Just a glimpse of me...

My photo
Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

19 February 2014

Open Spaces - #JoyDare No. 2289

Due to a small book club group for women started in 2012 by a friend at my church, I actually picked up & read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, in early 2012. I began listing gifts then & am planning to continue for years to come. It's a WONDERFUL way to remind myself of God's tender loving care for & faithfulness to me -- and to all his children! I've always been one to get super excited about the little things from God - seeing a mother deer & her fawns while out walking early in the morning, the way the clouds look on a cold -- but sunny -- winter day, the lighting or angle I was able to catch in a photo, the quiet snoring/breathing of the LOML as he sleeps beside me, new fuzzy socks or slippers, an apple right off my tree, etc. Often times my descriptions make no sense to anyone by me & God. So, I decided to expand upon those thoughts in a few posts. So... for today... 

Open Spaces - #JoyDare No. 2289

Among other things, I've struggled with insecurity & anxiety issues for years. As you can see from my posts over the years, I've struggled with a lot :) Usually each struggle happens independently. But, there's one situation that used to be the "double whammy" for me every week. It happened every Sunday morning at church. It was the church narthex -- the old term for the entry area just outside of the sanctuary. We began attending church at "North Anderson Church of God" when we moved back to Indiana for the LOML to finish up on his degree. Within a few years, I was singing in the choir, active in a Young Married Couples class, volunteering for the Worship Arts pastor & ministry, and more. I met a LOT of great people through those smaller groups. I was at home in each of those groups.

But, Sunday mornings after church, when we all poured out from the sanctuary, my chest tightened and my breathing became quick & shallow. I never could seem to make it from point A to point B without feeling a lot of stress. I felt swallowed up in that sea of smiling (and familiar) faces. It was just too much... too close. I was constantly questioning myself... did I miss someone's eye contact because I was staring at my feet moving toward my goal... did I miss talking with someone when I stopped to say hello to another... did I... did I... did I? In the 17 years we attended church at that location, I struggled with those feelings.

When our church relocated to our new location, Madison Park Church, it only took a few Sundays for my family to notice that things had changed. The person who had avoided crossing the narthex at North was now almost impossible to get in the car after church. I was running all over "The Commons" at Madison Park. It was freeing. My deep connection & joy come from the intimate moments I share with those I see before & after the services. The open space in our new "Commons" area freed me to move about & make those connections.

When we moved from Durbin Manor out here to the sticks, I had NO IDEA how freeing the open spaces would be. I can't even describe how much I love sitting at my place at the dinner table. I look out our front window (to my left) for over a mile to where the White River bends below the river banks and then glance to the right out the back window across a mile of fields & small wooded areas. There's sheer joy in those moments as I look out for a distance while safe inside of my home.

Whether I 'm walking down a country road for a few miles with no one in sight or walking through a crowded room, I envision myself as being covered & protected by God Himself. I can navigate all those places without fear knowing that God will bring me through.

His Promises are TRUE!
"He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." Psalm 91:4 NLT 

"You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word." Psalm 119:114 AMP

My #JoyDare list for Sunday, 2/9/14:
2289. open spaces
2290. messy rooms
2291. old people

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

18 February 2014

Doing Nothing & Then Resting

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterwards." 

Don't you just LOVE that Spanish proverb. There are just those days or seasons in our lives when we need to do nothing... and then rest.  

This morning felt like that to me. I am growing weary of all the snow, ice & sub-zero temperatures here in "stuckinindiana" land. We have lived in this state for over 24 years & never seen a winter like this. I'm fortunate, as I don't have a traditional job which requires me to leave early each morning for a full day away. But, my loved ones do. And, I hate for them to have to drive in this dangerous mess. Although I don't have a "real job", I have responsibilities which require me to be out & about throughout the week. This crazy (cray cray, as the kids say) weather does not work with my little yellow car with racing tires either! There are times when I can't even make it out of the drive over the SMALL snow drifts (6-12 inches) or up the little hill to the main road. Yesterday afternoon one of my car doors froze shut in the sleet as I was at an appointment. It's a gamble to go out for me & that little yellow car!

I'm missing the beaches of south Florida that were my back yard for about 15 years. I miss walking barefoot at water's edge as the sun comes up. I miss the roar of the ocean on a windy night. I miss finding secluded places on the beach to relax & read... and to listen to God. I can't go to my beaches physically at this point in my life. So, I'm a mental traveler most days -- especially today! 

