inspiredness TM

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An Inspiring Read

Gift #51

I have only known of Ann Voskamp for a few short months but I feel her impact on my life everyday.

I had never been to her amazing blog before, never heard of her book but happened across her blog link through a comment on an online article. Am I glad I clicked that link!

Her words flow from her heart so eloquently. She’s real, not ideal.

“…I wake to the discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at children, fester with bitterness, forget doctor appointments, lose library books, live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, go to bed too late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes.” ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

So of course I had to read her book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

She had me in the first line…

“A glowing sun-orb fills an August sky the day this story begins, the day I am born, the day I begin to live.” ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

She had me crying the first chapter!

And by the end of the book I realize that, indeed, things miraculous and things mundane are beautiful gifts from God.

I don’t currently own the book {I borrowed it from a friend} but I will definitely be buying it so I can read it over and over!

Hence,

gift #51!

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Multitudes on Monday {March 5}

#51

Hearing my little sunshine hum along to a song in the car…the one that I listened to while pregnant with her

#52

Babes giggling while playing with their daddy

#53

Listening to Gracie roll play with her dolls

#54

A heating pad in bed warming me up when my husband cannot

#55

remnants of play, dolls well-loved

#56

sleeping in warm sunshine

#57

commotion in the house, kids laughing, fighting, playing…knowing one day it will be quiet

Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.

~Genesis 49:26


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It Takes a Village…

to raise a child {~unknown source, African proverb}

We don’t often acknowledge this anymore in our culture. We are self-sufficient, too busy, too proud, too stubborn. Asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness.

Sometimes it takes a near-tragedy, a loss of some sort or just a “wake-up call” to prod us into realizing that we can’t do it by ourselves that there are people in our lives that loves us and are more than willing to lend a helping hand, deliver a meal, sit and talk, babysit our kids while we go out for a breather.

Tonight my “village” was a dear friend with three small kids of her own. She could have easily {and gently} pushed me out the door, it was her eldest daughter’s 4th birthday party after all and we had stayed well beyond the end of the party. Instead she welcomed me and my four babes with open arms, fed us, kids played, kids bathed {imagine five kiddos in a standard-size bathtub!} and sent us home tired, happy, bellies full, hearts full.

{Blessing #50}

Our youngest babes sharing


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Multitudes on Monday (February 27)

#47

Hearing someone’s smile when you can’t see it **.

The voice rises, exudes excitement and warmth. This sound makes me well up with joy, makes me want to smile back.

#48

A glass of cool, refreshing water. Quenches the thirst, washes the body of impurities.

20120228-190910.jpg#49

Making my own soap! The smell of lemon verbena, stirring the creamy goodness.

Lovely!

**The person I specifically have in mind is a woman named Lisa Grace Byrne of WellGroundedLife. She has a wealth of information & inspiration for moms and non-moms alike. Every time I watch one of her videos or listen to an interview she’s conducted I can’t help but smile! Her voice expresses her emotions, you can really tell when she’s smiling…a gift that she gives to others.


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Joy Dare (from February 15)

In continuing on with Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare…counting 1000 gifts in 2012. She posts dares for everyday of the month…3 per day. Here is February’s.

a gift in losing something…

#33

Gracie held on tight to that mylar balloon, the whole way through the grocery store. She was patient while her siblings shed tears and screamed, and still she held on tight. The wind was blowing when we stepped outside, all five of us being blown by the gusts. Still she held on tight. We made it to the car, loaded ourselves in, buckled up. The minute she let go her heart floated out the door. My reaction time was way too slow, all I could do was watch as it taunted me and floated into the heavens. It’s with God now, I told her…wrong words! The tears began to roll down her face, devastated. In that instant I knew exactly how she felt, hopeless, sad, heart heavy…I’ve been there. All I could do was embrace her little body, give her my heart and wipe her salty tears. A gift.

a gift in finding something…

#34

The infamous “found” keys!! I had a mommy brain fart one afternoon while picking up Gracie from school. We were walking to the car, keys in hand, unlocked the car. Somewhere, somehow the keys had vanished! I honestly thought I was losing my mind (not the first time). I looked everywhere, scanned the parking lot multiple times, unloaded the whole car (and cleaned it!). It took me a couple months…one day while unloading the littlest one I happened to lift off the car seat cover and lo and behold….the keys!! This really shouldn’t have been cause for a breakdown those previous weeks but it was! God had a reason for this…to increase my trust in Him!

a gift in making something…

#35

A precious baby, only 17 weeks gestation, still enveloped in her mother’s womb left to be with the Lord. Her mother shed so many tears, tears dropping on her baby girl’s tiny fingers as she held her for the last time. Women that had known this mama (while only through an online support group of sorts) shed tears as well and out of those tears a beautiful quilt was born…a reminder to this mama of this precious angel…a gift to her and all those who touch that quilt.


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with Him Wednesdays: The Practice of Love

Walk with Him Wednesdays

“Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.

(The Practice of Love How do we love in difficult places? Our husbands? Our children? How do we live out the greatest of commandments? We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….)”

(For the Next 3 weeks:  The Practice of Fasting What does it mean and what does it look like and how does God use it to change us? We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….)”–Ann Voskamp

Tell Him…

I’m going to take a guess at what my guy wants more than anything…

financial freedom?

a new house?

a vacation?

Probably all those things, but if I know his heart I would say that he wants me to tell him…

how much I love him,

that I still find him incredibly attractive,

my conversations with God,

my heart.

{I believe this is not only Mark’s desire but also the Lord’s…tell Him}

He holds the tiniest of hands, leads them to safety, gives them comfort, wipes the tears, embraces with tenderness, plays with reckless abandon, feeds them {body & soul}.

He holds them when they are tired of walking, he picks them up when they fall down.

He shows them the beauty around them, he marvels at the wonder with them, he tries his best to answer their questions.

He has delivered one of our babies with his own hands!

He does all this without a second thought, without expectations.

For all of these things I love him! Our heavenly Father does all these things too, and while Mark could never be as perfect {no one can} he is constantly striving. He is striving to know the Lord, striving to be more like Jesus. And for this I love him!

 I may not have the words all the time; my heart “thinks” in pictures, moments, memories, actions…these are the things that explain my love for him.


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Multitudes on Mondays

Some of the biggest blessings are often the simplest, don’t you agree?

Mine from yesterday:

#26

Being able (barely) to stay awake during the message at church yesterday, even though I was so completely exhausted.

#27

Being served a hot meal by our church when we were so hungry and honestly, we didn’t know if we’d be able to afford any food.

#28

Having just a few minutes to rest my eyes before I had to continue with the day

#29

Spending time with my baby without any one else around, watching her play on the floor (and play in my knitting)

Today:

#30

Not feeling obligated to tackle the pile of laundry that is building

#31

Watching 3 of my kiddos excitedly open up Valentine’s from their grandparents, because getting mail is really that exciting to them!

#32

Spending time with the Lord, even if it’s while I’m sweating at the gym