Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude

I have so much to be thankful for. Seriously, it is overwhelming to even think about making a list. I also know, though, that much of it is all about perspective. There are those who could look at any number of things in my life and be thankful that it wasn’t theirs. And that’s okay. Because my journey is just that…mine. It is the path God has lead me down…for the sake of…me. For the sake of revealing himself to me in order that I might live right in the rich abundance of his love.

I am so thankful that he doesn’t always give me what I ask for. What a mess I would have made of things by now. And so, this song, by Nicole Nordeman, seems to most accurately capture my own feelings of gratitude this Thanksgiving. May we be blessed to know that, in our abundance or in our need, he delights to be our Living Water, Our Daily Bread, Our Light, Our Refuge, Our Peace. Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude

A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude

For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace
But Jesus, would You please . . .

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hope is awesome!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thoughts on Christmas and the Problem of Clean Water

On Saturday I saw a video that said that Americans spend roughly 450 billion dollars each year on Christmas. 450 billion! Then, it said that it is estimated that 10 billion dollars could solve the entire world's water problem. Clean water for everyone for a fraction of what we spend on Christmas.

It stirred something in me in a deeper way than those kinds of statistics usually do. I mentioned it to Loren and we talked about doing Christmas differently because of it.

Then, Sunday morning, instead of the usual cartoons, PBS ran a "Feed the Children" commerical. Hope was watching and said, "Mommy, why are that boys arms so skinny?" So, I told her that he was hungry and didn't have enough food to eat. She got big tears in her eyes and said, "We should help them. We should give them our money so they can buy food." Then she ran in and asked Loren to work some more so we could have more money to give to them.

And so we got to have a great discussion about ways that we can give sacrificially. We talked about Christmas and how we might do things kind of different. She's all about it. This hasn't been a passing thing for her, either. She has been praying for the kids in Africa (Malawi is where the kids on the video were from) and talking about this a lot. Which led to this video. Her idea was to write all of her friends letters and I thought maybe this would be quicker. So...a message from Hope...to all your kiddos...sorry for the poor video quality.


video

Halloween Fun!

We had a really fun Halloween. Hope had been counting down the days and it finally arrived! Ever since she was in Loren's cousin's wedding a couple of months ago she has talked about being a bride for Halloween. She would pick something else for a while (she wanted to be a skunk at one point) and then come back to it. Ultimately, it was the dress that sealed the deal. We found one that reached all the way to the floor (a must for a bride) and she was sold. She made a beautiful little bride and she really relished traipsing all over town in that little dress.



Bella dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood. Her hair is just now getting to a length where I can braid it and so her two little french braids completed her ensemble prefectly. She was definitely not as into the costume so it usually didn't last for long. Oh, but the suckers...the suckers are her favorite...which is good. It leaves the chocolate for me!




It was a great day and night and we made some great memories. I know when the girls are older they may not remember a lot about it, but it is one of those days that I think will stick out in my head when they are all grown up. It also brought back lots of memories of my own trick-or-treating days. I wonder what some of my earliest costume choices were. You know what? I'll bet my mom remembers.