I Will Glorify God By Enjoying Him Forever...

To understand anything, you must begin with God Himself. His ideas put the ideas of others into their proper context, and His wisdom trumps all. And so, to grasp the concept of "love"....you have to begin with God, who is love.

I could chapter-and-verse this blog entry. I could approach it all from a very scholarly bent, but I'm too tired. The hour is late, and Sunday morning comes early. I absolutely have to finish this post before the eleven o'clock news, because I am feeling quite sure my energies will vanish in a matter of a half an hour.

So. To sum it all up....love is all about delight. God delights in His creation. He delights in you!

I've been brushing up on my Augustinian doctrine lately, and let me tell you, the man had it going on. He taught that you and I cannot possess full knowlege of anything until we love it. And we do not love it until we delight in it.

Delight is both the cause and the effect of real love. In fact, Augustine said, "There is no enjoyment where there is no love." And, "Who can know how good a thing is if he does not enjoy it?"

Dear reader, God is good, and God is love. Therefore, He is the very essence of contemplative delight. He delights in you and I with a full, contemplated knowlege of precisely what we are like. In the words of the contemporary worship song we sing often at Harvest Church:

"...You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same! You are amazing, God!"

Love begins and ends in enjoyment. That's how we can conceivably give our body to be burned, and have no love. It is possible to go through the motions of martyrdom, and miss the whole point of relationship with God and man: which is to simply enjoy them both, God supremely so. We are patient and kind and not easily provoked, we are not jealous with those in whom we take unbridled delight.

Who and what do you enjoy? Who delights you? What delights you? There you will find your heart.

Amplify It!

From the time I was a young girl, I have loved and savored the Amplified Bible. And from the time I knew what the Amplified Version was, I have loved and savored Hebrews 13:5 ~

He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, ][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Could it be more clear? Is He ever going to not be there when I call? Will I find that He has stepped away, even if for but a moment? A spllllllllit second? (...the first draft, I wrote "spit second" - and that is almost the same amount of chronological time...)

He will not! He will not! He will not! Assuredly not. He cannot in any degree back down, step away, or be slack in his immediate nearness and complete committment to my soul restoration. He is fully available, forever at work but never "busy", having all the time in this world and the next for me, as though I were His favorite and only child. Every day. Every moment. God Himself.

Yeah, you could say I'm pretty secure. I am possessed of Security Amplified. Security squared...or cubed...or something. All I know, is I can rest.

Chapter IV, In Which God Laughs, (having something to do with Pink Hair...)

You'll forgive me, if I've been reading Winnie-the-Pooh, by AA Milne. If I had a shrink, who knew Children's Literature, it would come Highly Recommended for stress. Alas, I haven't a shrink - but I myself know Children's Lit'rature. I read and laugh, and laugh and read, and find myself reflected in the antics of Piglet, Pooh, Owl, and yes, even sometimes Eeyore.

All the chapters begin much like the title of this blog: chapter thus-and-so, in which Tigger comes to the forest and has Breakfast...

Breakfast, with a capital "B". One must capitalize certain words, when writing about stuffed animals, or else it simply ceases to be Funny.

I was at Wal-Mart Superstore yesterday. "It was a blustery day", and that is not a plagearism of AA Milne's Own Words...though they are his. Ahem. Anyways, picture rain...and more rain....and more rain. A cold rain. A windy rain. I was in the consequential Bad Mood because of it. I had to slosh about my end of town in my rain gear and stretchy pants. Used to being Rather Fashionable, I was having a no good, terribly bad day. I had much to purchase in way of provisions, feeling exhausted for No Good Reason, and had no one to help...

...and so I was grumbley.

I happened to spy a woman in Wal-Mart who was Fashionably Dressed. I, who never feel a pang of envy, wondered what that hot spot was in my chest....could it....could it be....no, it couldn't be. Not I. But there she was - red knit dress peeking out from underneath the perfect trench coat, with the belt wrapped about the waist and tied "just so"; her brunette hair was wound into an elegant chignon (all that rain, you see, what's a Raven-Haired Barbie to do with her voluptuous mane?) and she wore high heeled, black boots. She was perfection, stepping smartly down the toilet paper aisle.

