My Blog List

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A New Beginning Toward Grace : The List (1-10)

Today, inspired by the book I've begun reading, One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are, I am beginning my own list of 1000 Gifts.  Author Ann Voskamp writes that as she took up the challege of consciously looking for gifts in the everyday, she discovered that the frantic pace of her life seemed to slow as she learned to savor each moment.  My prayer is that as I begin to practice the discipline of looking for "whatever is true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy" (Philippians 4:8), I might more fully understand and live in God's Shalom.  Join me, if you wish, and let's deepen our own sense of wonder in God's world.

Here goes . . . .

1.   Watching snow softly falling
2.   Wrapping up in a blanket for a nap on a cold afternoon
3.   Warm hugs
4.   Vanilla scented lotion
5.   Steaming mug of herbal tea
6.   Delicate and colorful old tableclothes and cloth napkins
7.   Fluffy soft fur of our cat
8.   Smile on a child's face
9.   Hearing the voice of someone you love
10. Being "snowed in" for the evening

To Be Continued . . . .


Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

One of the habits that I will forever be trying to cultivate is the practice of gratitude.  Simply being thankful.  It's amazing what a difference such an attitude can make, not only on your mood, but on your entire life, and also on the lives of those around you.  Think about it.  Ever notice how quickly one complainer can spread their negativity?  If it's so easy to "bring down the room" with a bad attitude, it stands to reason that it works in reverse as well.  Take babies and young children, for example.  I have rarely met anyone who could stay in presence of a joyful child for very long without smiling.  Perhaps that is part of the reason why Jesus told us to have a "childlike" faith.  Simply being content to be alive in this present moment is truly a gift.

Over the past few years, one of the gifts of encouragement that I have treasured is following writer Ann Voskamp's blog,   I appreciate her attitude of always looking for grace in her family and in her day.  I was thrilled to receive in the mail today my copy of her book, One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, and I cannot wait to begin reading!  I'm sure you'll be hearing much more from me as I consider her words, so stay tuned . . . .

Pastor Chuck Swindoll said, " . . . I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me, or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. The attitude I choose keeps me going or cripples my progress."

Join me in finding the grace, the gifts, the love, and the simple joys in the everyday, won't you?


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snowed In!

Earlier this week, we had snow.  Not a blizzard, mind you, but still a significant amount.  It snowed ALL day, and as the roads became more and more impassable, every event in the area was cancelled for the evening.  I settled down in my favorite place:  a well-worn recliner, with a hot drink, book, blanket, and my cat curled up on my lap.  I reflected on the snow, and on the cancellations, and decided that I LOVE being "snow in!"  There is just something so cozy about the weather howling outside, and being warm and snug within.  Being snowed in gives a person permission to just snuggle up and enjoy the simple things - good books, a favorite old movie, board games, music.  These are the "stuff of the soul."  These are the things which bring us feelings of comfort and create warm memories.  Yet, these are also the things which too often get pushed to the side because we are too busy.  How very sad!  The very activities we truly enjoy, that bring us much-needed rest, that connect us to our families, are the activities into which we place the least amount of importance.  What is there left to say, but - BRING ON THE SNOW!!!!!!!  :)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simple Christmas Joy

I know it's a bit late (or a bit early, depending on how you look at it) for Christmas reflections.  But, as I was looking through the photos we took a few weeks ago, I found some images from Christmas at our home that made me smile. 

                May we carry the December light of home,
                           and the warm glow of time spent together,
                                       and the immeasurable peace of our Savior,
                                                beyond the Christmas season,
                                                           and throughout all of our days.


A bit of Christmas whimsy in the guest bath

Our snoozing kitty among the
packages on Christmas morning,
quite oblivious to all the excitement to come

Dinner lights to welcome The Light of the World

A thrift sale nativity set that I love.
"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths
and lying in a manger."   (Luke 2:12)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FINALLY - Blogdom! :)

Good Morning,

(depending on when you're reading this, of course.  Here, it is 6:30am - yes, morning person!)

I have been considering a blog for several years now.  Nothing serious, just a passing thought about it now and then.  I have several blogs that I enjoy following, and I do love writing, so I knew it would come to this eventually.  What finally pushed me over the edge was my new friend Jan, who recently moved to our area from another state, and decided to start a blog about her experiences. (Thanks for the inspiration, Jan!)

I struggled for quite some time with the title.  An imposing task to encapsulate all of your thoughts into a single phrase.  And what direction would I take with this?  Also an important question. . . .  Finally I decided upon "Adventures in Wonder" because I feel it best reflects my personal philosophy.  Life IS an adventure.  Not without some twists, turns, and rough spots, of course, but an Adventure all the same.  And, for me, that sense of Wonder is key, as I wake up groggy and struggle to begin my day with my attitude in check.  I truly enjoy anticipating what God has in store for me.  There's a Contemporary Christian song from a few years back by a husband and wife duo known as "Out of the Grey," that never fails to make me smile.  The chorus and second verse:

"If I know You, You will turn this day, into a perfect surprise.
 If I know You, like I think I do, the worst of times will work out right.

So many hours spent, fearing the hours ahead.
I would do better to remember You.
For in the changing light of day, You always seem to paint the way
In softer hues and brush away my blues."

Anywho . . . . .here's goes . . .  hope you find some enjoyment in my ramblings . . .  Time to eat breakfast, roust the sleepy heads, and begin anew the "Adventure In Wonder" that is my day.

Make it a good one!
Sue :)