God said, " It is not good for the Man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion." ~ Genesis 2:18


Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time {#97-#103}
97. A pastor who is not afraid to preach the absolute truth
98. Holding precious, new, life
99. Chocolate
100. Mommy/daughter days
101. A healthy, homemade, yummy lunch
102. The eyes of the Lord always watching over me
103. My daughter making sure I am ok and "comfy" when I am just not feeling so good
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gaining a Heart of Wisdom {Psalm 90:12}

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Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

I have been talking about time this week and how I am such a poor manager of my own. This verse fits right in so beautifully...
 
Lord, may I gain a heart full of wisdom by spending more time with You and in Your word! Amen.
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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time {multitudes on monday #89-#96}

Some books are meant to be devoured all in one sitting. Some take a little longer to get through because of their size or content. And still some are meant to sit and savor. To take in every last word of wisdom and let it simmer within your soul. That is how I feel about Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. {if you have not yet ordered this book, go.get.it.now! :) }

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I started reading this book at the beginning of February as part of (in)courage's bloom book club. I am following along with the club and reading it slowly. Taking in all that I can. Allowing for her open heart to speak to mine. I am only on chapter 6 of the book and already so much has been revealed to me about my own life and faith.

One particular paragraph hit me hard; so hard that I re-wrote it and have the note card hanging where I can see it on a daily basis.

I fill the sink with the circle of bowl, and batter floats up in suds. I wash. I see my reflection in the stainless of the tap. I know you, those seeking eyes. You're the one in dire need of time, that thing we can't buy, what we sell of ourselves to get more of what we think we want, what we sacrifice to seemingly gain. They say time is money, but that's not true. Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find the fullest time. I wipe a water spot off the tap; there is a reflection of me. Oh yes, I know you, the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life. I'm the face grieving.
God gives us time.  And who has time for God?
Which makes no sense.
{One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, pg 64}

And it's true, right, that it "make no sense"? We I make time for everything else, but yet my prayer life and devotional life are often forgotten; put on the 'back-burner' and left for another time. A time, that more often than not, never comes.

Why do I do this? Why am I lazy in my faith? In my relationship with the One who loves me so much? I am a sinner and self-absorbed. I put my needs/wants/desires before His and then wonder why I can't feel His presence; hear Him speak.

I am foolish; but at the same time, by nails in a wooden cross and grace-sweet, sweet, grace-I am forgiven.

Forgiveness! What a beautiful gift that I am not worthy of, but am so grateful for!

{in the prior weeks, I would just sit at the computer and recollect what I was thankful for over the past week. but, since starting Ann's book, I have decided to keep a journal and carry it with me everywhere; writing down my gratefulness as it occurs. since doing this, I have realized just how much I take for granted. writing it down on a regular basis really makes a difference!}


Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time! {#89-#96}
{so, apparently I cannot count because I was 10 off on my counting to 1000! sheesh!}

89. Hearing 'I love you mama" coming from my daughters mouth all day long!
90. Enjoying milkshakes together
91. Springtime colors on petals in February
92. Sun shining through drawn curtains
93. The beauty in a full moon
94. The birth of a sweet friends baby girl
95. Dinner out as a family
96. A new pair of jeans in a smaller size!


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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins {review and giveaway}

When I was offered the opportunity by Tyndale House Publishers to review Jerry B. Jenkins latest novel, The Brotherhood, my reply was "yes, please!". Being a huge fan of his work with the Left Behind Series, I knew this latest novel would not disappoint. Plus, I have been known to sit and watch COPS marathons...you know, just because!



Cover: The BrotherhoodBoone Drake has it made. He’s a young cop rising rapidly through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department. He has a beautiful wife and a young son, a nice starter house, a great partner, and a career plan that should land him in the Organized Crime Division within five years. Everything is going right. Until everything goes horribly, terribly wrong. His personal life destroyed and his career and future in jeopardy, Boone buries himself in guilt and bitterness as his life spirals out of control. But when he comes face-to-face with the most vicious gang leader Chicago has seen in decades, he begins to realize that God is a God of second chances and can change the hardest heart . . . and forgive the worst of crimes. A thought-provoking police thriller from New York Times best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins. {from tyndale}
From the moment this story starts, it is filled with emotion and grabs your attention without any plans of letting go. Boone Drake is faced with an unimaginable tragedy. It threatens to destroy him and a career title that he has worked so hard for. When daily he is reminded of his loss, where will he turn? Family? Friends? His faith? God? Where do we often turn when life just doesn't go as we planned?

This story raises some tough points and answers some great questions as to just why we run from God when times get tough instead of running towards Him for the comfort and advice we need. We are so quick to blame God instead of seeking out His perfect plan in the midst of something tragic.

This story has it all; loss, healing, love, redemption, and grace! I highly recommend this book. It was a blessing to me and though the story is fiction, it rings through with so many truths.

Photo: Jerry B. Jenkins
Author Info: {from back of book} Jerry Jenkins's novels have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal mega-best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times Best Sellers List, including seven that debuted at number one, and also the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best seller lists. He has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine.



