Monday, December 11, 2017

On Hide & Seek and The Glory of God

My mission this week has been to purpose myself to be grateful in ALL things. I realized last week that I was missing all of the gems God had placed in my life because my focus was on the difficult things. My spirit was one of whininess and self-pity, which not only made me an absolute delight to be around (note sarcasm), but also kept me flat blinded to all the good He had placed before me. So through the urging of and partnering with a dear friend, I committed alongside her to choose to find something to be grateful about in each circumstance of life this week. It has been a game-changer. My heart towards my kids has been so much softer, I have been gracing my husband with more genuine smiles, and even in the moments that have held hurt or pain I have been able to find something to be thankful for. I'm seeing so many things to be thankful for, the things that were there all along but I wasn't looking for them. Perhaps because I'm looking hard, I'm seeing--really SEEING--all the lovely and quiet ways God is weaving himself into my days.

There's a verse in the Bible that is one I once loved but I had forgotten, and it came to mind this week in my purposing a thankful heart.

"It is the glory of God to conceal himself, and the glory of kings to seek him out." ~Proverbs 25:2

I so love how God chooses to hide himself in the midst of our story, showing his glory by intentionally placing easter eggs of his very self throughout our days...and beckoning us to search for them. Hide and seek is a favorite game in our house...and of course the glory of the "hiders" is to find the best possible spot so the seeker has to work hard to find you. The glory of the seeker, though, is in their tenacity to keep searching and leaving no rock (or bedsheet) unturned until they find the one they are looking for. How lovely that our God has hidden himself in our homes and workspace and amongst the aisles of the markets we shop and along the roads we drive. Are we looking? Do we have eyes to see him...or are we so caught up in bitterness or frustration or disappointment that we miss him completely? I have missed him too many times, and my own heart (along with the hearts of those around me) has suffered for it. In purposing to seek out thankfulness I am purposing to live in the glory God has intended for me...that of a seeker of Him. Like a child on the hide-and-seek hunt, may I be innocent in heart of matters regarding bitterness and discontent. Instead, may I close my eyes, count to 10, and yell out as loud as I can, "READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!" And perhaps with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, my God quietly responds, "Good child, I am waiting for you to come find me."

Humbled in Love,

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Embers of the Divine

Sometimes you can almost taste God. You are going about your business and then somebody near you dives into this delectable juicy steak (or whatever your meal of choice) and your mouth starts to water. You smell it, you see it, and it is almost like you can taste that steak and it just makes you long for a bite. Oh may he bring us to a place of longing for more of him.

Lately I have felt him stirring up something within me...these embers that have been smoldering but not doing much else. I know he wants to light this fire and use my life for his glory, but it seems that instead of stoking the embers into flame I have been content to just watch them glow dimly. There is something beautiful about the embers though, isn't there? It is like this could be a big, roaring, warm and toasty fire, if we just gave it a little prodding and a little fuel.

I am ready for that moment. My heart is pounding in my chest ready for more. More Jesus, more love, more passion, more depth and fire and life. When did I start living this life as if it was the thing? When did I forget that HE IS THE THING?! There is nothing else. It all pales in comparison to him and every last thing in this world we hold onto is like dust compared to the surpassing glory of knowing and living for the one who created all of it.

There is so much beauty and wonder in the world...I love admiring it. I love warm fall days and the first snowfall and spring flowers and summer break. I love a full moon and crisp leaves and sun-kissed cheeks. I even love hot showers, funny movies, and steaming cups of coffee. And all of this is okay--even good because he created beauty and warmth and tastebuds and laughter. But when did all the gifts replace the place in my heart that was meant for the Giver? When did I become content with the stuff when I've known that all of it is meant to bring me back to the Creator of it all? Adoration, worship, surrender...these should be my response to him--and not out of obligation, but out of an overflow of thankfulness and worship because HE IS GOOD.

