Sunday, August 12, 2018

Time Keeps on Slippin Slippin ... (sing it with me)

I'm learning slowly, but surely to embrace the roller coaster of life. 
Every time I think I'm ok with the roller coaster of it all something comes along to jolt me back up the massive hill of life that inevitably turns into the massive drop on a roller coaster that makes me lose my stomach mid air.
I tell myself to just hang on and "breathe" deep and this helps sometimes when I'm headed up the hill and I know what's on the other side. 
Often times though there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that can prepare you for that drop.
So, somewhere along the way I changed my perspective about it all and decided to embrace the up hill climb as well as the inevitable, stomach loosing drop off. 

I used to fight change like it was a nasty wasp that was after my tasty meat on a beautiful picnic day.
Arms flailing and a high pitched voice screaming at the damn thing to go away... such a sight to behold those who are afraid of a little bumble bee.
And, WHY pray-tell do they want my meat ?

However, somewhere along the way my fear of change, my fight song toward this pesky little thing that just keeps coming at ya,  changed.
I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the older you get, you realize it's just not worth the energy anymore to fight the inevitable. 


This here bloggy poo used to be the place where I could come and process all the changes and get the  relentless worry out of my head and onto the screen.
When I logged on today it shocked me to realize that
I haven't been here, in this place to write and share for 5 months.
5 months people... that's almost a fully baked little human time!!

It seems so strange to me how fast time can fly by, and the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, and suddenly a whole year has gone by.

 

The Steve Miller band was right... TIME truly does keep on slippin slippin into the future. 
And where we spend our time and energy is that much more valuable when we get older, because let's face it... we know the clock is ticking.

I guess in retrospect 5 months between a blog post isn't SO long, but I remember the day that I was on here writing all the time. 
The silence this time though,  I think is because my process to unpack things in this life may have changed some.

It used to be that my time with the outside world was limited, being that I was a stay at home mom with 4 babes, 6 years and under when I started this blog. 
Now, I spend more hours away from home, and when I do finally get home to my nest it is a FREAKING MESS!!

So there's the full time job outside this place, and then the very full time job here in this place when I do get home. 
Outside of that, the screen time I give to my eyes is more than I care to admit with my tiny little computer called an I Phone. 
Changes in processing life and just sheer exhaustion combined with how fast time is flying by, is truly what has kept me away from you beloved reader. 
The older I get the faster the time is flying by. 

Am I alone in this warped speed of roller coaster life?

I'm also trying very hard to "keep it simple" and stay in the present moment. 
This came about after a very wise older grandma told me that how you slow time down is by staying in the present moment. 
She looked me square in the eye and said with such piercing conviction, that if I wanted time to slow down I had the power to do so, by staying in the moment. She may as well have said to me, 

"KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!"
She was serious.
She was convincing.
And I listened. 

In an attempt to stay in the moment I limited my screen time and therefore this here blog collected some dust. 


Never fear though, I haven't fully given up on the bloggy poo processing, but I have rethought about what I really want it to be for me now.


What has never changed though is my love to write and place words together. 

It brings me great joy to write. 
I have been writing in my old school paper journal in an attempt to simplify, but I do so love to hear the sound of 'clickety clak clickety clak 'while I type away and the thoughts in my head appear here on this screen. 
I will never stop processing out loud either because I find value in community, and I know that the blog world, be it ever so strange is in fact a community.
The impact of how other's online journals in the form of a blog have tremendously helped me in my journey is what keeps drawing me back here. 


There is so very much that I can and you can be spending your time on yet, you come over here to check on lil-ole' me and it blesses me beyond measure to know that you are here. 
I know you are processing right along side me, and I know that like me you should be doing a long list of other things, but the value for online community runs deep within your soul as well. 

In an attempt to update those of you who still check in over here I will give you the bullet points of changes that have occurred over these past 5 months that I haven't been processing out loud.

Moses went back to construction and I am back at teaching the little people of the world.
We both returned to jobs and trades that for most of our lives we have come to know and love and hopefully make a difference there. 
Moses still dreams of building his own kingdom someday instead of everyone else's, and I still dream of writing children's books. 
These dreams will become a reality I have no doubt of that... but in the meantime it's been really fun to watch our Fab 4's dreams come true. 
 
Our oldest daughter Emma is still living up in Seattle in that tiny little cabin in the woods that we called home for 4 years. From the moment we moved back to Reno she couldn't wait to get back up to the PNW where she feels her heart is home. She's adult-ing hardcore and I couldn't be more proud of her. 
Our second oldest daughter graduated high school in June and applied to her dream school that just happens to be in New York. 
She got in ... and if all goes as planned she will soar out of here and to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

So come January, we will have one daughter in Seattle and one in New York.

