Challenge #9, Show Me The Money!

What would I do in this life, if money were no object? Here is my list in no specific order.

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  1. Pay off the mortgage. (This would be a HUGE relief!)
  2. Buy new, dependable cars for all the members of the family. (Nothing flashy or super expensive—I’m more about reliable and safe. My kids would love this.)
  3. Put a concrete floor in the barn and add more stalls. (This means more room for my beloved animals.)
  4. Pay off debt. (College loans for the kids, credit cards, etc.)
  5.  Take off on an extended vacation, traveling around the USA.(This would bring me so much joy….traveling without worry, and without time limits.)
  6. Give a substantial amount of money to my church/missions/ministries.(There are so many ministries I want to give to!)
  7. Pick a family that has a financial burden and pay it off for them. (Make this a monthly or yearly event, depending.)
  8. Gift extended family depending on what they need. (Because I love them and it feels wonderful to help others.)
  9. Updates for the house. (Maybe I could call Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper to come see me?)
  10. Put a considerable amount in savings/stock investments etc. (Because I am still about having security.)

If money were no object, what would YOU do? 

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Thankfulness and Appreciation

Thankfulness is knowing what you have and appreciating it. It is looking around with eyes wide open, seeing all the blessings in each day. Sometimes the blessings are disguised and difficult to see, and yet they are there. Waiting.

Summer is winding down, and school will start back in a few weeks. The bright greens of summer will begin to fade and the golds of Autumn will dot the hillsides.

Time moves on…sometimes slowly, sometimes with lightning speed.

Grab the moments. Each and every one.

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Today I am thankful for:

* quiet evenings on the deck

* the sound of geese as they fly over

* the slow glide of the red tailed hawk

* good conversation

* riding around listening to the radio

* church friends

* fuzzy kitten stampedes

* doggie nuzzles

* emails from family

* the health of family members

* new exercise equipment

* walks around the property

* the first taste from the garden

* blazing sunsets

* amazing clouds

* old barns

* smiles and inside jokes

* the smell of my husband’s coffee brewing

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 

 

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Summer Days Are Sweet

English: Porch swing at sunset along the Saint...

So far this summer has been good for me.

I’ve had time to think…and not think. Sometimes I need that. I tend to dwell on things, worry about stuff.

It is refreshing to have some time to just relax and not to be chained to a schedule.

Trading in calendars and clocks for a porch swing and hammock.

Enjoying early mornings and slow evenings.

Cooking becomes grilling out.

Meeting new people, making new friends.

Sight seeing and soul searching.

Afternoon thunderstorms and evening lightening bugs.

Mulling over plans.

Wondering what lies ahead, as I sip my sweet tea.

Content.

 

 

 

An Evening Walk

Sitting on the porch swing last night, looking out across the yard to the field across the road.

I just love this scene, in every season.

There is just something about a summer evening in the country.

 

 

 

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Walking down to the mailbox…

 

 

 

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Everyone is eating dinner…

 

 

 

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Views from the front yard.

 

 

 

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Turning towards home…

 

 

 

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Remembering

This day is the day to remember…

all those brave men and women who sacrificed…

those that laid down their lives for their country.

They knew what so many of us often forget…

Freedom is never free. There is always a price to pay.

Thank you to the families of those fallen. They know and understand that sacrifice is real.

Thank you to those soldiers who paid the ultimate price.

May we, and this country,  be worthy of their sacrifice.

 

 

 

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Pulling Off The Mask

She poured her heart out as she told his story. The woman on the screen, giving testimony to the young man’s mask of pain. The ladies in the Bible study listened intently, understanding that all to often, we too, wear the mask. The mask that hides the less than perfect, the heartbroken, the feelings of lacking.

Masked.

Masked. (Photo credit: .Andi.)

Let’s be honest.

But, that is so difficult. It feels wrong to admit.

The mask begins to crack.

The mirror shows the lines that are around the eyes. Every mark on the scale causes anxiety. Too exhausted to exercise. The house needs cleaned and the laundry done. Dishes are in the sink and the family needs a healthy meal. Deadlines need to be met. Bills are due and the cat just puked. I’m up to my knees in mud and the roof has a leak. Kids going here and there and husband just wants some face time. Stress level is high and the report is due. Energy lags and the days can seem so long.

This life will never be in a lay out for Better Homes and Gardens.

Surely, others have it more together than I do.

The ladies in the group, breathe in the confession. They slowly shake their heads. We all suffer from the pinching of the mask, as it covers

who we really are.

Oh, God! Why do we do this to ourselves? Trying to be perfect and have it all together, when the heart feels the struggle?

Help us, Lord to give up the mask. It doesn’t fit anyway.

Love is a better cover.

Love for ones self…and for others.

Because no one is perfect, and it feels good to just breathe.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:31 NIV

The Journal

The journal is setting on the kitchen counter.

It is a simple, blue spiral notebook…the kind one sees at back to school sales at Wal-mart.

Iced tea poured

Iced tea poured (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In itself, is nothing special, and  yet, it full of the most special.

Each word and phrase penned from a thankful heart.

Every word a reminder, of gifts so freely given to me.

Simple things, ordinary things, daily things…

How often, before the journal, did I gloss over the everyday moments,

not really see them for what they are?

God is so good…and I am so loved.

He shows me this a million times over.

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As I look back through the pages, over the past 2 years, of this notebook, I see….

Today I am thankful for all the moments in my journal:

* warm blankets

* quiet evenings

* feeling better

* coffee pot ready for tomorrow morning

* a husband’s silly story

* a son’s hug

* anticipating a storm

* having chores completed

* soft breath

* fresh, clean, white towels

* windy, hair blowing days

* laughter of children

* jingle of dogs tags

* safety in travel

* ice tea sweetness

* library book

* foggy sunshine

* glorious sunrises

* yellow bird at the bird feeder

* my son is home!

* pretty floral prints

* holding hands

* moon bathed nights

* crisp, cool sheets

* walks with hubby

* bare feet

* a snow globe world

* friends

* scented candles

* well worn Bible

* real peace

* a “free day” from work

* study with friends

* family visits

* mud puddles

* horse back rides

* giggles

* kisses

* sock sliding

* scary movies

* touching lives

* school work done

* a new grad level class

* encouraging words

* God who is the Giver of all good gifts