I'm only resting for a bit today. But, I'm letting God renew me through the moments as I rest in Him & reflect upon his faithfulness & love!

Take time... MAKE TIME to rest & be renewed!
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

16 February 2014

Old People - #JoyDare No.2291

Due to a small book club group for women started in 2012 by a friend at my church, I actually picked up & read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, in early 2012. I began listing gifts then & am planning to continue for years to come. It's a WONDERFUL way to remind myself of God's tender loving care for & faithfulness to me -- and to all his children! I've always been one to get super excited about the little things from God - seeing a mother deer & her fawns while out walking early in the morning, the way the clouds look on a cold -- but sunny -- winter day, the lighting or angle I was able to catch in a photo, the quiet snoring/breathing of the LOML as he sleeps beside me, new fuzzy socks or slippers, an apple right off my tree, etc. Often times my descriptions make no sense to anyone by me & God. So, I decided to expand upon those thoughts in a few posts. So... for today... 

Old People - #JoyDare No.2291 on 2/9/14
MY MOM'S BIRTHDAY 2-9-29 - You do the math :)

There's so much background you'd need on me for this post to make complete sense that I'm not quite sure how to begin. I've shared bits & pieces about my "thing about age" over the years of blogging. My great-aunt (1903-2000) used to say, "A true lady never reveals her age." Come to find out when dates were published on their cemetery monuments, she was nearly THREE years older than my great-uncle... scandal of scandals!! Well, for me & the LOML, the difference in their ages isn't all that significant.

As my sisters celebrate their real ages, as my mother celebrates her real age, as my children celebrate their real ages and as the LOML (aka the hubby) celebrates his real age, I continue to celebrate my real birthday, October 10th, and not the age. I just pick & choose what age I want to celebrate for each birthday. Perhaps I'll change that... some year.

Our sweet baby girl
who recently celebrated her
first birthday...
celebrating with some of our
favorite OLD PEOPLE :)
Today we celebrated my mom's birthday with FOUR generations. Our youngest member toddled from one "old person" to another giving hugs & kisses. She drew us all together & reminded us of the energy we used to have! It was a celebration of one person's life. It was a celebration of LIFE!

As we gathered to celebrate my mom's birthday, my uncle wanted to make sure I knew he was the OLDEST... 90 years old. His wife (my mom's older sister) let me know that my mom would kid her for the next 2 months about being 3 years older -- until my aunt celebrated her birthday and the difference was only 2 years. With my uncle it almost seemed to be a badge of honor to be the oldest. I wonder if I'll ever be like that OR sitting in an assisted living facility 40 years from now & trying to convince fellow residents that I'm still too young for Social Security! 

The truth is that I'm also OLD in the eyes of many... my nieces in college... the high school kids behind me in church who are probably wondering why I know all the words to every song... the kids I used to babysit when I was in youth group who are now getting married & starting their own families. I'm even OLD in my own eyes at times when I attempt to do a cartwheel or re-enact a cheerleading dance routine with other of my OLD friends :) And, let's not even discuss the person who welcomes me to a new day each morning in the bathroom mirror!

I'm so very thankful for the people in my life who've lived many years. I'm thankful that they've showed me the way & loved me through all my mistakes and poor choices. I'm thankful my children & my daughter's daughter can be a part of their lives too. These old people have stood the test of time. Their examples have been consistent over the years. Their love for their fellow man has been a constant over the changing times. They haven't chosen to just sit around & wait for their heavenly reward. They are still making a difference in the lives of those around them. I'm so blessed with the heritage I have in these people who call themselves OLD. 
"The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old." Proverbs 20:29

My #JoyDare list for Sunday, 2/9/14:
2289. open spaces
2290. messy rooms
2291. old people

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

14 February 2014

Time Heals All Wounds...

Time heals all wounds... or does it?

Today, I'm a bit numb. Yesterday I was a bit numb. And, the day before... I was a bit numb. And, if I am numb, how are those who are personally walking this road this very moment? I'm experiencing this from afar. I'm not related by family or by community. I'm experiencing this from a distance.

