Multitude Monday: 186-193

 

A wise friend told us the other day that home-ownership is yet another opportunity to see how Jesus answers prayers. That certainly turned out to be true last week, after we discovered a slow, bubbling leak in our front yard, coming from underground. Many phone calls followed, along with price quotes and questions about water main pipes, sprinkler control valves and frost lines. This Multitude Monday, we are indeed thankful for answered prayer and many blessings, including:

186. A much more affordable pipe repair than we had feared, completed in a few hours. How Jesus carries us through again and again!

187. Carrying water to the back yard flower beds, giving the plants CPR as we wait for a sprinkler system tune-up.  Feeling the uneven, cool ground beneath the soles of my shoes. Remembering working in a garden, years ago at my grandfather’s house. Blessed to be working in our own garden now.

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188. Meeting our neighbors, waving across the street, across the yard. Respecting what has already been built, taking the first tentative steps toward belonging.

189. My first morning walk through the neighborhood…the first —  I hope — of many walks and runs!

190. Quiet evenings with the sun shining through our patio door, with no sound except for wind chime in the breeze. Able to hear ourselves think, realizing how big-city traffic had drowned out our thoughts for the past two years. Watching the birds dart through the golden light, catching bugs.

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191. Watching our cat Lucky stake out his favorite new places and settle into new rituals. Catnaps under the comforter, behind the couch, in front of the door.

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192. An impromptu late-afternoon nap for us as well, not realizing how much we needed plain old rest and sleep. Feeling the mind let go of the checklist, the number-crunching, the “don’t-forget-to” and “what-do-we-do-if.”

193. Seeing Jesus working in our everyday lives, renewing our hope. Knowing that He is here now, ready to catch us, comfort us or nudge us in a better direction.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26

I hope you’ll join us at Ann Voskamp‘s blog for more Multitudes on Mondays. See you there!

 

Multitude Monday: 178-185

 

“Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.”

Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

Early spring…what a perfect time for fresh starts, including a move to a new state! The home purchase and move took place after months — years, actually — of worries and prayers. Would we ever decide where to move? Were we waiting on the Lord’s timing? Had we misread His timing? Had we waited too long? Not long enough? The prayers of friends and family saw us through the entire process, which seemed endless during the past three months.

After an exhausting trip from Texas to Idaho, we were greeted by April showers and spring flowers at our new house. We now call Idaho home, and we feel especially blessed on this Multitude Monday. So many reasons to share gratitude…

178. A house of our own, with plenty of room and light.

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179. Looking forward to a promising future with my husband.

180. Splashes of colors and sunlight in our front and back yards. We arrived in time to enjoy the flower beds planted by the previous owner.

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181. Refreshing rain showers most of the week here in Boise, an area affected by drought.

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182. Our cat Lucky, adjusting very well and making himself at home.

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183. Spectacular views of the Rocky Mountain foothills from the city and from our street. Pictures to come!

184. Going shopping in a new town with my mom.

185. A chance to make snowballs during the drive from Texas to Idaho. What a change after that balmy Texas climate! We lok forward to four seasons here in Idaho.

I hope you are enjoying the promise of spring. Have a wonderful week!

 

 

 

Color to the Rescue!

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”
― Oscar Wilde

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

So today started with me feeling a little depressed. None of my usual cure-alls had helped — relaxing, cooking, listening to music. My outlook was gray and my spirit felt dry, and I couldn’t figure out how to climb out of the pit. Then I remembered some impressions from my quiet time last evening. The words “color” and “fun” kept coming up as I meditated. But I couldn’t find my pastels, yarns and markers, and I didn’t feel like hunting for them.

Then my husband brought out some of his pens and an art book, and my mom handed me her set of watercolor pencils. With a stack of computer paper in my lap and a handful of colored pencils, I began to breathe again.

I had forgotten that creativity is my oxygen! I just let the celebration of colors take over, and ended up with a little drawing that brought me back into the sunshine!

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How about you? Is there a passion or part of yourself that you have packed away and forgotten? Bring your whole self to every day!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

You have gifts that make you irreplaceable and needed — gifts that make up the real you. Celebrate!

Multitude Monday: 171-177

 

Join us as we share our gratitude every Monday. It’s a great way to begin the week! Here is my gratitude list for this week:

171. The legacy of Martin Luther King. On this special day, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. As I was growing up in Yonkers, N.Y., my parents supported his work and taught me the importance of his life. I was only seven years old when he died, but his teachings inspired me during my childhood and continue to guide me today.

172. A visit to the San Antonio Mission Trail, one of our favorite places to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Wooden cross at Mission San Juan in San Antonio, Texas.

173. This fellow visitor to Mission San Juan, who stayed nearby until I could take his picture.

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174. A letter from our sponsored child in Ghana. We have a picture she drew on our refrigerator. As my mom says, “every refrigerator should have a child’s drawing on it!”

175. Great books by great writers who continue to teach through the decades. A copy of Hemingway’s A Movable Feast, which my husband is reading, lies on our coffee table. I learn about writing even when I just pick up the book and read a few random pages.

176. Unusually warm weather for this time of year (even in South Central Texas), after a cold snap a few of weeks ago.

177. Some relief today from the mountain cedar pollen, which has been inundating our area. I hope this is the beginning of the end of the season!

And I hope you’ll join us at A Holy Experience, where you can read more gratitude lists and maybe share yours. Have a wonderful week!

 

 

Recommended Blog: “A Walk To Emmaus”

If you are looking for an encouraging read, I highly recommend a relatively new blog called A Walk to Emmaus, by my sister-in-law, sister-in-Christ and friend, Lori Davis. The blog had its first post in November, 2013, and it promises to be a valuable addition to the blogosphere.

The blog begins with a nine-part series called “Here I Am,” in which Lori takes us on a spiritual journey as she shares her experience at a Walk to Emmaus event. You will find words of wisdom in every post, from the anxious weeks on the waiting list to the first day of the Walk to Emmaus itself. I particularly liked the post in which she compares the weeks of anticipation to childhood Christmas memories.

When I read a faith-based book or a blog, I like to be able to recognize some of my own journey in the story. Reading a A Walk to Emmaus is like sitting down to tea with a good and wise friend. Written with generosity and humility, every post gives me reasons to feel hopeful about my own spiritual walk.  I hope you’ll pay this blog a visit.

 

Prayer for the New Year

 

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Photo (c) John G Evans 2010

Lord, I want my heart to beat to Your pulse. Let the rhythms of my day rise and fall with Your breath.

Silence the lies and the noise that cover Your truth, and let me see others and myself through Your eyes.

Let me heal and not rend. Let my tears fall with gratitude or in sympathy.

Let every dollar that passes through my fingers be undefiled and serve Your kingdom alone.

Do I ask too much? Not enough?

Wreck me.

Transform me.

Renew every fiber, change every corpuscle. Make me brand new with love that never grasps, grace that pours from You through me, and mercy that seems impossible.

Let the world see Your work in me.

And let me boast only of You.

Amen.

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Photo (c) John G Evans 2010