25 Things I’m Loving Right Now {From Practical to Posh}

castles-616573_640I state the obvious first — God, my husband, family, and friends will top any “Things I’m Loving” list ever created. The list below is quite frankly, cathartic. Life has been a whirlwind in recent months and I don’t see the winds dying down for awhile. So I do what I do…make lists.

I hope some of these things I’m loving right now will resonate with you and perhaps even prompt you to consider your own surroundings along with the many blessings tucked in between your days.

 

  1. Spacious places. Psalm 18:19 is my go-to verse with this next move. “He brought me out into a spacious place…”
  2. DW Home Hand-Poured Candles. Vanilla Bean, to be specific. I purchased every last one TJ Maxx carried –  to the tune of 35.00+ worth. Yes, they’re that delicious.
  3. Poetry. I love to read it …and write it.
  4. My church. It’s a church that loves well, no matter what.
  5. My great-grandparent’s bible. Its underlined scripture hints to the legacy they would leave behind.
  6. Peppermint Snow. Dee Dee Parker’s Christmas novella that is sure to be a best-seller one day!
  7. Exchange Coffee. My local coffee shop that makes the best lavender lattes, hands down.
  8. Pride & Prejudice, A&E version with Colin Firth. And only this version. Swoon-worthy.
  9. The original scent of Downy softener. It reminds me of my grandmother’s laundry days.
  10. A charm bracelet with each of my grandchildren’s names forged on a separate heart. {They are my heart.}
  11. Vintage VW vans. Because everybody has a little hippie in them!
  12. My worn lot of cookbooks, {I’m afraid this might be as posh as I get. Sad, I know.}
  13. Blogging. Absolutely. Love. It.
  14. Soft breezes on scorching hot days. A reminder that refreshment can rise even on the driest of days.
  15. Owls. Maybe it’s a throwback to the 70’s but I love them.
  16. Tiny houses. {Especially as an Airbnb on our future property!}
  17. Chickens and goats and rabbits, oh my!
  18. Pastures & ponies. These two ‘p’s’ equal a third: Peaceful.
  19. My bible. I’ve had it since 1991. Its pages paper thin and lovingly marked.
  20. White walls, chalkboards, and Mason jars decor. {Does that count for 3?}
  21. Girl gatherings. It’s been awhile since I’ve hosted one of these but once we get moved, preparest thou!
  22. Chenille blankets. Vintage chenille blankets. Soft, warm, and plush comfort. {Especially on snowy days.}
  23. The way my grandchildren smile when we first see them. {Be still my heart.}
  24. Music. The gift of music meanders its way through the soul like nothing else.
  25. Rainy days when I don’t have to be anywhere. Showers falling, coffee in hand, and a good book. {Exhale.}

Do any of the above items trigger your own love-fest? I’d love to read 25 things you love, so if you decide to do the same on your blog please let me know.  Even if you decide not to publicly share your list, I encourage you to make it anyway.

It will do the soul good. Very good.

Did I happen to mention the cupcakes at Exchange Coffee?
Did I happen to mention the cupcakes at Exchange Coffee? Okay, that makes 26.

3 Things Learned in the Wait + A Prayer for Those Who Wait

chairs-325709_640Waiting. In line. In the waiting room. For the results. For the pain to pass. For God to answer your prayers. For your prodigal to come home. To be published. To be in love. For  Fall. For vacation. For retirement. For remission. On your Barista. For your home to sell.

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.  Joyce Meyer

Notice the title of this post is written in the present tense. I don’t have this waiting thing licked. I write with bare-skinned knees from flat-faced falls and carry band-aids in my pocket for future ones. But as a daughter of the King I’m confident there will be no lasting scars. Still, the process of waiting remains, and I have much to learn. Here are a few things I’ve picked up so far:

 

canstockphoto35245803

Misguided Expectations Eat Your Lunch…and Devour Your Dessert Too.

In recent months, four friends sold their homes within 24-48 hours. So when ours hit the market last week, I expected no less! When no one called within the first several hours I was convinced something was wrong with our phones. {Just keeping it real, here.} I didn’t realize how much I’d allowed my expectations to get out of whack until I found myself in quite the funk…for days. I confess my unbelief because, well, that’s exactly what it is — not believing what God has for us is His absolute best, regardless of the wait. And then I came across this post, {Above all, Trust in the Slow Work of God}, by Shawn Smucker, featured on Emily P. Freeman’s site. To me, it was a simple nod of acknowledgement from my heavenly Father saying He is with us in the waiting room. We’re waiting. He is working.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9

blogblueberry

Food tastes better.