I sniffed at her obvious inexperience with Weather Reports, and hurried on.

It was then I saw the lady with the Pink Hair. Gentle reader, her hair really is a decided shade of brownish pink. But the pink is unmistakeable. You'd do a double-take, too, trust me. And she always wears a pink wool coat. Bubble gum pink.

I say "always", because I would wager that, in the last three winters, I have spied this woman more than a dozen times - in that same pink wool coat, with her pinky-brown long hair. Its a freakish thing, really, for one to always be spotting a woman with Pink Hair, wearing a Pink Coat. It can fray the nerves, actually. I blinked hard, and looked again. Yes. It was her. Again.

I grumbled to myself, "That woman must alllllways be out shopping. I mean, every time I see her, she is out shopping....Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, the shoe store...does she have a job?"

It was then, the Epiphany happened. A still, small, logical voice from deep within said, "I say, aren't you out shopping, whenever you see her out shopping?" Then, I looked straight down at my feet.

Pink rain boots.

I certainly looked just as hilarious, with my grumpy disposition and pink rubber boots. I laughed out loud, and had a Much Better Day.

How quick I can be to judge...

Celebrating Early...

Our dining room at Christmas

I’m starting Christmas early.

It’s so out of character. I was the one who always wondered at anyone who decorated before Thanksgiving. In my mind, Christmas should not begin until after Thanksgiving…don’t let my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) be obscured by Santa and reindeer…or even a nativity scene. Let Christmas have its own time, and let “Harvest Thanksgiving” have its own time.

Noooot this year. I’ve found myself playing Christmas music, and I am going to begin decorating today. (Well, if I can feel better – I’ve caught Tim’s germs – plus we have a basketball jamboree today with our boys, who are playing in a league this winter.) If I can gather energies, I will be decking the halls late into the night, tonight. We don’t decorate the tree itself until the night of Thanksgiving, or the day after….but that tree will be up, lights twinkling, and all other holiday home decorations will be out by mid-week, and Christmas music will be gently wafting into the kitchen, and down through the hallway, and into each bedroom.

I rarely analyze myself – I just go with “it”, whatever “it” is. I live intuitively, and that is far different from living impulsively. It is deeper, and more poetic. I feel around in my soul, and what is found there, I don't analyze….I just go with it. I do not trust myself, per se, but I do trust the strong and vibrant life of Christ in me. I'm not characterized by censoring my every thought or deed.

But this one needed analyzing. In 22 years of marriage, I’ve never rushed Christmas. Why this year? It was then I realized…

This will be the last Christmas with just us six….together. Yeah, Justin will still be here among us – often, if not all the time. But he does go home at night. And he is forever welcome - truly a part of the family.
Something inside me – the deep that calls to deep – is urging me to linger around the manger and the tree this year. Once May gets here (yes….May!) things will never be the same. She won’t come home for summer break, as other girls often do. She will drop by, this summer. She won’t be home for Christmas next year…she will visit on Christmas day. Then she’ll have to visit his family. By then, she'll belong to them too. I will have another son, they an only daughter. That's how this thing called "Godly marriage" works. What is his will be hers, what is hers will be his.

That’s the reality. And it both breaks my heart and thrills my soul, because my Hannah is marrying a man of God, and that is what every mother dreams of for her daughter. This blessing, I will wallow in. I will talk about it, revel in it, and rejoice.

So I am asking you ahead of time to please bear with me as I start the roller coaster ride of “time-between-now-and-May”. Bear with me as I hum carols and bake cookies and clean house like a woman possessed with the notion that time is running out.

I Bequeath...

I own close to 60 cookbooks. And you know what? That ain't nothin'. I have read of women owning hundreds. I suppose, if I were to collect anything other than antique books, it'd be antique cookbooks. Ahem. (Same difference, I know...)

