Saturday, February 19, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 8

A picture that makes me laugh

"Someday you'll look back on this and laugh."

This picture captures a moment that did NOT make me happy at the time. She got into a large rectangular piece of Styrofoam. She broke it into a bagillion tiny pieces, and was so proud to show me how she made it snow in her room.

Yes, this picture makes me laugh.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Waste Wisely

"To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face; to greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains; to approach my work with a clean mind; to hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the ultimate purpose toward which I am working; to meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart; to be gentle, kind, and courteous through all the hours; to approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep and the joy that comes from work well done - this is how I desire to waste wisely my days."

- Thomas Dekker

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I am behind.....and this is why...

I do have posts to share and pictures of the kiddos to post (for you family members). Just be patient a little while longer, please. :D


Saturday, February 12, 2011


It's bright pink, one of my favorite colors. An etched dove graces the front cover. How perfect, since a dove symbolizes peace. It is my new Eucharisteo Journal, where I will begin to list my gifts throughout the day. Each little thing and moment to be thankful for will find its place within the pages of my journal.

All excerpts below are taken from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.


"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them...."(Luke 22:19 NIV)

Gave Thanks = Eucharisteo.

The root word of Eucharisteo is Charis, meaning grace.
Eucharisteo also holds the derivative Greek word Chara, meaning joy.

Charis - Grace
Chara - Joy
Eucharisteo - Thanksgiving

"On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it."
(1 Corinthians 11:23-24) Jesus offered thanksgiving for that which would break him, wound him, crush him and yield a bounty of joy (Chara).

We need to learn how to live a life of eucharisteo - always giving thanks, no matter the circumstances.

"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." (Philippians 4:11-12)

I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks. Something always comes to fill the empty places. And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me. This, this makes me full, and I magnify Him with thanksgiving (Psalm 69:30), and God enters the world. What will a life magnify? The world's stress cracks, the grubbiness of a day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted? Or God?

I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot.


So yes, in my bright and cheery journal, I have begun my eucharisteo. Letting His joy engulf me, as I take time to notice His offerings throughout the day. They are all His gifts to me, so I may as well take a hold of them, relish in them, remember them and give thanks for them.

I will soon notice that all of the daily stressful moments that seem to be crushing me, will be taken over by the rays of sunshine that peek through minute by minute.


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 7

A Treasured Item

Its pages are blank, aside from the 3 entries I made this morning:

1. The kids playing together - their laughter, smiles, joy and imaginations at work.
2. Cups of coffee while reading a good book.
3. The way Christian rocks back and forth when he's tired. His sleepy eyes. His little fingers rubbing his face. His tired, dimpled grin, as he looks over at me.

It is my new Eucharisteo Journal, already a treasured item. I look forward to the pieces of gratitude that will fill it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 6

If I could switch lives with someone for a day, I would choose to switch lives with one of these lovely folks.

That is a group of Invisible Children Roadies.

What is a roadie? Here, the below video may help to explain. Essentially roadies spread the word about Invisible Children and bring awareness to the longest running war in Africa, that utilizes innocent children as forms of terror and destruction. Oh and some roadies end up in Northern Uganda for a small amount of time, working with the children and schools that the organization built and maintains.

Here is a glimpse into the life of a roadie. Yes, I am a bit old for something like this...oh well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 5

A Favorite Moment

My life has been made up of so many moments, many of which have become ones that I hope to always remember. I can't pick one absolute favorite from the bunch. It's impossible.

But I came across this photo this morning. I believe I was around 36 or 37 weeks pregnant with my middle son, who is now 4.

Pregnancy is one of those truly incredible experiences. As years pass, you start to forget what it was like -- feeling your baby kick, the strange pains as your body stretched to make room for the growing bundle of joy, the fluttery movement as the baby did somersaults. It really is amazing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Thousand Gifts - Chapter One

My dear friend, who is losing her precious daddy to cancer, was on my heart as I read through the first chapter of One Thousand Gifts.

There was a section at the end of the chapter that I just knew that I had to share with her. I also knew that I needed to focus on the words as well.

So beautiful, so poetic and so very very true.........

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

That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.

But How? How do we choose to allow the holes to become seeing-through-to-God places? To more-God places? How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy? Self-focus for God-communion? To fully live--to live full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal. It is possible, wildly."

Ann begins her book by taking us to one of her darkest places -- witnessing the death of her younger sister.  It was THE event that made her question God's existence and purpose.

"Where is God, really?

How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? 

Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away? Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt?

How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?"

I truly feel that as painful as those hard, dark times are, we need them. We need the dark to understand and appreciate the light.

As part of the book club discussions, we are to focus on three themes as we read each chapter.

Seed: What has been planted as you read this chapter? What has it stirred in you?

Water: How are you nurturing what God desires in you? Be intentional and obedient to what your responsibility is in growth.

Bloom: What is the fruit you are seeing from what you have learned?

Today I am just going to talk about the seed.

For me, my seed goes back to the section I mentioned at the beginning of this post, most specifically moving from self-focus to God-communion. In my life right now, there is a lot I have to deal with and focus on. I seem to be very caught up in the things that I need to accomplish each day. I am a control freak by nature, and try to always take on much more than I can obviously handle. Yet, I do all that I can, pressing on.

And while He is there, wanting to ease some burdens and give me rest, I don't run to Him. The sad part is, I want to. I don't feel God's presence right now as strongly as I'd like and it's because I haven't been giving Him any of my time.

