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,

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