Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Judgement or Grace

Sally Clarkson is an author I have grown to really appreciate.  If you are a mom, I highly recommend her books to you.  Any of them!

You can get a little preview of her writing and her heart in this great post on her blog.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Parking lot encounter

Just got back from a night time grocery shopping trip.  I almost always do my grocery shopping at night, since I don't have access to a car during the day.  I look around and pay close attention to what is happening in the parking lot.  I tend to be pretty cautious (read, paranoid) about being alone at night or in remote places no matter what time of day it is.

So, back to tonight... I was putting my groceries into the car when 2 tall teenage boys approached me suddenly.  "Do you have any change for me and my brother to get some food?"  "No, sorry, I don't."  And they skated off.  I usually don't carry any cash, but tonight I had a little.  Or I could have given them some of the food I just bought.  Or taken them into the store and bought what they wanted.

But, I tell myself, I did the right thing.  The safe thing.  They probably just wanted cash to buy something I wouldn't want to support.  And my heart answers, "But what if?"  What if they really were hungry?  What if they really did need help?  What if those were my kids?  How would I want a stranger to respond to them?  What would be the best response in a situation like this?

It is important to be safe, yes.  But my heart just isn't satisfied by that answer.  How I wish I could read into the minds or hearts of those I encounter in situations like this.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One hundred

This is my one hundredth post!  A list of 100 seems appropriate.  So here I go... hope you don't get too bored.

100 things I am thankful for:  (in no particular order)

1. water from the faucet, safe to drink
2. listening to my daughter's voice as she reads
3. the joy and adventure of imagination
4. warmth of the sun on my cheeks
5. clean, soft sheets
6. flapping wings, chickens running through the yard
7. bare feet on cool tile
8. a home to live in, learn in, breath in, grow in
9. my husband's loving words, kind eyes
10. warm showers
11. the blessing of food to feed hungry little tummies, and big ones too
12. two hands, able to accomplish all my chores
13. spiders, surprising me with their unexpected hiding spots
14. fruit smoothies
15. kids with lots to say
16. little legs running fast
17. watching cousins play
18. second chances
19. memories
20. libraries full of books
21. my son, so full of joy and enthusiasm
22. the sky, robin's egg blue with wispy white clouds
23. freedom
24. forgiveness
25. friendship
26. family
27. laughter
28. soft butter on homemade cinnamon-raisin bread
29. nap time
30. powerful hymns
31. leaves blowing in the wind
32. brightly colored butterflies
33. hum of hummingbird wings
34. a cat's slowly blinking eyes
35. kids, fascinated by simple things
36. hugs
37. tender kisses from my darling
38. rainbows
39. God's promises
40. friendly service in tiny towns
41. meaningful conversations
42. meeting new babies
43. time with "old" friends, and all friends
44. last minute plans
45. kids learning new skills
46. time to think
47. clean floors
48. choices
49. watching my kids treat each other with kindness and thoughtfulness
50. our yard, space for the kids to run and explore
51. prayer
52. hearing God's voice
53. watching the kids' excitement over life's small pleasures
54. chocolate ice cream
55. warm days at the beach
56. splashing in the waves
57. attending church as a family
58. unexpected sightings, llamas walking down our street
59. tea parties
60. gardening
61. hiking with my family
62. dusty shoes from a path worth hiking
63. spending quality time, not money
64. studying history
65. collecting and eating fresh eggs
66. sweet thank you note received in the mail
67. taking time to be grateful
68. a house so quiet that I hear the clock ticking
69. folding small clothes, some pink and some blue
70. Charlotte (the chicken) announcing to the world that she just laid an egg
71. curious children, excited to learn and explore
72. teaching my kids about Jesus in all aspects of our day
73. home school
74. gentle reminders from God
75. walking and running 5 miles, a feeling of accomplishment
76. new Playdoh
77. looking up words in a dictionary
78. the end results of difficult conversations
79. art projects with the kids
80. the Bible, God's word, medicine to my heart
81. my kids and husband!  Oh, how I love them!
82. headache free days
83. beautiful sunset colors, orange, pink, and purple
84. the moon, glowing in the clouds
85. little ones, still small enough to hold and rock in my arms
86. words of love, making little eyes smile and glow
87. sheets full of holes, reminding me to be content and thankful
88. loudly purring cats
89. access to healthcare
90. hope and grace
91. relaxing yoga
92. puzzles
93. singing songs about Jesus with my kids
94. pond refilled by rain, swimming ducks
95. advice from friends
96. turkey vultures and hawks soaring in the sky
97. homemade spinach lasagna
98. memorizing Bible verses with the kids
99. smiles
100. picnic lunches

Thank you, God, for all these blessings in my life!