Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Journal

Yesterday was busy and full in the best kind of way, prepping and cooking for a church related gathering at our home. Most weeks this is the case, there's a growth group or a leadership meeting here. With 
two of our daughters and their families living on the east coast now, our house is all too rarely the place for grandkid sleepovers and family celebrations. I'm thankful that we have church family that still fills it up with food, (always food!), fellowship and connection. Today, however, our youngest daughter and her family are flying in from Florida and our house will be the place where our youngest granddaughter has her fourth birthday party this week. Today I'm doing some baking in preparation for their arrival. I often joke that feeding people is my love language. I used to mourn as a little girl that my mama wasn't more fluent in speaking her feelings or generous with her cuddles, but if anyone spoke the love language of acts of service it was my mama. How healing it was for me to realize this as an adult. To see her delicious meals, breads, cookies, cakes and pies and the beautifully sewn clothes she made us as her way of saying I love you was a lovely epiphany. I'd like to think I'm pretty fluent in speaking words of affirmation and love and generous in loving touches and spending quality time with others, but more and more I find myself speaking mama's native love language tongue. Thank you, Mama, for teaching me that feeding people truly can be a most beautiful love language indeed.

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 lovely winter day
-an afternoon outing together
-a beautiful sunset on my walk
-Matthew 13:1 "Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea."

-my daughters and sons-in-law
-God's continued intervention in a loved one's life
-a great evening with my Visionary Leadership Team and Growth Group Coordinators
-friends who pray with me

-coffee and a treat and a talk with my eleven year old grandgirlie
-getting to see my oldest daughter at her job, 
meet her co-workers and I also got to see a dear spiritual daughter
-going out to dinner with my daughter and granddaughters
-hope in a situation that's heavy on my heart

-a long awaited Christmas gift card purchase
-a friend bringing me tea and rubbing the knots out of my neck when I had a terrible migraine
-it worked! my headache is feeling better!

-Facetiming with my South Carolina daughter and grandkids
-lunch and a movie with my guy for Friday Date Day
-a bit of antiquing too!

-a chat and prayer with my granddaughter
-another college football offer for our oldest grandson
-a good Saturday getting things done at home

-God speaking to our church so clearly
-God's mighty presence and the power of His Word
-snuggles with my guy

still following,

Monday, January 16, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Journal

I am so thankful to be feeling better after such a long bout of sickness. After a lot of medical tests that didn't give us any answers about what kind of virus I had, on my most recent chat with the doctor he surmised that I may have had mono. Whatever it was, I'm just glad that I'm on the mend!

I'm hoping that I'm slowly getting my blogging mojo back as well. This is the second week I've posted my weekly gratitude journal post on time! It feels great! 
Maybe I'll try my hand at actually writing again soon!

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)


-finishing the notes for tomorrow night's meeting with the women of our church
-a little crafting for our youngest grandaughter's 4th birthday party
(Can't wait! They'll be visiting from Florida next week!)

-a nice long walk after being sick for way too long!

-texts with my siblings about our upcoming reunion
-a peace filled day
-a beautiful time of sharing among the women at our meeting tonight

-blue skies
-Proverbs 1, 1 Corinthians 1:24 Jesus is the wisdom of God
-God's care and provision for us

-early morning birdsong
-a nice long phone chat with my friend from California
-a walk in the rain
-praying through this week's prayer points with the women of our church

-my husband and I getting to have lunch and a good visit with my sister and brother-in-law
-my friend asking for my help decorating her new office!
-my granddaughter passing a test for her new job

-homemade sourdough bread

-a sink AND bathtub full of plants getting their weekly watering
-a relaxing hot bath after a day of cleaning

-our five year old grandson's early morning phone call about the Jacksonville Jaguars big win

-a convicting word about the power of thankfulness
-a restful afternoon

still following,

Monday, January 9, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Journal

"Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools."
 Romans 1:21-22 NLT

Honoring and worshiping God for Who He is and giving Him thanks are two pillars that are essential for a stable life, family and civilization.While I've been inconsistent in posting my weekly gratitude journal entries here on my blog in a regular and timely manner, my daily habit of giving God thanks in my gratitude journal has continued. As I've said time and again, there is always something to be thankful for! 