There are a select few in my present collection which I hope that my daughters will fight over when I am dead. I'll look on, from heaven's portals, with immense satisfaction in their wisdom to identify the best of the best. I mean, they are free to split the whole lot of them down the middle, draw straws, play "paper, rock, scissors", but there are some of my cookbooks that are worthy of a good row...a "sissy fight".

"Hearth and Home" by Karey Swan

This one wins "Best All Around". I have gathered more inspiration from its pages than any other cookbook, because it is far more than a cookbook, really. I don't think it is in print any longer, so if you can get your hands on one, you are blessed.

"Nigella Express" by Nigella Lawson

I turn to this one, time and again, when I want ideas for food that cooks fast, that is not fast food, and decidedly is not the typical quick-cook recipe. You won't find many cans of "cream of mushroom soup" in these recipes! Lots of fresh ingredients.

"Make Your Own Convenience Foods" by Don and Joan German
This one wins the "Most Interesting" category. I promise, you'll read it for fun. It is out of print, but you should be able to find it on a website such as http://www.alibris.com/

"From My Sister's Kitchen", and "Better Homes and Gardens"

These two tie for "Most Sentimental". They are my church's very own cookbook "From My Sister's Kitchen" - and the tried and true, red-checked "Better Homes and Gardens" - both are compilations of family style recipes, basic and good for you. Both are great "first cookbooks".

"Return to Sunday Dinner" by Russell Cronkite
This one wins the "Best Appliance Cookbook" category. I realize, I could have placed one of the half-dozen crock-pot cookbooks I have in this category. But I want us to think outside the box. A pressure cooker is the way to have healthy food FAST. (Ya gotta open a lotta cans and boxes make some of those crock pot recipes!) You can take basic foods such as brown rice, beans of any sort, meats, vegetables, and with the guidance from this book, have an amazing meal in a half an hour - with ingredients in it you can control and pronounce. My pressure cooker is electric.
::big Barney Fife SNIFFFF:: Eeee-yup. God equips His daughter.

Last, but not least:

This one gets my vote, because it combines into one beautifully photographed book, three concepts that are very dear to me: Sundays, and hospitality, and slowing down enough to enjoy friends and family. If you are sane, you'll never cook a-one of these recipes for an after-church Sunday crowd. They are not simple enough, by and large, and just don't work for Sunday Hospitality, Atchley-Style. We keep it wwwwway simpler. But this is a gorgeous book, and you won't regret buying it. I pull this one out when I am in the mood to linger over the preparations, create a beautiful table, and a memorable meal. I also display it in my kitchen.

Daughters, take note. When your momma is with Jesus, these are the books you want to snatch each other bald over...
"Cooking Under Pressure" by Lorna Sass

If I Could Save Time In a Bottle...

Come on into my diningroom. Have a seat, because we still have a bit of leftover dinner.

You see above, our empty table. I took the photograph of it exactly as it sits - a modern day still life. That table was full, just an hour ago. That is a metaphor for what will one day be our whole nest. But for now....ah, for now, there are those few evenings in a week when syncronicity happens, and we are all home for dinner. Such was this evening. I had spent the better part of an afternoon making sausage and lentil soup, with a home made chicken stock as a base. Added to this was some easy to make bread, and a Caesar salad, home made dressing.

::perky little sniff::

EEEEE-yeah. It was a labor of love. Well received.

We ate, and we laughed. Somehow, the conversation landed on each of us remembering as many lines as we could from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. ("Come back, and I will taunt you a second time!" ) Our puppy begged for scraps, and daddy indulged him, as usual. A common, every day sight we were...just a family around the table.

But not-so-common. In coming years, it will be a sight that is not-so-every-day. They say you can't get back a moment, once it passes. But I believe, if you blog it, you can have it back again - just in a different way.

