January 29, 2013

{beauty & joy} lately


The mild weather begrudgingly took a step back for a couple days to let us North Carolinians pretend to have a winter. As soon as the temperature began plummeting, I pulled out the fuzzy socks and my well-worn (and a bit dingy but oh-so-warm) wool sweater and let myself enjoy some of my favorite cold weather delights.

Oh happy me. 

I finally mastered a gluten free bread recipe - gluten free (and casein free) artisan bread, thank you very much.

He can only keep a straight face for a short spell - and then it's time for a few giggles.

When boredom strikes, just use the old Tom Sawyer method and give them a task - but make them think it's a game... [*wink*]

The boy who never stops moving... and almost never stops smiling (especially while he is moving).

Date night in the city.

"You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:7-8


January 24, 2013

How looking back can help you move forward

I inhaled quickly and bit my lip as the neurologist confirmed my suspicions. The doctor slowly nodded his head as he gently explained, "It is very likely Grant has some additional issues we will need to address."

Unfortunately, that means more medical tests will be conducted. More pain. More bills. More possible diagnoses.

As my mind swirled with itemized lists of everything that needed to be done, I felt anxiety begin to wrap tightly around me and squeeze all hope from my pores. Tears stung my eyes as I gulped a deep breath and inwardly uttered a prayer so common for me: Lord, I'm not sure I can take another step right now. I'm so weary. Please remind me of Your faithfulness.

When my mind begins to form fearful scenarios of what my, or Grant's, future could look like, I try to quickly replace such thoughts with prayer, scripture and memories of all the times God has provided and proven His steadfast love and faithfulness to me and my family. I am reminded time after time that God's promises and blessings are ever-flowing... and never-ceasing.

I also like to sift though photos filled with images of joy and God's glory. To me, the pictures I take are my stones of remembrance:

And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day. -Joshua 4:9 (read more here)

It brings me great comfort to look back and remember how God has been a constant rock and fortress. It gives me courage for the days that lay before me.

I am uncertain of how this particular trial will turn out, but I am certain that I will be adding another rock to my pile.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My stones of remembrance over the past year {moments of provision, community, hope, love and lots of beauty and joy}:



"Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, Thus far the LORD has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

"And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever." Joshua 4:21-24

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