Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 13

During my prayer time yesterday morning, I had three words that laid heavy on my heart:


I am not quite sure what I am supposed to do about them yet.  Well, I guess I kind of do...but, no clear instructions.  So, I wrote them on the ceramic easel that sits in my kitchen to bear witness to God's work in my life while I wait to hear from Him.

I am thankful that I can cast my cares upon the Lord who cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)  And that when I lack wisdom, I can ask Him for it and He will give it liberally and without reproach.  (James 1:5)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 12

Twenty-nine years, 
nine months 
nine days.  

That is the amount of time that has passed since Jim and I last lived alone as a couple.  I'm sure that the actuality of the boys being gone has not really hit me yet.  Somewhere in the back of my mind they are probably expected in from a weekend trip to visit friends.  The reality of their 'empty' rooms will no doubt hit me at a moment when I least expect it.  But the truth is...they have moved on to a new chapter in their lives.  And I can honestly say that I am happy and excited for them.

Yes, I am also a little lost without them.  I thought I was doing so well last night as I bought groceries for two.  Then, as Jim helped me put them away, he joked that we needed to call someone over to drink all this milk.  I am so used to picking up a gallon of milk every time I go to the store that I didn't even think to look in the 'frig' to see if it was needed.  It wasn't.  We had over half a gallon left over.  Now we have a gallon and a half.

While I do miss my boys, I am also excited and looking forward to the next chapter in mine and Jim's lives together.  I pray that the adjustment is easy and that we find a routine that satisfies us both.  We have reminded each other for years that one day the kids would grow up and be out on their own. That is the way it was supposed to be.  But he and I, we were meant to be together 'until death do us part'.  

Now that the empty nest has arrived, I am thankful for the time Jim and I made for each other throughout our marriage.  I am thankful for the 'older women' who reminded me that even though it seemed easier to lose myself in our children's lives, my relationship with my husband had to be my top priority.  I am thankful for the twenty-nine years, nine months and nine days of first-hand parenting the five Blessings that the Lord gave us.  I am thankful for the wonderful people that they have become.  And I am thankful to be able to live out the words of Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)..."She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

Lord, may Jim and I both embrace the future that lies before us with strength, dignity and laughter...lots and lots of laughter.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thankfulness: Days 6-11

Day 6: I am thankful for those who share their bounty.  Deborah's parents sent home extra 'valley lemons' with Brian after their date on Sunday.  It took me a few days to get around to them, but once I figured out that they are actually delicious Meyer Lemons...there was no way they were going to waste.  I made two lemon pound cakes.  Next up, Meyer Lemon Jelly!
Day 7: I am thankful for dear friends that always make time for a little fun in our lives.  This particular trip was to spend the evening visiting and shopping at the Fort Bend Junior League's Sugar Plum Market.  In the past few years we have helped Robin out with a booth; but this year it was just for fun.  No set-up, no tear-down...just food, laughter and a few glasses of wine to help us shop. A perfect Girl's Night with Stacy, Robin, Kelley, Jennifer and I.  We had a great time!
Day 8: I am thankful for inspiration.  I have been wanting a little spot like this in my backyard, but couldn't really express my idea to Jim.  On Friday, we were visiting a dealership to take possession of a couple of company trucks.  While waiting I found these quiet little nooks...just what I had in mind except with a fire pit.
Day 9: I am thankful for the opportunity to make memories with my family.  Jim and I set out Saturday morning for a weekend visit to Atlanta.  Rosa and Steve gifted us with tickets to a Falcons game for our birthdays.  We chose to go this particular weekend so that we could also celebrate the birthday of our favorite Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader, Naiz.  She is truly a beautiful girl, inside and out.  (This picture is from her birthday celebration dinner at Chops.)
Opening ceremony at the Falcons vs Seahawks game.

Rosa, Steve, Jim and I getting ready to fly to Augusta for dinner.
We didn't make it up, but we certainly made some memories!

Rosa and I with our headsets on...ready to fly.
Day 10: I continue to be thankful for the opportunity to make memories.  A Falcons game, an (almost) ride in the private plane, followed by a relaxing evening spent sitting in the Doubletree Lounge with Rosa and Steve for a little conversation. Priceless!

Day 11: I am thankful for the answers to prayers.  As you all know, I love to travel and to experience new places.  What you may not know is that my husband is the total opposite.  He would rather stay home than to be any place else.  (I attribute that to all of the travel he did in our early years of marriage as a sprinkler fitter.)  Any way, even though he doesn't love to travel as I do, he graciously does it because he loves me.  As we set out on this trip to Atlanta, I prayed that the Lord would pave the way before us and that it would be 'painless' for Jim.  Well, did He ever deliver!  Exceedingly, abundantly more than I could have ever asked or imagined.  No Houston or Atlanta.  Straight shots through security at both airports.  In Houston we did not even have a wait -- that never happens to me.  Our flight to Atlanta (on a small express jet) was only 1/3 of the way full.  Our flight home was overbooked but still made it off the runway on time.  The Lord provided us with a wonderful driver in Atlanta.  Shoot, even getting in to the Falcons game was relatively crowd-free.  And I captured a great photo of the Atlanta skyline on my phone:
It has been busy...but it has been good!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 5

"Be still, and know that I am God!"
Psalm 46:10a

As I contemplated my busy day yesterday, I thought and thought about what I was most thankful for.  The moment that kept coming to mind was my Morning Quiet Time.  Most mornings, I make a pot of coffee, grab a cup and head off to 'my chair' with devotional, journal and pen.  