Do you spot a pattern here? First, there’s talk of devouring desserts and now this. I wish this was a good thing, but it’s not, at least for me. If there was any doubt as to my being an emotional eater before, there’s no doubt now. The weight I worked so hard to lose last year has crept back up. Stress must weigh in around 500 calories per bite. Sigh. If self-inflicted mental beatings appeared physically I’d look like Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

My indulgences – my dependency – should be in the Word, and that truth is gaining more traction in my life during this wait, but meantime, I’m clinging to the grace and mercy that hug every bend of my wayward ways.

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

heart-462873_640

Our wait is grounded in purpose, motivated by love.

God isn’t a game-player. He is a game-changer.

He doesn’t toy with our lives or with His time. Every breath breathed is heavy with purpose. Being confident of this in the wait {because let’s face it, waiting is no fun on any level} ushers in inexpressible peace. Yes, the waves above the surface of my soul knock me down at times, but my feet stand steady because this I know: Everything God does in the lives of His children is motivated, spurred on, and poured out from a heart of love. Even His discipline is motivated by love. There’s no escaping it! {Thank You, Jesus!} He isn’t a God of love. He is love. In this we can trust…and rest.

Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8

 

No doubt there will be other lessons to learn in this waiting room of life but my prayer is that I’ll be found faithful, not consumed by circumstances but by the One who is sovereignly at work behind every word, spoken or unspoken, and deed.

Blogorangearrow

a prayer for those who wait

Pappa God,
You are the designer of the ‘rooms’ we find ourselves waiting in today.
The walls seem high, but You are higher.
The floor shifts at times, but You are our Rock.

The chairs, they confine us when all we want to do is run
but we trust…

You alone know the precise moment in which to open the door and call our name.
It won’t be a moment too late or too soon. It will be perfect,
because Your love is perfect.
Help us to awaken every morning with a whisper of gratefulness on our lips,
and a heart bursting with anticipation,
confident that You are at work
while we wait.
Amen.

 

Are you in a time of waiting? If so, do any of the above observations resonate? Or do you have a different observation to share? Please do! I welcome the opportunity to pray for you if you feel led to share. Blessings…

3 More Ways to Fill A Mug with Encouragement

A Cup of Encouragement
The sooner we stop believing the lie that we must offer some grand gesture to make a difference, the sooner more souls will find rest⎯the kind of rest a good, good Father desires for His children.

Maybe you remember the above quote from last month’s post? It was there I first mentioned the idea of sharing a small {but meaningful} gift with someone in need⎯be it spiritually, emotionally, or physically.

So let’s look at three more ways we can fill a simple mug to the glory of God!


3 Ways to Fill A Mug With Encouragement

 

Be still and know that I am God __ Psalm 46_10

My love of mugs began way back when in a yellow-clad kitchen where my grandmother savored her morning cups of Yuban coffee served up in a thick-rimmed Homer Laughlin coffee cup. You might remember those cups from roadside diners or Howard Johnson motels back in the 60’s. These coffee cups with heft can still be spotted in local antique shops and estate sales. If this isn’t an option any thicker mug will do.

Here’s the question: Who are you praying for on a regular basis these days? Consider inserting a note inside a mug that says something like…Every time you sip from this gift, remember that just as this mug surrounds your coffee, my prayers surround you. You are loved, never forgotten. {Psalm 125:2}

 

Be still and know that I am God __ Psalm 46_10-1

Got a new neighbor? Go ahead and bake up those chocolate chip cookies but this time, stack them and place in a mug of your choosing, along with a simple note welcoming them to your neighborhood. Awhile back, I shared in this post how a friend of mine, Kim Rhodes, displays Christ in such an organic, authentic way by loving her neighbors well. Because summertime isn’t a friend to chocolate, you’ll want to drop this off when your neighbor is at home. It will also give you a chance to personally welcome them!

 

Be still and know that I am God __ Psalm 46_10-2

Who couldn’t use a God-kiss from time-to-time? Okay, God didn’t manufacture them but Hershey’s did, and we know all good things come from Him. {Pardon the stretch.} Nevertheless, we all know someone who could use an edible tangible reminder that God is with them right there, in the thick of their problem. Fill up a mug with Hershey’s chocolate kisses along with this note:

God Kisses
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

Each time you take a kiss be reminded of God’s goodness… and name each one aloud.

For all of the above mug ideas, remember to encourage the recipient to pass it on. But most importantly, stay sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. He may want to change it up…and if so, to God be the glory!

Is there one of the three above ideas that resonates with you today? Or do you have additional ideas to share? If so, please share in the comment section. Thank you!

blogarrowsdivider

If you like what you read here, please consider subscribing. It only takes a moment to insert your email address in the right-hand column under “Get Updates” and by doing so, a NEW weekly post will automatically land in your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for spending time with me today. I count it a privilege.