How do we make sense of the senseless... 
One of the two pedestrians who was struck by a car Thursday night in south Nashville has died...
As I slept this past Thursday night, I received a text from a friend whom I call my sister. I refer to those friends as my sister-friends. They are the ones you cry with & laugh with through all of their journeys & your journeys, as well. They are the ones who "get you" and yet continually help you become a stronger, better version of "you"! I don't know why the Lord didn't wake me up when the text came in so that I could begin my prayers then. When I checked my cell before 7am that next morning, I read her text & immediately replied assuring her that prayers were being lifted up. The next 8 hours was full of uncertainty, question & earnest prayers to the Father on behalf of this child of 18 and his family.

This child... or should I say this young man... was someone I'd met & adopted as family in my heart years ago. I'd prayed for him growing up as a big brother of two little sisters after the untimely death of their mother. I'd prayed for him & those sweet girls after the untimely & unexpected death of their caretaker, their maternal grandmother. I'd prayed for him as he was choosing his path for a career and for further education. I'd prayed for him as though he was family!

In this moment, I can make no sense of the senseless death of this young man. He was a mentor & guide for his younger sisters. He was a joy to those around him - full of energy & life. He was full of potential. And WHY, I ask God, can that be gone in a moment?

There are no answers to my questions today. There is only HOPE that we will see God bring comfort in this time to those most hurting... HOPE that eyes will be drawn to God as this young man is laid to rest... HOPE that assurance of God's love will be felt in the hearts of those agonizing over this senseless passing.

My heart breaks for those who love this young man. My heart breaks too, for I chose to take him & his family into my heart all those years ago. I hurt. But, my pain can be nothing compared to those who will live this horrible reality on a moment to moment basis for years to come.

My sister-friend, his aunt & in my opinion his "mom" for the past 10 years, posted a note in his honor this morning. It said... 
"For baby boy, we love you forever, and your sisters - our angel girls... Κύριε ελέησον"

Κύριε ελέησον" is Greek and means "Lord have mercy". That is the cry of my heart today... Lord, have mercy! For we have placed all our HOPE in YOU! Claiming this verse and so many others today... 
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
Only through the strength of God...
"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

A Life Filled With Love

It's Valentines Day & I've never been one to think that the joy & celebration of this day should be limited to "couples." For me, it's always been a day of friendship & love. It's a day to spread joy with those around us -- maybe with a card, maybe with a little gift... maybe with just a smile or kind word to those we know & those we don't.

Valentine's Day is a great reminder for me to live a LIFE filled with love every day. Just like the scripture states in the photo, I want to be a pleasing aroma to God and to those around me.

Today as you celebrate Valentine's Day, in whatever way you do, fill the world with a fragrance that brings joy to those around you. I want to draw those around me to the source of true love... the One who gave His only Son so that I could have eternal life.

Happy Valentine's Day friends!! Praying that your day is full of reminders of God's deep, deep love for you!!
"Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." Ephesians 5:2 NLT

13 February 2014

Morn Shall Tearless Be

Photo credit T. Getz
"Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth."  Genesis 9:12-13 

A few initial facts: 
  • ... my parents played music on the record player (yeah, I'm that old) as my sisters & I were going to sleep most nights
  • ... I am viscerally moved by music & lyrics - comforted in times of pain, encouraged in times of uncertainty, quieted in times of turmoil, etc.
  • ... when music is paired with TRUTH, I'm often -- undone
  • ... I look for ways to get as much music as possible in my normal day-to-day life 
I have a smart-phone and choose songs from my playlist instead of alarm tones for almost ALL of my alarms -- especially the alarms for waking up! My most frequently chosen song for my wake-up alarm is "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go." The version that is on my phone (and iPod) is the one recorded by Bryan Duncan on "Quiet Prayers" which was released in the "My Utmost for His Highest" CD set. Now that we have a little one living in our household, she gets to hear that song a lot.

At various seasons of life, certain stanzas of that song pop out to me. Since I've battled depression & anxiety most of my life, I'd have to say that the following stanza is probably my all time favorite:

Oh JOY that seekest me through pain 

I cannot close my heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain that morn' shall tearless be

I just love the image of JOY seeking me -- no matter what is happening in my life. I have felt that JOY seek me when I have been hiding in my pain. It's something that has helped me go on when I've felt there's no way I could. How did someone come up with those words that bring me to my knees filling me with strength, hope & peace?

