Let us be Thankful

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire". (Heb. 12:28-29)

Thanksgiving this year has been more joyful, more meaningful, more focused on the One who deserves all thanks and praise. The more I document His gifts to me, the more I see His great love for me, His shepherding care for me, His glory. I'm also seeing myself better. The things I take for granted. The hidden sins of pride and selfishness. The great need I have for a Savior, and His all-consuming power to redeem.

Praising the great Giver for these things this Thanksgiving week...
62. The ability to work from home amidst a snow storm (and a boss who is kind and flexible!)
63. The joy of trying new recipes and learning to cook more from scratch
64. Teaching my son to catch snowflakes on his tongue
65. A thoughtful husband who brings home bagels for breakfast
66. Cuddling by the Christmas tree with my son as he falls asleep in my arms :)
67. Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner with my mama
68. Prayers of Thanksgiving with my family
69. Delicious turkey, gravy, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, lefse, and pie!
70. Having my sweet brother home for the holiday... hoping for someday when we'll live closer together again and have long talks about God and life
71. Watching my son slowly warm up to extended family, and shine as the center of attention
72. Compliments on my cooking :)
73. Grandparents who are (relatively) healthy and here to laugh and love with us another year
74. Memories of Thanksgivings in Ohio and fun times with my cousins
75. Leftover Thanksgiving with friends... laughter, good food, and two sweet little boys playing side by side
76. New friends who I just know are kindred spirits... who I'll talk long with someday in Heaven even if we only meet briefly now
77. Thanksgiving with the in-laws, so peaceful and wonderful
78. Watching my son kiss my niece and tell her "don't cry, baby"
79. The signs I'm growing as a mama... that it's okay when he doesn't nap... that disgusting accidents barely phase me... that his whining doesn't bother me...
80. Surviving Black Friday shopping yet again :)
81. Finding the last pair of the perfect boots in my size
82. Breakfast at Perkins with 3 generations of beautiful, strong women
83. Finally making it to church on Sunday
84. Making our worship pastor's morning by agreeing to play cello on Christmas Eve
85. I get to play cello on Christmas Eve!! :)
86. Family naptime on Sunday afternoon
87. A free Advent devotional and Jesse Tree ornaments! (see aholyexperience.com)
88. A reminder "do not fear"
89. Waiting, remembering, longing for the Savior
90. The filling He brings in the empty spaces we make for him...

Blessings to you as Thanksgiving continues on and on... and as Advent begins. Let us be quiet, be still, be made ready...

holy experience


Give Thanks!

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

What a wonderful heart-preparation it has been to start documenting 1000 gifts just before Thanksgiving! God has already made me so much more aware of His goodness and love for me, and I am excited to see what He will do through the next 939 gifts. :) I'm praying that He will open your eyes to His overwhelming love for you this Thanksgiving!

