Two Critical Steps for Finding the Best in Our Days (and a Giveaway)

Every Thursday in the month of August, I’m giving away a book! Last, but certainly not least in my 4-year-blogging-anniversary giveaway, is Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn from the Simple Life. This book was written by a sweet bestselling author who has great knowledge and respect for the Amish lifestyle, Suzanne Woods Fisher. 

Suzanne takes us on a quest to regain a deeper appreciation of the life God has blessed us with and gain understanding of how to best steward it. She guides us on a journey to simplify, slow down and prioritize what’s truly important. Read all the way to the bottom to enter to win! 

How do we raise children well in this media-driven, instant-gratification, fast-paced, never-sleeping world? How do we find peace in such days?

teach us to number our days

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

As I look back to when my children were little (now they range in age from 14 to 21), I find myself grateful for the slower pace of those times. I had limited Internet and no social media presence.

Connections were made and relationships forged in person, by telephone, or through written correspondence. School athletics and extracurricular activities were largely reserved for children in the middle to upper grades.

Now having been social-media active for 4 years, I shudder to think how much of the time I spent just being with my kids during those formative years would have been lost to the online world.

I need only look at the struggle I have today to balance online time to be reminded of the strength of its pull.

How many fewer walks would we have gone on? How many less hours would we have spent creating, imagining and playing together? How many fewer books would we have shared?

Crowding Out the Best of Our Days

Created to make tasks easier and simpler (it has in many ways), the Internet world has also complicated life, especially family life. And the perceived need to always be occupied (and keep our kids engaged) has further strained families.

Despite knowing the joys and growing through the trials of close family togetherness, I’ve let it fall away a bit the past few years. The rush and chaos of activity and performance and online attraction has diverted my attention from my most important calling as a mom.

Yes, my children are older and require less of my time. But that doesn’t mean I should be a distracted mom during that time. If anything, the less time I have with them means those minutes should be treated with greater importance, be handled with great care and focus.Zach-Rach walking

The same can be said for many other priorities in life. Should God get the leftover dregs of a rushed day? Should my husband, extended family and friends be greeted by a worn-out, distracted woman each day?

So I’ve begun a quest to simplify my life. As summer gives way to fall, I’m more determined than ever to declutter house and heart and redefine the priorities in my life.

I long to return to a slate of blank, lazy summer days like those of my childhood. Days stretched out just waiting to be written on.

I’m looking forward to a winter of snowed-in days where there is little to do but be.

I’m anticipating evenings of turned-off media and turned-on relationships. Evenings filled with conversation, games, books and renewal.

I’m blocking off my early mornings as a time to be refilled and revived by the Lord and His Word.

I’m guessing somewhere in your heart you long for the same thing I do. A chance to slow down. The opportunity to savor the moments and your relationships. The space to just be.

It’s possible, you know … this unrushing and creating more space for a meaningful life.

Declutter Our Hearts

First, we need to ask God to declutter and realign our hearts with His.

We can’t expect to succeed in re-prioritizing our lives if we don’t seek God’s wisdom. If we don’t align our hearts with His. If we don’t better understand His will for us.

My days always (with very few exceptions) begin with time with God in His Word. And throughout the day, I seek His counsel.

How else can I choose the best?

Declutter Our Lives

Second, we need to declutter our lives.Fun

There are many good things to do. There are a great deal fewer best things.

Ask yourself: What will have the most value for your life and in the lives of those you love?

Is it spending that extra hour on Facebook or playing with your children?

Is it spending some evenings snuggled on a couch together or running every day from one activity to the next?

I’ve learned the hard way that busyness does not equate to valuable.

What will it take for you to slow down and enjoy a peaceful home?

Do you need to simplify your home by getting rid of some things cluttering it?

Do you need to strategically post scriptural reminders of the importance of our time on this earth?

Do you need to spend time each week writing out a schedule base on your priorities … and then following it?

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

Regain the Sweetness

It’s possible to regain the sweetness of our days, but it’s not easy. Rush and chaos need to be filed away permanently and our day’s priorities aligned with God’s. 

