Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Silent Cries

Tonight I'm thankful for tears. I'm thankful for second chances. I'm thankful for eyes that look on me with love, and choose to see righteousness... The righteousness given to me. I'm thankful for pain. I'm thankful for the wilderness. I'm thankful for a Comforter that feels our silent cries. I'm thankful for the price that bought me. I'm thankful for the One who is still putting the pieces of my life together. I'm thankful for grace.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Days 15, 16, 17, AND 18.

I was asked by a friend if I was going to blog again soon, and I thought "geez, Louise! It hasn't been that long!" . . . false. It has been. I failed. Here I am, trying to make up for lost time.

Tuesday (the 15th): This was such a long time ago...
I'm thankful for an hour-and-a-half basketball practice. :) (better than our usual hour)
I'm thankful for my small group. Seriously, a group of the most encouraging people I know. LOVE them!
I'm thankful for preachers who have no fear to preach the Gospel.
I'm thankful for my friends, Jeremy and Emily, who were able to join me for small group.
I'm thankful for friends who can cook. Seriously. WINNER!

Wednesday (the 16th):
I'm thankful for other church families.
I'm thankful for the entertainment I experienced while I was donating plasma (included but not limited to the "I don't go to college" guy who would rather "stay home and do a bong" and the rapper across from me)
I'm thankful for the chance to share the hope of Christ with the two aforementioned "entertainers"
I'm thankful for Thanksgiving dinners... and those who can cook them well.
I'm thankful for mashed potatoes. I LOVE them.
I'm thankful for the chance to practice with the Oak Grove worship team. This was such a blessing, and a small taste of the parts of my church in Iowa that I had been missing.
I'm thankful for friends with open hearts, willing to be my friend and get to know me.

Thursday (the 17th):
I'm thankful that I did NOT consume pizza, pecans, green Kool-aid. (which I had consumed prior to the last time I had the flu)
I'm thankful that God knew I needed a break and saw fit to give me one.
I'm thankful for "unexpected" weight loss.
I'm thankful that I didn't get the flu when I was planning on traveling home.
I'm thankful for Emily and Laura who got to spend a "sick day" with me.
I'm thankful for people who look out for me.
I'm thankful that I didn't pass out or end up in the hospital.
I'm thankful for people who offer to bring me soup to make me feel better.

Friday (the 18th): Yes, it isn't even noon, but I have a feeling not much more will happen today...
I'm thankful for rest.
I'm thankful for encouragement from believers.
I'm thankful for my family.
I'm thankful for weekends.
I'm thankful for cocoa puffs.
and... I'm thankful for naps.

And I'm thankful for my "faithful followers."
(Someday, I'll have enough followers to do a give-away. Something fun. Something personalized. Something that you'll love... if I ever get followers... hahahaha)

Are you spending your days being thankful? Or are you looking past the little things?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Day 14

Today, I was reminded of my thankfulness for a few things specifically. While I was waiting to donate plasma, I was reading through the book of guidelines an things to know. One requirement was that you couldn't have lived in Portugal for more than three months in 1996. Weird, I know, but I was reminded that living in Portugal was an incredible experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. :) Another thing, while I was waiting, was my health. I have nothing wrong with my health, aside from occasional allergies and my occasional irregular heartbeat (which might just be a very athletic heart... so I'm still not convinced that's a bad thing)! Praise the Lord for His goodness in my health. He is good in my un-health and He is good to those with health problems. But He has richly blessed me! :)

Thankful Thoughts: Days 11, 12, and 13

Day eleven was Friday: I was able to drive up to Iowa after school and basketball practice to see my brother, catch up with some friends, and watch basketball. I'm thankful for:
basketball. LOVE it.
my younger brother, Seth.
my car that runs.
my new alternator.
a friendly, yet unexpected smile. :)
friends who speak the truth in love and continually shower me with encouragement.
[specifically Jennifer over at always keep HeART and Melyssa over at Melyssa with a "Y"]
pasta. love that stuff. seriously.
finally realizing some things about yourself that puts some pieces together.
finding contentment. :)

Day twelve: Thankful for...
whomever came up with hair dye. :) love that stuff too!
friends that are friends no matter the circumstance.
advice from those who understand what my life circumstances are.

Day thirteen:
restoring friendships.
church family.
being able to wholeheartedly praise my Savior.
music that points to the Creator and King.
hanging out with friends.
my dear mother who is an encouragement. :)

A week and a day until I visit the homeland! Which reminds me... I entered "home" in my GPS and had no idea where it would take me... and at this point, I can't remember. :/

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We are vessels. God's Word tells us that. I was once told that when we are cracked and imperfect, that is when the Light in us has the greatest chance to shine. My vessel is broken. And frankly, so is my heart. I feel like pieces of me are scattered all around and I am distracted. He alone can set my focus and fix my eyes on Him. He alone can put me back together. There are jagged edges to my brokenness. There are pieces waiting to be glued back together with the grace and healing only Christ can provide. But with each broken piece, comes the super glue of grace, pressure of life, and time. Time to heal. Time for the glue to set. Time for our hearts to remember the brokenness and remember the lessons learned from it.

