Monday gifts

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Thankful for… 

traditions.
Sunday afternoons.
crafts to make and sell to raise money to help refugees.
making pancakes (and matching.. it was only kinda on purpose) with Val.
cards with family.
getting to see a really cool old violin belonging to my client’s family. (I never know what a day of caregiving may bring!)
new books to read.
new growth, I see it. img_20160408_125953.jpgimg_20160406_090826.jpg

Monday gifts

photogrid_1459657553053.jpgThankful…

that there are no taxes on friendship. Because I’d quickly end up bankrupt and in federal prison. As far as friendships go I’m in the absolute top tax bracket, the 1%. I do not deserve it!

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for delicious flavor and lots of it.
for Saturdays and Sundays when the world feels a little slower and simpler. img_20160331_153016.jpg

I’m thankful for new things.
I’m thankful for so much to do! In a good way.
I’m thankful for my wonderful siblings.
I am thankful that I have a good mystery to read.
I’m thankful for game nights and humility (I didn’t win!!).
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I’m thankful for the times when I remember that this life, these ordinary days are precious.

Headlines

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“What God does in the tiny corners of our day-to-day lives is stunning and gorgeous and headline-making, but we have a bad habit of saving the headlines for the grotesque and scary.” -Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

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Today I’m thankful for the best everyday headlines in my own life.

In Sports: “TEE TIME: FRIENDS COMPETE IN BACKYARD WIFFLE BALL COMPETITION.”
Living: “CHOO CHOO, MARTIN IS TWO: FRIENDS AND FAMILY CELEBRATE” and “SPRING FORWARD: ANNUAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY FEAST CAME EARLY THIS YEAR.”
Food: “TEA TIME: FRIENDS GATHER FOR CONVERSATION” and “NO TRAIN WRECK: LOCAL BAKER CREATES MAGNIFICENT CAKE.”
Technology: “BROTHER’S INSTAGRAM VIDEO MAKES SISTER LAUGH.”
Outdoors: “FIVE BALD EAGLES SPOTTED ALONG PLATTE RIVER.”
Science: “SWEET TOOTH? RESEARCHERS INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE GENETIC COMPONENT.”

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Thanksgiving week gifts

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Yesterday I had an unexpected break and was able to sit down and add to my list of gifts. This is a habit I didn’t expect to make, but I’ve kept with it for almost 5 years! My perspective has changed in so many ways. Sometimes I do it and it’s very un-inspired. Other times, I just overflow with gratitude, which is really fun. The point is to open my eyes to what is right before me, this day. What do I have to be thankful for this moment? It may be fun, hard, painful, or simple. Together these things make up my life: food, people, opportunities to trust, comfy pj pants, pretty flowers, deep realizations, cups of coffee, silly memories, and more. And they are gifts by the grace of God.
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“The whole of the life — even the hard — is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole. These are new language lessons, and I live them out. There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up.” –Ann Voskamp
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For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
-Psalm 33:4-5 ESV

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Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!

monday gifts

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The past few days I’ve been sick with a summer cold. It’s been frustrating to miss the grand opening of my church (at our building, we’ve been a mobile church until recently) and just life in general. But it’s ok, I probably need the reminder that I don’t keep everything spinning. I can step back and rest. The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need.
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Even with a fuzzy brain, I notice things differently from a place of rest. Everyday, beautiful things that I didn’t earn or deserve: they are grace. I’m thankful for…
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a day of cupcake baking with Val.
sandwiches labeled “Fralerie” and “Dawnabeth.”
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crazy puppies to play with.
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a sunrise before seeing Anna off at the airport.
prayer, together.
“get well” and “I love you” video messages from a toddler.
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BLT’s & Goodwill shopping- making fun memories with my clients.
old pictures of me and my brothers that make me laugh hysterically.
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the way those little plants grew up over the summer.
the colors of this time of year.
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monday gifts

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Thankful for… 

friends to pray with and just be with. This has been a tough time for my church family and city, with the loss of Pastor Ty and Terri. (See news story and video here.. goodness, I love my church.)

comfort when we’re mourning.

the inspiration of lives lived without regrets. People who gave and loved wholeheartedly.

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how life goes on and we choose to celebrate and have joy! My birthday week friends enrich my life and mean so much to me!

when the room is filled with the sound of half a dozen conversations between friends. That is music to my ears.

gigantic blocks of cheese.

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relaxing walks to de-stress from challenging caregiver days.

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goofy fun with neighborhood youngins.

the way God is helping me see more clearly so many beautiful gifts in my life. Every day is full of moments and people and good things. Often I miss out, dwell on petty things, or just plain don’t notice. But I’m learning to treasure.

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monday gifts

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Thankful for…

my colorful rug, always reminding me of Jamaica.

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Saturday wanderings with best friends. 

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when beads and small children and sidewalk chalk combine in a crazy way that makes you wonder, “what is going on??!”

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the fun blessing of being a part of an outreach & vbs this week with my church.

getting to meet beautiful neighbors:

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when friends linger on a Sunday, lazily amused by the antics of a small boy and a puppy.

when I miss my people who are too far away.

when I fail at Bible memory group.

when I got really sad news but I had a friend to share it with.

when I get to arrange flowers and bake cookies and be really proud of my friends.

when I’m stressed out although I have no reason to be.

when God is good. (Which is all of the time.)

monday gifts

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Thankful for…

this right here:

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safe travels, crazy travel companions.
my family. I love them.
homemade ice cream.
games.
mega humidity.

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pool days.

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very large fish!

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sweet tea in plentiful abundance.

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mornings that do not start well.:)

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salads that are beautiful and dinners with friends.
this life, right now. The hard parts and the wonderful parts. I am blessed.

monday gifts

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Thankful for…

the smell of tomato plants.
lightening bugs.
rest & antibiotics to get better.
puppies and toddlers to bring cuteness into our lives.

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voxer karaoke from my brothers.
the book of Romans.
those days where everything is just “off.”
fireworks + friends + sonic afterwards = the simplest, best things.

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monday gifts

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Thankful for…

flowers. muffins. guacamole. front steps. strong yummy coffee.

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the best street in Omaha.:)
basil growers and basil chats and the pesto that is to come!
perfectly worn-in t-shirts.
friends who remember things about me I had already forgotten.

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funny little souls to babysit.
fruit snacks and dinosaurs and legos and footie pajamas.

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I am so loved. I am so secure. Your faithfulness is always.

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time around the table, face to face. it seems I’ll never get my fill of long conversations.

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stores and gas stations and fast food and email and phones and hot water and the library and ice cream and electricity. (Can you tell, I just lived a book about civilization after an apocalypse type situation??)  

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this prayer. (Thanks, Deidra.)

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Sometimes I re-think keeping on with this, counting gifts and sharing some of them. Maybe I’m glossing over my struggles or living with blinders on to the heartbreaking things going on in the world around me? Maybe I take too many pictures of flowers and am too grateful for coffee, isn’t that kindof silly?

I do know that this habit changes me into a person more likely to bring good to my corners of the world. It smooths worry from my anxious, often overly empathetic heart. My eyes open wider and I am humbled by grace. It’s a start.

Maybe we could be a people known not by our disgust and judgmentalism, but by our gratitude and our joy because gratitude starts movements. You can’t be moved by grace — and not become a revolutionary. –Ann Voskamp