Thursday, August 24, 2023

Weekly Gratitude Journal

We were able to spend four days at the little cabin on the Umpqua River last week. Our youngest daughter's in-laws own the cabin and graciously allow us to use it. If you read my last gratitude post you know that this has not been an easy summer. More big changes with the out of state move of our oldest daughter and her family. Then there's the never ending road construction happening behind and next to our house. The mess! The noise! The devastation to our yard! Add on top of that all of the usual busyness of ministry life and boy did I need a few days of peace and quiet and rest. It was wonderful. Best of all were several "love notes" from the Lord that happened during those few blessed days. What I mean by "love notes" is little things that God brings my way that speak to me in a deep and personal way-things that say, "I see you." "I 'get' and understand you." "I love you."  The first night at the cabin I watched a falling star fall in a straight line from above my head all the way down the center of my field of vision. It was as if God said, "I'm not going to let you miss this!" The next morning I was sitting out on the back deck of the cabin having my devotions when I looked up and saw a herd of eight elk running along the river's edge right across the river from where I sat. After my devotions I walked into the kitchen to start making breakfast and glance out of the kitchen window just as the tiniest hummingbird I've ever seen was sipping nectar from the purple rose of sharon that grows between the cabin and the road. The next day we took a drive to part of the Oregon coast that we lived in when our youngest daughter was born. We drove to a beautiful viewpoint and an artist was there painting the scenery. I admired his painting and we struck up a conversation. Turns out he is from New England and his favorite place to paint is Pemaquid, Maine. One of my most favorite places is Pemaquid, Maine and my dear friend painted me a tiny 8x8 painting of it based on a photo I had taken. What a sweet encounter God arranged for me! That afternoon as I kayaked in the river I looked to my left and the cutest little river otter popped his head up and swam along beside me for a wee bit. The following day a bald eagle flew right above me as I kayaked. God knows how much His creation ministers to my spirit. He also knows how bereft I've been feeling with all of our children and grandchildren now living so far away. All of these "love notes" were His way of reminding me that I am not and never will be alone and that He's got me in His tender care and for that 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)


-doing a bit of writing
-a thoughtful gift from my church family
-a healthy dinner that even my husband likes
-vanilla no sugar added ice cream with fresh strawberries

-finally, pavement is happening on our street project-less dust!
-a fresh haircut
-eating, planning and praying with my leadership help
-a walk with a friend

-my birthday! Thank You God for Your faithful care for me!
-facetime calls with all my girls and grandkids and lots of other texts and messages and calls
-a beautiful drive out in the country to the wedding rehearsal of a dear young couple
-a lovely visit with the bride's mom and dad

-a quiet morning to pray, read and study
-our church family who love and serve so well and who helped put on the loveliest wedding
-K and J are married!

-Friday Date Day!
-new leaves on the flowering quince that I thought had died
-so many encouraging comments about the wedding

-getting notes for a class I'm teaching done
-making sugar free raspberry jam with my friend
-a quiet evening

-I KNOW that I can trust God
-MJ praying for me
-my birthday gift came in the mail!

-God's help with preparing for tomorrow's meeting
-the Helper-the Holy Spirit
-a walk in the cool of the evening

-an early morning FaceTime call with two of my sweet grandkids
-seeing the "day moon"
-phone messages from my oldest granddaughter
-God's help with tonight's meeting

-a FaceTime chat with my two middle granddaughters
-a helpful neighbor
-a freshly groomed pup

-praying with women from our church to start the day
-making a big batch of homemade granola

-my six year old grandson calling to tell me he read over 190 pages this summer!
-photos of our middle grandgirlies in their new school uniforms 
on their first day of school in their new school, new town, new state!

-a really nice Friday date day together
-a sweet card in the mail from my youngest daughter and her kiddos
-the sound of the sprinkler

-God's presence and nearness when I am sad and missing my kids and grandkids
-the gift of freshly picked blackberries from a friend
-a FaceTime call with my middle daughter and two of my grandsons

-my sister-today is her birthday!
-getting to watch on live stream our six year old grandson receive a Bible from his pastor
-today's amazing message
-a safe drive to the cabin
-a bouquet of wildflowers
-a falling star!

-a good night's sleep
-a heard of elk running along the river across from the cabin

-the tiniest little hummingbird
-a long walk by the sea

-driving to places full of good memories of when our kids were young

(Sunset Bay, Oregon)
-meeting an artist painting at Cape Arago who told me his favorite place to paint is Pemaquid, Maine!

(Cape Arago, Oregon)
-a fantastic lunch at Miller's on the Cove
-a kayak to use at the cabin

-a little river otter popping up his head and swimming beside me as I kayaked
-a great blue heron

-a bald eagle flying overhead as I kayaked
-a sale on something I needed and then the sales clerk giving me a magazine I was going to for free!
-listening to books on Audible together

-a safe drive home
-facetime call from the grands
-talking to my big sister on the phone

-a sweet, slow morning together
-a nice long FaceTime chat with my granddaughter
-having lunch together that "hit the spot" of what we were both hungry for

-our home
-a longtime friend
-getting a bit of yard work done

-the Holy Spirit's work in our deepest places
-my husband's kiss and hug goodbye before his trip to Atlanta
-help with a plumbing issue
-a safe flight for my guy to Atlanta

-my new sunglasses
-an early morning walk
-deep heart conversation and praying together at growth group

our kind neighbors help with a much needed tree trimming
-my husband's phone call
-a heart talk with my daughter

-my 6 year old grandson being convinced that the old "Billy Boy" song goes 
"sharmadelly" instead of "charming Billy"🤣
-good long phone chats with both of my sisters today!
-my guy is safely home from Atlanta
-the great leadership God has placed in our lives
-a phone call from my oldest granddaughter

still following,

1 comment:

  1. Just scrolled through my reading list and stumbled upon your blog. Been a while since I checked in, but it was spot on this time. So relatable. Me and the hubby went for a short drive to the Rhine river yesterday. Found a spot on a rock by the pier, watching the water's glimmer. Exchanged a few words here and there. On our walk back to the car, we admired those special flowers growing along the embankments, dodged some cow pies, savored the wind rustling through the reeds and willow branches. These little beautiful moments are a blessing for a quick recharge.

    Thanks for sharing those lovely photos. Nice to catch up on your blog again. Now I'm thinking: should I start counting and jotting down my blessings too (in the little notebook)? Does it really help you? 🤔😊


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