Whose idea was it to raise independent children who grow up and turn into  happy and healthy humans ready to take on the world with out dear ole' mom and dad by their side?

Our oldest son Solomon just started his first upper classman year of High School and is really enjoying learning to speak German for the second year. 
Our youngest child Isaiah graduated Jr. High and is now a Freshman in High School.
My sister Jenny and her hubs James have adopted my new lil Nevaeh Bear niece and our big clan is all the more joyful.
My brother Greg and wife Tanya will add another wee one in December to this over the top with JOY big clan. 
One of my besties turned 40 and got preggers with her fourth baby on the way in September.

And it's been over a year since one of my beloved sisters Christine has not walked this planet. 
I miss her hugs most of all. 


There it is beloved reader... my 5 months in a nutshell (help I'm in a nutshell and I can't get out!)

Life is a wild ride. 
I'm working hard to keep it simple, breathe deep, and process out loud in the hopes that it will help myself and others. 
Peace out... I'm off now to "Fly like an Eagle and let my Spirit carry me" or something like that.





Monday, March 26, 2018

Anchor Deep


I've been quiet on here, as I let the steam room of my soul build up again to share with you beloved reader.

I started reading Max Lucado's Six Hours One Friday on Palm Sunday.

This book is one of my all time favorites that I often pick up again the week before Easter Sunday.
It's the perfect book for my soul as I remember that some 2000 years ago, "three spikes and a wooden beam gave hope to humanity."

This time, while reading I was struck by the simplicity of the beginning of this book where a young Max describes a storm in Florida that he and some friends tried desperately to save his boat from a hurricane headed their way.  Their attempts would have been futile had it not been for the advice from an older sailor who told them not to tie the boat to land, or trees, or themselves(LOL)! He warned that these things would surely blow away, but instead to "ANCHOR DEEP" for this would be their only hope to save the tiny boat.

It made me remember with profound gratitude the Anchor I have had for some 30 years now. 

With gratitude and pen and paper....

I wrote this in my journal;

Remembering 30 years ago when for the first time YOU became real to me. 
You took on flesh and bone as the shape of A SAVIOR became MY SAVIOR. 
I was SO young I didn't even know then what exactly I was being saved from, but I know now. 
The heartache and despair that would've otherwise been my life is now my song of praise.

As I myself in seasons of doubt have turned to vices and idols that brought temporary comfort,
I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt YOU and YOU alone, are where I anchor deep.
And even as I have seen others be taken out by the weeds of this world, still I look to YOU for the hope of a new day.

This story also reminded me of one of my grandmothers favorite children's songs;

Row row row your boat
gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily 
Life is BUT a dream

There isn't a storm of catastrophe headed my way, but rather of change.
Good and healthy changes are headed my way.
Still, big changes for this sentimental heart, whether good or bad are hard for me.
As I prepare to head into a very busy season of getting our second daughter Chloe graduated, I'm grateful for the reminder to Anchor Deep in the source of my hope and peace. 

Chloe will turn 18, on May 16th, and her older sister Emma will turn 20 on May 28th. 
Chloe flies out this week to visit her sister Emma who now lives back in Seattle, and so our family of 6 will only be 4 on Easter Sunday. 
For the first time in all these years we won't be together on this day that is very much about faith and family. 
I'm reminded once again, that as our family grows; healthy, strong, and independent of us, that despite the fact that our landscape will change our Anchor will hold us tightly together for all eternity. 


Oh beloved reader, how grateful I am for reminders of hope and encouragement as the seasons of life change. 
My sentimental heart needed these reminders this week, and maybe if your reading this yours might need the reminder too.




Monday, January 29, 2018

Prayer AKA Help!!




