Saturday, September 26, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *221- 229 *Weekend Joys

221. Quiet day at home for Chris ~ no desk work! outside all day!
222. Quiet outdoor fire
222. Quiet moments with Chris
223. Quarter moon behind fiery leaves
224. Warm coffee in hands
225. Sunflower in the dark still casting a bright yellow glow
226. More apples ... these are for lunches :)
227. A day filled with worship, a family breakfast, and more apple recipes.
228. The extended birthday celebrating for my 85 year old father.
229. A touching movie about adoption that oldest daughter recommended in honor of my own mother and niece who were adopted.

~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Falling on My Knees

When I was in my late 30's, I went through a time of spiritual searching.

My husband ~ wonderful
My children ~ healthy, beautiful.
Home ~ comfortable, secure.

Yet, there was a dull ache and the 'ground' was moving sand.
How could I feel this way?

What in the world did I want?

I have to admit, although I had a nice devotional time in the morning, and attended Bible studies...
my 'prayers' were mostly about self...
my past disappointments, my desires for the present and my hopes for the future.

So much time went by repeating prayers about self. morning, before dawn...

like the bright light that knocked St. Paul off his horse and made him fall to the ground...
...for the first time in my life,
I began an understanding of Jesus in the garden the night before He died...
I fell off my horse ~ dropped to my knees ~ bowed my head
stayed there for the longest time.

It pierced me through and through and changed me forever.

The sweat, the blood, the prayers of the night before His death were for the
horrific physical torture that lay ahead.

... but only after...
The sweat, blood and prayers of how He gave up the Self.
He had thousands of followers.
The power of God.
He could have it all.

Worldly dreams,
the temptation of self aggrandizement shaking the ground...

But, to fulfill the will of the Father, Self needed to die.

When Self dies... Everything changes.
...and the instrument of torture became a path to the divine...

Prayer changes.
Wants, needs, s
elf ~ fall to the wayside,
The Father knows about these things...

My Prayer changes.

Husband, still wonderful.
Children still beautiful
Home still comfy
for these I want to express gratitude...

I stop the noise in my head
wait for 'human noise' to quiet

and simply be with God.

~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *209 - 220

209. Beautiful clean water flowing from an indoor faucet ... a gratitude that 'welled up'
after catching myself complaining about the wacky timed-faucets in the bathrooms at school.

21o. Gorgeous autumn weather

211. Baskets of apples from our backyard trees ~manna from Heaven I say!

212. First full week of school - all systems GO!

213. Parent night (Thursday) went well. I had the opportunity to meet the parents of students I've known since last September.

These parents are raising 'salt for the earth.' I love these kids!

215. The beautiful drive we had yesterday to travel.

216. The fiery splashes of autumn in the hills of upstate, NY.

217. Always looking for wildlife (especially deer) on rt. 23 ... Chris spotted an eagle perched in a tall defoliated tree... We quickly turned around to take a photo. Chris snapped this shot just in time!
Gratitude overflows and the song performed by Josh Groban, raises up in our hearts.


218. The incredible food we are always served at Nina's Restaurant.

219. Fresh clean air for deep breathing.

220. Always, my teddy bear husband ~ close and comfy.

~ ~ ~

~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The face I wear

In the world, but not of the world.

This is the face I wear in the world.
This face wears 'sunblock' and faces a fluorescent light.

This is the blush of worldly love.
Underneath, I look pale.

. . . When I step away from the world . . .

This washed clean face looks to the 'SONshine'

and feels the blush of Heavenly Love
warmth on face and in heart.

Sweet forgiveness, grace and joy to help me Walk With Him into Kingdom living where form does not matter ~ only heart and soul.

~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing

Joining Ann and many others at Holy Experience...
as we share our faith walks with one another.
Join Ann over here.
Photos: new makeup that covers
sonshine through the sunshine on yesterday's walk
rose: picked long ago from the internet

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *200 - 208

Harvest time!

