Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again. Time to pull out the turkey and dressing, all the fixin’s and indulge just a little more on those pecan and apple pies! Yet, I wonder, sometimes, if we fail to remember the real reason for this Thanksgiving season. It’s to give thanks, not only for the delicious food we have but for the people in our lives who mean so much.

Let us look beyond the table today and see who sits across the way. Let’s remember to thank our God, our parents, our spouse, and our families for their love and support. May we remember our friends who have helped us along the way and those who have gone the extra mile when we needed them to stay. May we remember even those who might not be present but who have made an impact on our lives throughout the years.

Let us, also, remember those who might not be at the table but who do so much to keep us safe and secure in this world of uncertain times. Let’s remember to thank the men in blue, the men and women who serve in the armed forces and all those who sacrifice so much to ensure our freedoms in this great nation we call home. May we extend a welcome, a thank you, a heartfelt note of gratitude for all they do.

Last, but not least, may we remember those who don’t have what we have. May we reach beyond our homes and beyond our comfort zones and lend a helping hand that those who don’t have so much for which to say, “Thanks,” can one day turn around and lend the same helping hand to show their thankfulness. May we allow our hearts of gratitude to become an act of love and support for them.

On this wonderful day of Thanksgiving, I say, “THANK YOU to all who have been such a blessing to me. Thank you for your love, support and prayers. No matter if your impact has been as deep as my husband’s and my sons’ or if it’s a little lighter as I am just getting to know you, you each hold a piece of my heart, and without you, I would not be who I am today. For you, I am forever grateful. ❤

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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A Grateful Heart

Happy (early) Thanksgiving! It’s that time of year when we start thinking of all those things for which we should be grateful…like turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans, pecan pie and sweet potato pie! … Are you hungry yet? I know I am!

Maybe your thoughts of thankfulness are turned toward your family, your spouse, your children or even your co-workers and employers. Maybe it’s for more material things like a roof over your head, money in the bank, or transportation to get you from place to place. Maybe it’s a good job, a good church or a good network of friends.

During this season, for me, I am thankful for my husband, our boys, my extended family and our home. I am thankful for my faithful God, our wonderful staff, our great church body and our freedom to worship. I am, also, so very thankful for our law enforcement, our military and all those who fight so hard for our freedom and our safety in these uncertain times.

There are really too many things I could list; so, I will pause here to say, Whatever it is for which your heart is grateful during this season, relish in it. Cherish it and share your gratitude, especially when it’s people; for, we have no guarantees, and no promises even for the next breath.

Yet, really, we should carry this heart of gratitude every day and not just during the holiday seasons. I was reminded of this so vividly this week as we received a call that you never wish to receive. A husband, father of five, and an incredible man who served our nation at the federal levels, was killed in the line of duty. It was an act of senseless violence and hate.  Honestly, it will take some time for all to process this level of grief. Yet, as we walk this journey, it is crucial to remember our gratitude for him, as well as, for all those who might have impact in our lives. 

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A heart of gratitude can change your attitude, your countenance and your perspective. A heart of gratitude will cause you to see farther, hear clearer and receive far more than when you are not. A heart of gratitude doesn’t always come easy, but it grows from a thought life of thankfulness. 

What do you think about? On what things do you allow your mind to dwell? Let’s make a point today to think on “whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE, [let’s] think on these things.” (Philippians 4:7-8)

When we focus our thoughts on these things, our hearts will follow, and when our hearts are full of gratitude, we will see both the big and small things in which to be grateful!

Three Things Thursday – Thankfulness

Found this cute little linkup at Ms. Emily’s Home for Full Grown Nerds; so, I thought I’d join and share.

Three things I’m thankful for right now…

My Pumpkin Spiced Latte candle is making my office smell yummy!

The cup of coffee I had this morning is about worn off by now, but it was so delicious!

I came into my office today to find the crockpot that I had forgotten and left over the weekend was completely cleaned and dried for me! (I’m writing this blog on Monday, not Thursday. 😉 How very sweet! … It was full of a breakfast – egg, sausage, cheese – casserole, too! Double sweetness!!

