November 28, 2013

uncommon gratitude

The many colors of blessings...
 

Early this morning, as the sun was peeking through the trees and hitting the frost on the fallen leaves in a way that caused them to sparkle, I pulled out a piece of paper. It seemed a fitting time to write a gratitude list. It is Thanksgiving after all.

As I wrapped my sweater tightly around me and sipped my coffee, I began to ponder, slowly moving my pen across the paper:

- Warm house
- Family visiting
- The comforting aroma of the gluten-free stuffing, a new recipe that turned out wonderfully

But just as I was getting ramped up, God pushed through with a questioned that stirred me deeply.
What about your difficulties? Are you thankful for them?

What??? Ummm....

I looked over my growing list of blessings and was hit hard by the realization that it was lacking. Something was missing. I was missing the perspective that God uses ALL things for His glory. To give thanks to God in ALL circumstances. To see God visible through the pain. To recognize that hardships can be blessings - they fill me with a heavenly, eternal hope and perceptive.

So I began to add more to my list:  

- The lingering pain in my finger from a deep cut - reminds me I still have the finger 
- The photo shoot I messed up horribly - keeps me humble, I have much to learn, so thankful for my photography mentor 
- My bouts of depression - forces me to lean heavy on Christ, only He can fill those dark places 
- The struggles related with raising a son with special needs - pushes me into community, I cannot do it on my own, I am not alone

My eyes filled with tears as my pen now moved rapidly across the paper. Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for...




Happy Thanksgiving!


November 21, 2013

beauty & joy {recap of the last three months}

There are still a couple boxes that need unpacking. With young boys underfoot and to-lists that do not end simply because I need time to go through boxes, it has taken longer than I expected.  But that is OK. Or at least I have learned to be OK.

Three months later, after our third move in five months, we are settled into our new home. Home. It felt that way after mere days in our new house.

Though it has not been an easy transition. It has taken its toll on the whole family, especially Grant. There is no pause button for Fragile X Syndrome. But I can say with confidence, it has been worth it.

It helps to focus on what is good, beautiful, of God. To seek God. To recognize the God-filled moments that make-up my days. Why dwell in the chaos when I can find rest, peace and contentment in the moments of joy?

So I push away the box of stuff and play with my boys, try a new recipe, gaze out the kitchen window, fold laundry with the windows open, take a long walk, and date my husband.

Yes, I take the time to taste.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints,
for those who fear Him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
Psalm 34:8-10


Here are a few morsels from our table...

Home

The road to home.

Our home. Our Cottage in the Woods, as we like to call it. Small. Comfortable. Home.

The house sits on 1.5 acres of land. A perfect amount of yard for gardening, chickens for eggs, and playing. And a perfect amount of woods for protection, peace, beauty, and more playing.

When we first moved in we were surrounded by butterflies. We were living in a butterfly garden.








Our home is a place to be a family, to fellowship.
But when inside, we are still never far from the outdoors.


We live on the back porch as much as possible.
Even then, the door to the outside is often open, with us on the other side.


Exploring and learning... Wesley sat for over 30 minutes, enamored by the caterpillar crawling its laps around the flower pot.



The quiet stream, trees, sunshine and fresh air! Great tools for play and thought. We enjoy our meanderings while discovering our new yard and neighborhood.






We climbed a different part of the hill back up to our house and were rewarded with another discovery...


"Mommy, this is where Peter Rabbit lives!"

Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree...

Close enough, Wesley. Close enough.

Pumpkin Patch and Apple Picking





Our family pictures may never be "perfect" by some measures - but they are beautiful to me. Treasured.

Wesley never stopped running during our visit to the apple orchard.

"Mommy! Daddy! I love the apple porchard!"



Move over Honeycrisp apple. Move way over. My new favorite apple, Pink Lady.






Grant wanted to hang out with the sheep all day and yell his favorite movie quote...

Baa, Ram, Ewe!


Now it's time to use those apples! And Grandma Penner helped make our first gluten-free, casein-free apple pie.



Leaves





May you linger in The Father's embrace as you dwell in His mercy and grace.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!
  
'For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been His counselor?'
'Or who has given a gift to Him
that he might be repaid?'


