Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving week blessings 2018-

We had a beautiful, non traditional Thanksgiving at the beach with our middle daughter and her family. I did no cooking, as my daughter had purchased a pre-made Thanksgiving dinner to bring with us. Instead we played games with the grandkids, took beach walks and relaxed. As always, I am blessed above and beyond what I could ever earn or deserve by our loving, gracious God. Every day should be thanksgiving day-a day filled with gratitude to God.
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 four mile walk all over my little hometown with the grandkids
-all of today's errands done
-God's faithful provision
-delicious homemade Hawaiian food with the young married couples from our church 

-She Reads Truth Give Thanks devotional
-making homemade hand pies
-a need to trust God to meet
-our small group

-a cup of Starbucks for the road
-a safe drive to the beach
-being with our second born and her family for Thanksgiving

-Thanksgiving Day!-Thank You, Father for your love for me! Thank You, Jesus, My Savior and Friend! 
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for dwelling in me.
-a rainy beach walk with the family
-an easy, peasy restaurant pre-made dinner
-playing the memory matching game with my four year old grandson, who always wins!
-another beach walk to walk off the pumpkin pie!

-Amazon Black Friday shopping in my pajamas while sipping coffee!
-a safe drive home from the coast
-snuggling in bed with a cup of hot tea and a Hallmark movie to watch

-Jesus' peace is my portion (John 14:27)
-a friend running an errand for me
-an invitation to go to the movies with the grandkids

-lots of ladies' signed up for our Ladies' Christmas party
-snuggles with youngest grandson-which is rare since he's always moving!

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Choose peace...

 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
John 14:27, especially in the Amplified Bible, is a lifeline verse for me. I meditate on it and pray it aloud almost every day. I've also shared it on my own blog and at Woman to Woman Ministries on more than one occasion. Yet, I felt that, especially during the busyness that the holidays bring, this verse was worth sharing again.

I have some pretty strong Martha tendencies. You know her, don't you?  She was the busy beaver sister of Mary and Lazarus. She was busy in the kitchen while her sister was sitting in the living room attentively listening to Jesus. Resentment started bubbling up in Martha's heart, so she put a bug in Jesus' ear and asked Him to make Mary lend her a hand. Instead, Jesus responded, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things." Then He told her that Mary was making a far better choice. Both Martha and Mary had made a choice. And in John 14:27, Jesus again is talking about choices for those of us who, like Martha, struggle with being anxious and troubled about many things.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 25th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with the lovely

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

An autumn walk with the grandkids...

Our middle daughter, her husband, oldest granddaughter, oldest grandson and middle grandson live just five minutes away from our house. Our oldest daughter, her husband and our two youngest granddaughters and our youngest daughter, her husband and our youngest grandson live a five minute drive from one another, but a twenty minute to over an hour drive from us, depending on traffic. 
Yesterday, our oldest daughter had to work but the grandgirlies had no school, so I watched them for her. We decided to go pick up our youngest grandson and take a long "memory" walk around the little town our youngest daughter lives in-the same little town I lived in my whole life until college. We walked over four miles and I told them all sorts of stories of my memories growing up there. My granddaughters were troopers on our long walk and my grandson loves stroller walks and will contentedly sit there as long as I keep walking.
All these photos were taken on my iPhone. I wish I'd gotten some better shots of my grandson, but I was too nervous to let him out of the stroller near the river. He's speedy and fearless!
After our walk, we took my grandson back home for his nap and the grandgirlies and I had some lunch and did a little shopping. I'd say, a good time was had by all.

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Flower Friday

Monday, November 19, 2018

Praise with thanksgiving...

It's Thanksgiving week! It's going to be a totally relaxing holiday for us. Our oldest daughter and  youngest daughter and their families will all be spending Thanksgiving with the other side of the family. Our middle daughter and her family are spending the holiday at the Oregon coast and invited us to join them. They are getting a pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner from a restaurant. I love a traditional Thanksgiving with all of the family gathered and the cooking of a big family feast. But, I think this Thanksgiving, although different, will be a lot of fun as well. And, you know how much I love the beach! I also love Thanksgiving and I love giving thanks. God is worthy of all of my praise and gratitude!
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)

-Veteran's Day-for all those who have served our nation
-hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows
-a beautiful autumn walk with three of the grandkids
-Papa making a fire in the backyard fire pit and roasting hotdogs with the grandgirlies for their lunch
-dinner with our oldest daughter and two youngest granddaughters

-beef stew simmering on the stove
-God's protection when I encountered a very aggressive dog on my walk
-my hub's thanks for a good dinner

-an unexpected fun bargain find 
-flowers and a coffee from my guy
-our oldest granddaughter lettering in varsity swimming as a freshman 
and getting a plaque for best freshman swimmer

-tea and prayer with a friend
-a good report on a friend's medical tests
-a really sweet time of worship and prayer at church tonight

-middle daughter and middle grandson coming to see us after being out of state for two weeks
-my grandson helping me to decorate the Christmas tree
-Friday date day

-God at work in people in our church in such an encouraging way
-a walk with a friend
-all the holiday deep cleaning and decorating done so we can come home 
from our time away for Thanksgiving and let the Christmas season begin!

