Thursday, January 31, 2013

Joy Dare 1.31.13

Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...

A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory...
a storm front gusts - howling fear and vulnerability - commanding a trust and fear in the Creator
brimming ponds lapping abundance onto banks
the first tornado we shared as a young married couple ... silent and scared, but secure

A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded...
that middle of my forehead from all the moments of concentration or contemplation
our bedspread for the start of a day
all my kids clothes that lay in their drawers ... "ain't nobody got time f'dat!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AMH: Mommy Moment - Joy

I'm posting over at A Martha Heart today.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
Enjoy today,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Landen!

Landen Paul (2yr) in 1998. "Ninny-Pah" since his sisters met him.

Our firstborn. The poor soul who was destined to receive the brunt of my inexperience and insecurities as a parent. And yet, he emerges surprisingly healthy in so many ways.

He is kind and hard-working; friendly and helpful. He is strong and handsome...much like his dad. He loves to sing and dance...half-way like me.

So grateful to be able to trust him whole-heartedly.
So blessed that he offers to help with cheerful enthusiasm.

He is learning the art and importance of being authentic. I know in my heart that he will do amazing things for God's Kingdom. I'm glad to be a part of his sweet life.

Thank You, God, for Landen Paul!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

AMH: Bigger Picture

Today I'm posting over at A Martha Heart.

I hope you'll click the link and pop over to enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Joy Dare 1.20.13

Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...

3 Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy...
lemon slices in a clear glass of ice water
creamy butter melting in a skillet
kitchen lemon hand soap from b&bw

Something Above, Below, Beside...
bright starry night
freshly vacuumed carpets
Philip's recliner ... right by mine.

3 Things About Yourself for which You are Grateful...
I can plan
I can cook
I am a fun girl

3 Startling Graces of God...
Philip's new work schedule
unexpected time with lovely out-of-town guests
victory - when defeat was hissed and haunted by the deceiver

A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared...
The awesome Tshirt Philip brought me back from Snowshoe
hopefully my sofa and love seat ... very soon:)
a crock of chili and snicker doodles dipped in coffee

3 Witnessed Blessings...
sweet words from preteens
truth shared among 6-yr-olds
kindness between the man cubs

A Gift Bringing Laughter, Prayer, Quiet...
Banana-grams and Catan with friends
a struggle for peace
arriving half an hour early for the worship service

3 Gifts from God's Word...
Be strong and courageous.
Be of good cheer.
Be not afraid.

3 Gifts that Might Never Have Been...
a Sabbath spent with her dad - if Mari had not had a cough.
Aryn - if our miscarried baby had thrived.
Elizabeth - if we had submitted to the doctor's suggestion.

3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up...
the birthmark in Elizabeth's right iris
brow hairs that beckon to be tweezed
all reading material without my glasses - now that I'm in my 40's :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day in the Life

I needed to search my blog earlier today for some long, lost idea. I stumbled across this post from forty-seven months ago. I am so glad I keep a blog! Before reading this, I had little memory of any of it. Thank You, God, for encouraging me to jot things down ... and thank You for bringing me back to this snapshot of joy captured from the fleeting days. It's remarkable how much we've grown and changed ... and remarkable how so many things are pretty much the same.

Enjoy the blast from the past:)

FOR TODAY Monday, February 16, 2009...

Outside my window... cold and dark.

I am thinking...that there is nothing of value on television. The house is empty (except for Mari sleeping) and I am finally free to watch whatever I wish. Seppin' thar ain't nothin' on! Good to know.

I am thankful husband, my kids, my home, our food, and my car. I am a rich woman!

From the learning rooms...Ardyn struggled today with concentration. She didn't get to go to her brothers' baseball practice because she wasted her day away. She was literally in anguish as we drove away from the park. I'm hoping the tough lesson will manifest a fresh focus for tomorrow. The boys accomplished a huge load of work today. It's nice to be ahead of the eight ball for the rest of the week. Ashlin is diligently reading and writing better each day. Her lisp is fading as she regularly reads "Dick and Jane". Those books use so many s's! "See silly Sally. See Spot, Sally." Wonderful progress! Mari can sing her days of the week and she is consistently identifying her colors --correctly. And our littlest Johnson is developing motor skills daily -- as evidenced by the incessant kicks and jabs within my belly.

From the kitchen...We had leftovers for lunch AND dinner. Pretty lame, I know, but the kitchen is tidy! When JW brought the groceries in this afternoon, it might as well have been Christmas morning for Mari Alice. She unloaded each sack with pleasure and joy. "Yay Milk! Beans! Crackers! and Turrrrrkey, too!!" She is such a happy girl.