Gentle reader, you might yawn at the picture of our now-empty dinner table. You might wonder at a whole post about something so mundane. Can I tell you? It is imperative that you take some pictures of your own, and journal your ordinary life, because you are significant, and your family is unique in all the earth. If you share your link with me, I will visit. I'll read. Record the moments - it is the only way to get them back, when the day comes that your life is suddenly entirely unfamiliar, and nothing looks the same as it once was, those captured moments, digitally or otherwise frozen in time, will bless you.

This blog is an ecclectic mix of things spiritual and things common. I really do see sermons in stones - that is why my blog can run the gamut from Bible teaching, to thoughts on dinner, to a celebration of married love. I came to believe, early on in my adult life, that all of life is spiritual. There is nothing fragmented about me. I don't put ministry in one box, and having dinner with my family in another. All of it is God's life in me. I do not feel compelled to justify a single blog post with a Bible verse. A blog on dinner, and just dinner, delights the heart of God!

Jehovah Raphah has made me a whole person - He has caused me to understand that washing dishes can be worship, and the inspiration to write about washing dishes as worship is a ministry much to be envied. I feel blessed. My life counts, if I never went to a foreign land, or never strapped on another microphone, or stood behind another music stand or fancy podium to teach with my mouth....because teaching with my life is far more impactful and significant.

I cannot save time in a bottle. But I can save it in a blog. I appreciate each of you who visit me here, more than you know. Thank you for putting up with such an unpredictable writer as I.
Oh, family of mine! There never does seem to be enough time to do the things I want to do. And, just like the song says, I have looked around enough to know, ya'll are the ones I want to go through time with! If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to spend every day till eternity passes....with each of you: my Tim, and Hannah, Sarah, Josiah, and Isaac.
But wait. Because of Jesus....the time will come when I get to do exactly that!

A Word Fitly Spoken

Who doesn't love the writings of A.W. Tozer? For your edification, I'm posting a few choice bits from that heart-afire...Tozer. "He being dead, yet speaketh!"

EXCERPT: “…the ministry is one of the most perilous of professions. The devil hates the Spirit-filled minister with an intensity second only to that which he feels for Christ Himself. The source of this hatred is not difficult to discover. An effective, Christ-like minister is a constant embarrassment to the devil, a threat to his dominion, a rebuttal of his best arguments and a dogged reminder of his coming overthrow. No wonder he hates him….”
Spiritual Warfare and Sin

To be entirely safe from the devil's snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them. ~A. W. Tozer - That Incredible Christian, 51.

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Don't Suffer Shipwreck

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.... --1 Timothy 1:18-19

Yet the ministry is one of the most perilous of professions. The devil hates the Spirit-filled minister with an intensity second only to that which he feels for Christ Himself. The source of this hatred is not difficult to discover. An effective, Christ-like minister is a constant embarrassment to the devil, a threat to his dominion, a rebuttal of his best arguments and a dogged reminder of his coming overthrow. No wonder he hates him.

Satan knows that the downfall of a prophet of God is a strategic victory for him, so he rests not day or night devising hidden snares and deadfalls for the ministry. Perhaps a better figure would be the poison dart that only paralyzes its victim, for I think that Satan has little interest in killing the preacher outright. An ineffective, half-alive minister is a better advertisement for hell than a good man dead. So the preacher's dangers are likely to be spiritual rather than physical, though sometimes the enemy works through bodily weaknesses to get to the preacher's soul. ~A.W. Tozer - God Tells the Man Who Cares, 90-91.

Whenever the Lord brings Tim or Sheila Atchley to your mind, please do pray for us! We never want to be only "half-alive"... and there have been times and seasons where we have come perilously close!

Be Still And Know ~

Somehow, I always thought that life would slow down, the older my children got.