Thank you Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book!

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Tyndale House Publishers has so graciously offered one of you the chance to win a copy of this amazing book. Leave a comment here before midnight {EST time} Sunday, February 27th telling me of a book(s) that left a strong impact on your heart. One winner will be chosen at random on Monday, February 28th and announced here on my blog. {please leave a valid email address so I may contact you if you win!}
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But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Day Spent Enjoying the Sun

The sun is shining...and it's such a tease and will not stay...but we cannot resist.
After months of cold and snow and sitting indoors, we embrace the warmth. 
Tying on tennis shoes and grabbing sunglasses, quickly heading out the door.

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Windows down, fresh air blowing around us, smiles giddy with excitment.
We haven't been since September and we have missed it!
Slides and swings are embraced with ease.
How much fun is found in the going of up and down and round and round. 

Friends play and they laugh...oh how they laugh.
Time flies and fun ends and we got just a taste of Spring today that was ever so sweet.
I strap tired ones in the car and decide on one last treat.

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It is on days like today that I am especially grateful to be blessed with this role as mom!
To live carefree and have no schedules to uphold...time being well spent with the tiniest of blessings.
To say 'yes' instead of 'no'.
To sit and enjoy the warm breeze blowing through golden strands of hair.

Just being and laughing and loving under the warm, loving, rays of the Son!

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because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven. ~ Luke 1:78

Thursday, February 17, 2011

{This and That}

I have been having a fabulous week and a half and I wanted to share all the reasonings why with all of you!

First off, I am enjoying this beautiful weather! The sun is shining, the air is warm, and we have been venturing out of the house in less layers. It has been great!

Last week I had the great pleasure of spending some time with both moms. My mom and I spent last Tuesday shopping. I haven't spent a day out shopping in quite some time. Living on a tight budget doesn't always allow for extra spending, but God is so good, and I had a few extra pennies to spare on some amazing bargains!

I can't tell you the last time I bought myself a new anything...clothing related that is! I found, for myself, a sweater, cute blouse for spring, and a pair of jeans, all for $19.00!! To me, that is not half bad! And, I am not one to usually make out on a good deal! So, needless to say, I was a tad excited about this!


PhotobucketOn Wednesday, I ventured out with my mother-in-law to JoAnn's where she bought me a wonderful Singer Sewing Machine as part of my extremely early birthday present. {my b-day is not until May} I had been using my mother's old White sewing machine and needless to say, it just wasn't working as well as it used to. It became frustrating to sew with and I started to put things off just because I dreaded having to use it. Now, though, with my new sewing machine, the possibilities are endless and my mind is reeling with inspiration. "What should I make next? Where can I get some great prices on fabric? Who should I make a quilt for first?" I am giddy with excitement of all the possibilities of cute, useful, fun, things to sew.


PhotobucketPhotobucketNext we get to Saturday where I attended a knitting festival. My first time and most certainly not my   last.  For someone who loves knitting and yarn as much as I do, this festival was pure joy! There were weavers and spinners and dyers and needles and yarn...lots and lots of yarn. Inspiration at every vendors booth. My friends and I had an extremely hard time deciding what to buy and how much of it! I went with projects in mind, so I wouldn't get carried a way...because I most certainly could have! I had been saving for this event since, oh, last year when I first heard about it, but was unable to go. So, I had some money to spend...but not much! The projects I knew I wanted to buy some yummy yarn for were some sweaters/cardigans for my kids. I ended up choosing {after much deliberation and walking back and forth between vendors about 100 times!} some lucious 100% merino wool yarn from Space Cadet Creations.  The prices at all the vendors were pretty much all the same, so I went by color choice and how polite/helpful the seller was when making my final decision. Space Cadet Creations had the friendliest ladies working their booth that I couldn't help but spend my money there. They dealt with all my questions {and I had a few} and their love for the craft really showed. I bought four of the loveliest skeins of wool and cannot wait to start knitting them into something lovely for my children. I, of course, couldn't leave without a new pair of needles. I found some beautiful hand painted needles in a size 7 to add to my ever growing stash.

Skip a few days to this Tuesday. What a refreshing day it was at my MOPS meeting. We haven't met since the first week in January due to weather, so I was excited to see all my lovely mama friends and fellowship with some great Christian women. Afterwards, I went to one of my favorite stores, Half Price Books. I had been wanting to get myself some quilting and knitting pattern books, but at the same time, didn't want to spend a whole bunch on them either. I knew that HPB would have something that I was looking for and they never disappoint. I found both a quilting book and a beginners sweater knitting book with some cute patterns to make some children's sweaters. I can't leave HPB without visiting their clearance section. I usually only find books for the kids, but I made out this time as well. For the kids I got-A Little Prairie House, Winter Days in the Big Woods, Dance at Grandpa's, Summertime in the Big Woods,and How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

Summertime in the Big Woods (My First Little House Books)Dance at Grandpa's (My First Little House)Winter Days in the Big Woods (My First Little House Books)A Little Prairie House (Little House)How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

For myself  I found-Learn to Knit, Kid's Quilts, How to Knit a Love Song, and Mr. Darcy's Daughters, making my grand total $18.