"No wonder we are happy in the Lord!"
For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name. 
Yes, the Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone."
Psalm 33:21-22

Recently, I have had a few major, as well as a lot of minor prayers answered that have reminded me once again how good God is and how worthy HE is of my trust. 
I want to share these stories, for no other reason than to hopefully encourage someone to never stop praying, or maybe to start.
If you have forgotten how to pray or have never prayed in your life it's as simple as asking for help, only you are asking the one who created you, and has been waiting..waiting..waiting for the invitation to jump in and help. 
You know that old saying, "Where there is a will, there is a way!" ? 
Well, recently I was thinking about how God's will for us is always for good. 
Sometimes we mistake our will for what is ultimately good for us, and so when those prayers don't get answered we don't understand God, and therefore stop trusting to ask him for help.
I have done this more times than I care to mention, and it's just recently that I've realized like Brittiany Spears... Oops I've done it Again!
I share all of this as a precursor to my stories of answered prayers because, I don't want you to think that I'm some spiritual Guru who always sees her prayers answered. 
There is NOT one human on this planet currently, who has got the direct line to the Father and always gets what they pray for. 
There was ONE though some 2000 years ago that did... but that's a topic for another day.
------------
I woke up this morning anxious.
Why, you ask?
I had a dentist appointment.
I have always hated going to the dentist, therefore my mouth is ... well not the ideal candidate for a Colgate commercial. 
 
Recently, I have had a dental issue that I knew I needed to be taken care of, but I didn't have the money to properly take care of it. The work that was going to be done would be upwards of 2500 dollars... and well this momma of 4 right after Christmas and car troubles just didnt have it in budget. But, the pain worsened right after Christmas to the point where I could no longer procrastinate or pro long getting it fixed. The anxiety that built up over this time was more about money issues though, and not even the treatment. 
 In faith and obedience to my mom and sisters persisted prompt,  I set up a dental appointment, and thought I'd just see what the dentist suggested to do about this tooth and my money issues.

Before I left for the dentist appointment I was starting to worry about all the details again, so I asked my daughter Chloe to pray for me.
Sometimes I forget to ask for prayer from those that love me, and would want to pray for me, again a blog topic for another day, but I'm so glad I was prompted to ask her on this day.
She did pray, and little did she know but her prayers were about to be answered. 
After my dentist Dr. Pastrell (blatant shout out) took a look about in my mouth he jokingly said, "Well ya got any kids to sell?" 
To which of course I said; "There might be One.... no no no of course not, but I am able bodied and could work for this dental work you need to do here, I'd do anything to be out of this pain, I'd even scrub your toilets!"
Turns out he was looking for someone to clean his office, and I was someone willing to work for my dental work that needs to be done.

Isn't that the most beautiful trade and answer to prayer you have heard in a while?

I tell you what, I was blown away by not only my boldness to offer working for his services, but also his response. 
Btw, Dr. Pastrell is a praying man so I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt this was divine. 
---------------
Before this morning for several months now my car has been making funny noises that I didn't know where they were coming from. My Giant thought it might be our transmission going out which made my heart drop into my stomach because I realize how costly that would be on this car.
The sound got worse, and was at the point where I was staying home and not doing things because I didn't want to drive my newer 2011 Toyota 4 Runner.
 
This is our only family vehicle though, and also was/is an answer to prayers a few years back, so there was faith in my heart that whatever was wrong with it would and could be fixed.
However, I was anxious about it for many months and didn't trust completely that my prayers were being heard. 
So, with the sound getting worse I was worried to take it far, but my nieces bday party was set for the first weekend in January and I wasn't about to miss it, because my new niece Nevaeh was to be there as well. 
The whole family headed to Carson for my niece Sophia's bday party, and I prayed with an anxious heart all the way down. Not realizing that my prayers weren't in faith... but all the same they were heard.
My brother Greg generously asked to take the car for a drive to see what was up.
He found the problem and it wasn't at all what we suspected and my genius GIANT amazing man was able to fix it for all under 150 bucks.

"I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to 
those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait for the salvation of the Lord."
Lamentations 3:24-26
-------------------

I share these stories of answered prayers, like I said to encourage you to ask for Help from your creator. 
Sometimes we can feel as small and insignificant as the above picture of that tiny lizard in my son Solomon's hands.
Oh beloved reader, if you only knew how the creator of our souls WAITS for the moment for you to ask for help, we all wouldn't hesitate to just shout it out. 

I'm learning to trust again.
I don't know why I ever stop.
For some strange reason I forget that the lover of my Soul is just waiting... waiting... waiting to help me.
So here I sit once again in wonder and awe of his faithfulness to me even though I don't deserve it.
 
