Posts filed under ‘Gratitude List’

Friday’s Fave Five October 20, 2017

“Old age is dark and unlovely, Sally” said Mrs. Adams.

“Still,” said Sally, “you have much to be happy about.”

“True,” agrees Mrs. Adams.

~ (This short conversation came from an episode on John Adams.)

Yes, old age is dark and unlovely. And yes, there is still much to be happy about. Right now I am going to list five things that gets my gratitude. Join us here to do the same.

ONE. Celebrated Emily’s Birthday breakfast and dinner. My niece turned 16 and we had the required birthday waffles and ice cream breakfast and then the birthday person’s choice for dinner (lasagna, bread and salad with cheesecake for dessert.) Emily is smart, athletic, funny, loving, godly, and dedicated. I am blessed to have her as a niece.

TWO. Completed another 5K FUn Walk. Mary and I have finished four 5K’s now. This one was along the American River. There were only 40ish people – mainly running. At least we weren’t the last folks done. It was a lovely day and the money went to a cause we both believe in: the Children’s Receiving Home.

THREE. Decluttering is still going on. The thing I am happiest about is that the porch is empty. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so I had a huge incentive to get this area done.

FOUR. Car was donated. I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with my old car but wasn’t having any luck. With some help from my daughter, my car was donated today. It feels good to help a non-profit. And it feels good to cross off a majour item on my to-do list.

FIVE. Decorated a bulletin board. Cheryl helped me to put up new information on our PEP 55+ bulletin board. The gal who normally takes care of changing out the advertising. is not feeling well. So Cheryl helped me and we think we did a nice job. Plus it was fun spending time with Cheryl. And we even got in a few minutes of prayer together.

Your Turn . . . Please share something from your list.

Related Post . . . 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

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Grateful 43- Ideas from Heaven is for Real

Day 36 – Ideas from (the book) Heaven is for Real

Have you read any books about heaven? A couple of years ago my prayer partner lent me her copy of Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo. The other day she lent her copy to my daughter. Since my daughter is currently living with me, I thought I’d reread the book so we could discuss it once she is done.

I don’t know if the toddler, Colton Burpo, actually visited heaven. But I do know after reading this book that my faith and excitement for heaven grew. And both are good things.

I am grateful 4 3 ideas from this book. I will share my idea and then some quotes from the book about that idea. NOTE: All the quotes except for two are from the dad, Todd Burpo.

ONE. God hears our prayers even if we’re MAD at Him.

And Jesus answered my prayer? Personally? After I had yelled at God, chastising Him, questioning His wisdom and His faithfulness? …

Why would God even answer a prayer like that? And how did I deserve His mercy?

I don’t feel good about having been so angry with God. When I was so upset, burning with righteous anger that He was about to take my child, guess who was holding my child? Guess who was loving my child, unseen? …

At that time, when I was so upset and so outraged, can you believe that God chose to answer that prayer? … “Can you believe that I could pray a prayer like that, and God would still answer it with ‘yes’?”

What had I learned? I was reminded yet again that I could be real with God. I told my fellow pastors. I learned that I didn’t have to offer some kind of churchy, holy sounding prayer in order to be heard in heaven. “You might as well tell God what you think,” I said. “He already knows it anyway.”

Most importantly of all, I learned that I am heard. We all are. I had been a Christian since childhood and a pastor for half my life, so I believed that before. But now, I knew it. How? As the nurses wheeled my son away screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, don’t let them take me!” . . . when I was angry at God because I couldn’t go to my son, hold him, and comfort him, God’s Son was holding my son in His lap.

TWO. Prayer is effective and needed.

Pastors are supposed to be unshakeable pillars of faith, right? But at that moment, my faith was hanging by a tattered thread and fraying fast. I thought of the times where the Scripture says that God answered the prayers, not of the sick or dying, but of the friends of the sick or dying – the paralytic, for example. It was when Jesus saw the faith of the man’s friends that he told the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” At that moment I needed to borrow the strength and faith of some other believers.