George Matheson wrote the lyrics in 1882 and said this about the song:
My hymn was com­posed in the manse of In­ne­lan [Ar­gyle­shire, Scot­land] on the ev­en­ing of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s mar­ri­age, and the rest of the fam­i­ly were stay­ing over­night in Glas­gow. Some­thing hap­pened to me, which was known only to my­self, and which caused me the most se­vere men­tal suf­fer­ing. The hymn was the fruit of that suf­fer­ing. It was the quick­est bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the im­press­ion of hav­ing it dic­tat­ed to me by some in­ward voice ra­ther than of work­ing it out my­self. I am quite sure that the whole work was com­plet­ed in five min­utes, and equal­ly sure that it ne­ver re­ceived at my hands any re­touch­ing or cor­rect­ion. I have no na­tur­al gift of rhy­thm. All the other vers­es I have ever writ­ten are man­u­fact­ured ar­ti­cles; this came like a day­spring from on high.
Some nights I lay awake & ask the hard questions of God. He whispers to me, "Sleep my child. I am at work on these things." Some mornings I awake & my eyes begin to fill with tears as I remember the struggles I face or the struggles faced by ones I hold close to my heart. God whispers to me & reminds me that He is at work in all of it - even now. In the times my mind questions... may my heart speak the words of the Psalmist:
"I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me." Psalm 13:5 
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go... sung by the Gaither Vocal Band:

O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depths its flow; May richer, fuller be. 
O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to thee; My heart restores its borrowed ray, That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day; May brighter, fairer be. 
O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be. 
O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from thee; I lay in dust life’s glory dead, And from the ground there blossoms red; Life that shall endless be.
Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

12 February 2014

Messy Rooms - #JoyDare No. 2290

Due to a small book club group for women started in 2012 by a friend at my church, I actually picked up & read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, in early 2012. I began listing gifts then & am planning to continue for years to come. It's a WONDERFUL way to remind myself of God's tender loving care for & faithfulness to me -- and to all his children! I've always been one to get super excited about the little things from God - seeing a mother deer & her fawns while out walking early in the morning, the way the clouds look on a cold -- but sunny -- winter day, the lighting or angle I was able to catch in a photo, the quiet snoring/breathing of the LOML as he sleeps beside me, new fuzzy socks or slippers, an apple right off my tree, etc. Often times my descriptions make no sense to anyone but me & God. So, I decided to expand upon those thoughts in a few posts. So... for today... 

Messy Rooms - #JoyDare No. 2290
Today I'm thankful for messy rooms - because they mean that great things have happened, that work is being done or that new things are on the way. 

The great room is a mess because last night I removed the ornaments from the Christmas tree (an artificial mammoth of a beast) & the LOML is disassembling it today to drag it down to the basement for storage until next year. The furniture is in disarray & covered with items to be put away for another season. And, connecting it all is a floor littered with baby things - clothes, toys, lotions, shoes, socks, books & more. 

The kitchen table is a mess because J & I are in the process of printing, trimming & organizing photos to put in the photo album that will be given to my mom later today by her first & only great grandchild. The kitchen counters & sink are a mess because... well, just because :)

The master bedroom is a mess because I've done four loads of laundry which are waiting to be folded & put away and because I opted to NOT clean up after playing with the one-year-old yesterday. (And, don't even ask me about the mess on the floor from getting things ready to file our income taxes.)

The entire basement (family room) is a mess because we can't seem to bring ourselves to taking down the balloons & streamers from our party 3 weeks ago celebrating A's FIRST BIRTHDAY. The pool table (which was gifted to us by the previous owners since it was impossible to remove) is covered with gift bags, Sesame Street party hats, pink & red tissue flowers... and presents reminding us of dear loved ones who came to celebrate her BIG DAY. 

So, as I reflect upon the ways I see God  blessing me today, I see the beauty of my messy rooms! Thank you God for these messy rooms... and even more for what they mean :)

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience...

My #JoyDare list for Sunday, 2/9/14:
2289. open spaces
2290. messy rooms
2291. old people

07 February 2014

Feeling Useless But Being Used

The following scenario happens so often in my life. How about you?
I have a daily routine to which I'm faithful. It's something that happens pretty consistently regardless of the up's and down's in my life. And, one day I realize I've neglected that routine for several days in a row. Then, just when I get back on track, God sends me something I really need that very moment!
This morning, after receiving several ignored pop-up reminders on my phone in the past few days, I decided to actually DO my YouVersion daily devotional (30 Days - My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers). 

