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A heart for cleaning & 343 - 368

 A while back a friend told me that she loved cleaning.  She said, "nothing would make me happier than a whole day to myself - just to clean".  I looked at her cross eyed and hoped she couldn't tell that I thought she was totally and completely nuts.  I struggle with just keeping a clear path to my bed.  However, I decided to start praying that God would give me a heart for cleaning...that somehow, I could actually enjoy the process.  This is probably going to be hard to believe, but he answered my prayer!  A few months ago I realized that I actually enjoy the process of cleaning.  Perhaps it is because it is the one area of my life that I can make a visible difference?  Or maybe the homemaking accountability list I joined with friends? Whatever it is, I was shocked when I realized (while tidying up a pile of toys one more time) that I was doing it because I felt like doing it!  
     If it worked for cleaning, could it work for cooking?  Saying I struggle with cooking is putting it lightly. I loathe much so that I was scared to pray God would change my heart.  I didn't want my faith to waver when he let it go unanswered.  But last night, while cutting peppers, I thought to myself "these sure are pretty".  Maybe I'll pull an Ann Voscamp and take some pictures.  I spent the next 20 minutes taking pictures of peppers, tomatos, corn and even broccoli.  As you can see from the photos below, I have not been graced with Ann's talent in photography, but I totally and completely enjoyed the process.  I don't know if I will have a blast making dinner every night, but I do think that God is as at work in my heart.  Once I realized I was enjoying the beauty of the peppers I decided to see how many gifts one bowl of vegetables could bring to mind - So here goes:

343. The beauty of God's creation
344. The ability to use my hands
345. "Little trees" - how Cole refers to Broccolli
346. Blake saying (just last night) "Mama, may I have some more broccolli"
347. Tomatos - Cole's favorite
348. Peppers - Blake's favorite
349. My salad spinner
350. Our weekly bowl of veggies
351. Friends who have eaten out of it
352. Cole growing (I don't have to steam them any more)
353. Walmart (where I got my bowl)
353. My best friend (Matt) who helped me pick it out
354. The cross (maybe its a stretch...but I see a cross in the middle of the bowl)
355. The shine on the tomatos
356. The Lord teaching me how to "shine"
357. The song "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine" and how much the boys love it
358. God's provision 
359. God's grace (I don't deserve his provision...we have not made the wisest financial decisions)
360. Hope in the financial area (thanks Jamie and Heather for teaching the Dave Ramsey class)
361. New friends (that I've been getting to know more at the Dave Ramsey class)
362. That God is answering my prayers (enjoying cooking and cleaning more)
363. We can talk to GOD!
364. God loves me
365. God is changing me
366. The fact that I could probably come up with 10, 000 more gifts that all stem from one bowl of vegetables
367. The fact that I don't have time to do so because Cole and Blake are up and laughing in their room.
368. Looking forward to my day with them and my church family.


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