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Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

It may only be semantics (“the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text”) but my title is my mindset. I have a lot of duties between work, church, home, and everything in between, but if I try to remember that these duties are not things I HAVE to do, but things I GET to do, I seem to stay in a pretty decent place emotionally and mentally.

Of course, there are many examples in life where I need to repeat this out loud (over and over and over)…such as cleaning the toilet, decluttering my basement, cutting back my irises, shoveling the driveway…and so on. But my examples are still “GET TO” examples. For instance, I get to clean my toilet – because I am blessed with indoor plumbing (many in the world still rely on outhouses, or worse). I get to declutter my basement – because I have so many things that I can bless someone else who needs them more than I do. I get to cut back my irises, because they were so large and prolific this summer, blessing me with a beautiful view from my kitchen window, and cutting them back will give me even more blooms next year. I get to shovel my driveway, because my husband and I make a great team, my back is healthy, and I’m able to help this winter.

One of my favorite “GET TO” opportunities is working with kids. Since my own are grown and gone, I’m getting all my kid time in teaching Sunday school, working with the middle and high schoolers on Wednesday nights, giving the Children’s Sermon on Sundays, and whatever else comes up. Love those kids! I don’t even have to say “GET TO” in my head.

I hope you have areas in your life where you can switch your mindset from “HAVE TO” to “GET TO” – it’s pretty freeing and helps me choose gratitude over grumbling.

“So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7 (CSB)

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It’s the day after Fathers Day. My Facebook newsfeed was overwhelmed with tributes to dads literally around the globe. I love Fathers Day. I love celebrating the lives of influential men. Because I had a wonderful dad, I want others to experience the unconditional love of a heavenly Father. I am blessed to have so many examples of exceptional dads and it’s never too late to honor them.

First, though the title says five dads, in actuality, I am grouping a few. And the order isn’t really relevant either. These guys are amazing and would make any list of top dads.

I am so thankful for this guy. He has raised (along with his wonderful wife) four beautiful children, including my “new” daughter-in-law.

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Ric Lumbard & daughter Tristen

My son is blessed and so, I am blessed as well. I know this girl was raised to love God and to love others. Her dad modelled what it means to be a godly husband and father. She was raised knowing about commitment, faithfulness and prayer – all essentials for a successful marriage. Thanks, Ric, for being a great dad!

 

 

 

 

Three of the greatest blessings of my life are my brothers-in-law, two of whom are fathers. Even though two are Cardinal fans, and the other one roots for the Packers, they are all wonderful guys, who have raised great kids and love their family well.

I love my brothers. At my son’s recent wedding they all showed up and absolutely made my day. They love me, love their wives & kids, love their nieces & nephews, and enjoy being together. We have more fun together now than we ever had as kids!

My boys didn’t have grandparents who lived close by so they were blessed with many men who stepped in as surrogate grandparents. One of them was Ron Dunmire. He treated my boys as though they were his own grandkids, loving them, taking them out to play golf, or eat, or even on vacation. We miss this guy so much. He was an exceptional friend and heaven is richer on this Fathers Day.

 

My daddy loved his girls. He’s been gone for 13 years but I miss him very much. There are days I think, “boy, Dad would have loved this,” or “Dad, I wish you could see your grandkids now.” He wasn’t perfect but I never doubted his love. I credit my dad for my work ethic, loyalty to my employer, and most especially, my sense of direction.

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Finally, my favorite dad is the father of my kids.

Don has modeled what it means to be a godly man everyday for his boys. He never apologized for loving God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. He has always been an example of how to love your wife, how to lead your home, how to live for Christ. He is his own worst critic and yet he teaches and lives out the Word of God every day. My kids could not have had a better earthly father…one who consistently points to and relies on his Heavenly Father.My only regret? He’s a Cardinals fan. But it does add a certain spice to our marriage…

Thanks Dads – for all you do, for all you are, and for all you mean to your families!
P.S. – Did anyone actually count? I posted about six dads. Too funny to change it now 🙂

 

 

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dirty socks

I am a blessed woman. I know it. I’m a “there’s always a silver-lining” kind of person. Makes my kids crazy sometimes. I’ve always said things are never as bad as they seem. But there are still times when I’m overwhelmed, when I can’t see anything except the chaos around me. And I let myself get sad. I start thinking “poor me.” I begin to believe the lies – you know the ones…”I’m alone, I’m going to fail, I’m not good enough, I can’t do it.” In this case – I – is the operative word. I’ve become self-absorbed.

It’s in those moments when I desperately need to look outside of myself. When I feel the pull to look inward, I fight it…with everything I have. I go to my “Gratitude Fix.”

Ann Voskamp calls them gifts. In her book entitled “One Thousand Gifts,” she challenged me to live fully right where I am. I read the book a few years ago and took her up on her 1000 gift dare. I opened a brand new, clean notebook, ready to fill it with beautiful expressions of my heart’s cry of gratitude. I decided to come up with 10 to 20 new entries each day. It started out pretty easy. I could think of a lot of things I was thankful for…air to breathe, a house to live in, a husband who loves me, clean water to drink. But after the first fifty or so, it started getting a little tougher. That’s when I began to look at the smallest of items as blessings, as gifts, in my life.

My notebook began to fill up. A thousand gifts takes a while to compile. I began to really look for things to be thankful for. My senses became more attune to the blessings all around me. My eyes got sharper. I saw my mundane life in a new way. I viewed circumstances in a different light. I heard smaller sounds. I tasted more clearly, felt more deeply, inhaled new aromas.

Thank You, Lord, for the dirty socks left in the living room (which means my kids have enjoyed their day and have feet to wear socks on).
Thank You for garbage to haul outside (meaning I have more than enough food to eat)
Thanks for toilets to clean (Thank You God for Indoor Plumbing!)
Thank You for that first daffodil in the spring and the sounds of cardinals in the trees.
Thanks for bunnies who race with me down the trail in the wee hours of the day.
Thank You for the aromas of lilacs, and baking bread, and burning leaves, and freshly-laundered sheets.
Thank You for the taste of peppermint or that first pungent sip of freshly-roasted coffee.

You should try it sometime. If a list of one thousand seems overwhelming, do half of that or a quarter. The point is to look beyond the obvious and see the hidden hand of God. You are blessed. Now it’s time to realize it.

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