Sunday, August 17, 2008

God's View of Abundance . . .

A few months ago, probably in the midst of one of my many pity parties, feeling sorry for myself because money was tight, I came across John 10:10:

10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (Amplified)

My mind caught on that word . . . abundance. And the Lord revealed to me in that moment, that abundance did not (necessarily) mean having great deal of resources (i.e. money) or a bunch of material things, or even a wealth of anything tangible. I began to meditate on this passage and asked the Lord a question. God, what does YOUR abundance look like? I knew it probably didn't look like mine, but I wasn't quite sure what it did/could mean until tonight.

The last couple of days, I've been throwing another pity party for myself. Money is tight, family time is significantly limited, there just doesn't seem to be enough of anything I want and then . . .
last night, my daughter and I were playing in the water in the backyard. I let her have the hose to help fill her turtle pool. That held her interest for a little bit but then . . . my darling little girl got a glimmer in her eye and do you know what she did?

She turned that hose, right on her mom! And do you know what happened next? I laughed! I laughed a huge belly laugh and I smiled from ear to ear. Of course, that got her going, so she did it again, and again and again. After about 20 minutes of this, I was soaked from head to toe and filled to overflowing with joy and laughter in my heart.

Though I am grateful for the moment, it was what happened tonight that actually brought John 10:10 to my mind again and reminded me of my question to the Lord. Jillian was taking a bath after yet another encounter with her Crayola paints. And lately she has been fascinated with bubbles. Tonight, I caught a glimpse of her putting bubbles on her head and I ran downstairs to get the camera. When I came back up, this is what I saw:

But it was what followed the reminded me of God's view of abundance:

And again . . . I laughed. I was struck with so much joy. To hear my little girl's laughter, absolutely filled my heart! The Lord knew. My Father in Heaven knew how much I needed that laughter. And I imagine, it filled His heart to see me smile so genuinely as it did mine, to see my little girl smile too. Once again, God proved Himself faithful by meeting me exactly where I was at.

If I were being honest, I would have to admit that I have spent many hours in recent weeks, wrestling with God, overlooking many of His provisions because they did not fit precisely into the mold I have been trying to make for Him, yelling at Him for not doing SOMETHING! And then, in the simplest of acts, taking a bath, He showed up. He reminded me that though my life is not full of all of the things I want, it IS full of the things that matter!!

Sometimes I think I talk a pretty good game. I don't always walk it out like I should. But tonight, as I share this encouragement with you, I fear that tomorrow, as most days, even what I've said tonight will be a forgotten moment. So, please pray with me that this lesson on abundance will be anchored in my heart. I so desperately want to live in the here and now, know contentment that I have never known, bless my family with peace and faith that I have never had. And I pray for you too, that this word will be an encouragement to you to find what God's abundance means in YOUR life and ENJOY it!!!

Heavenly Father, THANK YOU for your many gifts!! Thank you for providing for all of our needs, even when we are ungrateful and lose sight of what you have done. Thank you that you overlook my spoiled, selfish, prideful requests and you reach out to touch my heart anyway. Lord, I continue to say as the Father of the demon possessed boy did, "I do believe; help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24) Help me to rely on and trust in You at ALL times. Help me to remember and have faith in what you promised me, that you have a plan. And help me to live my life in such a way that this faith is evident to others, especially my family. I love you, Lord. (yee haw)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Priceless. . .

So, I'll admit I'm pretty biased but I just love this picture of my little bean.

Big Girls do Big Girl Things

It has been amazing to me , the changes in my Jilly Bean since she turned 2. It's like she grew up over night. She prefers a 'real' cup with no lid to her sippy cup. She has started to walk up the stairs instead of crawl. She is fascinated with driving our van and she loves to help me cook. Some of her grown up acts have been prompted by mom and dad and some have not. Like her choice this week to start laying down in the bathtub. I was so fascinated that I had to take pictures!!! You can see that and other big girl changes below.

Playing in her big girl bed! So far, we have had no problems since her bed was converted from a crib.She is sleeping soundly through the night and at nap time.

Here's the start of potty training. . .
she's doing well, though taking longer than I had hoped. But at almost a whole week, we're at equal (or more) successes than accidents. So, I really can't complain. Luckily, I have a really good support system! You know who you are.
(MPK employees, Mrs. Rat and Mr. Matt)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The sun is shining, the sky is blue . . .

Our little girl has now turned TWO!!!

I meant to get this update updated a lot sooner but . . . well, I don't really have any excuse. Just apologies to those of you out there that were waiting in agony to hear all about Jilly Bean's birthday party. You know who you are (MM)! :)

So, the celebration started on Friday night with an impromptu dinner out with Grandma and Grandpa Kennish at Macaroni Grill. Somehow the waiter misunderstood and thought that it was MY birthday so when the hostess showed up with a huge piece of rich chocolate cake ready to serenade the Birthday Girl, she was a little taken aback when I told her it was actually the little one sitting beside me who was having a birthday. She graciously put the cake in front of Jilly (much to Jilly's delight) and proceeded with her Happy Birthday song in Italian. It was beautiful and Jillian was in awe. However, to all of our disappointments . . . NONE of us had a camera on hand. Remember, I said this was an impromptu dinner. So . . . we have only our memories to serve us (and some VERY blurry camera phone shots).

Saturday we woke up and shared tea and donuts with grandma and grandpa and prepared for lunch with "the boys" as Jilly calls them. There are three guys in particular at Kenton's work that have really taken a liking to Jillian. Since Kenton had the night off, all of these guys had to work so we threw an "extra" party for them to celebrate with Jillian. We all had pizza and brownies then Jillian opened presents.

Kenton and I worked feverishly through nap time for the big party and when Jillian woke up, guests began to arrive. As usual, there was a HUGE spread of food, including make your own quesadillas which Kenton heated up on the barbecue, a special Jilly mix of raisins, cheerios, pretzel sticks and popcorn, and Goldfish centerpieces for guests to munch. When everyone was done eating, we moved inside for presents and cupcakes. We ended the evening with Aunt Tia, Aunt Sarah, Cousin Joel and Vovo who weren't able to make it the party earlier in the day. It was a GREAT day of celebration for all.