Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day 31 intentionally - the year in review...lots of pics ;)

photo by m
photo by m

photo by m

church family helping

meals with sweet friends

the deck we always wanted...

the worst picture EVER but sweet memory :)

blessed by our friendships

good bye

yep...on the way out...classic

3 families-total of 15 kids!

cousins that are the best of buddies <3 nbsp="">

Day 31 intentionally...it only took a year! LOL-the story of my life...but I've finished and that is an accomplishment for this girl ;)
What a year this has been...
We left our little Maine town and settled on the beach for the winter.
We then packed back up to return home and realized our hearts longed to be back south.  After six special and growing years (and two more babies) we went home to our little Maine town, packed, donated, painted, sold and painted some more and listed our house...and headed back down south.
We said goodbye to friends and family.
We said goodbye to what we'd known for six years and thought might have been home for years to come.
We said goodbye to our dog (because it was best for her), a snake (yes, a real snake and no I wasn't sad about that), and two fish.
We said goodbye to our church and our business and to the security of being comfortable.
We packed up with all the big hopes and excitement of going back "home."

And here we are.  It has been 1 year exactly today. This has been the fastest year of our lives I think!
Has our move been easy? No.  Has it been all I'd hoped for and more?  No.  Has it been good?  Yes.  Has it been stretching and eye-opening?  Yes.  Have I cried?  Yes.  Am I rejoicing?  Yes.  Has it made me cling to my Father more than ever?  Yes...without a doubt.

I am thankful.  I am grateful.  My heart is humbled by His grace and His faithfulness.  He is patient, kind and merciful...and oh so full of love.  This is a love that is beyond compare, without boundaries, unconditional, just yet full of grace.  God's love through Christ.  His love to us through our Savior that fills the emptiness, that makes a dead spiritual life alive, that heals, comforts, and soothes a weary soul.  His love that transforms the heart and opens the eyes and mind to His Truth and allows us to see ourselves and others through His eyes.  The Holy Spirit that teaches, convicts and comforts.

I wish I could show you the amazing things He has done in my life.  I try to share that as much as I can on here.  And truthfully, sometimes it sounds cheesy or way "too spiritual" or "churchy."  But it is from the depths of my heart that I share with you God's amazing work that HE has done in my life.  It has not been because I've gotten older or wiser.  It is because HE has changed me by His grace and nothing else.  I was lost and now I'm found.  When I've wanted to do my own thing He has spoken quietly to my heart telling me what the "right" choice would be and when I've been listened I've seen His amazing work.  And by His merciful hand, when I haven't listened He has still graciously allowed second chances.

I am not perfect.  I have a Savior who is.  I am still a sinner.  I am still broken and make mistakes.  But the difference now- I have hope.  I have comfort in pain and sadness.  I have a reason to rejoice and see where my help comes from.  I have purpose and the promise of a future with my Creator where there will be no sadness, sickness or pain.  I have strength for my marriage and counsel to love and care for my husband and our children.  I have His love to fill me and affirm my worth in Christ.

I have received the perfect gift.  The gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  The gift that promises an eternal future but also gives so much right now while living this life.  All of this by His grace.  Not because I deserved it or did anything good or right to "earn" it.  Simply a gift because He chose to give it to me.  This rebellious, stubborn, broken girl He called out of the darkness and into His light- to live freely!

Praying you know this love, truly.  Praying you, sweet one, know this unconditional love and security of your eternity.  Honestly, this isn't even something I can fathom but the love He fills me with right now and His continued showing of His grace and provision now...oh no words can express it.  I want everyone to know this love.  To know this healing.  To know this hope and joy...this peace.

He is good always!

Chris Tomlin \ Forever
Give thanks to the Lord
Our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
With a mighty hand
and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that's been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us


A blessed and happy New Year to you!

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 ESV

Sunday, December 22, 2013

day 30...thankful heart

“You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.” 
 Charles H. Spurgeon

Thankful for...

~sermon today reminding us to listen to Him and not the world
~a meal spent outside with family
~the amazing "summer" day in winter
~realizing we are here and how quickly 2013 went
~His grace
~the Holy Spirit's filling and the gift of forgiveness
~calling on the LORD...and He always hear
~God's faithfulness
~His love of helping us grow in patience
~a home of our own
~five amazing sons and being able to see that
~a husband who perseveres, loves, and humbles himself 
~a marriage and family that is held and knit together by God's grace - not by our own efforts but by Christ's work and conviction in us.  His love is an unconditional gift I could never earn or deserve.
~beautiful biological brothers growing up together in their God appointed family
~beautiful sisters from different parts of a country growing up in this same God appointed family
~being part of this beautiful family by a God appointed marriage 
~pork roasts on a grill that weren't dry or burned!
~real food
~grace, grace, grace for this girl's stinky attitude sometimes :)
~love...the true meaning
~a service celebrating a life ending early but glorifying the Father and the joy of His promises
~"O Holy Night" and it's beautiful verses 
~truth and the Truth

[ The Shepherds and the Angels ] And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-11 ESV

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

day 29 intentionally-the joy-giver

We praise Him in the good and in the bad.  Job, in the midst of his grief, pain, and heartache replied to his wife, who was prompting him to give up "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” Job 2:10. 

The Book of Job is a truly amazing book.  Might I encourage you to read it, for the first time, or again? Sometimes, because we're human, we look for answers.  We look to reasons for the why's.  Sometimes, we don't get that answer and we have to simply praise Him, be it good or bad.  And we need to look only to Him, not to our friends, our neighbors, family.  One of the worst things we can do is compare our lives to others.  Comparing, both good and bad.  This can bring a spirit of discontentment or a spirit of fear or even a spirit of pride.

God has written each of our stories.  He has woven our hearts, our minds, personalities.  He knows our strengths and our weaknesses and He knows the best way to bring growth and healing to our souls.  He knows that way that pierces to the depths, but not to harm, but to heal with love.  The ultimate surgeon with the greatest precision and gentlest of hands.  

12 years ago I broke my ankle. After surgery with a plate and screws installed, I then had twelve (yes, 12!) weeks of recovery.  The pain in the beginning was excruciating and after finally getting my cast off, I had to learn to walk again.  But that broken bone is healed now (for the most part ;) ) and I made it through (with an 8 month old on top of it!)  

God is good always.  He carries us through. We praise Him in all of it, praying with earnest hearts that He would be glorified.

Job's story has a happy ending.  Amazing and wonderful.  God continues to show His faithfulness continually to us through His Word, His character.  He is amazing, gracious, kind, merciful, loving, compassionate, patient, the joy-giver.

Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”

To God alone be the glory!  Thankful to be His child and for His blessings :)

12 And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning
-Job 42:12

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