200. Look at these cutie patooties! I love garden fresh potatoes! soooo sweet!
Actually, these avoided the infamous blythe that swept through local gardens this year!
201. Although some of our tomato plants had Blythe, we were so grateful that the plants on the other side of the garden area were free and clean!
202. This is my 85 year old father... determined to pick this year's blueberries from our local orchard last month. His fortitude is such a gift and a blessing.

203. So grateful for the cool mornings the week before school started so that I could decorate my classroom... This is part of a large back wall. I filled it with poster board people from around the world.
204. My daughter's cozy classroom area. Her pup, Chino, visits school after hours.
So grateful she enjoys her work.
205. Our new and very fast computers at school! I want to bring the same speed and creative software home! Thank you to the district and to the generous families who live there.

206. That my presentation went well and for all my students this year.
207. This sweet bouquet of pink mums at the garden shop...
It made me smile just to see them.
208. The yummy tea that my sister gave me to tuck away in my desk drawer...
...for when I need a little break in the middle of my school day.

For the blessings all around me ~ seen and unseen ~
and Thanking Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience for helping me keep my garden of gratitudes growing by joining in every Monday here with the Gratitude Community.

~All is Gift ...
... All is Blessing

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Gift of a Prayer *199

Father, Creator of all,
We praise You and worship You.

Seek You and honor Your will.

Although we live in this world,
Let us be of Your Kingdom.

Holding Your Word in our hearts
So we may grow in Your love

And bring forth the fruit of Spirit.

~All is Gift ...
... All is Blessing


With Love,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

You are a Gift . . . a Light for the World *190-197

How long does a candle have to burn . . .
before it starts lighting up the room?~ As soon as it's lit on fire ~

A very special gratitude to the souls that light up this grand community.
* * *

190. The gorgeous week of wonderful weather we had here in the northeast.

191. For the custodians who freshly painted the halls and classrooms.

192. For family that calls to say, 'we'd love to see you!'

193. For niece that worked hard at McDonald's this spring and summer...
to save money for a special trip to France ~ she maintained her high-honor average and saved enough money to go!

194. Grateful for my neighbors that call and say, 'we'd love to have you join us.'

195. Heart overflowing for daughter who makes phone calls feel almost as good as real visits.

196. The sweetness that lingers long after the togetherness.

197. Humbled by and grateful for our pastor's message today...
Is my life my ministry?

Have I introduced my close friends to my Closest Friend?

~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Prayer Happens

Inside our house, prayer comes at special times of the day.
A quiet morning devotion, grace, prayer for family.

Most of the time, however . . .
prayer just . . . happens where we are
. . . inside . . . or out . . .

Monday morning, our old dog, Muffin (15) woke me up at 5:30 am ...
Due to her age, I always get up when she barks...
Poor ol' girl can't hold on like she used to ...
Opening the front door ... I let her out and quickly carried her to the grass
(She's about 99% blind now).

The weather has cooled down to fall temperatures,
so the air was crisp.
I love that!
At this hour of the morning, there isn't any, what I call 'man-made noise.'
Just me, the air I breath and God.
(And today, Muffin too).
I always look up and over to the horizon . . .
This morning there was a hint of red in a deep corner, behind a neighbor's house.
Muffin was still wandering in the grass

... so I waited.

To see God's 'Good Morning.'

Maria and her house said, 'Good morning,' back.

. . . Inside . . .
the coffee was brewing and Chris and I began our day.

* * *
Prayer happens when I walk passed this Baby's Tears plant
Lord, you knew our names before we were born. Be with the unborn.

Prayer happens when I pick apples from our backyard trees.
Thank you God for this wonderful, pure harvest.

Prayer happens when I iron.
Please keep Chris in Your care.

Prayer happens when the phone rings. Hello, Maria, I was thinking of you today.
Lord, thank you for the people in my life who make me feel loved.

. . . Prayer Happens inside and outside and all around . . .
~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing