Jan 29, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Ch 4

What was the pastor's most profound regret in life?
    "Being in a hurry.  Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me.  I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry.  But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time.  It turns out I was throwing it away."  Mark Buchanan

Hurry always empties a soul.

I just want the time to live my life well.

...this is the only way to slow time:  When I fully enter times swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.  I can slow the torrent by being all here.  I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. 

David has a sign on his desk that says "Be here now'".  Sarah has often told me that I don't really listen, pay attention to her.  I need to choose to Be. Here. Now. 

It's difficult.  So many things grab my attention... so many things are worthwhile...so many things, people, projects are calling out to me.  Pick me, pick me they scream.

Like being thankful this is a choice I must make.

Will I CHOOSE to Be.  Here.  Now?

Giving thanks for 1,000 things is ultimately an invitation to slow time down with the weight of full attention.

Why is eucharisteo the answer to the time starved and soul famished?  John 6:11, Jesus embraces His not enough, (5 loaves & 3 fishes), ...He gives thanks...And there is more than enough.  More than enough!

The real problem of life is never a lack of time.
    The real problem of life--in my life-- is lack of thanksgiving.

I redeem time from neglect and apathy and inattentiveness when I swell with thanks and weigh the moment down and it's giving thanks to God for this moment that multiplies the moments, time made enough.

I do what I always do.  I reach it.  I preach it to the person I need to preach to the most.  I preach to me.

Emergencies are sudden unexpected events--but is anything under the sun unexpected to God?

And I can always give thanks because an all-powerful God always has  these things--all tings under control. 

Life is not an emergency.
    Life is eucharisteo.

Life is dessert--to brief to hurry.

I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks and see God.

Jan 25, 2013

Please be careful at the pump

I want to tell you guys what happened to Daniel at the gas station in Harrisburg yesterday. This is worth telling every to be careful about. I don't think we're making too much of the incident.

Here is what happened...
Daniel and I went to the QT station on Hwy 49 in Harrisburg yesterday around 4 pm. After I swiped the card and he started filling both my car and the mower gas can I went inside to get us drinks. Usually I leave my keys in the ignition while he fills the car. This time I didn't and I'm so thankful.

... As he was finishing up a man appeared beside him holding out 2 dollars and asked him to go inside and purchase some sort of candy and he could keep the change. But, the man said, finish filling up the car first. Daniel didn't recognize the name of the candy to begin with but told the man No in no uncertain terms and the man disappeared.

When I returned Daniel was sitting locked inside the car. He was really concerned that this was an attempted car theft.

I know there are a lot of stories that go around the web and they aren't all true, so I'm not sending this just for fun. This happened and we're concerned enough to spread the word to be careful.


Jan 20, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Chapter 3

I may have always known that change takes real intentionality, like a woman bent over her garden beds every day with a spade and the determined will to grow up something to strengthen the heart.

I may even have known that change requires more than merely thinking the warm fuzzy thoughts about a door and a way through and that Greek word, eucharisteo, holding the mystery to the full life and ever after.

But none of that at all meant that I knew what to do.

How...do I learn to practically pick up eucharisteo, the word that I had underlined as a firm foundation to lay down under all my days?
How...do I learn to use eucharisteo to overcome my one ugly and self-destructive habit of ingratitude...with the saving habit of gratitude that would lead me back to deep God-communion.

If we thirst, we'll have to drink.

Philippians 4:11-12
I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

I would have to learn eucharisteo.

To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God.  To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.

So...this thankfulness thing has to be intentional.  I have to practice it, to learn it.  I have to make a choice every minute of every day to be thankful in ALL things.  It won't come naturally for my sinful nature will fight it.  I will have to choose to overcome my sinfulness and make the right choice to be thankful in all things.  

I don't think that this means that hurts won't hurt.  BUT that I will see God's hand in even the hurt and be thankful for what He is doing in my life.

  God is in the details; God is in the moment.  God is in al tht blurs by in a life-- even hurts in a life.

And knowing this, that God is in everything, that even the hurt does not happen outside of His will, makes it a little easier to be thankful. 


I just had an opportunity to practice what I just wrote.  I went to the kitchen to start some lunch.  As soon as I got the last of the cabbage in the skillet for fried cabbage, I was hit with one of my lovely 'throwing up' migraines.  How can I be thankful for this?

  • I am thankful that I was at home.
  • that I made it to the bathroom
  • that the bathroom was empty
  • that Sarah was able to watch the stove for me
  • that David was able to bring me a cold drink
  • that I hadn't just eaten

Sure, I had to really think to find the thankfulness.  But that makes it more meaningful to me.  The fact that I had to dig deep to be thankful means something.  It means I'm not being flippant but am taking this seriously.

How much more is there to be thankful for?  Voskamp challenges us to count 1,000 things.  I hope that it won't end there.

One Thousand Gifts

Ice Skating

                                The kids went ice skating yesterday.   Now MY back hurts!