This thirty minute (or so) span of time grounds my day like nothing else.  And yet, it is also the first thing to go when I get busy, travel or we have guests come to visit.  I wish that were not so...but I wanted to be honest with you about my tendencies to 'not do the very thing I wish to do'.  

As I find myself surrounded by younger women in their child-raising years these days (namely my daughters and the girls at the office), I was reminded of how 'Morning Quiet Time' used to be just a dream.  A goal I aspired to during my own child-raising years.  

I now find myself in a different season of life and I am thankful that I have been able to achieve that goal on more mornings than not in 2013.  I am thankful for a husband who is a night-owl to my morning-lark...ensuring that 19 out of every 20 mornings I have time to sit long without any distractions.  And I am thankful that the Lord hears the cries of our hearts and that He doesn't forget.  During the toddler years, I remember crying some mornings just wanting time to go the bathroom by myself.  During these grandma years I am going to remember to enjoy the quiet...and the time.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 4

Okay...I give.  I have come to accept that I will remain a day behind in my Thankfulness Challenge.  This year I am trying to look back on my day and focus on one of the many things that I am thankful for FROM that day.  I often know the "what" right away, but it takes me a bit to find a picture or to form the words of why I am thankful for that person or event.  So for yesterday...

Yesterday I met these two for lunch.

I picked up money from the livestock auction from them  (They took Jim's calves to auction for him on Saturday.)  But while we were enjoying our burgers and chicken fried chicken we were daydreaming about our upcoming trip here...
In May of 2014 Jim and I will be flying back to South Africa.  It is his belated 50th birthday present from me.  Bri and Josh have decided to come along for the adventure too!  It will be so much fun to share South Africa with the two of them.

We are planning on spending a couple of days sightseeing in Paris and then traveling on to Polokwane for Safari.  I love to travel.  And I especially enjoy traveling with people that I love.

I am thankful for the opportunity to share a dream trip with not only my husband, but with one of our children and son-in-loves.  I am thankful for having fun and exciting things to look forward to in 2014.  And I am thankful for the excitement that fills the table as we talk of our upcoming trip.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 3

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

On this, the Lord's Day, I am thankful for my new church home.  This has been a huge leap for me.  I have been out of regular fellowship for nearly five years now.  (Since moving out into the country and finding the drive back to Alief too far to make on a regular basis.)  We have visited different churches but hadn't been able to find one that we felt at home in.  Finally, I just made the leap and joined one in our community.  

Don't get me wrong, the people are nice and I am beginning to feel at home here.  It is just such a huge difference from attending in a place where you have history to attending where you know not a soul.  (Well, technically I knew one soul...but it wasn't a personal 'knowing'...rather a child's friend's parent.)

Anyway, back to the thankfulness challenge.  Today I was able to carry on 'familiar' conversation during the break between Sunday School and church service.  That is the first step toward building relationships, right?  I am so very thankful for the friendships that have began in other congregations and that carry on until today.  I am looking forward to seeing how the Lord will work these people into my heart and life -- and me into theirs.  

And so, on Day 3, I am thankful for Fellowship at Field Store...for the time of study and worship there today...and for the sweet moments of familiarity that I experienced today.

(NOTE: This is posting on Monday because my iPad blogger app just would not cooperate with me last night.  The photo above is one of my favorites taken while Jim and I were back in Ashley County hunting a few weeks ago.  We got caught up in a rainstorm that filled the forest with an eerie fog and made it shine at the same time.)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 2

I am thankful for the joy and life that fills our home when these little people visit.

And the very fact that I didn't get this posted last night because I sat down in front of a movie and fell asleep as soon as they left gives testimony to the follow up--I am thankful that all of my precious grandchildren have loving homes to return to after a visit with Nonna & Pappaw!

(Maddux, Brooke, Delayne and Elliot playing blocks on the back deck. Weston was asleep and Davin was on a hunting trip with his other Pappaw.)- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thankfulness: Day 1

“Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. ~Margaret Mead”

Perhaps never have those words been more true than of Rosa and myself.  As children, we did NOT get along.  In personality, we have always been polar opposites.  But as adults, she has become my best friend.  There is nothing I wouldn't trust her with.

I couldn't help but think of her today...after all, it is the anniversary of the day she became my sister.  So, I begin my month of Thankfulness remembering one of God's most grace-filled relationships in my life -- the joy of being her sister.

Happy birthday, Rosa! 

    I respect the Godly woman that you have become.  Your fierce loyalty to your family and friends makes me aspire to be more like you.  You always say you look up to me...I don't think I tell you enough how much I admire you.  May the Lord richly bless you in the year to come. 

I love you dearly!