And, God spoke to me in a wonderful way

Obedience To The "Heavenly Vision"

If we lose “the heavenly vision” God has given us, we alone are responsible—not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will never be fulfilled. The only way to be obedient to “the heavenly vision” is to give our utmost for His highest—our best for His glory. This can be accomplished only when we make a determination to continually remember God’s vision. But the acid test is obedience to the vision in the details of our everyday life—sixty seconds out of every minute, and sixty minutes out of every hour, not just during times of personal prayer or public meetings.

“Though it tarries, wait for it . . .” (Habakkuk 2:3). We cannot bring the vision to fulfillment through our own efforts, but must live under its inspiration until it fulfills itself. We try to be so practical that we forget the vision. At the very beginning we saw the vision but did not wait for it. We rushed off to do our practical work, and once the vision was fulfilled we could no longer even see it. Waiting for a vision that “tarries” is the true test of our faithfulness to God. It is at the risk of our own soul’s welfare that we get caught up in practical busy-work, only to miss the fulfillment of the vision. Watch for the storms of God. The only way God plants His saints is through the whirlwind of His storms. Will you be proven to be an empty pod with no seed inside? That will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of the vision you have seen. Let God send you out through His storm, and don’t go until He does. If you select your own spot to be planted, you will prove yourself to be an unproductive, empty pod. However, if you allow God to plant you, you will “bear much fruit” (John 15:8).

It is essential that we live and “walk in the light” of God’s vision for us (1 John 1:7). In all matters, O Lord, I would acknowledge You. Keep me in tune with You so that others may catch the joyousness and gladness of God.

Today's reading reminded me (in a head-plant in the palm sort of way)...
  • that I need to patiently wait on the Lord... 
  • that I don't need to rush out to do everything that I know to be good... 
  • that God will use me where He needs me & when He needs me...

I am so thankful that God loves us in our imperfections and that countless blessings are strewn about us... for our discovery! 
"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." James 1:17 NLT

PS If you have a smart phone or a tablet, check out YouVersion applications.

YouVersion... A free Bible on your phone, tablet, and computer.
YouVersion is a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God's Word into your daily life.

It's the Bible at your fingertips. There are over 2,000 devotions available. It's a WIN WIN!

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

06 February 2014

No Presence... Only Prayers

I'm feeling a bit lost today -- without words -- with no way to support some dear loved ones with my presence... only with my prayers. Today will be a day of relying on many promises which I believe to be true. Today will be a day of reflection, a day of tears, a day of trusting the One who makes this life worth it - worth living. When I'm feeling lost or numb, I take comfort in jotting down some of my thoughts.
Today a young man's body will be laid to rest.

04 February 2014

Twenty-One Degrees Sounded Warm

What a winter for those of us stuckinindiana! We got a little snow in November & then MISSED a White Christmas... only to be hit with SNOW, SNOW, SNOW from that point on. My nesting mode is in high gear. The ice & snow has prevented my little yellow car from getting out on the road. My walk down the drive to the mail box could make a good clip for "families' funniest videos" -- forget about actually walking out on the country roads for exercise. Days where I've showered at 6pm to merely change into a fresh pair of pajamas have been the norm instead of a rarity. 

A tinge of pinkish-orange reflecting off the snow outside and onto my bedroom wall caught my attention. I'd been in jammies (my name for pajamas) ALL day. The morning & early afternoon had been spent caring for my favorite little baby-girl. The remainder of the afternoon had been spent telling myself that I really ought to get busy & do a few things around the house. At 5:50pm, I saw that color I love... and, I knew it was time for a little winter walkabout.

The outside temperatures have been horrid lately so, I checked the thermometer. It was a 21 degrees. That sounded SO warm after the sub-zero temps of days before. The jammies were exchanged for Cuddle Duds, sweats, etc... and I was out the back door to take a look at "My Father's World"...

The winds had swept a clean area along the side of our barn
and built up a tall snow bank
preventing me from walking directly to the field.
Frozen ruts now replaced the tracks made through soft snow by our
farmer neighbor when taking his grand-babies on sled rides last weekend.
Patches of ice reflected the colors that only God can paint.
A rainbow of colors decorated the eastern horizon
and distant farms were bathed in the colors of sunset.

The sun was almost gone... the colors would linger for a bit longer.
The cold began to take its toll on me.
I snapped another picture & turned toward the house.