These are just little things, but they make my heart very thankful. ❤

Thank You a little late…

I received this from WordPress last week, and I’m just now getting the chance to post a Thank You!! I do apologize for my delay, and I hope you know how deeply appreciative I am for each and every follow and kind word of encouragement you have so graciously given to me over the last two years! It means so very much! YOU are awesome!! THANK YOU!! 💗

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Praises or Curses

“And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:8-11

Can you see Him?
He entered the city riding upon a donkey. The people lined the streets, shouting, “Hallelujah,” praising His Name. They hailed Him as King. 

 

 Can you see them?

One week later, they would curse Him and crucify Him. Hate Him for the very thing for which they praised Him just days before: He proclaimed to be King. 

How often do we do this same thing?

When things are going good, we praise Him, we worship Him, we proclaim His goodness. We smile. We laugh. We rejoice and tell of His great love to those around us. 

Yet, when tragedy strikes, when hard times comes, when things happen that we just can’t understand, we question. We doubt. We grow angry. We even curse Him, at times, believing we should never suffer, because we serve Him. 

Can you see yourself?

Fighting, clawing your way through life. Angry and broken over the things that haven’t gone right. Hurt and confused because of the broken dreams and shattered promises of this world. Lost and alone without Him. 

Now, can you see Him?

He looks upon you with eyes of love and not anger. He comes to you with His arms open wide. He wants to forgive us, and He longs to redeem us. He died for us while we were yet sinners, and He is faithful to us even when we are so less than faithful! He loves us and desires to be with us, and He patiently awaits our surrender. 

This week, as we head toward Easter, let’s stop and really evaluate our responses to Him. Let’s not allow our praises to become curses simply because things don’t turn out as planned. 

Bring your brokenness to Him, and let Him heal your hearts. Let Him soothe those fears and doubts. Let Him comfort you and help you. He loves you, and He has good plans for you. 

Can we praise Him today? 

Praise Him for all He’s done. Praise Him for His love for us and freely receive that love. It’s there just for you, just for me. Let our praises become a ritual and not a one time offering. Let our praises become a lifestyle of love to Him. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

  
I hope you each have a very blessed Thanksgiving today! 

Enjoy being with family and friends, and remember to be thankful for the things you have and the people who mean so much!! 😊

If you don’t have family or friends to be with today, I pray you are able to reach to someone who may be as lonely, or lonelier, than you on this holiday of gathering. There are so many hurting, desolate and abandoned souls just longing for someone to say, “hello,” so many who long to be welcomed and included. 

Enjoy this day doing something memorable and full of a grateful heart. 😊

*I do not own not possess this picture. Found by simple Google search: http://nampalibrary.org/library-will-be-closed-the-26th-and-27th-for-thanksgiving/ *

America the Beautiful

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Her majestic mountains once rose above the clouds; 

They once challenged men to climb her rugged stairs to bow.

Her magnificent waterfalls once dropped deep into the valley;

They once inspired men to race down her rocky waves to rally.

Her awesome wildlife once soared above or scurried below;

They once entranced men to follow her and reap what they’ve sown.

 

These men have come and abused her rugged land.

They have crumbled her majestic mountains to form contraband.

These men have come and drained her waterways.

They have closed her powerful rivers to produce longer days.

These men have come and devastated her wilderness.

They have destroyed her beautiful creatures to make a their money nest.

 

Because of this,  America is in what we abide.

Man has taken over, ruled and abused her countryside.

They have caused her air to pollute, her animals to scatter and her flowers to wilt.

And still, many of them ask, “Why is America what she is today? …Upon what is this country built?”

Only time can show what we have produced, nurtured or half-baked.

Only you and I can change this and make improvements from our mistakes.
There is still hope to redeem this beautiful land. 

There is still opportunity to protect her sacred sands. 

We must awaken the passion. We must arise from our slumber. 

We can change it, but we must first acknowledge out blunder. 


Recognition is the first step to healing. 

Healing is a process; it is never an instant revealing. 

It is possible. We still have hope to survive. 

We must redeem our heritage if we are ever again to thrive. 

