Posts filed under ‘Friday’s Fave Five (FFF)’

Friday’s Fave Five – September 20, 2019

It is Friday, so it is time to share five favourite blessings. That’s why we call it Friday’s Fave Five or FFF.

ONE. I have a new Physical Therapist and thus renewed hope. I just wasn’t healing well. My PT and I just weren’t connecting. I got a 2nd opinion last week. My arm is back in jail (in the brace); but I am already noticing less pain and more sleep and energy. I am HAPPY dance full of gratitude for this blessing.

TWO. God helped me write (my sermon) and share it. Without God’s enabling power, I would not have been able to do either action. Sunday’s topic was GRACE Listen to this to find out why grace is like super-hyper-abounding, crashing waves. I am thankful for God’s help and for all I learned about grace.

THREE. This video will make you laugh, think, and feel differently about God’s grace. My two favorite quotes — “I [Jesus] took the unforgivable and made it forgivable,”  — “Andrew, my face is smiling, but I [Peter] am serious.” — I am thankful for Christ’s forgiveness and for laughter.

FOUR. I went to a meetup with Sacramento Cake4Kids bakers this week. It was great meeting people, participating in a tool swap, hearing from an agency we partner with, and making a celebratory cake topper. I am grateful that I am part of a ministry that bakes cakes (and other treats) so kiddos can celebrate their birthdays. Some have actually never had a birthday cake. NEVER!

FIVE. I more than survived a PEP field trip. The folks over 55 at church (PEP) went to Alta Sierra Biblical Gardens. I was nervous about going because I remembered that the trails are uneven, rocky, and steep in places. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue. But with my brace on, I felt very vulnerable and worried about falling.

I brought my walking stick and a plan. My plan was if I felt too scared about the path, I would just find a nearby bench and sit to wait for the group to come back. I kept my focus on the bits right before me.

That’s the best way to handle life when it is overwhelming or scary: just look at the bits to do that are right in front of you. (Right?)

With Marsha and Gail’s encouragement, I was able to make it all the way to the top and down.Usually one was before me and the other one was behind me. I am thankful for these ladies.

I never realized how handy a walking stick is. I am thankful for this piece of equipment.

None of us fell. All of us had a good time. Half of us made it to the top. All of us enjoyed the scenery and the beauty around us. All of this good news also went on my gratitude list.

This list has more than 5 THANKS. I am sure I will not get into trouble for that! Leave a comment below or share your post at Living to Tell the Story.

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Friday’s Fave Five – September 6, 2019

Everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefulness, and gratefulness is a measure of our aliveness.” ~ Diana Butler Bass, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks

It is time for my weekly ritual of looking for the blessings from this past week. Regularly saying thank you to God and to people help me live a life filled with gratitude. When I live that way, I am contented and therefore nicer to be around.

Tomatoes – A friend, Mark,  had an abundance of tomatoes in his garden and so he gave me 10 pounds. I made crockpot tomato sauce with this bounty. Some I turned into spaghetti sauce and some I turned into tomato soup. These have been delicious treats. I am grateful that Mark shared his produce and that I found a recipe that we like.

Office – A work colleague (and my sister in real life) no longer works at the church where I work. I was able to snag her office. It has three windows which let in a lot of natural light. My daughter painted my new space and moved all the furniture. I am still settling in, but I can tell this is a win-win of a move. Although, I will and already do miss my sister a lot. I am grateful for my new space and for the help my daughter gave me.

Certified – My daughter has been studying to become a Certified Braille Transcriber. That has been her focus for the past 18 months. Yesterday, Elizabeth received news that she passed her final. She had to transcribe 37 pages of a book for sighted people. However, she more than passed. She passed with a score of 100%. I am so proud of her. And I am grateful that Elizabeth’s hard work paid off sooner rather than later.

Celebrate – Of course we had to celebrate Elizabeth’s hard work. We went to Zest Kitchen which is a vegan restaurant that also has gluten-free options. I had the Tiger Mountain Mushroom Burger. Wow, was it delicious. I am grateful my daughter passed and that some of us celebrated her Wednesday night.

Postage – I finally boxed up and mailed a slew of stuff I bought for my granddaughters. I procrastinated because I KNEW it would cost ALOT to mail. But I put them in a medium flat rate box from the US postal service. Ya’ll, it only cost $14.35. This was a heavy box, too. In fact, it can weigh up to 70 pounds; the postage for this size box is always $14.35. Did you know this existed? I am grateful I could mail all the items for such a reasonable price.

