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- The green freshness of spring is spreading quickly outdoors and within. I feel like I'm waking up and stretching, after being asleep for too long. Oh right! He does provide grace and wisdom! Yes! I remember now. He is the strength I've been missing. This is why I do all these things. Things that amount to nothing, if not being offered up as an offering of praise to my God.

- Along with my 1000 Gifts List, I've also read and studied a fantastic book. The Disciplined Life by Richard Taylor. Wow. This little book really hit home - hard. I would highly reccomend it to every one and any one. My small group book club was postponed until May, so I have more time to chew on the insights in this book. Some favorite quotes:

Our people too often get an emotional experience of “sanctification” which is totally unrelated in their thinking to any form of rugged self-denial. They are not apt to obtain genuine holiness of heart unless they see clearly in advance that holiness both implies and demands discipline, in all of its forms and facets and at all levels of daily living.

Regardless of how carefully controlled a person is at all other points, none can qualify for the high rating of a truly disciplined character whose tongue is not restrained by the bridle of prudence and directed by the reins of love. And this is scriptural.

It requires neither intelligence nor character to assert loudly, ‘No one can tell me what to do.’ But it requires both to submit to the inescapable and necessary constraints of society; and submit, not grudgingly, but graciously, with mature understanding and cheerful good will.

An unyielded will can never be strong in the best sense. It may be strong to defy, to destroy, to last out at whatever stands in its way. But it is not strong to adjust to life’s realities, to create beauty out of ugliness, to achieve over obstacles, to control self when frustrated, to work patiently and perseveringly in the face of difficulites.

Oh such wonderful insight!! I'm really looking forward to discussing it with my small group in a few weeks. And to putting some holy discipline into practice now!

- Cabbage is a much better taco topper to me becuase I prefer the taste and texture of it over lettuce. Plus a small head of cabbage is dirt cheap. When added to homemade tortillas, a bit of ground beef, salsa and a little cheese it makes for a very cheap meal. And a very tasty one.

and of course a few additions...

19. Lauren's little words

20. a clean kitchen in the morning

(and this is when I knew that my heart was moving in the right direction)

21. the smell of manure being spread on fields. Let me quickly explain...

Alyssa, Lauren and I passed a large filed being spread with manure after dropping Lael off at Friday School. Then the spreader truck pulled out in front of us and we had to follow it for maybe a half mile. The smell was so intense, I could hardly breathe. But rather than gagging, which was a feat on its own, I said "It's smelly but it means that spring is really here. And those farmers are going to grow lots of corn. Don't you like corn, Alyssa?" And on it went to discuss how much we like fresh produce in the summer, how the farmers are providing for their families, etc. ...

Fast forward a few hours later when we picked Lael up... we passed more fields being sprayed. Lael started to comment about the smell. Little Alyssa repeated what I said, word for word, about the corn growing and Lael followed with her favorite veggies in summer.

To then get to church Sunday morning and be pushed ( in a great way!) towards thankfulness rather than grumbling just sealed the deal. The Lord is definitely telling me to change things up around here. And I am so glad.


  1. Jackie,
    I just have to say that your blog is definetly a favorite of mine. I love to read about what the Lord is teaching you and you are so real about it. You talk about the stress and hard times as well as the high and free times in the Lord.
    I can tell the Lord is doing a great work in you and adding to your stature!! Praise God.

  2. I may borrow your thousand gifts plan. I have been really getting convicted more lately about how un-thankful I tend to be. I think this would be a great exercise for me. Thanks for the example :).

  3. I agree with Lori on the great example you are setting and I too may steal the idea.

    Also, what an amazing thing you guys did when you were able to turn around the icky smell of liquid manure (the worst kind in my opinion) to a God centered conversation! I hope that one day, I am able to think that way as well.

  4. @ Lori and Dawn - The 1000 Gifts idea isn't mine! Go to this blog - - and read Ann's blog. She is the one who started the idea. Ann is an amazing example of what can happen when you choose to see God in your surroundings. Her blog is beautiful and full of gratitude.

    Enjoy it!

  5. Jackie-

    The Disciplined Life sounds great!
    Like one of those books that are really hard to read, but so necessary and fruitful.

    I'm going to read it soon;
    after I finish revisiting Shepherding a Child's Heart.

    Another necessary, convicting, and life-changing book!
    Sarah D.

  6. I am really enjoying reading your lists of gratitude. There's nothing that inspires me to thankfulness more than hearing someone else find joy in the normal, everyday things of life. Thanks!

  7. Wow! Jack, this stuff is great! Really.


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