Penned – MG – 2/19/90

 
 

 

 

Thankful for friends

I am currently working on my list of “Gifts of a Thousand” in following the example given by the book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. You can read and find out more here. Making a list of 1,000 things of which you’re thankful is not such an easy task. Sometimes, I feel I am making great progress; then, at other times, I wonder if my heart is even grateful.

The other night, I was at a restaurant with about 30 ladies from our church, enjoying a Girls Night Out, and this time of fellowship, coupled with thoughts of those who couldn’t be there that evening, inspired quite a few notes on my ‘thankful list.’ I thought it might be fun to share a little of this list with you today, and maybe it could even inspire you to start making your own ‘grateful’ list…

205. Watching someone be surprised when their meal is paid for
206. Hearing nice, decent men tell a group of ladies, “Have a nice evening, ladies!”
207. One waiter serve 30 women their meals both joyfully and graciously
208. A young mother smile through tears; even though, the doctor has said, “no more babies.”
209. A young wife testify, “The name of the Lord is great!” even after two miscarriages and no promise of a single child
210. An recent widow enjoying time out with friends even while she’s still grieving
211. An elderly widow enjoying time with the girls even though she has a tough time hearing while in big crowds
212. An ethnic friend sharing about challenges she’s facing, trusting God is in control
213. A mom to young girls, whose past could offend, but whose faith in God and surrender to His ways will change the greatest scoffer
214. A young grandmother, new to the event, comes on her own just to meet new friends
215. Young college girls being tight friends through thick and thin
216. A seasoned mom/grandmother whose words of wisdom is a cherished treasure
217. A grandmother whose grown children have gone through various tragedies and trials, yet her faith in God cannot be shaken
218. A vibrant grandmother whose young son lost his fight with cancer, yet through her grief, she’s learned to laugh again
219. A mother to three youngsters, all under the age of five, lead women with grace, compassion and poise
220. A grandmother who has a mother in a nursing home, just lost her daughter-in-law to organ rejection and is less than a year removed from her husband having a heart attack, share exciting news of an upcoming cruise
221. A mom of two teenagers who longed to ‘get with the girls’ and couldn’t due to illness, but sends a text of love and “I’ll miss you!”
222. A mom of three youth, who still grieves the loss of her momma, yet has learned to smile again in spite of the pain

These are the women, and many more, who make up my life. Some of them have been friends for years, some I had just met that night, but I still call myself blessed to be surrounded by them. They are women of strength, women of tears and women of God. They are each a piece of this wonderful tapestry called life, and for each of them, I am eternally grateful. 🙂

Joy and Gratitude

2015/01/img_9402.png Is the height of my [abundant] joy dependent upon the depths of my [grateful] thanks?
– Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts*

As I read this book, and ponder this thought, I am challenged to live beyond my current state of stagnant being. I have more to give. I have more to experience. I have more to live.

Too often, we miss the abundance of joy, because we fail to recognize our lack of gratitude that is blinding us to His truths. When we humbly appreciate His grace, when we kindly receive His mercy, these are the moments we truly live. We are freed from the weight of expectation. The cage of our own ideals is broken and crushed. We are able to take flight and fully live.

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy. The true meaning of life. The true life to living.
Joy in the moment. Life in the minute of giving thanks… These are all wrapped up in heartfelt conversations with Him.

This is why I have begun my own personal list of one thousand gifts. I need this like I need air to breathe. This will be my eucharisteo, my praise, my joy. This will be my message of gratitude to my Creator and my God.

I began 2 days ago, and I am just shy of reaching 100. Will you join me this year? This list to 1,000 may take a little while to pen down, especially if we do it right. Will you join me in reading her book; so, you can further understand this incredible concept and, with me, become challenged to live fully right there in the place you have found yourself to be?? Will you join me in penning your One Thousand Gifts?

“The only real fall of man is his noneucharistic life in a noneucharistic world” -Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy*

*Both quotes from One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp. Find her book and more info. here.

**I do not personally know this author, not have I been asked to promote her book in any way. I have simply been inspired by her words, and my hope is others will read this and be inspired as well. 🙂