27. Free Bruegger’s Bagels at work
28. Beautiful and unexpected snowstorm this morning. And a safe ride to work.
29. Reminders of how God’s arms are always open to me, even when my heart is closed to him (like when my arms are open to my son, and he wants nothing to do with me…)
30. My husband’s ability to fix things, to problem solve, to put things together (gifts I do not have!)
31. Watching my son’s excitement as he plays with my old train set
32. Emails from my 3 "sisters" brightening my workday
33. The promise and growth of new friendships
34. Reminders of God’s power and sovereignty in Isaiah 40 and 41
35. How my husband can always make me laugh, no matter how cranky I feel
36. Hot coffee and oatmeal on a cold morning
37. The ability to learn through trial & error (who would’ve ever thought I’d be updating my department’s website?)
38. Hearing my son tell stories about his friends at daycare
39. Microfleece sheets. Whoever invented them is a genius!
40. The honor of being a youth group mentor to “my” awesome 10th grade girls… first started leading their small group when they were in 6th grade!
41. Remembering Proverbs 15:1 when my anger begins to stir; saying soft words and giving thanks instead of speaking death and holding bitterness
42. A family that is excited to give Jesus birthday gifts this year… oh, it is so good to give when we have been given so much!
43. Christmas lights illuminating the darkness… a tiny little reminder of the Light of the World
44. Music that makes me cry for joy
45. The ability to nap during my commute
46. Breathing clearly through my nose again – thank you, Lord!
47. Wireless internet that worked, and a knowledgeable back-up for our presenter who was out unexpectedly
48. A night of youth group… a sense of family there… the joy of being back… deep questions and beautiful hearts
49. Time to eat and giggle and dream with my “sister”
50. Time to fellowship and learn with other mamas at EaganMoms
51. Learning something new about myself today – it’s okay to be a shy extrovert! And I’m actually an auditory learner!
52. Making a snowman with my son and neighbors
53. A spontaneous dinner with in-laws that I love
54. Practicing my lefse-making skills with my grandma; learning more about her life
55. My mom keeping my son entertained during lefse-making; staying to play with him so the hubs and I could have a date night
56. Not being on the icy roads on Saturday night
57. My God who is good, whose steadfast love endures forever
58. A husband who knows how to cheer me up and give grace when I’m cranky
59. All-family naptime on Sunday afternoon
60. The smell and taste of freshly baked bread
61. Reading a bedtime story with my cuddly, sweet-smelling son

Happy Thanksgiving! (This week and every moment...)

holy experience


Learning Gratitude: 1000 Gifts

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chr. 16:34

It seems like a good time of year to learn gratitude. And I can't seem to get this Gratitude Community out of my head. And God is so good, how can I not give thanks?

So here I go. In no particular order, naming 1000 of the gifts God's given to me; undeserving me. I'll try to post at least 25 each Monday, which should get me to 1000 in ten months. Feel free to join me!

1. A weekend at home with my family

2. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

3. An unprompted “please” and “thank you” from my son

4. Moments to teach my son “God is always with you” when scary monsters come to his active imagination

5. My son remembering “God wit me” when he started to get scared about monsters before naptime

6. A safe drive to the store in the midst of a snowstorm

7. Getting a stress-relieving check in the mail as I drop off the mortgage payment

8. Dear sisters falling in love with godly men

9. A generous giver providing gifts to stuff in Operation Christmas Child boxes

10. An obedient, cuddly son “helping” stuff the boxes

11. Time to talk and hold hands with my husband

12. Putting up a beautiful Christmas tree with my sweet family

13. Holding my husband close; remembering our Christmas Eve engagement as we put up the “Our First Christmas Together” ornament

14. Watching my husband and son play and tickle and wrestle

15. Chai tea and hot cocoa to soothe my throat

16. Chocolate chip pancakes on Sunday morning

17. A low-key day at work … alone time to recover from my cold and my cranky attitude

18. A full night’s sleep, despite sickness and my son’s potty-training

19. Helpful and kind co-workers

20. Work schedules that allow for fewer daycare days and more family days

21. A daycare my son enjoys (that’s also affordable and close to home!)

22. Not falling on the ice this morning

23. Loving on an old friend whose brokenness is being healed as she learns to love Jesus

24. A mind that can memorize Proverbs 15:1 … “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”

25. My son who hears my memorizing and decides “anger” is really “angel”, who won’t stop talking about angels fighting the “bad guys”

26. Remembering I’m His Beloved, and He is mine

holy experience


My heart burns...

Some days, my heart burns within me, and my question all day long is "How, Lord?" And some days I'm complacent and my question is "Why, Lord?"

God brought me to A Holy Experience, and the words make my heart burn. Burning to be more grateful, to be bread to the world, to love sacrificially...

To stop asking and stop pretending that I don't know the answer already. To obey.

Lord, consume me with your fire, and leave only You.

"What is there more to be in this life than to reflect Christ — than to show what He is like. Than to be bread for another man?" ~ Ann Voskamp