Thursday, May 2, 2024

Gratitude Journal-January 2024

I can't believe four months have flown by since I last posted! And in that post I expressed a desire to get back to writing and posting more often. Then, life happened! The scripture really is true, we are blind to what awaits us tomorrow. We can make plans, the Bible says, but it's God who directs our steps. The months have flown by filled with plans, appointments and events written in the calendar squares of my planner. Unexpected events and the needs of others around me fill in some of the empty spaces. Happy times, hard times, ordinary days filled with repetitious tasks, each one is sprinkled liberally with gifts from God. The greatest one of all, the one that could go at the top of every day's gratitude list is, He is with me.
He is with me. Always. Every moment. Every day. Every high. Every low. 

It's important to me to record, not just in my paper journal, but here in this online space, God's goodness. So better late than never, here is January's list of blessings.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-a lazy day home together
-a pot of healthy veggie soup after the rich holiday foods
-a brisk walk-no rain!
-a phone chat with my two California granddaughters

-a FaceTime chat with my youngest granddaughter about her upcoming birthday
-a long chat and prayer with N
-God at work in and through the hard things

-homemade granola
-NEWNESS-my word for this new year
-a break in the rain for my walk

-women praying together every Thursday morning
-early morning birdsong
-a young mama and her busy little boy coming over for tea and a visit
-fog resting on the river
-chicken and dumplings 

-a good night's sleep
-a slow, lazy Friday date day morning
-stovetop popcorn
-a miraculous healing of my nephew's heart!

-a long phone chat with a friend
-new plant pots for my plant babies
-reading a good book

-the power of God's presence
-such a good word about ascending on the way
-Sunday afternoon rest

-cozy candlelight
-warm oatmeal on a cold, rainy morning
-a day of working on notes for tomorrow's meeting
-trying a new to me dessert recipe
-groups texts with our family about the Washington Huskies game

-God's provision
-God's help and strength leading our monthly meeting in spite of a migraine
-talking with my husband about what God is showing him

-texts with our oldest granddaughter
-our youngest granddaughter saying she want us to get her "a real horse" for her birthday
-a new to us dinner recipe that we both loved

-praying together
-a good brisk walk with our dog
-finding her lost collar

-a sweet date day morning
-my grandson so excited that there will be a full moon for us to look at together 
when I visit them later this month
(seen in the photo above!)
-a sweet FaceTime chat with my two South Carolina grandsons

-a quiet snowy morning, sipping coffee, praying, reading my Bible, journaling
-cleaning house and making homemade split pea and ham soup with some homemade bread
-a phone call with my California granddaughters
-Face time calls with my East Coast daughters and grandkids

-meeting on Zoom for church due to the snow-such a good word and discussion!
-some of the youth kids from church popped by and helped eat up our Sunday dinner ❤️
-all power outages restored

-the weather cleared up enough to run an errand
-our nine year old grandson's crazy adventures, (involving him and a friend and some bear spray!), 
that made us all laugh so hard 
-a warm home, hot water, electricity

-a good night's sleep
-a cup of my favorite tea brought to me by my guy
-the neighborhood kids and families skating on the pond behind our house

-waking up headache free
-a procrastinated task finished
-making plans with my grandkids to make cinnamon rolls when I visit them

-clear enough roads to run errands
-another headache free day
-cozy quiet moments after a busy day

-no weather complications for our flight
-a fun date day together
-God's work in us

-buying our granddaughter a new winter coat
-getting to see so many friends at the memorial service
-the legacy of a life lived wholeheartedly loving and following Jesus
-a FaceTime chat with our youngest grandson

-a powerful word
-lunch with friends
-Sunday evening with my guy

-sweet compliments from my husband
-God's work in Growth Group
-all packed and ready for tomorrow's flight 

-a safe, uneventful flight to Jacksonville
-my grandkids meeting me at baggage claim, running to me yelling, "Nana!" and giving me big hugs
-chatting with my youngest daughter

-a walk with my girl
-a nap (jet lag!)
-snuggling and watching B.F.G. with my youngest granddaughter
-playing play dough and singing with my grandkids

-walking and exercising with my daughter
-new school shoes for my granddaughter 
-generous Papa making sure we have money for treats
-buying bubblegum and trying to teach my grandkids how to blow bubbles
-looking at the "wolf moon" with my grandkids

-some quiet time with the Lord while everyone else was still asleep
-an afternoon of baking with my youngest granddaugher

-homemade pizza night and a movie with my daughter and granddaughters

-our youngest granddaughter's fifth birthday!

-homemade cinnamon rolls for birthday breakfast

-a beautiful 80 degree day to go to Big Talbot Beach for the afternoon

-our middle daughter and her two youngest kids arrived safely to our youngest daughter's house

-beautiful worship 
-my grandsons telling each other, "I love you."
-a wonderful post birthday dinner and celebration

-a good report from home
-my oldest grandson facetiming me

-a refreshing morning walk
-playing in the sunny backyard with my youngest grandson

-pho soup for dinner
-oldest granddaughter calling

-some quiet time with the Lord
-dinner at my daughter's in-law's
-our grandkids having so much fun with the neighbor kids
-my daughter giving the grandsons haircuts

-God's provision for us
-our middle daughter and her boys having a safe trip home
-helping in my grandson's classroom making 100 days of school T-shirts
-working with my daughter on some projects around the house

still following,

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Weekly Gratitude Journal-December 2023 Edition

We are already halfway through January 2024 and I'm just now sitting down to post the last of 2023's gratitude journal posts. God is so good and so kind and so faithful-way beyond anything we could earn or deserve. There is no way I could thank Him enough for His watchful and affectionate and steadfast care for us, our family, our extended families and our church family. The discipline of writing down at least three things that I'm thankful for each day doesn't even scratch the surface of His many, many kindnesses and blessings to me, to us.