So for me, my seed is to let go and let God. I want to run to my Heavenly Father. I want to share my heart with Him, express my burdens, rest in His arms and feel His joy.

Even on the craziest days, I want to fully live--to live full of grace and joy.

 You can read more about chapter one here.

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 4

My Evening

This is my Saturday night. I should be working on an eight page paper that is due on Monday for my Organizational Management class, but instead I am lost in my Principles of Marketing textbook for the class that starts on Tuesday. I have to have four chapters read by this upcoming Thursday and I thought that I would get a bit of a head start on it this know, anything to delay the paper that I SHOULD be doing.

The thing is, I am LOVING, absolutely loving my Principles of Marketing textbook. I guess that means that I have chosen a good major, right? I am even enjoying taking extensive notes on everything that I read. I think I am just a giant nerd...yep, pretty much.

At some point tonight, I will push the book aside and get cracking on an outline. I just want to finish the third chapter first. I have two pages left.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Be Thankful

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 3

The cast of my favorite show. Does this mean current favorite, or of all time? Guess I have to do both. :D

The Big Bang Theory - Current favorite

Dawson's Creek - Favorite of all time

Friday, February 4, 2011

Like Endless Rain Into a Paper Cup

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 2

Someone I have been close to for a long time. Of course it would have to be my beautiful mommy. :D

December 1979

Thursday, February 3, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 1

Well day 1 is EASY. I post a photo of myself and share 15 random facts about little ol' me.

1. I collect quotes and song lyrics. I have several notebooks filled with random quotes and lyrics. Sometimes I spend a good hour searching for a quote or lyric to express how I am feeling at a particular moment.

2.I absolutely and positively adore sweet potatoes....baked with a little bit of butter...YUM!

3.   I love cherry blossoms, tulips, purple roses and purple orchids.

4. I love the word, began as a child..I was a huge fan of the Serendipity books. One of my first Bibles, as a young adult, was a Serendipity Bible (I bought it just because it had the word, Serendipity, on the cover). I am a fan of the movie, Serendipity and Serendipity III is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC.

5. At night I sing specific lullabies to my kids. I sing You Are My Sunshine to my daughter each night, and have since she was a day old. To my boys, I sing Godspeed, Sweet Dreams, a song by the Dixie Chicks, that I have kind of put my own spin on.

6. One of my favorite life experiences was when I attended school at Huntington University in Indiana.

7. I can be very odd and random. I'm pretty much a big goof. I embrace it though.  

8. I am an eternal optimist.

9. I am very clumsy...I run into things, trip and fall often. I swear there is always some bruise somewhere on my body that I have no idea how I earned.

10. I love to bake.

11. I have become a Nutella addict. Hazelnuts are my absolute favorite! I am quite bummed that I didn't discover Nutella until my 30's. This weekend I will be making a chocolate chocolate chip bundt cake with Nutella buttercream frosting. Yes, it sounds divine, doesn't it?

12. I want to have a shabby chic type kitchen fact every now and then at Goodwill, if I see something that would look cute in a shabby chic kitchen, I buy it. I have a few things stashed away....I just need the right kitchen.

13. I love community theater and hope to someday soon have time to perform in a community theater production. The last show I was in was almost 10 years ago.

14. I would love to be a part of a worship team at a church.

15. I love Hallmark stores. I could spend hours inside of a Hallmark.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge

Several friends are doing this, so I am joining in...because I succumb to pressure like that. :D

I will start tomorrow. :D

30 Day Picture Challenge
Day 01 - A picture of yourself with fifteen facts.
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.
Day 04 - A picture of your night.
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.
Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item.
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh.
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.
Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate.
Day 12 - A picture of something you love.
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die.
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you.
Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity.
Day 19 - A picture of you when you were little.
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget.
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change.
Day 25 - A picture of your day.
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you.
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member.
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of.
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss.

One Thousand Gifts

I am pretty certain it was the hands clutching a nest that lured me in.  (I do have a thing for birds)

Maybe it was the desire to spend some time reading a book for myself. I am in school and have had my nose stuck in textbooks, and it doesn't always make for fun reading.

Maybe it was the book's description:  

 "Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. How do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does a life of gratitude look like when your days are gritty, long and sometimes dark? What is God providing here and now? 

One Thousand Gifts invites you to wake up to God's everyday blessings. You will embark on a transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling gifts. You will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to gratitude, a way of living so you are not afraid to die, and a way of becoming present to God's presence that brings deep and lasting happiness."

And maybe, just maybe it was that tug in my heart that I have been feeling so strongly lately. The one from my heavenly father, gently nudging me to spend some time laying at His feet. His soft, yet constant whisper in my ear reminding me that He wants to give me rest.

One of my favorite reads, when I find time to hop from blog to blog and site to site, is (in)courage. Last month I was delighted to find that they were starting a book club and the title was going to be One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

They also mentioned that if the cost of the book would truly hinder our participation in the Bloom (in)courage Book Club, they would love to provide a free copy. I signed up for a free copy and received it today! :)

I am looking forward to diving into One Thousand Gifts. I hope that it will encourage me, change me and bless me.

There is still time to join in on the book club if you want. Details are here.

Yes, I know that I am adding one more thing to my already overflowing plate, but I know that deep down, I NEED THIS!