Twenty-one degrees sounded warm... turns out it wasn't that night. In 20 minutes the sun had almost disappeared from the western horizon and, I was back inside my warm home eager to see what the lens had captured. The camera never gets the full impact of God's beauty. But, the photos I captured in this winter walkabout will always serve to remind me that this is my Father's world!

"The world is Mine, and all that is within it." Psalm 50:12

Loved this hymn as a little girl... love it still... 
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening earsAll nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thoughtOf rocks and trees, of skies and seas;His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forgetThat though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,And earth and Heav’n be one.
This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,The Beloved One, His Only Son,Came—a pledge of deathless love.
This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.No place but is holy ground.
This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roamWhate’er my lot, it matters not,My heart is still at home.
This is My Father's World Words: Malt­bie D. Bab­cock, 1901, alt. While a pas­tor in Lock­port, New York, Bab­cock liked to hike in an ar­ea called “the es­carp­ment,” an an­cient up­thrust ledge near Lock­port. It has a mar­vel­ous view of farms, or­chards, and Lake On­tar­io, about 15 miles dis­tant. It is said those walks in the woods in­spired these lyr­ics. The ti­tle re­calls an ex­press­ion Bab­cock used when start­ing a walk: “I’m go­ing out to see my Fa­ther’s world.”Music: Terra Beata, tra­di­tion­al Eng­lish mel­o­dy, ar­ranged by Frank­lin L. Shep­pard in his Al­le­lu­ia, 1915 (MI­DI,score).

Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

02 February 2014

2014 January ONE THOUSAND GIFTS #JoyDare

One Thousand Gifts (by Ann Voskamp)
#1000Gifts #JoyDare

Buy book here...      

I took the 1,000 Gifts Dare for 2012...
and done with 2013 & on to 2014 

Today I find JOY in...

1/1/14 Wed
2173. When Harry Met Sally - a tradition w/the LOML AFTER the clock strikes midnight! Started it around 1:45am & watched it in entirety by a sleeping LOML
2174. a baby falling asleep in my arms
Does it get any better
than this?
2175. blessings of a family I believe God placed in my life

1/2/14 Thurs
2176. big master bedroom window - right beside my bed!

2177. text from my neighbor doggie (well, her owner)
Koko LOVES the snow
2178. keeping Christmas lights up... longer

1/3/14 Fri
2179. doing something different with her hair today

2180. the look on A's face when I put my plate of food on her high chair tray

2181. keeping a table set - just for the "pretty"

1/4/14 Sat 
24 years old - not MY daughter!?!?!?!
2182. a father helping his daughter move forward - emptying the apartment
2183. daddy daughter date for her birthday
2184. safe travels from Atlanta for T&K and homemade chicken soup on a cold night!

1/5/14 Sun
2185. not having to go to the laundry mat to get laundry done!
2186. safe - yet very scary - drive to/from Cinci to drop T&K to UC-CCM

2187. being welcomed home by J & A - hugs & kisses

1/6/14 Mon
2187b - oops. waking up to about 13 inches of snow & everyone staying home!

2188. I still crack myself up! my Facebook status today... 
So far today I've fed finches, junkos, cardinals, huge blue jays, titmouses (yes, that's the plural), sparrows, starlings, chickadees and a partridge in a pear tree!

2189. J's work closing again - thank goodness!

1/7/14 Tues
2190. a second day knowing that my family is safe at home

2191. Johnny Jump Ups!

2192. overeating... ?
I was a little concerned about how many Kix she ate AFTER her full breakfast...
until her Mommy got her out of the high chair & she had Kixs all over her back side 
1/8/14 Wed
2193. beginnings - starting another 7-day challenge w/my daughter
2194. 3 hours of shoveling & cleaning off cars - thankful that I am physically able to do things like that!
2195. showered & jammies on by 4:30pm!