I am broken.
But my God is healer.
He only knows what my vessel will look like.
But while I wait for the pieces to be put back together, I must wait for the glue to dry an remember that the Light within sometimes shines brightest when we are weakest... and...


Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Day Ten

The morning of the tenth of November, I found myself wanting to hop on a plane. Where I would fly to? I'd take just about anywhere... Lisbon, Salt Lake City, down south, STL, PA... seriously, if I could've, I would've hopped on a plane to go about anywhere but here. Why? Comparison. The ONLY reason. I LOVE Kansas City and I love the things and friends God has provided for me here. But I found myself thinking of a friend in Utah that I would love to see, and a friend in North Carolina that I would LOVE to just spend time with, and a friend in Pennsylvania who I could really stand to make some SWEET memories with!!! But here I am, living the life God has planned for me. I'm here, not there. And I love it here. Why do I go out of my way to make myself discontent? Good question...

Theodore Roosevelt worded it well when he said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

Those words are so true. Today, I'm thankful for life. I'm thankful that my Savior knows what's best for me. I'm thankful that I was able to spend the day teaching kids how to read, write, and count. I'm thankful that I could spend my afternoon teaching girls the fundamentals of basketball and an example of being wholehearted about something and learning to do a certain thing well. I'm thankful for my dear friend, Laura. Thursdays are our only real day to talk, and I enjoy that. We spend our Thursday evenings playing volleyball in a rec league, then we get Sonic Slushies (lemon berry is the BEST), and we catch up on each others' life. She is truly a blessing. And she talks sense into me when I get a little gung ho about something that should just be let go of. ;) That girl is a blessing.

God is good to me.
He holds my hand.
He helps me stand.
He holds me tight.
He helps me fight.
God is GOOD to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful thoughts: day nine.

Yesterday marked seventeen years since I trusted in the saving work of the blood of Christ. The grace God has shown me has kept me from so much filth and redeemed me from an eternity without Him.

Another thing I'm incredibly thankful for was the chance to talk to a good friend from camp tonight on the phone. It's amazing how and when things like that work out. What a blessing! :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A thankfulness tree: fall craft

I recently made this cute little tree with my cricut. My cricut and I have a love/hate relationship. :) but anyway, I glued it onto some cardstock, cut out leaves, glued away, and started writing things I am thankful for. What a blessing to do and a cute craft to make. What are YOU thankful for!?!

Thankful Thoughts of November: Day Eight

As I think back on the different things I'm thankful for, I realize there is a trend. I'm thankful for people. I don't think that is a bad thing. God created us to be relational people. And I have seen that very much in my life. I am a people person, sometimes almost to a fault.

But I have been immensely encouraged by the people in my life...
who point me to the cross.
who stop and pray for a lost soul in the middle of an evening of fellowship.
who encourage me to try new things without reservation.
who desire the things of God.
who acknowledge the goodness of our Savior in even the smallest ways.
who seek out others to make a difference.
who lead.
who encourage.
who choose to be a blessing even if it means being inconvenienced.
who become transparent for the sake of growing in grace.
who desire to learn the person of our great God.
who open their hearts and lives to "newbies" like me.
who are simply following the Lord with no abandon.

God has blessed me beyond what I could ask or think. He took this opportunity to answer a prayer I hadn't even prayed. O taste and see that the LORD is good. :)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Day Seven

Wow. Already day seven. Today, I was reminded that I'm thankful for...

the friends I lose touch with and reconnect with. :)
students that play well together.
a vacuum that works.
a warm bed.
a conscience prodded by the Holy Spirit.
scent memory... just the recollections that my brain holds from smells... :) :) :)
friends with senses of humor.
dear family.
friends that evoke smiles. :)
a mother who is my friend.
going to bed early. :)
...and the list goes on...

Next step in my month of thankfulness was an idea from a dear friend, Emily. Write a thank you note every day this month. I'm a few days behind, but I think I can catch up. :)

Truly blessed.

Thankful Thoughts: Day Six

A little late, but I'm thankful for my church family. I have a few now, and they are all a blessing to me. It's been neat over the years to be a part of a few different churches, all very different. It has made me a more rounded individual and not just because of the potlucks. Haha ;) I love that they pray for me and uplift me and want God's best for me even when I'm far away. So thankful for my church families :) what a blessing!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Day Five

Today, I'm thankful for old friends. I've made several new friends lately with all the new life experiences that have ambushed me, but today I was reminded that there's a great comfort in the friends that know you better than yourself. Praise the Lord for those friends that take the time to get to know you that well, and stick around after they do... even if it isn't in the most conventional of ways... God has blessed me with solid, godly friends that I've had for years, and I'm excited for my new friends to become those solid friends that I keep for years.

