So it's been nearly a month since I remembered to pull out my journal and actually put pen to paper and count these gifts that God just keeps pouring out!
I know... you've heard it before! I forget... I get busy... I assume He knows that I am receiving these blessings one by one and yet - am I? Am I slowing down enough to really drink them in... to let them roll around in my mouth and truly TASTE and see that the Lord is good? It's this writing them down practice that stops the gulping... and I remember that miss it when I forget!
I just returned from a weekend away, and I am overflowing with gifts He poured out! I was blessed to attend the Faith and Culture Writers Conference and came home brimming over the edge and running for this journal! Seriously ya'll, you need to get yourself to this event next year!
I am still processing and may write more of an actual recap! I only have a couple of regrets, one of which is not bringing a real camera, but for now (in between chunks of glorious reading time) - I slow down, think back, and lean in to all that He is giving me...
I am back to Counting On...
#1890 - Grace! Grace when I fall out of this habit of writing things down! After "If:" I needed time to breathe and sadly I backed away from journaling and counting gifts, one by one, but I replaced that time by being in the Word and doing If:Equip every day, so it's been a good discipline. However I have missed it and found, once again, I love to write down all the ways He blesses. (It helps me to remember them!) March is here and February was great - and yet again, I will not get bogged down in backtracking (too much!) I will reflect back on a few things and then just pick it up fresh for today... or at least from the past weekend!
#1891 - Valentine's Day with My Honey! (Our girlie had to work and our usual traditional dinner didn't happen.) We got take-out and watched a movie together, maybe even a little Downton Abbey! Super low key... but a nice change from our normal Feb 14th!
#1892 - Our Girlies' safety. God woke me up and had me praying earnestly (and yet - without fear... so - uh - that was new!) for her at a specific time. At that very moment, her car stopped working while driving home. God helped her to pull over to safety and give us a call.
#1893 - The blessing of having multiple cars and a flexible schedule while her car was in the shop! (And by faith, for the finances to cover the cost of fixing it!)
#1894 - Diving head first into Lent (for the first time) and giving up my Love Idol of Self-Doubt and Hesitation... reminding myself that when I want to look elsewhere for validation or love, I am Preapproved in Christ!
Happy Jennifer Dukes Lee Mail: My copy of Jennifers' new book
AND a gorgeous new necklace that I won from her blog!
#1895 - A fun afternoon with my Girlie... a little shopping, some giggling, lunch out together, and a wrap up session with Netflix!
#1896 - Booking the last room available and finding out that meals/snacks are included with the ticket price of the Faith and Culture Writers Conference!
#1897 - My Honey coming along for a weekend away... being my ever present support, chauffeur, and love. My Safe Place... (and a gift that I didn't feel like I needed a safe place to hide!)
#1898 - An incredibly GORGEOUS sunny day on Friday - a perfect day for a road trip!
Crossing the Columbia River from Washington State to Oregon
#1899 - Beat the crazy Portland traffic, checked in to the hotel with time to relax before heading to the conference!
Newberg Friends Church
#1900 - Getting to the church at the SAME EXACT time as Renee Pierce. We became friends on facebook a couple of years ago but had never met in real life yet. She lives in Sitka, Alaska and it turns out I was the only person she knew (or knew of) at the conference and it was so like God to connect us together even before we got to the Registration line!
#1901 - Somehow my name was not on the list and I didnt have a Nametag or packet... but one of the gals helping out recognized me and knew I was registered. She mentioned reading my blog and I was too flustered to even say thank you and find out who she was! I was just so blessed and speechless! (You mean someone besides my Mom reads this thing?)
#1902 - The COMPLETE thrill and surprise of hearing Lisha say my name! My sweet friend Lisha - from NYC! - here, on the West Coast. Just days before, she was saying how she wished she could come... God is good!
#1903 - FINALLY getting to hug Ashley Larkin in real life - several times through out the conference! (Now - we just need to plan a wknd in Portland so we can hang out and chat with less wonderful full schedules bossing us around!)
#1905 - Worship... hands down (or hands UP actually) - incredible!!!
Every Speaker - amazing!!!
#1908 - Tony Kriz... enough said! (What a great story teller!)
#1909 - Phil Long... Spoken Word Artist... Just wow (and uh-oh!)
#1910 - Deidra Riggs... Great message, great heart... and finally getting a chance to meet and hug and chat a bit in person = so good!
#1911 - Without going into detail... I will just say that through out the conference I was surprised that this whole Love Idol Movement of being #Preapproved and laying down Self-Doubt and Hesitation is working!
I saw it working all weekend long. Often on the other side of something, when I noticed that I didn't even entertain the lies or tune in to the whispers! (In other words... freedom!)
#1912 - Seeing Sarah Bessey up close and in real life, and yet - resisting the urge to be that (fan)girl... and not tackling her. What a GIFT to hear her speak, oh and pray! As Deidra said on Saturday, ANYTIME Sarah Bessey asks to pray over you, the answer is YES! (To which I say Amen!)
#1913 - Meeting Marcy in person... such a sweetheart! (Plus seeing Rebekah again... and right there in the middle? Yeah - that is our sweet Lisha!)
Oh My Stars... I love these girlies oh so much!
My sweet friend, Renee!
This... I just can't even!
This is the precious Ashley Larkin.
Isn't she just too adorable?
#1914 - All the while that I was at the conference, My Honey was in Portland, wandering around and sharing that God is Love... praying for strangers and homeless men, and taking one of them out to lunch... hearing their stories and offering prayer. (So - you know... doing the Red Parts!) #swoon
#1915 - Coffee afterwards with Rebekah and her fam! A nice way to wrap up the weekend!
#1916 - Discovering this:
We are still not sure... It's Delicious -but then
there is the Aloe/Gel particles IN the drink...
We loved the Peach flavored one most.
#1919 - Multnomah Falls in the rain
Multnomah Falls - iPhone Only Photography
#1920 - Coming home, having my Mom invite us over (#1921 - They live right next door!) for dinner! She is consistently awesome in making us dinner when we return from traveling!
For all my Bench Girls... I am so thankful for each of you - You, who share your stories and value mine... you are Gifts to me, every one of you!
Linking up with Ann Voskamp in Counting (beyond) one thousand gifts...
So what are you counting? What kinds of Gifts are you finding when you slow down and look for Him? I'd love to hear!