Monday, February 28, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (69-78)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for a year. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.




Years ago I bought a simple decoration for Thanksgiving. For the next few years, I took it out in November to decorate and packed it away in December.


Two years ago, I started leaving it out all year long because I started thinking that I should Be Thankful all the time. Not just at Thanksgiving. I keep it near my kitchen sink because while I'm doing the daily work of preparing meals and cleaning the kitchen the words are a positive, tangible, mind-focusing reminder to Be Thankful.

In All Things.

So it amazes me that a year later I found Ann's blog. Started reading her posts. Started my own list of One Thousand Gifts. Have since read her book and these two words were preparing me for this season of my life.

#69 - #78 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:
 
69. God who is leading me through this adventure of life with deep spiritual lessons.

70. a repaired/new mailbox

71. cranberry juice and the tangy flavor first thing every morning.

72. my habit of cleaning up the kitchen every night and being greeted by it in the morning.

73. our son passing one of his required tests for teaching.

74. celebrating Linda's (a co-worker's) birthday

75. beginning a new Bible Study with Terri (Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be by Donna Partow). Who knows....soon I might be awesome!

76. the Holy Spirit and my being more in tune with him.

77. warm socks on cold feet

78. discussing vacation plans with Wonderful Husband. I'm soooo ready!

Turn on your speakers. Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Maybe The Best Post Ever

I've written about the rough winter weather we've had in PA this year. Lots of snow, shoveling, Wonderful Husband using the snowblower...well, you get the picture.

I've also written about coming home from work and seeing that our mailbox had been knocked into the middle of our front yard. I don't know if it was hit by the snowplow or if the heavy snow smacked it hard enough to break the post but after 15 years, the wooden post finally "bit the dust."

Wonderful Husband knew he couldn't dig out the old post and install a new one since the ground was frozen solid with all the below 30 degree temps we'd had, so he did a temporary fix of bolting the broken post and of course more snow fell and the post was fully encased in snow for a couple weeks.

We experienced a slow thaw and were watching the mailbox lean more and more while the snow melted around it. And then the expected happened. We had strong, wind gusts for about 24 hours and when I looked out Saturday morning, this is what I saw:



So I told Wonderful Husband the news and then I left to meet a friend for breakfast. (That's how I roll. Give an update and off I go. Ha!)

When I came home I noticed our neighbor's mailbox had taken a tumble too. Here's the evidence:


No. I didn't go over to tell my neighbors. I don't like being the Bearer of Bad Tidings. :)

Darn wind.

So the reason the name of this post is "Maybe The Best Post Ever"? Keep looking:



Ta da! A post! So pretty! So strong! So hopeful that it will last 15 years like the last one!

And just so you don't think that Wonderful Husband stopped the job there:


Way to go Wonderful Husband! A job well done!

Bring on the mail!
Bring on Spring!
We're ready!

How did your outdoor stuff survive your winter weather?

Monday, February 21, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (56-68)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for a few months. Every Monday Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.


I learned an amazing lesson this week while actively seeking gifts/blessings.

I started feeling cranky about my being the only one in maybe the entire world who knows how to stock the toilet paper under the bathroom sinks and also the only one who seems to know how to hang the roll on the holder. Then I thought, "Thank you God for toilet paper," and burst out laughing.

Moments later, I rounded the corner and spotted the sink full of dirty dishes, felt the blood pressure rising and thought, "Thank you God for the dirty dishes," and burst out laughing again!

In this journey of actively seeking gifts/blessings, I can turn an automatic negative thought around quickly when looking for the blessing from God in my reality of dirty dishes and toilet paper. This lesson learned during the "little things" will be beneficial and hopefully habitual when the "big things" come into my life. 

#56 - #68 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:
 
56. laughter

57. toilet paper and dirty dishes

58. the book, Me Myself & Lies...A Thought-Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild. This was a life changing/challenging book for me about clearing out the mess in my mind and replacing it with God's Word, His love, and His truths. (Should be used with a friend or group for maximum benefit.)

59. a customer who made my day. She told me that she knew I was "from the north" because I knew how to spell her last name. I didn't have the heart to tell her that although I live in PA, I learned how to spell while growing up in the south.

60. meeting Sue at Starbucks. She has experienced the miracle of better health after leaving a stressful job.
 
61. Entenmann's Valentine's Day cupcakes. Yummy deliciousness.
 
62. four new tires and an alignment. I feel like I'm floating down the road.
 