Mr. Darcy's DaughtersHow to Knit a Love Song (Cypress Hollow Yarn, #1)Learn to KnitKids' Quilts

Again, not too bad for 9 books. The Little House Books are going for $7 on amazon, so I definitly got a deal at $1 a piece! Plus, I never knew they even existed. I have the box set of the Little House on the Prairie chapter books from when I was a kid that I am saving for when my kids are a wee bit older, but seeing these cute books for us to enjoy now really made my day! {yeah, i get excited about the littlest things!} And we all know how much I would love to be Laura Ingalls Wilder! Now I am on the hunt for the rest of the My First Little House Books at an amazing price!

We are planning on ending this gorgeous week with a picnic tomorrow at the park with some friends and then another day out with my mom on Friday before the chilly temps return this weekend.

All my rambling just to give you a little peek into some of the fun things that have been going on around here. A glimpse into my little world.

What have you been up to lately?
Any great deals?
Working on any fun projects or reading anything great?


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I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday! {proverbs 6:6-8}

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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. ~ Proverbs 6:6-8

We too often wait for God to show us which way to go next. To give us a sign.  But, like the ant, instead of waitng, we should be doing and trusting.


In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ~ James 2:17
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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Song of Songs

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I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. ~ Song of Solomon 6:3

A few years ago, my pastor suggested a challenge for the married couples of our church to take part in. He had asked us to spend the next week reading Song of Solomon to our spouse. One chapter a night.

I, of course, loved the idea. One of the more romantic books of the Bible, I thought it a wonderful way to spend the next seven nights with my love. 

I actually did all the reading over the course of the next week, while my husband laid next to me, listening intently to the words written so beautifully, so long ago, but so perfect for where we are now.

Reading and soaking in the wisdom that God intended for His bride; His church; Us.

Together.

We soaked in the beautiful, poetic, wisdom that needed to be applied in our own marriage. The love spoken between two lovers longing for each other. The way God intended for it to be.

A beautiful love story written right there in the middle of the Bible.

"Hang my locket around your neck,
wear my ring on your finger.
Love is invincible facing danger and death.
Passion laughs at the terrors of hell.
The fire of love stops at nothing—
it sweeps everything before it.
Flood waters can't drown love,
torrents of rain can't put it out.
Love can't be bought, love can't be sold—
it's not to be found in the marketplace."
~ Song of Solomon 8:6-8 {the message}

I often think about that week and wonder why we have yet to repeat it. We both loved and learned and spoke of it for weeks, telling every married couple we knew to do the same. And I got to thinking,
"this is valentine's week-the week for love. what better way to spend these next seven nights than in God's word, with my lover, reading a beautiful, poetic, love story-the way only God can tell it?"
I'll be curling up tonight with my beloved and the most beautiful of songs and I encourage you to do the same.
The most important thing you can do for your spouse is to pray for them. But, I also believe that reading God's Word with or to your spouse is also just as important! It is an act of love-a beautiful, God-centered, act of love.

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He's one in a million.There's no one quite like him! ~ Song of Solomon 5:10 {the message}

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Definition of Love {multitudes on monday #69-#77}

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love: noun

webster's definition -strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties - an assurance of affection - warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion


God's definition - is patient, is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

May we all desire to love by God's definition not just today, but everyday!


Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time! {#69-#77}

A day out shopping with my mama
Finding AMAZING deals while shopping
A new sewing machine
A kind and loving mother-in-law
Winning a gift card for an upscale salon {one I could never afford on a regular basis} at my MOPS group and getting pampered...for free!
Yarn

A Yarn Festival
Friends who love yarn just as much as I do
A dear friend preparing for the birth of her baby girl after nine years of waiting


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And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jane Austen 2011 Challenge {check-in #2}

Can you believe it is February already?
I surely can't! But, I have to say, as much as I love winter, {yes, you heard that right!}, I am happy that Spring is right around the corner.
Nothing spells out a perfect day better than a soft quilt, a shaded tree, a cool breeze and a book...one by Jane Austen, perhaps?

I have heard from some of you that you have already read and enjoyed a few of Jane Austen's works. But what about the rest of you? How's it going?

I would love to hear how everyone is doing. What have you read and enjoyed? Has anyone ventured into any of the inspired works?

Comment below letting me know what you've enjoyed. If you are a blogger and have any reviews written about the books you've read, leave the link in your comment as well.

And, for fun, I'd thought I'd stick in a clip of one of Jane's more popular books, Pride and Prejudice.




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Remember to stop back next month when we will have our first Jane Austen 2011 Challenge Giveaway!! You don't want to miss it!


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As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. ~ Psalm 42:1

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Wanting to be Laura Ingalls Wilder

Do you ever wish you lived in another era? A time when, maybe, things were a little simpler? When people didn't seem to rush so much and family time was top priority on everyone's list.

