Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giving thanks for beauty in the storm...

An out of town friend and I took an impromptu trip to the beach last Monday.
That afternoon it got quite stormy.
Determined to not let the weather get the best of us,
we bundled up and walked on the beach anyway.
We started walking, facing into the wind and laughing at all the effort it took to walk just a quarter mile.
Walking back to the car, the wind at our back, was almost effortless.

Boy, do I love it when life is effortless, when progress is made with little output of energy on my part.
But those times are rare.
More often than not, there's a storm to be faced in some area of life.
At times, it's tempting to stay inside and burrow into the comfort and safety of home.
However, I've found that when I bundle up,
 face the storm and choose to give thanks and find joy in the midst of whatever I'm facing,
 I inevitably end up experiencing something beautiful in the midst of it all.

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)


-the Hub's encouragement for me to do fun things 
-a safe trip to Lincoln City
-the beach still beautiful in the midst of a stormy afternoon
-staying up 'til 2am talking to my friend

-a good night's sleep
-a run on the beach in much better weather
-a car that gets good gas mileage
-a safe trip home
-coming home to the Hubs who had a fire in the fireplace and flowers for me

-praying with my friend who was having a biopsy for possible cancer
-a sunny, frosty morning
-the Dr. pretty sure that she does not have cancer
-a toasty warm fire in the fireplace

-youngest granddaughter who's vocabulary is growing every day
-not feeling well, staying home and resting  
-helpful friends

-feeling much better
-dinner and a movie with the Hubs
-blue skies, cold days, Mt. Hood showing off

-confirmation from the dr. that my friend's biopsy was negative for cancer
-having fun with the two oldest grands rather than finishing my chores
-tuna melts, tomato soup and popcorn for lunch with the grands
-running around our local fitness trail with the Hubs and the grands on this cold but beautiful day

-the first peppermint blizzard from DQ of the season - a tradition with the grands

-praying with some hurting women at church
-lunch at Mod Pizza with a dear couple from church
-God speaking some more to my heart about my word for 2014

still following,

See how to enter my giveaway for this beautiful Ghanaian Market Basket by clicking on the photo.

Join the community of gratitude gatherers here...


  1. I love your insights and your heart, Elizabeth. I'm always blessed when I visit your blog. Thank you, and may your Thanksgiving be wonderful..... xoxo

  2. Facing any storm is not always easy but it sure is great when it is behind you..... great post again. You have much to be thankful for. Enjoyed your blessing roll. Have a great one! Blessings to you!

    1. Bless you and thank you, Patty. Yes, I love when we get through the storm, and don't we always get through as long as we keep putting on foot in front of the other with our eyes on Jesus!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ginger. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  4. Love your words and your photos! I've walked in storms on that beach and I know how much easier life would be if we could 'walk away' from the storm! But, He says He will be in the storm with us - and that's all we need!

    1. So true! He's our refuge in the storm. Love you, friend.

  5. Ahhh 'Lizbeth..... Such good reminders about the "storms"....
    And I'm glad you mentioned the "word" for 2014. I really must get ON that. (Not that I couldn't profit from yet another year of "gracioius-ness"...)

    1. Of friend, you seem brimming with graciousness to me!

  6. I enjoyed your thoughtful observations on your beach walk, Elizabeth. Life has so much to teach us when we are willing to just step into it the way you did that day. There's so much meaning in even the small things. I admire your daily mindfulness. So glad you came by!

    1. Your beautiful blog always inspires me Jacqueline!

  7. Such joy to count gifts right beside you and a gift to meet you too...xo

  8. A beautiful list for me to read this morning. I praise God with you for the cancer free news for your friend from the doctor. He's worthy of praise regardless of the test results, I know, but it's so wonderful to have the "easy" thanks, isn't it?

  9. I love your photos of the blue gray sea here.
    Great words of wisdom about pressing into the stormy winds of life.


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