Our church gathering around us in the eye of the storm would change the way Sonja and I approached pastoral visitation in times of trial and grief. We were faithful about it before; now we’re militant.

THREE. Jesus really, really loves children.

And He really, really loves us, Dad. You can’t belieeeeve how much He loves us!” … (Colton Burpo)

. . . . . .

No matter what new tidbits he revealed, though, Colton had one consistent theme: he talked constantly about how much Jesus loves the children. I mean that: constantly.

He would wake up in the morning and tell me, “Hey dad, Jesus told me to tell you, He really loves the children.”

Over dinner at night: “Remember, Jesus really loves the children.”

Before bed, as I helped him brush his teeth, “Hey, daddy don’t forget,” he’d say, garbling the words through a mouthful of toothpaste foam, “Jesus said He really, really loves the children!”

Sonja got the same treatment. She had begun working part-time again by then, and on the days she stayed home with Colton, he chirped all day long about Jesus loving the children. It got so it didn’t matter what Bible story she or I read to our tiny evangelist at night, whether from the Old Testament, the New Testament, about Moses, Noah, or King Solomon, Colton wrapped up the night with the same message: “Jesus loves the children!”

Finally I had to tell him, “Colton, we get it. You can stop. When I get to heaven, you are exonerated. I’ll tell Jesus you did your job.”

We might’ve grown weary of Colton’s nonstop message about Jesus’ love for kids, but it did transform the way we approached children’s ministry in our church. Sonja had always been torn between singing on the worship team during Sunday morning services and going downstairs to teach Sunday school for the kids. And while she knew that statistics show most people who profess faith in Christ do so at a young age, it was Colton’s passionate insistence on Christ’s love for children that gave Sonja a fresh energy for our kids’ ministry.

BONUS. FOUR. Laughter.

Sometimes laughter is the only way to process tough times.

 . . . . . .

Finally I plunged in: “Colton, you said that angels sang to you while you were in the hospital?”

He nodded his head vigorously.

“What did they sing to you?”

Colton turned his eyes up and to the right, the attitude of remembering. “Well, they sang ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and ‘Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho,” he said earnestly. “I asked them to sing ‘We Will Rock You,’ but they wouldn’t sing that.

. . . . . .

“Well, I guess that’s one thing you didn’t like about heaven-no swords up there.” …

“There are too swords in heaven!” he said.

“Umm . . . OK,” [Sonja said]; “why do they need swords in heaven?”

“Mom, Satan’s not in hell yet,” Colton said, almost scolding. “The angels carry swords so they can keep Satan out of heaven.”

… I decided to lighten the mood. “Hey, Colton, I bet you asked if you could have a sword, didn’t you?” I said.

At that, Colton’s scowl melted into a dejected frown, and his shoulders slumped toward the floor. “Yeah, I did. But Jesus wouldn’t let me have one. He said I’d be too dangerous.”

I chuckled a little, wondering if Jesus meant Colton would be a danger to himself or others.

. . . . . .

Here is the next book, Heaven Changes Everything: the Rest of the Story by Todd Burpo. I will report back after I read this one.

Your Turn . . .  Name at least one way your life would be different if you . . .

  • Lived each day AWARE of the reality of Heaven?
  • KNEW how much Jesus loves children?
  • Believed that your prayers are HEARD?

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL 

Related Posts . . .

The following posts list my favourite quotes from the hotlinked book title. . . 

Posts about Quotes . . . 

 

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Oct 17 Grateful 43 – Songs

Day 35 – Songs

ONE. Christian Music. These three songs come as a package, in my mind. Every time we plan a Women’s Retreat or a Women’s Mission’s Tea, I ask the Worship Team to sing these 3 songs. Sometimes I get one of them. Once I got all three! … In Christ Alone … Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone … and Awesome God You Tube video and lyrics. Edited to add: This video does show some graphic clips. Click this to hear just the chorus – very moving.

I am grateful for these songs because they remind me that GOD is awesome, I am saved, and He is worthy to be praised.

