Each Monday I post a list of things to be grateful for from the past week - and though it is all sincere, sometimes the doing of it becomes routine. But how can the gift of another day, and another week, be called routine? For each day, each week, and each moment with those we love is all a gift. And I am filled with thanks.
Special gifts from God this past week:
~ Time spent together last weekend with our sweetheart little granddaughter, Eva, (5 1/2 months old) ... how can a little one be filled with so much sweetness? We had such fun with her - what a joy to be "Grama" and "Grampa" to her, (and also to our other nine grandkids). She was such a happy little girl, even smiling up at me when I went to get her up from her naps, and first thing in the morning. Her parents had a great little surprise getaway last weekend, a surprise trip that Tyler planned to celebrate our daughter, Carrie, turning 30! (Three year-old Cruz would have been here, too, but he was having fun at his other grandparents' home last week.)
~ The readings in Jesus Calling - I love these daily readings, and they feed my soul each day that I read them. This past week I read so many things that were just perfect for the day, like this one: "In closeness to Me, you are safe. In the intimacy of My Presence, you are energized. No matter where you are in the world, you know you belong when you sense My nearness."
~ John 8:12b " ... I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." So incredibly thankful for this Light, and that we don't have to live in darkness.
~ Our weekly Devo Outing that my husband and I started during our Sabbatical/Time Off - an afternoon each week where we take our journals, Bible, reading material, and our lawn chairs, and spend extended time with God - this past week at Standing Bear Lake. We found a cool spot right by the water (on a very hot day), and were refreshed and renewed as we read His Words and listened.
~ A very special birthday lunch for Carrie (turning 30 the next day!) on Thursday - Amy, Sara, Lance, and I took her out to eat at Noodles & Company. So very thankful for Carrie (to the left in top photo below) and for the huge blessing she is to our family, and to many. Loved spending this time with four of our six kids!
~ So thankful for how God gives us energy and insight at the perfect time - we've been needing to get another newsletter out for a few weeks now (our first one since before our Sabbatical), and I woke up Friday morning with ideas swirling through my mind, and had an urgency to compose the newsletter before I even had my Quiet time or even ate breakfast. It was completed by the time my husband came from an early morning meeting. After a few changes and additions by my husband, it was ready to be taken to the printer!
~ Time with friends at a staff Prayer & Share time on Wednesday, and then again at a Baby Shower on Saturday. Good times of connection at both of these gatherings - thankful for friendships.
~ And the blessing of friendship with another sweet couple over lunch on Sunday after church - sharing of joys and challenges being in ministry - and of seeing God at work.
~ Watching God bring together volunteers needed for one of our new campus launches for Cru - so incredibly amazing, we can hardly believe it.
~ The powerful teaching from David Platt this morning (via video at our church) - and the Truth of the Gospel shared so clearly. So in awe of what God did for us by sending Jesus as our sacrifice for sin, in our place.
~ The fun of starting up a new post series called "Freezer Fare", and another one, each Wednesday posting on prayer - "Heart Connect: Living a Life of Prayer".
~ For the gift of God's Presence with us each day, giving strength in our weaknesses, which are many. And thanking Him for weaknesses, which cause us to run to Him. Every day.
~ My list could go on and on from this past week - of some needed shopping/errands accomplished, of a great sale we came across, of a nice long phone call from Cristy in TX, of a fun text from Lance Sunday morning reminding us that one year ago we were in Venice together! And there are more things to list, but time and space are running out ... and a new week is upon us.
"For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds."
(Counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #717-752)
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Multitudes on Mondays