Not every prayer of mine is answered, but when these two were it reminded me once again of how Good my God is and how thankful I am for his constant love and faithfulness. 
Prayer is powerful.
It might not feel like it is, but truly I have seen with my own eyes, time and time again how prayer spoken out or unspoken even gets answered. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

New Years Word 2018

Well, beloved reader we are already 4 days into this New Year 2018, and I gotta say I have never looked forward to a New Year as much as I have looked and longed for 2018.
I've always thought it was strange in some ways to think of a New Year as a kind of a light at the end of the tunnel, but that is what it truly feels like to me in this new year. 
I'm still kind of reeling from 2017 and my head feels foggy when I try to recount all of the reasons I hold 2017 with such disdain, but it's over... Thank God it's over!
I don't want it to sound like there weren't really good things that happened in 2017 as well, but
 overall it was a rough one for me personally is all I can say about that.
 
There were so many disappointments, and changes.
Change, I have come to know as the one constant in life, and I'm no longer terrified of change.
Still, there were some changes last year, that I could have done without. 
There were deaths of beloved friends and even family members who had to say goodbye too soon. 
Death and Loss are the changes that no one sees coming around the bend, but all the same the train keeps moving on, and you either get on board or you check out and try to get off.
I chose to stay on board with moments of check out,  and if that doesn't make sense to you then I'm not sure we are speaking the same language.
 
I chose the word Purposeful for my New Years word last year, and boy howdy did I ever put that word to use. 
Last years word is wrung out and hung up to dry !!
Not only did I realize more than ever before, that my purpose here doesn't change with the job or title that I'm given, but
I had to be careful, and aware of every move I made, because I felt as though if I wasn't it all would fall apart. 
I know that the weight of the whole world doesn't fall on my shoulders(thank you Jesus) but the weight of my little small world here sometimes does feel this way. 
Every choice, every word spoken, every action or reaction, every social engagement, every trip, every blog, every post on social media, felt like it had a purpose.
I realized more than ever I have a voice here, and whether I use it for good or for not so good, people are listening. 
That word "Purposeful" came so quick to me last year, and was beyond a doubt a divine word for my life as a whole in 2017, so it isn't any wonder that this year... 4 days in I was hanging onto 2017's word and still left wondering what my word for this year should be.
 
I suppose to some of you it might seem silly to become attached to a single word for a whole year, but for those of you that this makes sense to, it's like the word becomes an old friend.
I prayerfully ask for a word that will become a life reminder for what lies ahead.
This word becomes the rhythm for my life ahead, kind of like those piano timers... what are those called anyways?
I asked the Googles ... it's called a Metronome.
 
I woke up this morning and looked over at my wall that holds all my favorite notes, paintings, and pictures and there it was,
My Metronome...
My word for 2018 ...
BREATHE

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe to think, to enjoy, to love. "
~Marcus Aurelius

It was literally there on the wall on a plaque that my daughter Chloe gave to me many years ago.
It's a simple word, and one that we don't need to be reminded to do every couple of seconds, but to Breathe deep ... well that's a different story.
"When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. Try to learn to BREATHE deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. 
Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."  ~Ernest Hemingway
Before this morning I was thinking about how grateful I am to be alive and breathing and how I need to be kinder to myself, and take better care of my body... which is not an uncommon thought for this time of year. I thought about how long it has been since I've had a daily practice of yoga and quiet times of centering my soul.... and then I looked over and saw that word.
In the practice of Yoga your breathe is a huge component of the practice.
To be so aware of your body, and how it should be stretched, and where it needs help, you have to start with your breathing. It's as though you are thanking the life force that is breathe with every inhale and exhale. 
I think about how Spirit is Breathe. 
The Holy Spirit that lives and breathes and has his/her being in me... helping me thru every day.
I'm currently reading an old book that was a HUGE spiritual tool in my tool box of walking out life with spiritual eyes. It's been just about 30 years ago that I first read this book so it's kind of a trip to read it now after all these years and I don't really want to say much about it here on this blog, but I bring it up here because The Holy Spirit is breathe. 
The title of the book;  Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. 

 
"I could feel reverence humming in me"
~Jane Fonda (on becoming a Christian)
Often times I will wake in the morning and see that word Breathe hanging on my wall, and before my feet even hit the ground I will give thanks for this breathe inside my lungs. 
Another brand new day to start all over again. 
So here it is a new fresh year,  with promise and I'm giving thanks for 2018, and I will remind myself with this word to breathe deep, and give thanks for all that has gone before me and all the lies ahead, and center my soul for the moment that I am in. 
It's all just rivers and roads til I reach you. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

