September 29, 2011

Infinite Love

I read something beautiful this morning...

"Because I am infinite, I am able to love you as if you and I were the only ones in the universe."

Today I have longed to sit in the lap of the Lord's love and never move from that place for as long as I live.  His love always accessible.  His love always unbroken.

I breathed His love in deep today as I walked with my girls.

Again, gratitude.

37.  The crunch of leaves beneath my feet.
38.  Watching little girl walk with one hand held up to the sky.
39.  Breathing deep the cool autumn air.
40.  The sound like a brook flowing as wind blows through the trees.

September 28, 2011

Art Nouveau Pitcher

In my pottery class we were asked to make a piece using the Art Nouveau movement as our inspiration. 

Here's what I've got so far.


We will see how the finished product looks after all is said and done.  The red part is a brown clay slip where I am doing sgraffito (carving out of clay).

Here are some pieces by artists who worked in this style.



What a gift to do this!

36.  Shaping a lump of clay into something beautiful.

Pause

If I would simply pause.

Pause.

In the midst of a loud, crazy, and chaotic life I wonder how my perspective might change if I would just stop.  Perhaps I would discover a whole new world around me.

A world created with such craftsmanship and beauty.  A world that communicates the love of an infinite Loving Savior who just wants me to "be still and know the HE IS GOD."

Sadly, most days I don't.  I never take a second to stop, look around, and notice where God is trying to woo me to Himself.  But today... Today, I did.  And my eyes saw God's goodness.

I'm thankful.

25.  Listening to big sister teach little girl new words with such joy.
26.  Puzzle pieces decorating my floor.

27.  The birthday celebration of a good friend's daughter.
28.  Christie... a woman who lives a life of grace, wisdom, and depth.  She has been and instrument of change in my life.
29.  Life-giving and encouraging words from my great husband.
30.  The smell of clean.
31.  Shiny red shoes on tiny feet.

32.  Small soft hands resting on my legs.
33.  The trees in my neighborhood with their leaves dusted with gold.
34.  Dance parties on a toy-sprinkled floor.
35.  The sound of wind chimes that compel me to smile, sigh, and dream of summer days.

September 19, 2011

Pillows, Sunsets, & Faith

18.  Pillows lined up forming a pathway to sheer joy and laughter.

19.  Eating a meal with good friends while being serenaded with the sounds of children at play.
20.  Fingers full of clay.
21.  Friends brought into my life after years and years of prayer.
22.  The eyes and soft cheeks of my daughters.
23.  Colorado sunsets.  "The heavens declare the glory of God.  The skies proclaim the work of His hands."

24.  The faith of friends who are believing God for the healing of their newborn son.  Meet Jude Pelton... a precious gift from the Lord whom we pray for every day.


September 16, 2011

I Am Limping

Most of the time when God opens my eyes to see His Grace toward me it is in the form of my daughters.  And I have wondered these last few days if part of the reason for that comes from the years and years of ungratefulness for the role of motherhood seemingly "impressed" upon me.

And I find I am much like Jacob.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man [most likely God] wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. (Genesis 32:24-31)

I wrestled with God for 4 years about becoming a mom.

Lord, don't you know that I love my job?
Lord, don't you know that my marriage is in a sweet place?
Lord, what the heck are you doing?
Lord, are you against me?

And then, God "touched my hip."  When questioned about my commitment to this vocational ministry demonstrated through "doing more," my soul began to cry out.

"Lord, I will not let go unless you bless me!"

"No" was my answer.  "I will not sacrifice my daughters on the alter of a busier life."  And I heard the words coming out of my mouth, "I love being a mom.  This is the role God has called me to and I love it."

Stunned.  Surprised.  Overjoyed.

The wrestling was exhausting and painful.  There were lots of doubts and questions.  But I saw the face of God and He spared my life.  Spared it from empty ambitions.  Spared it from the absence of the laughter of babes.  Spared it from being in my control instead of His.

And so, I limp.  

Limping in the very real awareness of my weakness and need of Jesus.
Limping as I seek to embrace every part of who God has created my girls to be... the good, the bad, the ugly.
Limping because I have finally surrendered to God's plan for my life.


Thus, the reason so many gifts I see as from the Lord are about my girls.  After being void of gratefulness for them for so long, the dam has broke, and I am flooded by God's graces through them.

13.  Peanut butter mustaches (& beards for that matter) on pretty faces.































14. Listening to the crunch of Goldfish crackers in my daughter's mouth.
15. Pigtails with flowers.
16. Brown eyes like pools of dark chocolate.
17. Making little girl laugh with my silly noises.

September 11, 2011

Do I Want To

The other day I heard my hourly alarm on my watch.  A gentle reminder to give thanks.  I heard it and paused.

Do I really want to give thanks?
Do I really want to give thanks for sleepless nights?
Do I really want to give thanks for temper tantrums?
Do I really want to give thanks for hard conversations with my husband?
Do I really want to give thanks during lonely, confusing, and exhausting days?
Do I really want to...

This, I am discovering, is the hard part of this gratitude journey.  Of looking beyond the exterior, "feel good," and pleasant things to reveal a deeper beauty.  A beauty that transcends my circumstances.  I just keep thinking that there really is more to this life than what I see, feel, and experience.  I'm so thankful for Jesus today.  That my confusion doesn't confuse Him.

I don't know how to do this whole thing yet.

But I'm asking the Lord to give me a heart like His, a heart of joy.  I know He will.

12.  For a Sweet Savior who is consistent when I'm a mess, who is loving when I'm angry, who is patient as I learn.

September 8, 2011

Sunflowers

8.  Sunflowers from my husband.

9.  Longs Peak covered in clouds on an early fall morning.
10.  Hearing sweet Madi calling my name from her crib.
11.  Phone calls with dear friends that breathe life into me, encourage me, and never ask me to be anything other than what I am.

September 7, 2011

Veggies

Gifts...
7.  Tomatoes, carrots, basil, kale, parsley... from seeds I planted!

Beautiful

Read Isaiah 61:10 this morning...
"I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

I read it to Avery and told her that when God looks at her He see BEAUTY.

I think I understand this in a small way when I saw my sweet little princess sleeping...


























Grateful...
3.  A precious little girl sleeping so peacefully... isn't she stunning?
4.  The sweet smell of basil that makes me think of Italy.
5.  Uncontrolled laughter of a 4 year old giving her little sister a piggy back ride.
6.  The smell of rain.

September 5, 2011

Journey Toward Gratitude

I just finished reading "1000 Gifts" by Ann Voskamp and was touched very deeply by a woman whose life I so relate to and whose words opened my eyes to the possibility of an experience with God that I have yet to know.

It is all about an experience of seeing the grace of God, the gifts of God, and His Hand of blessing in the everyday things of life... the things that I would normally just "pass by" and never take a second glance at.

So, I'm embarking on a journey toward greater gratitude.

To start my own list of 1000 gifts... I have no idea what this will look like or where it will take me.  And I love that.

1.  A patch of blue sky right in the middle of a dark raincloud. 
2.  The light of the sun at sunset... drawing stripes in the sky.