I am wearing...wind pants, tee shirt, and bare feet. But I wish I had socks on. It's getting pretty chilly in the house.

I am year's school calendar. We're hoping to get started in May and get the first few weeks in before the baby arrives. Then we'll take it slow until she sleeps through the night. Then we'll rev our well-rested engines and take it strong into the Fall.

I am paint that last stupid door from the hall bathroom. There, I said it. It must be done.

I am reading..."Can We Talk?" by Priscilla Shirer, my Holman Bible in a Year, and Daughter of the Mountain to the kids after lunch. (and growing slightly weary on all counts...pray for me.)

I am get our sheets out of the dryer and onto the bed before Philip gets home. He is irritated by VERY few things in life. Beds without bedding tops his short little list. It's the least I can do. And, my, how I love the scent of freshly laundered bedding. If I can hurry up and post this, happiness shall abound!

I am hearing...nothing. Mari is asleep, JW is at the movies, and Philip took the other 4 to a basketball game. It has been a LONG time since I was seemingly home alone. Blissful silence. Let's just soak it up for a moment.............................................................................
.............isn't it grand?

Around the house...the rooms are playing charades. The living room is exhibiting "remains of the day", the bathroom - where 5 kids took 5 showers in 25 minutes - demonstrates "gorillas in the mist", and the laundry room jives to "Help! I need somebody. Help! Won't you PLEEEASE, please, help me? Help me!"

One of my favorite water. So often, I try to quench my thirst with a diet DP or lemonade. When what I truly need is a huge glass of iced, filtered water. There is no substitute.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Bible Study, Choir rehearsal, gymnastics, baseball, horseback riding, and we're driving down to Johnathan's first birthday party on Saturday. HUGE fun!

Here is picture thought I am sharing... How many years have we been "loving" baseball?? This photo is from the bygone era of "mommy has so much extra time, she can sew cheerleader uniforms from last year's jerseys!" Here's to a brand new season full of life lesson and street clothes.

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

19th Anniversary

I love this picture because it's undeniable that I'm in love. In that moment I thought Philip Johnson was the greatest thing ever...and he's never given me reason to change my fact he has patiently and lovingly offered every kind of security for both my heart and mind.

These were my bridesmaids, Rachel, my very first and closest friend; Tracy, my dearest friend from OBU; Jami, my confidant and colleague at ETBU; and Rebecca, my roommate & sister-in-law. What a rich gathering of character, beauty, and grace to offer laughter and support that day.

wow. There is really no telling. My brothers plus Tyler buds plus Longview pals equals a good, good time.

Isn't this sweet? Our dear, sweet parents. Is it my imagination or do our mothers look like they could be sisters? Beauties! And my dad is cracking me I know from whence I inherited the "open mouth concentration" gene. Ever seen me use a pair of scissors? I get it honest:)

Thank You, God, for giving Philip the courage to chase me down twenty years ago...and for giving him wisdom and patience from on high. Thank You for granting me courage - if even for a moment - to step out in faith and take hold of one of YOUR greatest blessings in all my life. You are so wise and kind. You have taught us how to love and we give You all the glory!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joy Dare 1.10.13

3 Gifts Heard...
60,000 young adults lifting praise at Passion 2013
Philip patiently explaining fraction reduction to the 4th grader
the voice of a sister-friend for more than an hour on a long-needed phone chat

A Gift Outside, Inside, On a Plate...
batting cage
the settling of Catan
Ardyn's famous fried eggs

3 Graces You Overheard...
"Isn't she a sweet child?"
"This is the best."
and from the wee one in the backseat: "Dear God, please help my brother not to say bad words."

A Gift Old, New, Blue...
the rocking chair I was rocked in 40 years ago ... still lulling late evenings away
the ring my daughter chose for me
the toddler swing is a dot of primary color in the backyard expanse of browns and greens

Something You're Reading, Making, Seeing...
the Father Brown Mysteries
a Piano Lesson flier for my mom
the floor of my bedroom ... finally, after a long holiday overflow

One Thing In Your Bag, Your Fridge, Your Heart...
countless choruses

3 Graces from People You Love...
cheek-kiss "good-bye" from Kathy
sweet, humble words from Mom
laughter and giggles from Celina

Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Dusty Shadow...
friends circling a fire pit at the lake shore
seeing a grown person's baby pictures and realizing not much as changed
the forsaken corner of the stairwell

A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With...
cup of crushed ice brought home by the firstborn
another job opportunity - our roots grow deeper
my man and his pizza

A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right...
my attitude when the phone woke me up (opportunity to receive grace first thing)
"black and white" chocolate drizzled kettle corn
Ardyn saying, "Do you need a hug? I need a hug."