Count Your Blessings| Recounts Are OK

Count Your Blessings Recounts are OKI adore birthdays and celebrating, yet this year dread threatened to detach my joy.  I am naturally an optimistic person. Birthdays are reasons to refill one’s glass and toast to life, love, and God’s amazing grace. So why was I feeling glum about this birthday? I don’t know.

Taking a cue from the sign in my kitchen I decided to count my blessings.

Research proves gratitude is a powerful influence on mental health.  I decided to list forty-three things for which I am grateful.  At first, the list lurched and stopped, like someone learning to drive a manual transmission. Then, the blessings flowed faster than I could write.

 

Gratitude is a powerful influence on mental health. Click To Tweet

Count Your Blessings

Here is my list:

Taste and see the Lord is god

Today I woke
Able to walk today
Being able to smile
Faith anchored in Christ
God’s amazing grace
God’s provision
God’s chronic presence in my chronic illness

Quiet mornings and #CoffeeWithJesus
Chris, my beloved and rock
Rachel, the compassionate “noticer”
Andrew’s strong-willed analytical mind
I’ve never missed a soccer or softball game in three years.
My family
True friends

JOY

Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Our one-level home
Finding Joy
Laugher
Coffee
Daisies
Fiddle Tunes & Irish music

Travel memories to Ireland, Hawaii, Canada, Eh!
The sound of wooden roller coasters
The crunch of walking on leaves
Beachcombing
Waterfalls
Strolling on cobblestone paths
Tiramisu

80’s music and Flip Flops

Encouraging words
Chocolate
Journals
Books
Colored Pens

Sewing
Stained glass
Hammock naps
Handmade anything
Hydrangeas
Chris’ garden
Grandma’s quilts
Mama’s pickles

Join me in counting our blessings. Recounts are okay.

~April White

Copyright 2018 April Dawn White| Images by author & Pixabay

Give Your Child The World: Book Review & Giveaway

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By April Dawn White

As a mother of two middle school children, I am excited to set sail on a new adventure beyond our normal routine of school and sports/music practice. Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time is a treasure trove of books. Author Jamie C. Martin, inspired by her Dad’s sense of adventure and her Mom’s interest in books, embarks the reader on an international journey from your home or local library.

As a wife Martin’s interest in raising globally minded kids continued as family members were added beyond international boarders. Jamie and her husband Steve (from England) have three children; one biological and two adopted from different countries. Their family of five represents four nationalities. Martin describes her family as a “Mini-United Nations.” Martin’s love for people, cultures, children, and reading is what prompted her to write this brilliant book.

Martin compares a multi-cultural reading list like a well-spread buffet. @jamie_cmartin Click To Tweet “Where hungry diners browse the offerings and take what looks appetizing” (page 45). In the chapter The Joy of Other Lands, Martin details how the recommended books are categorized and chosen. The subsequent chapters of the book represent different continents or geographical areas of the world. She also included a general multicultural chapter of books without a specific location but convey a global theme. The reading lists are organized by age range; 4-6 years, 6-8, 8-10, and 10-12.give-your-child-the-world-image_2

 

 

Martin carefully selected “Books that convey the culture in which they take place with both inspiration and depth.” Only, “Titles that have lasting power–meaning they have been around long enough to prove themselves on the market” were chosen (page 47). By relying on professional reviews such as Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Booklist, her book selection has merit in the publishing and education system.

 

Chapters five through twelve set sail through the Pacific waters of Australia and Polar Regions, voyage to Latin America, weave dreams in Asia, dance for rain in Africa, star gaze in Europe, sway to the silent music of the Middle East, and hitch our wagons across the prairies of North America. The four indexes in Give Your Child the World, provide a detailed cross-reference for an Author index, Country/Region index, Historical index, and Title index.

Give Your Child the World is a treasure trove of recommended multi-cultural reading, sure to whet your appetite for international travel. Jamie C. Martin skillfully designed, Give Your Child the World, as a unique resource for parents, homeschooling families, and teachers to raise a world-changer one book at a time.

Giveaway Details Below!

Drawing for a Free Book by Jamie C. Martin

I am giving away one copy of Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin. Winners will be announced on September 30 2016. You can enter for a free drawing three ways:

  • SUBSCRIBE to Red Chair Moments.com (with your first name and email address) and you will receive a weekly dose of spiritual medicine for a healthy soul.
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  • If you are already a subscriber, but don’t have a social media accounts, e-mail me at RedChairMoments@gmail.com to submit one entry for the giveaway.

40 New Things

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
(Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

Robed in white, I secured my personal belongings in a dark mahogany locker and waited my turn. The dimmed lights and soft music suggested a spa atmosphere instead of a medical facility. This would be one of my forty new experiences.

All of a sudden I felt grown up. When did that happen? I was about to experience a rite of passage for all women. Lisa, the technician called my name.  Cinching my robe tighter, I shuffled into her dark lair.

Often, I use humor when facing awkward situations. I exclaimed with apprehensive excitement, “Congratulations Lisa, you made my list! I’ve decided to try forty new things this year and you, my dear are part of it!” Curious, Lisa asked about my list.