63. sending a sympathy card with prayer to our Associate Pastor whose mother died.
 
64. our back yard neighbor's two large white dogs. I love hearing them bark because I know someone is moving around outside. Except they don't bark at us because we always sing out, "Helloooooo!" and wave. Oh. And they bark at hot air balloons in the summer too.

65. our daughter Young Sweetie leaving a Valentine's Day card and flowers for Wonderful Husband and myself while we were at work.
 
66. the Prayer Quilt Ministry at our church. Bending over the quilt in prayer, praying for a woman battling cancer, then tying a knot in the string.

67. Terri's birthday. Not another year older....another year wiser!

68. meeting Charlotte on Saturday morning for breakfast. Talking about her Revelation Bible Study and grace being my focus for 2011.

Turn on your speakers. Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Telephone Anyone?

Two thoughts for today.....

Since when do telephones have meetings?



And....

if they are having a party....



why wasn't I invited?

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (44-55)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for a few months. Every Monday, Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.


Since today is Valentine's Day, I've decided to focus my list this week on Wonderful Husband.

I'm thankful for Wonderful Husband and:

44. our love for each other through 28 years of marriage...and counting

45. his love for our children and always having the time and energy to share his wisdom with them

46. always working hard to support us financially

47. always encouraging me when I face a new situation by calming my jitters and telling me that I can do anything I set my mind to...and do it well

48. him being my biggest supporter and my being his biggest fan

49. giving him a buzz hair cut on Saturday...now only one of us has hair that sticks up (Hey! I do mine like that on purpose:)

50. him never complaining when I went to church or school meetings

51. his kindness and fairness toward everyone

52. his honesty in his life (personal and professional)

53. even though he knows me the best...he hasn't run away screaming (kind of a joke...kind of not!)

54. the visible example he is to our children on being a good husband and father

55. God blessing our marriage because we couldn't have survived, grown, and thrived this long without Him

Turn on your speakers. Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Monday, February 7, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (31-43)

I have been reading A Holy Experience (Ann Voskamp's blog) for a few months. Every Monday, Ann adds to her list of One Thousand Gifts and today I'm adding to my list too.



#31 - #43 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

31. icicles on gray days (free entertainment)


32. God's abundant love

33. my sister planning for her son's future by asking me to be beneficiary #2, just in case

34. the arrival of a beautiful Rustic Cross necklace from The Vintage Pearl


35. Wonderful Husband volunteering to drive me to and from work just in case the roads are bad

36. Wonderful Husband taking good care of  me

37. a surprise visit from our daughter Young Sweetie

38. remembering these words, "God is good all the time. All the time God is good."

39. my friend Terri allowing me to reschedule our weekly phone call until I was in a better mood (and it only took one day)

40. a phone call from my mom and update on our family

41. kind words from my boss and a co-worker in the same week

42. being appreciated at my job

43. knowing Allan who was 100 years old and seeing him in church every Sunday. Rest in peace kind sir.

Turn on your speakers. Read, enjoy, and thank God for His blessings.

What are you thankful for this week?

And why is it sooooo dirty under the eaves of my house?


Friday, February 4, 2011

A Long Winter

The electricity went out at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Everything outside was encased in ice. Tree limbs down? Car accident? I don't know. The complete silence was awesome and eery.



From outside, I heard occasional popping. Ice was falling off tree limbs that were bent low. A neighbor's tree lost two large limbs that broke off and were lying across the ice encased snow.



I looked at the limbs on trees, bent heavy with their burden of ice and compared them to the heaviness of my spirit during this long winter of ice storms after snow storms.

It reminded me of 15 years ago moving into this house during a drought. So many weeks of no measurable rain and unbearable heat. Feeling my skin (my soul) shrivel from lack of moisture. Finally rain came. Refreshment. The grass survived and greened again. My skin and soul were refreshed and even my lungs felt moistened. I was thankful for the rain.

Today I'm thankful for days having more light. Darkness is shortened bit by bit. Ice crackling off limbs, trees losing their burden. Temperature above freezing. Snow melting. Puddles on roads. Liquid moisture again.

I am still striving to hand over my heavy ice encased burdens to God who is strong enough to carry them.



Thankful for Him and His continuous grace that saturates my soul with hope during shriveling drought and numbing winter seasons of life.



Thankful for a journal received as a gift from Sue and although there was no electric power; pen and paper and natural light worked well to record thoughts to be blogged later.

How has your winter been? This morning's temperature is 10 degrees....