Monday, August 16, 2010

Rafting the Dechutes with 20+ youth

Our raft going down Box Car rapid
( Can you find us?)

Friday night Michael and I and our two oldest got back from a 3 day, 2 night raft trip on the Dechutes River. We left early Wednesday morning and put in at Trout Creek near the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. We rafted a few hours until we came to our first camp site. We got there a bit early, around  2:00 pm and had lots of daylight left to explore the campsite, how water wars, swim in the river, set up camp and have endless fun.

You should have seen the gear boat that our teaching pastor took all by himself down the river. It was so loaded with tents, food, backpacks, stoves, and everything else we needed to live for the three days away from home. I wish I had a picture of his boat. It was truly a site to be seen.

Like I mentioned before we had 20 something junior high and high school kids. There were four pastors on this trip and another male adult and two women. These kids were so well behaved and worked their hineys off when it came time to set up and tear down camp. They also did most of the work when it came time for our meals. All us women had to do was stand around and direct orders. There was no complaining!!

Day 2! After breaking camp and loading everything back in the gear boat on Thursday we headed down the river and had many hours of hot sun, water gun fights with the boats, white water rapids and swimming. We stopped off at a huge rock mid way down to do some rock jumping. The brave kids and adults which included my daughter and husband jumped off of a huge cliff into a pool of deep water.  many of the others took the safer route and jumped off smaller rocks. It was so amazing to watch. However, I didn't participate. I am so nervous about injuring myself and putting myself into unwanted pain. I just watched and tried not to freak out.

That night we found another great camping spot. This time with shade. It was right along the train tracks and we had the pleasure of watching and listening to the train several times that night. The sun went over the large rock like cliffs early and we had relief from the 90+ degree weather. That evening the kids all sat upon the boats singing, talking and laughing. We had delicious smoked pulled pork that one of the leaders made and lots of fruit. Just before bed my daughter gave a little talk on her time in Argentina. Most of  the leaders were eager to go to bed early and get some much needed rest. The kids stayed up a bit later watching shooting stars. Day two is over!!

By day three we were a bit sunburned, and a little tired. But... we still had lots of desire to hit the big three class rapids that would be coming up. The big gear boat that our pastor was guiding was dropped off at one of the launch sites  several miles from Maupin. He was glad to ditch the boat and took over the boat that Michael had been guiding. He has had a bit more experience on the river, especially the big rapids that were coming up  and Michael was happy to get the break. That afternoon we hit two big rapids- Wapanitia and Box Car. These were incredible rapids. There were photographers perched on the rocky shore to take pictures of the people going down. These are the only pictures we have of the whole trip.

Around two that afternoon we reached Maupin City Park, our destination. What a high we were all on, but definitely a  tired and ready for a heatly meal and a good night sleep in our own beds. I praise God that the trip went well and there were no catastrophes, a  few scratches and sunburns but nothing severe. I was so glad that I went and can't wait to do it again!!

                                   The other three boats !!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Fun

It's been one week since Mandi has been home and life is getting back to normal. There is no normal when one child is gone, out of the country. I must admitt that I took her absence real hard. I had no idea that I would "freak out" so much!! Those, by the way are my daughter's words.

Mandi had such a powerful, wonderful mission trip. She came home with a desire to go again in December if God leads. I tend to see the dollar signs of another trip and  have a hard time seeing how this next trip can be funded in such a short time. Mandi on the other hand has great faith that God will provide if it's the right thing for her to do. She is already thinking outside the box on what fundraisers she can do and creative ways to raise money for this trip. Nothing is impossible with God!!

Two days after Mandi got home we headed to Grants Pass for a family reunion. We had a wonderful weekend reconnecting with Michael's side of the family who I have met only once or twice. There were about 30 relatives hanging out at the Kuhlman house. We swam in the pool, and ate lots of great food. I am sure that I gained whatever little weight I have lost at bootcamp back this weekend. It's hard to be "good" when everything is so yummy!! On Saturday we rafted a portion of the Rogue River. Michael and I took all the kids. Amanda has lots of rafting experience and took one of the relatives down. Jeff does too and he took one of the cousins. Both kids did exceptionally well navigating the rapids. I was so proud of them! Michael had Josh in his tahiti and I had Emma!! After pulling out at one of my favorite parks, Indian Mary park, we had a big picnic with everyone else who didn't go rafting.