Only then can we hope to find the best in our days.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Reflections: Have you had success in slowing down and savoring the best things of life? If so, how?

Enter to win your copy of Amish Values for Your Family below (If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, just click on the photo to be taken to the Amazon product page.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If this post encouraged you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. And don't miss a single post, click here to subscribe to receive each one in your inbox (or complete the form in the sidebar). It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

Posted in Daily Living, Parenting, Peace, Rest

When It’s Time to Say Good-bye Again (A Prayer for When They Leave)

I cried when each child entered kindergarten. Sweet innocence seemed to be sneaking away.

Changing Roles of Good-Bye

Fast forward (and I mean fast forward!) to today and those childhood days are precious memories. Today, I sent my youngest to high school for his first year, his sister to 11th grade, and am road tripping to college with my oldest 2 (well, really only half way with the oldest).

I love seeing how God is molding my children; how He is growing their faith and strengthening their character. But a part of me wants some of those younger days back again.

I still want to take care of them. I want to doctor their hurts, soothe their injured feelings, participate in and celebrate their daily lives.

But my role is changing. I will always be Mom, but I’m becoming more of a mentor, intercessor, sounding board, and cheer leader. Transformed duties, not worse or better but different.

Change

As school resumes across the country, I’m sure many of you are experiencing changes in your roles as well. Change: it’s hard and it’s beautiful and it needs to be bathed in prayer.

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal as Christians and as parents. Important when the constant needs of little ones fill our days. Equally vital when the big ones spread their wings and begin leaving the nest.

Channeling our feelings into prayers, for us and for our children, sweetens the taste of months-long vacant bedrooms and empty chairs. Change of all kinds becomes more palatable, even welcomed, when steeped in prayer.

So let’s do it. Let’s sweeten the taste of our children spreading their wings. Let’s pray for our children and our hearts. 

Prayer-when-children-leave

Gracious Father, 

You know our parent heart. You know how hard it is for us to let our children go, how much we miss our children when they begin to fly.

Comfort our hearts, Lord. Remind us of the great plans you have for these littles-grown-big.

Be with our children as you’ve promised. Open their eyes to see your work in their lives. Open their ears to hear your whispers.

Give these young adults discernment and wisdom. Draw them nearer to you even as they may be moving farther from us. 

Change of any kind is hard, God. Make evident the beauty of growth and transformation that change brings. Help us see that beauty in our young men and women. 

Give us Your peace. Drench us with the joy of Your presence, a presence that never leaves. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen! 

Zach-Dan-off-to-college-cropped

And to my young men, Daniel and Zachary (and all those young adults who are leaving their families to begin new adventures), listen to the wisdom of Paul as inspired by the Lord Himself:

“Remember, you are dearly loved and longed for… Stand firm in the Lord…. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally [boys], whatever is true, whatever is honorable,whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Philippians 4: 1, 4-8

Walk always in the light of the Lord’s love for you. Never let anything get between you and Him. Let His love be known to others through the gift that is you. 

Love you forever! 

Mom

Reflections: What is your prayer for the young adults in your life? 

Closing in on 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,122–4,142. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • *Doctor who is thorough and knowledgeable and enjoyable to be around; *Great attitude of my youngest faced with missing out on participating in his favorite sport; *Cricket and cicada serenade
  • Enjoyed some crazy time with Joey; Hand specialist we liked; Zach arrived home: now we’re all together for the final few days of summer vacation!
  • Cooler temps and rain!; Entire day with all the kids; Fun, unique personalities of each of my children
  • Family daytripping up the Mississippi River: *Fun family goofiness; *Beautiful scenery; *Strengthening relationships
  • Successful surgery on Joey’s thumb; Little pain for my boy; Hospital-warmed blanket draped around my shoulders by a caring nurse
  • Before-school, weekend visit to Mother-in-law’s; Rare time with nephews; Sitting on the steps outside enjoying the rain with family
  • Treating family to special Vienese pastries filled with black raspberries called Liebesbriefe (love envelopes) as a college sendoff; Full weekend with hubby’s mom; Boys intentionally spending time together

If this post encouraged you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. And don't miss a single post, click here to subscribe to receive each one in your inbox (or complete the form in the sidebar). It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

Posted in A Prayer, Change, Family, One Thousand (or more) Gifts, Parenting

Presenting a Rosy Picture of Life May Be Harmful {Giveaway}

Every Thursday in the month of August, I’m giving away a book! Don’t miss this third giveaway in celebration of my 4-year blogging anniversary. Read all the way to the bottom to enter to win a Bible for a young lady in your life!

