Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1000 gifts: joy strewn on the path

Continuing my list of gifts, blessings that I write down to remember all the wonderful things that God gives me along life's journey. I write these down on my calendar, and when I get a chance I add them here to my blog. These are all blessings are from October, 2012.

528. Joy strewn on my path
From Jesus Calling devotional, by Sarah Young
"Some days joy is generously strewn along your life path, glistening in the sunlight. On days like that, being content is as simple as breathing the next breath or taking the next step.

"Other days are overcast and gloomy; you feel the strain of the journey which seems endless. Dully gray rocks greet your gaze and cause your feet to ache. Yet joy is still attainable. Search for it as for hidden treasure [my theme: Seek Him!].

 "Begin by remembering that I have created this day; it is not a chance occurrence. Recall that I am present with you whether you sense my presence or not. Then, start talking with Me about whatever is on your mind. Rejoice in the face that I understand you perfectly, and I know exactly what you are experiencing. As you continue communicating with Me, your mood will gradually lighten. Awareness of My companionship can infuse joy into the grayest day."

529.  Helen's prayers
Helen is from Kenya and she does housework for one of my friends. She prays through the house as she works. She loves to pray; she considers it her gift. After meeting me, she asked if she could pray for me and my friend D., who had been hospitalized for bipolar, and was separated from her children. Her praying was so energetic and imploring; I wondered how she could not be breathless at the end of it! and I loved how she called on many different names of the Lord: Jehovah-Rovi (shepherd), Jehovah-Rapha (healer), Jehovah-Jireh (provider), Adonai, El-Shaddai. About a week after Helen's amazing prayer, I called D. and was thrilled to hear she was home from the hospital and sounding like herself again.

530. Reasoning, kid-style
One day I heard the kids yelling at each other upstairs. I called out "Hey, what are you guys fighting about up there?"  Blaze answered: "we are not fighting, we are reasoning."

531. Unusual pumpkin decorations
Our school always gives every kid a pumpkin every year, but it was too soon to carve the pumpkins, so I let the kids draw all over the pumpkins instead, and someone had given us some stick-in face pieces for pumpkins. Apparently that wasn't enough though, because one day I came home to find all four pumpkins stuck full of toothpicks.

532. Six snowmen
We got a big wet fall snowfall one Saturday morning, at least six inches of snow, and perfect for building snowmen. The girls rolled no less than six snowmen, some of them quite big! But by noon all six snowmen were gone - the day warmed up too quickly.

533. Ballet and zombies
Mom took me, Blaze and Dreamer to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet in Denver. My favorite ballet and such an elegant, classic experience! After the ballet was over, we walked through downtown to 16th St which is the heart of downtown shopping and restaurants, hoping to find a nice place to eat. Instead, we walked smack into the middle of a  zombie crawl - thousands of people dressed up in zombies walking down the blocked off street. What a contrast to the elegant ballet!

534. Steampunk Dracula
A friend of mine invited me to a local performance of Dracula which had some fun steampunk twists to it, with things like Mina communicating with Jonathan via a steam-powered iPads.

535. Waking up early to put costumes on
The girls were so excited about wearing their costumes to school on Halloween, they all woke up a half hour early at 6:30 to get ready! Blaze was a leopard, Dreamer was Batgirl, Starlet and Serious were Indian princesses (a costume I always wanted when I was a kid - I did get moccasins but never the full outfit).

536. Monster ducks under the pillow
At one house the girls trick-or-treated at, the family handed out rubber duckies - except these were monster versions of ducks with three pop-eyes or antennae. The day after Halloween, I discovered the twins had stashed their monster ducks under their pillows while the slept. I wonder what kind of dreams they had (smile).

537. Praise even when disappointed
From Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young:  "The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise. Remember that all good things - your possessions, your family and friends, your health and abilities, your time - are gifts from Me. Instead of feeling entitled to all these blessings, hold on them loosely, with gratitude." 

This has been such a year of blessings for me and I am so full of praise. There have been hard parts: my father's progressively worsening Parkinson's disease and B.'s mother's struggle with cancer. Need to continue praising through good times and bad.

538. Lost eight pounds.
Loving my Overeaters Anonymous meetings, and starting to feel comfortable texting C. and L. during the week for additional encouragement. Discovered they are both born-again believers. And C. is also a writer and planning to do NaNoWriMo in November!

539. Listening to others with God's insight
From Jesus Calling devotional, by Sarah Young. "Listen to Me even while you are listening to other people. You need the help of My spirit to respond appropriately. If you respond to others' needs through your unaided thought, you are offering them dry crumbs. When the Spirit empowers your listening and speaking, My streams of living water flow through you to other people."

Oh that I could remember to do this for God and for others more!

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