Monday, December 13, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I love Christmas! I love the Reason for the season, Jesus Christ. I love Christmas music. I love Christmas decorating. I love Christmas baking. I love gift giving. I love Christmas get togethers with family and friends. I get as excited about Christmas as a kid. But this year, our youngest daughter and her family are moving clear across the country right after Christmas. (Just a few months ago our middle daughter and her family moved across the country as well.😢) Because of this there's a lingering sadness mixed with the joy of the season. The past few days some stress piled up on top of the sadness and I forgot to verbalize my praise and thanks to God and instead my mind was focused on being separated by distance from my daughters and grandkids as well as the long list of to-dos I was facing. Sitting down to type this post and re-reading this past week's list was a much needed reset of my mindset. And for that, I am thankful.

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)

-Ann Voskamp's Advent book, The Greatest Gift
-a refreshing walk
-my brother coming to see me

-God's grace and help to get things done
-spending a few hours with my daugher and grandkids
-my nephew-today's his birthday!

-listening to worship music as I walk
-a good phone chat with my brother
-a friend to talk to
-my Visionary Leadership Team to laugh with, plan with, pray with

-a cup of tea and chat with my friend
-God speaking to me through His Word
-family photos from my daughter

-catching up on sleep
-finding exactly what we needed for an upcoming event
-a yummy date day dinner out

-a beautiful homegoing service for a dear one in our church family
-our church's volunteers
-an encouraging word and prayer
-a fun FaceTime call from my youngest granddaughter
-a sweet gift in the mail from my middle daughter 

-a beautiful time of prayer and intercession together
-God growing our church
-a big answer to prayer

still following,

Monday, December 6, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I woke up this morning to the sound of the rain outside. It was tempting to stay inside where it was cozy, dry and warm, but eventually I donned my yellow rubber raincoat and headed outside for my walk in spite of the rain. It actually felt refreshing, not just to my body that had been a bit too sedentary over the weekend, but even my heart and mind felt more at peace by the time I finished my walk. While I didn't feel like walking due to the bad weather, I ended up benefiting from going on the walk in spite of my feelings. Similarly, sometimes we just don't feel like giving thanks. But when we take note of our blessings and give thanks to God in spite of "not feeling it,"  it benefits us. It refreshes our spirit and reminds us that, no matter what we are going through, no matter how we feel, there is always something to be thankful for.

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 good night's sleep
-a friend from church praying for me
-a good walk
-our growth group

-flowers from my husband
-God's help and wisdom when we ask Him
-a week night date with my husband after not getting a date day for a couple of weeks

-It's December!
-an encouraging zoom meeting
-Christmas shopping
-a fiery sunset that had even the other shoppers stopping to take notice

-talking to my brother on his birthday
-God answering prayers
-Tim Smith's song, "I look to you"

-a really good night's sleep
-Friday date day
-a foggy morning
-a tiny green hummingbird sipping from a pink fushia
 that was growing in a flowerpot outside of the store
-a special time with our granddaughter to celebrate her tenth birthday

-my husband gifting my oldest daughter and I with tickets to Handel's Messiah
-good conversation with my girl during our evening together
-He shall reign forever and ever!

-our church family willingly volunteering to help for an upcoming event
-God's care, provision and answers to prayer
-Sunday afternoon rest

still following,

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal

The last two weeks were full and busy with a house full of family, the busy preparations for a big Thanksgiving dinner and the day itself of feasting and family time. For every sweet moment we had together I am so very thankful. The house is now back to being quieter and cleaner with just my husband and I at home. I am thankful for this as well. It isn't one or the other-it's both. In good times, with my family all gathered near, in the hard times, when we are far apart from one another, God is still good, He is still at work in our lives, He is still with us and there is always so much to be thankful for.
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)

-catching up with a friend
-soup and sandwich dinner on a blustery, rainy day
-focusing on what I can do and can change instead of the things that I can't

-God's provision
-a beautiful, fun walk to the river with two of the grandkids

-my very picky grandson loving my mama's recipe for oatmeal cookies

-time with my oldest daughter and granddaughters this afternoon

-my nephew routing the edges of a piece of butcher block my daughter gave me 
so now I have a huge, beautiful cutting board!
-God is so kind to me
-a good day just getting things done at home
-my husband bringing me my favorite fish tacos for dinner

-a facetime chat with my oldest granddaughter
-the four youngest grandkids so happy to be together!
-the hope of heaven, (a dear one in our church passed away today)

