According to dictionary.com gratitude is defined as a grateful feeling or acknowledgment of a benefit, favor, or the like, expressed by words or otherwise. This week those of us in the US celebrated the holiday of Thanksgiving, the origins of which date back to the time of the early settlers. After months of hardship and loss those early English transplants gave thanks to their Creator for the blessings bestowed upon them. Pausing daily to reflect upon the things I am thankful to God for is my opportunity to see his hand in the small things of life. My list this week, in no particular order of importance:
- Family. The fact that we all like one another and enjoy spending time together is reason to give thanks—not all families can make this same claim.
- Music. Fills the air with sound.
- The smell of dinner simmering on the stove top on a cool fall evening.
- My husband. The perfect mate. A man who loves me no matter what. A man who’s company I enjoy.
- Books. Print, audible, digital doesn’t matter. The words flowing across the page creating a story. Amazing images with words.
- A good beer. Yep that’s right-beer is on my list. I enjoy experiencing the different flavors that can be used to enhance a beer.
- The new farm that I have bought shares of. I am so thankful for the hard work of the individuals who farm the organic produce that I have the privilege purchase.
- Walking in the woods with my husband and dog. Enjoying the peace that a late fall day brings as the footstep crunches the leaves below the boot.
- The smell of fresh linen on the bed as I climb beneath the sheets at the end of a long day.
I hope that you take a few minutes of your day/week to celebrate the perfect gifts you have received from the hands of the Creator.
Tall buildings converge
Taken on the streets of Boston on summer afternoon in July.
Weekly Photo Challenge
There is much to be thankful for and I am finding JOY in thinking back across the day/week to discover that special something I found delight in.
* On Saturday I spent the entire day at home. Yep, that’s right never left once and it was simply wonderful. I am thankful that I was able to be accomplished and enjoy the warmth and peace I can only find in my most special place, home.
* Sunday brought much to give thanks for. My dad treated me and my favorite guy to the play “Wicked” and dinner. What a fabulous day. Time with special people in a venue that is beautiful. It is difficult not to be thankful for the talent that adorns the stage from actors, musicians, to costume makers.
* As the new work week began I was thankful for a job that I enjoy and the opportunity to help so many hurting people. I also am thankful for the commuter van that dropped and picked me up at the door in the rainy weather.
* Tuesday left me feel especially thankful for some of the professional relationships I have built over these past few years. It is because of these relationships that I am able to call upon people to lend a hand in unique situations where without that special touch a patient in need would go without.
* The beauty of the day. Sun shining, blue sky, crisp air. Birds flying to and fro in search of vittles. A couple of magnificent photo’s on FB of bald eagles right here in my backyard(well practically). I wish I had time this weekend to go out looking for the majestic birds myself.
* Thankful Thursday. Grateful that my son will soon be home for the Thanksgiving holiday. While I am not a cold weather fan I found myself giving thanks for the changing seasons in weather and life.
* So Thankful to have spent the evening at a ladies retreat where we worshiped, prayed, listened and enjoyed special treats. God’s presence was palpable in the room as we sang about His love for us. I am including a You tube link of the song performed by Jesus Culture singing of His love for Us. I hope you take the eight and half minutes to listen to this song—His love can change your life.
Thanks for reading.
It wasn’t until the end of this audible book that I realized the Grimke sisters were not fictional characters but true abolitionists, that fact certainly made the story more impactful. One thing I truly enjoyed was hearing how Sarah discovered her purpose in life. Kidd does an excellent job on emphasizing this fact as Sarah walks through life. The sisters were truly infamous women leaders, paving the way for the abolition of slavery and invoking revolutionary thoughts on women’s rights.
As I pondered their courage and accomplishments while listening to their story I was reminded of the line of scripture from the story of Ester when Mordecai says to Ester that perhaps God has brought her to the palace for a time such as this. Sarah and her sister Nina growing up in a southern slave owner’s home were exposed to the realities of slavery as young girls this upbringing shaped their viewpoint and when the time became ripe God launched their ministry.
We are all born for this time. We are all here for a purpose. There is a lifework looking for our unique signature. Sarah Grimke didn’t step into her purpose until her 40’s and said “No” to other potential distractions but joys along the path. We must do the same. We each have a call upon our life and shouldn’t stop short until we hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant.”
Over on Cee’s Fun Foto blog this week’s theme is Cars and I just cannot resist the urge to create tribute in honor of my favorite auto mechanic. He has done work on many of these beauties, others are just for fun. Be sure to click on the video while you cruise the photos!
As I sat reading blog posts I was inspired to write a weekly reflection of sorts. My hope is to challenge myself to identify the beauty in each day and grow in gratitude as I realize all that I am blessed with. I wrote a brief post earlier in the week that I am sure if you read it you appreciated the undercurrent of strife with which I was contending. I received some great advice as a result of that post and continued to spend some time in quiet reflection pondering the situation. I realized that I don’t have to be stressed—it is a choice. Well I chose to let it go, surrendered it to God. You see the reason He exhorts us to give thanks in all things is because when we are being thankful and have a heart full of gratitude and a mouth of praise it is IMPOSSIBLE to be grumpy, stressed, unhappy or contentious. So as I look back at my week here are some of the things I choose to be thankful for.
*Celebrating another birthday with my wonderful mom, sister, and daughter number 2. We are not all so fortunate to have so many lives to love who love us back.
*Spending quiet time on my yoga mat, meditating, and praying.
*Having a wonderful husband who cares enough to listen when I came home after an unpleasant day. Again not all are so fortunate.
*Winning a book from Goodreads by an author I enjoy very much. I was thrilled to receive it in the mail and have already started reading. Prayer, by Timothy Keller.
*Luxuriating at the Spa of Essex yesterday where daughter number 2 did my monthly facial after I enjoyed the steam room followed by the most scrumptious, engulfing chair you would every want to sit in!
* Caring for beautiful, courageous women battling with breast cancer who daily bring encouragement and strength into my life. Today I had a message from a mom whose daughter I helped navigate the most complicated insurance problem I have ever encountered—the news—she was reinstated!!
*I will even celebrate the snow powdered ground to which I awoke this morning. While winter is not my favorite season there is a still and quiet beauty that comes this time of year.
I am encouraged by the simple splendor found in my daily life. I hope to make this a regular weekly post, please join me if you are up to the challenge!
Currently I am finding myself frustrated by the demands of work on my personal life. The expectations to my job have changed over the past 3 years and now often require early am(6:30) and later evening meetings. I find this challenging for a variety of reasons but mostly because “I like my life” and don’t really want to be tied up with work until 7,8 or 9 pm on a regular basis,even if just once or twice a week.
As a rule I am a fairly happy, positive person. And this month I have been encouraged by the pastor to make gratitude my song. Truthfully this is usually not a big problem for me but don’t you know when the challenge is on the devil will throw all kinds of arrows in your direction to prevent you from hitting the mark. Tomorrow I will get back on my positive game but for tonight I would ask for your input.
How do you handle this type of stress in your life?
I captured this photo over three years ago from the deck of our favorite eatery. At the time I thought, “cool shot, happy someone left it for me to snap”. Many visits later to that favorite spot and I know that the lone ladder is always there, simply waiting for someone to climb its rungs or take its picture.
Weekly Photo Challenge