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30 November 2015

DPP 2015

December Photo Project 2015 It's that time again! I think that this is my 7th year participating in the December Photo Project. The challenge of the DPP is to take a photo a day for the first 25 days of December. I love it and I look forward to it. Taking a photo a day forces me to look at the world around me with extra care, to take time and notice both the details AND the big picture. It's a great archive of life. And we all have a camera handy these days. You can do it too! Join me? Sign up at View from the Prairie Box.

29 November 2015


For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

- Isaiah 9:6

first day of Advent, fresh green wreath, home from worship and absolutely no where to go.


for the church body;
for friends so sweet, it hurts to say goodbye;
for friends so sweet, it is a joy to press on together.

27 November 2015


Gratitude is such a great and wonderful thing in Scripture that I feel constrained to end this chapter with a tribute. There are ways that gratitude helps brings about obedience to Christ. One way is that the spirit of gratitude is simply incompatible with some sinful attitudes. I think this is why Paul wrote, “There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4). Gratitude is a humble, happy response to the good will of someone who has done or tried to do you a favor. This humility and happiness cannot coexist in the heart with coarse, ugly, mean attitudes. Therefore the cultivation of a thankful heart leaves little room for such sins. 
- John Piper, Future Grace, via Kevin DeYoung, "Stuffed with Gratitude"

grateful: for a 30 egg, 42 sausage breakfast; for family visits; for a hazy, lovely, trip to the beach; for mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice; for the crispy fried shrimp and the tangy sweet of Orange Julius; for the easy comfort of football with the best-est; for grace for grace for grace.

26 November 2015


a day of abundance, in every sense.

Praise and Thanksgiving

O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
I bless thee for body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigour, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
I bless thee for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness;
I bless thee for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures. Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.


for my pie makers, and for the legacy of the pie makers before them.

(and, thankful for pie- the traditional Thanksgiving three ready: chocolate pecan, apple and pumpkin)

25 November 2015


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psalm 136:1-9

24 November 2015


a day helping out in the sewing ministry, with neighborhood ladies and deaf students both.
(and thankful for our good God, with such a sense of humor, uses this girl, who can't sew and who stumbles through language, and finds a place for me in spite of myself)

23 November 2015


for cool mornings,
sweet oatmeal with berries,
gathering for prayer,
phone calls,
more prayer.

(and a fuzzy wookie dog waiting at the door)

22 November 2015


early morning latte,
we have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Heb 6:19),
girls who make waffles,
slow mornings,
basketball fans in blue,
halftime calls,
shots that surprise,
frosted lemonade,
afternoons in a chair,
the guy who runs the remote,
a strong cup of coffee,
whispered prayers,
fresh naan,
open windows,
promise of worship.

20 November 2015


thankful: Abba, Father, I'm so thankful that your love for me is steadfast and that I can count on new mercies every morning, including this morning, and all day long.

(from "A Prayer about Grace for Grumpiness," Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith)


thankful: my grace is sufficient sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

19 November 2015


The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (Prov. 18:10);
familiar faces,
mini-road trip with four of my favorite peeps,
free pie,
laughing around the table,
but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother (Philemon 16).

(and a mighty little hero to travel with us)

18 November 2015


thankful to have opportunity to know and love these English language learners and their families and our ESL staff, for those who served us so well this evening, for cross-cultural and bilingual smiles, for little people cute as can be, for grace, grace and more grace.

17 November 2015


thankful for faithful helpers, a kitchen whirlwind, cheerful players, a win, no major injuries, and an extra apple pie.

16 November 2015


thankful for a chair in the corner and a breeze through the window.

15 November 2015


thankful for a really great bed and AlkaSeltzer cold medicine.


Only the prayer which comes from our heart can get to God's heart.
- Charles Spurgeon

thankful for prayer, in any language.


thankful for the blessing of serving cross-culturally, for the hope of the gospel that transcends differences.