What’s on your gratitude list for this week? Share some in the comments or write your own post and link up here at Living to Tell The Story.  You’ll find a group of grateful like-minded folks.

P.S. I apologize in advance for still not being very good at visiting and commenting on other FFF’s. It is still painful to write (by hand or computer).

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 30, 2019

Gratitude is a choice which leads to happiness, contentment, and generosity. Gratitude is an especially important choice to make when life isn’t going as well as you’d like. I am in such a down time. My shoulder isn’t healing like it should. In fact, my range-of-motion has decreased whereas the pain has not.

“If it is difficult to live gratefully as individuals,” Dr. Bass believes that, “achieving a communal sense of gratitude will challenge us in profound ways.”  So, I am making it a point to think about blessings from this week and post them with a community of like-minded gratitude seekers at Living to Tell the Story.

My five fave blessings are as follows.

ONE. Texts from my kiddos. It is always a pleasure to receive a text from one of my adult children. I like knowing they are thinking about me especially when right now I want to think about why I should be grumpy.

TWO. Gratitude journal. In order to help me focus even more on the lovely things of life. I bought myself this journal. It has questions, prompts, and coloring pages for a brighter, happier life. There are almost 150 pages. So we’ll see how I am, gratitude-wise, by the end of January  2020, if I do one page a day.

THREE. A Cake4Kids request. Since mid-June, I have been on the baking sidelines because of arm weakness and pain.  Then I saw a request for cookies, bars, or brownies. I thought I could manage to make those by myself. I knew I’d make Rice Krispie treats because kids of all ages love them. I wanted these to be festive looking so I checked out Pinterest for ideas. I found a recipe that includes fruity pebbles and extra marshmallows at the last stage of mixing. They turned out pretty and tasty. I know because I made a test batch two weeks ago for a potluck.

FOUR. Gratitude book. This week I read Gratitude: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks by Dr. Diana Butler Bass.  I am also grateful that I could read it on my e-reader as I can hold my phone more easily than I can hold a physical book. Here are some of the ideas I am pondering from this book.

“Gratitude amplifies goodness, rescues us from negative emotions, and connects us to others in meaningfu ways.”

“Gratitude is both a noun and a verb. Gratitude is both a feeling and a choice. The first often arises unannounced and the second takes a lifetime of practice.”

“Gratitude is not a psychological or political panacea, like a secular prosperity gospel, one that denies pain or overlooks injustice, because being grateful does not “fix” anything. Pain, suffering, and injustice – these things are all real. Gratitude, however, invalidates the false narrative that these things are the sum total of human existence, that despair is the last word. Gratitude gives us a new story.” (I believe  God is the author of my story and that He rules it with compassion, grace, and meaning.)

“God, help me to quiet my noisy, worrisome mind in my ordinary world. Help me relax in the familiar and to beware of and appreciate it.”

FIVE. Vegetable tart. Last week I arranged meals for a family that experienced multiple deaths in a short period of time. A person had to cancel on bringing a meal, but my daughter said she make something for this vegan-eating family. Elizabeth made Vegan Spiral Vegetable Tart. She made it several months ago for a tea party and we loved it then. Elizabeth made two pies for the family and two for us. We all loved it. In fact, the other family texted for the recipe. Even the kiddos loved it.

Your Turn . . . Leave your blessings in the comments. Or write a post and link up here with like-minded folks.

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 16, 2019

Gratitude flows from a heart that is aware and content. I am aware that God is the giver of all good gifts in my life, from the majour things (a healing body) to the minor things (an empty hot tub to enjoy in peace).

Being content with what I have and don’t have is a bow to the concept that God allows the not so lovely to occur in my life. The Apostle Paul says he learned to be content in times of riches and times of scarcity. I want to emulate that attitude in all things, as well.

Through it all, I want to stay committed to the truth that God is good.

That is why on Thursday nights, I strive to look over my past week for the blessings from God. I want to be aware and content.

If you’d like to join in with this weekly meme, Friday’s Fave Five, go to Susanne’s place at Living to Tell the Story to link up your post. Below are five of my favorite blessings.