We were suppose to go home Sunday but Jeff and Mandi wanted to raft again. The first river trip was such a hit that they decided to go again. Sadly, Michael threw his back out earlier that morning and we were not able to join them. They went down another section of the river, a little rougher part, with Uncle Dave and other family members. By the time they got done it was too late to drive home. So we got to spend another day! Monday we hung out by the pool until four and finally headed home.

My next adventure is coming up next week when Michael and I get to be chaperones on the middle school and high school youth group rafting trip. It will be a three day trip. We get to camp out at night and be in the water during the day. I can't wait!! I am so glad Jeff and Mandi OKed us to go. The younger kids will have fun with Nana and Papa here in Redmond.

This summer is going by too fast. It's amazing how the kids get busier as they get older. I am glad that we have one more month of summer vacation to enjoy before school starts up again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Argentina trip 2010

I want to direct those who look at this blog to my daughters blog for the next couple of weeks. She created a blog for her missions trip to Argentina.  (click on the highlighted link) She left this morning early for an 11 day trip to San Nicolas, Argentina to work in a children's home. She went with a team of six people from our church.

I wept like a baby this morning when she flew out. I have not experienced much anxiety in my life time, but last night I couldn't sleep a wink. My heart was racing and I had a hard time breathing. For several hours I prayed asking God to grant me peace. It worked because I did fall asleep. I know she is in wonderful hands! Our God is omniscient and oomnipotent!! All powerful and all knowing! She is also with a wonderful team who will watch out for her.

Please keep Mandi in your prayers- and me too!! God has amazing plans for her and she will grow through this experience.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Here's what has been going on!

It has been  a month since I last post on my blog. Life just keeps moving forward and really doesn't wait for me to catch up!

The last couple of weeks have been nice ones for our family.

The kids were able to spend some wonderful time with their Nana and Papa. Even as I type the boys are on their week 2 vacation with them. (They have returned) Oh how I miss them! The house dynamics have drastically changed with just two children here, and they are girls. I have found that the house stays much neater with less kids. Yes, that's a plus, but I miss the noise and fun that Jeff and Josh bring to the family. I just can't wait until Saturday when they get home! (Yeah, they are home)

Last week Michael and I had a chance to get away for a little R&R. We were sent on a little  pastoral retreat by some friends in our church. So, for two nights we were blessed to stay at a retreat house  in West Linn called the Elderberry House Oasis.  It's a place for Christian workers to go to get some encouragement and much needed break.  What a ministry this couple has. Their house is in West Linn and is in walking distance to the Willamette River. Their view is breathtaking with many places to relax both outside and in. They even have a prayer shed that is perfectly set in their beautiful backyard. It was a nice place for Michael and I to sit and read our Bible and spend some time in prayer. The accommodations were so comfortable, but more importantly the couple who host this is simply wonderful. God's love truly shines through them and they have such a heart to minister. There were many times in ministry that we really needed such a place and we searched and searched the inter net for something just like this. I am so happy we have found a place we can go to and even recommend to others. If you would like more information on this ministry click on the link above labeled Elderberry House Oasis.

After two days in West Linn, we found lodging near the airport. We were planning on attending the OCEAN home school convention but decided to play hooky and spend some more wonderful time together, just the two of us. The weather was gorgeous. Really the first nice couple of days of the summer and it was our 16th anniversary, so.... we spent the day driving the old Colombia Gorge Hwy that took us to all the beautiful waterfalls. We stopped at each one and hiked some of the trails they had to offer. The highlight was hiking a 5.4 mile hike from Wakeenah Falls,the falls just before Multnomah Falls to Multnomah Falls. We thought it was .5 miles, not 5 miles. We didn't realize this until we were about half way there. This hike was magnificent! It was physically a bit difficult but definitely worth the effort and sore muscles we had the next day. I can tell bootcamp is working. A month ago this would have been a much harder hike for me.

Mandi leaves soon for her mission trip to Argentina. She has 9 days to go! Praise the Lord that she raised all the money that she needed for her trip. She has created a blog to update those who are supporting her financially and through prayer. If you want to know how to pray for her and follow her trip please follow her blog the next couple of weeks. I will try and update it frequently throughout her trip.

The last week has been spent weeding my garden area. It is amazing how fast those pesky weeds grow. It's a good thing I have four very active children to help me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Boot Camp!!