1/9/14 Thurs
2196. morning smiles & hugs from this little one

2197. good neighbors
I love being a "country girl" ... I walked over to the neighbors to thank them for plowing our drive yesterday
and she greeted me with a dozen farm fresh eggs!!
2198. winter walk-abouts

1/10/14 Fri
2199. finally writing a little today - such a blessing
2200. determination to feel (and look better) this winter
2201. comfort food for a cold night

1/11/14 Sat
2202. lots of home projects
2203. out of the house for the 1st time since 1/5
2204. got A all ready for a Colts Superbowl - but, it's not gonna happen - still gonna dress her up

1/12/14 Sun
2205. humming with an almost-1yr old before she falls asleep for nap
2206. stopping along the road to catch a pic of God's art

2207. girls shopping trip (A., her Mommy & her DeeDee)

1/13/14 Mon
2208. a much more relaxed, quiet morning than the weekend
2210. sharing a friend's new business
Andrew W, Lyon Travel

1/14/14 Tues
2211. day 7 of 7-day challenge
2212. being "tuckered out" from playing hard

2213. laying in the sun... by the pool on a sunny winter day
granted... the pool is covered with ice & snow!
1/15/14 Wed
2214. change of plans:
new semester schedule = morning cuddle bug :)

2215. opportunities at Anderson University - serving our community with their time & talents
AU Art+Design Students Make Bowls for Local Fundraiser
pic used in the article... and our first born on the left :)
2216. seeing that "a baby changes everything"

1/16/14 Thurs
2217. remembering what we were doing a year ago today
2218. the love of books

2219. repairmen who are willing to work until 7pm on a night when they, themselves, are having problems at their home!)

1/17/14 Fri
2221. dressing for a potential rescue
I'm wearing this shirt today
so that rescue personnel can easily find me
if I freeze to death
2222. two gas fireplaces!

1/18/14 Sat
2223. tag teaming my To Do List
2224. things I saved for 20+ years

1/19/14 Sun
2226. A. communicating with a sweet little autistic child at church today

2228. the gift of hospitality from my sister

1/20/14 Mon
2229. love on a little sleep :) getting up after a short night to drive south to Cinci to get 3 kids to drive north to Wright State University for their Horn & Trombone Competition 
2230. celebrating our kids - T&J

2231. safe drive home to a HEATED house - PTL!

1/21/14 Tues
2232. shower before 1pm - ah the memories of being a young mommy & the new reality of being a g'mommy who watches her g'baby a few mornings a week
2233. experiment w/the LOML
Hint: Getting to the root of all evil :)

When will he notice I'm slowly & surely going GINGER?
2234. blurry pics
now that's she's mobile, it's tough to get focused pics
1/22/14 Wed
2235. new Wednesday morning routine
2236. -4 outside before the windchill - thankful for my furnace!
2237. a naked kitty cat...
Long story cut short... now that the furnace is fixed, Solomon keeps trying to nap on the registers & we keep seeing him running around the house WITHOUT A COLLAR & finding his "break-away" collar stuck to some warm register

1/23/14 Thurs
2238. sunrise & SUN DOGS!

2239. 3rd generation using the same night light

2240. braving the cold for a great sunset photo

1/24/14 Fri
wrote a little somethin', somethin' about it
2242. sparrows... grrrrr!
possibly an example of the ugly beautiful?
2243. old TV shows w/the LOML on a relaxed Friday evening at home

1/25/14 Sat
2244. a handyman & a professional for a hubby :)

2245. A personal favorite...
Jammie Mornings in the MBR... Ayla sleeping in her swing... JB&me on our laptops watching Leverage on Netflix :D
2246. Bonge's dinner w/the LOML - love the friends we have there!

1/26/14 Sun
2247. being vulnerably human in front of those watching me - this is my prayer
2248. homemade pop corn - regardless of all those calories
2249. power & water off from 7:14pm to 9:45pm - hmmmm :/
thankful that it came back on before sub-zero temps complicated matters!

1/27/14 Mon
2250. overwhelming times of feeling God's presence - so humbling
2251. repurposing... again
dried out & dropped evergreen needles become mulch for the rhododendron
2252. winter drive & pics
1/28/14 Tues
2253. a snow delay of 1.5 hrs for J's job & AU classes cancelled :)
2254. snow day for little A - jammies all day!
2255. Every good gift comes from God --
and a lot of times through your "southern" family members!!

1/29/14 Wed
2256. 10 minutes of sitting in the sun in the quiet before hitting the To Do List

2258. our other son for dinner & Idol

1/30/14 Thurs
2259. standing in the balcony praying
2260. a blue heron & snow pics
2261. 3 hour nap for A... and a 2-hr nap for me :)

1/31/14 Fri
2262. fervent prayers
2263. horrible stomach flu -
which didn't allow me to sleep but allowed me to pray a LOT!
2264. Ginger Ale & oyster crackers