Too often as Christians we believe life should be rosy, because … well … we’re Christians.

We kind of promote such an idea through the Pinterest- and Facebook-perfect lives we present. But I think we do each other a disservice by projecting an image of everyday ease and comfort.

Life is hard. Sin is destructive. We live in a broken world. It won’t always be pretty and neat and comfortable.

Some days will be darn right hard. Even when we love the Lord. Even when our salvation is secure. Even when we know the promises of Scripture. Even when we are in close relationship with God.

Yes, some days will be hard. And there will be tears and heartache and loneliness. Even for Christians.

Maybe it’s time we let others see that Christians suffer too. 

hope-in-God-

Christians Suffer

I love the Lord. I am in Scripture everyday. I talk to God often. But sometimes I struggle. What follows is one of my recent journal entries where the brokenness weighed me down:

“Oh Lord, the day weighs heavy! What should be happy brings tears anew. My heart hurts; sadness descends. Why? I’m uncertain, but it assaults in waves. 

Joy pokes and prods to surface, but the weightiness of despair pushes it back under. 

Yet, You Lord are there—always faithful, always loving. You are my hope when my spirit grows weary. Praise will be on my lips even as tears slide down my cheeks. 

Lord, I can’t do this, what you ask of me. It is so hard and so lonely. I’m not sure I can carry this cross. 

But then, I’m not alone, am I? 

The image of You stumbling, crawling, clawing Your way up the hill carrying Your own impossible cross comes to my mind. Agony ripping through Your flesh. 

And then the worst—the complete separation from Your Father—utterly alone! 

You did it. You endured it. All for me! 

I can’t carry this cross … but I don’t have to, do I? For You carried it for me. 

In You I trust Lord, even through my tears. 

Where else is there any hope? 

Hope … only in Your undying love!”

Let Others See

Some days I experience the most peaceful, serene, lovely day and my heart sings. But there are other days that are drag-down ugly and groanings are all I can muster.

I used to hide my pain. I still like to. But maybe that’s more harmful than we realize.

We need to let others see it’s real and okay for Christians to feel the effects of a world steeped in sin.

We don’t have to always have it all together or always feel happy. And we certainly won’t always get what we want.

I love King David’s Psalms for their authenticity and the undying trust David demonstrated in them. He had deep sorrow and despair, yet intermingled with David’s groanings was the certainty of his hope and praise for his God.

Suffering With Hope

The difference is the way we suffer. 

Christians suffer. We still grieve and struggle, but we grieve and struggle with hope and trust in our God. That is the difference we have as children of God.

The Lord loves us so much. He is always faithful. We can always have hope, even when the weight of the world seems to rest on our shoulders.

So when you are sad, let another see it. Don’t live behind a mask. Other Christians need to see that suffering, deep-down heart-wrenching suffering, is just as real for them as for unbelievers.

But through the blood of Christ, we can stumble, crawl, and claw our way through the reality of a broken world with unwavering hope and a resilient peace from a faith that knows His light always pushes out the darkness.

As Christians we need to let others see our suffering and our hope. 

We cry …

“Why am I so depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?” Psalm 42:11a

And we praise …

Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11b

Reflections: As a Christian, do you hesitate to let others see your struggles, your sorrow and heartache? How might that give them a false impression of the Christian life?

My third 4-year blogging anniversary giveaway is a lovely NCV version of the Bible for teen girls. It’s a Revolve Signature Series leathersoft edition in raspberry. Enter to win it for yourself or for a young lady dear to your heart! (Click on the photo if you’d like to purchase a copy.)

