Sunday, October 19, 2014

day 19: the key to eliminating anxiety


be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. phil 4:6-7
charis

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

day 18: my firstborn

this is going to be brief because i waited until 9:33pm to even start this post. today i am giving thanks that i have an oldest son named asher.

  • i prayed for my son named asher since i was a young teenager and sometimes i still can't believe i have him.
  • he is an amazing older brother to his 5 younger siblings - he loves them, protects them, is kind to them, serves them, and defends them. 
  • he has a tender heart towards the Lord.
  • i love to watch him lead worship from the piano.
  • he has a really great sense of humor.
  • he is my boy twin who is 24 years younger than me.
  • he is so affectionate and loves to talk to his mama. he sat on my lap the other night - taking up my entire lap. 
  • he will always be my baby, even though he is growing up to a wonderful young man and can already lift me (and i can't hold him anymore!)
  • he is a great leader - not the bossy type, but the type that encourages others to be their very best and helps them get there.
  • he made me a mom.

charis

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Friday, October 17, 2014

day 17: our thankful journal



we keep a thankful journal as a family. we don't write in it every day. we take it out probably about once a week to once every other week and pick one person to be our scribe. then we go around in a circle and each of us says something that we are thankful for. i wanted this to be more than just practicing gratitude, but really directing it as worship and thanks to God. i tell the kids to tell the Lord what they are thankful for, and when the rest of us hear them give thanks it stirs worship and thanks in our hearts towards Him too.

this is a simple way our family tries to incorporate giving God thanks into our worship times and into our lives and heart attitudes.

how do you incorporate giving thanks into your family or daily life?



















charis

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

day 16: give thanks to the Lord for He is good



oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples.
sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
speak of all His wonders.
glory in His holy name;
let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
seek the Lord and His strength;
seek His face continually.
remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,
o seed of israel His servant,
sons of jacob, His chosen ones!
He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
remembers His covenant forever,
the words which He commanded to a thousand generations,
the covenant which He made with abraham,
and His oath to isaac.
He also confirmed it to jacob for a statue,
to israel as an everlasting covenant,
saying, "to you I will give the land of canaan,
as the portion of your inheritance."
when they were only a few in number,
very few, and strangers in it,
and they wandered about from nation to nation,
and from one kingdom to another people,
He permitted no man to oppress them,
and He reproved kings for their sakes, saying,
"do not touch My annointed ones,
and do My prophets no harm."
sing to the Lord, all the earth;
proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
for great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.
for all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
splendor and majesty are before Him,
strength and joy are in His place.
ascribe to the Lord, o families of the peoples, 
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
bring an offering, and come before Him;
worship the Lord in holy array.
tremble before Him, all the earth;
indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
and let them say among the nations, "the Lord reigns."
let the sea roar, and all it contains;
let the field exult, and all that is in it.
then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord;
for He is coming to judge the earth.
o give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
then say, "save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather us and deliver us from the nations,
to give thanks to Your hold name,
and glory in Your praise."
blessed be the Lord, the God of israel,
from everlasting even to everlasting. 
then all the people said, "amen," and praised the Lord.
1 chronicles 16:8-36



















charis

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

day 15: simplicity



we live in a world that has so many choices. we have endless options of how to spend our money, and even how much money we have to spend. we have countless activities we could be a part of and entertainment constantly at our fingertips. the time we live in is so much different than any time in history, and yet i am not sure if we live as fully as generations before us.

we have been reading the little house on the prairie books as a family during our school time. over and over again i am blown away by how simple they lived. by simple, i don't mean life was easy by any stretch of the imagination - they worked incredibly hard at everything they did and for everything they had. what i mean by the simple life they lived is their girls had two dresses each and one set of shoes. they were delighted when there was one bag of candy in their christmas stockings. fabric to make a new dress was a significant event that laura remembered years later when she wrote the books. the girls entertained themselves for hours outdoors, and learned many crafts and skills that i am just learning how to do in my adult years. their pa playing the violin at night was delightful because of the absence of so many distractions and other means of entertainment.

we have chosen to purposefully limit our family in certain ways in attempts to simplify our very full life. we are still by no means close to what i read about in these books. a couple ways we have simplified are the elimination of the option of credit cards and the absence of a television in our home. i have been so thankful for how these two little things have forced us to choose to live a simpler life in the midst of a world of so many choices and different options.

small self-imposed limitations have had enormous effect on my heart. i am more thankful after waiting on a purchase because of the absence of the instant gratification of spending on credit. we are more purposeful in how we use our time than if we had the option of tv to fill the time and silence (silence, in a house of 6 kids? who am i kidding. what is that?!).

are these things innately wrong? no. however, i find so many people think our family is amazing because we chose to survive without them. many have a hard time imagining how they could do so as well. we are not amazing. really, whenever we limit our options in any area of life it may seem intimidating at first, but it opens us up to enjoy what we have and do in such a fuller, deeper way.

it is like the ingalls girls opening their bag of candy once a year and savoring each taste. they experienced the sweet delight of sugar on their tongues in a way i don't know if i have ever experienced. in our day and age, we eat so much sugar we have almost lost the taste of its sweetness. in our culture we have so many options it sometimes dulls us to enjoy life the way we could.

the journey towards simplicity is one that i give thanks for. it isn't easy to try to live counter-culture, but i love the fruit it produces in my heart. simplicity causes my heart to give thanks for sweet moments in life that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

charis

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