(This image from the blog Sofie's Haus)
What a great example of "Granny Chic"! I love the mix of color and even pattern. The blog, "Sofie's Haus" is one of the very best photography blogs I've run across - featuring lots of fashion and interior design. I swear, I love me a good Sofie outfit. Every one she puts together and then photographs is a study in style.
her girlfriends...and her best friend, The Preacher...and her children, her four plus two more sons in law...
for Snoopy cartoons...
and birthday presents that are still coming in...
for 25 years, this year, with her Renaissance Man - preacher, builder, musician, auto mechanic, handy man, world traveler, computer techie, Bible student, and sous chef...
Ford trucks, and most country music
the maxi dress, her big front porch, and smart phone
Sheila is fantastically grateful for her Grandson. The Cutest Ever. Even though he has already discovered biting. And squealing in rage. He's still perfect. Amen.
for her parents, sister, and brother
for petite blondes who drive Mustangs and make her smile and buy purple shirts especially for her son's basketball games. A better girlfriend a mother's son never had.
for nice girls from Minnesota, utterly brunette, visiting my home and family this Thanksgiving (Josiah, she's great!)
for the mighty, amazing, unending, unfathomable, better-than-we-know grace of God
and for the gospel of Jesus Christ, the effect of which is a true, unselfconscious, humble and durable holiness
that she serves a Joyful King
that she didn't earn and doesn't deserve, yet she is insanely and sloppily blessed
for the way her God breaks chains - even hers, even specifically hers. Those old bondages, so gone!
for the changes her God has made in her life this year - even this year, even specifically this year. Changes some would consider pretty near drastic. And beautiful.
for life-long, well weathered friendships...for the grace men and grace women who stick and stay...
for new friends...especially the outstandingly good looking and highly accomplished ones. They don't intimidate her, she's too busy taking notes and admiring them.
for new opportunities
for old friendships, rekindled...for uber talented friends who cook, garden, landscape, sew, love all my kids and spoil my grandson and blow up things on the fourth of July...
for friends with beautiful, kidney shaped swimming pools in their new party home...and for young college friends...
for a pastor with uncommon courage, a church family with uncommon love and faithfulness, a network of supportive apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers...
"In Which Sheila Declares" that she. is. blessed.
But know this: if the bedrock of those hopes is not the mighty grace of God, if you aren't building your dreams on His unmerited favor, you run a very great risk of obtaining every bit of what you've been hoping for, only to discover none of it satisfies.
Some have asked me, "What about my part? What about self discipline? What about setting high standards?" Mostly, they are entertaining a false choice to begin with. Shoot, people have left my church over that false choice, and it is truly a pity, because they are missing out. They couldn't understand that there is no choosing between God's grace and high personal achievement.
Whatever made you imagine for a second that the grace of God, when activated in your life, would leave you to your own devices, or set the bar too low? It is God, after all, who is living on the inside of you! It is God, after all, at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. He provides the initiative, He infuses the self control, and He gives strength to the weak. In that context, set the bar as high as it'll go.
Your part is to harbor a great and massive hope, ever move towards that hope, and believe the Gospel as applied to your present situation. All of Him, none of you. He alone is Maker.
Maker of all.
I have quite a store of hopes and dreams for this, my second half of living. I have caught a right fine second wind. Sequel-mothering suits me to a "T", my heart is enlarged for the generation that follows behind me, and doors of opportunity are swinging wide. I yearn to bring God GREAT glory with my one, well-lived life, spent loving others. I actually think I can do great things. Because this life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
See here: "Christ in me, the hope of glory!"
That's where my God-sized hope of accomplishing big things comes from.