Monday, December 30, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Christmas has come and gone. It's hard to believe that we are about to begin a new year and a brand new decade. It doesn't seem that long ago that everyone was concerned about Y2K at the turn of the century. Twenty years has zoomed by since then. We became grandparents of seven, soon to be eight, grandchildren since then. So many life changes have happened.

Just this morning as I read Psalm 91 in The Message Bible, I came across a verse that sums it up for me. "I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust Me." I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord at a very young age. Through all of my life's journey, through all of life's ups and down, I've continued to grow in knowing Him and learning to trust Him. Through it all, He has given me the best of care and I know that He will continue to do so in the future. I'm so very thankful to this God that I can trust and rely on!
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, God, for...

-sleeping in to 7:30!
-a cozy new hoodie from G.
-a yummy dinner with a gift card from friends

-thank You, God, for always being here for me!
-the Christmas Eve service at Hope City
-getting to see all of our kids and grandkids between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

-laughing so hard while playing a silly game at our youngest daughter's house

-Thank You, Jesus, for coming and Thank You, for the promise that You are coming again
-Christmas texts with our siblings and kids
-a fun Christmas with our middle daughter, son-in-law and grandkids

-a little post Christmas overnight getaway to one of our favorite places
-God keeping our youngest daughter and family safe when the car broke down on their trip
-my husband always thinking of things I like to do

-texted videos of our oldest granddaughter teaching her little brother to swim
-texted videos of our two youngest grandkids having fun in the snow
-God's protection and care for all of us

-lunch and a great visit with our friends from California
-my husband helping me to take down the Christmas tree
-the house all clean and ready for the New Year

-this morning's message
-wonderful worship
-lunch with my nephew and his family

still following,

Monday, December 23, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

We celebrated Christmas on Saturday with all of our children and grandchildren since our oldest daughter and her family will be out of town for Christmas. Then on Sunday we had the last of the Christmas events at our church. Today I slept in two hours later than the time that I normally wake up. The past couple of weeks have been busy! We will be joining our youngest daughter and her family and in-laws for a Christmas Eve service and dinner out. On Christmas Day we will go to our middle daughter's house for Christmas dinner with her family. I'm looking forward to a low key, relaxing holiday.

I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas 
filled with God's peace and presence and lots of joy and laughter!

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...
-a walk with my youngest daughter and two youngest grandbabies
-the way the younger grandkids greet me with beaming faces and shout "Nana!" 
like they haven't seen me in such a long time-it sure makes my heart happy
-taking all of the yummy leftovers from last night's leadership dinner at our house 
to our oldest daughter's and having dinner with them

-an answer to prayer 
-baking Christmas cookies with some of the grandkids

-going to look at Christmas lights with them

-a HUGE answer to prayer for healing for our ten year old granddaughter-
a twisted, crooked back in her first x-rays and now her back is straight in her newest x-rays!
-a fun time with G. going on a walk together and making chocolates together
-texts with my oldest granddaughter 

-my oven is fixed!
-four loaves of cinnamon cranberry bread baked
-a break in the rain for a walk
-a phone call with my big brother
-getting our annual Christmas letter and cards in the mail

-out running errands and noticing how so many people are holding doors open for others, 
wishing each other "Merry Christmas!" and other acts of kindness
-receiving Christmas cards in the mail
-a relaxing evening together

-our whole family together for an early Christmas

-my husband's annual blessing over our family

-five year old grandson so excited to give every family member 
a personally selected gift that he bought us from the Dollar Tree, 
(This may be my favorite moment of this whole season. It was so sweet!)

-celebrating Jesus, the Reason for the season, with our church family
-taking a Sunday afternoon nap
-thoughtful gifts 

still following,

Friday, December 20, 2019

Friday Faves-Christmas Decor 2019

I used to post here on my blog at least five days a week. Now I'm lucky if I post twice a week. I post much more frequently over on Instagram, so feel free to click on the link to my Instagram account over to your right on the sidebar of my blog and follow me there!

