To Read on the Journey

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Give Thanks Always

The Thankful Tree we painted at the beginning of November has grown with thankfulness upon thankfulness over this past month.

There is ALWAYS reason to give thanks. 

This month we have held new babies and mourned the loss of loved ones.  
We have danced at a wedding and wept for broken marriages.  
We have fretted about finances and been overwhelmed by our wealth.  
We've argued with each other and delighted in each other.  
There have been days when we didn't want to get out of bed and days we couldn't wait for morning to arrive.  
We've embraced the joy of friendship and the sting of loneliness.  
We have felt defeated and glimpsed victory.

And learned.
Again.
That there is ALWAYS reason to give thanks...

Because we have a Savior
every. 
single. 
day.
Pix above of our Thankful Tree, and Josie modeling her mommy-made fall shirt 
Pix below- some of our thankful leaves.

Monday, November 29, 2010

i know, right?

i am currently too lazy/overloaded to upload and picnik my thanksgiving pix.

therefore i am going to leave you another video from my friend, jesse rice.

i am guilty of all of these things.

if i had a penny for every time i've asked "does that make sense" i'd have enough pennies to buy one of these...
(and you know how much i want one)
"i'm just sayin."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

run little turkeys, or your gonna die!

Before you devour your Thanksgiving meal you MUST feast on this video 
starring my old friend 
author of the Church of Facebook, Jesse Rice
and his darling wife, musician, Katie Rice.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

so much to be thankful for

  Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
 Praise the LORD, my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits—
 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,
 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 
 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
  He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever; 
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
  As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—

 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
  The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.
  Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul. 
Psalm 103
 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Aint Missing You At All

A friend sent me a message last week sharing how she was “missing herself.”  She expressed feeling “misplaced.”

I get that. I have felt “misplaced” more times than I can count.

Because the lost is intended to be found, each misplaced time I went on a search for me.

I searched for me in the things that defined me:
my wounded childhood that I was pridefully overcoming
my ability to sing and lead worship
my ability to lead others
my ability to plan events
my ability to parent and  be a homemaker
my ability to make and be a friend
my ability to be perfect and raise the bar of “righteous” living for those around me.

I could ALWAYS find gratification in one of my abilities.  

The self gratification I got out of accomplishing one or all of these was exhilarating for the 15 minutes of fame that thrust me into the spotlight of everyone’s praise.

Ah, the lap of glory attained by self (gag).

But when my fame was over, and all my paparazzi returned to their lives, I felt misplaced again.
On most occasions all the "my"  was cleverly disguised as holiness (set apart).  And not just disguised to onlookers, but to me also.
Sadly, I didn’t know it wasn't God setting me apart, but me

setting myself apart... from God.

Till now.

After years (YEARS)  of this “searching for myself,”  God  tenderly and graciously revealed to me that I don’t miss me at all...  I am FULL OF ME!   

I miss Him.

Desperately.

I imagine all of heaven cheering as I was gripped by that deep despair of missing God.
That moment of grief for me, was surely a time of jubilant celebration for God, and the great cloud of witnesses, as this lost child was finally found.

In the past 6 months God has lovingly removed from me all the things that caused me to loose Him.  Things I was certain I could not live without (church of 17 years, worship leading, relationships, position/status). 

All that remains is HIM.

 No longer searching for me, I am finding Him, out in the wide open spaces of grace. 
Being Found in the Mysterious Unity- God/Jesus/ Holy Spirit, I am overwhelmed by the rich inheritance I  have  been given.
I see clearly that though I was self-gratified/glorified I was NEVER TRULY SATISFIED. 

I have never loved Him more.

God is enough for me.

I aint missing me at all!


"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, 
but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
Matthew 16:24-25

Praying that you and I would lose every last bit of ourselves, and find every ounce of  Him! 
 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a jar of blessings

if you have 14 minutes with nothing better to do than watch this lengthy movie from a little surprise birthday gathering thrown for me.
in the video (which i should have aired as a vlog mini-series because it is so long) i am blessed with the filling of a jar  (J.A.R. is the name of a dinner night we have on occasion which includes the Jones, Allen, and Roger's families).
My love language is "words."  The best gift i could ever receive are words of blessing...and michael's homemade heath toffee crunch/homemade caramel/ topped in skor bar cheesecake!
 


video


and hello to dee, my "secret" blog follower! 

today i am





Thank you God for 37years.

Thank you that “even in childhood was implanted within me a trace of that Mysterious Unity from which I was derived (St. Augustine)." 

Thank you Father for pursuing me through out my childhood, drawing me to you, and for bringing me into your immeasurable love and abundant life.  You are so good to me. 

 Thank you Spirit that I am sealed in you.  Thank you for the fruit you produce in my life.   Thank you for loving me so deeply that you daily lead me into death to self, to the cross, and into victorious life. 

Thank you Jesus, for revealing to me that You are enough for me.  Thank you for taking away the things I’ve held onto for security, and for then revealing to me that You alone are more than enough.  That you alone Jesus are a feast with left overs!  Oh the freedom I have come to know being satisfied in You.

Thank you for your generosity.  I am so BLESSED.  Thank you that the “old has gone and new has come.”  That there is not curse, but blessing.   There is not despair, but hope.  There is not lie, but truth.   There is not grief, but joy.  There is not confusion, but peace. There is not defeat, but VICTORY. 

Thank you for Michael, who leads me, and our children.  I see You in him.  Michael glorifies you in our home.  Thank you for Noah, Emilie, and Josie.  Thank you for the ways they seek your face. Thank you for the relationship they have with each other. Thank you for the laughter, music, and intimacy they add to my life daily.  Thank you for allowing Michael and I to partner with you in shaping and molding them for your glory alone.   You have lavished me in your love through my family.