ONE. Crafting with others. Crafting helps me relax; it’s like I get an emotional massage. On Friday night, Gillian led nine of us in making 12 cards. Most of my sentiments had something to do with prayer. I was relieved that my healing right shoulder mostly cooperated with all the fine motor tasks, although I didn’t finish a third of them until the next day. This evening held a threefold blessing, the actual crafting, chatting a bit with the ladies, and having homemade cards to send.

TWO. Spending time with a longtime friend. It has been months and months since Marsha and I have spent time together. We rectified that on Saturday. We watched The Good Witch episodes, made an early dinner together, chatted, and then drove to a nearby outdoor theatre to buy tickets (Mama Mia) for our church Seniors’ outing this coming Sunday night. The time flew by. It was an easy atmosphere to feel comfortable and welcomed.

THREE. Youth took over. Last Sunday, five high schoolers and one youth group leader were responsible for church service. They shared a pivotal experience from summer camp, led us in Scripture reading and were part of the worship team. They led in prayer and gave the offering invitation. It was exciting to see how God spoke to them and changed them. They had things to say which we, the congregation, needed to hear.

I usually deal with the women and seniors (55+ years of age) in our church. But I had the privilege of working with the young people. It was fun to note and encourage the giftings they displayed. I liked praying for and encouraging them. It was a treat to get to know these six.

FOUR. Women’s Ministry Team meeting went well. We organized details for events through December. I am grateful for Cynthia and Gillian as they willingly and lovingly commit to reaching the women of our church. Their attitudes and examples stimulate and encourage my thinking and actions. The events we have planned are more than socials. Our goal is fostering an environment that grows a deeper relationship with God and with each other.

FIVE. FaceTime helps me connect. I speak with my east coast grandchildren several times a week. It is always a joy. But yesterday, I had the pleasure of connecting with a niece who lives in Germany. We only spoke for about 10 minutes, but it was a delight to see her, hear her, and share news. These face-to-face chats help me feel like I am a part of their lives. Hopefully, they feel the same about me.

Your Turn . . .  How aware and content were you this week? What blessings did God pile onto you this week? Please share in the comments or link up your own post at Living to Tell the Story.

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 2, 2019

Since I broke my shoulder seven weeks ago. I find that I need to make myself look for the good in daily life. With all the pain and hard work it takes to heal, it is too easy for me to stay self-centered all day. One way to look for the good, is to participate in the weekly meme, Friday’s Fave Five. Write your own post and link up at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. Blood draw. I had to get blood drawn on Monday. It is usually an ordeal because I have small veins. It frequently requires multiple tries and a different person has to take over. BUT – this time, the phlebotomist got my vein on the first stick. And there wasn’t even a bruise.

TWO. Community Breakfast. This is my church’s 2nd annual breakfast in a nearby parking lot. Besides food, we had two bounce houses, games for kiddos, and face painting – all free. Despite the heat, we had a decent turnout. I like that we gave back to the community on Sunday.

THREE. Two Movies. Our senior group from church watches a movie on the months that have a 5th Tuesday. Last Tuesday we watched the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” It is about a master sushi chef who has a restaurant in Tokyo. His restaurant gets 3 stars on the Michelin rating system despite the fact that this restaurant only has one sitting of 8 people per night. It is about dedication to your craft.

Since it was a shorter movie, we then watched the mockumentary “Juan Likes Chicken and Rice.” Juan is also dedicated to his craft. This 2nd movie had us in STITCHES. Both movies are streamed on Netflix. Go spend two hours on these movies. You won’t be sorry.

FOUR. Pool Exercises. Man, it is uncomfortable to do my exercises. At least it is on land. I’ve discovered that if I do them in the pool, it is easier; I can work harder and longer; and it is fun. I am a water baby. I do them in the pool 2-3 times a day. And I’ve seen great strides in my range-of-motion. (However, no new skills this week.)

FIVE. Watermelon. Sydney cut the watermelon we served at the Community Breakfast, She cut it in a different way. It was less messy eating it this way. I love learning new things.

That’s my five for the week. Thanks for reading.

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Friday’s Fave Five July 26, 2019

It has been 6 weeks since I broke my shoulder and I am still recuperating. Last Thursday, I started physical therapy to increase my range-of-motion. I have to do 6 exercises 5 times a day. That is hard and by the end of the day, my arm HURTS. So pain management has been an issue again.

