Monday, October 31, 2011

why be thankful?

I just read this quote in a book I'm reading chapter by chapter whenever I have time, called The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink. I started out reading the chapter titled "The Knowledge of God" and have skipped around from there reading both "The Faithfulness of God" and most recently "The Goodness of God" where I found this quote...

"'O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men' (Ps. 107:8). Gratitude is the return justly required from the objects of His beneficence; yet it is often withheld from our great Benefactor simply because His goodness is so constant and so abundant. It is lightly esteemed because it is exercised toward us in the common course of events. It is not felt because we daily experience it." from The Attributes of God, page 60

This seemed like a very timely chapter for me as I seek to be more aware of God's abundant goodness to me. Join me in thanking Him as "we daily experience it", both big and small. If you're looking for a brief book to read in addition to Bible Study I'd highly suggest this one, each chapter is about 2-3 pages long and full of material to lead your thoughts to the greatness of God in His infinite perfections.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

grace upon grace

81. the Word which provides us with more than enough spiritual food and "does not return void"
82. baskets of clean laundry
83. the feeling of starting a fresh week
84. visits from far away family

85. the generosity of others
86. the Lord's work on behalf of His people, even using unbelievers in accordance to His plans
87. eating brunch out at a yummy place, Wild Eggs, for my Louisville readers :)
89. sharing meals with Matt, our choices are great compliments to the other's preferences, and then there's more to taste
90. apple cider with extra spices to make it extra good
91. roasting a pumpkin whole for the real pumpkin puree
92. pumpkin bread for my husband, the farmer who gave us the pumpkin, the church member who let us fish in his pond, and our family visiting next weekend
93. Moriah's first fishing trip in the midst of a lovely fall day, beautiful property, and her grandpa too!
94. catching two little fish, a nice reward for the leisurely "work" of casting, reeling, and hoping
95. unexpected chili, sandwiches, and chocolate cake from kind people
96. great blue herons, so majestic to me
97. wild turkeys
98. a buck on a hill top with the sun shining behind him and fall trees in the background
99. crunching leaves under our stroller on a walk
100. excitement from baby girls, coming in the form of squeals and smiles

101. peanut butter m&m's, glad my dad shared his sweet tooth with me!
102. Rotel queso, reminds me of many college dorm nights... not a healthy snack every day, but a funny recollection now
103. Monday off work, makes recovery from the weekend possible
104. a husband who listens, thinks seriously, and shares with wisdom

105. church members joyfully giving to our first Operation Christmas Child collection
106. the Lords conviction, leading us to be more like Christ
107. lives that are changed and set apart by Him, for His glory
108. answered prayers in healthy pregnancies of friends who've longed and trusted God for His plans
109. Graeter's ice cream, "some of the best you've ever had... I promise" has been told to too many family members over the last four years in Louisville
110. just enough time to get out the door and on our way, even when the atomic clock changed earlier than scheduled for daylight savings time
111. bows on baby girls

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

more to be thankful for

61. a husband who accompanies me gladly on nanny overnights
62. an employer who lets us use her washing machine/dryer during the workday for Moriah's laundry (saves our quarters!)
63. a good morning with a happy three year old
64. the joy I watch from combine harvesters, cherry pickers, cement trucks, and other large vehicles while on the road with a little guy
65. a mellow baby girl to care for
66. working out with kind ladies who all desire to glorify the Lord with our bodies in the midst of a full life aside from "Mommy and Me" hour at the gym :)
67. the changing sounds of little babies as they learn all it means to talk! sing-songy gurggles are music to my ears
68. wild red curls on my baby girl's head... called "mad girls" by a teenage cashier when we were out and about one day, made me laugh a lot
69. meals that make plenty so that we have a week of freezer dinners already on hand
70. pacifiers to help soothe little ones in a pinch
71. beautiful autumn weather for playing at a park and spending time outside before cold winter air arrives to stay
72. preparing for a guest in the form of my dad coming to stay for a long weekend!
73. cleaning out a disheveled closet and enjoying the satisfaction of visible change
74. watching my husband grow in trusting the Lord each day while clinging to His Word, so thankful for his leadership
75. timely encouragement straight from the Word and food for thought from my counselor/friend
76. catching spit up early... not always a success!
77. sleeping through the night, Moriah's on the mend without such a runny nose to wake her up
78. going to bed early
79. a free gym and exercise class - back to #66
80. more welcoming friends in a community group over a pot-luck meal/feast!