Thank you is not enough.

I know there is nothing I can give you that could ever compare with all You have given me (and I have no idea what still waits for me in Glory).  I give you my life, my worship, my love.  I commit to simply receive all you give me.  To live in “Your love better than life” my “lips glorifying You, praising you as long as I live (Psalm 63:3-4).”


I LOVE YOU! (tears)


Can’t wait to wrap my arms around you and tell you tangibly.


Yours,
Denise

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Simply Sara

Earlier this week i Skype met Sara Haynes from Simply Sara.

I have adored Sara since we first “met” in blogville.

She is lovely.  She is Intentional about her relationship with God, her husband, and her 3 (almost 4) children. 

She has spoken much truth and encouragement into my life via blogville.  I have come to cherish the internet moments we share. I am dyeing to meet her in real life!  I know I will. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I am certain I will.  What a day that will be (I’m sure I will vlog it)!

Sara and i blog met around the time i wrote a post titled  Birth Story.  In that post i conveyed the importance of telling our "birth stories" of  how we came into a relationship with our Savior, Jesus.  I expressed in that post that just as mothers delight in retelling the stories of how their children were born again and again, God also wants to retell again and again the story of how we came to life in Him!  We are His voice, we must tell that glorious story.

Sara’s birth story is testimony of God rescuing, redeeming, and lavishing His love on His children.  

The video below is Sara, being God's voice retelling her birth story!
 
Let the video load while you pour yourself a cup of joe or tea (that’s what Sara is drinking).
Then settle into a cozy seat, and share in the wonder of new life!




(Sara recorded this for me last spring. Now is the perfect time to share it). 

What is your birth story? 
I'd love nothing more than to hear it. 

To read my birth story visit here

Be sure to hop over to Sara's blog, and stay for a while.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Story of the Cracked Pot

 A water bearer in India had two large pots hanging at the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house.  The other pot had a crack in it, and by the time it reached its destination, it was only half full. Every day for two years the water bearer delivered only one and one-half pots of water to the master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments—perfect to the end for which it was made. The poor little cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfections and miserable that it could accomplish only half of what it had been designed to do.  After two years of what the imperfect pot perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer and said, "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer, "What are you ashamed of?"

"Well, for these past two years, I have been able to deliver only half a load of water each day because this crack in my side allows water to leak out all the way back to the master's house.  Because of my flaws, you have to do all this work without getting the full value of your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot noticed the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path.  But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because half of its load had leaked out once again.

Then the bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path and not on the other pot's side? That's because I've always known about your flaw and took advantage of it by planting flower seeds on your side of the path.  Every day as we walked back from the stream, you watered those seeds, and for two years I have picked these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table.  Without you being just what you are, he would not have had this beauty to grace his house." 



To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—   to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen. 
Jude 24:25

Friday, November 5, 2010

Save the Date!

I am very sentimental (and a bit wacky),  I remember dates.  I can't remember what I walked from my room to the kitchen for, but I remember dates.  Tell me your birthday once and I'm likely to remember it.  I'll remember the date we had coffee 3 years ago.  Give me a date, any date, I'll likely remember what I was doing on that day.

So when an event rolls around that was especially important to me (or maybe shouldn't be important to me), I remember it.

Today I am remembering that a year ago I was in Portland, Or. meeting up with Idaho Mom, Kristen Cheney, for a weekend adventure.

Today I am so grateful for blogging (the date I began blogging was April 6th, 2007- it was Good Friday).  Thankful for this online scrapbook/journal//video archive.

I'm thankful for the friendships I've made along the way... So Thankful For You!!  

Now, head back to my old blog (where videos are included, links below) to see what a weekend adventure with me would be like!

Then tell me when and where we are going to meet up?
 (I'd like to add the date I met you to my mental calendar).  A girl can dream.

Portland thur collage


directions2collage

grace eventually
If you only watch one of the videos, this one is my favorite. 
The day we met Corbin, Maryann, Glenn,  the couchsurfers, and some batologists!

video

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So that your ways may be known


May God be gracious to us and bless us
   and make his face shine on us—
 so that your ways may be known on earth,
   your salvation among all nations.
  May the peoples praise you, God;
   may all the peoples praise you.
 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
   for you rule the peoples with equity
   and guide the nations of the earth.
 May the peoples praise you, God;
   may all the peoples praise you.
  The land yields its harvest;
   God, our God, blesses us.
 May God bless us still,
   so that all the ends of the earth will fear him. 
Psalm 67

Monday, November 1, 2010

All the Buzz

 The 2010 Jones' kids Halloween Costumes
Josie would like me to inform you that she was actually a "Pink Ballerina Fairy," and NOT a "Pink Fairy Princess" for Halloween.  OOPS.
I want to tell you that I have the AWESOMEST husband in the world! 
Because I was sick, Michael sewed these pink fairy wings for Josie.  
Yes!  He is the 
AWESOMEST!

A few hours before we went "Trunk or Treating" Noah had it in his mind that he could enjoy the fruits of his sister's labor (indulge in all their candy!). This is the last minuet costume he came up with when his loving parents set him straight!

Isn't Emilie  beeeee-utiful! 
*****************************************

Today the girls painted a thankful tree on the sliding glass window. They also cut various fall colored leaves from construction paper.
Each day of November we will write what we are thankful for on the leaves, then add our leaves to the tree.  Though the leaves outside are falling our tree inside will be
growing with thankfulness 
(see our December tree here).