NCV Revolve Bible, Leathersoft, raspberry  -

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If this post encouraged you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. And don't miss a single post, click here to subscribe to receive each one in your inbox (or complete the form in the sidebar). It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

Posted in Authenticity, Christian walk, Christianity, Faith, Hope, Struggles, Suffering, trust

How to Have a Good Day

The assurance of a good day came clearly to mind. As I sprang out of bed, I laid it all out: I will edit uninterrupted all morning then have most of the afternoon to write, with time in late afternoon/evening to spend with my family—the makings of a perfectly good day. 

The only problem was having a good day depended on my behavior and the day’s circumstances, two things I have, at best, tenuous control over.

You would thing I’d have learned that by now. I write about my joy being anchored in the Lord. I talk often about surrendering my desires and dreams to Him. I pray for a loose grip on my plans. 

Still, when it comes right down to it, I believe I have a pretty good schedule for each day. I wake most days with a plan and a prayer—too often in that order. 

Maybe instead, prayer should be first. Maybe before we ever set a foot on our bedroom floor, we should offer up our day to God. Scripture talks about giving our firstfruits. 

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” Proverbs 3:9
beauty-in-each-day

The Makings of a Good Day

Circumstances lose their control when we take them out of the equation for a “good” day. And our performance is certainly no guarantee of a successful anything.

What determines a good day is Who wrapped it, Who gifted it, and Who’s in it. Let’s give our day first to God. Let’s commit it, surrender it, offer it. 

When we do that with our whole hearts, our whole beings, the day truly becomes an unknown treasure to discover, a mysterious present to unwrap. 

Then when a day takes an unexpected turn, like mine did today, we won’t be so likely to mistake the adventure for  an arduous journey. When our day has already been given to God to do with as He sees best, we are in a better position to look expectantly for the blessings that may be found crumpled in the day’s wrapping.

Because we know they’re there:

The hidden gifts

The gems of growth and refinement, joy and peace. 

This day, like each one before and after, is a gift, handmade with great love by the Creator Himself and given to me and you.

Tomorrow, and every tomorrow after, let’s begin the day by surrendering our expectations of it and embracing God’s plans for it.

After all the Lord knows, before we ever begin to unwrap it, the beauty that’s hidden within. 

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Reflections: How do you begin your day, with a focus on your plans or surrendering to God’s? 

Closing in on 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,122–4,142. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Doing life with my guy; First BLTs of the summer; Little grasshopper greeting me on my windshield as I drove up to our barn
  • Serving my family; Grocery shopping with my girl–what a treat (and I mean that, even if it requires extra patience!); Reconnecting with an old friend
  • Spending the entire day with Daniel; Napping on the 19th floor of the Mayo Building; Receiving a text showing Rach having fun
  • Morning quiet time in a favorite space; Fun afternoon in the river — and we all got wet!; Delicate beauty of the butterfly
  • Enjoying one of my favorite hobbies (tennis) with one of my favorite guys (Danny); Garden veggies picked; A shower after a hot, sweaty day (too easily taken for granted)
  • Meeting Mary DeMuth and being challenged and encouraged by her message; Catching up with a couple of friends and making new ones at the ReNEWed Life Women’s Event in Cresco, Iowa; Trillion twinkling stars
  • Working alongside the boys to finally weed the garden; Cooling down a hot day with fudge-swirl milkshakes; Snuggling in for a rare movie together

If this post encouraged you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. And don't miss a single post, click here to subscribe to receive each one in your inbox (or complete the form in the sidebar). It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

Posted in Christian walk, Daily Living, surrender

Who Is Your Naomi or Ruth? (Power of a Mutual Mentoring Relationship) {Giveaway}

Relationships have the power to build us up or tear us down. The most powerful relationships are those in which we intentionally pour into each other. 

encourage-one-another

Relationships that Tear Down

When it comes to biblical women relationships, I find Leah and Rachel’s among the saddest in Scripture (Genesis 29-30). As young women, the sisters are married off to the same man in exchange for his combined 14 years of service to their father. The sad part is that the two begin a child-bearing war in an effort to earn significance and love in the eyes of their husband Jacob.