Over the next several minutes I went on to explain that I’ve decided to try forty new things this year! Forty new things, because I will turn forty-years-old this year.

I shared with Lisa, earlier this year our pastor, offered this challenge: “You should never stop taking first steps.” A few days later I heard Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, utter these words: “You cannot fulfill God’s calling in your life from your comfort zone.”  Like flies on sticky tape, those two statements clung to my mind.

Leaning forward Lisa asked, “How many things do you have on your list?” “Around twenty five,” I replied “maybe a few more, not bad considering it’s only June right?”

I shared how embracing the title as a writer was my first new step for 2015.

“April, I’m so glad I met you. What else is on your list?” Sensing I needed to lighten the mood (mine not hers) I spoke of our recent cruise to the Bahamas, our first cruise with the kids. We snorkeled in the Caribbean and swam at the Atlantis. During mealtime my kids suggested I order the strangest item on the menu touting “Mom, remember new things.” So I ate fried alligator, which you guessed it, tasted like chicken.

Forgetting the reason I was in this medical office, I laughed about celebrating my friend’s fiftieth birthday over dinner at Cedars of Lebanon and participating in my first Paint-Nite. This was a double hitter of first new experiences. Lisa asked for my contact information and I gladly offered her my card.  It was time to get down to the reason I was there.

This will be the first of several posts chronically my new forty new things. I hope you return to learn what else God has up his holy sleeve!

“For we live by faith not by sight.” 
(2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV)

Trying something new requires the initial hesitate step outside our comfort zone. God is teaching me to step out in faith and let Him take care of the outcomes.

What new steps do you feel nudged to take? Let’s talk, reply below.

~April

Connect with me email redchairmoments@gmail.com

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/RedChairMoments

Colorado Mountain Ambush

SN0A1702My husband and I recently returned from a vacation in Colorado. Our friends invited us to spend a week with them skiing in the Rocky Mountains and we gladly accepted. Praise God for Grandparents who watched our children!

Our ski pass enabled us to ski at various resorts in the area. On our third day of skiing we traveled to the Keystone Resort. A few minutes before 3:00 pm Chris and I decided to take the Outpost Gondola over to the North Peak. We had not skied this mountain yet and we were looking forward to something new. The gondola attendant reminded us that the North Peak is a blue/black trail only. We were advised the gondola closes at 3:00 pm. We would have no other choice but the ski back. No problem we thought.

To our surprise, only one slope was open. All the other slopes on the North Peak were closed, due to poor visibility. The gondola was close and we had no choice but to ski down. I’ve been skiing since I was a teenager and yet I prefer to stay on the green (easy) or blue (more difficult) trails. I have never skied a black diamond trail (most difficult) nor, do I have any desire to ski outside my comfort zone.

My palms felt damp inside my insulated gloves. I gripped the ski poles and began to sweat nervously. “You go first.” I said to my husband. I watched as Chris pushed off with his snowboard down a slope looked more like a cliff. I was scared. “Nice and easy” I told myself. I slowly descended the mountain, carving back and forth in the powdered snow.  Fear and intimidation flooded my mind. I had to remove those thoughts as I descended from 12,000 feet. I began to sing a song to Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…and courage even on this slope at Keystone.”

Once at the base of the mountain we looked at the trail map to discover we’d been ambushed! Literally! The slope we had skied was a black diamond slope called Ambush! I could not believe it! Nervous exhilaration raced through me as I realized what a great accomplishment this was for me (and without falling)!  Had I known the only slope open on this mountain was a black diamond I would have never attempted it. Fear and intimidation would have held me back.

The next morning I tip toed to the living room for my coffee date with God. Would you believe that the condo actually had a red chair! The current Bible study is titled No Other Gods by Kelly Minter, and the topic for this week: Lies, Fear, Intimidation, and Deception. The relevance is not lost on me. The evil one likes to use these tactics to keep us from reaching our greater purpose.  I think his favorite tactic is deception and Timothy agrees. In his letter, 1 Timothy 2:13-14, Timothy refers to Eve as “the woman who was deceived.”  Here is how Kelly describes deception on page 62 of No Other Gods:burglar-Pixabay

Deception is very, well…deceiving. Michael Wells of Abiding Life Ministries says one of the most profound things; ‘Satan will tell us what’s true, but he never tells us the truth.’ Let that sink in for a moment. If you’re currently struggling with your finances, you might think something along these lines… I don’t have enough money to pay my bills this month; I’m going to lose everything. It might be true that you don’t have enough money to pay your bills, but the truth is that God will take care of your every need (see Matthew 6:25-30).

Satan will tell us what's true, but he never tells us the truth.-Michael Wells Click To Tweet

The evil one wants to ambush our thoughts and fill our minds with deception, fear, lies and intimidation. Don’t fall for his trap. It will hold you back from God’s greater purpose for your life. Keep your mind filled with truth, God’s truth.

“The thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, ESV)

This article originally posted on www.RedChairMoments.com

*Scripture is ESV from Bible Gateway.

*Images courtesy of author and Pixabay.

© 2013 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

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