Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day Ten: I Blessings

Better late than never, right? :-) And since technically every day of the year should be a day of thanksgiving, I'm not too far off target. I start and never finish too many things, but this shall be a project I finish!

Today's theme is blessings that start with the letter I:

Inspiration. There's the inspired Word, yes. And that's such a big blessing. But the kind of inspiration I am really thankful for is the kind that displays itself in my day-to-day work. As a graphic designer, I depend on inspiration for creative ideas. And it is when I am really stuck that I can see just where my inspiration comes from! Though I do have an "inspiration" binder full of pages and brochures and logos and letterhead, no amount of flipping through can give me the idea I need. It's only a fresh idea from God's very hand that is what actually turns out to be the very best! I'm so glad I don't have to depend on my own brain for ideas. :-)

Images. Images are what I do. They're what I play with, work with. Even more than that, they're around me every day. My mind thinks in images. God gives us lessons in images (parables, object lessons). Imagine if life had no images... wow. They're definitely one of the beautiful things in life!

Investments. When you invest your money and/or time in something, you link your life with it. What are you investing in? I'm thankful to have the privilege to invest in the lives of young people here at work. Also, in the life of a little orphan girl in Myanmar, and a missionary in the Philippines. I carry each of these blessings on my heart every day!

Infinite One. He never began, He never ends. He is the word forever, embodied. What a blessing to have an opportunity to be connected personally with such a loving Being!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day Nine: Difficulties


I did think about blogging, but I had a sermon to finish preparing on Friday evening, and Sabbath evening was busy too. And then Sunday was busy. And Monday was too. So even though today is busy too, I don't really have any excuses to not write again. :-) So, I shall start back up where I left off, and try to catch up as I go.

Today's (er, Friday's) theme: Difficulties God has brought me through.

As I looked back over this year, I realized that I haven't had terribly many difficulties this year. Well, I have, but smaller kinds. So I'll share a few of those seemingly insignificant ones, and how God has, once again, shown His miraculous power in each scenario.

Spiritual down times. These come somewhat often, but each time I can know that God is near me, and that each time teaches me more about Him in a different way. Oh for the day when I have a constant connection, and my selfish heart doesn't get in the way!

Stressful press weeks. Each year we have four of these! I actually enjoy some of the stress that happens during these weeks. But usually at some point, whether at the very beginning when I realize just how much I have to do, or sometime in the middle when I have a late night or two at the office, a different kind of stress envelops me. And at those times, if I choose to let Jesus take control, He will give me perfect peace in my heart, and the strength I need to keep going and get it all done.

Drama. Oh yes. We've had our share of it around here. I can't really go into detail about the drama, but I'm so glad that my God is such a calm one. :-) He's always there with simple solutions, and never-ending grace to make it through emotional trials.

Friends leaving. I've discovered recently, to my chagrin, that I am an extremely nostalgic person. It can't be all bad, but sometime in the middle of this year, I decided that I definitely needed to learn how to get past the "good old times" and live joyously in the present. Two of my close friends have left YD this year (actually, one of those just left yesterday morning), and God has been teaching me through this difficulty that He is always there, and that life ahead will be full of just-as-good times and blessings.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day Eight: H Blessings

Today: words beginning with H. Only a few, since time is limited.

Home. Surely this has to be on everyone's list! :-) I love home. Very much a home person. But who isn't? It's so wonderful to come back from a long trip (or short, even) and realize that you have reached the place where everything is familiar. Home, sweet home. Soon, too, we will reach our heavenly home! Everything should be familiar there, too!

Heagys. Yep, Heagys are a blessing to me. :-) I love my family!

Health. Often taken for granted, this is a blessing that needs much attention and care. But God wants us to be in good health! I have been learning even more this year about the importance of many different health principles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day Seven: T Blessings

T is a good letter. There are plenty of blessing-ful things that start with T. :-) So I shall list them . . .

Tea. Quite nice! I don't drink regular tea but herbal tea is nice. My most recent discovery is rooibos tea, a South African "red bush" tea that is quite tasty. I've already instructed Melissa to bring me back a couple of boxes when she goes over there in a week. :-) There's nothing cozier than a mugful of tea by a crackling fire, or while sitting on a couch with a good book!

Truth. In a class I took once (from Pastor Leroy Moore), I learned the definition of truth: Jesus. The only way to really understand truth is to look to Christ. Truth is what He thinks. Everything He thinks is truth. When He speaks, what He says materializes. God cannot lie! That is such a special thought to me. This means that every promise in the Bible is pure power. God is with me. He will protect me. He will change me. He can do (and will do) all He says He will. What a blessing indeed!