God, forgive me for all the ways I have failed to live my life as a passionate dance for you. I love the gifts you have given me--my family and friends and community are dear to me. My home is cozy and wonderful. My life is full of your blessings. But God...I give all these things back to you. I know that likely, you will not keep them. Likely, you will return many them to me but I will no longer see them the same. I confess that I have so many gifts that I have begun to take them for granted. I don't want to live that way anymore. I want to live open-handed to you with my whole life. All of it, holding nothing back. So God, stoke the fire in my soul. Prod the embers and add the kindling that what has been smoldering quietly will burst forth as a phoenix from the flame. This is my prayer and my passion.

May it be so~

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Some Weekly Dinner Inspiration

Some days I just need somebody else to decide what is for dinner. I have been feeling that lately and after having almost two weeks of a meal train from generous friends and family after having a baby, I got a little spoiled and now it's like I've forgotten how to cook or decide what to eat! So here is a meal plan I made for my own sanity and I thought I would share it in case you have dinner-making block like I do! ;) You are welcome!

Monday- This wonderful Loaded Baked-Potato Soup from The Wicked Noodle. So good, my friends. Add in a loaf of toasty garlic bread and your taste-buds will sing.

Tuesday- Pizza. I cheated here, because I did plan on making dinner Tuesday but Papa Murphy's has a deal where you can get any pizza your heart desires for $10 on Tuesdays and I did not want to tote three children to the grocery store yesterday so The Murph won out. And when pizza is dinner, really everybody wins! 

Wednesday-These Baked Chicken Legs from Bless This Mess, Broccoli, Rice

Thursday- This fantastic and easy Cheesy Bacon Chicken from Joy-Filled Eats and a hearty salad. (One of my favorite meals, and seriously one of the easiest I make too. Win!)

Friday- Taco Soup w/ Chips. (I'll try and share this recipe soon!)

Saturday- Steak Salad and Bread

Sunday- Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chips, & Fruit

Well, hope some of this inspires you and perhaps next time I'll have pictures to go with my dinner inspiration (but if I try that today I will never get this post up). ;) Happy Wednesday to you all and have a joy-filled rest of your week!

~Blessings to you my friends!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Happy September (aka the unofficial first day of fall and here's why) ;)

September is here is FINALLY HERE!!! September, for me, is like the start of something brand new and very exciting. For starters, I am a fall lover, people. Like, I start dreaming about fall in early August and by the time school rolls around I am all-in ready! So September 1st is like, fall kickoff celebration for my heart (even though I am well aware that fall doesn't officially start for twenty-one more days) and today I celebrated with a pumpkin/hazelnut breve! Oh yes! And not a medium but the biggest one I could find! Delightful to my tongue and soul I tell you. Delightful!

My husband is well-aware of my obsession with pumpkin spice lattes (aka: The Drink That Represents All Things Autumn) and so he posted this hilarious picture to my Facebook page the other day. This basically sums up my whole life. ---->

I have another reason for considering September 1st the unofficial first day of fall and that is this: There is simply not enough time in autumn to do all the autumny things I want to do! Football games, marshmallow-roasts, apple-picking (and applesauce-making...mmm!), nature walks, pumpkin-patch visits, gathering with friends and family for still-warm-but-not-hot evenings outside, jumping in leaf-piles, getting family pictures done, observing the stars, making a scarecrow (on my bucket-list for three years running and I have yet to do this one!), baking a cobbler (or pie...but I have my heart set on a peach-cobbler this year), reading a good book (When is it not a good season to do this, I mean really? My pick this fall is Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman), having a soup-salad-and-bread night with friends, focusing on thankfulness, and the list could go on! Not to mention the fun, feasting, and family of Halloween and Thanksgiving! Oh fall, you have so much to celebrate!

This year is especially great because my oldest two are finally able to get into celebrating with me. Last year my two-year-old had a blast but my one-year-old didn't really care. This year at two and three they will likely have as much fun as I do with all the festivities. Hooray! And so far my newborn is a champ at going-along-for-the-ride and I am less sleep-deprived than I was with my first two so I count that as another spectacular win! I could go on, but naptime is almost over and I am feeling a little crafty so I'm going to attempt a project in the next fifteen minutes. Wish me luck and happy unofficial first day of fall to you and yours! ;)

Blessings to you and a whole lotta love!