Friday, November 25, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (452-468)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...

Days leading toward the Thanksgiving holiday were tough for me. I didn't update last week's list because I lacked energy, enthusiasm, and felt like I'd "hit a wall."

Yet I believe in God's perfect timing and the Holy Spirit working overtime within me. (And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Romans 8:26a NLT)

I read through many people's lists who had linked up to A Holy Experience last week. I read blogs that I follow and the themes were thanksgiving. I read my One Year Chronological Bible.

I watched Dr. David Jeremiah's sermon yesterday, "The Powerful Promise of Thanksgiving." He reminded me of Colossians 4:2, "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." (NLT) He also said, "Gratitude is not thanksgiving until it is expressed."

So this week I am returning to express my gratitude to God who helped me turn a corner during my seasonal doldrums.

#452 - 468 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

452. God who never gives up on me

453. Paula who "introduced me" to Dr. Jeremiah's teachings

454. my van being drive-able and my being fine (after a run-in with a deer)

455. bottle feeding our granddaughter, Little Sweetie

456. family, near and far

457. a $10 download fee for the Relevant 2011 Keynotes (could be the best $10 I've spent this year)

458. an uncle meeting his niece

Uncle with Little Sweetie

459. a sunny, blue-skied Thanksgiving Day with mild temperatures

460. my mother-in-law with her great-granddaughter

461. four generations gathered for Thanksgiving

462. turkey, stuffing, gravy, onions in cheese sauce, cranberry sauce...and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. Yum!

463. a brother-in-law's healing from hip replacement surgery

464. reading What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey. Finished reading it. Loved it!

465. God's patience, grace, and protection this past week

466. our son extending his stay by one day

467. our daughter bringing Little Sweetie over (again) for more play time. Yea!

468. a visual reminder of what I am through Christ (You Are Loved - Black Wall Art from DaySpring)

How was your Thanksgiving?

I Live

in Bucks County. An interesting name for a county and there is a reason for the specificity of my location in this post.

Here's the official story:
"Founded in 1682 by William Penn, Bucks County has had a long and distinguished history. Penn named the county after Buckinghamshire, the Penn family home in Englandpost."

Here's my unofficial story:
Named because we have lots of deer. I mean even one of our local high schools' mascot is Bucks (meaning deer, not money;)

We've lived in Bucks County for 16 years. We have seen a lot of deer running through fields, standing along roadways, and unfortunately dead along roadways too.


It was a long week leading up to Thanksgiving. I'd been a bit weepy, sad, numb, and couldn't come up with an update to my list of counting toward one thousand gifts. I was in a spiritual / emotional slump. Gray days with rain from drizzle to downpours obviously hadn't improved my mental state.

After a long eight hours of work on Wednesday, my excitement started to build toward: Thanksgiving and four days off, only being responsible for a sidedish at my sister-in-law's house, and our son already being at our house. I wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and left work with a bit of a bounce in my step.

I had two errands to run and while driving 40 miles an hour on a busy road, with cars in front of me and behind me and oncoming traffic just as steady, something hit my passenger door and actually rocked my van!

I drove about 100 feet and pulled into a convenience store parking lot to survey the damage. The traffic pattern never changed, cars weren't stopping, no dodging or weaving, and I noticed the truck that was behind me just zoomed on by where I was parked. I felt confusion, fear, and after seeing the damage, sadness.

I drove back to where it had happend. Nothing in the road or near the road. Traffic moving as usual.

Darn deer.

I'm hopeful that it was just stunned and ran off with a slight hangover. I don't know.

Yet after a week of a blah and weary attitude, I realized that during the hard eucharisteo of a damaged vehicle: My van was still drive-able and I wasn't physically injured. Pretty amazing once I started thinking about it.

I am thankful that the damage is what it is and thank God for his protection.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we  know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-6 (NLT)

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (449-451)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...

Our granddaughter was born on her due date of 11-11-11. She entered the world at 8:57 p.m., weighing 6 lbs. 1 oz., and measuring 20 inches long.

She is healthy. Her mom is healthy. Her dad is a great birthing coach. (And he's healthy too :)

I am in awe of the miracle of birth. God's hand leading us to this point in time. His grace covering us. His love for us. He created Amber and knitted her together (Psalm 139:13) and numbered the hairs on her head (Matthew 10:30).

I never knew that grandmotherhood would be so prayer-filled, exhilarating, and exhausting.

#449 - 451 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

449. a healthy, feathery-light, long-lashed granddaughter

450. a family of three

451. God blessing us with the gift of new life

Please visit A Holy Experience: Multitudes on Mondays, One Thousand Gifts.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Grandmother

It's time to update my profile description to include "Grandma."

Our daughter (Young Sweetie) gave birth to our granddaughter, Amber Riley, at 8:57 p.m. on her due date of 11-11-11.

Amber weighed 6 lbs.1 oz. and measures 20 inches.

Hey! I'm not the shortest person in the family anymore!