Instead of being happy for Leah as she bears children and supporting her in a loveless marriage, barren Rachel becomes bitter and starts scheming. Instead of comforting Rachel in her barrenness, Leah becomes obsessed with earning Jacob’s love.

Can you imagine a lovelier picture than if the two girls had been mutually supporting each in the areas of their deepest pain and their greatest joys?

Scripture does not mention the sisters’ mother, so it’s likely she was deceased. I like to think “Mom” would have been able to help her daughters restore their relationship, offering them perspective on the blessings of encouragement over discouragement, support over discourse. Apparently neither had a wiser woman in their sphere of influencers who could speak truth to them—a person who could pour into their lives.

In the absence of such a mentor, during their times of greatest need, Rachel and Leah allowed jealousy and bitterness to fracture their relationship and add to their misery.

Relationships that Build Up

Contrast that to the initially sad but overall beautiful story of Ruth and Naomi’s relationship (book of Ruth). In a foreign land, Naomi first lost her husband, Elimelech, and then her two sons died, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, to fend for themselves in Moab.

Scripture tells us Orpah returns to her hometown at Naomi’s insistence, but Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law. What follows is one of the most heartwarming stories in the Bible. 

By her companionship and willingness to provide for Naomi, Ruth helps Naomi overcome her great loss. In turn, Naomi’s maturity and motherly wisdom helps Ruth make wise choices and find a husband for herself and a provider for them both.

Mutual Mentoring Relationships

This is a wonderful example of a mutual mentoring relationship. Ruth was there to bolster Naomi’s spirits; Naomi was there to guide Ruth. 

We all have times when we need someone to come alongside and lift us up. Supporting us when we have little capacity to do so ourselves. Offering us words of comfort and, at times, convicting words of truth. 

And we all can be that person to someone else. 

It takes intentionality to love another through life’s circumstances. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be that person who graciously receives another’s love and support and gives the same in return. Someone who builds up and offers guidance and sound advice.

We can each be that person who welcomes the assurance of the hope we always have in the Lord Jesus Christ and who can offer that same assurance to another. We can each be a loving, supportive member of a beautiful mentoring relationship.

God has placed someone in your life to be your Naomi or Ruth. Who might that be?

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Reflections: Who has God placed in your life to be encouraged by you and be your mutual encourager? 

Thank you to everyone who helped me celebrate my 4-year anniversary of blogging by entering my first giveaway. Don’t miss this second giveaway. Letters from Leanne: The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship by my friend, Jill Beran, is a beautiful testimony to the power of spiritual mentorship.

The second 4th-blogging anniversary giveaway is my friend Jill Beran‘s book, co-written with Leanne Anderson, Letters from Leanne: The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship. This book is a beautiful story of mentoring among women. (Click on the photo to purchase your own copy of this uplifting book.)

Letters from Leanne: The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship  -     By: Jill Beran, Leanne Anderson

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And linking with Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista, 

Beloved Brews Linkup

If this post encouraged you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. And don't miss a single post, click here to subscribe to receive each one in your inbox (or complete the form in the sidebar). It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

Posted in Christian walk, Relationship

Two Seemingly Bad Words that Really Are Quite Good and Why You Should Use Them

Submission and surrender: the hardest actions for people to perform.

They are two words nobody wants to mention, much less do. Who wants to submit and surrender anything? That’s losing, isn’t it? In some circles I suppose it is.

But in surrendering and submitting to the Lord, we win in a big way.

submit and surrender

Submit and Surrender

Humbling ourselves to God’s will is a process that takes time. We grow into it. Trusting God to a greater degree as we experience His faithfulness in different areas of our lives.

Like the idea or not, learning the finer details of submitting and surrendering begins early. From the first time we respond positively to “no” and “yes” as toddlers, we are submitting and surrendering our will. We continue to do so as we grow.

By submitting to the wisdom and instructions of those in authority we keep from burning our fingers on a hot stove, getting hit by a car as we cross the street, and any number of other calamities.

Yet, as we age, those two words become much maligned. We place them in the context of being oppressive or suppressing.

