Monday, January 24, 2022

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Sometimes the lovingkindness and mercy of the Lord is overwhelmingly near and evident. Yet, though I've loved and walked in relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord, since I was a little girl, I am still learning His ways and there are still so many times I don't understand Him. There are times when I've been desperate to sense His nearness and He seems distant and silent. Those are the times when I just have to walk by faith and trust that His promise that He will never leave me or forsake me is true. Then there are times where it seems that He bends down near and very tenderly leaves evidence of His personal care along life's path for me to find. Last week it was a heart shaped piece of seaglass and a beautiful sunny day to walk by the sea. This week it was cheery blue skies, bouquets of pussy willows and the neighbor's forsythia beginning to bloom even though it's still January. Each one of those things was a gift, a love note from the Lover of my soul. I'm so thankful for His tender love and care.

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)

-tallking to my sweet youngest granddaughter on FaceTime
-my first real walk in too long, due to sickness. Thank You, Jesus!
-a good dog trainer for our pup
-a good conversation and prayer with a friend
-God's promises

-Healing Beneath His Wings album
-a big pot of homemade chili to share with my daughter and her family
-spending time with my two middle granddaughters

-bouquets of pussy willows from Trader Joe's

-our pup does so good walking on a leash
-a new simple recipe for dinner that my husband loved

-God speaking to me through His Word
-tiny birds bathing in our birdbath
-an unexpectedly sunny afternoon

-a slow lazy morning on our day off
-facetiming our youngest grandson
-a yummy seafood dinner
-our friend dog sitting for us on our day off
-my husband buying me a new devotional book

-going antiquing with my friend
-my seven year old grandson thrilled to have a snow day in South Carolina

-God's help 
-the body caring for each other

-this foggy morning
-a big cup of hot coffee
-the neighbors forsythia is blooming in January!
-texts and phone calls with my siblings

still following,

Monday, January 17, 2022

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Let’s begin at the beginning. On December 15th we got our puppy, who is a very good dog, but gets terribly anxious and motion sick in the car and anxious about being left alone at home in her crate for very long. Then on Dec. 29th my husband and I began a long bout of tag team flu that still has us dragging. Underneath all of that has been latent heaviness in our hearts over the upheaval in our family with the cross country move of two of our daughters and their families. Let’s just say we’ve both been sad, sick and housebound! 

Last Friday, (the first chance the two of us have had for a normal day off in way too long), my husband had a friend watch our puppy and we drove to the beach. I'm very thankful that my husband always knows when I need some sea therapy! Our expectations about the weather being decent in mid-January on the Oregon coast were low, but we thought at least the drive would do us good and a bowl of clam chowder for lunch sounded good, too. I felt as if God smiled on us! When we arrived the weather was sunny and mild with no wind! After lunch I was able to take a walk by the sea. I found myself asking God for a confirmation that He loves and sees me by having me find a piece of sea glass. I've lived near the Oregon coast my whole life and have only found three pieces in all these years. Just moments later I saw something buried in the sand. 

When I picked up this heart shaped piece of seagrass of palest blue I knew God was telling me, “I love you. I see you.” So many significant encounters and deep heart talks with God that have happened in my life have been by the sea but to have such an obvious personal physical reminder of God's love and care for me was mind-blowing. I am so very, very 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)

-a new year!
-my grandson tell me, "I love it when you sing, Nana. I love you!"
-God confirming my word of the year to me

-all of the help to make church happen when my husband was sick
-lunch with friends
-naps for everyone at our house
-a movie, snacks, laughter and giggles before bed with the grands

-my husband is on the mend
-praying with a young mom
-our daughter and son-in-law safely completed their drive to Florida
-our brave grandson facing his fear about the hair clippers at the barber's

-a fun morning making homemade play dough with the grands
-prayers for us as we go through the sadness of our kids' move
-oldest granddaughter is here for a week's visit!

-a safe flight for our grands and their other grandparents to meet our youngest daughter and our son-in-law at their new home in Florida
-laying in bed watching "When Calls the Heart" with my oldest granddaughter
-a good report about tonight's meeting at church

-making homemade bread and spaghetti and meatballs with my granddaugher and her friend
-adjusting to life with a dog
-a FaceTime call with our grands to show us their new house in Florida

-my husband tidying the house for me so I can rest 
-my sinus and chest congestion breaking up
-Papa taking our granddaughter out for breakfast
-the sound of our granddaughter and her friends playing games and laughing

-a day in bed watching movies with my granddaughter because we both have colds
-encouraging texts from a friend
-relistening to sermons

-good worship and word 
-my grandson trying to hug and kiss me via FaceTime
-feasting on take out chinese food

-God's care and provision for us
-going over my notes and remembering what God has spoken to us this past year
-God's Word

-our granddaughter got safely back to K.C.
-our home
-appliances to wash and dry our clothes

-God speaking clearly to me from John 14:27 (the Message Bible)
-finally getting out for a few hours after being cooped up with sickness and bad weather
-God's love and delight in me even in my weakness

-God ministering to me through His Word and communion
-finally writing a blog post
-easy but yummy potsticker soup for dinner

-my husband getting a friend to watch our dog so we could go to the beach for the day
-a beautiful sunny, mild, wind-free day!
-a piece of palest blue, heart shaped sea glass

-God's presence with me as I clean and do chores
-a freshly bathed puppy
-sugar free vanilla pudding eaten warm-comfort food!