43 Life Lessons in 43 years




1. Find your anchor.
2. Live your life, no one else can be YOU, and we need YOU.
3. Love truly does conquer all.
4. Don't wait to say what you know to be true.
5. Make your own fashion statement.
6. Smile and meet strangers who soon become friends.
7. Tell your parents you love and appreciate them.
8. Eat dessert for breakfast.
9. Dishes and laundry be damed. 
10. Be a life long learner. 
11. You get more with honey than you do with vinegar. 
12. Find balance in all things. 
13. Love doesn't exist until you love something into existence.
14. Children truly make life worth living. 
15. Be an animal lover, it's worth the investment. 
16. Find beauty in the quiet, simple moments. 
17. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. 
18. Don't tell people what you believe in, show them. 
19. Get off your PHONE !!
20. You are not your feelings. 
21. You are not your paycheck.
22. Stop to smell, listen, and see. 
23. Ask Questions.
24. Own your shit and stay in your own shit lane.
25. Turn up the music.
26. Support those that support the little people, the underdogs in life.
27. Be someones biggest fan, and don't ever stop cheering them on.
28. You were made for community.
29. Don't be afraid of some Vitamin D.
30. What you worry about today won't matter when you're on your death bed.
31. Every breathe is a gift, so breathe deep.
32. Don't look to anyone else to find your happy.
33. Sing out loud and proud even off key because your voice is unlike any other.
34. Go outside and just look up and then listen.
35. In your weakest moments you will find your inner strength.
36. Don't wait for someone else's approval.
37. Bless those that hurt you and then move on, fuller, richer, stronger and with boundaries.
38. When waiting in line or traffic look around and know someone else is waiting behind you.
39. Invest in people not things. 
40. Grow older with the knowledge that every grey hair, wrinkle, ache and pain is a gift because you are alive. 
41. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. We all have needs. 
42. Forward motion is key. 
43. It's just a number-AGE and wisdom are not the same thing. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Repeat the Sounding Joy

This weekend after a very long, busy, and emotional week, I decided that the Christmas movie of choice would be;
 The Family Stone.
I am of the cloth that has a collection of classic Christmas movies that have to all be watched in a matter of 31 days. 
The Family Stone is one of those movies. 
For many of you, this is a very sad movie that has quite a bit of controversy tied into it , but for me it's a movie about family, and life and all that, that entails. 
Well, maybe there is a bit more in this family that goes on that doesn't happen in every family... but all the same it's one of my favorite Christmas movies. 

This Christmas movie is a tear jerker for sure so I pick this movie on a night when I know I have a lot of emotions that just need to find their way out, and I make sure I'm surrounded by those who love me even when they see my ugly cry face. 
This time when I watched it, I knew going in that I would need more kleenex than I normally do.
I knew this because this past year has been filled with a lot of loss of loved ones that have passed on, and this movie definitely has that life and death element as a key note. 
But, a funny thing happened when I watched it this year.

Not only did I bawl my eyes out like I knew I would but...
A line in the movie stuck out to me and in the most random of places.
There is a part in the movie that an unlikely couple end up snuggling after a VERY eventful holiday, and the actor Sarah Jessica starts to sing the Christmas song, "Joy to the World" and her new found friend actor Luke Wilson keeps saying the phrase, "Repeat the Sounding Joy."

"REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY!" 

At this point in the movie, it is a strange song choice because this family has just had possibly one of the worst Christmas holidays in their families history, but also one of the most profound holidays because for one of the family members it  was their first introduction into this big family and it didn't go very well at all and for another family member it will be their last Christmas. 
But, when actor Luke starts to chime in with the phrase ;

"REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY!"
its as if he knows thats what life is all about. 

Maybe it was just me, or the glass of wine I was drinking, but I really was feeling Luke Wilson's soul in that part of the movie, like he knew that LIFE is for the LIVING.... and you have to continue to repeat the sounding joy!
I have sung this Christmas carol so many times in my life, but the next morning was Sunday morning and it was on the list of songs to sing at my faith community Hillside Foursquare Church,... oh and I just happened to be on the worship team this past weekend. 
That particular phrase kept lingering in my head as almost like a life anthem for me to sing out; 
"REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY!"
In the midst of heartache and pain, 
love and loss, 
I truly can repeat the sounding Joy of my life because of Jesus and the hope He gives me on the daily.
My eyes and heart were opened up at a very young age to truly know beyond a shadow of any doubt that I do indeed have a Savior from all the pain, loss and sorrow. 
That is not to say that I don't still have questions, and I don't type these words with a triumphant kind of attitude that I have arrived and have all life's answers figured out.
I have sucky days just like anyone else, and 
I am working out my faith on a daily basis. 
Thankfully I'm not alone on this faith walk.
It's just that,
His love for me and all those around me is what gives me Joy even in the midst of sorrow and grief. 
If I do nothing else in this life I will continue to repeat the sounding Joy of his love. 
I'm beyond grateful that I have this hope as an anchor in my life.
I'm not perfect, (no one is) but it is my life's goal to follow the ways that Jesus set before me some 2000+ years ago. 
"REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY!"
His ways are perfect, and when I hang out with him HE perfects this messy road before me. 
It is my hearts prayer that everyone could know this unending love, hope, and faith in Jesus. 
I also hope that no matter where this holiday season finds you, you know that you are not alone.

