In her text she said security thought her frozen gumbo package was funny, but let her through. I made sure to write “Mom’s Gumbo” on the container just in case they were feeling grumpy. It’s nice when your children want to bring a little piece of the traditions of home with them wherever they live.
After we finished packing she sang through her songs for upcoming auditions. She’s a fortunate girl to have a daddy who can play anything on the piano and loves playing for her. I’m a blessed momma to hear her sing so beautifully as she faithfully prepares and pursues her dreams. I can tell the city is hard on her. It was for my oldest daughter as well. Living there is a bit of a jolt to the southern senses and pursuing your dreams can mean taking risks and really hard work. I can tell she’s struggling a little with the mad pace and rush of it.
As I sit in the living room writing, I picture her and remember her words when she sang her last piece for me, “Mom, did you get the story in the way I sang the song?” What she loves most about theater is the power of the story. And I’m grateful. Grateful to be part of the story God is writing in the lives of my children. Grateful for the gift of today and the abundance that each day can bring when we choose to look for it.
What is it that brings you pleasure?
What brings a smile to your face?
What restores your spirit?
What is one thing that you have to give away today?
(It could be a kind word, a plate of cookies for someone hurting, a note of thanks, a hug....)
When I look back at this year, I think one of the reasons it feels like a year of abundance for me is that I have spent so much time through Restore and personal ministry preparing to teach the Word. All spring I led a Bible study with women from several different churches in my home, and we had a Restore Reunion in our home. I love it when the body of Christ comes together for the Word and worship. The summer brought a beautiful "Own Your Life" Mother/Daughter Retreat, Restore's “Come Unto Me” prayer journey, Night of Worship and Tea, and this fall I had the privilege of teaching an eight week Sunday School class that I wrote and the “Awaken” Day away Retreat. All of these commitments to teach and lead required countless hours of preparation and work and yes, there were times when I was pretty tired! However, the hours in the Word gave me His perspective on life and strength for each day. The events opened up opportunities to share His truth and provide an oasis for so many women to pour into one another and soak in God’s beauty. I'm so grateful that Sherry and I can share the load of preparation and leadership for Restore events.
I’ve experienced His abundance in the giving of the gifts with which He has blessed my life. Each week young teenagers come through the doors of my home and I get to teach them voice lessons. What abundance to have the privilege of investing in their young lives and talents as I watch them develop into amazing young men and women! Throughout the year I spent much time traveling to visit my children and grand daughter and have been blessed with precious trips with friends to nurture our relationships. There have been celebrations and music and laughter and tears. The wonders of God’s creation in the majesty of His mountains and the vastness of His oceans always refreshes my spirit.
The hard seasons can make you lose your sense of abundance if you let it, but I’m learning to look for the treasure in those times too. I was able to share and invest in both of the lives we lost this year, my friend in her 80’s and my 16 year old student. I’ll always treasure the weeks we got to spend with our friends as they lived in our home while theirs was flooded. My mom is safe, and even though she no longer knows where she is, at least for now she knows who I am. We had Thanksgiving dinner together at my house this year! I get to pray for my friend and walk through this cancer battle with her. God is writing a beautiful story with her life.
As I reflected on the abundance of this year, I began looking at pictures of some of the treasures from it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and so I’ll end this little musing with some more pictures of the beauty of His abundance.
Perhaps this week, if you give yourself a little time to reflect, you too will see that you have also experienced moments of abundance in your life.
There’s an art to abundance that we all can learn. It’s all about asking for His perspective and what you can give.
What a great way to approach the Christmas holidays this year.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
It has been a beautiful year of feasting on His Abundance!
Grateful to be part of the story God is writing in our lives,
Sherry and I are so thankful for you who give so much to the on-going work of Restore Ministries. God continues to richly bless us by your prayers, financial support, hands-on contributions and encouraging correspondence. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we maintain our blogging bi-monthly and prepare for up-coming events.
We are also available to present and minister to your churches Women's Ministry. See our "Book Us!" tab in the Menu for retreat topics. The latest "Awaken" Retreat information will be added to the website soon!