Tag Archive | thankfulness

Little Moments of Grace

Six weeks into 2013.

How’s those resolutions going?  Perhaps at the cusp of the New Year, some of us were

reviewing the year,

regretting mistakes,

re-thinking goals,

and resolving to change..

But why do we keep repeating the pattern every year?

We long to make some dramatic difference in our lives, checkbooks, children, spouses, selves, homes, or whatever.  Or at least, I do.  I want that big “reveal” at the end of the year, or my lifetime, to show  visible improvement, growth, and purpose.  It’s taken me a long time to learn that life is not about the drama or applause.

Life is played out in the everyday moments, minutes, reactions, choices, and responses.

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Paul David Tripp discussed this in one of his recent articles:

“The character that was formed in those little moments is what shapes how you respond to the big moments of life.

What leads to significant personal change?

  • 10,000 moments of personal insight and conviction
  • 10,000 moments of humble submission
  • 10,000 moments of foolishness exposed and wisdom gained
  • 10,000 moments of sin confessed and sin forsaken
  • 10,000 moments of courageous faith
  • 10,000 choice points of obedience
  • 10,000 times of forsaking the kingdom of self and running toward the kingdom of God
  • 10,000 moments where we abandon worship of the creation and give ourselves to worship of the Creator.

And what makes all of this possible?

Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace….”

(From Paul Tripp Ministries, PaulTripp. com)

Oswald Chambers said much the same over 100 years ago in his famous devotional, My Utmost for His Highest :

“It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God: but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes”

So, even though it’s February, can we still do this?  Is it too late to turn little moments into blessings, the ordinary into the exceptional?

Pick a day, some odd day on the calendar, like February 10th, and choose to make your moments matter.  It’s not about lists of resolutions.   It’s about moments of choices.

Breathe a prayer.

Obey that still small voice.

Let a kind answer turn away a harsh word.

Forgive.

Little moments of grace….

weave a path to His glory and honour.

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Kodak Moments

To me remains nor place, nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.

After  settling back into our non-routine routine life, I finally found made some time to compile a little photo log of our journey over the past several weeks; or, one might call it, “really great excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging.”  I think my husband’s seven-year old Kodak 612Z camera still does a pretty good job capturing and highlighting our days.

After Easter, we moved out of our cute little spot in Ottawa.

Then we stayed on the “other” side of the Ottawa River a while with friends:

with dear friend, Elaine!

and moved our “schtuff” into their basement…

Guess I got a little too comfortable in their basement!

Then, it was time to say “See you later” (not goodbye), to some friends…

With Mitch at the Coffee House (JRCM)

Dave speaking at Jericho Road Coffee House

Kim’s surprise party was a success!! ♪ Happy 50th Birthday dear Friend ♪ !!

Last day–Brunch with Mack, Ray, Gloria, JL, and Charlene (taking the pic)

As we headed out of town, some colourful tulips peaking through the snow caught our eye.

At Dow’s Lake, these early blooms held up well to the late snow

Delicate, but tough

Then we drove south, and south, and east a bit…to enjoy an extended stay in Virginia Beach for my mom’s 80th birthday celebration, shared with our daughters and grandkids!  These are just a few pics of all that were taken from our blessed time together:

With my beautiful mom. Willa

With my mom, Hope (& her baby-to-be), and Gracey!

Joy, my mom, Grace with Eva, and moi

All smiles with Gracey and Joy (and her baby-to-be)

Sisters with child(ren)

Say Cheese!! Grace, Joy, Steve, and Eva!

Cousins get reacquainted

Protected and Protector

On stage at the Kid’s Place

Eva is a star too!!

Busch Gardens with Hope, Jon and Andrew

Joy and Eva are not persuaded that the ponies are entirely safe at the Petting Zoo 🙂

John Deere meets John and Jon!

Wrapping up a morning at the Petting Zoo

Time for piggies in the sand!

The whole world’s a Beach for Poppop and Jonathan

Eva’s beach time with Pop-Pop

A few minutes of relaxin’ for lovely Nurse Grace

All done….

After spending time with our blessings, it was time to meet the road again.

highway to the hills

As Bilbo sang in The Hobbit,

Roads go ever ever on,

Over rock and under tree,

By caves where never sun has shone,

By streams that never find the sea;

Over snow by winter sown,

And through the merry flowers of June,

Over grass and over stone,

And under mountains in the moon.

So we return, for a bit, to our hollow in the hills, giving praise to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and seeking Him for whatever lies ahead.

Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. Psalm 119:5

While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
“tis equal joy to go or stay.

Jeanne Marie Guyon, 1722

What have you been up to lately?

On gratefulness…

“Happiness is not getting what we want, but being grateful for what we have.” 

This quote from a random British TV show we were watching one evening really stuck with me.  We always seem to want more, without being grateful for what we already have.  Millions have been spent in research to find out what the “perfect” monthly wage is that would make everyone happy.  The answer across the board:

More.

So, happiness is elusive.  But gratitude is not.

