I've heard it said that God stirs up a holy discontent. An unsettling of the heart, heavy with the knowledge that there must be more to do than simply consume. I still want to see the world. But my heart is changed. I want more.
"Based upon what I believe, that doesn't make sense." ~ Francis Chan in reference to living a life full of comfort, security and entertainment
My long suffering family, they listen for the trillionth time as I pour out my heart, struggling to articulate this heaviness. It's LeRoy who announces where we'll begin. The first country we pray for is Spain. The next night, it's France. After that, we lift up Italy. And on it goes. Together, we begin to pray for the whole world. I am relieved. We are doing something powerful to change the world.
And this day. This present day that I have to fully live, fully redeem the time, to make my words the Gospel message in the smallest, (and largest), of encouragements. To make my deeds preach Salvation in small private victories. Easier said than done. It's the epic battle of the wills.
This was my view of the sunrise this morning. I first noticed it when I went to rouse my children and the church bells rung their deep, echoing 6:55 wake up call. The window was cracked open in the boy's room causing me to shiver as I kissed their chilled foreheads.
To live this day. Complete and content. Fully satisfied in Him. To engage intensely and passionately with the people in my life. To take nothing for granted. To love deeply... right where I'm at and if we're blessed with more travel opportunities, then to embrace the wild grace of it all.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:22 - 23
106. New favorite tea, given to me as a gift from a dear friend: Bengal Spice Herbal Tea, Celestial Seasonings.
107. Israel's declaration, "Mama! I'm becoming to fear over!" and her giggle when she realized how it came out in her excitement. Her beautiful radiance when she calmly reiterates, "I'm overcoming fear."
108. Brisk autumn walks along paths filled with the schwush, schwush of piles of leaves.
109. Family picnic at the fort in the forest, complete with homemade hot chocolate in a thermos!
110. New favorite candy bar with five layers (five!) of yumminess: Hershey's Take 5. And the way that it reminds me of favorite afternoons spent at Holly's house and how she'd make 7-layer desserts from the Costco-sized box!
111. That Take 5 candy bars aren't available here, except in October. (They have about 1,000 ingredients!)
112. Surprise love notes from LeRoy.
113. The extravagant grace from friends who call spontaneously asking if they can come over to visit and "bring dessert, too." And the love that filled all the spaces when she said, "I think there's someone here who likes chocolate and peanut butter," with a knowing smile because she's one of those people who pays particular attention to what people like and what blesses them.
114. Eli's smile as he holds up a cookie and tells her, "These are my favorite. Thank you!"
115. A crazy-fun family photo shoot during which our incredible friend, (& Co.), took advantage of the fact that we're a bunch of goofballs and caught the essence of who we are in the process.
116. God's grace.
117. Eli's enthusiasm for adventuring on mountain bikes in the forest and the way he watches out for and is patient with his younger siblings.