Monday, September 9, 2013

44 Reasons

Okay.  44.  That's a pretty great number, I think.  44 years old, as of today.  For some reason, this number has been rolling around in my mind for a few days.  Well, I guess because I've been contemplating being 44. 

In the midst of my contemplating, I kept coming around to one of my favorite songs: 10,000 Reasons:

"The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning.  It's time to sing your song again. Whatever may pass, or whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes: Bless The Lord, oh my soul.  Oh my soul, worship His holy name.  Sing like never before, oh my soul, I worship your holy name."  

I love this:  with our lips, telling our soul to bless The Lord.  Love it.  Speaking truth to ourselves is so important: not letting our feelings run our lives.  "Why so downcast, oh my soul, put your hope in God..."   "Bless The Lord, oh my soul..."  Over and over, we are reminded to speak truth to our souls!  Isn't that great?  It just feels so good, too.  Speaking truth to ourselves is so crucial, especially when we are surrounded by so much "downcast".  The grumblers, the ungrateful, the stressed, the weary, the hateful, the unforgiving...all those things take their toll if you don't speak back truth to your soul.

"You're rich in love and you're slow to anger.  Your name is great and your heart is kind.  For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find: to bless The Lord, oh my soul. Oh my soul, I worship your Holy name.  Sing like never before, oh my soul, I worship your holy name."

So much goodness, so many reason to bless The Lord!  10,000?  That's a huge number.  But we could certainly find 10,000 reasons to bless Him.  And in doing that, our souls come back into alignment with Him...bringing peace, assurance, confidence, gratefulness, joy.  What's not to love about that??

Getting back around to my thoughtfulness about birthday gift to myself, and as an act of thankfulness to The Lord for blessing me with the privilege of 44 healthy years in this beautiful world, I'm going to make a list (yay, a list!!) of 44 reasons for my soul to bless The Lord.

Here we go, soul:  44 reasons for you to bless The Lord:

1.  Forgiveness
2.  Salvation
3.  Mercy
4.  Grace
5.  A mom who brought me to church, prayed for me, and modeled how to walk in peace and joy, even in the midst of terrible struggles.  Her life, though not with me for the last 18 years, continues to bless me.
6.  Eyes to see this beautiful world, especially the faces of those I love.
7.  Ears to hear...specifically my son's beautiful music and the "I love you"s of my husband and kids.
8.  Colors...not just plain blue, but so many blues.  Not just green, but all different shades of green.
9.  Love.  Although I don't fully grasp or understand it, He loves me.
10.  The love of my husband...truly a gift from Him.
11.  Being entrusted with the lives of 3 beautiful people who call me mom.
12.  Peace, even when it doesn't make sense to have peace.
13.  Joy.  Oh, I love the joy that bubbles up from inside and floods my soul.
14.  Generosity.  He's so generous with me, and I love to be generous with others.
15.  Patience.  He's so patient with me...I'm such a mess, and He still loves me.
16.  Miracles...from the little to the major, they happen all around us.
17.  Food:  more than enough.  An embarrassing richness.
18.  Shelter:  a beautiful, cozy home filled to the brim with love.
19.  Clothing:  another embarrassment of richness.  I'm very thankful we've moved on from fig leaves.
20.  Humor. Laughter really is good for the soul.
21.  Friendship.  How lonely this world would be without true friendship!
22.  Creativity: modeled by a creative God, evident in our beautiful world, and funneled through us.
23.  Kindness.  Kindness given, kindness received.
24.  Faith ~ sometimes that's all we have.
25.  Hope.  HOPE.  So glad I don't have to go through life without hope. Anchors my soul.
26.  Two grandmothers who were both excellent cooks and passed on a love of creativity in the kitchen.
27.  Animals...this world is so much sweeter with furry friends.
28.  Truth.  Trusting THE truth.
29.  Music.  I love so much about music.  Soothes the soul, gives beauty, creates emotion.
30.  Emotions.  I love that we are created to express tenderness, strength, happiness, sadness, joy, anger, and the whole array of emotions.  But they don't have to boss us!
31.  The ability to smell: I love the smell of the ocean, chocolate chip cookies baking, blooming flowers, newborn babies, fresh laundry...I would miss all those if I couldn't smell.
32.  Taste!  I love to taste.  I'm glad we can use our given creativity to create great tasting food.
33.  A soft cozy bed.
34.  Rest when I'm weary.  Thankful He gives it.
35.  Promises.
36,  Purpose.  So glad to seek and find purpose; we're not just here to spin wheels.
37.  Heart's desires.  We were created to long for things and desire things.  No need to be stagnant or bored!
38.  Adventure.  Life is fun!
39.  Seasons.  In our world and in our life.  There's something renewing and fresh about a new season beginning.
40.  Free will.  God doesn't force himself on anyone.  Our choice.
41.  Answers.  He always answers.  Yes, No, Not Now...always an answer.
42.  Trust.  I can trust Him.  I value trust.
43.  Uniqueness.  I'm thankful I'm unique, that we all are.  Again, more creativity on display!
44.  LIFE!  Life is sweet, life is beautiful, life is a gift!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

