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04 December 2016

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DPP 4- Tribute to perhaps the oldest ornament on the tree, the much beloved Jumping Jack, faithfully hanging since 1971 (as documented by the faded script on the back). Jack hung next to my sister's Santa down in the bottom branches of the tree for a good many years, which perhaps explains his missing leg and frayed string. Well done, Jack! 


03 December 2016

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DPP 3- Sweets. But the fellowship even more.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!

- Psalm 133:1 (ESV)

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DPP 2- when the high schoolers came over and made themselves into Christmas trees.
#dpp2016

02 December 2016

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DPP 1-  "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
The nativity collection numbers near 20 now. It may be the only collection that I have collected for myself- not collected for me by others. Today we lined the shelves and added the newest edition, whimsical peg bodies that make me smile.
#dpp2016

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For concrete and visual learners, the pattern says so much. It is such joy to think through how to explain ideas and instructions and then see that light of recognition when it all makes sense.

I am thankful for
my favorite podcast along the way,
morning greetings,
their smiles and laughing at my language mistakes,
likemindedness,
being back after a week away,
the voices in song,
Jesus, our pearl of great value.

30 November 2016

December Photo Project 2016

If it is December, it is time to begin the December Photo Project! Thanks to Rebecca at View from the Prairie Box for allowing us to participate again this year. It's one of my favorite December activities. The goal is to post a photo from your day, once a day through Christmas. It turns out to be a great way to look new at the world around you. Will you join me? Go to the December Photo Project page to learn how to be part of the fun, too!

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In the very last play of the first half, our leading scorer fell down, the weak ankle injured again. The rest of the team needed another quarter to get their bearings. But in the fourth quarter, every single player left really played. Every girl hustled and scrambled and shot and little by little, closed the gap. In the end, they fell just short. But despite the loss, it was a victory for teamwork, I think. Isn't that how it is? We don't know how much we have within us until we are forced to use it?

I'm thankful for:
my friend at the Sam's Club door,
a cuppa and the best company,
dinner in the crockpot,
our visitor,
girls who play hard,
ankles that heal,
"But when the prophets of the Bible foretell the future, the future they foretell is Christ."

29 November 2016

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Lousy vacationers, really, we are; still, days pass by in a blink. At the airport, the sign reminds us, "eat, drink- life is short."
Too short for silly squabbles, too short not to be kind, too short to waste time on foolishness, too short to ignore gospel truth and gospel grace, to short to miss joy all around us.

I am thankful for:
one more chocolate croissant,
the privilege of leaving,
the joy of coming home,
safe travels,
memories made,
friends who give without hesitation,
the bond of life together,
a place to call home.

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“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.” 
― Jeannette WallsHalf Broke Horses


Moment by moment the sky changed from dark to grays to pastels. And then finally, right on time, the brilliant bright light peeked over the horizon. I suppose that most don't cheer the sunrise, that act which happens every day, whether we are there to watch it or not. But to watch it, really, isn't it a marvelous show?

I'm thankful for:
the wonder of every day,
hot coffee,
those who labor for my comfort,
stories that captivate,
the rhythm of the tide,
good company,
laughing out loud,
a savory salad and a sweet crepe,
my dinner date,
the fan overhead,
sleep.

28 November 2016

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One of the surprise blessings of raising up kids is that one day watching other littles becomes an unexpected bonus. The sad goodbye is quickly forgotten with the "well, should we go eat?"
And when you are the babysitters, a dinner of watermelon, strawberries, an empanada, ice cream and sprinkles is all good. We wandered through the tables of goods, looking with the eyes of children... Look at the turtles! The butterfly spins! (don't touch the glass!)

I'm thankful for:
no purpose of yours can be thwarted (Job 42:2,
slow days, slow waves,
life with children,
children who are young adults,
early to bed.

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We walked a little bit farther and then turned back. I stopped and wondered, in the certain busy-ness of life even then, did a woman ever stand at the edge of the sea and marvel at how beautiful it all is?

I'm thankful for:
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,    and his righteousness to children's children (Psalm 103:17),
new roads,
travel buddies,
"of course. You're the Hollidays.",
afternoon naps,
surprise photos on my tablet,
a couch in the corner, sitting next to my guy.

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So we need grace to see again,
to tremble again,
and to bow down again 
at the feet of the One who deserves
our awe.
Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies

On the first morning of vacation, I sat with my face in the sun, and really, just sat, still. Although I miss the traditions of the day- family not with us, the parade, the cooking and all the familiar food, I was yet content in this moment. Yes- grace new every morning.

I'm thankful for:
blue skies and blue water,
sitting still,
non-traditional holidays,
grace to see again.

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The getting-ready's and the getting-there's finally morph into the getting-on.

I'm thankful for:
my passport,
opportunity to travel,
anticipation of rest.

22 November 2016

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I think that by the time we were leaving, we all figured that we wouldn't get the visas today, but we wanted to pretend like maybe we would, because we knew that we could get tacos.

I am thankful for
tacos that are just a bridge crossing away,
sitting still on the porch,
prayer,
my friend who is a natural and very gracious hostess,
2/3rds of the flock in the nest,
forgiveness and grace.

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These kids, some using a computer and the mouse for the first time, learning to think logically, experiencing success. Boys helping one another, explaining what they have learned. Art classes painting. Bible lessons taught. FĂștbol played. For a short time, it all seemed exactly like we all have hoped and prayed it would go someday. 

And then, just a few minutes later, back to the reality of inattention, and squabbles, and picking fights, and "I'm sorry- you will have to leave but you are welcome to come back tomorrow." 

One step at a time, grace on grace, love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I am thankful for
invites from friends,
text that makes me laugh out loud,
girls who giggle when I get their names right,
the smile when it finally works,
love that endures all things.