Monday, January 4, 2016

Gifts Found in October 2015 - Part 2

As I continue Part 2 of the "Gifts Found in October", be sure to read those found in the first week of the month in Part 1.  So the journey continues...

October 8th
3 Gifts Prayed For

1.  The Gift of Worship - For years the women of the Florida Region of Disciples Women in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) prayed for a gathering of the women of the church - African-American, Hispanic, Haitian, and the Caucasians - all in one place!

Now, I have no intentions of being disrespectful here to any of these groups, as they each meet separately;  but, it was a long time goal - dream - for us to all gather together...

Read more about this on my Day 13 post for the "write31days" challenge here.

But, suffice it to say...our prayers were answered in the coming together of all of these groups for an amazing gathering called, simply, "The Women"...

though it was not simple!  It took a lot of planning, work, more dreaming, a lot more prayers; but, thank God for an amazing, uplifting speaker, inspired leaders, singers, and the over 300 who attended!

2.  The Gift of a Sister - I am the oldest of three; my brothers are two and four years younger.  Most of my childhood, I was OK not having a sister...

I had friends; I had best friends!  But it wasn't the same as a sister, a family member, another sibling!?

At one point, my parents fostered a little girl - my sister!  But, it didn't work out to adopt her.  There was talk of maybe adopting, but nothing came of that...

But, today, I realize my prayers were answered - I have many sisters ... friends, church family, online friends, fellow bloggers, women whom I share so much with!  And, I have two amazing sisters-in-law!

Thank you, God, for my sisters!

3.  The Gift of Patience - I pray often asking for patience...and when I do pray for it, I do receive patience - for awhile!

But, I think God wants me to lean on Him more; and ask over and over again, if necessary, for the things I need.

Thank you, God, for giving me patience when I need it!

October 9th
3 Gifts Praised For

1.  The Gift of Encouragement - When our children do something good, we give them praise, and encourage the continued good behavior.  Each time Blaise or Bash play well together, it's a good thing, and they are praised!

Bash and Blaise
(Mommy, Daddy and the Little Ones ahead)

Though they may be three years apart, these cousins get along most of the time!

2.  The Gift of Affirmation - A few "new" women attending the scrapbooking retreat were unsure of what to do; how the "games" worked...being an attendee at an event where they knew few people; they were uncertain.  I tried to be there affirming their work, their attendance, their becoming a part of the whole group.

Thank you, God, for new and old friends.

3.  The Gift of Friends - Looking back on an awesome weekend with friends...and catching up on the "gifts" God blesses us with every day...I thank God for a group of awesome women who are loving, caring, sharing...affirming!

October 10th
3 Hard Eucharisteo

1.  The Gift of Grace - "For it is by Grace you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

"Each time He said, My Grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9

2.  The Gift of Thanksgiving - God blesses us with so many blessings - gifts - even has more ready for our future!

Found on Pinterest

Thank you, God!

3.  The Gift of Joy - 
"I've got the...
Joy! Joy! Joy!
Down in my heart -
Down in my heart -
Down in my heart...
To stay!"

Found on Pinterest

October 11th
3 Gifts of Change

1.  The Gift of Organ Music - What a difference the touch on the keys of an organ make!  The pounding, loud sound, played by our temporary music director, does not make it very appealing - to me, at least - and so hard to sing along with...


...the light beautiful touch of our former organist who played for the memorial service Sunday (both heard on the same day!).

Oh, the changes that are so hard to make, or get used to!

2.  The Gift of Ministry - Our Minister has retired, to focus his ministry in other short-term interim positions.  Our Minister of Music has retired to enjoy retirement with her husband; and to enjoy her family.

These types of changes are not easy.  And, I pray God gives wisdom, guidance and understanding to the Search Committees for each of these positions.

3.  The Gift of Memory - Day to day, it seems as if I am on a roller coaster...some things "he" remembers easily from one day to the next.  Some things are not remembered from one minute to the next.

These changes in one so close; I am at a loss most days as to how to act/react!

Please continue to guide my steps; increase my understanding; help me to be patient and know what is right to say or do.

October 12th
A Gift Small, Smaller, Smallest

The Gift of Life - Five beautiful little puppies were born today; their mommy, Annie, was bred to give birth to "future service dogs".

What a gift - a blessing - to have them born on Columbus Day and the last day of our "Puppy Crop" - a real puppy crop!

October 13th
3 Gifts Read

1.  The Gift of Choice - From Anne Voskamp, always having the right words at the right time!

"Hey Soul?   So here's the thing; you get multiple choice today:
Busy is a choice.
Stress is a choice.
*Joy is a choice.*
You get to choose.  Choose well.  Deciding first thing: 'My choice is You, God, first and only.' (Psalm 16:5 Msg)

Choosing joy!"

2.  The Gift of Blessings -  Each day, my bloggin' friend Helen shares a Morning Blessing, and an Evening Blessing by Susie Larson.  Many of them hit me just where I need them!

Thank you, God, for words to be read just when I need them!

3.  The Gift of His Word - "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43:2-3 NRSV).

The meditation for this passage (in the Upper Room daily devotion for October 13, 2015) brings out the word at the very beginning of these verses:

"When you pass through the waters..."; not if!  It goes on to say - "We can trust in God because God is faithful.  When we realize what God has done for us, we don't need to be afraid of whatever disasters happen in the world."

And, I added to the verses first few words to make it a bit more personal:

"When Barbara passes through the waters..."

Thank you, God!

October 14th
3 Gifts Said

1.  The Gift of Encouragement - In another day - the 15th - we will be halfway through the "write31days" challenge.  Thankfully, I wrote and scheduled posts through today, and will do the Five Minute Friday post that night...

So many have offered encouragement as we continue to write towards our goal - to write for 31 days - for the month of October!

Thank you, God, for all those encouragers, and what they've said as encouragement!

2.  The Gift of Blessings - {I know I used this yesterday...but, well, Susie Larson's blessings are just so "spot on"!)

Here is an Evening, said, whatever!  It works!

"May you choose to be grateful when you'd rather be grumpy.  May you choose to rejoice in God's goodness when you're tempted to rehearse man's badness.  May you sing into your empty well trusting that god will soon fill it.  And may you live with the expectancy that any day nowm, the Lord will bring the break-through.  Rest tonight in the knowledge that more rests on God's shoulders than yours.  He's got you.  Good night."

Amen!  And, thank you, God!

3.  The Gift of Love - My daughters are so sweet; so understanding, supportive, patient, encouraging...they know how things can get for me at times, and they always say things that lift my spirits!

I am so thankful for these two beautiful women!

And, so ends Part 2 of "Gifts Found in October 2015!

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