Monday, July 22, 2013

Family reunion gratitude...

It's almost impossible not to give thanks when you realize that you're a living, breathing miracle,
when you realize you're surrounded by living breathing miracles.
With our family history, (you can read a bit about it here), the fact that my siblings and I love God, 
love each other, love our families and are fairly normal and functioning members of society
 is a testimony of God's grace!
The fact that we're able to shed a few tears as we talk about our shared experiences, 
as well as to laugh until our stomachs ache, is a testimony of God's healing in our lives.
I'm giving thanks for all that He's done for us and in us, 
for all that He continues to do,
and for all that He will do in the generations following us.

In 2012 I followed the prompts in Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare in counting my thanks.
In 2013 I'm going back to the way I did it in the beginning,
just noticing and recording the many extraordinary blessings in my ordinary life.
And so I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of them via my camera or iPhone)

-having lunch with a long time friend and being able to talk just like old times
-making Mama's oatmeal cookies for our family reunion
-watching a favorite t.v. show with the Hubs
-staying up late reading a good book

-baking bread

-cool sundresses on muggy afternoons
-fresh mint in my ice water

-making Mama's oatmeal cake, the recipe written in her own handwriting
-help from a friend to trim some branches on our cedar tree
-all packed up and ready to go to the reunion in the morning

-safe travels for all of us to the reunion
-gorgeous weather

-walking and playing on the beach with the kids

-a bonfire and s'mores

-a special breakfast made by my missionary brother and sister-in-law
-a walk on the beach alone having a good talk with Jesus, 
followed by time doing my She Reads Truth devotional out on the patio in the sun

-everything from serious topics to side splitting belly laughs as our family visits with one another
-a bonfire, s'mores, a huge bowl of popcorn

-a safe trip for youngest daughter as she joined us at the reunion
-a safe trip for the Hubs as he went home to be at church on Sunday
-morning clouds that cleared to afternoon sun
-the kids getting to swim

(I had to bribe my grandson, who is much too old and too big, 
to climb into this water toy for this silly photo)

-kite flying

-cousins bonding

-laughing until it hurts while playing a silly group game

-hugs goodbye and safe travels home
-taking our time on the drive home, stopping for lunch at Kyllo's
-a stranger telling us a way around a weekend traffic jam
-heart talks with youngest daughter as we drove home together
-A&W rootbeer favorite!
-vacation plans made and airline tickets found for a good price
-good reports about how church went today

Gratefully yours,



  1. I wonder if we were near you on the way home from the beach! We were north of you a ways for a wonderful weekend at the beach house of friends. So glad you had a wonderful time with your dear ones.

    1. We were in Waldport, friend. Where were you?

  2. Ok, blogger is playing games with me, I'll try again! This looks like my ideal vacation. I so need to be surrounded by happy people and no stress! I think that's my goal! I wouldn't mind a glass of ice water with mint...or a root beer float either....ooh and a nice swim in the pool. And where on earth is that beach????So peaceful!

    1. I pray that you will get the respite that you need! The beach in my photos is in Waldport, Oregon. A bit south of the beaches closest to Portland where I live, but a smaller, quieter area...had the beaches almost to ourselves much of the weekend, whereas the ones closer to Portland were pretty crowded due to the nice weather.

  3. Rejoicing with you over your awesome family reunion--what an absolute joy!

    And, yes, a great testimony to the healing and restorative power of our living Lord--

  4. Ok, you mentioned your oatmeal cake again and I made it and have to say, that ought to be listed as a controlled substance because it is certainly addictive. The house smelled so good that when my husband came home hours after I had cooked it, it still smell good enough that he had to ask about it. Thanks again for that great recipe.

    1. Oh, I'm so glad you like it! We all love it, too!

  5. You are blessed, truly. So inspiring and hopeful for families who still struggle! xo

    1. God has done so many amazing things in our lives. I truly am grateful.

  6. Looks like such a blessed time! I LOVE the ocean...spent some time there myself this past weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Elizabeth,
    What a lovely family and photos...what grace...Thanks for sharing :)


    1. Thanks so much, Dolly. You're a blessing and encouragement to me.

  8. Sundresses on muggy days and belly laughs are my two favorites. That's not to say that I valued them more. It's just that right about now, I really need a sundress and a belly laugh.

    1. Debbie, I hope you get a sundress and have some good fun and belly laughs before summer ends!


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