Sunday, January 15, 2012

He Gives and Gives and Gives

Do you like to hear the story behind a song?  I do.  Especially if it’s a song that has words I feel I could have written. 

winter fountain

This song is one I remember hearing for the first time during college – sung by Danniebelle Hall.  If you remember her?  Well, you are old.  She was Andre Crouch’s sister and had one of those voices that makes you want to sing along in your loudest gospel voice, even though you are white and don’t have a gospel voice.  (I tried but couldn’t find her singing it on Y*uTube but I did find her singing ‘Through It All’ in case you’re curious!) 

This song was written by a young woman whose parents died before she turned six and who was later adopted by a childless couple. Annie dreamed of becoming a concert pianist but as a teenager, she began to suffer from crippling arthritis, the disease that eventually left her unable to even open her hands. She wrote these words – and later put them to music – out of her own discovery of God’s unlimited ability to give her everything she needed. 

I can imagine all kinds of situations these words apply to – physical pain and suffering, loneliness, broken marriages, financial stress, relational hurts, repeated defeat and discouragement.  Though it's full of old English ‘giveths’ and sendeths’, these words are SO full of life and hope!  And they're straight out of God’s word.

HE GIVETH MORE GRACE
by Annie J Flint
  


He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as the labors increase,
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.


When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.


Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;

The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth, and giveth again.
                    



I rewrote the words (with no disrespect to the author or her beautiful phrasing) into a prayer and it’s one I love to say out loud, especially when I’m at the end of my own wisdom, strength and ability…


Lord, You give me more grace as my burdens grow greater.
You send me more strength as my needs increase.
To my added afflictions You add Your mercy.
To my multiplied trials You add multiplied peace.


No fear that my need will exceed Your provision
Your resources are endless and You love to share!
I’ll lean all my weight on Your strength given to me
Both myself and my burdens I know You will bear.


When I have exhausted my store of endurance
When my strength has failed before the day is half done
When I reach the end of all my resources
I know Your full giving has only begun.


Your love has no limit. Your grace has no measure.
Your power has no boundary known to men.
For out of Your infinite riches in Jesus
You give and You give and You give again!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Waiting for snow?

As we’re waiting for the first snow of the season, I’m already thinking about spring color…

primroses

and wondering if I plant these in pots on the deck if they’ll survive the freeze that’s coming.  Primroses are hearty, I know.

I’m not hurrying spring, though, because I love so many things about winter. 

  • Fires in the fireplace (which we actually can’t have because the chimney doesn’t ‘draw’ properly)
  • Snow days (which may not materialize at all but I can hope!)
  • Cinnamon toast
  • Scarves
  • Meeting friends for coffee
  • Not much yard work
  • Evenings to read, since it’s dark outside

I’m planning some time with old friends.  I revamped my spice cupboard, thanks to Jeff’s Christmas gift of a rotating spice rack.  I'm praying for a group of women - young and old - who want to meet and get into the word and grow together.  I’m working on organizing family photos.  I bought paint for the guest room.  I am going to clean out all of my messy drawers.

Winter is good for all these things. 

But it’s so hard to pass up the colors of spring!

prim

untitled
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book List

I love a good book.  Reading is one of my favorite (though not awe-inspiring) past times.  A good book recommendation is a big delight to me.

So I thought I'd share some of the books I read in 2011 - not all incredible but all worth reading.  Just in case you're like me and appreciate some reading suggestions!


The Double Comfort Safari Club
by Alexander McCall Smith
I loved all of Smith's Ladies' Detective Agency books.  I think you will too!  Start with the first one, though.



Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand
The true story of Louis Zamperini, set in WWII years, is one I couldn't put down.  I love books like this that are full of history but woven through a great story.



The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
For me, this one wasn't a page turner but still a fascinating look at the family of a poor, black woman dying of cancer whose cells were taken without her knowledge or consent, grown in culture and are still alive today for use in medical research. 




Heaven is for Real
by Todd Burpo
Written by a dad about his son's testimony of his time in heaven after emergency surgery.  This book has been on the top ten list for months.   I know there are tons of books and movies out there about this kind of thing and I am the biggest skeptic of them all so I'm not weighing in on this one but do I believe heaven is real?  Yes I do.



My {not so} Storybook Life
by Elizabeth Owen
Subtitled "A Tale of Friendship and Faith", this was a cute and touching story of the author's journey as a friend is battling cancer.  I felt she over-used humor just a bit but I appreciate her honesty and I do enjoy her blog Mabel's House



Someone Knows My Name
by Lawrence Hill
A story of a woman kidnapped as a child from Africa and serving as a slave in South Carolina.  Wrenching.



Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford
A novel set in Seattle, shifting back and forth between WWII in the '40's and present day, this is a love story between a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl facing discrimination together until her family is rounded up and sent to an internment camp.

Okay, that's all for now.  But I may just do this more often because of how much I love to find things like this.  Do you have any good books you can recommend??





Thursday, January 5, 2012

I can see clearly now

imagesCAMXX6LM

I’ve mentioned my need for reading glasses more than once on the blog so it probably isn’t surprising that I finally came to the inevitable conclusion that I need glasses – real glasses, not the magnifiers I’ve been wearing for several years. Our house is littered with readers, in every spot I might need to dial a phone, read a label or figure out what I’m holding in my hand.


Those readers have gradually gotten stronger and stronger until I started feeling pretty handicapped. I was having to switch pairs depending on what I was reading (ie. computer vs. recipes vs. my bible). If only I could have found something like this at the drugstore:



But I couldn’t. I was to the point of some pretty scary-looking eyes when I put on my 2.5’s!




I did have my eyes checked just a few short years ago and was told my vision was pretty good and to keep using the readers. But I knew that my distance vision was now waning and that I’d probably need bifocals.

And I was right. I heard lots of multi-syllabic terms like ‘astigmatism’ and ‘hyperopia’ and ‘presbyopia’ which meant I had to feel my way out to the racks of frames and order glasses.

How to choose a frame? Remember, I don’t really know what’s in style. So I found some that I thought disappeared on my face as much as possible and ordered them.

I’ve been wearing them for two weeks, adjusting to the progressive lenses. I still have to wear a different pair for working on the computer so I haven’t totally buried my old readers (for which I’m thankful because I have a small fortune invested in those things). I think I need to go back to the eye doctor to have her check my distance prescription though. It’s not quite right.

Last night I had my glasses on and told Jeff, 'You know, I think my vision is actually worse with these. I can’t see across the room clearly at all. We spent a lot of money for these glasses and they aren’t right. This is terrible!

I whipped them off my face, ready to drive straight to the eye doctor, when I realized I had put on one of my old pair of readers.

Yeah, time to put them all away and get used to keeping one pair on my face.  So if you run into me at the store, please approach from the front and identify yourself.  It will be good to SEE you!

Enjoy the music:
I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash @ ARTISTdirect.com

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Thing!

new thing



What are you dwelling on that is in the past?

What does your desert look like that could really use some running water?

This is God's new year resolution.  He promises that He will do something NEW in us.

He keeps His promises.  Oh how grateful I am!


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