A world where women were expected to stay home and take care of the kids as well as tend to the needs of the household.

A time when large families were considered a blessing and weren't questioned or looked down upon.

I do all. the. time.

To live at the Little House on the Prairie, or be one of the Little Women.

To create from scratch; from worn, tired, hands. To knit love and stitch together warmth.

Where books were enough entertainment for an evening of imagination.

In a world centered around media and being connected all of the time, it can be hard to get back to being simple; to a simpler life.

I often think that they...



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...may have it all right!

I want this for my little family. A closeness that surpasses all else. Creativity and dreaming taking place in my childrens lives without the aid of anything media related.

I often imagine us on a little farm, with sheep, chickens, and goats running all around. {a horse or two would be nice as well!} My kids playing in the fields among the grass and trees for hours. Hanging our clothes out on the line to dry in the warm sun. Staying home and loving it.

May sound "cheesy" to some, but this has been a dream of mine for a long time. And, there is nothing wrong with a dream, right?

This is my prayer as we continue on this next step of our journey together. That we may have the desires of our heart. {Psalm 37:4}

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." ~ Matthew 7:7

I'm asking, Lord, for your will to be done.
I am seeking out the right path to take.
I am praying that as I knock, all doors will be opened unto us!
and I am loving and trusting you!


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Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday {Proverbs 2:11}

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Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. ~ Proverbs 2:11

I receive daily verses sent directly to my inbox from The Daily Bible Verse. I love it! God's Word in my inbox!
This particular verse was sent to me a few weeks ago and I can't explain it, or sum it up, in how it relates to daily life, better than they did. So, I am just going to quote them instead of trying!


"This proverb can be a pillar of sanity in a day of hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. As much as these medias call connections friends, we can’t be all things to all people. Discretion protects us by giving us permission to have boundaries about how much people SHOULD know about us. Saying “no” to the demands of an information age can be an act of courage. We all need people that we can open up to, but the Scripture tells us to choose those people wisely. This understanding will guard you from the anxieties of too much information given to too many people."

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Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. ~ Psalm 97:10

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{trust}

In the stillness, you will find it.
Silence-and you will hear it.

I have been searching for clarity and direction when in reality I should have been learning to trust.

Trusting in the One who has my life perfectly planned. {Jeremiah 29:11}

If I trust in Him and in Him alone, then everything will already have been clear to start with, right? No need to seek out clarity and direction.

But, why am I lacking in trust? Why is it so hard to trust in Him?

Is it because I can't see Him? But, I do...in the eyes of my children and in the smile of my husband. I see Him at work in their lives and therefore in mine!

But, that is not enough.

He is the creator of the universe. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt; sent a ram in place of Abraham's son; gave Noah the ark and the promise of the rainbow. He sent His only Son to die for me!

But, trust Him? How can I?

How can I be sure that it will all work out?

When will the worry stop?

When will His desires become my desires? {and not me wanting it the other way around!}

When will I just learn to trust!

When I sit in stillness and seek Him.
When it's silent and I learn to listen.


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The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. ~ Deuteronomy 1:30-33

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Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. ~ Psalm 9:10

Monday, February 7, 2011

{morning} multitudes on mondays #59-#68

Sunlight slowly begins to creep through our window.
It's early as he leans over and soflty kisses my cheek before heading down the stairs and out the door.
Little man begins to stir beside me and I know it's time to leave the warmth and comfort of this bed and rise.
My sweet little girl is still snuggled in her bed as I peek in on her. Beauty, sleeping.
I turn the coffee on, start breakfast, and proceed to think about my day.
Laundry, cleaning, cooking, playing, are all on the list for the day; everyday.
But right now, it's morning. And that means snuggles and stretches and wiping the sleepy away from our eyes. Him, her, and I.
The three of us enjoying a little morning bliss.

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Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time {#59-#68}

Kind Words
A good recipe
A wonderful movie
Christian realtors
Soft, warm, wool, socks! {love!}
Hearing God speak to me through K-LOVE {love, love, LOVE, K-LOVE!!}
Knowing the return of Spring is right around the corner
A husband who gives so selflessly
A mother who is always willing to help




 
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May you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. ~ Colossians 1:11-12

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Mother's Hands {multitudes on monday #97-#103}

It's late and I am pulling thread through stitch creating a little girl's best friend. It's finally starting to look like something, this doll. The arms and legs are now attached to the lonesome head and I am starting to fall in love with this friend I have created.

I'm tired; it's much later than I am used to staying up, but this needs to get finished and I want to finish it now, but decide that the eyes, mouth, nose, and hair can wait for another day. I put these tired hands to rest and save the creating for tomorrow's a new day.

::

He awakes, still, in the quiet of the night, wanting to be comforted. I reach in and pick him up with hands so loving. We embrace and I carry him, humming and whispering sweet prayers of comfort into his soft little ears. "Jesus loves you, buddy and everything is alright. Mommy and daddy are in the next room and you are just fine. Now go to sleep. I love you." All the while caressing his back, his soft head.