For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen."
Romans 11:33-36


November 28, 2013

uncommon gratitude

The many colors of blessings...
 

Early this morning, as the sun was peeking through the trees and hitting the frost on the fallen leaves in a way that caused them to sparkle, I pulled out a piece of paper. It seemed a fitting time to write a gratitude list. It is Thanksgiving after all.

As I wrapped my sweater tightly around me and sipped my coffee, I began to ponder, slowly moving my pen across the paper:

- Warm house
- Family visiting
- The comforting aroma of the gluten-free stuffing, a new recipe that turned out wonderfully

But just as I was getting ramped up, God pushed through with a questioned that stirred me deeply.
What about your difficulties? Are you thankful for them?

What??? Ummm....

I looked over my growing list of blessings and was hit hard by the realization that it was lacking. Something was missing. I was missing the perspective that God uses ALL things for His glory. To give thanks to God in ALL circumstances. To see God visible through the pain. To recognize that hardships can be blessings - they fill me with a heavenly, eternal hope and perceptive.

So I began to add more to my list:  

- The lingering pain in my finger from a deep cut - reminds me I still have the finger 
- The photo shoot I messed up horribly - keeps me humble, I have much to learn, so thankful for my photography mentor 
- My bouts of depression - forces me to lean heavy on Christ, only He can fill those dark places 
- The struggles related with raising a son with special needs - pushes me into community, I cannot do it on my own, I am not alone

My eyes filled with tears as my pen now moved rapidly across the paper. Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for...




Happy Thanksgiving!



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November 21, 2013

beauty & joy {recap of the last three months}

There are still a couple boxes that need unpacking. With young boys underfoot and to-lists that do not end simply because I need time to go through boxes, it has taken longer than I expected.  But that is OK. Or at least I have learned to be OK.

Three months later, after our third move in five months, we are settled into our new home. Home. It felt that way after mere days in our new house.

Though it has not been an easy transition. It has taken its toll on the whole family, especially Grant. There is no pause button for Fragile X Syndrome. But I can say with confidence, it has been worth it.

It helps to focus on what is good, beautiful, of God. To seek God. To recognize the God-filled moments that make-up my days. Why dwell in the chaos when I can find rest, peace and contentment in the moments of joy?

So I push away the box of stuff and play with my boys, try a new recipe, gaze out the kitchen window, fold laundry with the windows open, take a long walk, and date my husband.

Yes, I take the time to taste.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints,
for those who fear Him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
Psalm 34:8-10


Here are a few morsels from our table...

Home

The road to home.

Our home. Our Cottage in the Woods, as we like to call it. Small. Comfortable. Home.

The house sits on 1.5 acres of land. A perfect amount of yard for gardening, chickens for eggs, and playing. And a perfect amount of woods for protection, peace, beauty, and more playing.

When we first moved in we were surrounded by butterflies. We were living in a butterfly garden.








Our home is a place to be a family, to fellowship.
But when inside, we are still never far from the outdoors.


We live on the back porch as much as possible.
Even then, the door to the outside is often open, with us on the other side.


Exploring and learning... Wesley sat for over 30 minutes, enamored by the caterpillar crawling its laps around the flower pot.



The quiet stream, trees, sunshine and fresh air! Great tools for play and thought. We enjoy our meanderings while discovering our new yard and neighborhood.






We climbed a different part of the hill back up to our house and were rewarded with another discovery...


"Mommy, this is where Peter Rabbit lives!"

Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree...

Close enough, Wesley. Close enough.

Pumpkin Patch and Apple Picking





Our family pictures may never be "perfect" by some measures - but they are beautiful to me. Treasured.

Wesley never stopped running during our visit to the apple orchard.

"Mommy! Daddy! I love the apple porchard!"



Move over Honeycrisp apple. Move way over. My new favorite apple, Pink Lady.






Grant wanted to hang out with the sheep all day and yell his favorite movie quote...

Baa, Ram, Ewe!


Now it's time to use those apples! And Grandma Penner helped make our first gluten-free, casein-free apple pie.



Leaves





May you linger in The Father's embrace as you dwell in His mercy and grace.

"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!
  
'For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been His counselor?'
'Or who has given a gift to Him
that he might be repaid?'


For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen."
Romans 11:33-36



Pin It