I have finally come to that point in losing weight where I better "fish or cut bait" or another not so lady like idiom "@#&$%* or get off the pot". I have spent years procrastinating, and so much money on exercise DVDs and diet books. I almost have a full library now!! My 36 birthday is just days away and I have remained roughly the same weight since my 10 year old daughter was born. I can sit here and give myself every excuse that pops into my mind. Like...I don't have time, I'm in pain, my plantar faciitis flared up, I had cancer ( that one is getting old now)I'm too tired, I'm fine the way I am ............. but,  frankly, I am so tired of being sick and tired. I need to make some big changes, not little ones. I don't want to say that I'll start Monday and then have Monday come and go again.


What better way to spend my 36 year than to finally get my rear in gear!!

My goals are no longer to lose 10 pounds in one month and to eat like a bird, but to live healthy. Eat right and exercise! I think "they" have been saying this all along and I am now just getting it.


This morning I made my first step in achieving this life long goal. I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to go to my first class of Brundage Boot camp!! Last Thursday I went to a meeting with my hubby who is fully supporting me in this in almost every way except to join me in the early morning workouts.(He says he will be cheering me on at home from his elliptical after he sleeps another hour.) I practically signed my life away on Thursday saying that I will be at every workout and if I don't- they will come show up on my front lawn. I knew when I heard this, there would be no excuses for me and I would get the accountability that I so longed for and needed.

I have never done anything of this kind before. I haven't even moved my muscles like I did this morning for who knows how many years. I left the workout this morning feeling so proud of myself for showing up and busting my rear end. I feel muscles I have never felt before. I am sore, shaky, and I can't believe that I can't wait to go back on Monday!!

I am looking forward to having a better outlook on life. I want to be able to keep up with my kids and not feel so out of shape. I want to feed my body healthy foods that give me energy! Plain and simple, I just want to feel the best I possibly can.


If I can lose some weight and look better along the way, then I say bring on the pain- good pain that is!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mandi's 1st Mission Trip to Argentina!!

Mandi is raising support to go on her first Missions trip to Argentina. She has recently sent her support letter to close friends and family. I am posting this on my blog because there may be some people who follow my blog and would like to hear about Mandi's trip and support her in it. More importantly, she is asking for prayer! If you are interested in supporting Mandi in prayer or in donations and you didn't receive a support letter, you can copy and print out the donation slip at the bottom of this post.

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello! I pray this letter finds you well. I am writing to let you know about an opportunity that has come my way. But first I would like to let you know what has been going on in my life this past year.

I am completing my 8th grade year at Central Christian Schools. This has been a wonderful year that was filled with much growth and memorable experiences. This year at school I went on many school trips including Generation Unleashed and Fall Retreat. Both were amazing experiences that helped me grow spiritually.

This growth has rekindled an interest in going on a mission trip; something I have been considering for the last two years. At the beginning of this year I had my heart set on going on a youth mission trip to China. However, my parents had an uneasy feeling about it. The more I prayed about it, the more I began to feel the same way; but still I felt called to go on a mission trip.

A couple of months ago, I learned of an opportunity with our church to be a part of a team going down to Argentina this summer to minister to the Sunrise Children’s home. They have taken teams there for several years. The trip is July 16th -27th. Twelve people from our church will be joining some others and heading to San Nicolas, Argentina. Sunrise Children’s Home is a place that takes in children that are abandoned, abused or neglected. Many of the children have been rescued from the streets and from the prostitution trade.

With the blessing of my parents I am pursuing this trip with great excitement!

On this trip we will have an opportunity to help meet some of the needs of the children like bringing clothes, shoes and school supplies. We also plan to build a storage place on the premises that will store the donations the home receives. Further, we will be taking the kids on special outings; doing things with them that they normally don’t have the chance to do. Most importantly, we will be playing and spending time with them and showing them a lot of love.

I don’t know what the future holds for me in missions, but I am starting to think about what I can do occupationally on the mission field and am looking at which colleges would help me meet this goal. This mission trip will be my first glimpse of mission work in another country. I look forward to serving along side my team and showing God’s love to the orphans at Sun Rise Children’s Home.

I value your prayers for our team and those whose lives will be touched by God through us. I am asking for you to pray for safety, good health, smooth travel, and financial support. Just knowing that you are praying will give me peace as I go into an unfamiliar place.

In addition to your prayers, if you are able, I am asking you to help me raise my support of $2000 to cover the cost of the trip. To make it easier, I’ve included a page that explains the process for giving and a self addressed, stamped envelope.

To find out more about the Sun Rise Children’s Home that I will be visiting, please view their website at

This is a journey that I believe God has called me to and I would greatly appreciate any level of support you are able to offer.

