Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Post

Do you remember that a year ago last December my husband talked me into getting him a puppy for his Christmas gift? 

Sal, my husband's silver labradoodle is a year and a half old now and has settled into being a fun addition to our empty nest. Even though she's his dog, per our agreement before getting her, she's become my walking companion. Today we managed to take a nice brisk walk in the one hour that it wasn't raining. I'm thankful for that.

I'm thankful for videos of our youngest grandson talking so clearly now. It seems like he went from a few random words to being a fluent talker overnight. Dislike is too mild of a word for my feelings about living clear across the country from him, but I'm so thankful that I can see him on FaceTime and through videos sent via text. We've come a long way from when my mama got news of what my little girls were doing via handwritten letters and the U.S. postal service. There are certainly disadvantages to our technology driven lives, but being able to talk to and see my far away daughters and grandkids on my phone whenever I want is one big plus.

We are having an awfully cold and wet spring this year. But last Friday, the weather was beautiful. Hip, Hip, Hurray! We took a Friday date day drive to the beach. Oh, how I needed that walk by the sea! And I found a great piece of sea glass, just moments after beginning my walk. For the nice weather, a lovely date day with my husband, a delicious seafood lunch, a walk by the sea, finding seaglass and a pup that is now a great traveler, (unlike her disastrous puppy stage), and walking companion I give God thanks.

There are always things about life that I wish were different, from life's little annoyances, like this gray, wet, cold, spring, to life's big things, like concerns for people I love and the ever increasing darkness and chaos of this sin-twisted world. "Yet, I remember" is a phrase often used in the Psalms, usually after some lines about sorrow or suffering or frustration or anger. Yet, I remember the writer says, and then shifts the focus from his lament to the character and lovingkindness and faithfulness of God. Deliberately giving God thanks each day is similarly a sift of focus, from what I wish was different, to the blessings of the life I've been given. And I've been given so very many blessings, more than I can count...but I intend to keep on trying.

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)


-the freedom of asking for forgiveness and being forgiven
-a fun day of antiquing with a friend
-sweet photos of my grandkid's t-ball game and their faces aglow with delight at Disney on Ice

-Robin Mark's Prodigal Heart Song
-God's Word preached
-a writing idea started

-putting new shelf liner in the kitchen cabinets while listening to worship music
-my friend and her grandson unharmed in a car accident
-a nice evening walk

-our son-in-law-today's his birthday!
-God's clear direction for an upcoming meeting
-dinner, fellowship, planning and prayer with my Visionary Leadership Team

-waking up headache free!
-an "everything looks great" report from the dentist
-a long phone chat with my granddaughter

-Psalms 42 and Nicky Gumbel's commentary on it on the You Verson App.
-a mini trampoline to work out on when it's just too stormy and wet to walk outside
-tonight's teaching on the cross

-a sweet Friday date day together
-a clearance sale Easter dress
-delicious hazelnut crusted halibut

-an early morning walk
-baking for Easter all afternoon ( I love to bake!)
-Nathaniel Bassey's new album
-facetime calls with all of the youngest four grands

-Christ is risen!
-texts of the grandkids in their Easter clothes

-Christ our Passover Lamb
-His body broken for us, His blood shed for us
-Easter dinner with family and friends

-God's Word
-a rainy day tucked inside studying and prepping for tomorrow's meeting
-God's care and provision for us

-our youngest daughter-today's her birthday!
-God's help with my notes for tonight's meeting
-hearing from my granddaughter
-a nice long phone chat with my sister

-answers from the dr. about my husband's back pain
-my favorite hot tea
-our women inviting their friends to church/our women's meeting
-answers to prayer for our friends new grand baby

-pink sunrise
-the Holy Spirit's help to pray
-God's provision
-all of those praying for my husband's back

-my husband woke up pain free for the first time in five days!
-a beautiful day to take a drive to the beach!
-a perfect piece of seagrass just for me!
-a nice long walk by the sea

-a home to clean
-my husband bringing home dinner so I don't have to cook tonight
-a beautiful evening walk
-stunning cloud formations in the evening sky

-Sunday! Thank you God for being able to gather together, worship together, hear Your word preached, grow and learn
-my husband and our fourteen year old great nephew accidentally wore exact matching shirts to church today 😂
-trying a new to us restaurant with our nephew and his family

still following,


Sunday, April 2, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Post

I couldn't sleep last night. I've been pondering a little writing project for a while now and last night I lay awake in bed writing and rewriting the first paragraph in my head. This afternoon I typed up that paragraph and felt the emotions rise, not unlike the feeling of a rekindled romance, as I played with words again. I'm not sure that those words will ever be seen in this online space, but for some reason I wanted to share the joy, the blessing, of that small thing with you.

Last week I caught up with posting all of February's gratitude journaling and this week get ready for a long post as I share all of March's gratitude journal entries. 