-being able to gather online when sick
-a unexpected lunch with old friends
-God's patient reminders of His love for me
-my husband's love and care for me

still following,

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Weekly Gratitude Journal and My One Word for 2022

“ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you–rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭60:1‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

 I’m a big fan of choosing one word as a spiritual focus for the year and have been doing so since I first heard of the concept in 2011. As each new year approaches, I pray and ask God to show me what word He has for me. Sometimes I know the word months in advance. This year it wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that I knew that my word for 2022 was to be ARISE. As I’ve mentioned here, 2021 brought a lot of changes in our family. Our oldest granddaughter turned 18, graduated, and is now in the adulting stage of life. Her brother is 17 and right at her heels. These changes were expected. But what I didn’t expect was the cross country moves of our two youngest daughters and their families and missing out on being near as the littlest grandchildren, ages seven, four, two and one, are growing up. It’s not how I pictured my life being and I struggled all year mourning about it. It’s time for me to ARISE. 

@ediewadsworth wrote on her Instagram account recently “Choose to accept the life you have and from a place of gratitude and love change what needs changing…right now, today, you are creating with your thoughts, feelings, words and actions the life you will have.” 

And so, I am choosing to accept my new normal and arise from mourning over what I cannot change and choose to change what I can. I'm asking God to show me His will, ways and purposes in all of this as I do believe that God promises in Romans 8:28 that all things are working together for my good. Meanwhile, I've been quiet on social media since mid-December. I wanted to enjoy time with my grandkids before their move, then came the holidays, then came a lingering bout of some sort of awful non-covid type flu that my husband and I took turns with and then our oldest granddaughter came to see us for a week before her internship at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City begins this week. 

I decided that to catch up here with my gratitude journaling, I'll finish out my 2021 list on here today, and post the beginnings of my 2022 gratitude journal next week. And, perhaps, Lord willing, I'll do a bit more writing in the new year.

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)

-God's help with an overwhelming to-do list
-encouraging texts from a friend
-God's reminder that I am known and understood by Him
-a call from my youngest girl and a FaceTime call from my middle girl 

-sweet moments with my grands before they move to Florida
-God showing me clearly how to bless the ladies of our church
-a beautiful evening at our Christmas tea

-You are the God Who Speaks
-a good talk with my oldest granddaughter
-help from a friend

-morning coffee after a very short sleep (we got a new puppy!)

-God's amazing provision for our church
-taking the dog out to go to the bathroom and seeing the bright, almost full moon shining through an opening in the cloudy sky

-our middle daughter and son-in-law's 21st anniversary!
-the new puppy slept better!
-laughing together about the puppy's antics
-going to our grandson's adorable preschool Christmas program

-the way our youngest granddaughter likes to cup Papa's face in her hands
-God's provision to buy tickets to go to Florida for our youngest granddaughter's upcoming birthday

-listening to Handel's Messiah while baking
-texts with my siblings
-texts with my daughter's sweet MIL
-my husband and his dog, Sal


-beautiful worship and a profound word to meditate on
-a Christmas gathering with our kids and grandkids (the one's still nearby that is)

-fun time with our two middle granddaughters

-a friend's encouragement to keep moving forward
-a fun evening with our growth group

-the shortest day of the year, (this means the days will start to stay light longer!)
-Christmas cards finally done!
-Facetime calls with my grandkids

-having friends over for breakfast
-our puppy is super calm (except about riding in the car)
-a hot tea from my guy

-good news about our granddaughter's internship
-a walk around the lake
-dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant
-snuggling together and watching, "Going My Way"

-homemade cinnamon cranberry bread toasted and smeared with marmalade
-taking the dog on a walk around the park together
-baking more bread to give away

-thank You, God for sending Jesus!
-Facetime calls from our South Carolina kids
-our grandkids enjoying playing with our puppy
-dinner and games with our youngest daughter's family and her in-laws

-Christmas brunch and communion with our church family
-putting way the Christmas decor and decluttering
-relaxing together afterwards

-our granddaughter got accepted into the internship
-facetiming our seven year old grandson who showed us he put together the radio kit we bought him for Christmas
-a new teapot

-free online Bible study tools
-Trader Joe's roses
-God's provision and guidance

-our middle daughter checking on us
-God's provision for us
-a negative covid test

-a sweet morning with the Lord
-my beautiful new book about Maine
-additions to our church family

-the view of the backyard, trees and sky out our bedroom window
-Edie Wadsworth's words that brought me full circle back to something God had spoken to me
-Lamentations 3
-texting with my Visionary Leadership Team
-sweet days with our four and two year old grands before their big move to Florida

-watching New Year's Eve fireworks out the window with my grandson

still following,