Trust. There's nothing like the knowledge that you are trusted. I have experienced that blessing this year, and I treasure it. Not that I'd intentionally do things that would betray the trust of my friends, but I have learned not to take it for granted. It is something to be guarded carefully, a blessing to hold safe.

Time. It's a blessing that it often seems like there's not enough of. It seems as though I'm constantly re-checking my priorities to make sure that it's not wasted. The time I am given is a gift, and it is needful to use it in the right way. I am thankful for the time I do have!

Thankfulness. Yes, thankfulness itself is something to be thankful for. :-) It gives peace and happiness to my heart. I have a running list on my iPod of those everyday things that bring me joy, and I love looking back at them and being reminded of the happy things in life!

Transformation. I can't change myself, so what a happy thing that God can transform me!

Technical support. As I sit here pattering away on my iPod, my friend Tony is working on my computer. I have a good knowledge of the software that runs on my computer, but the inner workings are a bit of a different story. So, at times like these, I'm thankful for willing friends who gladly fiddle with life before the welcome screen. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day Six: Meaningful Lyrics

Today's theme: lyrics that have meant something special to me this year.

I had a couple of top choices, and finally settled on this song. It is such a beautiful song, full of assurance and peace. I have played it again many times this year when wondering just what God was up to. He always reminds me that He is right there, and that no matter what happens, I can completely trust everything He does.

So many things in life change, but God never does. Never, ever.

Your Faithfulness
Brian Doerksen

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know how or when I'll die
Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
No, I don't know how much time is left
But in the end, I will know your faithfulness

When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts and storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day Five: Miracles

As I sat down to write for today’s theme, I wondered if I even had any miracles or answered prayers to write about. Of course I have had them, but off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of many. But as my friend Kezzia reminded me, they don’t have to be miracles in the conventional way. Miracles can happen in an instant, or over a long period of time. Sometimes answers to prayer aren’t discernible until the struggle is over. But they are there just the same, and waiting for me to look back and remember them.

This year, I really have had many miracles and answered prayers. They’re more of the less-discernible type, but they’re definitely miracles, and I’m thankful for every one.

Probably the most obvious miracles have to do with my car. My dear (problematic) car has had many issues. I’ve stayed in town more than once waiting for it to get fixed. These experiences with my car have taught me and changed me. I still hate to hear a not-nice sound, but God continues to teach me to rely on Him and rest my thoughts in Him. Recently, I had plans to visit my family for the weekend, to spend time with my mom for her birthday, but my car was making bad noises, so I finally agreed to have my friends look at it. Their diagnosis? I couldn’t make the trip. But I had prayed about it, and God had given me peace for no matter what happened. I made a couple of phone calls, and was (amazingly) able to get my car in that Friday afternoon and get the problem fixed right away. And I was able to go on to my family’s home that day! God had not only given me peace, but He helped me get home. What a special answer that was!

As mentioned in my first post, one of the big blessings this year has been answers to prayers pertaining to future plans and dreams. Those plans are still in the works, and not disclosable until they’re more final, but it has been amazing to see clear answers as to God’s leading.

God has given me the strength needed to lead out in youth outreach activities when a headache made me want to stay in bed instead. He’s opened my eyes to deeper truths in His Word. He’s given me good things to think about when my thoughts wander. He’s designed magazine pages for me when all I had was a blank screen (and brain). God has changed (and is changing) me to be more responsible and disciplined. He’s done these, and so much more.

In order to have answered prayers, prayer itself is essential. I want to keep the way open for God to perform miracles in my life!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day Four: E Blessings

Some of this year's blessings that begin with the letter E...


Without them, it'd be hard for me to see. And I finally got a new pair this year (plus some contacts, which I actually wear more often, but those don't start with E)! It's so wonderful to be able to see stars, faraway signs, and . . .

Extraordinary mountaintop views.

Views like these make climbing steep hills worth it! Not to mention spending the time up there with good friends. This particular trip, we spent 2-3 hours up there, just talking. :-) Fun times!


Yes, this year has produced much of this, as is usually the case. :-) A new garden, car troubles, another year of figuring out taxes, and many more things have given me experience in these areas. I'm glad I'll know how to work with (and deal with) more things in the future. :-)


No, I'm not one myself. But I have many friends and family around me who are! So I can be thankful, indeed, for those who bring bounciness to my life. :-)

Every moment that makes me think.

