Monday, November 15, 2010

Gratitude Journal

31. Quiet times of stillness with Jesus in the morning
32. Fresh inspiration
33. Unexpected blessings
34. Pleasant dreams
35. A fresh start every morning
36. Hope
37. A God who Never gives up on me
38. Crisp morning air
39. The sound of children's voices
40. The Determination to conquer the day

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

"And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing"
Psalm 107:22

I have been reminded by several wise people lately that counting one's blessings is a great way to cheer one's soul. And so, this is my rather belated start to a Gratitude Journal.

1. bright, cheerful sunshine
2. The deep blue skies of fall
3. pumpkin breads, muffins, pies
4. a job I love
5. a Wonderful, Amazing "real" family
6. a Wonderful, Amazing adopted family
7. Friends who are always close in heart even when time and distance separate us
8. A Heavenly Father who delights in me and pursues me with a relentless love
9. a very warm, comfortable bed
10. My sweet little dog, Sofi
11. Pumpkin Spice Latte coffee creamer
12. Thanksgiving break is coming soon!
13. clothes, shoes, jewelry - all the fun "girly" things of life
14. Hot chocolate
15. Waffles
16. Music that speaks to my heart
17. laughter
18. the unending, ever changing and yet always the same beauty of the ocean
19. My family's new, amazing, huge house
20. movies, TV, Wii, Xbox, computers, cell phones - all the crazy technology that enhances and clutters our lives at the same time
21. Fall colors
22. Holiday decorating and baking
23. God's Word that is always relevant to my life today
24. My Crazy brothers
25. Creativity
26. My cute, cozy apartment - even though sometimes it's lonely
27. All of the children I get to impact and love every day
28.The Church I am blessed to be attending right now and all the people who are in it
29. My Mommy :) I don't know how to even summarize all that she is so I'm not going to even try - she's just simply incredible! :D
30. Memories. Heart warming, vivid, forever memories.

And I think this is a good start. More sacrifices of thanksgiving to come.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Awards are fun to get!

Thank you, Mom, for this blog award! I would like to give it to my sister, Ashlyn, for her blog Captured by Beauty. She has a gift for "capturing beauty" with her photographs and then using them to turn our eyes to the beauty of the Lord.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Treasure Lost

Today I was working on memorizing John 16. As I glibly recited the verses I have already learned, I was struck by verses 6-7: "But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." God had to take something away from the disciples, something that they loved dearly - Himself, before he could give them an even greater blessing - the Comforter, the Holy Spirit - who would be with them every second, "guiding them into all truth." Yet the disciples, not realizing the intended blessing, were sorrowful, clinging to what they already had and loved. They didn't understand that momentarily painful loss was going to result in eternally satisfying joy ("and your joy no man taketh from you.") They had to lose in order to gain.

I think of how many times this has been true in my life. God has taken something I loved from me, only to give me something He knew I would love even more. While I thought my heart would break from aching loss, He whispered, "Child, just wait and see what I have for you now. Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor could your heart ever imagine what I have prepared for you." And sure enough, blessings that I could never have imagined have become mine, gifts from The Perfect Giver, precious treasures that would have never been given if he had not seen fit to take.

Lord, help me to trust you. Help me to look beyond this moment and all its glitter and remember the best is yet to come.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Coffee, Prayer, and Possibilities

I don't know about you, but my new year's resolutions always feel a lot like the picture above - impossibly long! Being the overachiever that I am, I always have a million plans, goals, dreams, summits to surpass, and obstacles to overcome. In fact, forget about my new year's resolutions - the pic probably just as accurately represents my daily to-do list! (Ask my mom - I exaggerate only slightly!) So, this year, I decided to try to keep my goals down so that I would have a little more chance of reaching them. I don't know if I actually reached any of my goals from last year but I did make progress towards them. A few notable achievements from 2009:

  • Lost 15 pounds
  • Visited 3 of my college friends and my sister
  • Memorized John 14, 15 and part of 16
  • Read through the Bible
  • Completed 2o hours of course work towards my MAT with a 3.9 GPA (while simultaneously teaching full time, taking piano lessons, and serving as the church pianist)
  • Made it through my first year as a teacher and half way through my second (now, if you could have met some of my students, you would know this IS an accomplishment!)
  • Passed the GACE basic skills test and Content tests 1 & 2
  • Read 5 educational books (including Ike, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and War and Peace)

I probably did some other stuff too, but this is what most stands out in my mind. It is always a good feeling to look back and see that I actually DID accomplish some things contrary to what it might seem. Now, for this year...(deep breath).........drum roll please!!

Oh wait - little side note before I begin - I always like to structure my goals into four main groups following Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man." OK, without further adieu - my Goals 2010!


  • Be faithful in piano practice and make lots of progress
  • Graduate with my MAT
  • Read at least 12 new educational books
  • Practice flute at least 1 time per week
  • Work on my needlework at least 1 time per week
  • Work through my Piano repertoire listening list


  • Lose more weight and get in shape
  • Faithfully take a multi vitamin
  • Improve my posture

Favor with God

  • Read through the Bible
  • Memorize John 16 (the rest of it), Galatians, and Ephesians

Favor with Man

  • Keep in touch with my friends
  • Listen to Matt read at least 1 time per week
  • Spend more time investing in my family

So, there they are. As the year unfolds, I am sure that I will face challenges both expected and unexpected that will threaten to get me discouraged and off track. However, this year, I want to learn from a sermon our pastor preached and: Not judge my future by my past or present, See the Possibilities in the Problems, and Remember that my Outlook determines my Outcome. With a positive, unwavering attitude and God's grace, I am sure that I will have a successful and productive year come what may! In the words of my new favorite coffee mug, "With enough coffee and prayer, I can do anything!" :)

P.S. - If all else fails, I can always throw my resolutions out the window and claim as my mantra the cartoon below. You know it's true! :)