TWO. Play this song at my funeral, Way Over Yonder. I have loved this song since I was 13. And when I became a Believer at 16, I saw a spiritual implication in this song.

A way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound
I know when I get there
The first thing I’ll see
Is the sun shining golden
Shining right down on me
Then trouble’s gonna lose me
Worry leave me behind
And I’ll stand up proudly
In true peace of mind

Someday I’ll enter heaven and the first thing I’ll see is the SON and God’s light shining down on me. And won’t it be glorious that there’ll be NO more trouble, worry, pain or tears. I’ll have a true peace of mind! For eternity. Now that’s a lot to be grateful for.

THREE. Sometimes I like a country song. Right now, I like to sing this song, She’s Got A Way With Words by Blake Shelton Lyrics, and not because I have breakup bitterness. I think this song has clever lyrics and a catchy tune. And I am grateful that this is not me. But sometime, I would like to have a witty comeback and say, “You put the why in try.” (Does that make me mean?)

When you put two and two together
You figure out love’s got four letters
I shoulda known that when I met her
But she had to spell it out for me
After all that second guessing
It’s been a long hard history lesson
Hell that’s a class I got an F in
But now I understand perfectly

[Chorus]
She put the her in hurt
She put the why in try

Your Turn . . . What are some of your fave songs? Why?

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . . 

 

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Grateful 43 – Businesses

Day 34 – Businesses

Since I am not a lone homesteader, I must rely on others for the goods and services I need. Some of these providers are awful,  most are fine, and a few are exceptional. I am grateful 4 these 3 businesses.

ONE. Library. If you haven’t been to your local library recently, why not? They have a HOST of services and all of them for free! I use a limited number of what’s offered but I am impressed by these options.

  • At the Rancho library I mainly go online to order/reserve DVD’s and books (audio, e-book and hard copy) or go online to read digital magazines.
  • Someday soon I hope to attend one of these monthly groups: the Mystery Lovers Book Club and the Spanish Conversation Circle for Adults.

And I appreciate their customer service; it has always been great.

TWO. Amazon. I buy most of my gifts and books here. The items are easy and quick to find; and the prices are decent. I don’t have to find a parking spot … brave the elements … go from store to store to find a good deal … or lug the purchases from the car to my home door. … Their customer service has ALWAYS been great. Amazon one-click is there at the click of a mouse.

THREE. Search Engines. Although these are not what you’d normally call a business, they certainly provide a service. I am most grateful for Google and Pinterest. These two “businesses” give me answers to my questions and fuel my imagination. I am grateful for both because getting answers and creative push make me a more responsible, intelligent, world citizen.

Your Turn . . . What businesses do you appreciate? . . . Comment on my answers.

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . . 

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Grateful 43 – Self-Care Activities

Day 33 – Self-care activities

What do you do for self-care? Which of these things are more necessary than frivolous? I have some things in mind and they could be called frivolous luxuries. But in my mind they make me a better person. I am grateful 4 3 self-care activities.

ONE. Epsom Salt Baths. I have been soaking in these crystals for years. And for years, the salts were just plain old epsom salts. Now they come in ALL kinds of varieties: Lavender , Chamomile, Ginger & Clay and Eucalyptus Spearmint. But my fave is still plain old, unscented  bath salts. I am grateful for these because not only do they help achy muscles feel better, they also help relax and revive me.

TWO. Naps on Sunday afternoons. That is my favourite self-care activity to do after lunch. It is hard to describe just how “decadent” this is especially when I have TONS to do. And this is especially enjoyable when the sheets have been freshly laundered. “When I was a child, I thought nap time was a punishment. Now as a mom, nap time feels like I won a vacation,” Pinterest. I am grateful for mini vacations that leave me refreshed and wanting to tackle the rest of the week.

THREE. Lunch with staff on Tuesdays. This is a work tradition. On Tuesdays we have staff meetings, prayer time, and then lunch. Our lunch time is not work- or other-focused (usually). This feels luxurious because it is time together where we are focused on each other. We share our joys and what’s happening in our lives. I am  grateful because we get to know each other better. It feels good to be “known.”