Like the time I (finally) re-found the little cemetery out on the prairie where my grandma is buried. The quiet breeze over the tall grass... the small dust-covered stone with roses, engraved on it... made me think about special memories with her. Black nights with twinkling stars overhead... made me remember how tiny I am; how vast God is.


Do workbees ending in a huge bonfire count as exciting? I think so. :-D And excitement about upcoming trips and events, victories achieved... ah. Blessing indeed. :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day Three: Special Scriptures

It is heading toward the late end of the day, so this won't be terribly long... but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss today's blessing-blog. :-)

The theme of today is Scriptures that have been a special blessing to me this year. There are only a few main ones that come to mind, that have been the subject of much contemplation and encouragement, although I have been blessed by many others during the studies of this year. This particular chapter that I want to share has been referred to and thought about much over the course of the last several months. It is quite encouraging to me! (I've added in a couple of thoughts, in brackets.)

Isaiah 54 
1. Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate [or single woman] than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

2. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

3. For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

4. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. [what a husband!]

6. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

9. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

10. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

11. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

15. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

16. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

17. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

What peace, what encouragement this passage provides. God is my Husband; He provides me with children though I have none of my own. He promises that though things at hand seem difficult, He is making something beautiful out of my life. Special thoughts to my heart!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day Two: Capturing Memories

Do you have a journal?

You should.

I began writing in a journal when I was 12, to record the events of an upcoming family vacation. I'd done a tiny bit of diary-writing before that, but nothing consistent. Since then, I've filled three and a half notebooks and who knows how many computer pages with events of life, miracles from God, lessons learned, and real words. Words that I can write because no one reads them. I don't have to proofread myself, or say words that might sound fluffy and fake. I love it! :-)

However, there's more reason for journaling than to simply vent my feelings or express my hopes and dreams. There's more to it than jotting down the ways God has led me, to make me realize at that moment how He is guiding. It's not just for the current; it's an investment for the future.

Occasionally, as I finish up an entry, I flip or click back towards the beginning and read words written days, weeks, and months before. Sometimes I even pull a box out from under my bed and read pages recorded in years gone by.

The result is the same every time: I am awed by the ways I have grown and the lessons God has taught me.

A few weeks ago, I scrolled through computer journal pages from December, January and February. Wow. Those three months were amazing ones. I realized just how much I had forgotten of the beauty, peace, and joy of that time in life. Here are a few excerpts to give you a peek:

January 1, 2012 - 11:53 a.m.
This blog post (some of my blog posts are actually journal entries).

January 2, 2012 - 8:40 a.m.
Filled. It's the perfect word for what I have experienced in the past few weeks. True, there have been ups and downs, but true to His promise, God has filled me--and is still in the process of filling. I'm sitting here on my couch, thinking of the night [three weeks before] when I was home alone. I experienced God's true peace, and it was the first time in a long time that I surrendered it all. I sat here just in front of the Christmas tree like I'm doing now. And now, I am back at last, filled and desiring more. God is so good. More than good--He's amazing!

January 7, 2012 - 2:51 p.m.
This week I've been discovering just how challenging it is going to be to live completely and fully for Christ--letting Him live through me. When you're back at home where everything is go, go, go… with often no chance to catch your breath, things tend to fall apart. Resolutions fail, schedules stretch, stress rises. It's definitely going to be a challenge. But I want it more than anything! At least, my head does. My heart… it's a little more prone to head the wrong direction. But God is faithful.

January 29, 2012 - 8:18 p.m.
This morning I had an extra-long devotional time, reading from Patriarchs and Prophets and Authentic Beauty. I am realizing more and more the shortness of the time we live in, and feel an intense urge to KNOW God. Really know Him. Time is so short!! I really want to learn to build my entire life around Him. I think I need to think more about what that will really mean for my life today. What do I need to give up in order to truly follow Him?

February 2, 2012 - 1:44 a.m.
Another blog post.

February 3, 2012 - 7:35 a.m.
Something is happening. And it's good. The elders' meeting I was invited to last night.... all about evangelism, doing something we've never done before in our church. Our Friday night youth meetings… all of us searching for meaning, purpose, connection. ____'s burning desire for service. Mr. ____'s burden for souls. My longing to do more. ____'s bold idea to scrap structure and do the work instead. The willingness of youth to actually attend prayer meeting. The realness of the people at GYC. ____'s three apologies, in a quest to draw closer to Jesus. Pastor Folkenberg's genuine appeals to win hearts in UCC. So much is happening, more than I've ever seen before. Surely Jesus is coming soon.... I want to be ready.

