Slow Down

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Some friends and I are participating in a Bible study based on Ann Voskamp’s  book, One Thousand Gifts. She shares how God has given us time, time to do this one life, well. How often to we rush through life as if it is an emergency? Running…always running…but, not really seeing.

Slow down. Savor each moment. See the moment for what it is…a gift.

She says that naming the gifts in the moments, offers the gift of recognition. It helps us see.

God is the giver of all things, and oh how He has blessed me! Yes, some of those gifts didn’t seem like gifts at the time. I struggled. I cried. I yelled in frustration. That is why it is so important to see the gifts given, so when the times are difficult and I feel myself in a dark place….I can be reminded that God is faithful. Always, always faithful.

I’d like to share pictures of just some of my gifts.

I smile as I remember each one…

 

 

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Snowing Again

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Again…

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It’s snowing again.

White, fluffy flakes floating down to the earth.

Winter is here, and I can feel it give birth….

to crisp, cold air. Drifting snow…

and bundling up, with no place to go.

Blankets of white fold into the ground

The hush of snow, a quiet sound.

Snowed trees on mount Brocken, Harz, Germany

Dirty Floors

My laundry room is a mess. Not only is this the place that overflows with dirty clothes and linens, but it also is the place

laundry room - before

laundry room – before (Photo credit: Amber Karnes)

where everyone takes off their boots and shoes before entering the house. This includes boots that have been in the barn and the chicken coop. Um…..it can get yucky. It seems I am constantly sweeping and cleaning the floor, only to have it quickly messed up all over again.

I take life lessons where I can get them….sweeping up the dirt of life. The dirt is everywhere, isn’t it?  Just when we think everything is in order, life gets dirty again. It is when the messiness is overwhelming, I realize that I am incapable of making things right. I’ve never been able to make things right, not really.  I cry out to the One who is able to put things in order.

He is ever patient with me.

And for that I am thankful and forever grateful.

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Today I am thankful for:

* wet, soggy Monday

* white twinkling Christmas lights

* Ghiradelli chocolate

* my dirty chickens that give me lovely eggs

* Ace who walks by my side and “patrols” the perimeter of the house

* Lonnie dog next to the Christmas tree

* Nikki who follows me around and purrs loudly

* my husband who loves me in spite of myself

* children who are healthy and funny and messy

* friends that come into my life

* singing Christmas carols without music

* dirty laundry room floors that remind me of God

* Emmanuel—God with us

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