What's Up?

Geeze...just geeze.  It's been a doozy of a summer, and here I am on the brink of it being over.  And what better way to jump back into this than with a list!  I'm beginning to rekindle my fondness for lists.

1.  The transition to sending my firstborn out of the nest is finally underway.  So much anticipation.  Where he is, what he is pursuing, how it all came about...beyond our wildest dreams for him.  Saying goodbye and leaving him across the country knowing I won't see him until Christmas...beyond my imagination in many ways.  My heart hurts.  Physically hurts.  I'm joyful for him, proud of him, excited for all that awaits.  And yet I hurt because I miss him.  

2.  My girls saying goodbye to their brother?  Heartbreaking.  There were tears, lots of tears.  The whole week leading into it.  The night before we left was brutal.  Mothering them through their pain was an angle of this I wasn't prepared for.  I love that they are so close and they love him so much.  With loving deeply comes painful goodbyes.

3.  I now am a full-time bi-focal wearing 40-something year old.  I fought this for a year.  I denied how much I needed them.  I dreaded making this leap.  From the moment I put them on?  LOVE them.  I'm amazed at all I can see.  I'm amazed how poorly I was seeing.  It explains so much.  And I don't care that I look a bit dorky.  Just don't care anymore.  It's so worth it to see clearly.  (Not that everyone who wears glasses looks dorky.  I'm just not use to them on my face.)

4.  My youngest, who is deeply stressed about her brother leaving and starting a new school year, put together a multi-page power point style report on why we should allow her to get a hamster.  A hamster is a rodent.  My daughter wants a rodent to live in her room.  She wants a little creature to nurture and take care of.  She wants something all her own.  I have sworn forever that once we were done having frogs, we would never go lower on the food chain that a cat.  And now...a rodent?!  And the looks like we are going to say yes.  Brad is 100% in.  I'm still rocking back and forth and scratching my head and breathing deeply.  Geeze.

5.  My oldest daughter made cookies yesterday that are fantabulous!  A one-pot, sauce pan chocolate chip cookie.  With mini M&M's.  SO.  GOOD.  The only problem is the flack she gives me when I eat one.  I mean, please.  I'm grieving the shifting of a season of mothering.  If I need a cookie to soothe my soul, so be it.  CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE!

6.  I detest bra shopping.  I avoid it for too long.  I research everything on line before I go into the store, hoping I can speed the process along and get me in and out of there.  I innocently announced I was going shopping on Saturday, and before the 'sh' had left my lips, Brenna was at attention and eager to go along.  I told her I was only going for bras and that was it.  "Perfect!" she said.  Apparently she was needing the same thing.  After Saturday's experience, I detest bra shopping all the more, only now it costs me a lot more money.  Three girls needing garments for the girls??  Cha-ching!  Oh, I could say so. much. more.  But I won't.  Resist.

7.  We are a third of the way through our cheer season and it is going splendidly.  My group of 16 is just amazing me.  They are making my job easy this year!

8.  Tomorrow is the last day of no school/no work.  I have very conflicted emotion about Wednesday.  Very enthusiastically looking forward to some things, not looking forward to some things.  Praying for a peaceful year.

And that's it for now.  One of my goals for this year is good sleep.  Solid, consistent, restful sleep.  I think I'll start right now.