February 10, 2012 - 6:25 a.m.
I decided yesterday that we need a picture of Jesus in our office. All the work we do is for Him; why not behold His beautiful face every day as we work?? There is nothing else to remind us of Him. Or maybe I could simply put a picture of Him on my computer, then I could look at Him whenever I wanted. I just feel like the work I do is for Him but I don't think of Him as I do the work.

February 12, 2012 - 9:57 p.m.
Trying to comprehend the infinite love of my heavenly Father... I picture my own daddy. I picture dads of friends who  I consider almost like my own. I think about how my heavenly Father is like that, only better. He loves me just as much, only more....

February 15, 2012 - 7:59 p.m.
Am I willing to be one of God's etceteras? That was an interesting challenge to me as I listened to one of Eric Ludy's Bravehearted Thots this evening. An etcetera. Not a somebody. Not someone whose name is known. Simply an etc. in the list of people who have done the most for God's cause. Am I willing?

Reading these kinds of words, I can't help but be re-inspired to follow Christ more than I ever have before. My heartbeat quickens, my brain begins running in a track. What must I do? How can I do it?

If you don't journal already, I encourage you, go find a notebook or computer notepad and write down what God did for you today. Then do it again tomorrow. And the day after. Your future self will appreciate it, and be changed because of your words today.

(Today's special blessing was supposed to begin with an R - I chose reading my journal. :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day One: Great Memories & Thankful Things

Great memories. Hm...

I switch over to Google Calendar and click arrows back to January...

* * * * *

Jessica to Do and Dare Camp. Aha! Great memory there - the rest of us girls at home were afraid of getting sick from wintertime bugs that were making their rounds, so we ate a ton of garlic the night that Jessica came home. And then I had to go pick her up from YD... oops. Sorry! ;-)

Or the day I finally sent the Sabbath School bags off to Voice of the Martyrs after a whole year of them sitting in my car, then my room, then the shed, then my car again. What a good feeling to have that done!

An evening meeting with the elders, about evangelism plans for the new year - resulting in a two-quarter-long evangelism training class that I'd been wanting to do for a long time. Exciting things began happening!

A visit to the Martins' home. (Need I say more? It was relaxing and a lot of fun, as usual.)

A trip home to Walla Walla with the girls for my birthday. :) We were surprised with amazing weather for February - at least 60 degrees!

Jury duty day, which resulted in a surprise meet-up with Sammy, and a lunch in the park with her. (She was chosen to be on the jury; I wasn't.)

Planting baby seeds for the first time indoors with grow lights. So much fun to watch them sprout!

The beginnings of Acts memorization. I'm not up to date by any means now, but I learned that it's not hard at all to memorize several chapters within a couple of months! I will be trying that again next year, I'm sure. :-)

Roller skating in Spokane; watching little friends attempt and succeed. And skating around a rink with a little hand hanging on for dear life... special times!

Cami's graduation warranted another Martin visit. (with Brown twins, too!)

A last-minute acceptance of an invitation to Sammy's birthday party. (So glad I could go!)

Cheyenne's surprise visit. Yup. Memories made. ;-)

YD Camp 2012... last fun times with Nathan, and new friends made.

Camping with Melissa and her brother and boyfriend. (Kyle, I think that one went south...)

A last-minute dash to NWYC that resulted in me participating in two nearly-impromptu special musics. Great friends!! :-)

A camping trip with my family to the middle of nowhere.

Looking at stars and galaxies through Josh's telescope. There are some pretty awesome "fuzzies" out there! ;-)

Answered prayers in regards to future plans.

* * * * *

Ah, time does fly. But these memories put a smile on my face! God really has been so good this year, in spiritual matters, and plain old life. :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I haven't been here since July.

Since then, friends have moved away, magazines have gone to press twice, I've gone on camping and hiking trips, new YD staff have arrived, and the church evangelism training class has ended.

And yet, a little over three months' absence is only a quarter of 2012. Time has dashed by and I don't often get a chance to stop and think about what it has produced.

And so, it's only fitting that I begin blogging again with a time of reflection over the past year. A friend of a friend is leading a blessing-a-day challenge, called GreaThings - two weeks of specifics to ponder and remember.

What has God done for you? Will you join us?