ONE. HELP. I asked on Facebook for ideas from folks who deal with chronic pain on how to stay emotionally and spiritually balanced during this time. I received help. The answers folks gave weren’t, for the most part, new to me. But I needed to hear each one. For some reason, when the pain is unrelenting, I forget the things that will help; Like icing, listening to upbeat music, and being around people who will point me to God. I want to write a post about all the things folks suggested. I will print it out so it is an easy reference for when I am fretful and can’t think what to do to help myself.

TWO. SCRIPTURE. Several folks reminded me about the power of God’s Word to calm a fretful soul. And I was reminded about the power of praise to adjust one’s focus. Which is why I am back to writing an FFF. Psalm 42:11 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.

THREE. SKILLS. I can do several more things this week. (1) I can wash and dry my face with both hands. (2) I can brush my teeth with my right hand. (3) I can wash my hair with both hands. (4) I can turn off the twisty knob on my floor lamp; (5) I can type for about 5 minutes before it is too painful. Even though there is a lot I cannot do, I am training myself to focus on my progress.

FOUR. NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY. My church celebrated this “holiday” last Sunday. Folks brought their fave single-serve ice cream to our Fellowship Hall.. We ate that and studied the book of Galatians. We listened to The Bible Project’s Overview of Galatians.  We read the book in small groups and pairs. And we concluded by answering a few questions. This was an encouraging and fun time.

FIVE. FINISHED. My daughter turned in her final project for the braille transcribing course she’d been studying for the past year and a half. It will probably take 6-8 weeks before she receives her grade. A grader reads the 35 braille pages, marks any errors, and writes Elizabeth a letter with her grade. Then it gets mailed back to California from Maryland. We hope she receives it much sooner. I am so proud of Elizabeth for finishing this course. She created a Facebook group for folks going through this course: Literary Braille Transcribing Study Group. It started with one person and now has 165 people. After Elizabeth posted her manuscript at the post office, we had frozen yogurt (first) and then ate at Mod pizza (they have gluten-free crusts).

BONUS. PHOTO. Even though my son and his family moved to VA in June, I am still connected to them. One of the best ways is via Facetime. My grandgirls and I like to take photos of each other while we visit. This is one of the latest photos of the two older girls.

Your Turn . . . Share your praises from this week in the comments below or link a post to Living to Tell the Story.  . . . Also, please share what you do when you feel fretful in mind and spirit. I’d like more ideas.

Related Posts . . . I need to go back through my old posts about chronic pain. I see that I can remind myself of some helpful things.

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Friday’s Fave Five – July 12, 2019

Four weeks ago, this past Wednesday, I tripped while running in the Philadelphia airport to catch a connecting flight to SFO.

Long story short, I missed my flight to SFO; instead, an ambulance took me to the Jefferson Methodist Emergency room.

I have to make a side note here, I really appreciated the paramedics that attended me. I wish I had the presence of mind to thank them for their attention, professionalism, and care.

Five hours, one x-ray, and one CT scan later, a cab deposited me back at the Philly airport. My daughter met me at SFO (about 9pm) and drove me home even though she’d been up since 3 o’clock that morning.

Edited to add: I  chipped a triangular piece of bone off my lesser tubercle (on the right humerus bone under the ball and joint) and there was a fracture at that point also.

This is what my arm looked like one week after the accident. … My arm bruise is now only about the size of a small apple and is not in vivid colour anymore. Sorry, no photo as I cannot manage that action by myself – yet!

More of my healing details are in my FFF list.

Here are my faves this week – and in TRUTH, it would be easy to list more than five things just related to my shoulder.

  1. I saw the surgeon on Monday and she was pleased with the bone regrowth so far. Therefore, I can start physical therapy on Thursday, July 18. It’ll probably be at least four more weeks before I can drive.
  2. The pain is managed with Tylenol and Motrin, usually needed only at night. Ice, heat, and arnica gel have also helped a lot.
  3. As of this week, I am more mobile: I can now dress myself, feed myself with my right hand, and put on my own seatbelt in the car.
  4. I worked a full work week from my office.
  5. After a meeting yesterday, a friend took me to the store to drop off donations at the Goodwill and get supplies for a breakfast we are having at church on Sunday. She also helped me figure out a meal to take to someone who had surgery this week. The assigned person couldn’t do it at the last minute.

All-in-all, a great week.

Leave a comment. Write your own gratitude post. Link it up with Susanne here.

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