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!

 

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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 look forward to four seasons here in Idaho.

I hope you are enjoying the promise of spring. 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.

 

Multitude Monday: 164-170

 

After two weeks on the road and visiting friends in Arizona, I am refreshed and ready to write! Many thanks to Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience for hosting Multitudes on Mondays.

164. A wonderful two-week vacation with my husband John, touring Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The scenery, such as Arizona’s painted cliffs, was like nowhere else on earth.

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165. Visiting friends in Flagstaff, Arizona more than four years after I moved to San Antonio, Texas. Northern Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks come into view on Highway 40:

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166. My Arizona friends — who are family to me — finally met my husband! John and I especially enjoyed attending the annual banquet for the women’s shelter where I worked and lived.

167. Peace and quiet at our rented cabin in Sedona, Arizona, where the only sound was the rushing waters of Oak Creek. We had a chance to relax, take pictures of the scenery, and adjust to the altitude!

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168. Thundershower our last night in Sedona filled the canyon with clean, fresh post-rain air.

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169. A scenic trip home through Las Cruces New Mexico. Stunning views of the San Andres Mountains from our hotel, and a stunning sunrise:

Las Cruces Sunrise

170. A safe arrival home to San Antonio!

Bamberger Park Nature Trails

We picked up our cameras and went for a walk this afternoon. Bamberger Park, which has nature trails on 70 acres of land, is a short drive from our home.

Needed peace and nature’s quiet today. Soothe our souls, Lord, and bring us back to the beauty of the present.

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In spite of the heat and humidity, we enjoyed this chance to take a deep breath and slow down. To come back to ourselves.

Amazing how distant our struggles seem, how refreshed we feel, when we pay attention.

As John always tells me, “Stay creative!”

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Five-Minute Friday: Broken

Five Minute Friday

Here we are at Five-Minute Friday again! This week’s prompt is “broken.” All you have to do is write from the prompt for five nonstop minutes — no edits, just keep writing. Then go to Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog to share your post and read other five-minute writes!

Here we go…

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“The X-ray looks great,” the neurosurgeon smiled during my husband’s 8-week followup. “The bones are fusing as they should…”

I didn’t have to hear more. After the words “looks great,” my attention drifted into comfortable, easygoing gratitude.

But what about the broken pieces of the past two months? The trauma was almost too much to bear for us at times. Changing bandages was a mystery to me those first two weeks. Our hearts broke two or three times, at least, as we negotiated the foreign highways of recovery, walkers, neck braces and pills.

Our cat didn’t miss a beat when John first came home. Ready for a lap, Lucky’s head tilted upward, puzzled. For a cat, a broken routine is not a small thing.

We hand the broken pieces to each other, and then to the One who heals all wounds, and make our plans.

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There! It’s always a pleasure to read other Five-Minute Friday posts. Hope you’ll join the writing party!

 

 

 

 

 

Five-Minute Friday: Belong

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On Fridays, we gather at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog to share our five-minute writes!  All you have to do is write to the prompt for five minutes, no edits. This week’s prompt is “belong.”

Here I go!

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Something about the word “belong”…it started in second grade, when I was old enough to know who belonged and who didn’t. School is a harsh place for the word belonging, especially for a shy, sensitive only child who wanted so badly to belong.

She went home every afternoon, where she could rest and find her haven from the cliques and backbiters. She listened to her parents’ soothing records, and learned to love violin music.

The first place she belonged, outside of home, was in the orchestra, where the conductor did his best to enlighten young artistic minds.

Later, as her hair grayed, she found the Master Artist, who had created her from his own colors, who guided her heart to true love.

With Him we all belong.

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That’s my five-minute write for this week. See you next Friday!