There is a King in this Game of Thrones who doesn't see your life as a game at all. 
He left his throne, to come as an infant child and express love and mercy and give you hope. He is not so far removed that he doesn't know the pain and sorrow of loss. He walked this earth and was contained by the gravity that keeps our feet on the ground. He is not far from you, in fact just say the words, "I believe" and he's right there with you. 
Maybe you are reading this blog and thinking, Noël you don't understand ... you don't know what I've been through and you would be absolutely correct. 
I don't know, but there is one who does.  
To know that we are not alone in this life full of trials and tribulations is what I believe we all are looking for. 
If you are feeling depleted in the Joy department, just a take a deep breathe... now take another deep breathe.... fill your lungs with that life, and give Jesus a second glance. 

And then keep looking into this deeper thought that you are not alone. 
There was an infant named Jesus who more than likely was not born in December when we choose to celebrate his birth, BUT he walked this planet for 33 years.
He changed our calendar and how we measure time; BC and AD ... yea that's a thing!
He changed my life some 30 years ago.
He's changing lives to THIS day and it could very easily be yours.

Take one more deep breathe....


 Then, keep asking questions, and wondering and pondering and seeking.... and knocking... the door will open to a world of Joy!

Oh and don't forget to listen to Miss Whitney who at this very moment is in the presence of JOY!

Monday, November 27, 2017

WEEK 4 and 5 #graditudetrain I Love Right Now


It's the final week of the hashtag #graditudetrain (see blogs below) that I started on November 1st. 
I'm already feeling sad that it's almost over because even though I will continue to give thanks after the month of November is over, I know it won't be with the same attention and energy that these past few weeks have provided. 
I have been challenged in ways that I didn't think I would be when I started this little refresher course in giving thanks. 
It's been so fun to see others hop on board this train with me, and it truly has hit a refresh button in my heart and mind. I feel like I have grown in my "attitude of gratitude" and that makes me real happy. 
Now the challenge of taking what I've learned and using that growth about having a thankful heart is what I'm thinking about. 
If I were to teach a class on gratitude and how to stay 
in this place of contentment, gratitude, and thankfulness I think this scripture from the Message version of the bible is what I would start with; 

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are- no more, no less."

I'm thinking that this quote has become a motto of sorts in my mind. 
The older I get the more I'm realizing that in order to be content I have to accept the present moment. 
That's not to say there isn't always room for improvement, but finding a sense of contentment in the present moment is crucial to contentment in life as a whole.
"That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

There are A LOT,  and I do mean a whole lotta things that can be bought these days.
But I want to be the proud owner of the eternal things that can't be purchased with a swipe or insert of a stupid plastic card.
I want to remain grateful for what I already have, as well as know that my love for those around me, and their love for me, isn't defined by, and doesn't hinge on what I give them from a retail store.
Finding worth in what can't be bought has got to be where true life is found. 
I know it's wrapped up in there somewhere.
I also think that you have to work at contentment and dwelling there.
It's a habit that is formed over many years of saying "Thank You" even in the midst of heart ache and pain. 
In the face of challenges and hardship is where we find our true selves. 

Our character is built in these times.
It's easy to say thank you when everything is going well and the sun is shining and unicorns are a plenty. But to remain in a grateful state of mind when everything and everyone around you has gone to the dark side this is the true challenge in life.
 
"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God."
Matthew 5:5-6
I have a thankful for heart because of the Lover of my Soul. 
(Insert old Petra song here)
I'm hungry, no starving, for knowing more of the heart of my Creator.
There are SO many things in this life that our energy,  and our appetites can be appeased with, but only one gives any return, and that is when I spend time with my Creator, the true lover of my soul.
That is why I can say, no matter what ...I LOVE RIGHT NOW!!
or 
"Yet though you slay me I will still hope and trust in HIM!" 
Job 13:15
Blog design ©2012 Design by Alyx