Saturday, June 30, 2012

1000 gifts: verses on the sidewalk

Continuing my list of gifts, blessings that I write down to remember all the wonderful things that God gives me along life's journey. These blessings are from June, 2012.

 464. New laptop box
 I got a new laptop via work, which makes me very happy, but not as much as the way my kids played with the box the laptop came in. Starlet* actually fit entirely inside the box! (pretty impressive for a 5 year old).

465. Bible verses in sidewalk chalk
Earlier I blogged about what a wonderful experience VBS was this year, as we participated as a family (instead of me just dropping the kids off). Dreamer took her memory verses very seriously, even writing them on our front steps with sidewalk chalk! The kids all have a new appreciation for dinosaurs after Dino Day at VBS, learning that dinos lived at the same time as humans, according to the Creation timeline.

466.  A nice looking GPA
Stars had a tough semester but was absolutely thrilled that her final GPA was a 3.2 (esp. since it mean she got to keep driving! smile)

466. Fighting over who gets to mow the lawn
When I got the mower out and started mowing for the first time this year (we haven't had to mow much because it's been so dry), Blaze came bounding over and wanted to take over. Well, I was enjoying myself and didn't want to stop mowing! I did the front lawn and she did the back, which is pretty impressive since our back lawn is huge, over a half acre. I was boasting about her mowing prowess over dinner when Stars said, "don't let this change anything, but I've never mowed a lawn."  (she really doesn't know what she's missing out on, my poor stepdaughter) (smile)

467.  Being able to walk again
My Dad broke a bone just below his knee a couple months ago, and what a relief for all of us (esp. him!) when he could finally walk again!

468. Modern heart catheters
Twenty years ago my mom had to have open heart surgery as a result of three blocked arteries. This year, two of her arteries clogged up again - but thanks to advances in health procedures she was able to have the blockage fixed by two catheters (one in January, one this June) and be home from the hospital the very next day!

469. Targeted cancer radiation 
My mother-in-law has been fighting a very aggressive breast cancer since last Sept, with discouraging news each time she gets another scan done (after chemo and three surgeries it was still spreading!) But finally some encouraging news from the Mayo Clinic: they believe they can eradicate the cancer with some specially targeted radiation. She is staying in a hope house in Rochester, MN for six weeks, with family taking turns the whole time with her. 2 weeks into treatments now, and she is holding up really well and in great spirits.

470. Trusting God to pay the hospital bill
We had a misunderstanding about what our insurance covers, which meant we got a $800 bill for 4 stitches for one of my daughters at the hospital emergency room. We are on a tight budget, and even paying $100 a month toward this bill would strain us. A friend of ours recently went through the same thing with her son's oral surgery. She gathered her four children and they prayed together for God to provide the means to pay the bill, or have the insurance cover it after resubmitting. When the insurance paid in full, my friend was able to share the good news with the kids and show them how God answers prayers! So, I did the same thing. I told my girls how we were going to pray to see how God would provide for the rest of the money for this big bill.  A few weeks later we learned we had to file an ammended tax return to account for some of B's side work/extra income. After submitting his expenses for the side work, we got an extra $2000 return, in addition to the return we'd already gotten this year. Not only enough to pay the hospital bill, but several other bills as well! I was so excited to share this with the kids and I hope it increase their faith in God, He really does provide all our needs, sometimes in the most surprising ways. 

471. Flowers and butterflies
Every year the perennial flowers we planted a few years ago come back even bigger and prettier than the year before, and one of the nice extras with having flowers around the house is that we've been getting lots of hummingbirds and butterflies (and bees, but they are so busy they don't bother us). Here's one of our more unusual visitors, only wish my camera could have captured all its beautiful colors:

472. Kids and camping
I confess, camping is more work than enjoyment sometimes, esp. with four little kids. But my kids love it so much - when we left our campsite and the other families we'd shared it with - all my kids started crying. We weren't even able to have a campfire this year because of high danger level for fire, but they were just as happy roasting marshmallows over a camp stove! 

473. A home for Jewel
This year has been so dry that hay for our horses is going to cost a fortune. I've been thinking for a while about selling my horse, Jewel, since we have 5 horses and don't really need that many. Jewel was the logical choice to go since she isn't "kid safe" - she's much too smart and will take advantage of any rider who isn't experienced. But that's also what I love about her, her playful and tricky personality - so it was a hard choice. Fortunately, we found a family with two teenage girls who fell in love with her. They are experienced enough to handle her, and plan to show her at fair this summer. Also, they let us borrow her for trail rides, so I can still get to enjoy her once in a while.

474. A "Lord Festival"
Dreamer was playing with her friend Tiffany when they came up with an idea for a "Lord Festival."  This means running around outside singing Bible songs as loud as possible - the B I B L E song,  Pharoah Pharoah, Awesome God, etc. Love it! 

475. Accountability partner
For several months I have been praying for an accountability partner, someone else who is really serious about losing weight, eating healthier and exercising more. Most of my friends are already thin, so it never occurred to me to ask them. But when I mentioned this as a prayer request to one of my thin friends, Kerry, she said she needed an accountability partner, too (staying thin isn't easy, either). We've been calling each other twice a week (she lives in Montana). The encouragement is a help- I've lost 4 pounds (and gained back one), but hey, it's a start. Praying we can keep encouraging each other regularly instead of slacking off after time...

476. New branches on family trees 
Found out (via a cousin-removed I didn't know I had till recently) that my family tree on my father's side goes back 12 generations to an Indian chief in the 1600's! He sent us all the details by connecting us to his family tree on Then I dig some quick digging on B.'s side of the family, and discovered his great-great-great-grandfather born in 1813 through Find-A-Grave. Amazing what you can find on the internet these days.

477. God's measure
This is from my devotional this year, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
I am King of kings and Lord of lords, dwelling in unapproachable light. 1 Tim 6:16
"As My presence envelopes you, you may feel overwhelmed by My power and glory. This is a form of worship, sensing your smallness in comparison to My Greatness. Man has tended to make himself the measure of all things. But man's measure is too tiny to comprehend My majestic vastness. That is why most people do not see Me at all, even though they live and move and have their being in Me"

I never thought of it that way before: we do not see God because he is invisible, but because He is so great that we simply don't have the eyes to comprehend Him yet. Yet! Someday, we will!
* Starlet, Serious, Dreamer and Blaze are screen names for my daughters, and Stars is my stepdaughter's screen name.


  1. OH I just love your list of blessings...My oldest daughter almost 19 is alot like your she would LOVE a horse in the burbs and paying for her Christian college experience doesn't allow for that in our budget. :( she DID take equestrian lessons for 6 years so...that's a blessing I guess! We love camping too but sold our pop up camper last summer as the girls no longer cared about going. My husband and i MIGHT go back to tenting since we have a small one but i just don't know at this age! IS a lot of work. I am so glad to hear the good report about your dad and mother in law..GOD IS GOOD! have a happy weekend!!

    1. Thanks for reading my lengthy gifts list! I always start with intentions to keep it short and sweet, and then it ends up being so long.

      A Christian college experience is important! More than a horse. I got my first horse after graduating college and saving my money. I would have loved one sooner, but doubt I would have had the time to really give it the attention they need!