My Heart Is Full

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. I can feel time slowing down, even in the midst of meal prep, plans for Black Friday shopping, and the beginning of decorating for Christmas. Slowing down to the day of thanks.

A day set aside to be especially grateful for all our blessings.

Throughout the year, each day brings new gifts.

So many times, I take for granted all that I have. It is too easy to allow that to happen.

Stopping now, to write them down…..the gifts…each and every one.

My heart is full.

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Thankful for: 

*a warm house

*a new puppy

*all my animals

*quilts

*hot cocoa on cold days

*a supportive husband

*new adventures

*a weekend away with my husband

*healthy children

*a son enjoying college

*watching a movie with my daughter

*time with the oldest

*all my needs taken care of, and most of my wants

*family time

*holidays

*love

Our Eyes Are Opened

I sat down on the front porch step. The collie laid down next to me and put his head in my lap. The boxer was on my other side, calm and serene for this brief moment. The terrier was walking around the yard.

The sky was bright blue, the clouds puffy and white. The sun was warm on our backs, even though the breeze was cool. The trees were already starting to turn into burning reds and oranges.

The moment was peaceful.

The river of time, that normally feels like a torrent, slowed.  I looked at the scene before me and breathed in deeply.

When we slow down, enjoy the moments, life becomes more clear.

Our eyes are opened to all that gives life meaning.

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Life Is Good But Not Perfect

The sun poured out across the back field, lighting up the flowers like nature’s jewels. The soybean field was emerald green against the worn wooden fence posts. In the distance, beyond the field, I saw the outline of the town’s water tower. It was the start of another Monday morning out here in the country.

 

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Life is good, but not perfect. I gave up trying to strive for perfection, because it only causes stress and frustration. The fact is, life will never be perfect. There will always be pet fur stuck to furniture, cats that drag dead birds onto the deck, stickiness on the counter tops, a clogged toilet, a lawn mower that is broken, weeds in the flower bed, and  regret over words that should have never been said. Even in the imperfect mess of life, there is still so much that is good. So much to be thankful for….so much that God blesses me with.

 

 

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Oh, that I will never go through this life with blinders on!

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Today I am thankful for: 

*sunshine

*pets

*new acquaintances and old friends

*secret smiles with my husband

*the jangle of the dog’s tags

*bare feet

*cars that run

*icy cold water

*a favorite magazine in the mail

*bees buzzing around the lavender

*beautiful, delicate Morning Glories

*healthy children

*second chances, and third and fourth

*losing weight and getting healthy

*family support

*cooler weather

*lots of opportunities

*God, for all the ways He blesses

 

Keep Adding To The List

 

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Keep adding to the list.

Write them down as a testament to all the ways the Lord gives.

Practice, daily, until it becomes as normal as the breath you take.

Breathe in the moments and breathe out the thankfulness.

The sparkle of early morning dew on the grass, that shimmers like a million diamonds and then is gone….but, I was there to witness this fragile, delicate beauty, in that moment. The sun streaming through the fog. The neighbor walking the dog in the early morning quiet. Light shining through the turquoise mason jar on the window sill, sending color onto the counter. Clothes that smell fresh, like lavender. Hugs and kisses. Morning coffee. Cards written to friends. Knowing love. Seeing God as He walks in the every day. Simple things, yet not simple at all.

Practice.

Practice to be ready.

Strengthen the ability to give words of thanks……in all things.

Because the storms will come.

Eventually, the hard surf will pound you against the rocks.

When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm, this list will become precious.

Priceless words that remind of all the ways that the Lord has blessed.

God was faithful then, and He will be again.

 

Smiling Saturdays

I heard the rain on the roof this morning, not a hard rain, but gentle and soothing. It was time to get up. I had chores to do and errands to run. On my quest to see God in each day, to be thankful for even the smallest of things, my eyes have been opened in ways that I could have never known at the beginning of my journey.

The first stop was at the bank. There is something to be said for small town banks. My son and I were met with friendly smiling faces, and helpfulness. A smile is such a small thing, but doesn’t it make all the difference?  We were even offered coffee, tea, or water while we waited.

Next, it was to Tractor Supply to pick up feed for the chickens and the horse. While loading the heavy bags onto the flat cart, one of the men (whom I had not seen before, he must be new?) asked if he might help me? I thanked him for his assistance. After he helped me I noticed him helping an older couple with loading their purchases in their car. His kindness made me smile.

Lastly, was a quick stop at Aldi’s grocery store. I smiled at the people that were doing their Saturday morning shopping. Most times I got a smile in return. Smiles are contagious, right?

It has been a good day so far. I’m thankful for smiling Saturdays. 🙂

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Sometimes The Sound Is Deafening

The morning is gray and still and it feels like rain is in the air, but who knows, that can change in a second around here. A Monday in mid-July, that is the beginning of a cool spell that is to arrive in the area. Not to offend all my summer, heat loving, friends but, the thought occurred to me this morning that October is less than three months away. My favorite time of the year. Not too hot, and not too cold, as Goldilocks would say, “just right”.

