I Blame the Gifts

Hello again blogging world! I’ve been a little MIA the last week or two. I blame it on mostly good things. Good things like spending time with family and friends, getting outdoors, and having lazy movie nights. I can also blame it on not so awesome things like cleaning and getting late admissions at work. But to keep in line with the heart of this blog, all the above are gifts! Yes the family, friends, and lazy summer days jump out in praise and thankfulness, but the cleaning and the working late are also gifts. I am thankful that my mom came over to help me clean and catch up on laundry (yes, my mom still has to help me clean from time to time). I am thankful that I have a job in which I get to help patients and families navigate through a very vulnerable time in their lives, even if from time to time this happens after 4:30. Gifts, gifts, and more gifts! And though you may have notice it is not Monday, but rather Tuesday, it is time for the gift list post. I blame gifts for it’s lateness!

344. Watching a tiny fawn and mama deer
345. Hugs from Gracie
346. Hot and sticky days
347. Going to the Indian’s game and having LOTS of helping hands
348. Kid play zone at the game
349. Working late
350. Lazy movie nights
351. Dinner with family
352. Prayers at bedtime
353. Gracie starting to clasp her hands when we pray at dinner
354. Pool time
355. Mom helping me clean
356. Feeling tired
357. Finishing a 5k with a wonderful friend (repeat from last gift list, but still true!)
358. Hearing a friend’s awesome news
359. Family returning home
360. Short naps
361. Gracie picking out books and plopping on my lap
362. Black jellybeans
363. Mud baths



Today I am linking up with the Influence Network to meet other Influence women and learn where they call home!
Born and raised in rural northeast Ohio, and here I stay. I grew up in a home set back from the road, tucked away in the woods. Neighbors stretched down the road to our right, and fields sprawled out into the open on our left. Today I live approximately fifteen minutes from that home. Still in rural Ohio. Still with rolling fields and pastures close by. 
A picture of our little home shortly after moving in, before the paint job!
Our front door…graced by a potty seat
Our garden out back looking a little neglected at the time of this pic!
During college, Dustin and I lived in Harrisonburg, VA while attending Eastern Mennonite University. It is definitely a beautiful area, but family and friends and things we hold dear drew us back home. We also stayed a semester in Guatemala, which is still close to our hearts and we hope to find our way back there someday. 
We now live close to a highway, but someday as our family grows, we would like to find a  piece of land with both the things we love. Some open pasture to potentially have some animals and a large garden, and woods. I loved growing up in the woods. Taking walks on the paths that headed down to the creek outback. I even had a favorite tree that I hugged…I know, tree hugger, right? 
While my family did not farm, we definitely are surrounded by a farming community and many Amish. We live in one of the areas with the largest Amish population, and I love it! We have a lot to learn from their simple way of life, their tight knit community, their willingness to help one another out, and how they honor God with everyday simple tasks and chores. 

This is a typical seen from my neck of the woods…lovely, right?

There it is! A little taste of my part of the world and the dear place that I call home.


A Continuation

A continuation of joyful gifts.
Perseverance in counting.
In finding the joy in the small and the ordinary, and sometimes the hard and not so joyful things.
Continuing to thank God for these blessings, and knowing that there is so much more He holds for us.
Seeking to let go of any reservations, so we can hold our empty hands open in preparation to be filled.

332. Streaks of white across a blue sky
333. Patch of a morning rainbow
334. Gracie and Dustin watching cars
335. Cousin’s sharing
336. Running a colorful race with a best friend
337. Surprises
338. Joy in discovery
339. Planning
340. Pitter patter of little feet
341. Nuzzling Gracie close before putting her in her crib
342. Naps
343. Walking though a cold creek barefoot




This last week has lacked some motivation.
The overall word to describe how I have felt would probably be tired. 
I have neglected my new journal and left blank the pages for my gifts. These gifts have floated around my mind in a whimsical dance of sorts,  but haven’t seemed to be able to find their way to the paper.

Physically and spiritually.
I’ve still been enjoying the simple moments with family and giving thanks for God’s blessings, but I have felt some lack in enthusiasm at times.

Doesn’t that sound like a good word and exactly what we could use from time to time?
I bought this little e-book written by some ladies over at the Influence Network, and I plan on doing some refreshing myself. I plan to push ahead and refresh through spending more time reading the Bible and praying, even when I grow weary.To take time to sit quietly in His presence and listen.
To realize that when I am tired and feel behind it may not be about DOING more, but LISTENING more.
To sit quietly and watch Gracie play.
To listen to a friend.
Listen to a favorite song.
To enjoy the surroundings of nature and it’s song.
To maybe finally use that gift card Dustin got me and go get a facial? 
Why haven’t I used that yet? Waiting for the perfect time? Maybe the perfect time is now!
To open up my heart to His blessings even when I am tired, and to except His grace in each moment.
What do you do to refresh?
A few of the gifts floating around in my head
324. Blue skies
325. Green leaves
326. Gracie patting Dustin on the back as we hike
327. Graceful horses in a distance, surrounded by green grass and blue pond
328. Gracie reaching on tip toes
329. Dustin’s smile
330. Running with a friend
331. Refresh e-book (you can buy it too here)