Thank you,

Mandi Kuhlman

If you are interested in supporting Mandi financially or prayerfullly on her first mission trip to Argentina you can send your donation slip to:

Redmond Community Church
237 NW 9th Street
Redmond, OR 97756

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Anita Renfroe Hit!!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Prayer

Thank you Lord for giving me four beautiful children to love. To be their mommy is the greatest and best job in the world. Help me to show your love to them every day, all day long. Let my words be gentle, may they find security in my presence, and help me encourage them so they have the confidence to be who you made them to be.

Thank you that each child is uniquely made and fashioned by you. You have a very special plan for their future and you are molding then and shaping them. Thank you that my children know you. I pray that they will grow in you and love you with all their heart. I pray that they will love your Word and desire to read it, and will live their life in close relationship to you.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Here is our new house!! I have gotten several requests to show pictures of our new house so those who don't live close to us can see it.

We moved to C.O. 4 1/2 years ago and wanted to buy a house then. We looked at a house that was just like this in a cul-de-sac that was going for almost 300,000. (It is pretty amazing that after four years this house is now half that price.) I loved the layout but we knew that we could not afford it. Since then the market has changed as you all know. Last year we saw that we could probably buy a house because they have come down so much in price. We had looked and looked. We also put several offers out there but they all fell through. Honestly, we were trying to get the tax credit and felt we had to get something soon. Nothing we saw really met the criteria that we were looking for until we came across this house in November.

I remember when our realator saw this house and commented that this was the house for us!! Everything I wanted in a house was there except for an upstairs laundry room. The house had dropped considerably in price and we moved on it, only to be out bid by someone else. This was how it would go the next couple of months. The bid would fall through, we would jump again and the bank would take someone elses offer, but that would fall through. Finally the first of Feb. the bank not only took our offer but counter offered. It was a better deal than what we offered. That doesn't usually happen. The reason all these offers kept falling through was because the house had been through some remodeling and it is hard to get an USDA loan on an unfinished house. Just before closing we found out that they were not giving out USDA loans anymore, we had just made it. The extended tax credit that the government was doing was also ending. We also got a low interest rate before they started going up again. As it turns out- we are now paying about the same per month in mortgage and taxes than we did renting. What a blessing!

I am so thankful that we were patient on this house hunt and that God closed the necessary doors and led us to this one. Sometimes it is very hard to be patient and wait. I had finally come to that place where I was ok with renting, possibly for the rest of my life, when this house came available.

I have posted some before and after pictures. I regret not taking pictures of the master bathroom before it was finished, or of the deck before the railing got put on. We were told that a contractor lived in the house before us and was remodeling it. He had already put in new carpet and hardwood floors. He was in the process of redoing the master bath when the house got foreclosed. The bank rehired him to finish the job he started. He did a wonderful job and we are so pleased.

This is a before and after of the dining room.

This is Jeff's bedroom. He is so happy to have his own room.

Josh was a little sad at first to have his own room (he loves his big bro) but now he loves it!

This is the master bedroom and bathroom. Notice....the bed is made!! I'm trying to keep it that way.

Here is the living room. The other side of this room is the dining room.

Here is Emma's bedroom. It will also be our guest room because it is downstairs and she has the neatest bedroom.

This is the downstairs full bath that I prayed for! It was important to me because my dad has M.D. and it is difficult for him to climb stairs.

I love this room! It is our family room. It connects with the dining nook and kitchen. Now I can hang out with the family when they watch tv and I am still cleaning the kitchen.

I love my kitchen! We had a friend who is a wonderful tiler redo the counter tops. The kitchen has so many drawers and cabinets I can't fill them all!

This is the boys upstairs bathroom. No one fights over the shower anymore.

The only picture I haven't shown you was Mandi's room. She is in the garage!! Yes, it is true. We have a three car tandem garage. The tandem part will be walled in soon and it will be her bedroom. The church's house warming gift is to send several guys over next month to wall in her room, put in a door, closet and a window. Some new carpet was donated from a worship team member in the church. Mandi is very excited about this!!

Well that is it! We are very happy about this house and thank God for giving us a little bit of land in Central Oregon that we can call home. My prayer is that God will keep us here a very long time. I would love to see grand kids in this house!! But first....I want to raise these beautiful four children that God has given us. The 41/2 years that we have been in Redmond has been the longest we have been anywhere and the kids are reaping the benefit of that. It is very sad to think that I only have that same amount of time left before my oldest leaves home. How time flies.

One busy month!!!