-a joy filled Sunday worship gathering
-big hugs from my grandson
-Sunday lunch with friends

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

He always hears and listens...

As I look back on my six decades of life I can see so many answers to prayer. Sometimes the answer to a prayer came quickly. Sometimes I prayed for years and years and years and then, finally, the answer came. There are some prayers I'm still praying but I've yet to see an answer. When I pray the same deep heart cry prayer for years, and even decades, without a visible answer, I'm ashamed to say that I sometimes lose focus on all of the answered prayers and begin to wonder if God is still listening to me.

This morning, during my devotions I read the portion of scripture in John chapter eleven when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Before He spoke the life-giving words, "Lazarus, come forth!" Jesus prayed to His Father. He thanked the Father for always hearing and listening to Him. He didn't say, "Father, please listen to me. I'm begging you to hear my prayers. This is a desperate situation. Lazarus has died. Please, please, please listen to me, hear my prayers, and help me to raise Lazarus from the dead." I'm pretty sure that's what my prayer would have sounded like under the circumstances.    (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 18th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with the lovely

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

An Autumn Drive in the Columbia River Gorge...

(Cape Horn, Columbia River Gorge)
Last Friday we took our annual drive up the Columbia River Gorge from our home in Vancouver, Washington to The Dalles, Oregon to pick up our order of fruit from Muirhead Canning. Sometimes we drive east on Hwy. 84 on the Oregon side of the gorge, but this year we drove up Hwy. 14 on the Washington side of the gorge. It was a gorgeous day for a drive. 

We crossed the bridge over to the Oregon side of the gorge in Hood River. From our longtime home in Portland, Oregon, and now in Vancouver, Washington, the west side of Mt. Hood is a familiar sight. As we drew near to the cannery, Mt. Hood's north side could be clearly seen. We lived in the Hood River valley in the late eighties and early nineties, and this view greeted us each morning from our front room window! What a blessing it is to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

 still following,

Flower Friday

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

More November gratitude...

I'm a day late with my gratitude post because of Veteran's Day. We took the day off and enjoyed spending the day with our two youngest granddaughters while their mama and daddy worked. Our youngest daughter and grandson came by as well. The weather was cold, but sunny, so the grandkids and I bundled up and took a nice long walk. When we got home, Papa had built a backyard fire in the fire pit and we roasted hotdogs for lunch. I can't believe I didn't take any photos, but I guess I was too busy just enjoying the day, which is a good thing! 
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)

-an encouraging word right when I needed it
-running into someone at the grocery store who needed an encouraging word and some prayer
(thank you God that I received some encouragement and was able to share some encouragement because of YOU!)
-phone calls with both of my sisters
-a fun family dinner at our oldest daughter's

-the right to vote
-honest communication
-our small group

-tea and a sweet visit and time in the Word and prayer with a friend
-God blessing my husband through some online resources
-a treat for myself- Joanna Gaine's new HomeBody book
-an unexpected mid-week "date" with my guy

-a big, beautiful hawk perched on a lamp post
-walking, talking and praying with a friend
-sweet night of worship and prayer

-a beautiful drive up the Columbia River Gorge
-a bald eagle soaring by when we stopped at Cape Horn
-friends that came to the rescue when our car battery died

-"FamBam" texts with our daughters
-preholiday deep cleaning done-Whew!
-a dense foggy morning that gave way to a gorgeous blue sky afternoon

-a cold, foggy, frosty morning
-Jesus' blood shed for me and His body broken for me
-a wonderful spirit in our worship
-my favorite tomato basil soup and lunch with friends

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

House and Heart Cleaning...

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  The holidays are right around the corner. There are at least six different gatherings at our home before Christmas, so today I wanted to get an early start on my pre-holiday deep cleaning. I always start with the hidden areas, the cupboards and drawers and pantry in the kitchen, and the bathrooms and laundry room. Today, I emptied all the shelves and drawers, threw out old or unnecessary items, wiped everything down then put things neatly back. I highly doubt that any of the guests that gather in our home will notice the tidy state of my cupboards or drawers, much less care about them. But, I notice and I care. When things are in order in my home I can handle the extra busyness that comes during this time of year with more grace and peace.

My word for 2018 has been yield. For these eleven months since last New Year's Day, this year of focusing on yielding and surrendering to God has been one loooonnnnng season of deep cleaning.  I'm not sure anyone else can see what God has been doing within, but the deeper I let Him go into the hidden places within my heart and soul the more I'm able to face life with grace and peace.

Cleaning the house and cleaning my heart have some things in common.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, November 11th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with the lovely