Gray November Day

Today I am thankful for time.

English: A Gray November Day

Most days I get worked up over time, the lack of it, really.

Frustration sets in as the clock ticks down the minutes.

I need to quit doing this to myself.

Life should not be a rush to the finish line. Where does the enjoyment go, if I’m racing to meet the clock?

And for what? So I can pack more stuff into my day? Just to be weighed down by the burden of it all?

This life is about more than schedules and check lists, and calendars.

I tell myself this again, as each day it is a struggle.

Slow down. Concentrate.

Just be there.

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Today I am thankful for:

* the rain on this gray November day

* morning walk with the dog, raincoat pulled tightly around me

* warm light in the kitchen, pooled on the counter tops

* the smell of breakfast

* new blogs to follow

* beautiful pictures to look at and enjoy

* dreaming

* creative ideas

* reading good books

* my husband, who loves me and wants to share life with me

* healthy kids

* fast approaching holidays

* geese flying overhead

* the car window fixed

* my new haircut

* praying with friends

* God who is faithful




Thankful For So Much

Thankful for so much.

Country Lane

Country Lane (Photo credit: Pat Dalton…)

The more I say, “thank you” for what I have, the more things I can think of to say thanks for…

Life is inspiring and messy and chaotic and peaceful. It has its ups and downs, good and bad parts.

It can be awe inspiring and boring, giving contentment and always wanting for more…..

Life is interesting to say the least.

Yesterday I was driving home, down a quiet country road. No other traffic, so I slowed down.

Slowing down is the best way to live life. Too often, I speed through life and am frantic to get to my destination….in a hurry to get things completed. When I forget to thank, life becomes a merry- go- round that won’t slow down. It is only when I say thanks that I am truly enjoying this life God gave me.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
    and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13 NIV

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*beautiful fields of soy bean, burning yellow in the autumn afternoon sunshine

*white farmhouses dotting country lanes

* barns that blot the horizon with stains of faded red

* black and white cows chewing their cud, munching on grass

* side roads I’d like to explore one afternoon

* the open road and adventures waiting

* wishing I had my camera with me, to capture fleeting moments in time

* cooler autumn weather

* warm jacket

* brightly colored mums

* pumpkins at the store already

* the smell of baking banana bread

* chores completed

* time with my children

* my husband’s voice over the phone line

* the realization that I have a good life…not perfect…but, good

And, I am so very thankful.

Shoppers Beware

Does it mean a person is mentally unbalanced if they laugh at themselves, or at their own jokes? Um…..because, I admit…..sometimes I crack myself up. Doesn’t it feel good to laugh? Really laughing…like when you get tears in the corners of your eyes or you laugh so hard you snort. Not that I do that. That would be uncouth and not very lady like. So of course, I was talking about someone else. I was!  Work with me people, after all I am the one telling the story here.

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

My daughter and I had to run to Tractor Supply and Walmart today, two of our most common places to shop. That says a lot about us, doesn’t it? Living out in the sticks, I rarely get to see the Mall or “chain” stores anymore. I cry a little inside when I get fliers in the mail from Target and realize I have absolutely no clue as to where the nearest Target even is, much less how to get there. I’ve been having cravings for a Chili’s restaurant lately, and once again….not a Chili’s to be found. Sigh. Alas, I have digressed from my original story. I apologize. My husband tells me that I tend to do that. A lot. What can I say? I like to give details when speaking….or writing….or speaking while writing. Anyway……….

After getting back from this latest shopping adventure, I feel like our country is in crisis. I’m not talking politics, because that is an whole different story and I’m not going down that road today. I’m talking fashion sense. Or is it common sense? Now, I know that there are videos out there on the internet entitled “People of Walmart“. Those videos scare me to be honest. This week I witnessed a shopping scene that, well, it was just wrong…on so many levels. People. People. People. Get some clothes on. Really. Please.

I will be the first to tell you. I like to dress for comfort. Jeans, a tee shirt, a pair of flip flops….my usual summer attire. If you saw me at Walmart, you probably wouldn’t really notice me because for the most part I look fairly normal. ( I realize that is a subjective statement, but for the sake of my story let’s go with it.)