I'm tired and my body craves the for me to return to the sweet slumber I had just left, but right now, he needs me and these mama hands providing him with comfort and security before he can return soundly back to sleep.

::

He holds my hands as we sit in church, listening to the words of a faithful, honest, pastor. Caressing it with his thumb, I feel the love just in the small of holding his hand.

I take those same hands and make meals and wash clothes and clean house, all in love for the family I have been blessed with.

::

Mamas hands do so much. They create, they comfort, they heal, they lead, they love. They fold together in fervent prayer for the ones He has given us to care for. Praying everyday for their protection; their faith and that their souls remain in one with Him.

I was blessed with this set of mamas hands. They are worn and tired, but they are not yet done creating and comforting and especially loving all that He has given to me and all that He may continue to give.

God said, " It is not good for the Man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion." ~ Genesis 2:18


Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time {#97-#103}
97. A pastor who is not afraid to preach the absolute truth
98. Holding precious, new, life
99. Chocolate
100. Mommy/daughter days
101. A healthy, homemade, yummy lunch
102. The eyes of the Lord always watching over me
103. My daughter making sure I am ok and "comfy" when I am just not feeling so good
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gaining a Heart of Wisdom {Psalm 90:12}

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Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

I have been talking about time this week and how I am such a poor manager of my own. This verse fits right in so beautifully...
 
Lord, may I gain a heart full of wisdom by spending more time with You and in Your word! Amen.
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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time {multitudes on monday #89-#96}

Some books are meant to be devoured all in one sitting. Some take a little longer to get through because of their size or content. And still some are meant to sit and savor. To take in every last word of wisdom and let it simmer within your soul. That is how I feel about Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. {if you have not yet ordered this book, go.get.it.now! :) }

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I started reading this book at the beginning of February as part of (in)courage's bloom book club. I am following along with the club and reading it slowly. Taking in all that I can. Allowing for her open heart to speak to mine. I am only on chapter 6 of the book and already so much has been revealed to me about my own life and faith.

One particular paragraph hit me hard; so hard that I re-wrote it and have the note card hanging where I can see it on a daily basis.

I fill the sink with the circle of bowl, and batter floats up in suds. I wash. I see my reflection in the stainless of the tap. I know you, those seeking eyes. You're the one in dire need of time, that thing we can't buy, what we sell of ourselves to get more of what we think we want, what we sacrifice to seemingly gain. They say time is money, but that's not true. Time is life. And if I want the fullest life, I need to find the fullest time. I wipe a water spot off the tap; there is a reflection of me. Oh yes, I know you, the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life. I'm the face grieving.
God gives us time.  And who has time for God?
Which makes no sense.
{One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, pg 64}

And it's true, right, that it "make no sense"? We I make time for everything else, but yet my prayer life and devotional life are often forgotten; put on the 'back-burner' and left for another time. A time, that more often than not, never comes.

Why do I do this? Why am I lazy in my faith? In my relationship with the One who loves me so much? I am a sinner and self-absorbed. I put my needs/wants/desires before His and then wonder why I can't feel His presence; hear Him speak.

I am foolish; but at the same time, by nails in a wooden cross and grace-sweet, sweet, grace-I am forgiven.

Forgiveness! What a beautiful gift that I am not worthy of, but am so grateful for!

{in the prior weeks, I would just sit at the computer and recollect what I was thankful for over the past week. but, since starting Ann's book, I have decided to keep a journal and carry it with me everywhere; writing down my gratefulness as it occurs. since doing this, I have realized just how much I take for granted. writing it down on a regular basis really makes a difference!}


Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time! {#89-#96}
{so, apparently I cannot count because I was 10 off on my counting to 1000! sheesh!}

89. Hearing 'I love you mama" coming from my daughters mouth all day long!
90. Enjoying milkshakes together
91. Springtime colors on petals in February
92. Sun shining through drawn curtains
93. The beauty in a full moon
94. The birth of a sweet friends baby girl
95. Dinner out as a family
96. A new pair of jeans in a smaller size!


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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9

The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins {review and giveaway}

When I was offered the opportunity by Tyndale House Publishers to review Jerry B. Jenkins latest novel, The Brotherhood, my reply was "yes, please!". Being a huge fan of his work with the Left Behind Series, I knew this latest novel would not disappoint. Plus, I have been known to sit and watch COPS marathons...you know, just because!



Cover: The BrotherhoodBoone Drake has it made. He’s a young cop rising rapidly through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department. He has a beautiful wife and a young son, a nice starter house, a great partner, and a career plan that should land him in the Organized Crime Division within five years. Everything is going right. Until everything goes horribly, terribly wrong. His personal life destroyed and his career and future in jeopardy, Boone buries himself in guilt and bitterness as his life spirals out of control. But when he comes face-to-face with the most vicious gang leader Chicago has seen in decades, he begins to realize that God is a God of second chances and can change the hardest heart . . . and forgive the worst of crimes. A thought-provoking police thriller from New York Times best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins. {from tyndale}
From the moment this story starts, it is filled with emotion and grabs your attention without any plans of letting go. Boone Drake is faced with an unimaginable tragedy. It threatens to destroy him and a career title that he has worked so hard for. When daily he is reminded of his loss, where will he turn? Family? Friends? His faith? God? Where do we often turn when life just doesn't go as we planned?