Let me expand a bit on one thing I'll be mentioning in this month's entries. We were able to spend a few days at our youngest daughter's in-law's little cabin on the Umpqua River. This has long been a cherished place, full of happy memories, for my son-in-law and his family. When our youngest daughter married into the family we were graciously allowed to use the cabin and make some happy family memories there as well, such as our annual summer "grandkid cabin time" as we call it. There is nothing fancy about the cabin itself, but there's just something special about it. Each time we go there we experience peace, rest and refreshing. Much of it has to do with the simple fact that there's no internet and poor phone reception. A large part of it is that the beauty of God's creation is good for the soul-and this view of the river right outside the back of the cabin never gets old. I also think that the atmosphere of a physical place that's been filled with love and family life and memories and the Spirit that dwells in those who love and serve the God who created all of this beauty is different than the atmosphere of a place filled with strife and darkness. All I know is that time at the cabin always feels like a big exhale of weariness and a big inhale of peace. And for that, I give God, and my daughter's in-law's (!), thanks. 

While at the cabin, the weather also cooperated, for the most part, and so in the afternoons we would make the twenty minute drive to the beach to take a walk by the sea. We also discovered a rocky little cove that we'd never stopped at before and I found some lovely seaglass and shells. (Again, thank you, Lord, for loving me well, for knowing me, seeing me, understanding me, and showing me that You do in these small but personal and significant ways.)
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 late start for our granddaughter's school due to snow
-a little hike with my eleven year old granddaughter after school,
 (the weather had cleared up and it was lovely!)

-our daughter's in-law's made it safely to Florida

-a nap
-our daughter being able to help our oldest granddaughter with her car troubles
-our granddaughters' dog is ok after a scary seizure while I was staying with them

-my guy coming to see me for a little date
(I was staying with our two middle granddaughters while our oldest daughter and her husband were in Hawaii)
-going to Salt and Straw for ice cream!

-helping our granddaughter with her hair for her middle school dance

-a slow, lazy Saturday morning with our granddaughters
-getting back home with my guy after a week away watching our granddaughters
-a light indicating a car problem occurring when I was just a block away from home

-God speaking clearly to my heart during worship
-the Holy Spirit's work in a loved one
-just being home together on a Sunday afternoon after three crazy, busy, full weeks 

-our home
-a walk with Sal, (our dog)

-talking on the phone to all three of our daughters today

-a day spent in the kitchen listening to worship music while baking and cooking
-snowdrop flowers in my backyard

-dinner with my Visionary Leadership Team

--our oldest grandson signing on to play football at Greensboro College

-God's faithful provision for some car repairs 
-a long talk with my daughter

-a text from my oldest granddaughter
-weekly prayer points prayerfully prepared by a dear one in our church
-our weekly Bible study

-Friday Date Day-my favorite!
-the Jesus Revolution movie
-safe travels for a loved one

-morning quiet time in the Word and prayer
-my husband's care for me
-going to bed early

-Sunday morning Sbux from my guy-our weekly tradition
-the powerful, profound work God is doing at Truelife
-friends who pray for and with me

-a morning of studying and preparing for tomorrow's meeting with the women in our church
-a walk in spite of the rain
-a neck rub from my guy

-God's help with the prep for tonight
-a lovely walk in the sun!
-a wonderful gathering with the women of TL

-God's excellent care for us
-good sales on meat when I went grocery shopping
-going out for dinner with my friend

-texts from my girl
-this beautiful, sunny, blue sky day
-"Every time God speaks to us we must respond. His speaking is building something in us"

-Friday Date Day!
-a beautiful almost spring day
-God is working in a situation we are praying about

-God speaking a clear word of hope to a friend who was discouraged
-being asked to help a newly engaged couple with some ideas for their future home
-today's big to-do list is done!

-God is at work in us!
-a beautiful, majestic hawk perched in the still bare branches of a tree
-a safe drive to the cabin

-It's the first day of spring!

-a rainy morning that gave way to a beautiful afternoon
-a lovely beach walk

-texting with our granddaughter

-a sweet, slow morning together
-another lovely walk by the sea

-yummy pizza!-a rare indulgence for us

-this time to catch up on much needed rest
-the loveliest piece of pale blue sea glass I've ever found!

-watching old movies with my guy

-a safe drive home from the cabin
-listening to CS Lewis books together on the drive
-our daughter's in-law's officially closed on their new home in Florida

-my guy's loving care for my needs
-catching a needed repair on our garage door before a bigger problem occurred
-Teddy at Costco who greets me with the words, "This is the day that the Lord has made!"

-this home to clean and care for
-this husband to pick up after
-mail from my Florida grandkids

-our oldest daughter-today is her birthday!
-a good day in God's house
-lunch with friends

-God's love, mercy, grace, correction and forgiveness
-finding some gluten free ravioli that I needed to make a recipe for my friend with celiac
-a beautiful time of deep and honest sharing with tonight's growth group

-a good talk on the phone with our oldest granddaughter
-great reports from the other growth groups
-trees pink with spring blossoms

-a fantastic massage with the gift card from my siblings
-facetiming with my South Carolina grandkids
-my husband

-God's patience with me
-taxes done!
-a phone chat with my big sis today and also one with my middle daughter

a sweet morning off together
-a FaceTime chat with our youngest grandson who's feeling a bit puny this week
-just relaxing and being together on a date day when we're both overtired and not feeling the greatest

still following,