instagram of pies, pie instagram, blackberry pie, apple pie, making pie

Eyes Wide Open

fall leaves, red leaves blue sky instagram, being grateful

I’ve been trying to hold my eyes wide open this week to see the good in the world.

Though I am constantly trying to cultivate a heart of thanks, it’s more than being grateful.

I am also fighting to stay in the light.

Praying for eyes to see and ears to hear.

Beautiful things.

Here are a few of the amazing things I’ve seen lately.


kenya relief team from arkansas, being grateful

Our church sent this beautiful group of people to Kenya over a week ago.  Several of these faces are precious to me.  Each time one of them posts a picture to Instagram, my heart jumps.  I can’t wait to hear their stories and watch the way God will continue to unfold their hearts in the weeks ahead.

kenya relief orphanage, mission trip, being grateful

I also followed the Compassion Bloggers’ trip to Peru last week.  On the Compassion trips, the bloggers tell stories while they are there, which is amazing to me.  Here are just a couple of the stories I really loved.  The Best Christmas Present Ever and Woven

cutie yard sale signs, being grateful

These two cuties had a yard sale a couple of weeks ago to raise money to go to the Invisible Children Rally in Washington DC. They made cupcakes and cookies, pillaged their friends’ closets and houses in order to make this happen.  Then we got to follow them as they went.  I love to see enthusiasm for change in the place of hopelessness.

invisible children rally instagram, being grateful

My small group and I finished up our Beth Moore study a couple of weeks ago, and of course the end of the study was filled with many bits of wisdom that I felt must have been written/said just for me.  I continue to be amazed as I go back through this study and the book of James at how rich it has been.

yellow leaves, fall color, leaf instagram, being grateful

Singing in the choir this week was unusually moving.  Current circumstances that made it difficult to get up and sing actually made the practice of choosing song so healing.  We sang rich words and I love being surrounded by rich voices singing them.  Sometimes I think I just sing in the choir to be held up by these other beautiful men and women.

community thanksgiving dinner, being grateful

We had a community Thanksgiving dinner at church last Sunday night, and I was overwhelmed by a room full of sweet faces, gathering to eat, but also to share space with each other in love.  Community at its very best.

And a few more gifts from this week:

Going to a banquet to benefit foster kids who are aging out of the foster care system (Immerse Arkansas) and visiting with friends afterwards

Being treated to the most exquisite meal and lavishly laid table by my book club host over the weekend

Lots of homecomings

A Boulevard Bread Company breakfast sandwich with friends

Playing about 150 games of Nertz when the kids got out of school for a couple of extra days last week due to a broken water main downtown

Apple butter from a friend on Taido’s hot biscuits

Yellow leaves so pretty they make me cry, and sunshine on fire red ones

Hearing my Grandmother pray for our team in Kenya

Lots of time in the kitchen with my mom and aunt

being grateful, instagram of pies, pie instagram, blackberry pie, apple pie, making pie

I will still be counting and collecting gifts all day long.  Not just because it is Thanksgiving, but because it is the way I remember that God is always good.  Just when I think I can’t see it, He is faithful to remind me again.  I’m trying to keep my eyes wide open to see.

Happy Thanksgiving!

instagram creds: @taidochino @rcbcca @anthonyvalley @fellowshipnorth @michellelfoster @whitneyloibner @bcchino @marypollychino