This story raises some tough points and answers some great questions as to just why we run from God when times get tough instead of running towards Him for the comfort and advice we need. We are so quick to blame God instead of seeking out His perfect plan in the midst of something tragic.

This story has it all; loss, healing, love, redemption, and grace! I highly recommend this book. It was a blessing to me and though the story is fiction, it rings through with so many truths.

Photo: Jerry B. Jenkins
Author Info: {from back of book} Jerry Jenkins's novels have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal mega-best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times Best Sellers List, including seven that debuted at number one, and also the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best seller lists. He has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine.



Thank you Tyndale House Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book!

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Tyndale House Publishers has so graciously offered one of you the chance to win a copy of this amazing book. Leave a comment here before midnight {EST time} Sunday, February 27th telling me of a book(s) that left a strong impact on your heart. One winner will be chosen at random on Monday, February 28th and announced here on my blog. {please leave a valid email address so I may contact you if you win!}
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But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Day Spent Enjoying the Sun

The sun is shining...and it's such a tease and will not stay...but we cannot resist.
After months of cold and snow and sitting indoors, we embrace the warmth. 
Tying on tennis shoes and grabbing sunglasses, quickly heading out the door.

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Windows down, fresh air blowing around us, smiles giddy with excitment.
We haven't been since September and we have missed it!
Slides and swings are embraced with ease.
How much fun is found in the going of up and down and round and round. 

Friends play and they laugh...oh how they laugh.
Time flies and fun ends and we got just a taste of Spring today that was ever so sweet.
I strap tired ones in the car and decide on one last treat.

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It is on days like today that I am especially grateful to be blessed with this role as mom!
To live carefree and have no schedules to uphold...time being well spent with the tiniest of blessings.
To say 'yes' instead of 'no'.
To sit and enjoy the warm breeze blowing through golden strands of hair.

Just being and laughing and loving under the warm, loving, rays of the Son!

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because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven. ~ Luke 1:78

Thursday, February 17, 2011

{This and That}

I have been having a fabulous week and a half and I wanted to share all the reasonings why with all of you!

First off, I am enjoying this beautiful weather! The sun is shining, the air is warm, and we have been venturing out of the house in less layers. It has been great!

Last week I had the great pleasure of spending some time with both moms. My mom and I spent last Tuesday shopping. I haven't spent a day out shopping in quite some time. Living on a tight budget doesn't always allow for extra spending, but God is so good, and I had a few extra pennies to spare on some amazing bargains!

I can't tell you the last time I bought myself a new anything...clothing related that is! I found, for myself, a sweater, cute blouse for spring, and a pair of jeans, all for $19.00!! To me, that is not half bad! And, I am not one to usually make out on a good deal! So, needless to say, I was a tad excited about this!


PhotobucketOn Wednesday, I ventured out with my mother-in-law to JoAnn's where she bought me a wonderful Singer Sewing Machine as part of my extremely early birthday present. {my b-day is not until May} I had been using my mother's old White sewing machine and needless to say, it just wasn't working as well as it used to. It became frustrating to sew with and I started to put things off just because I dreaded having to use it. Now, though, with my new sewing machine, the possibilities are endless and my mind is reeling with inspiration. "What should I make next? Where can I get some great prices on fabric? Who should I make a quilt for first?" I am giddy with excitement of all the possibilities of cute, useful, fun, things to sew.


PhotobucketPhotobucketNext we get to Saturday where I attended a knitting festival. My first time and most certainly not my   last.  For someone who loves knitting and yarn as much as I do, this festival was pure joy! There were weavers and spinners and dyers and needles and yarn...lots and lots of yarn. Inspiration at every vendors booth. My friends and I had an extremely hard time deciding what to buy and how much of it! I went with projects in mind, so I wouldn't get carried a way...because I most certainly could have! I had been saving for this event since, oh, last year when I first heard about it, but was unable to go. So, I had some money to spend...but not much! The projects I knew I wanted to buy some yummy yarn for were some sweaters/cardigans for my kids. I ended up choosing {after much deliberation and walking back and forth between vendors about 100 times!} some lucious 100% merino wool yarn from Space Cadet Creations.  The prices at all the vendors were pretty much all the same, so I went by color choice and how polite/helpful the seller was when making my final decision. Space Cadet Creations had the friendliest ladies working their booth that I couldn't help but spend my money there. They dealt with all my questions {and I had a few} and their love for the craft really showed. I bought four of the loveliest skeins of wool and cannot wait to start knitting them into something lovely for my children. I, of course, couldn't leave without a new pair of needles. I found some beautiful hand painted needles in a size 7 to add to my ever growing stash.

