Saturday, September 20, 2014

30 Days Hath September

September Graces Day by Day
*Days 1-15*

1) Three Gifts Summer: 
      finches at bird feeder, backyard roses blooming,
                   sun setting slow behind mountains

2) Three Gifts Cut:
freshly cut grass, flowers cut & arranged on dining room table, apples in dehydrator making snacks for tomorrow

3) Three Gifts Yellow: 
real butter on warm banana bread, daisies by the front door welcoming, the candle with a
          cross from an old friend 

4) Gift warm, cool, sun soaked:
warm hugs served by tenderhearted son, cool sheets to nap on when I didn't feel well today, sun soaked clouds

5) Three Gifts Autumn: homemade soup simmering slow, cool breezes, fresh picked
apples made into applesauce 

6) Three Gifts Growing: boy growing into manhood strong, growing in grace together with a precious friend, lush green grass growing in the backyard...a beautiful site compared to the rocky/sandy landscape that once was

7) 3 Gifts Given: sunflower quilt made by a friend, purple heart made by sweet, shy Victoria, a new day....because I was never promised another  

8) Gift Made, Masked, Marveled: lunch by helping husband, finding beautiful in the
every-day-ordinary-sometimes hidden, piano legs actually fixed after years of leaning against a wall ..(thanks to a friend who said, 'I think I can fix this'.) 

9) 3 Gifts Framed:  My favorites: Black and white photo of my mother and her cousins eating watermelon in a cornfield. It's in my kitchen and it makes me smile. Second, the photo on the piano capturing memories in Maine. We had meetings in New England (2006) and had taken a side trip. Third, I have framed a note written on a napkin by a little boy thanking us for helping his family. The note reminds me that 'little is much when God is in it'. To us, it was a bit of food. To him, it meant they had food that day. Today, the family is in the ministry and doing well. I love that note..and I love that boy.

10) 3 Gifts Moving:  season moving to cooler evenings, breeze moving through lace
curtains during church, traffic moving on the way home from church because...well, because I was hungry. I can be grateful for that.  

11) 3 Thanks/Graces Hard: 1) Accepting through life that there are things I simply don't understand. I would have written my story differently had it been up to me. Even though my mother died when I was 3, it affected me deeply. The question was always, 'Why, God??'...Through time and spiritual growth, I'm getting to a place where maybe it was better I didn't write my story after all because I don't know what a different ending would have held. Even for our
son Zachary who was stillborn. I can choose to turn away from God and simply refuse to open my heart for all He has for me and shut myself up to His grace, or I can choose to trust that 'He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, and what it all means'. 2) The dark places in my life can be places where I see through to God. The holes life's trials have left in me may be places where God shines bring comfort to others. 3) I can choose to have joy.

12) 3 Gifts in His Word: Gift of Salvation (Romans 6:23), Gift of Supplies (Philippians 4:19), Gift of Sufficient Grace (2 Corinthians 12:9)

13) Gift Scented, Scrawled, Started: Scented -an herbal bag someone gave me filled with calming herbs -I keep it in the freezer and put it on my eyes or head when I have a headache. I can also put it in the microwave for a heated bag for tight muscles. I love it. Scrawled - Every month, the Victory Class from our home church sends our family a note (handwritten by sweet Mrs. Tisinger and signed by everyone in the class). We love those notes and we always
appreciate their love and prayers. Started - a gift for the 3 kids -Luis David, Rebecca, and Saul (who recently had an operation). Their family helps us in the ministry here in Mexico.Their birthdays are near each other and Jonathan I are making coloring cases for them made out of DVD cases. I am excited to finish these and give the cases to them. (Link to coloring cases: Coloring Case Instructions)

14) 3 Gifts Drawn: Three Things Drawn: I could only come up with one...I don't have a lot of drawings around. I do have one in my Bible - a self portrait of Jonathan wearing his
favorite orange shirt. I don't remember how old he was when he drew this. I should have put a date on it at the time. He loved that orange shirt. When he outgrew it, we bought one just like it a size larger. When we look at deputation photos, he's wearing that orange shirt. ..all in different places and states. It's funny to us. He 'graduated' to an orange Texas Longhorns shirt in his early, he doesn't have one orange shirt in his closet. ..Might be time to look for one.

15) 3 Gifts Paired: 1) It is a gift every morning to have coffee and creamer paired together. Yes, it is. 2) Give and Take - We've lived and worked with my dad for @ 9 years. It has not always been easy, but having a relationship between us and him is give and take. Every day. In any relationship, really. It is a gift to be able to take care of him and be on either side of the give and take. Sometimes, he's doing all the giving and we are the takers. Other times, we are the ones giving and he's the one taking. When we work together in balance, it truly is a gift. 3) Can't leave out my very first pair of cowboy boots bought this year... It's actually cool enough to wear them!