Friday, October 21, 2011

life and life abundant

51. the Lord's power, most obvious through His Word and the Holy Spirit, which changes my perspective and values to be more like His, all for His glory and my joy
52. creation's interdependence, as I heard birds chirping in the trees I noticed the perfectly timed berries growing to fill their tummies, if He cares for them how much more does He care for us
53. consignment stores in abundance here, perfect for virtually all of Moriah's wardrobe needs
54. thoughtful and generous friends
55. my ring sling carrier which allows me to tote Moriah around while letting me remain free to use both hands for carrying a laundry basket or pushing a vacuum!
56. the recipe for a sparkling sink: clorox and hot water soaking for an hour, scrubbing with baking soda, rinsing clean, then a quick spray of Windex for shine
57. a much needed and very restful morning with a sweet girl, pajamas, breakfast, and books on the couch cuddled with a blanket - can't beat it :)
58. God's grace providing tenderness all night long while caring for a sick little one
59. humble teachers
60. friendly faces I recognize out and about, things like this make me feel at home in a funny sort of way

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

more of His goodness

26. slow starts on weekend mornings
27. spontaneous but intentional kisses from a baby girl
28. friends, to reconnect with whenever I'm given the chance!
29. rejoicing in the blessings of others, like a recent engagement of a dear friend :)
30. the best chocolate chip cookies thanks to a circulating "secret" recipe! (hint... bananas not eggs)
31. the comfort of pajamas
32. the wisdom of many compiled in stacks of great books
33. opportunities to teach my daughter bits of self-control even from a young age, with hope that she will ultimately surrender her will to the Lord
34. a job which gives me opportunities to remember Christ's words and purposes in molding us as we serve others
35. tucking my baby girl into bed with a blanket I made just for her
36. the simple fun of a pumpkin patch with tractors of course! (and little boys in tow)
37. friendship found in lots of places
38. play dough in little hands
39. a husband who is my best friend
40. a kind guard dog, who is actually just a Golden Retriever (on duty as I nanny overnight away from home!)
41. a mild mannered daughter (a specific answer to many prayers for a "peaceful" baby!)
42. organized exercise as infrequent as it may be
43. crock pot dinners
44. generous giving which blessed us (a kind church member gave us cash to go out to eat!)
45. the yummy lunch we enjoyed as a result of #45
46. eyes that are opened to the providence of God as a result of greater dependence and need
47. home (that means a lot, but to explain seems to rob it all)
48. fellowship with Believers who you just met, no other sort of "instant" friendship can be found
49. recognizing God at work, changing me through conviction and a deep desire to repent in a fresh way
50. elated laughter from my baby girl, especially when it comes as she's loving time with her wonderful daddy

Friday, October 14, 2011

a thankful heart

Lately, I've been meeting with a Godly woman for the encouragement that comes from wise counsel. The Lord has been very good and very near in His timing during this new opportunity and blessing in my walk of faith. After our meetings, I'm sent away with helpful "homework" to keep my focus upon the Lord and the things He's teaching me. One of my recent assignments was to begin a thankful list in keeping with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I'm also reminded of James 1:17, stating "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." Throughout Scripture we are exhorted to be a thankful people, and to remember the Lord, and His work among us. I hope this list will communicate in a simple way my desire to glorify Him as I enjoy Him in daily life. This blog, A Holy Experience, by Ann Voskamp was the beginning of such lists for many, and is also greatly glorifying to the Lord.

As a side note, I'm often tempted to liken these lists to a favorite tear off calendar I used to buy year in and year out... "1,001 things to be happy about" it was called I think?! While I really enjoyed the calendar and found many uses for those pages (some involved being an RA in my dorm during college, others involved letters to friends, etc.), they weren't aimed toward praising God as the giver of all. Though my list may have many mundane and simple joys, I pray that it will be apparent that the Lord grants each blessing, and I'm thankful to see Him pointing me towards eternity in these joys.

So, let the list begin with today...
1. the Word which enlightens my heart and brings change
2. wisdom of others who have studied and learned at length then choose to teach in a humble way, I'm a benefactor in my Seminary Wives classes, most recently with New Testament scholar, Dr. Tom Schreiner
3. a husband who knows my heart
4. patient listening ears to the big and small moments of my days
5. Friday morning grocery shopping at a semi-leisurely pace
6. the kindness of strangers towards me, especially when they open doors, and help in general ways as I tote a sweet toddler to and fro
7. another month of bills paid while trusting the Lord
8. neighbors who enjoy our little one and gladly babysit
9. the opportunity to serve with Matt a small and faithful congregation of saints in the Lord
10. new friends who have already offered sincere fellowship, prayer, and accountability in a time when all are desperately needed
11. watching my baby girl learn, each moment holds a new fascination
12. the changing colors of fall leaves and a tiny bouquet of them we collected today
13. a place to call home which includes a public library within stroller-walking distance
14. gracious librarians who understand my late charges
15. my mom who is a friend (she always has been, though she didn't aim to be during times when I most needed a parent!)
16. four day work weeks
17. the blessing of shifted priorities and the opportunity to serve my family primarily in the home
18. the joyful sacrifices Matt makes on our family's behalf
19. generous and thoughtful employers who make work a joy
20. the love God has given me for children He's crafted
21. God's work throughout the world, we find ourselves in the midst of Believers from every continent (except Antarctica) in our Seminary apartment complex alone!
22. that God would desire to use His people to accomplish purposes He could certainly bring about without us
23. music that teaches Truth
24. a budding reader (a toddler who loves reading!) in our home, cuddling with books as she points and motions for more is an indulgence I'm glad to accept 25. a husband who leads, and our home without TV (this is good for us, and may not be for all)