It hasn't. If anything, the pace has quickened. What once was the occasional Major Event, now comes at me in rapid-fire succession. Take, for example, the last one week alone. I celebrated a birthday - okay, that really is a once a year Event for me. My husband and I went out of town on a brief holiday. We celebrated an anniversary. I taught at a women's meeting. My one daughter got engaged. My other daughter had an unfortunate experience, hopefully a once in a lifetime experience - she is emotionally a bit battered, but she will quickly recover. We had guests on Tuesday. My husband left for Haiti Tuesday night to minister at a week long pastor's conference. My uncle (dear to me) was severely burned, just hours ago, and is in a Nevada hospital - prognosis unknown.

Packed into the over-stuffed suitcase of my days, are also the so-called "small stuff" - little things like home schooling my last one through high school, remembering the birthdays of friends, spending time with the people I care about, cooking for a small crowd every day, cleaning, laundry for six, and baking my once-a-year big batch of Cranberry-Orange Bread.

(Hannah, Sarah, am I lying?? ...my daughters read my blog...)

It's all just another "day in the life of"...another week at the ranch....another chapter in the saga. This is our new "normal". I'm actually used to it; but sometimes, I do admit, to feeling tired to my very bones.

Now, more than ever, I need stillness. I was stunned to discover that the Hebrew word for still, as used in Psalm 46:10, and the Hebrew name for "The Lord, our Healer", is the same word, perhaps a Hebraic homonym: Raphah.

I don't think that is an accident. It is not a slip of the Divine tongue. It is not word semantics. Stillness heals. Stillness is a Person.

Some of us have experienced such prolonged seasons of upheaval and so many years of crowded schedules, that we need a prolonged season of stillness. If God is leading you by still waters, dear one, trust me, it is because you need it. Follow His lead, and linger there. I envy you, in the holiest of ways. ::she says, as she smiles::

For now, I shall have to survive on small doses of outward stillness - while actively seeking to live in life-giving, mending, healing inner stillness. The stillness of a perpetually restored soul.

Be still (raphah) and know that I am God: to sink, relax, let drop, abandon, refrain, forsake, to let go, to be quiet, to show oneself slack...

I am the Lord that healeth (Raphah) thee: to heal, make whole...

Maybe....just maybe...to allow things to Be What They Are is medicinal. To sink down into stillness, to relax, to just drop it, can be the very Balm in Gilead we are longing for. Abandoning our "chariots and horses", refraining from asking Egypt to save us, forsaking our own understanding, unleashes healing and delivering power. To stop the endless talking, to let go, and allow ourselves to seem lazy in the eyes of get 'er done, graceless Christianity - might very well save our health. It will at the very least preserve our soul, and renew our strength.

I want my life to mirror the beauty of the Lord. Waters with little motion are the most reflective.

He Maintains My Soul...

"He leads me beside still waters..." a photo taken on our anniversary getaway.

I have been soaking in some old, familiar passages lately. They come to life for me, repeatedly, and bring me great hope and consolation. One of these familiar mainstays is Psalm 23:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I have been smitten by the phrase, "He restoreth my soul". The concept of stillness has been overtaking my thoughts these days - this whole idea of being still before God, and being still before my circumstances.

You cannot be still without a fully restored soul. A less-than-restored soul is a soul that frets, fears, fumes and flails about for a solution, and panics when no solution is in sight. An unrestored soul is anything BUT still.

You cannot restore your own soul. Such a dilemma...

I bring you good tidings - good news! GOD is fully committed to the full time job of soul restoration. If you look up that precious Hebrew word "restore", you will find a connotation that of "over and over again and again". In fact, I counted up the number of times, in the mere definition of the Hebrew word "restore", that the word "again" is utilized: twenty times.

Again and again and again and again and again and....you get the idea. God restores my soul as often as necessary. This "restoring my soul" thing is a Self-designated focus of the Lord of the universe. He considers it His ongoing, daily avocation...the thing He delights to do for me. This Lord is my shepherd....oh, I shall not want!

Over and over, every day, again and again, twenty times a day and more, the Lord wants to refresh and revive you. He will, time and again, pick up your disheveled soul, dust it off, and set it to rights. He longs to breathe new life into you - right now. And then again. And then again.

