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65 Specific Ways to Spot God’s Gifts this Fall + Moleskine Giveaway

God’s gifts surround us at every turn, but gratitude begins when we take notice.

 

September is an in-between kind of month. You know, the month that loosens its grip on summer with one arm and stretches to meet fall with the other.

Depending on where you live, it’s a toss-up deciding whether to stow away summer shorts or pull down the oversized, fluffy sweaters from the attic. This decision, however, requires no tossing on my part. {Oversized for the win!} Crisp breezes, bonfires, and sweater necks that crest my chin can’t come soon enough for me.

 

But in my rush to get to October, it’s easy to use September as a mere stepping stone.

 

I’m still learning how life is to be savored like a steamy cup of hot tea, and not guzzled down like a thirty-ounce Big Gulp from 7-11. Slowing down long enough to notice people, beauty, and the gifts God places in my life.

 

Gratitude begins when we take notice.

 

Those six words have greeted me most mornings over the past several weeks. With them in mind, I began taking the initiative to observe God’s gifts in the here-and-now rather than wait for a specific prayer time to consider my blessings.

Most nights before bedtime, I jot down one gift from God I noticed that day. This simple but intentional act heightens my awareness of God’s gifts and increases my gratefulness in unexpected ways:

  • “Thank You, God” is whispered (and sometimes shouted) throughout the day.
  • My appreciation for God’s love and care through creativity continues to increase. God could’ve chosen to give us a bland existence. Instead, He filled it with vivid colors, scents that breed nostalgia, and sounds that are sweet to our ears.
  • I feel more content. Kind of a throwback to Cindy Morgan’s song in the early ’90s, “How Could I Ask for More?”

 

Intentionality dares complacency to get in the way of giving God glory.

 

With this same intentionality, I’ve been working for several weeks on the NEW Fall 2019 gift for subscribers, Spot God’s Gifts Every Day, based on James 1:17:

 

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” [emphasis mine]

 

 

Spot God’s Gifts Every Day includes three individual weekday calendars with a daily gift to spot during this beautiful season, September-November. They’re pretty, easy to print (8-1/2″ x 11″), and perfect for the fridge or bedside table. Or tape it to the interior cabinet door that holds one of morning’s most precious gifts, the coffee mugs (which didn’t make the cut but is appreciated nonetheless.)

One of my favorites in this gift — FIREFLIES: God’s living glints of light buzz only a little longer during these final nights of summer.

I hope you enjoy this latest gift from The Tiny House on the Hill. Even more, I pray God will use it stir gratitude to the point of praise throughout our days.

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  G.K. Chesterton

 

{To assist in jotting down your own gift spotting, I’m giving away a set of two mini-pocket Moleskine journals. Simply leave a comment sharing one gift from God you’ve spotted today!}

When you subscribe to become a part of this *tiny* community, you’re simply saying, I believe God is putting the gospel on display through this ministry and I want to be a part of what He is doing here.

Members of The Tiny House on the Hill community receive 2-3 blog posts in their inbox each month, and a monthly letter that can include:

  • Creative ideas for connecting with God and others.
  • Exclusive download gifts to enjoy.
  • Behind-the-scenes pictures/videos of the progress on the tiny house.
  • First-to-know updates on my books, guest posts, and articles.
  • A fun monthly giveaway and more!

What’s not to love? *smile*

It’s easy! Type your email address in the sidebar to claim your Spot God’s Gifts Every Day calendars, as well as access to other freebie resources as my way of saying thank you.

So, what’s one gift you’ve already spotted today?

 

 

Three Tangible Ways To Encourage Someone Today

Perhaps you remember my post When Wonder Taps on Your Window from last summer?

In it, I shared how an older woman tapped on my car window at the least expectant moment. I’d not seen her in years but she quickly filled the gap with questions. It went something like this: Cathy,
do you remember the basket you made for me and Keith? (Her husband
was terminally ill at the time.) You had little gifts in it and each one
had a Scripture verse that matched the gift. Some women in my church
would like to start making the same baskets for hurting people in our
church. Could you write those down for me?

Below are a few of the gifts that were tucked in Keith’s basket that day. Each includes a suggested tag along with a Scripture verse.

  • A pocket-pack of
    Kleenex (Pier One has colorful options for less than a dollar.) Taped to the pack, a tag read: Not one of your tears has gone unnoticed by
    your heavenly Father. He cares…and so do I. You have kept count of my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
  • Mini-loaf of bread.
    Tied with a pretty ribbon, the tag read: Jesus, the bread of
    Life, is the source for all your needs — emotionally, physically, and
    spiritually. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)
  • Votive candle. I dropped the votive in a small
    clear bag and tied the top with a simple cord or ribbon, with a tag that read: You’re not alone during this difficult time. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Know someone in need of a little encouragement this week? The gifts above are practical and inexpensive but they point to an extravagant Love. 

If you have an idea to add to the list, I’d love to hear more. To God be the glory!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

When Ordinary Disguises the Divine

Ordinary is often the disguise of the divine. – Priscilla Shirer, Gideon
I love how Jesus [the angel of the LORD] met Gideon in the midst of his mundane task of beating out wheat. (Judges 6:11, 12)
Jesus didn’t meet me on the threshing floor (or in a wine press!) this past week, but He did encounter me in some ordinary ways:

  • A blanket of snow [the importance of stillness, Psalm 46:10]
  • Coffee with a friend [the blessings of friendship]
  • Spotting a cardinal atop a snow-laden branch while washing dishes [beauty]
  • Walking through my home [thankfulness]
  • Family time in the snow [sheer joy]
  • Smiles on my grandchildren’s faces [gifts from the Lord, Jas 1:17]

“Having your spiritual radar up in consistent anticipation of His presence—even in the midst of the joyful chaos and regular rhythms of your everyday living—is paramount in hearing God, because sometimes the place and manner you find Him is the least spectacular you’d expect.” -Priscilla Shirer

How have you encountered God in the midst of an ordinary day? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Memories in a Mason Jar

 

Four days until Christmas but it’s not too late to create a meaningful gift for a loved one. 

One of the best Christmas gifts my grandmothers ever received from me (according to them) was a jar of memories.

For one, I labeled the mason jar Why I Love You. Inside, she discovered 52 slips of paper (1 a week) with handwritten specific ways I loved her.

For the other, I labeled the jar I Remember When. I came up with about 30 specific  memories that included us both. She enjoyed reading one a day for an entire month.

The advantages of a meaningful gift:

  • While recalling and writing, memories will stir, causing a fresh sense of appreciation to rise and flow onto the page.
  • It’s a gift that keeps giving. 
  • Inexpensive slips of paper emerge as priceless.

Every good and perfect gift is from above…
James 1:17

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them. 
Bob Dylan

When Crock-Pots and Worship Collide

The closer we get to Christmas, the busier our days tend to become — which is why today’s idea has to do with slowing down, savoring the senses, and enjoying more quality time with the Lord, family and friends. 

Grab your crock-pot and set the timer for five minutes! That’s all the prep time you’ll need for one of our favorite recipes, Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. It’s quick, easy, and due to the multiple meals it creates, you’ll also find it budget-friendly.

I’ll send you to Addapinch.com for instructions (Warning: photos may cause swoon-like symptoms) but here’s the ingredient list to give you a peek:

  • (1) 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

I didn’t use the red pepper flakes and I substituted the 2 cloves with 2 T of minced onion from my fridge due to convenience. I also used low-sodium soy sauce to cut down on the sodium.

No doubt you’ll want to bookmark this Web site. It’s a go-to favorite of ours!

Enjoy the meal, the extra time in your day, and especially those who surround your table. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17



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