It's been well over a month since we moved and life has been so busy. I must say, probably the busiest it has been in a long time! Every time I want to take time to write on my blog I either get interrupted or I am so dead tired that I fall asleep while trying to figure out what to write

Here is a quick update on this last month!

The second to last week in March (spring break) we moved over everything we could do ourselves to our new house which is 2 miles west of the house we rented for nearly 3 years. That week Michael's parents came over to help us. They were planning on staying only a few days but the weather was nasty and they ended up staying longer than they had planned. I look at it this way... God knew that I needed them here! I don't think I would have been moved out and had the house cleaned by the 1st without their help. "Thank you Mom and Dad for all that you did with the move." Thanks also to all the people who showed up to move us over the Sunday before Easter. We had a crew of about 15 people. It only took one trip of about four pick up trucks and a couple trailers. I am so grateful from the bottom of my heart for those men and women who so loving served and blessed us.

The very next weekend was Easter!! Michael was so busy with Easter stuff and putting up new lights in the church auditorium. We were running crazy that week and literally paused to say good night when we finally hit the pillow at night. What a blessing it was Easter Sunday evening for Michael and I to take off to Sisters for a two night getaway (thanks to RCC). For the first time we connected and relaxed in a long time. While in Sisters Michael and I got a couple's massage!! It was our first massage ever! It was Heaven on Earth!!

While we were relaxing in Sisters, Mom and Dad K. kept our kids and watched over the animals. They were stationed out at Eagle Crest for the week. The kids had the joy of hanging out there- riding their bikes, swimming, taking long walks and eating quite well. At our house we had a friend working on our kitchen. We decided that we would remodel our kitchen with some of the money we got back from buying the house (tax credit). We hired our friend Greg to do the tiling. What a beautiful job he did. Sometimes I just stop and stare at my kitchen because I love it so much! (Thanks Greg for doing a beautiful job on my kitchen. It was well worth it!)

The next weekend was the Women's Mini Conference at RCC. My job was to put together the worship for it. I had three other talented vocalist helping me with it. I also had the help of my husband. He spent so much time teaching me how he puts a worship package together so that it flows. I have an even greater appreciation for what he does week in and week out with the worship. With our busy schedule We didn't get to practice as much as we would have liked but God is good and it all came together. The end result... 60 women worshiping our Awesome God!

Tuesday morning the 20th I woke up in a panic. I had forgotten in all my business to call my sweet niece and wish her a happy 4th birthday. So on a whim, I decided to drive over the mountain and spend the day with my nieces. This also meant seeing my sister and parents!! I rarely have a free schedule during the day but the child I care for was gone and I didn't have any piano lessons so I left for the day!! What a wonderful, quiet, drive over and back and a perfect day visiting my family. Thanks you wonderful hubby for taking care of the little details so I could go.

My mom and dad came over to see the house for the first time last weekend. They got to see Josh play soccer and make 3 goals. They also got to peer into our very busy life. I know that it tired them out. Our house is always hopping and the noise level is usually at one volume- LOUD! Sometimes the noise gets to me but it didn't seem to bother my mom much. She says she just toons it out! Maybe that's the grandma in her. The mom in me feels the kids need to settle down a lot more. This helps me look forward to being a grandma someday... but not any time soon!

Last Sunday I had my piano recital. My 14 students played 2 songs each. They did beautifully. I just love teaching and am so grateful for each and every student. With all their parents, siblings, extended relatives and friends- we had about 65 people there. The kids were beaming so brightly. I am so proud of them!

This week my body has finally let down. I got sick on Monday and have been feeling very yucky ever since. It's just a bad cold, but more than anything I am just dead tired. I am so tired that I just can't sleep at night. I know... this doesn't really make much sense. One by one the rest of the family has been getting it. Jeff stayed home two days from school. Emma and Josh are hacking and Michael is starting to get it. It is a good thing that life is finally starting to slow down.

I have two more busy weekends ahead of me. May 1st- is the Women's Tea that I was hoping to sing at with the ladies from the Women's Conference. I can barely sing today so who knows how I'll be by Saturday. Then next weekend is a youth conference call "Do Hard Things" put on by the youth of our community. Mandi and I have been involved with helping put this on for the last couple of months. Michael is putting together a youth worship team for that conference, Mandi is in charge of the prayer team and I will be helping wherever needed.

