Three Gifts Heard

In my attempt to document 1,000 Gifts from God in the Joy Dare Challenge, today’s prompt has me smiling at the many things that come to mind. Name three gifts heard.
330. The voice of God. For me, His voice usually comes in him asking me to do something hard or unexpected. I heard him encourage me to start a mom’s group 15 years ago. He told me to go into one of the public housing complexes and lead the women there in bible study. He even nudged me to begin blogging. Each time I listened and obeyed, I am thankful.

20130730-182227.jpg331. The sweet sound of your child saying “I love you, momma”.
332. My babies’ first cry.
333. The birds singing their song.
334. Music~all types and genres

Those seem to me pretty obvious, babies, music and God. Then the more I thought about it, I remembered the beautiful sounds of Africa. The same as here, yet different. Mary Claire and I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Sierra Leone, Africa last summer on a mission trip with Water of Life. The purpose of the trip was to encourage the pastors there in building their churches in conjunction with digging wells for clean water. This trip of a lifetime awarded us with some beautiful sounds. Some things we heard…

20130730-183504.jpg334. Celebration of the first Christian marriage in the village. This was a very big deal in this Muslim community. Friends and family clambered on our trucks as we honked and cheered our way around the village. Some of the elders didn’t quite know what to with all that ruckus.

20130730-183730.jpgWhen Ishmael gave his life to Jesus, he was kicked out of the family and his life was threatened. But with much prayer and guidance from area pastors, he was reunited with his village and his wedding was blessed in the name of The Lord.

20130730-184042.jpg335. Children laughing.These sweet village girls greeted us each morning with the biggest smiles and gregarious laughter. Although we didn’t speak the same language, their giggles broke down many walls. Aren’t they beautiful?

20130730-184244.jpg336. Women singing praises for the new well. When the men finished installing the well and the first buckets of clean water were drawn, in the distance we heard singing. Searching for the source of the music, we saw Mary Claire and the village women dancing and singing down the street. For the first time in the history of this village the women would not have to walk hours away for their daily ration of water to cook, clean and bathe with. For the first time, this village was going to have clean water, which would cut down on so much sickness and death. The women were right…it was a time to celebrate!

I really could go on and on with thanksgiving for the gifts I’ve heard, but I want to hear about yours. Did you hear the doctor say you were free of cancer? How did it feel to hear your love ask you for your hand in marriage? Have you ever heard the sound of the waves crashing on the shore? Please share with me your gifts heard in the comment section below.

Thanks for stopping by!

“Be You” Reminder

I stumbled across this pretty quote from Oscar Wilde during one of my adventures through Pinterest Land.

20130729-122118.jpgIt really speaks to me. I am 47 years old, why do I need to be reminded of this every day? When will it sink in?

I have some amazing friends. I have friends who can hit the tennis ball with accuracy and speed. Me? Not so much. I have friends that can recite the nutritional value of every herb and plant. Is it moldy? Past expiration date? No? Then I’m good. I have friends that look like they’ve just walked out of a fashion magazine on their “bummy” days. You mean I shouldn’t go out in public in my pj pants and a t-shirt? I have friends that can recite the bible….book, chapter and verse…for any occasion. Unfortunately for anyone who might get a bible quote from me will hear “Well, I remember it going something like this….and it was said by some guy, maybe his name was Steve? Or Alan or Ronald.” I get the gist of it right and the spirit of the passage, just not the details.

Anyway, slowly, but surely, I am learning to love me exactly the way God made me. I will never be able to be whomever it is that I admire at that moment, but I can be me. I thought this particular photo was something that I could recreate for my wall.

20130729-123739.jpgUsing my cricut machine and some pretty paper, I cut and glued the words on a 12×12 sheet of paper. Nice, but I wanted it to have a little more to it, maybe a frame of some sort.

20130729-124012.jpgI had an extra box lid, so I decided to cut it into strips and add patterned paper to the strips.

20130729-124110.jpgI cut the strips into 1inch tiles.

20130729-124139.jpgI used my quilting ruler to square up my slats on the back of the piece. I added about a half an inch around all the sides to give some place to put the tiles. Duct tape was my handy dandy adhesion for the slats.

20130729-124516.jpgI randomly glued the tiles around the edge to form a frame for the picture.
Perfect? Nope. But then neither am I. And for this I am grateful.