"There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother..."

Thanks: Day Four

Tonight's thankful thought will be brief. I feel like everyday could be thankfulness for friends. Tonight, I just spent some INCREDIBLE time with AMAZING friends and had a blast! But more on that later... maybe...

Today, I'm thankful for my junior highers. I teach junior high P.E. every afternoon. And then after school, I coach junior high girls' basketball. I was nervous at the beginning of the year. Junior highers??? The dreaded children that no one else wants??? Yes. Those are the kids I get to teach every day. And they have been such a joy! Yes, I've disciplined them when needed, but they know I mean business. And we can have a BLAST together. They keep me on my toes (in more than just dodgeball) and give me more reasons to smile. They bring so much excitement to my afternoon. Love those kids!!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Outfit of the Day: a little brown and bronze

Since Wednesday is never my best-dressed day, I'll give up on that parameter.

Today's sweater is from The Limited:
Thanks to all sorts of coupons, special deals, a $15 off coupon and my teacher discount, this sweater was a steal! I love the kimono sleeves, the texture of the sweater and the length of the torso. It looks superb with a skinny belt, chunky belt, or no belt. :) Today, I went with no belt. :)

Skirt courtesy of the one and only Target! Clearance racks often contain the most wonderful things. And sure enough, I found this puppy hidden amongst the plus sizes. For those of you who know how I'm built, you'll know I have an "athletic figure" . . . meaning I have zero hips. Which came in handy in turning this around the waist pencil skirt into a skirt I could easily wear around my hips. :) And at $4.98, I looked classy and didn't break the bank!

Today, I busted out my boots. Big fan of these Maurice's clearance find. :) LOVE! The weather was chilly this morning, so the boots just completed the Friday ensemble.
My nails were painted a deep plum and my ears were graced with bronze beaded pendant earrings from Portugal. :)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thankful Thoughts: Day Three

In order to try to stay caught up, I have to start blogging at night. NOT when my brain is in high gear. Actually, I don't remember the last time it was really firing on all cylinders. But I digress...

Today is day three of November. I'm thankful for opportunities. Not a day goes by where I have not been handed an opportunity to impact a life, smile at a student, or even change someone's world by praying for them.

I tend to think that if I only had opportunity, I'd change the world. I really do have chances to impact many lives. As a teacher, especially in my position, I interact with almost every student in the school in a given week. I can show them the love and grace of Christ... EVERY time I see them. And when I'm not around them, I can be praying for them. Prayer is never the least we can do. It's the most.

I have millions of tiny opportunities to share love and grace. I am thankful that my God continues to give me chances when I continue to blow it.

He is gracious and giving. Praise His name. Let His words fill me and His grace and love overflow from my life and heart.

Thankful Thoughts: Day Two

Day two was a reminder that I am thankful for the body's ability to protect itself and heal itself. Last night, I sat outside in 37 degree weather while it was pouring down rain. I was praying that I didn't get frostbite. But, my body kept shivering. It knew I was freezing! As annoying as shivering is, my body was trying to tell me how dumb it was to be that cold! My body was telling the rational side of my brain to make wiser decisions, but the "I'm a 22-year-old who wants to watch an MLS game, so I'll be invincible for the night" side kept me outside with friends freezing royally. So yes, my body might be smarter than my mind. But how incredible is it that the God of the universe made our bodies to respond to our surroundings and protect us and prompt us to do things like bundle up and get more sleep??? Truly incredible. The human body is immaculate.

I will praise You,
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.
Psalm 139:14

Here's a video that I LOVE to watch (about Laminin, some of you might have seen it...) that points everything about our body back to the Creator. :) Praise His excellent name!

freezing at the Sporting KC game

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thankful Thoughts of November: Day One

As a trend for the month of November which serves as the carrier of the holiday that reminds us to be thankful one day of the year, I thought I would take a small effort to blog everyday about something significant in my life that I truly should thank God for more than I do.

Day one (which was yesterday) is friendships. I'm sure I'll mention this one at least once more during the month. In my last post, you saw a little glimpse into my friendships. God has truly blessed me with a group of friends that is encouraging, hilarious, easy-going, and excited to try new things (or at least include new people)! They have brightened every Tuesday night for the past couple months with their "dinner night" as we all (usually about ten of us) gather in the kitchen and take part in making dinner. This extravaganza brings laughter, occasionally some tears (from the laughter) and nerves about trying new things (for me, it's slicing bread...). But every week, we enjoy time together preparing dinner and dessert. Then, time is spent reflecting on the greatness of our God in different ways, whether it be from a sermon or a glimpse at our own lives. I truly love this group and love the time we've been able to share together.

Today (day two) will bring something else. :) And it might just be a different group of friends. ;)

Praise the Lord for His goodness in even the "small" ways. :)