In fact, gratitude is God’s will!  Are you fasting, praying, desperately searching to know God’s will for you life?  How about this:

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.   I Thess. 5:16-18

Giving Thanks Together

The following poem from The Valley of Vision expresses a heart full of gratitude and one after God’s will:
~~~

O My Lord

You, fairest, greatest, first of all object,

My heart admires, adores, loves you,

For my little vessel is as full as it can be,

And I would pour out all that fullness before you in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with you

Ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,

Ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,

Ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart.

Crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless You for the soul you have created,

for adorning it, sanctifying it,

though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body you have given me,

for preserving its strength and vigour,

for providing senses to enjoy delights,

for the ease and freedom of my limbs,

for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

for your royal bounty providing my daily support,

for a full table and overflowing cup

for appetite, taste, sweetness

for social joys of relatives and friends,

for ability to serve others,

for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,

for a mind to care for my fellow-men

for opportunities of spreading happiness around

for loved ones in the joys of heaven,

for my own expectation of seeing you clearly.

I love you above the powers of language to express, for what you are to your creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

In Pictures

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”     1 Thessalonians 5:18
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My thankful list in photos, on this Meditative Monday:
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(Beth custom-made this beautiful purse for me, then packaged it in my favourite wrap–brown-paper tied up with string!  🙂

The Perfect Purse, by Beth Stone

 

 

52-54.  My grandma’s dishes :-), a great deal on this second-hand china cabinet, and one of my current and highly recommended reads, Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney

A few of my favourite things

 

 

55.  John’s laughter and “temp” dog (enjoyment w/out the responsibility)

John with our "Temp" Dog

 

 

56.  The intricacies of a flower

A closer look

Tulip Details

 

 

57.  The deer that come to our yard (before ‘temp’ dogs chase them away)

One of Many

 

 

58. The help, awesome talent, and friendship of our brother-in-law, Harold

Carpenter's Hands

He turned this…..

Before...

Into this…

After....and more to come!

And he continues to work hard (between a much-needed break)!

John and Harold (aka The Finisher)

 

 

This last item for today will get a post of its own soon….
60.  Our peaceful hollow, in His hands…

Ahhh

Roof with a View

 

 

Join me and others here in giving thanks to the Lord for ALL His unspeakable gifts:

Out of the Fog

In the Fog

In the Fog

Spurgeon thoughts for Fearless Friday:
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“It is exceedingly beneficial to our souls to mount above this present evil world to something nobler and better. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are apt to choke everything good within us, and we grow fretful, desponding, perhaps proud and carnal…
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May the Spirit of God assist us to leave the mists of fear and the fevers of anxiety, and all the ills which gather in this valley of earth, and to ascend the mountains of anticipated joy and blessedness. May God the Holy Spirit cut the cords that keep us here below, and assist us to mount!
~
We sit too often like chained eagles fastened to the rock, only that, unlike the eagle, we begin to love our chain, and would, perhaps, if it came really to the test, be loath to have it snapped. May God now grant us grace…like Abraham, to attain the top of the mountain, there to indulge in communion with the Most High.”
~~~
Dear Lord, please lift us out of the fog of our fears, cares, and all the things that choke out the Light of your presence. The fog is sickly, dark, hindering and oppressive. We pray, grant us grace and lift us up to your mountain, so we can breath and see unhindered, our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Then, ‘the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” In His name, Amen.

Above the Fog

Above the Fog

It’s All Grace

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting!  Psalm 118:1

If you’re not sure what to be thankful for today, pull up a chair and join me in today’s list of 10.  No matter what life is dishing out, what storms are assaulting you, the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord never changes!

Remaining Magnolia Blossoms

I can always be thankful that: 

41.  He became poor so I might become rich in Him!  2 Cor. 8:9

42.  He became sin so I could be the righteousness of God in Christ!   2 Cor. 5:21

43.  He cancelled out all my Sin!  Colossians 2:13, 14

44.  I am accepted in the Beloved!  Ephesians 1:6

45.  He cares for me!  I Peter 5:7

46.  He loved me First!!  I John 4:19

47.  He intercedes for me!  Hebrews 7:25

48. He has prepared a place for me!  John 14:2

49.  He comes to my aid when I am tempted!  Hebrews 2:18

50.  My name is written in the Lamb’s book of life!  Luke 10:20   More on that HERE.

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Dear Father, You are altogether good!  Thank you for demonstrating your goodness, mercy, and faithfulness to us, by giving us your Son!  We’re unable to fathom the depth of your love, so you continually reveal it to us through your Word, your comforting Holy Spirit, the beauty of creation, and answered prayer.  Open our eyes and hearts to see the signs, big and small, of your love towards us!  It’s all grace!  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!!  In His beautiful name, Amen!

Life from Death--It's all Grace

Thankful Mondays

It dawned on me that Monday is probably the worst day, and the best, to write a thankful list.  The worst day, because my brain is on slo-mo, and needs a second cup of cream with coffee to get charged.  And it’s the best day, because when I count my blessings (‘name them one by one’), the week gets off to a better start! 

Without further ado…today I am thankful for the things that get my morning going:

31.  Coffee, already brewed by my wonderful husband

32.  Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning Devotional (part of my day for over 8 years)

33.  The Bible  (deserves a post all to itself–HERE)

34.  Specifically, the NASB Bible which I’ve used since 1972

35.  More specifically, the NASB Bible my husband gave me in 1977 while we were in Okinawa

36.  The precious highlighting my daughters did throughout the Bible when they were very little

37.   The Presentation page (with highlights from #36):

“On the Occasion of thursday, because I love her”

 

 

38.  Spurgeon’s, Our Own Hymn-Book, a great companion to the Word

39.  Bic pens that make my handwriting look pretty

40.  Two journals: One messy, one neat.  I need both.

 

What are you thankful for as you begin this new day, which, itself, is a gift from God?

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Join me and others here: