January 11, 2012

Golden Cord Of Hope

"Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven.  The more you cling to this cord, the more I (Jesus) bear the weight of your burdens; thus, you are lightened." Excerpt from Jesus Calling

Today I hold with tired hands to this golden cord.  I am in need of perspective and as I hope... I find some.  Tiredness, selfishness, and anger turns my eyes inward.  Hope turns my eyes upward.

Hope is not natural for me in and of myself.  It comes from Jesus alone.  That's what makes hope hope.

Hope says that Jesus can do what He promises.
Hope says that this world is not all there is.
Hope says that I can take another step forward.

When I hold to the hope Jesus gives my heart will never grow sick.

In hope I continue my gratitude list... and catch up with things I've been writing down for a few months:
157.  Coat racks covered with signs of winter
158.  Time with Avery sipping cider
159.  The giggles of my girls
160.  Running races in pajamas
161.  Forgiveness
162.  Grace given to my family
163.  That nothing can separate me from God's love
164.  The gift of life
165.  That Madison is alive
166.  Swimming outside in the snow
167.  Steam rising from wet heads
168.  Hot tubs
169.  Snow covered mountains
170.  A moment to pause and see the Lord
171.  Mist falling heavy in mountain valleys
172.  Wet ponytails
173.  15 year friendships
174.  Redemptive stories
175.  The loving questions of a good friend
176.  Plucking guitar strings
177.  Bubbles blown in swimming pools and bathtubs
178.  Doing puzzles
179.  Kisses on cold evening walks in Vail
180.  Chai spiced pork tenderloin... yum
181.  Freedom from bondage
182.  Late night card games
183.  Watching Avery and Brian play UNO
184.  Hot chocolate mustaches
185.  Christmas pajamas
186.  Striped socks
187.  Trusting in Jesus
188.  Jesus' sacrifice
189.  Pumpkin pie
190.  Playing Old Maid one hundred times
191.  Brian's kisses
192.  Avery holding my hand walking in Vail Village
193.  Madi wearing cool glasses
194.  Sleeping with Madi snuggling close
195.  Innocent crushes
196.  Time with good friends
197.  Watching my kids play with friend's kids
198.  A warm day to swim
199.  Avery hugging and kissing her sister
200.  "Gold Fish!" (Go Fish)
201.  Fresh snow
202.  Snow angels with dad
203.  Snow covered boots
204.  Colds that help me slow down
205.  Grace to be a mom through physical weariness
206.  Fevers that don't last
207.  Madison falling asleep in my arms
208.  Finding the perfect gift
209.  Made up games that are just plain silly
210.  Ficus tree white elephant gifts
211.  Avery's cheeks
212.  Affirming Avery's beauty and character
213.  Fernando Ortega concert!
214.  Romance in my marriage
215.  A husband who serves us so much
216.  Craft swaps
217.  Reminders to pray for grieving friends
218.  Christmas lights glowing
219.  Christmas music
220.  Jesus' choice to stay on the cross for me
221.  Eyes to see beauty
222.  Hands that can write and create
223.  A tongue to taste goodness
224.  Ears that hear
225.  Legs that work
226.  Quiet
227.  1 hour with a friend
228.  Full moons so bright
229.  Reading to Avery
230.  Healthy kids
231.  Brokenness
232.  Tearful phone calls with a friend
233.  Needing Jesus
234.  Grace words to my dad
235.  A girl with strength... even if it means butting heads
236.  Good doctors visits
237.  Feeding hungry college guys
238.  "Don't Eat Pete" throwdown with Brian's guys
239.  Giving gifts
240.  Good questions
241.  A warm house
242.  Soft blankets
243.  Sleep
244.  Full moon light on the snow
245. Snow blanketing the earth
246.  Laughter
247.  The problems we face that cause me to hold Jesus' hand
248.  Enjoying my husband
249.  Flannel Christmas sheets
250.  Our staff team... a gift
251.  Anniversary horse drawn carriage rides
252.  Romance in my marriage
253.  Filet mignon at Jay's Bistro
254.  9 great years of marriage
255.  Laying next to Avery
256.  Nurses at hospitals who know what they are doing
257.  New light fixtures
258.  Laughing with Madi at lunch
259.  Live jazz music
260. Red & green Christmas toes
261.  Avery's cute nose
262.  For God's presence in great poverty and need
263.  Not having the answers to help friends in need; moving me to pray, moving them to Jesus
264.  Gelato that I can actually eat
265.  The anticipation of Christmas
266.  Madison's cried beckoning
267.  Unsolicited encouragement from my 4 year old
268.  The ringing bells of the season
269.  Wrapping gifts
270.  The joy of giving
271.  Bringing armfuls of gifts to a needy family
272.  Being a protector for my girls
273.  Squeals of delight
274.  Wise doctors
275.  Watching my girls play with friends
276.  Beautiful views
277.  Walking in the city
278.  Caleb Anthony Taylor... born 3lbs. 12 oz.
279.  Caleb breathing on his own
280.  Caleb nursing better each time
281.  Watching my sister respond with such grace in the midst of a hard situation
282.  God's grace in Caleb's life
283.  Little imaginations
284.  Small quiet squeaky (sick) voices
285.  Holding my sick daughter
286.  Sin being brought into the light
287.  Cool air
288.  The sounds of the city
289.  A video that gives me margins to rest
290.  God's ability to sustain in weariness
291.  Peppermint tea
292.  New sweaters
293.  Adventures walking in downtown Denver
294.  Clean air to breathe
295.  Fever that break
296.  Questions to ask friends who are grieving
297.  The faith of grieving friends
298.  Brown haired braids
299.  Students living out radical faith that challenges my own
300.  Making it through a tough night of sickness
301.  Cute kids lined up on the couch
302.  Joe & Shawna's friendship
303.  Soft pajama pants
304.  The hope of transformation
305.  God's grace in my weaknesses and mess ups
306.  The forgiveness of my daughter over and over again
307.  Green lights at just the right time
308.  Sunset drives on Horsetooth with my girls
309.  "One more last story mom"
310.  Worshipping this morning at church (Our God is Greater)
311.  Avery's gentle spirit that comes alive at church
312.  The Jesus "lives in Avery's heart!"  AMEN
313.  Time with Kayt
314.  Returning clothes without a hassle
315.  The Broncos winning a playoff game
316.  Victory dances with my girls
317.  A sense of calmness in the midst of impending sickness
318.  Juicy pot roast that melts in my mouth
319.  A full moon that lights the night with crisp light
320.  The privilege of helping those in need
321.  Bringing dinner to a friend
322.  That God is higher than any other
323.  That God is healer
333.  Braided pigtails that bounce when she runs
334.  Grieving with a friend
335.  Unanswered questions
336.  Coming to the end of myself
337.  Sunlight through our back door curtain
338.  Girls singing Christmas carols in January
339.  Cute sweaters on my girls
340.  That this world is not all there is
341.  Tears of hurting friends
342.  God's provision that will come
343.  Sweet baby girls