Your Turn . . .  What do you do that feels luxurious but is really necessary self-care?

 am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . .

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Grateful 43 -Traditions

Day 31 – Traditions

“Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.” ~ Susan Lieberman

Because I moved around so much (at least 20 times) there were not a lot of constants in my home. But we had some traditions. …  pizza on Friday nights … the birthday kid called the shots … mom sewed our Halloween costumes … Wide World of Disney for Sunday night TV along with a bowl of mooshed chocolate ice cream …. dad helped me roll my Sunday morning newspaper at o’dark:30 … These traditions did two things . . .

  • 1st. Traditions helped anchor me to my family. The laughs, love, and meaningful moments built strong bonds and memories.
  • 2nd. Participating in traditions let me and others know who my group was. As a result there was a sense of “belonging” to my family.

As an adult, I still love traditions. I am grateful 4 3 traditions.

ONE. Ice cream & waffles for the birthday person’s breakfast. Yep, we have ice cream for breakfast, along with all the toppings. It started out as a way to celebrate the 4th of July. And then it morphed into a birthday celebration. Today I am eating such a breakfast since today is Emily’s 16th birthday. I am grateful we are celebrating her with this FUN, unique tradition.

TWO. Hide and then hunt for Easter eggs. Every Easter we stuff and hide eggs. Everyone (including the adults) collects the same amount of eggs, in theory. We always lose a few. I am grateful for the memories. … sneakily hiding eggs … trying to pry out clues as to where the eggs are hidden … begging for the eggs to be hidden in plain sight (I am the guilty party) … eating our treats.

THREE. Creating art with my oldest grand-daughter. The youngest one, (Sienna) is not old enough, yet, to enjoy this. Sofia and I “do projects” every, single time we see each other. We are occupied for several hours each time. The last time I visited Sofia, I brought 9 art kits. We did three of them. I am grateful for the way we can be creative with and supportive to each other. And it is just so much fun.

One of the common denominators about my traditions is that they are FUN.

Your Turn . . . Tell us about some of your family traditions.

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Post . . . Traditions: How to Get Past the Meaningless to Find the Meaning (devotional for women’s Christmas party)

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Friday’s Fave Five October 13, 2017

“Praise God even when you don’t understand what He is doing.” ~ Henry Jacobsen

This week certainly brought uncertainty and questioning with all the fires in Northern California and the horrendous mass murder in Las Vegas. So it is even more important that we recount our blessings! Join with Susanne and others at Friday’s Fave Five.

ONE. Monterey Trip. Last weekend my daughter, Elizabeth, and I visited my niece, Kadie, at University in Monterrey. We walked the beach, cooked fresh trout, strolled through a Salvador Dali Museum, chatted, drank tea, and made food together. It was a FUN, delightful time.

TWO. Reading. Threads of Suspicion is a book fellow FFFer Barb recommended. I don’t recommend you read this book until the 3rd book is in print. Unless unlike me you can wait patiently to have some questions answered.

THREE. Project Piles. I am decluttering 31 minutes each day in October. My newest kick is the craft/art supplies. I am sorting this table full of stuff into project piles and then putting them into see-through, large, ziplock bags. It will be much easier to see what I have. And it will be much easier to grab a bag and start because everything is there. … I have been able to release some projects. 🙂

FOUR. Small Group. We had our 3rd meeting last night. And again it was a lot of laughing, probing discussion, some tears, and vulnerability. I am honoured to partner with these gals as we do life together and grow closer to each other and God. I shared this link about taking an online quiz to discover your love language. Knowing this information might help us to love on each other better.

FIVE. Hair cut. I have been trying to grow my hair into a different style, but after 4 months, it is clear that style is not for me. I must have shorter, layered locks. So I had my hair cut like it usually is. And it looks so much better.

Your turn . . .  Share what you’ve been grateful for. In these times of devastation, it is more important than ever to capture those things and treasure them.

What I wrote this week . . ..

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