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Noticing

Sometimes I wonder if God gets joy in our noticing. When we notice His work in quiet and small ways.
I think to myself that He must like that we noticed.
That the works of His hands, the creative expressions of His mind, His heart, the labors of His passion exist endlessly in our every day lives.  What is begging to be noticed is often right under our own noses.      
In Only Love Today, Rachel Macy Stafford writes these words about 'Noticers',
"Noticers are the thriving blossoms in a concrete world, reminding us to stop and feel our beating hearts every chance we can."
These words captured what I've thought about people who notice or as Stafford calls them, 'noticers'. 
Noticing.  It really is an art.  To take time to notice.  A way of living life with eyes open to what is around us and not merely on ourselves.
Isn't it the people that notice us that become the ones who win our hearts?
Isn't that part of loving? Taking notes on those we love? …
Recent posts

Worth

Soup spoons clink against bowls.  Sandwich crusts and grapes litter plates. It's yesterday's lunch and we end up discussing this word, worth.
The Bible story book reading for the day is about Jacob and how he acquired Esau's birthright.
My oldest girl keeps asking me if she would be the one who would get a birthright.
We read about Jacob recognizing the value of His brother's birth right and doing something to attain it for Himself.
Genesis 25 describes the exchange of a invaluable birthright for a simple bowl of soup.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob,“Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and …

Expect

Expect

I usually try to brace myself for the bad.  It will be easier that way.  My mind expects that things will go awry.  Wrenches will be thrown.  The law of entropy evident. Things won't turn out the way I hoped they would. 
If I am ready and deal ahead of time with the disappointment my hope won't be crushed.  It will somehow be handled.
It's a form of protection. A way to steel oneself against hope deferred. 
Don't expect something and I will not be disappointed by the absence of it.
Recently I had my usual lack of great expectations challenged.
There was a possibility of opportunity.
Months earlier I had made some suggestions about ways to improve a program. I wasn't planning to be part of the solution, but I felt like somethings should change.
A few months later I'm asked to be part of the solution.  I agree, surprised by the invitation.
I wasn't expecting the invitation.
Months pass and I'm unsure of where this will go.
What's next?
I …

Future

http://fiveminutefriday.com/

I see the word future and I think of the words Madelyn and I snuggled under yesterday morning.  She was up early and we shared a few scriptures together before the house turned noisy. The different words in the scripture touching me in different ways.
Words like consumed, wait, hope, and portion. 
Lamentations 3:22-24
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I will hope in Him." (NRSVCE)

I like reading the way these words are expressed in a few translations.
The Living Bible reads, "his compassion never end. It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.  My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him."
And finally the NIV says,
" Because of th…

Signs

Earlier in Spring our family was visited by Influenza B.
I don't believe we have ever had the real 'flu'.
I know I haven't had it.
After the worst of it had swept through the family I was left with fatigue that wouldn't lift and a cough that I couldn't shake. 
One of those Thursdays after a coughing fit  my body was aching tired.  I found myself sitting in a pool of warm April afternoon sunshine.  My kids voices floating through the screen door, bicycle wheels spinning across sidewalk cracks. 
The baby was dumping toys in front of me.  And I just leaned back.
I felt so old. Every part of me felt worn.
Like my body and soul were way older than their real age. 
Whenever I find my body really tired, I find that my soul isn't far off.  It seems like everything magnifies under the lens of exhaustion.
My dark thoughts only grow darker under the dim light of fatigue.
I remember I consciously whispered to God.
I asked for some encouragement, some sign of …

Glimpses and Gaps

Sometime in April I spied a book that I wanted to read a couple of years ago.
I quickly snatched the book up and turned it over noticing that the price was greatly reduced. I decided I couldn't pass it up. 
After only a couple chapters I was deeply enveloped in the story.  Soaking in the poetry of the writing style and connecting with the stories told.
The book is Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga.
The book covers topics such as living in a pastor's family, missions, anorexia, recovery, relapse, cancer, care-giving,  travel and different cultures, doubt, marriage, motherhood, brokenness, and forgiveness.
There is one excerpt that reminded me of something my kids recently said.
Madelyn had quietly observed , "Mom, why do most parents not play a lot with their kids?"
I eyed her in the back of the car. My stomach dropped slightly.  I knew I was part of that 'most parents'.
"Well, I suppose it's because most parents are busy working and then working …

Spring Break

A few weeks ago as April bloomed into hot pink dogwood petals and splashes of waxy buttercups we had spring break.
The girls and I had been counting down the days until one week of no school.
No getting up at six o'clock.  No lunches to pack and schedules to follow.
We spent days wandering along trails in parks, picking flowers.
Legs turning golden in the sunshine.
Who could swing the highest? And the fastest?
Little feet dipped under creek water and one toddler boy ran into the creek and did one flop forward into the water. The splash of cold surprised him.  That was enough for him. He shoeless and wearing his diaper around the park shivering in the sun.
We circled around the table of our favorite ice cream parlor. Cotton candy ice cream sticking in hair.
We weaved through stores. Everyone begging for an item to take home with them.
We watched movies late into the night and spent long evenings outside.

Friday of the week dawned busy.
Easter weekend was looming before us w…