Monday, August 5, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal-the birthday week edition

A couple of weeks before my 62nd birthday I sent a group text to my husband and daughters declaring that, for the week of my birthday, I was abdicating all responsibility. I declared my birthday week, "Elizabeth's Week of Fun". 

Being in full-time ministry is much like parenthood. It's a great privilege and a great responsibility. There are so many wonderful things about it that I wouldn't trade for the world. But, much like being a parent, the demands of ministry life can sometimes make me feel like I'm not the boss of my own life. Before you misunderstand, I know that God is the Boss, the Lord, of my life and has every right to be so. I don't chafe against His leadership over me. But, in complete honesty, I have seasons of chafing against the demands of others that can dictate how I spend my days. Perhaps much of the blame should actually land on myself. With my enneagram one, wing two personality and need to do all things well and right and to be seen as good and to help others, I worry about failing others if I'm not available when they need me. I don't want anyone in our church to feel unloved or uncared for. It's a burden I've put on myself that is too big for my shoulders.

My husband was in full support of the idea of my week of fun, my week of shirking all responsibility. Even so, I felt a bit guilty, wondering if it wasn't me just being selfish and self-absorbed. I talked to God about it and surrendered the week to Him.

It was an awesome week-a staycation if you will. For a week I savored and enjoyed summer instead of letting it fly by. It was the reset I needed. What is interesting is that by the time Thursday rolled around I wanted to gather with my church family for our midweek worship and prayer time, though I'd originally given myself permission to skip. 

On Friday, my 62nd birthday came and went. I fully enjoyed it and was so incredibly well loved by my family, friends and church family. I felt no hint of regret or worry within myself about  my advancing age. I just felt happy and blessed and loved and so very thankful for this life God has given me!

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)

Thank you, Father God, for-

-discovering more layer of riches in the book of Ephesians though I've read it so many times before
-making homemade crumpets for the first time, with G.
-her sweet gratitude to us

-my big sister calling me to wish me happy birthday 
since she'll be out of cell phone range not the actual day
-a beautifully perfect day trip to the beach!

-a new Rae Dunn "thankful" mug-the word I've been looking for!
-three handsome elk with their huge antlers 

-youngest daughter and the two youngest grands coming over to see us
-a walk with my youngest grandson
-texts from our middle daughter who is on an Alaskan cruise

-It's August!
-buying a fun, inexpensive bracelet I've been wanting but talked myself out of getting until today
-comfy new shoes I've been wanting came in the mail today-my birthday gift from my husband
-an encouraging word from one of the men in our church

-God's loving, watchful care for me these 62 years
-so many phone calls, texts, messages, and cards wishing me Happy Birthday!
-a delicious and fun family dinner made by our daughter

-a sweet time of worship and prayer as I cleaned house
-hugs and a gift from our middle daughter and the grandkids, who got home from their cruise today
-a walk and good talk with a friend

-Your powerful presence with us
-and a good word
-a fun Sunday lunch with friends

still following,


  1. Happy belated birthday wishes to you, this week is my birthday I also declared a week of doing just doing whatever. So far I have had an unexpected bouquet given to me by my daughter, today I decided it was time to catch up on blogging, I am also making your recipe for peach hand pies, thank you for the recipe.
    Your blog is such an inspiration, I always enjoy my visits,

    1. Much love to you and Happiest of Birthdays! I think a week of fun should be an annual tradition!

  2. Happy belated birthday, Elizabeth. I am so happy you were able to give yourself a week off from the demands of life. I am feeling a burn out coming on maybe I should think about doing this soon for myself.....even thought my birthday is six months away.

    1. Thank you so much, Debbi! It was a great week!

  3. Such blessings! You and I share a birthday week. We were away at the coast for a few days and had such an incredible time - no responsibilities, just fun and time together. We should get together and celebrate.


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