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All those life details

It's been a busy week and I haven't done any writing or counting. I'm realizing that I need to be more intentional at scheduling my time outside of work so that I can accomplish everything I want to. I think that this is a good problem because it means that I am spending enough time at work that I don't have such a surplus of free time that I can fritter it away and everything will still get done. It's a problem because I prefer the big picture to working out the details. When I have free time, I like to talk with my family and friends, read, head to Magic Waters for a swim, cook, watch something or play a game. I have noticed that I rarely, if ever, do things like return emails, pay bills, run errands, or clean my room when I don't plan them in advance. I just don't choose to do those sorts of things spontaneously. Even important things like studying my Bible, praying for family members by name, and writing down the things that God is talking to me about don't happen unless I intentionally choose to do them instead of something else.

I feel a loving rebuke from the LORD about how I am using my time. He gives it to me so generously and trusts me to steward it well. And, I think that I do, for the most part. But, some things have been neglected in recent weeks and that needs to stop. So, right here and right now, I choose to respond. I choose to plan for these important activities that nurture my intimacy with Jesus and strengthen my faith. I choose to make time to grow in His love and to be faithful in everything that He asks me to do. I choose to keep writing and counting gifts because it supports all of this goodness and fixes my eyes on God.

July 19: 3 gifts baked

  • I had dinner at Bistronomic in Chicago with two of my favorite, former co-workers and all of my baked gifts appeared during that meal. If you have the chance to check it out, I think that you will agree that it is quite a gift to enjoy a meal in this restaurant. (Un grand merci à mon ami Carine pour un bon diner et une belle soirée!)
    • #180: Fresh baguette with butter
    • #181: Tuna tartare with avocado in a little jar that looked like it came straight from the beach
    • #182: Braised lamb on a bed of couscous with little apple slices and cilantro on top
    • #183: A black and white crème brulé

July 20: A gift in light, dark, shadow

  • #184: A French breakfast on the patio, bathed in morning light
  • #185: A gift in dark at the end of the day when the heat is broken and quiet comes
  • #186: Finally finding a table under the awning at the City Market so we could rest while we enjoyed listening to Starlight Radio

July 21: 3 gifts of story

  • #187: Ava reporting on something that happened to her with great enthusiasm and bright eyes
  • #188: Fiction that makes you excited to get away with your book and escape to another world
  • #189: When other people share how God has spoken to them

July 22: 3 gifts understated

  • #190: Time with family, especially the girls
  • #191: Making a new recipe and hoping it turns out well
  • #192: Closing my eyes for just a few minutes in the middle of the day
  • #193: Having and gaining sister's-in-law

July 23: A gift high, low, far away

  • #194: Big fluffy, white clouds up in the sky
  • #195: Carpet deep enough to sink your toes into
  • #196: Countries and cities waiting to be explored

July 24: 3 gifts of sand

  • #197: The sandbox in the backyard that all the kids love to play in
  • #198: My favorite is the white sand that covers the beaches in and around Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Dreaming of going there again!
  • #199: Sand that weighs down the base of the umbrella on the deck, holding it down when the storm comes in hard and tries to blow everything away

July 25: 3 gifts of endings

  • #200: Sprinting for 30 seconds at the end of my run
  • #201:Finishing an engaging book that grabbed my imagination and has been tempting me to lose sleep in recent days
  • #202: When I'm finally done getting ready and can go

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