Today I'm very thankful that I can feel my energy levels returning to normal after battling some sort of virus for five weeks! I went on a walk today and was able to walk almost my normal distance. Seriously, I don't think I've ever skipped my regular walking routine for this long since I began walking for exercise 30 plus years ago. It felt so good to be out walking again! Thank you, 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)


-this brand new year
-gathering with our church family
-our two oldest grandkids had a safe drive from Kansas City, Mo to their home in South Carolina

-forgiveness asked for and given
-a delicious new cake recipe from the cookbook my daughter gave me for Christmas
-myVisionary Leadership Team's help and encouragement

-God's provision
-decluttering and donating excess belongings
-reviewing notes from last year and being reminded of some things God has done and wants to continue to do in my life

-my five year old grandson is beginning to read!
-finally blogging after a month of being sick
-a good report from tonight's meeting

-a sweet morning of prayer and fasting with the women of our church
-all lab tests came back normal
-finding my granddaughter a mint condition American Girl Molly doll for her fourth birthday

-the full moon peekng through a hole in the clouds on an early morning coffee run
-a really nice Friday Date Day together-the first one that I've felt well enough to really enjoy in weeks!
-our family

-a nice long FaceTime chat with my five year old grandson and three year old granddaughter
-clear direction for this coming week's gathering of the women in our church
-God's peace and presence in our home

-coffee and some quiet time before church
-a powerful message to take to heart
-lunch after church with K and J

still following,

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Journal for the End of 2022 and My One Word for 2023

Well, I didn't plan to take the whole month of December away from my blog but I also didn't plan to get a relentless mystery virus. Shortly after Thanksgiving my husband and I both got a cold and cough-not surprising because many of our family and friends had similar symptoms. We didn't feel great but we weren't so sick that we were bedridden. After about a week we both felt like we were on the mend. Then, out of the blue, everything shifted and I developed a fever, aches and chills and took a turn for the worse. This time, I was too sick to to get out of bed. I went to the doctor convinced that my cold had turned into pneumonia. X-rays, however, showed that my lungs were clear. I also tested negative for covid and influenza A. The doctor said that it must just be another kind of virus and sent me home to recover. It's now been five weeks and I'm still coughing bad enough that it's keeping me up at night and my energy level is very low. I don't have a fever and am not contagious but I'm definitely not myself. I normally walk 3+ miles five days a week. I've not been on a walk for five weeks! So, I've contacted my doctor again today, (the doctor I saw the first time was one with an open appointment, not my regular doctor), and I hope for some answers. As the old saying goes, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

In spite of all of that, there was plenty to be thankful for during the holiday season. My oldest grandson and eight year old grandson came and spent a week with us. My eight year old grandson had the same cold/cough as we did and so we didn't do as many of the fun activities we may have done if we were feeling well, but we enjoyed being together watching Christmas movies and other low energy activities. I'll post the whole month of December's gratitude list here today. There's always plenty to be thankful for, virus or not!

My word for 2023 began rolling around in my spirit after reading Ann Voskamp's book Waymaker. In it she uses the word SACRED as an acronym. 
S-Stillness to know God.
A-Attentiveness to seek God.
C-Cruciformity to surrender to God.
R-Revelation to see God.
E-Examine to return to God.
D-Doxology to thank God.

In Zechariah 14 there's a verse about even the cooking pots being holy. The truth here is that our life is not compartmentalized into sacred and secular. For those who love and serve Christ, all that we are and all that we do is sacred. This resonates with me. The words sacred and santified are pretty much synonymous. They mean set apart or consecrated to the Lord. A defining moment in my life was when I was a little girl and my dad told me that he named me Elizabeth because it means consecrated to God. This year I want to focus on the truth that all of my life is sacred, even the ordinary mundane, everyday parts. I want to focus on knowing God, seeking God, surrendering to God, seeing God, returning to God and thanking God as seen in Ann Voskamp's acronym. SACRED is my word and my focus for this 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)


-it's our granddaughter's 11th birthday!
-God's care and provision for us
-making a big pot of Zuppa Toscana for our growth group while listening to Christmas music
-deep heart conversation with my sisters in Christ
-watching the final episode of our favorite series with my guy

-a good night's sleep
-good post growth group conversation on signal
-God's provision for my nephew for much needed medical care

-Advent reading
-talking to my oldest granddaughter
-drying oranges for Christmas decor

-a wonderful birthday dinner for our granddaughter
-decorating their Christmas tree with my oldest daughter and her family