I did want to post some glimpses of my home decorated for Christmas before the big day has come and gone. It sure seems like the season has zoomed by this year! 

Looking back through blog posts of past years, my seasonal decorating was a bit over the top. Now I tend to decorate more simply. One example is the simple centerpiece of foraged greens that sits on my dining room table. I love it! And I haven't tired of it, like I did with some of the more elaborate centerpieces of the past.

My kitchen windowsill is decorated with my collection of simple, inexpensive white houses. Inside the houses I have battery operated tealights that give off a cozy glow in the evening both inside our kitchen and outside looking through the window.

In a corner of our dining room, I have a small faux Christmas tree that I purchased for eleven dollars on an after Christmas sale last year. Copper cookie cutter Christmas lights and a vintage style snowman couple bring a touch of Christmas to the shelves that house my antique ironstone.

In my kitchen nook we have a little sitting area with two cozy chairs-one for me and one for my husband. I wanted some sort of wintry painting to go over the little cabinet that sits by my chair in the nook and decided to try my hand at painting one myself! I then framed it with simple inexpensive lattice strips that I painted white.

On the other side of the kitchen nook, by my husband's chair is this kraft paper roll that I decorated for the holidays.
I decorated my mantel simply this year with gold candlesticks and some faux greenery. I love this simple, classic and timeless look.

Some mercury glass ornaments sit in a dough bowl on the antique trunk that I use as a coffee table in our living room.

This set of shelves is on the wall by my husband's favorite chair in the living room. The mercury glass trees are a new and inexpensive find from Ross.

Thanks to all who stop by and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

still following,



Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Weekly Gratitude Journal

My weekend was full of Christmas festivities-a candlelight tea for the ladies of our church on Friday and a dinner at our house for our church leadership on Sunday evening. On Monday I spent some time with the grandkids that live in the Portland area and by the time I got home in the evening I forgot all about writing my gratitude post and instead went straight to bed!

This morning I got to thinking about how we can be especially prone to unrealistic expectations and hopes at Christmastime. We want all family difficulties to be resolved and everyone to get along happily and peacefully. We want to be able to afford all the things without financial strain.We want life's difficulties to take the month off. The reality is that life's difficulties can come no matter the season, but facing trials during this already full to bursting season can magnify the relationship struggles, the financial problems and all manner of difficulties we face in our circumstances. One key that keeps us from being pulled underwater by the undertow of disappointment is to choose to look at life through the lens of gratitude to God-to choose to see the blessings God has given us smack dab in the middle of our sin-sick world and imperfect life. And so I continue to count my blessings through it all.

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 safe and beautiful drive to Leavenworth
-Christmas lights everywhere

-watching a cheesy Christmas movie and munching popcorn together

-a rare afternoon nap while it snows outside
-a room with a fireplace
-laughing together

-a safe drive home 
-our granddaughter doing well while undergoing some not so fun medical tests
-our home-loving to get away together but also loving to come home

-a good report on our granddaughter's medical tests
-figuring out a back up plan for Sunday's dinner for our church leaders since my oven can't be repaired until next week
-a video of our 2 1/2 year old grandson attempting to sing "Last Christmas"

-an Instagram message from my oldest granddaughter, "I love you, Nana. You're the best Nana!"
-facetime with the two youngest grands
-laughter and good food at our Ladies's Christmas Tea
-videos of our middle grandson's Christmas program that I had to miss due to the Ladies Tea

-a sweet conversation with our two middle granddaughters via FaceTime
-the silver lining of having to do my baking at my friend's house due to my broken oven-good conversation and laughter
-all of the prep for tomorrow's leadership dinner done

-God at work in us and our church
-a really wonderful leadership dinner that probably went more smoothly than previous ones we've had in spite of the oven situation!
-texts with my siblings about our childhood Christmas memories

still following,