-a houseful of noisy grandkids
-a fun afternoon at Dizzy Castle
-hearing my four year old grandson's sweet voice singing, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

-youngest granddaughter's snuggles
-the loveliest sweater from my husband
-my daughters getting to spend some time together

-a beautiful tribute to our dear one who went home to be with Jesus
-the nearness of God in worship
-God is building His church

-our two middle granddaughters getting to come over and spend the night
-my middle daughter buying and doing crafts with them

-my husband building a cozy fire in the backyard fire pit on this cool autumn evening

-coffee in bed and quiet time with Jesus
-God's deep healing work in a relationship I've been praying about
-twinkle lights on the mantel

-cooking with my seven year old grandson 
-my husband running some errands for me
-our daughter treating us to dinner out

-seeing God at work in my loved ones
-Thanksgiving dinner coming together smoothly

-playing games and laughing together

-a pajama day at home decorating for Christmas
-a good phone conversation with my girl
-my middle daughter and her boys had a safe trip back home to S.C.

-our home-all cozy and decorated for Christmas

-a nice long walk
-a phone call from my oldest sister

-our granddaughter on her tenth birthday

-getting to have lunch with my sister and brother-in-law, niece and her family and nephew and his family
-the God Who promises that He Who began a good work in us will complete it!

still following,

Monday, November 15, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal

In the past two weeks I flew to North Carolina, drove from there with my second born daughter, seven  year old grandson and seventeen month old grandson, through Virginia, stopping to visit Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown and then to Washington D.C. to see the sights there. We had a wonderful trip together! 

I then flew home and dove into catching up on my work at the church and pre-holiday cleaning and organization at home. I'm excited that we will have a house full of family for Thanksgiving. 

Speaking of family, more big changes for our family are on the horizon after the holidays. My Mama/Nana heart is taking a beating in 2021! First our second born daughter and her family moved to South Carolina and now our youngest daughter and her family are going to move to Florida. We've been blessed to have all of our daughters and their families living near us-to have all eight of our grandchildren living near us. Now two of our daughters and sons-in-law and six of our grandchildren will be on the east coast. I'm sad for us. I'm sad that my daughters and their children, all of the cousins, will no longer be living near one another. Everyday, I'm having to surrender my "I wants" and "I thinks" to God and lean heavy on Him. Every day I am choosing to trust Him even though it feels like a huge part of what makes brings me great joy is being taken away-having my grandchildren nearby where I can be a regular part of their lives. Everyday I am still giving thanks, because even when life hurts, even when life's changes are hard to accept, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

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)

-Reformation Day!
-beautifiul Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier seen from the plane

-a safe trip to Charlotte and my daughter and two of my grandsons picking me up at the airport!

-a beautiful autumn day on our drive to Williamsburg

-a safe drive
-my baby grandson remembers me!

-a good night's sleep
-seeing beautiful parts of our country I've never seen before
-a really fun, interesting day in Williamsburg

-encouraging news from home
-a big answer to prayer
-seeing Yorktown and Jamestown

-a safe drive to D.C.
-the first glimpse of the Washington Monument

-all of the helpful people in D.C. going us directions
-our grandson's solemn moment at the Lincoln Memorial
-D.C. at night and the best tour bus driver!

-youngest grandson's baby kisses
-hotdogs from a street vendor
-finding my grandson's lost "special sweatshirt"
-my daughter's generosity to me on this trip

-youngest grandson waking up humming
-seven year old grandson asking me to tell him stories about my childhood
-this week full of special memories
-a safe trip home

-a good night's sleep in my own bed
-the powerful presence of God 
-lunch with friends

-this sunny, blue sky autumn day
-knowing that God hears my prayers
-God's provision
-phone calls with my siblings
-a dinner that my husband said was "so good!"

-God's help with the notes for tonight's meeting
-pre-holiday keep cleaning of the kitchen cupboards, drawers and pantry done
-a really good meeting with the women from our church

-a day away with my husband
-no wind or rain at the beach today

-my favorite cozy sweatshirt

-for all who have served and are serving our country
-solving a problem
-listening to encouraging, uplifting podcasts while doing chores

-Hebrews 12:1-3
-a cozy, rainy Friday
-an eye issue that turned out to be nothing serious

-the Holy Spirit's help
-instrumental classic Christmas music
-crafting and creating

-Jesus' body broken for me, Jesus'  blood shed for me
-lunch with friends
-a phone chat with my girl

still following,