125. 2,015 Little Blessings

My word for 2015 is content.

I struggle with contentment,

though I shouldn’t.

I have everything I need.

except I need a better car, a new blender, new sliding glass doors for the bedroom…

More than enough.

yes, I sure don’t need more junk; we don’t have room for what we have.

My cup runneth over.

yet still I yearn.

Not only for things

but for emotional peace

Not only for me

but for the people I love

Not only for this life —

I yearn for God.


In order to stop all this yearning, I’m keeping track of my blessings again this year. He has given me. So much.

2,015 blessings for 2015 = 167.9 blessings per month = 5.5 blessings per day = the practice of contentment for what I have been given.


  1. A beautiful sunrise on the first day of 2015.
  2. The ability to look at the sunrise from my bed, thank God for its beauty, and close my eyes again.
  3. The one day of the year when we can lounge in bed with coffee and biscotti and not feel guilty.
  4. First fire in the stove in the mudroom.
  5. A delicious dinner of pork Bo-ssam lettuce wraps.
  6. Starting and ending the first day of the new year in prayer.
  7. Easy cookies to make from a jar — a Christmas present from my sister.
  8. Time to work on my blog.
  9. Time to get needed work accomplished.
  10. Leftovers so I don’t have to cook.
  11. Making arrangements to volunteer at a new place in a new year.
  12. A thank you card from our sponsored child in Rancho Los Amigos. He’s handsome and growing up.
  13. The money to spend on a sponsored child.
  14. A warmish day, with dots of blue sky and No Snow!
  15. A beautiful aura around a large, bright moon.

This is the beginning of my blessings project for 2015.  I’m only publicizing it  for encouragement. Your encouragement. I’ve been blessed (?) with a personality that is more pessimistic than optimistic, tending toward depression rather than enthusiasm — especially in the winter. This is my way of change — to express joy and contentment for the little everyday blessings.

I do want to encourage you to do your own “resolutions” or changes for God’s glory, not your own. Are you trying to lose weight? Do it for his glory, not yours. Are you trying to organize your life? Do it for his glory, not yours. Are you trying to work on your marriage? Improve your prayer life? Exercise more? Do it all for his glory, not yours, and …

…before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” –Philippians 4:6-7 The Message.


90. Blessings on your house

For the rest of Advent and Christmas I will be finishing up my gratitude project for the past year. It was never intended to be anything but for me to document my gratitude and blessings, and help me be intentional about living a joy-filled life for the year. It worked! And if I can encourage anyone else to do something like this, with my December “gratitudes”, then Amen!

What follows are photos from the year with Advent scriptures for reading, studying, or just enjoying. Each photo is captioned with the full scripture —  the Advent scriptures from the website handmaden. (Thanks Lauren!) I’m not a photographer, but my IPhone camera has given me much joy this year as well…

I will be updating every day through December instead of writing regular blogposts. Merry Christmas everyone. Peace and blessings to you all.

89. Plain, Mundane, and Common

My inbox is filling up with Christmas ideas:

The emotions are mixed on this folks, because I’m just not there…

Perhaps I could put our three trees in this corner?corner of living room

And hang the gigantic glitter snowflakes right here in the middle of these new windows where all cars passing by can see them?

New insulation surround new living room windows

Maybe we could decorate the ladder with pretty white lights?

Alas, instead of putting up Christmas trees, we are putting up pink fluffy stuff in the walls; instead of squirting cans of snow on the tree, we are squirting cans of foam around cracks and holes; instead of plugging in gigantic glittery snowflakes we are adding electrical outlets to the walls — every six feet, of course, to meet code…

Our twenty foot living room wall has gone from shivering, bare studs


to a warm blanket of pink


to a coordinating crazy quilt coverlet of pink and green.


You’ll also notice two of the four new outlets — for future gigantic glittery snowflakes, no doubt. (Actually my taste runs more to stars than flakes, but that’s another post…)

No glitter this year — just the plain, the mundane, and the common stuff of ordinary life.

Like one simple candle in the window instead of strings of lights; like quiet time spent reading Isaiah instead of Pinterest; like consciously focusing thought on the Savior in the ordinary manger, not Christmas wrappings and trappings; like looking very hard to find the UNordinary in the mundane happenings of everyday.

Snow clouds and blue sky

The God who came as a poor common man instead of the expected king turned the world upside down in part because of his humble origins, in part because he turned the common into uncommon: Water into wine, sin into forgiveness, dark into light, the cross — a horrible symbol of death — into the ultimate symbol of life.

I’m memorizing Isaiah 53:1-7 for the Christmas worship at our church. Every day I say it a dozen times or more, so I can know it. Say it with no mistakes. And at least once a day it moves me to tears of gratitude and remorse for what one common uncommon man-God did for me. For you.  

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him; nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering… but he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…

the people who walked in darkness...May you we take time for quiet reflection in the midst of this busy season. May you we find the blessings in that mundane uneventful day, and may you we find the uncommon light of the Savior in the dark of December.