What (Not) To Wear When Going To Walmart

1. Wear comfortable clothes. Do not wear vampy, black  boots with six inch stiletto heels while shopping for produce. If you back up into me and step on me, I might end up with a deep puncture wound on my flip flop covered foot. I could possibly need emergency treatment. Plus, the boots do not work with the sweat pants you are also wearing.

2. Gray haired grandmothers with their young grandchildren in the cart, should not be wearing halter tops. I don’t care how young you feel inside, time has already caught up with your outside….and it is no longer feasible for you to wear a halter. Unless you are Raquel Welch, keep everything covered. I think this rule is in the grandmother’s handbook. Check it out.

3. Young men, do not wear your pajama bottoms to the store. I know that this particular piece of wardrobe seems to have become “appropriate” shopping apparel. Believe me when I say, it is not. You do not look as hot as you think you do….and I am not interested in seeing your backside hanging out. Have some dignity. It cannot take that much effort to pull on a pair of jeans if you are going to be seen in public.

4. Men, while I am on the subject. Open tank tops are a no-no. You know the kind I mean. The ones with the big armholes that allow one to see everything the man’s got. The tank looks more like a cotton drape then a real shirt. This is an especially important piece of advice if you are standing next to a person trying to shop for some meat.  As you lean over to check out what to put on the grill for dinner, you are exposing your hairy (and probably sweaty) armpit to the person (namely,me!) standing next to you. Now, I know men have armpits…and I know they are hairy….but, I don’t want to look at it while I’m checking out a package of  hamburger. It’s making you feel kind of gross while you’re reading this, isn’t it?  Now you can feel my pain.

5. Please do not wear your bathing suit into the store. They make coverups for this sort of thing. I understand that you are heading to the lake, and you need some chips and soda before you head out. I get it. Do us all a favor and pull on a tee shirt and a pair of shorts….and make sure the shorts are more than a denim pair of underwear. Walmart shoppers can only take so much sexiness at one time.

If you ever find yourself in one of the Walmart “no-no’s” make sure you are also wearing a ball cap and a pair of dark sunglasses, so you can’t be recognized…..because people are watching.

When I Consider…

Psalm 8

Psalm 8 (Photo credit: L.G.Mills)

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  Psalm 8: 3-4  NIV

 

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I can’t begin to tell you how many times I think about these verses.

Standing in the yard at night, under a blanket of stars and a moon that seems close enough to touch….

I am in awe.

Awe, that God knows me….

and He loves me.

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Today I am thankful for:

* the slow moving blades of the wind mill

* blooming rose bushes

* quiet Mondays

* getting my to do list completed

* the Word that never grows old

* a love that never grows cold

* healthy children

* laughing

* Yankee candles on sale

* answered prayers

* the sound of bare feet on concrete

* my husband’s arm resting on my shoulders

* emails from my family

* taking pictures that make me smile

God’s Fingerprints

Every person’s fingerprint is unique. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprints, as a matter of fact, no two fingerprints have ever been found to be identical….

A tented arch fingerprint pattern.

Unique. Original just to you. Identifiable.

I look at the frog (or toad?) that is on my front porch. He has a pretty gray on gray pattern.

I stare at the cotton puff clouds, swirling against the azure blue of the sky.

Did you know, that if you look closely, dogs noses have little pores or bumps all over them?

My rooster’s tail(s) are getting the most beautiful emerald green feathers.

I breathe without thinking about it.

My heart never misses a beat…for all the days of my life.

The sunrise splashes pinks and purples across the early morning sky. The colors, breathtaking.

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My husband and I have had this conversation many times. If scientists can find a piece of pottery that has been buried for centuries, and know that it was created by a human, and not just by a weird mistake, why can’t we look at all that is around us…..and know? Understand that all the creations point directly to a Creator. That all these miracles did not happen by accident. They are not here because of a big bang. The creations are far too intricate, to be nonchalant.