Oh saint, do you hear me?

It is his avocation (not by constraint, but willingly He shepherds you, dear one!) to cheer you, enliven you, prod and quicken your spirit. He enjoys rejuvenating you, invigorating you, healing and rebuilding you, and He considers it His good pleasure to do it over and over and again and again and again.

Consider yourself rebuilt and reinstated, oh crumbled soul! Be strengthened, twenty times over, by the very hand of the Good Shepherd.

He restoreth my soul!

We Said I Do ~ She Said Yes

Twenty-two years ago yesterday, Tim and I said "I do". We got to celebrate our 22nd anniversary in a very interesting way...22 years ago, her father and I said "I Do"...

22 years later, she said "...yes..."

Justin McConnell, and our daughter Hannah ~ engaged 11-08-2008!
Proud Papa...relieved Papa...(that Justin's a good man!)

We're blessed...

The LORD is My Righteousness

Such an appropriate old hymn, after the rousing grace-message my Tim preached on Sunday...

I Once Was a Stranger by Robert McCheyne (live link to Cyberhymnal)

(Jehovah Tsidkenu, the LORD my Righteousness)

I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In thee I shall conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.

Let My Birthweek Begin!

Gift card for a pedicure...God loves me silly.

Just call me Achsah. It'll make sense when you're finished reading.

Today's my birthday. Actually, its my birthweek, because I don't just have birthdays. God began giving me gracious gifts yesterday...the first one came in the form of a very tender conversation with my precious daughter Sarah. She quietly came into my room, where I was sitting by my little electric fireplace doing my typical Sunday morning Bible reading. What she said to me brought both a smile and a tear. It was bittersweet. She is so not in an easy season of life, but that girl of mine is willing to make the "tough calls" - she steps up to the plate every time, she leads when sometimes no one else will, and she has always ultimately chosen the fear of the Lord.

To have a daughter who will come and sit down and tell her mom, in detail, all that is going on in her heart? I am blessed among women...I do not deserve it, I have not earned it, but God has given me daughters who honor Him.

Then the Lord gave me a word from His Word to me - an intensely private and infinitely valuable word, one that brought me to more grateful tears. I think my make-up stayed on all of five minutes. It was gone BEFORE I even left for church yesterday.

Then, yesterday afternoon, my oldest son got a haircut. Just for his momma. Oh, outrageous joy! I was over the moon...stay tuned, because I intend to post a picture of this man, who with a haircut, is "GQ material" - fer shure.

Then I was lavished with love-gifts at church:

More love-gifts,I tenderly placed where I'd enjoy them every day:

I am now loaded with a personal, private stash of "narcotics for mothers" :

Then I had surf n' turf, cooked for me by friends...I believe I went home a full jeans-size larger. Once home from dinner, I came home to a berry cake made for me by my OTHER daughter, Hannah...she cleaned my bedroom and bath...got me a new book....and then a set of CD's on the life of Ruth Bell Graham.

...and best of all, each of my four children pitched in to get this:

Can you see it, in the back? Yup. A generous gift card to the local spa. Ohhhh, baby. This momma is now officially spoilt plumb rotten. Children, you do this to me every single year. Thank you....you know I adore each of your unique little selves. I love you so stinking much it hurts. Loving you will always hurt me more than it hurts you....HA! I love you with a ferocity that leaves me feeling helpless, and I will love you like this forever. Think about that.

And the day is not over. I have to leave...right now....to have lunch with my mother. My sons are hatching yet more birthday delights for me, to be revealed at some later time today. My husband cryptically keeps saying, "The day's just getting started...this day is far from over!"

So like Achsah...I have decided that "more" is an okay thing to ask for and to enjoy. "Father, you have given me so much. Give me also this other thing my heart asks of You!" This abundant, blessed, "more" kind of birthday is special beyond description.

"More" later...

And it came to pass, when Achsah came to her father...Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou? And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs. (Judges 1: 14, 15)