So this is what you get when I don't blog for over a month... A huge, long play by play! I hope this makes you happy mom! My mother is so faithful in checking to see if I have written. I hope I don't wait another month to blog, but with four kids and a husband needing one computer I rarely get my turn anymore. What I want for my birthday and mother's day combined is my very own laptop!! I have asked for a couple years now but I think it is at the bottom of the list of things I really need. Maybe....someday!

Have a wonderful week and make sure you tell God and your family just how grateful you are for them!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere!!!

As moving day approaches I am getting much more ambitious about packing. There is so much stuff in this house! I have already made three trips to Goodwill and I see many more in my future. The funny thing is- we had a pretty big garage sale last summer and got rid of lots of stuff that way. Where in the world does it all come from?

We are playing the waiting game now. Wednesday was suppose to be our closing date but things got hung up on the FDA loan and we had to get an extension. Now our hope is for the house to close on Monday and get the keys a few days after that so we can move over spring break.

We are getting very excited over here. The kids are pulling their weight in the packing process. It is very nice to have them older and very capable to help. Yesterday Jeff taped many boxes for me. He ran them up to me when I needed them and carried them when they were done. What a strong, strapping young man!! Emma's room (of course) was the first to be packed! Her natural organization skills must help her pack fast. My room on the other hand... well let's just say that I need Emma to help me! At least now I can see my floor. We are still waiting to see Mandi's floor. The first thing she packed up was her bed. I guess that was so she could clean out the stuff under it better.

There is much to do still but I know that it WILL get done eventually! For now, I am taking a rest and going to church. I would rather do that than pack anyway!

Have a wondeful Sunday!

This will be us in a few days!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Life of Praise!!

Some of you may remember the day my niece, Natalie was born. She has such a hard start in life. To read her story, follow this link, Natalie's Miracle Story, you will read an incredible miracle story.

Today Natalie is 3 years old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATALIE!) and we are rejoicing that we have her in our life. God has given her and continues to give her a stronger heart. You would never know by looking at her and watching her that she had such a rough start. She is so lovable, funny, and very active.

I am also rejoicing in a fellow blogger, whom I have never met except through her blog, Confessions of a Chosen One. Just recently her son, who was born at 28 weeks and who also had a rough start in life like Natalie is home with her and her husband and little girl. He was in the hospital for over 90 days. These are miracle stories, yet I also know that there are stories that don't end this way. How do you have gratitude in that? I have never lost a child, but I have definitely been through tough times. Cancer, Three job losses at churches and now chronic pain. In each one of these troubled times I have grown a little bit more in cultivating of heart of gratitude.

I have been reading a book by Nancy Leigh Demoss on Gratitude. It is called "Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy".
I have several books throughout my life that have made a huge impact in my life and this is one of them! This is also the theme of our Women's Conference this year which is coming up in April. I have been surrendering my negative, life is so tough, attitude for an attitude of gratitude. We do have so much to be thankful for. Even if all seems bad, we can have a thankful and praiseworthy heart that God loved us so much that he sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Believing this to be true and the awesome free gift of salvation makes me forever grateful. Committing to praise and thank God for the things in life that do not change, like His unfailing love and compassion are the best places to start. Before you know it your life will become one of PRAISE. A LIFE of PRAISE- That's what I want!

Isn't it wonderful that we have a helper in this? The Holy Spirit who was sent by the risen Lord to indwell in us and empower us. I am always teaching and reminding my children that no sirree can they live life on their own, but how wonderful that we don't have too. We have the Holy Spirit to help us. Through him we have all we need for a life of holiness. We have everything we need through him. He is our comforter, overwhelming hope, our strength and our power to love and serve. He will set our hearts to be thankful and to give praise. I don't have to beg him to take control of my life, he is just waiting for me to let him take control. I really wished I would have understood the role of the Holy Spirit earlier in my life, but I rejoice in the fact that I know this now.

Hebrews 13:15 says:

"By him (Jesus) let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."

Ephesians 5:18-20 says:

"Be fulled with the Spirit...singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Psalm 34 The words of David say:

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Psalm 71 states:

"My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long... I will praise you more and more."

I am finding myself to be more thankful for both big and little things all day long. It's amazing how this has taken my Eeyore type attitude to one of Tigger. Ok... maybe not that much but I have been waking up much more content and thankful in the morning instead of worrying and complaining about my different situations. It is a daily journey that I will not be able to do on my own but with the Holy Spirit's power.

Below I have two songs that are my favorites on this Praise/Gratitude theme. You will have to pause my playlist at the top of the blog!

Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman

Life of Praise by Casting Crowns


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