Know that God‘s fingerprints are on everything.

He alone is the Master Creator. His creativity and intellect know no bounds.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

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Thankful today for:

* singing birds in brilliant colors

* ice cubes in my drink on a hot day

* a slow morning

* sweet smelling candles

* walking the dog in my pajamas

* freshly mowed yard

* watering and waiting for flowers to grow

* another day

* God who creates in technicolor glory

Being Still

I think I might go outside for a walk this afternoon, around the yard and down the dusty road, finding the quiet place…where I can slow down.

I crave quiet. The chance to think. An opportunity to evaluate.      

Are you anything like me? This world we live in, pulls at me. I am tugged by the minutes and hours. Chores to do, lessons to check, a blog to write, mail to read, a house to clean, a family life to participate in, problems to solve. The days start early and end late….and I get tired. So very tired and… soul weary.

How many times do I attempt to squeeze in my thanks, my prayer, my walk with God. The One who deserves my time most, and yet I find myself rushing through the day…out of breath, out of sorts, and out of relationship.

Being still is in order.

Slowing down with purpose.

Seeing my life for what it really is… not a sprint, where I am constantly out of breath and out of my mind. It should be, needs to be, more of a leisurely stroll,  stopping to appreciate all there is…

because of all HE is.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10  NIV

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Congratulations to the winner of my Day Spring mirror give away! (April 11)  Check out her blog at journey bits.

First Day Of Spring

The first day of Spring is ushered in…

with a warm hug of sunshine.

Today it is to reach 82 degrees where I live. That is relatively unheard of. The highest recorded temperature was 78 degrees on this day, in 1921. Spring has arrived in all its glory. The grass is greener, the flowers are already blooming, and the days are longer.

Last night I was outside at twilight….just as the stars started to twinkle in the sky. I heard the geese honking across the road, the crickets chirping, and dogs barking. There is just something about Springtime.

I think it is the anticipation of what is to come.

What there is to look forward to…

Springtime at Kent's Green Dandelions in flowe...

New season. New life.

And it is good.

There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens… Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

 

Taking The Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the view from my seat in the mini-van. It is not unusual for my family to see Amish, when we are out on the road.

We often say, “Out here in rural Ohio, one has to always stay aware of the Amish and the deer when driving.”

There’s one thing about being on the road with the Amish… one is forced to slow down. That is not such a bad thing.

Slowing down. Looking around. Appreciating  the journey…. and not just speeding,  in a blur, towards the destination.

Isn’t that a good lesson for us all? For how to live life?

I can say for myself, some of the best views are when I am taking the time to look.

A slower pace. Appreciating the trip…one moment at a time.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…Ecclesiastes 3:1  NIV

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Have a glorious Saturday, my friends. Appreciate the journey.

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast-you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

—Eddie Cantor

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It’s A Snow Globe World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is something about snow that I love.

A certain hush falls on the outside, for a few brief moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It covers all the dirt, and makes even the most mundane things…

beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow softens the world, as it’s whiteness wraps all, in a blanket of stillness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And creates a snow globe haze that seems… magical.

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Enjoying my Saturday and wishing  joy for you this day, my friends.

He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
   and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’  Job 37:6  NIV

A Thousand More…

Friendship

Sometimes gifts are intangible…

Ones that are never held in the hands,

or covered in glitter and bows.

The most precious of gifts are held

only in the heart.

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* God’s promises to me

* the love of my Lord

* redemption

* in a world of people, finding my husband

* being a mom, mother, mama, or mommy

* kisses on the forehead

* knowing true friendship

* vivid memories of days gone by

* moments in time that live forever

* sparkling sunlight against the window

*  winter wind that whips the hair

*  the warmth of holding hands

* embracing, heart to heart

* compassion, given and received

* the soft smile on a face

* unique talents and abilities

* the deep satisfaction of a job well done

* peace, sweet peace, at the end of the day

The deep understanding that life in all of its splendor is a gift, given by the One who truly does not hold back…

but, loves me in spite of myself.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?   Romans 8:32 NIV

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