Skip a few days to this Tuesday. What a refreshing day it was at my MOPS meeting. We haven't met since the first week in January due to weather, so I was excited to see all my lovely mama friends and fellowship with some great Christian women. Afterwards, I went to one of my favorite stores, Half Price Books. I had been wanting to get myself some quilting and knitting pattern books, but at the same time, didn't want to spend a whole bunch on them either. I knew that HPB would have something that I was looking for and they never disappoint. I found both a quilting book and a beginners sweater knitting book with some cute patterns to make some children's sweaters. I can't leave HPB without visiting their clearance section. I usually only find books for the kids, but I made out this time as well. For the kids I got-A Little Prairie House, Winter Days in the Big Woods, Dance at Grandpa's, Summertime in the Big Woods,and How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

Summertime in the Big Woods (My First Little House Books)Dance at Grandpa's (My First Little House)Winter Days in the Big Woods (My First Little House Books)A Little Prairie House (Little House)How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

For myself  I found-Learn to Knit, Kid's Quilts, How to Knit a Love Song, and Mr. Darcy's Daughters, making my grand total $18.

Mr. Darcy's DaughtersHow to Knit a Love Song (Cypress Hollow Yarn, #1)Learn to KnitKids' Quilts

Again, not too bad for 9 books. The Little House Books are going for $7 on amazon, so I definitly got a deal at $1 a piece! Plus, I never knew they even existed. I have the box set of the Little House on the Prairie chapter books from when I was a kid that I am saving for when my kids are a wee bit older, but seeing these cute books for us to enjoy now really made my day! {yeah, i get excited about the littlest things!} And we all know how much I would love to be Laura Ingalls Wilder! Now I am on the hunt for the rest of the My First Little House Books at an amazing price!

We are planning on ending this gorgeous week with a picnic tomorrow at the park with some friends and then another day out with my mom on Friday before the chilly temps return this weekend.

All my rambling just to give you a little peek into some of the fun things that have been going on around here. A glimpse into my little world.

What have you been up to lately?
Any great deals?
Working on any fun projects or reading anything great?


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I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday! {proverbs 6:6-8}

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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. ~ Proverbs 6:6-8

We too often wait for God to show us which way to go next. To give us a sign.  But, like the ant, instead of waitng, we should be doing and trusting.


In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ~ James 2:17
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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Song of Songs

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I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. ~ Song of Solomon 6:3

A few years ago, my pastor suggested a challenge for the married couples of our church to take part in. He had asked us to spend the next week reading Song of Solomon to our spouse. One chapter a night.

I, of course, loved the idea. One of the more romantic books of the Bible, I thought it a wonderful way to spend the next seven nights with my love. 

I actually did all the reading over the course of the next week, while my husband laid next to me, listening intently to the words written so beautifully, so long ago, but so perfect for where we are now.

Reading and soaking in the wisdom that God intended for His bride; His church; Us.

Together.

We soaked in the beautiful, poetic, wisdom that needed to be applied in our own marriage. The love spoken between two lovers longing for each other. The way God intended for it to be.

A beautiful love story written right there in the middle of the Bible.

"Hang my locket around your neck,
wear my ring on your finger.
Love is invincible facing danger and death.
Passion laughs at the terrors of hell.
The fire of love stops at nothing—
it sweeps everything before it.
Flood waters can't drown love,
torrents of rain can't put it out.
Love can't be bought, love can't be sold—
it's not to be found in the marketplace."
~ Song of Solomon 8:6-8 {the message}

I often think about that week and wonder why we have yet to repeat it. We both loved and learned and spoke of it for weeks, telling every married couple we knew to do the same. And I got to thinking,
"this is valentine's week-the week for love. what better way to spend these next seven nights than in God's word, with my lover, reading a beautiful, poetic, love story-the way only God can tell it?"
I'll be curling up tonight with my beloved and the most beautiful of songs and I encourage you to do the same.
The most important thing you can do for your spouse is to pray for them. But, I also believe that reading God's Word with or to your spouse is also just as important! It is an act of love-a beautiful, God-centered, act of love.

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He's one in a million.There's no one quite like him! ~ Song of Solomon 5:10 {the message}

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Definition of Love {multitudes on monday #69-#77}

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love: noun

webster's definition -strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties - an assurance of affection - warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion


God's definition - is patient, is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

May we all desire to love by God's definition not just today, but everyday!


Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time! {#69-#77}

A day out shopping with my mama
Finding AMAZING deals while shopping
A new sewing machine
A kind and loving mother-in-law
Winning a gift card for an upscale salon {one I could never afford on a regular basis} at my MOPS group and getting pampered...for free!
Yarn

A Yarn Festival
Friends who love yarn just as much as I do
A dear friend preparing for the birth of her baby girl after nine years of waiting


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And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jane Austen 2011 Challenge {check-in #2}

Can you believe it is February already?
I surely can't! But, I have to say, as much as I love winter, {yes, you heard that right!}, I am happy that Spring is right around the corner.
Nothing spells out a perfect day better than a soft quilt, a shaded tree, a cool breeze and a book...one by Jane Austen, perhaps?

