Sunday, December 8, 2013

grace, weekly // 7

 

i. one thousand gifts.

This week, I finally recorded my one-thousandth blessing in my little brown book. I started keeping track of thankfulnesses, both small and big, back in July—and I hope to keep doing it for a very long time. Sprawling on my bed at night to think over the day and look purposefully for the moments of blessing (not just “good” happenings, but also the little glimpses of God and whispers of Jesus that one finds in those stressful, sad, or frustrating events too) has shaped and changed the way I view life as I go through the day. And did you know that thankfulness is the threshold into the presence of God?

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
Psalm 100:4

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

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ii. two favorite things in the view from my window: my horse and my mountain.

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iii. tricky backlighting experiments.

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iv. willing (or mostly willing) subjects to practice portraits on.

My sister is rather pretty, don’t you think?

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v. Sam coming to visit me for the week and letting me teach him photography stuff (with Amy never far away).

This picture pretty much sums up my week. :)

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vi. happy memories.

This picture makes me laugh. I’d forgotten I ever took it, and just dug it up accidentally while looking through some past photo shoots. I spent a lot of time last year looking at this exact view—sometimes doing homework, or emailing people back home in Washington, or catching up with friends on Facebook, or making projects. A lot of my life last year is summed up here. My love of Star Wars is represented, along with the vase in which I received bouquets of flowers from Sam; there’s sunscreen for the eternal Florida summer, an assortment of vitamins that I always hoped would make me feel better but never did, the iPod I took on my runs, two cans of Pepsi to tempt me during Lent, an array of Post-it Note reminders to help me keep track of a hectic life—and my Bible, lying closed and serene but ready at hand whenever I needed it.

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vii. these two.

It’s so encouraging to know that someone loves my horse almost as much as I do… especially since pretty soon, I won’t be here to love her in person quite so much.

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viii. a skiff of snow.

Snow on the ground just makes hauling buckets of warm tap water to the barn in subzero temperatures a bit more bearable.

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ix. words:

This has been a hard one for me. I love to please people—too much. And the stranger my life looks compared to that of the average 19-year-old girl (most of my friends are in the midst of studying for finals at a four-year university right now in hopes of having an eventual career—not recent Bible school graduates who are about to sign a lifetime covenant of marriage!)—and the more I hear “You’re too young,” “You need to finish your education,” or “You should go see the world first”—the harder (and more important) it is to remember: “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

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x. music:

It’s finally Christmas-music-season!

xi. Bible:

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:21-26

This is just a portion of a larger topic I’m studying in Scripture right now—a topic very much of interest this time of year: peace. Not necessarily “Peace on Earth,” but rather the kind of peace that you find inside those rare souls who have learned the secret of contentment. The kind of peace that everyone seems to want and no one seems to be able to find—the kind of peace that lately has been sorely lacking in my life. You may be getting more of my ramblings on this subject in the near future. :)

 
 
 
Hallie Jo Photography

4 comments:

  1. I love that version of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. I was wondering where you'd gotten it because it sounded sort of like Casting Crowns's instrumental, but not quite the same.

    I like the Bible verse you chose!

    #nocommentonthepictureofmeorofwhatyousaidwhichisuntruedontsayanythinginresponse

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  2. Love the picture of Hannah and I'm glad to see you appear to have a post it note addiction too.....I was starting to feel all alone. :)

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  3. The other day we had dinner at Dr. Randy's and he was like " I need to show you guys this video. Its quite possibly the most beautiful musical piece I have ever heard." and that Piano Guys song is what he played us!

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    Replies
    1. That's awesome. :) PR has good taste!

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