-it's December!
-finishing my Christmas shopping
-our church leaders

-a lazy Friday date day morning
-my oldest brother-today is his birthday!
-a good book to read

-The Bible Study Fellowship Advent study on You Version
-so much accomplished today with God's help
-homemade soup for us two sickies

-a great time of learning and discussion 
-first snow!
-hot soup, tea, cookies, good conversation and prayer with my Visionary Leadership Team

-my second oldest brother-today is his birthday!
-God's faithful provision
-my daughter's funny texts of things my grandson says

-two of my grandsons are here!
-my oldest grandson coming home early from hanging out with friends
-God at work in a loved one that I'm praying for

-our nephew-today's his birthday
-a fun evening at our oldest daughter's with our grandsons and granddaughters

-being able to sleep

-video of our youngest granddaughter making up a song and singing, 
"I love You, God, I love You, God, I love You through the day
-my oldest grandson surprising his little brother by taking him to ChuckECheese
-an afternoon nap

-morning quiet time
-a quiet day of rest 
-dinner at my youngest grandson's favorite restaurant

-shopping with my oldest grandson with his Christmas money from us
-the ladies who are setting up and decorating for our Christmas Tea
-talking to my sister and nephew 

-good discussion about what God is speaking to us
-lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant with our grandsons
-more Christmas shopping with my grandson

-homemade bread
-homemade soup at my daughter's 
-driving around with the grandkids to look at Christmas lights

-all the ladies who did a beautiful job setting up for tonight's tea
-feeling well enough to go to the tea!
-a beautiful evening with the women of our church

-this time we are able to spend time with our grandsons
-a safe trip to and from Seattle to take the boys to catch their flight
-a safe flight home

-I do not have covid, influenza A or pneumonia
-antibiotics for a possible sinus infection
-a delicious meal made for our school banquet by a dear couple from our church

-my husband cleaning up the house for me
-frosty mornings
-texts, photos and FaceTime calls with my girls and grandkids

-our middle daughter and son-in-law's anniversary
-a phone chat with my brother
-feeling a little bit better today
-participating in a global day of prayer
-seeing the people of our church growing in praying aloud confidently
-an encouraging word

-my niece in law-today is her birthday!
-feeling well enough to clean the house and do the laundry
-help with some administrative paper work

-the grocery store having everything I need
-our puppy all bathed and groomed

-our daughter explaining John 3:16 to our five year old grandson 
and him wholeheartedly responding with "I do believe that!"

-today is the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year-
which means each day will get a bit brighter now!
-Romans 15:13
-a wonderful Christmas gift from my guy

-Psalm 18 in The Message Bible
-a day at home spent Christmas baking

-talking with and praying with my granddaughter
-chatting with the young women of our church on signal

-our warm cozy home on this cold, icy day
-a miraculously uneventful flight for our granddaughter as she was going home for Christmas
-a lazy afternoon watching Christmas movies

-having to cancel our church's Christmas Eve breakfast and service due to an ice storm 
BUT some foolhardy church members, mostly single guys, showed up at our house for breakfast and a great morning together

-everything thawing in time for us to go to our oldest daugher's tonight
-singing "We Have a Savior" together as a family

-thank you, God for sending Jesus! Thank You, Jesus, that you came!
-a fun, low key Christmas day with our oldest daughter, son-in-law and two grand girlies

-Facetime chats, videos and photos from the rest of our family who are celebrating Christmas together in Myrtle Beach
-sibling texts threads
-Christmas greetings from our church family

-a good night's sleep
-a quiet day of putting Christmas decor away and tidying up the house
-God's gracious provision

-our friend watching our dog for us so we can have a little getaway to the beach
-this Christmas gift of a night at the beach from our daughter
-a box of goodies and a restaurant gift card from dear friends
-a cozy room while the wind and waves rage here in Seaside

-cozy new pjs

-studying Ephesians 6
-a wee little walk on the beach

-a divine intervention in a loved one's life

-a safe drive to and from the coast in spite of some nasty winds
-puttering around the house "nesting" when we got home
-a clean pup

-a facetme chat with my five year old grandson and three year old granddaughter
-God speaking to my heart about His precise watchfulness over us
-a really fun leadership gathering

-an encouraging text
-my five year old grandson making plans with me for when they come visit in January
-a quiet welcome to the new year

still following,