In the correct context, though, to submit and surrender is freeing, not confining, life giving, not life suppressing. Let’s hear this truth from the Apostle Paul:

“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Some things need to be surrendered!

Exchanging our will for that of a loving authority is beneficial not harmful. And we find no more of a loving authority figure than the Lord Himself.

Hold Everything Loosely

Sometimes submitting does mean letting go of a deep desire. And it is hard! God recently called me to step back a bit from something I feel passionate about.

Yet God has proved faithful for all mankind. We can certainly trust Him now as well. If He requires us to submit to Him by surrendering a desire, we can be assured He has good reason for “asking.” Just look at these biblical examples:

Against Gideon’s best military judgement, he let all but 300 of his men go while preparing to fight the Midianite army: a sure recipe for defeat. Only it wasn’t. In submission to God’s leading and deference to His sovereignty, Gideon surrendered his own insight and wisdom and all that made sense to try the impossible. And he won. (Judges 7)

Joshua followed what seemed to be God’s foolish instructions for conquering the city of Jericho. Yet after following God’s formula and marching and blowing their horns, the walls of Jericho fell. (Joshua 6)

Hannah went against all her motherly instincts to surrender her long-awaited son Samuel to God’s service in the care of Eli. Thanks to her sacrifice, Samuel became a great prophet of God, and God blessed Hannah with many more children. (1 Samuel 1)

Abraham willingly surrendered his beloved son Isaac to be sacrificed to the Lord at His command. (Genesis 22)

We all have things we hold near and dear. Yet none are worth withholding from the Lord.

Hold everything loosely—including religious practices, people, money, health, possessions, ideas, hobbies, ministry, plans—being willing to submit and surrender them all to God. It may sting for awhile, but in the end, peace and joy will abound in your heart and soul.

You’ll discover that those bad words, they’re not so bad after all. In fact, they’re actually quite good.

Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” James 4:7-10

Reflections: Is there something God is asking you to submit and surrender to Him? What is keeping you from doing so? 

Don’t miss your chance to enter my 4-year blogging anniversary giveaway. I’m giving away one book each week. Enter to win this week’s book, It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming As Bold, Gracious, and Wise As the Queen of Sheba by the one and only Liz Curtis Higgs! Click here to enter. 

Closing in on 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,101–4,121. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Morning running errands with Rach; Rachel loving on a sweet older lady in the store who noticed how special she is; Evening praire blooms
  • New online devotion to check out; Danny’s home for nearly 3 weeks!; Productive women’s meeting planning for our fall rally
  • Refreshing breeze blowing through my van windows as I worked and waited to pick up my youngest; My oldest son’s friends coming to our house for an impromptu Bible Study; Viewing pictures with Rachel to end the day
  • Hummingbird hovering near; Kayaking with my girl and most of my guys – complete w/ waterfights; Purple finches paying me a surprise visit
  • Audiobooks; Relaxing solo-kayak exploration up the lake; Flashback to younger years with kids settled in to listen to Focus on the Family‘s Adventures in Odyssey episode
  • Love the way mixing not-so-yummy ingredients makes yummy dishes!; Lousy game of euchre played by me, but fun because it was with my boys; Rach getting more comfortable with her new trike
  • Reunion celebrating family; Cousins enjoying being together; The satisfied tired one feels at the end of a full day of living

If this post encouraged you, please consider sharing it with your family and friends. And don't miss a single post, click here to subscribe to receive each one in your inbox (or complete the form in the sidebar). It's free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

Posted in Christian walk, One Thousand (or more) Gifts, surrender, trust

Free "Reclaim Today" Action Card!


Sign up to get my blog posts and monthly updates via email, and receive "Reclaim Today," a printable daily action card of 3 quick exercises to point us to the blessings in the midst of the happenings.

Privacy policy: Your information is safe with me, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
* = required field

Thanks for stopping!

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's BLESSINGS to get lost in its HAPPENINGS. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 10:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

All My Past Posts

Categories

Find Inspirational Resources

One Word 2014

One Word 2014

One Word 2013

One Word 2013