Tag Archives: fall

Gratitude Production 101

gratitude production 101

Here are all the links to all 7 blogs in case you missed one. Trust me you do not want to miss one. All on the same subject, all so different yet so similar.

Before November gives way to December and all that seems to go with this time of year, make sure to read these. After this week of reading these I feel better prepared to enter this busy season. I will be more intentional with my thanksgiving, more satisfied with what I have, more compassionate to those who don’t have, more focused on the real reason for the season. I will be more thankful.

Take a few minutes, ready them one right after the other, like chapters in a book. it won’t take long. Choose just one or two of the suggestions to try see if it doesn’t change the way you look at celebrating the birth of our Jesus.

Day One by Traci Castaneda : Thanksgiving Blog Venture Day 1

Day Two by Terry Porter : Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Day Three by Bev Landgren : 365 Days of Grateful

Day Four by Joe Castaneda : Be Thankful. Be Thankful. Be Thankful.

Day Five by Tom Tanner : Rooted, Built, Established and Abounding in Thanksgiving

Day Six by Danny Ray : 3 Ways to Make this Thanksgiving the Best One Ever

Day Seven by Becca Forrest : Intentional Thanksgiving

I am working on a special project for this weekend. Stay tuned!

Have a blessed tomorrow.

365 days of grateful

gratitude production 101

Today is my day (day 3) in this project, I am honored and excited to be part of this Gratitude Project 101. I hope as the week progresses you will stop in and check out the 6 amazing bloggers I have been teamed with.

 

365 days of grateful

grateful

This is the time of year we stop to reflect on what we are thankful for, we post out thankfulness for the 31 days of November. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great practice, but last year my heart was softly challenged, why only once a year?  Why do I  take only 31 days out of 365 to actively practice gratitude? These thoughts continued to nag at me for several weeks. Why would I not express my thankfulness every day, all year long? I have a blessed, beautiful life.

Instead of making resolutions for the New Year I chose this one word to focus on and put into practice for 365 days– Grateful. (See this project for more details.)

For days I prayed, planned and wondered, how would that look? How exactly would I place this word in my life in practical, tangible ways. I decided on at least 3 things I would practice every day.

Continue reading 365 days of grateful

Thankfulness interrupted

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I began the month of November wanting to write every day about all that I am thankful. I wanted to give more than just a quick sentence about each thing, but for some unknown reason I have been hit by a multitude of migraines over the last few weeks. This has really wiped me out. So I did not accomplish that goal of writing about each thing, but I did take the time to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for, which is much.

I have had migraines in the past, usually one every few months at the most. In the last 3 weeks I have had about 7 of them. I have been trying to figure the reasons for the sudden rash of migraines.

Some one suggested stress, at first I dismissed this. I keep thinking if it were stress then wouldn’t I have had them when Jason was in the hospital and then when he passed? Then I got to thinking, maybe I was too numb, maybe I am just now feeling the stress of it, maybe it has taken my body this long to catch up with reality.

I tend to handle tough events in this way; I go into what I will call control mode at a time of crisis. I get my list together, if only in my head, but there is a list, and then I act. I am calm and in control. I do what needs to be done, quickly and efficiently. Then when the crisis has passed, that is when I fall apart. When it is all over, I finally feel the reality of the thing.

When my mom passed, this was my first true tragedy, well besides my divorce, but when she passed, I acted. I gathered my children and moved in with my dad so he did not have to live alone. It wasn’t until six months later that I let myself feel the loss, and I fell apart, a little. I am a bit of a control freak so I don’t let myself fall apart easily, and then not for very long, especially when my kids were young.

When my dad had his last stroke, and Monica called me to the hospital. Again, I stood strong, dealt with the decisions that needed to be made. I watch my dad leave this earth for the arms of Jesus. This time though, Tim was there, making me take care of my needs also. This was very new and foreign to me, and still I did not let myself feel the impact until it was all over, and much later. It was months again, before I felt it fully. The fact that I had no earthly parents.

When my grandma passed 2 months after Jason, same story, different verse.

When my first marriage fell apart, with great determination, I gathered my children, we made a life and home. I did not fall apart, I was strong, I never let myself feel the full impact of this. Not until this wonderful man entered my life. I began to fall in love with him, and then all the hurt and pain I had not dealt with bubbled up to the surface. “Stuff”  long forgotten, so buried and that I had fooled myself into thinking I had dealt with it. 23 years later I finally began really dealing with the “stuff”. I am amazed that Tim hung around while I was sorting out the hurt. I am so grateful he did.

Then the most horrific tragedy I have ever been faced with, Jason’s passing. Again, I gathered my list, did what needed to be done. Marched through, quickly and efficiently because this is what I do. This is who I am. And maybe just now I am feeling it. The full impact. Don’t get me wrong, I have fallen apart many times, cried until I thought I might never stop. I have had my days of fog that I thought would never lift. But maybe just now, my body is feeling the stress of it. Maybe this is the way my body is dealing with the new reality. Maybe as we come up on this season of holidays where family and friends gather, I am feeling the full impact. I am not sure anyone ever deals with the loss of a child, but maybe this is a step in the process of healing. Letting go of the stress of it, maybe my body is dealing with the stress in this manner. Maybe by putting my feelings to words will help. Who knows, time will tell.

But this I know, I am thankful for this life my Heavenly Father has chosen for me. Yes, I am even thankful for all the crisis that he has given to me, for these things have made me who I am, and have lead me to this place now. This life I love. So while I have not written in detail about my thankful list, I want to say I am thankful for a Heavenly Father that sees me, and knows my name, and has carried me through it all to this place. I am thankful for the privilege of raising two amazing children to be amazing adults. I am thankful for the godly parents God gave me. I am thankful for the amazing life partner he gave me. Tim has been my rock, my steady in the storms of the last couple years.