I have heard from some of you that you have already read and enjoyed a few of Jane Austen's works. But what about the rest of you? How's it going?

I would love to hear how everyone is doing. What have you read and enjoyed? Has anyone ventured into any of the inspired works?

Comment below letting me know what you've enjoyed. If you are a blogger and have any reviews written about the books you've read, leave the link in your comment as well.

And, for fun, I'd thought I'd stick in a clip of one of Jane's more popular books, Pride and Prejudice.




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Remember to stop back next month when we will have our first Jane Austen 2011 Challenge Giveaway!! You don't want to miss it!


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As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. ~ Psalm 42:1

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Wanting to be Laura Ingalls Wilder

Do you ever wish you lived in another era? A time when, maybe, things were a little simpler? When people didn't seem to rush so much and family time was top priority on everyone's list.

A world where women were expected to stay home and take care of the kids as well as tend to the needs of the household.

A time when large families were considered a blessing and weren't questioned or looked down upon.

I do all. the. time.

To live at the Little House on the Prairie, or be one of the Little Women.

To create from scratch; from worn, tired, hands. To knit love and stitch together warmth.

Where books were enough entertainment for an evening of imagination.

In a world centered around media and being connected all of the time, it can be hard to get back to being simple; to a simpler life.

I often think that they...



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...may have it all right!

I want this for my little family. A closeness that surpasses all else. Creativity and dreaming taking place in my childrens lives without the aid of anything media related.

I often imagine us on a little farm, with sheep, chickens, and goats running all around. {a horse or two would be nice as well!} My kids playing in the fields among the grass and trees for hours. Hanging our clothes out on the line to dry in the warm sun. Staying home and loving it.

May sound "cheesy" to some, but this has been a dream of mine for a long time. And, there is nothing wrong with a dream, right?

This is my prayer as we continue on this next step of our journey together. That we may have the desires of our heart. {Psalm 37:4}

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." ~ Matthew 7:7

I'm asking, Lord, for your will to be done.
I am seeking out the right path to take.
I am praying that as I knock, all doors will be opened unto us!
and I am loving and trusting you!


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Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday {Proverbs 2:11}

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Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. ~ Proverbs 2:11

I receive daily verses sent directly to my inbox from The Daily Bible Verse. I love it! God's Word in my inbox!
This particular verse was sent to me a few weeks ago and I can't explain it, or sum it up, in how it relates to daily life, better than they did. So, I am just going to quote them instead of trying!


"This proverb can be a pillar of sanity in a day of hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. As much as these medias call connections friends, we can’t be all things to all people. Discretion protects us by giving us permission to have boundaries about how much people SHOULD know about us. Saying “no” to the demands of an information age can be an act of courage. We all need people that we can open up to, but the Scripture tells us to choose those people wisely. This understanding will guard you from the anxieties of too much information given to too many people."

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Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. ~ Psalm 97:10

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{trust}

In the stillness, you will find it.
Silence-and you will hear it.

I have been searching for clarity and direction when in reality I should have been learning to trust.

Trusting in the One who has my life perfectly planned. {Jeremiah 29:11}

If I trust in Him and in Him alone, then everything will already have been clear to start with, right? No need to seek out clarity and direction.

But, why am I lacking in trust? Why is it so hard to trust in Him?

Is it because I can't see Him? But, I do...in the eyes of my children and in the smile of my husband. I see Him at work in their lives and therefore in mine!

But, that is not enough.

He is the creator of the universe. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt; sent a ram in place of Abraham's son; gave Noah the ark and the promise of the rainbow. He sent His only Son to die for me!

But, trust Him? How can I?

How can I be sure that it will all work out?

When will the worry stop?

When will His desires become my desires? {and not me wanting it the other way around!}

When will I just learn to trust!

When I sit in stillness and seek Him.
When it's silent and I learn to listen.


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The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. ~ Deuteronomy 1:30-33

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Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. ~ Psalm 9:10

Monday, February 7, 2011

{morning} multitudes on mondays #59-#68

Sunlight slowly begins to creep through our window.
It's early as he leans over and soflty kisses my cheek before heading down the stairs and out the door.
Little man begins to stir beside me and I know it's time to leave the warmth and comfort of this bed and rise.
My sweet little girl is still snuggled in her bed as I peek in on her. Beauty, sleeping.
I turn the coffee on, start breakfast, and proceed to think about my day.
Laundry, cleaning, cooking, playing, are all on the list for the day; everyday.
But right now, it's morning. And that means snuggles and stretches and wiping the sleepy away from our eyes. Him, her, and I.
The three of us enjoying a little morning bliss.

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Counting down my Gratefulness one Blessing at a time {#59-#68}

Kind Words
A good recipe
A wonderful movie
Christian realtors
Soft, warm, wool, socks! {love!}
Hearing God speak to me through K-LOVE {love, love, LOVE, K-LOVE!!}
Knowing the return of Spring is right around the corner
A husband who gives so selflessly
A mother who is always willing to help




 
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May you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. ~ Colossians 1:11-12
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