This week some old blog posts of mine popped up on my Facebook memories. When I read some of my old writings I realized I am missing taking the time to sit down and write. I think that writing is my primary way of creative expression and my primary way of processing my thoughts as well, which is why I journal. I never intended this blog to become a place where I only post my gratitude journal entries, though it's the one thing I refuse to let go of. I want to not only be faithful to thank God privately as I write my thanksgiving down in my gratitude journal, but publicly as I repost here. I want others to see that there is always something to be thankful for. As for the other stuff I used to post, writing, photography, recipes, home decor, I still love all of those things. I'm not promising, but perhaps in 2024, I'll pop in here a bit more often, God willing. 
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-It's December!
-lunch with my sister and brother-in-law
-God realigning my mind and heart in my quiet time

-my oldest brother-today is his birthday!
-a fun day of antiquing and Christmas shopping with a friend
-a long FaceTime chat with my 6 year old grandson

-a dear young mama delivered her baby boy safely and unexpectedly at home
-a powerful word from the Lord
-lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant

-a Christmas bouquet of foraged greens (see photo above)
-a wonderful walk while listening to a favorite podcast
-writing November's gratitude post, (finally!), while my husband watches a ball game

-God hearing and answering prayer
-my middle brother-today is his birthday!
-dinner with our school parents

-a clear word from the Lord about staying in the eye of the storm in the midst of the chaos on the earth
-God answering prayer re. our yard and the county work going on
-my six year old grandson reading his book to us on facetime
-dinner with my niece-in-law and the head of our school

-our nephew-today is his birthday!
-baking bread
-holding baby P for the first time
-having a young couple from the church over for dinner

-the descriptions of Jesus in Revelation 1
-a really good night's sleep
-a nice Friday date day together

-my nephew and niece-in-law coming to my rescue when my knife magnet and all my knives fell off the wall and behind my stove! 
-a phone chat with my two California granddaughters
-a photo of my granddaughter all dressed up for her school's winter formal
-a wonderful Cozy Christmas gathering with all of the women from our church

-texts from my oldest granddaughter
-powerful worship and word
-a Sunday afternoon nap

-the county completed a retaining curb/wall between our side yard and the side walk
-a beautiful evening walk

-a yummy bowl of chili 
-my fourteen year old granddaughter's funny voicemail greeting

-finishing all of the Christmas cards for our church family
-a beautiful, blue sky day
-a lovely walk and talk with God
-going to half price movie night together

-a cozy fire in the fireplace
-tea, good conversation and prayer 
-God speaking to my heart in a powerful way on my walk

-early morning prayer together
-baking cinnamon rolls for our school's silent auction
-our church family
--facetiming with my daughter and grandkids

-driving into, through, and up out of a huge fog bank on our way to the beach
-using the last of a gift card from friend's on our lunch
-a stunningly beautiful day for a long walk by the sea

-God's help to accomplish what I needed to get done this morning
-a wonderful meal of homemade Puerto Rican food and fellowship with a dear couple from our church
-this beautiful day

-watching my grandson sing in the kid's choir at his church via lifestream
-a fun outing to Pittock Mansion in Portland all decorated for Christmas

-family and friends Christmas cards all finished!

-God's provision and blessing
-my Christmas cactus in blooming

-Chinese food and good conversation with a couple from church

-texts with our oldest grandson
-tests and photos from our daughter who is on a cruise in Europe
-God's protection from an accident on the freeway
-a phone call from my oldest brother

-a beautiful, sunny day in Kirkland/Bellevue on our little pre-Christmas getaway

-a lovely sunset dinner at Anthony's on Lake Washington

-getting to see the Christmas boats as we ate

-a safe trip home
-receiving Christmas cards in the mail
-the county is all done in our yard!
-a winter solstice evening walk-Christmas lights glowing in the fog and the smell of wood burning fireplaces

-being with my guy
-baking Cranberry Cinnamon bread

-"Christ is Born" sung to the tune of Nessun Dorma)

-a phone call with my youngest brother
-a phone call with my oldest sister
-an amazing gift in the mail from my brother-a handmade wood bowl

-a call to my guy from his best friend

-a beautiful Christmas Eve breakfast, devotions and communion with our church family
-a Christmas Eve walk
-a lovely dinner and great visit with my sister and brother-in-law

-Thank You, God, for sending Jesus! Thank You, Jesus, that You came!
-facetiming with our oldest daughter and granddaughters
-facetiming with our middle daughter and grandkids
-cinnamon cranberry bread toasted and spread with marmalade
-prime rib, roasted potatoes and caesar salad for Christmas dinner
-picking up friends from the airport

-a gift from my guy that I love
-God's care, provision and blessing
-God answering my prayer for a friend

-a nice walk before the rain began
-tea and good conversation with my friend from California
-God speaking to my heart through our conversation

-crepes for breakfast
-our cozy home
-this quiet week between Christmas and New Year's

-a relaxing Friday date day
-new running shoes
-a refreshing evening walk

-breakfast and deep heart conversation with friends
-facetime calls form our three youngest grandkids
-a heart talk with my girl
-all of the Christmas decor is put away for another year

-such a beautiful time of worship
a convicting word from the Lord
-lunch with two dear to us couples
-a really fun New Year's Eve gathering
-God's faithful care for us through 2023

still following,