There have been times in my life when I have clearly heard God speaking to me. Sometimes it is in the great peace He gives me like when I first stepped on the campus at Elon or when we decided to move to Rock Hill. Sometimes it's His obvious movement of events in my life like the way He brought Jack and me together or the way that Jack got the job here at Winthrop.
And sometimes it is when I hear the same message from many different sources. As you know I have been reading Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts- Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are." I've been on a journey to count the endless gifts in my life, the endless ways that God speaks to me and blesses me. And really the purpose of the journey is not just gratitude. That is a part of it, but the gratitude is really just a vehicle to living a full life- to living in the moment- to joy in all things- to not missing now, here, today in exchange for tomorrow, yesterday or a to-do list. Then, last week, Jack and I went to the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. Jack's boss at the Convention took all of the BCM guys around the state and their wives. It was great to get away together, to worship together and hear the Word preached. But the best part was the theme of the conference- Be Present. Yep, that's right. It was all about living in the now- being fully present and engaged in right now. The conference was really themed around leadership and about leaders being fully present in their leadership. But each speaker focused on an area that we need to be present. Francis Chan spoke about prayer and being fully engaged in our prayers- very convicting. Mark Driscoll talked about how our fear keeps us from being present- not fully living in and loving the right now because we are afraid and the right now is hard. Priscilla Shirer spoke about being fully present in our walk with God- about how there were times in the Bible where people were WITH God and didn't even know it! They missed it, they weren't fully distracted- maybe focused on their cares, worries and missing the presence of the Living God. She spoke about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus after Christ was crucified. They walked with the resurrected Christ, talked with Him and didn't even know it! They were consumed with their lives, their cares, with their fears that they missed Him!
At the end of the conference I was like, "Ok Lord, I am listening! Clearly you want me to understand what it means to live fully right now, right here." I want to see Him here right now. I don't want to miss any of His presence, any of His grace, any of His blessings. I don't want to miss any opportunity to praise Him, thank Him, love him. In her book, Ann says "Here is the only place to love Him." I can't love Him tomorrow, it hasn't happened yet. And I can't go back and love Him yesterday. Here, now is the only place I can love Him. So here, now is where I need be present. Here and now is where I need to live.
So, to that end.....
276. pumpkin patch fun
277. blue autumn skies with white fluffy clouds
278. long talks in the car
280. rainy day fun in our pajamas
281. pumpkin cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake
282. the way the boys adore her
283. fridays with ruth
284. the way siah makes us laugh
285. noah's sensitive, kind heart
286. pink baby chucks
287. sunday nights sharing life
288. curly hair
289. chilly nights
290. the way they smell after baths
291. baby coos
292. piano lessons
293. a special date night
294. a gentle breeze
296. father and son discussing greek and hebrew
297. fall flowers just because
298. a treasure hunt
299. emails from old friends
300. pirate hide-n-seek