This continues to be the cry of my heart, God is good, all the time. I am eternally grateful to him for this life of mine.

Thankful continued

Day twelve:

I sit here sipping my coffee, peppermint mocha, thinking about all the things I could write about today. I have so much to be thankful for, so many things race through my mind.

Today, I am grateful for mornings, quiet ones that move into do nothing days. I am grateful for mornings for this but mostly because they are a fresh start. A chance to be better than the day before. I chance to be kinder, more understanding, love more.

Mornings, they are when God’s mercies are new.

Morning vs. Mourning

Psalm 30:11& 12
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

I am forever grateful for the dawn of morning, even if there are patches of fog. (see yesterday’s post) Hope, renewed energy, peace, joy – come in the morning. A  fresh start, possibilities, and His mercies – every morning – they are new.

Letting go

This week has been a tough one. Even after trying to process why all day yesterday, I have  not been able to put my finger on any one thing. I have been moody, and tears have been just a  blink away. But I think I have narrowed it down.

The rain has started, after a long beautifully sunny summer and early fall. Thursday evening, we put summer away. Tim did what was probably the last mow of the season. I moved any furniture that was outside to the inside. I zipped up the swing. I cried. For some reason I am not ready, even yet, to put summer away and let fall take its place.

I have moved my weekend early morning routine to the attic. I love this space, but I miss the garden and the hummingbirds.

I realized yesterday that I have not taken pictures of this beautiful fall we have been having. I am already sorry for that, the colors have been brilliant. The leaves have hung on longer this year, probably because of the dry weather.

I know by clinging to summer I have missed some of the beauty of fall, but I don’t seem to want to let go. It feels as if something precious is being ripped from me.

As I finish this post, I am watching the most beautiful sunrise unfold from my attic window. I am sitting in my grandmother’s 70’s orange rocking chair, wrapped in a blanket made by her for me. It is kind of like a hug from heaven.

Today I will practice letting go, I will say good bye to summer. I will practice embracing this fall that will soon turn to winter. My hanging on does not change the fact that the seasons are changing, it just makes me miserable.
Today I let go, a little more.

I am standing

Yesterday was the memorial service of a woman that I did not know, Amy Britton. She is the daughter of Mike Britton, a teacher I had at Salem Academy. She passed from a heart attack, she was young. I am sitting here and tears fill my eyes and roll down my face, as I think of this family waking this morning with out this daughter, sister, mother and friend. My heart goes out to them, my prayers go up for them.

Feelings come rushing back to me as I remember the shock, the pain, and the numbness of those first weeks and months. I realize just how merciful God is in the numbness, letting us feel things slowly as we can handle it. I think now that if I did not have the numbness and I had felt everything, comprehended everything, I would have died of a broken heart. God is good this way, metering out the “stuff” as we are ready so that it does not overwhelm us.

When the waves of realization and comprehension come crashing over me, they do not overwhelm me. They do not knock me down.  They may push me a little off balance, but I stand, even if a little wobbly, I stand.

I am standing.

I stand because I know, with out a doubt, God is good – all the time.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning . . .       Lam. 3:22

The Why’s and What If’s

Recently I have found myself wondering why Jason passed. Not that I did not wonder, always, but I had to quickly put away the whys for fear I would get lost in them. I am at a place now that I can wonder and put it away before it overwhelms me. Progress, right?

I have heard so many stories of similar circumstances happening to others, and they survived. I wonder what was different about Jason’s illness. I think part of my questions because  I never really comprehended what was truly wrong with Jason. Was it his lungs that hurt his heart? Was it his heart that hurt his lungs? We were in this state of wondering for his whole hospital stay. It was decided in the end that it was his heart that hurt his lungs, but the diagnosis was so new I did not have time to digest it before he passed. So I wonder sometimes.

I even let myself go to the what ifs. What if he had stayed a few more days in the hospital? What if he had gone to a rehab center? In my heart of hearts I know that we were given a gift of a few more weeks with Jason. I know that Jason was ready for eternity and that he would have disliked his new way of living, with the so careful eating and the stress of how to pay for the mountain of prescriptions that he would have had. In my heart of hearts I know this was God’s timing. But there are days I wonder I ask what if.

I miss him. I miss my mom, I miss my dad, I miss my grandma. I have these feelings in moments now, not days. Progress again. I am healing, and it is only when I am feeling happy, and content that I can let myself dwell on these things long enough to write about them.

So today I want to say, I am happy and content. I know that God is good, all the time, like I have never known it before.

I survey this place I live and feel a peace in my heart. I love this little piece of land that is slowly being transformed. Jason’s garden is such a peaceful place to sit, the hummingbirds are such a gift to watch. We planted shade trees yesterday. Eleven of them. I can hardly wait for them to be big enough. Just walking around the yard and talking to my heavenly father gives me such a peace.

I love the man I wake up next to each day. He is such a gift. Sometimes when he reaches for me and gives me a little squeeze I am in awe that he still loves me, even after living with me. I have never known a love like this and some times it still takes my by surprise.

I am so proud of my daughter, I wonder where I would be today if she had not entered this world, she was a bit of a surprise, but again, God knew even then, I would need her. I am constantly amazed and in awe of the woman she has grown into. She is so full of grace and love for others. She is strong and independent, she is a woman that follows after God. I love her dearly and am proud that she calls me mom.

I sit here today with my heart full. I am full of joy, love, and contentment amidst the why’s and what if’s.