Welcome to the world Amber!

Congratulations to Young Sweetie and Andy!

Thank you Lord!

I am exhausted :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

One Thousand Gifts (428-448)

Continuing my journey of counting toward one thousand gifts...

I carry a small notebook in my purse to write down my list of blessings while I'm away from home. I called my orthodontist on Monday morning and asked to come in to have some "donuts" placed on my back brackets because I was wearing blisters into my inner cheeks. (Very painful.) The woman at the front desk was wonderful because she slipped me in for a quick appointment before I went to work.

I arrived on the run into the office. Had the quick procedure and by the way it was Halloween and all the staff were in costumes. I felt a bit under-dressed and was also thankful that it wasn't my first visit since it would have startled me. Ha!

I was walking out the door and saw a woman with her arms filled with her purse, books, and balancing a cup of coffee above it all. I was going to say that I would get the door for her when she looked at me and asked, "Is this yours?" She was holding my small notebook! I said, "Yes," and she handed it to me. I thanked her and marveled to myself that I obviously had droppped it in the parking lot and I was the first person she saw upon entering and it was mine.

God's perfect timing!

#428 - 448 on my list of One Thousand Gifts. I'm thankful for:

428. the woman who returned my notebook

429. a well-timed orthodontist appointment that brought relief to my mouth

430. my braces. Five months down, five to seven months left to go!

431. my first business trip for work to Baltimore, MD

432. Wonderful Husband coming with me and sharing the drive

433. Wonderful Husband sightseeing: Historic Ships in Baltimore- USS Constellation, USS Torsk, Lightship Chesapeake; the Baltimore Aquarium; and the American Visionary Art Museum

434. friendly hotel personnel

435. God and my belief that every conversation I had on the trip was ordained by Him

436. a beautiful chandelier in the meeting room at the Sheraton Hotel

437. being open to new work relationships and sharing dinner out

438. assisting a nursing mom with privacy by letting her use our hotel room

439. having the same mom show me pictures of her child "that I was helping"

440. a 60 year old woman who was inspired to become a triathlete after seeing an 85 year old cross the finish line on TV

441. being told the secret to the automatic faucet in the restroom, instead of waving my hand like an idiot, there was a sensor in the center of the spigot. (Please note: After thinking I had the secret to wet hands, at the rest stop in Delaware I'm still waving my hand like an idiot since the sensor was located in the center of the barrel of the faucet.) Argh! And don't get me started on motion sensored paper towel dispensers!

442. assisting 40 people who took our two day course

443. watching them learn, ask questions, and earn 14 continuing education hours

444. two awesome speakers with approximately 40 years of clinical research experience between the two of them

445. Daylight Savings Time and receiving an extra hour of sleep

446. hard eucharisteo: less daylight and driving home from work in the dark

447. our daughter shopping online (for us) for my niece-in-law's (her cousin-in-law's) baby shower gifts

448. our daughter not going into labor while we've been traveling outside of PA. I know it's hard for her since she's soooo ready, yet I'm thankful that we are in town from here on out!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grandma and Snow (Showers)

Last Saturday (October 29) we had snow in PA. Lots of snow. Crazy for Autumn and I hope not an example of the winter ahead snow.

I have mentioned my Bible Study Buddies mutliple times on my ongoing list of counting toward One Thousand Gifts. Last Saturday I was invited to Maria's home for a get together with some of them and breakfast was included. Yum!

Sorry of the blurriness. I forgot my camera, had Maria's son take the pictures with my phone and although the pictures looked crystal clear on my phone, by the time I copied them to my computer...fuzziness appeared. (I'm the one in the center, hands clasped in front.)

Have you ever heard of a Grandma Shower? I hadn't and these ladies pulled it together and there were gifts  and it was awesome! Someone asked the last time I had a shower in my honor and I had to think back to my baby shower 25 years ago. YIKES!

The gifts included:
lots of books - plastic, cardboard, and regular paper pages,
swaddling blankets and a Comfort in the Word quilt,
some toys,
and diapers and wipes (what?) Ha!

We prayed before digging into breakfast, Maria thanking God for bringing us all together in life and thanking Him for me too. They are such a great group of godly women. I was blessed to study God's word with them for five years. I told them that the drawback to working full-time since last December is that I don't see them on Thursday mornings. I miss them.

I drove home carefully in the snow and arrived home at noon. Here's what the heavy snow looked like from inside my house. The burning bush struggling to remain upright under the heavy, wet snow. Wonderful Husband went out later to brush the snow off and it did spring back up.

This is what snow looks like on beautiful fall colored leaves in our neighbor's backyard.

We're watching our other neighbor's tree to see if it loses another section of branches due to the weight of the heavy snow and the blowing wind.

It was a fun and crazy day in PA. (See, I am a poet!)

I am thankful for my Bible Study Buddies gifting me with supplies for grandmotherhood. A Grandma Shower is a wonderful idea for a first time grandma.

And snow showers in October? That is just bizarre!