12 November 2015


I’m thankful for those who serve our country in the military.
I’m thankful because I understand in a small way the sacrifice that is.
I’m thankful because my husband served in the US Navy for 20 years.
He was away from our family for months at a time, under the sea, going places we’ll never know about, on missions we’ll never talk about. 
I’d send weekly 40 word messages to let him know we were ok.
I’d shower with the phone stretched all the way to the bathroom if I thought they might be in port, just to not miss that call.
I’d wait at the dock for homecomings, ready to introduce our young kids to their dad all over again.
I’m thankful for God’s constant provision during those years.
I’m thankful for rich community and friendships that last even today.
I’m thankful for those who have sacrificed so much more, their very lives, for our liberty and freedom.

11 November 2015


thankful for days that remind our struggles have purpose, for u-turns on my way out the door, for an unexpected moment of refreshment in the middle of the day, for students who work hard at learning, for a review of American history, for the faithfulness of my staff, for God's constant provision, for grace ever new.

(and for those little orange jewels, easy to peel, sweet as sugar, a tasty delight.)

10 November 2015


thankful for family visits, fresh brewed ice tea with lemon, safe travels, teens who laugh and serve well, soup in the crock pot, friends with chocolate, a rare Monday night rendezvous at the dollar theater with the faves, sleep next to my beloved.

09 November 2015


I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

-Psalm 122:1 (ESV)

thankful for worship, for corporate prayer, for the body, for His word taught and preached, for confession and assurance, for hymns and songs of praise. 

(and for an unexpected carpet of little purple flowers at the soccer fields...)

07 November 2015


thankful for
early morning quiet,
my french press,
unexpected rainbow in the sky,
my coaching girl,
friends with cumin,
a stool perch in the corner of the kitchen,
the girl who still shows me her coloring creations,
a tasty burger and great company,
holding hands at the movies,
my husband nudging me before I started snoring,
the smell of Chicken Tagine when we walked into the house,
Saturday night at home,
football with my favorite peeps,
daughters who vacuum and clean the refrigerator out,
the promise of tomorrow.


For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
- 1 Corinthians 13:12

The hazy fog of the morning reminds me of the mysteries of this life, of the mysteries of faith. I realize that I have become increasingly skeptical of those who speak in absolutes, declaring emphatically on subjects such as marriage and parenting and faith and life. I'm trusting His sovereign grace in and with and by His providences, ever thankful for the promise of Romans 8:28 in all things. 

06 November 2015


Thankful for the blessing of ordinary life-
clean sheets tight on a fresh made bed,
chili in the crock pot,
listening to chatter while taking my girls to school,
the daily crossword puzzle,
phone calls returned,
a full tank of gas,
favorite faces in familiar places.

(and a hula girl dancing in the sunlight streaming in the window...)

04 November 2015


thankful for friends, new and old.
I can't begin count the folks that God has allowed to cross my path. Some have been just for a time, much too short. Others I have been privileged to live life with, day in and day out, for years and years. I think of so many faces, so many stories, so many memories, and my heart is full. Again tonight I am reminded that time here is short, but our eyes are fixed on eternity.

03 November 2015


Thankful that this little trap was empty when I discovered it. (& I'll be even more thankful if we soon have no need of it!)

But, even more, thankful for the men in my life who take care of this stuff. Yes, I could do it, but I'm grateful that I don't have to.


I feel the pleasure of my Lord when I'm in stride
For the glory of the Lord is man who is completely alive 

- "Run" by Josh Garrels, from Love & War: B​-​Sides & Remixes EP, released July 5, 2012 

Thankful for a cool morning, a bright sunrise, a playlist that makes me smile, feet to carry me, and enough aches to remind me that I am fully His.

01 November 2015


The challenge asks me to share a daily "thankful" for the month of November...

today: active, healthy, athletic girls playing on a not-too-hot, not-too-cool, fall afternoon against a beautiful lingering sunset.