Jan 14, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Chapter 2

...Is that the message of nightmares and dreams?  To live either fully alive...or in empty nothingness?  It's the in between that drives us mad.
          It's the life in between,...this is the life in between that makes us the wild walking dead.
          Will I have lived fully--or just empty?

How do we live so fully so we are fully ready to die?

Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the eucharisteo- the table of thanksgiving...is it that simple?

The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything.  He who has learned this knows what it means to live...He has penetrated the whole mystery of life-giving thanks for everything.

The only real fall of man is his noneucharistic life...ingratitude, was the fall- humanity's discontent with all that God freely gives.

I'd need to forsake my noneucharisteo...and grab hold to euchristeo, a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him and crush Him and wound Him and yield a bounty of joy (chara).  the mystery always contains more mysteries.

If I am truly in Christ, mustn't my initial act, too, always be an act of thanksgiving, returning to Jesus with thanks on the lips?

Thanksgiving-giving thanks in everything- prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.

The act of sacrificing thank offerings to God- even for the bread and cup of cost, for cancer and crucifixion= this prepares the way for God to show us His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentful lives and from all sin that estranges us from Him.

I know in my life it truly is a sacrifice to be thankful for the things I view as "bad".  I remember several years ago when I was waiting on the results of a breast biopsy.  I knew the doctor was pretty sure that it wasn't cancer, but having to wait over the weekend for the results gave me plenty of time to worry and fret.  BUT, when I turned my focus from me to HIM, I was truly able to begin giving thanks.  PTL I did not have cancer, but the trial had been real.  The action of making a choice to give thanks, even in my fear, allowed me to see Him through the holes in my life.

Our salvation in Christ is real, yet the completeness of that salvation is not fully realized in a life until the life realizes the need to give thanks.  In everything...
                       I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks everyday, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life.

Eucharisteo, the Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live- this is the only way from empty to full.

Luke 17, the story of the 10 lepers.  ONE, (a foreigner) returned to thank Jesus.  Jesus said to him, "...thy faith has saved thee..."
         saved=sozo, (Greek)= salvation
And when did the leper receive sozo-the saving to the full, whole life?  When he returned and gave thanks.
              Our very saving is associated with our gratitude.
        Jesus counts thanksgiving as integral in a faith that saves.

This is very convicting.  How can I claim to be a Christ-follower if I am ungrateful?  It' easy to give thanks when things are going my way.  But the real test comes when things go wrong.  Will I choose to be thankful or will I complain?  I pray I will choose the first.


                         One Thousand Gifts


One Thousand Gifts...

A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.   by Ann Voskamp

These are quotes from the book that have really spoken to me.  And I'm only through chapter 2.

Chapter 1
Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. 

Our fall was, and always has been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives.

Choose to say yes to what He freely gives.  (Could I live that--the choice to open the hands to what God gives?)  If I don't, I am still making a choice...
               The choice not to.

I wonder too...if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.
                    To see through to GOD!

As I read this book, thinking about, rereading, underlining, writing in my journal, I am overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed by the way God works in my life to bring me closer to Himself.  I pray that I will see Him more clearly through the holes in the canvas of my life, the holes caused by sin...

One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp's website

Jan 9, 2013

Sewing Project #4, Wallet

Here is the wallet I made for myself.  The ONLY change I would make, and it's really a non-issue since this has so many pockets, is to add a drivers license window pocket.

The wallet has 6 "credit card" pockets, 1 zip pocket and 3 slip pockets.  It doesn't have a place for photos but that too is a non-issue since I can keep good photos on my phone and the ones I had of the kids that I really liked were at least 4 years old.

The pattern was really easy, I only made 1 mistake that I had to fix and that was putting the magnetic snap in, I put one on the wrong side and had to reposition it, but that was a really easy fix.  The instructions look daunting at first but if you've got at least some experience in reading patterns and swing it shouldn't be too big a problem.  I put it together with a migraine in about 2 hours.

Get the pattern here:Have It All Wallet Pattern


Jan 5, 2013


David was on vacation  from Christmas Day through New Years Day.  One thing we enjoy doing as a family is going to the local "junk" shop in Concord.

We had gone to Ikea the day before and I had looked at cushions for the dining room chairs but couldn't justify

paying around $7 per cushion when the fabric was not very good quality.  While we were are the junk shop the next day I was looking for 2 things.  A butter dish that I liked and one of those grease separator measuring cups.  I found the butter dish, and a gorgeous hand-crafted wall basket but not the measuring cup.  while waiting for David to finish I started looking through the aisle of pillows. 

I found a set of 4 hunter green seat cushions in very good condition for our dining room chairs, a manly plaid seat cushion for Daniels desk chair and several throw pillows for the living room.  I think I got 10 pillows in all.

After they were washed and dried and we went to bed that night, here is what I found...

Oscar curled up on the couch enjoying the new pillows!


One of my goals this year is to sew more.  I have a fair stash of fabric that was purchased in the past year with projects in mind, now I just need to make them up.

Here are the results of this past week...

Flannel PJ's for me
Purse Organizer

Flannel PJ bottoms for David