I've been tagged again! This time. it's by a lovely gal I don't even know personally, Heather. Go read her blog. You're sure to enjoy it. Since she and I have never met, and since I just love her blog title and the volumes it speaks about her embrace of life, I now dub this list, L'Chaim.
1. A friend who has blessed me: Jeni Ward. So fun, such a cheerleader to her family, so always-believing-the-best. She is an example of so many things that I am not. She is a helium balloon of a mom. I am usually the Nazi parent.
Here's another way she blesses me- her tireless pursuit of holiness. This girl's motto is: "Change Me, Lord." I can't help but be challenged when I'm with to her.
2. An unexpected gift: I just had a birthday last month. 34. Receiving gifts on my birthday is not a huge deal for me. I'm just happy to be alive and loved by somebody. But I was so blessed by some unconventional and unexpected gifts this year! My daughters gave me a frisbee and a Milky Way bar, my husband got me a membership to the local gym (I'd asked him to take me to Italy, but practicality won out. Go, you chicken fat, go away!), Jeni sent me a children's book she enjoyed reading to her kids (and she loves my kids so much that she would steal them from me under cover of darkness and read them this book too), Sandi somehow figured out how to print a great picture of my Soul Per Suit friends on the back of a deck of cards- Soul Per Suit is our art group that uses playing cards as a spiritual journal, so this was such an awesome gift!), Rhonda is making me my very own customized homeschool planning book (oh bliss!), and my Mom took me on the most glorious girl's date ever- an exhibit of Venetian Renaissance painting at the National Gallery of Art, watercoloring in the cafe, and a yummy lemon tart to top it all off.
Oh yes, I am alive and somebodies love me. Love me very well.
3. A kind word shared with me recently: "I love you." Such a simple phrase. Something you tend to forget to say to your spouse when you're in the thick of raising young'uns. Steve said, "I love you" last night. Now, isn't that kind?
4. Something that makes me stop and praise God: The variety of the Body of Christ. Remember that bit about being a Nazi parent? I can't tell you how thankful I am that there are others out there that have the spiritual gift of mercy. And administration. And prophecy. And service. Praise be to God that He has created each of us to compliment one another as His beautiful Bride. That guy really knows what He's doing.
5. Something I'm looking forward to: Eating at Pappasito's again someday.
6. A particular part of me I'm pleased with: I like that God made me creative. It seems so boring to not ever have a hobby or an interest to pursue. 'Course, if I was a boring person, I'd probably be content to be boring and would never know that I WAS bored. Or boring, for that matter.
(I do not like that I am verbose and meandering. ;) Brevity and specificity are such beautiful skills to own.)
7. Something in my life that I wanted but never expected: Living in Europe.
8. A place that moved/moves me: The communion table. Seeing my sin juxtaposed with Christ's holiness is a picture of infinite grace. For this, human language is inadequate.
9. One thing/person that always makes me smile: My brother, Ben.
10. Most recent "love note" from God: Sitting outside a few weeks ago. The weather was gorgeous. nature was bustling with activity, God and I were having a great conversation. Just to sit there with Him and enjoy His creation together was like being in Eden. He said, "See? This is just a small taste of what I created for us. This isn't anything compared to what things could have been like. And because of my love, it's going to be even better in the end. Wait and see. You're gonna love it!" Hey, I already love it. Thanks, God.
I'm tagging: Well, if you're not sick of me yet, I'll tag you. But then how would I know if you are sick of me unless you leave me a nasty comment? And then I'd just delete it anyway. I call an "All Play."