Weeks passing and months passing and I mull that over on the way back from the barn.

Time doesn’t stop. The moments speed along whether I’m “in” the moment or not. Although I love Fall, I am not ready for it to get here yet. This Fall brings changes to my life, and to those that I love. My son starts his freshman year of college in late August. He will be roughly four hours away in the land of frozen tundra (Michigan to those who don’t know). I am thrilled for him, and he has earned this chapter of his life…but, things will change. I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. Sigh.

My daughter begins her senior year in high school. The year will consist of finishing classes, ACT testing, senior pictures, filling out applications, and making a decision about a college or career. The culmination of years of work will be graduation. When she walks across the stage it will be both the beginning of a new chapter for her, and the end of mine and my husband’s days as parents of school age kids.

Everyone is an adult now. Being independent, making their own decisions. Our oldest son, is already out on his own, making his way in the world, and living with his own choices.

Time ticks off the minutes and sometimes the sound is deafening.

One of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, says that in order to slow down time one needs to see the moments and be thankful. When we are thankful we enjoy the time more, we see things more clearly, and are grateful to God who gave us this life.

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Today I am thankful for: 

*beautiful glowing super moon that lit up the yard with its light last night

*giving belly rubs to the dogs

*a cat in the lap

*a new way of eating that makes me feel so much better and healthier

*ripe summertime tomatoes

*fresh blueberries

*HGTV marathons:)

*inside jokes with my husband

*my husband, who loves me….even when I am feeling unloveable

*kids that are no longer kids….my children, all grown up

*gray morning sky

*turning back toward the house after getting the mail, and being awestruck by the azure sky and white clouds

*stopping in the driveway and raising my arms in the air, so overwhelmed with the beauty of nature, and yelling “THANK YOU, GOD” at the top of my lungs…. my voice echoing back to me off the side of the metal barn. I believe God has a sense of humor and no one can convince me otherwise. I think after that outburst God gave me a fist bump. 🙂

 

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Good For The Soul

The sky was shades of morning blue, all the way to the horizon, with not a cloud in sight. I could already feel the heat and humidity in the air, but the strong breeze blowing from the west helped it to not feel so oppressive. The sun shone brightly over the tops of the trees in the distance, its warm rays already bouncing off the metal barn roof in blinding spectrums of light. The collie joined me on my trek to the chicken coop. He knows he isn’t allowed inside, so he watched instead, gave a few sniffs, and wandered on down the yard. After feeding the hungry chickens I made sure to lock the door so they got no surprise visitors to their humble abode. Now, it was off to the barn to let the horse outside into the pasture. She made me smile with her fly mask on. Her attire reminded me of an equine version of a Halloween costume. Even though her eyes and ears are covered, I know she is watching me. Better to wear a mask then to have to deal with those pesky nuisance flies!

On the way back to the house I notice I have an entire entourage following behind me. It is an early morning farm parade… Me, the collie, the neighbor’s dog, and two out of our three outside cats, followed along behind me. I laughed out loud. The sound carried and bounced off the side of the barn, echoing back across the yard. Laughter. It truly is good for the soul.

 

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Today I am thankful for:

*blue sky

*pets…lots of pets

*laughter

*good food in the crock pot

*watching TV with my husband

*tall, lanky son

*daughter who wears her ball cap

*front porch flowers that explode in colors of purple and pink

*movie with friends

*ice cold water

*flip flops and rolled up jeans

*summertime music

*reading a good book and napping in the hammock

Moments In Life

There are moments in life when you just know….know that this brief flash in time will forever be etched in the memory.

Times that are bittersweet.

When you realize at that very moment that everything will change.

Wanting just a little while longer…

but knowing it isn’t to be.

There is no going back.

 

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Today I am thankful for:

* clouds that scud across the moon

* watching the dark storm clouds pile up on the horizon

* waiting for the rain

* wispy fog hugging the ground

* the cry of birds in the early morning

* watching my son graduate

* tears of joy

* going out to eat as a family

* singing with my husband

* bouquet of roses

* cards from my husband and children

* love

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  I Chronicles 16:34

 

 

 

 

The Wind Takes My Breath Away

The wind, this morning, is roaring like a lion. Fierce and unrelenting.

The entire house is heaving against the force, bracing against the assault.

Walking the dog in this wind is no easy feat.

He is getting pushed down the yard.

Hair blowing wild. The wind taking my breath away.

Barren trees bending low.

Springtime is windy.

 

 

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Today I am thankful for: 

* wind that dries up mud

* peaceful time alone in the early morning

* a cold glass of green tea

* a slow day

* paws padding on the floor

* hearing my son on the radio

* days closer to his graduation

* looking forward to family visiting

* the week before Easter

* Jesus, God’s only Son

* His sacrifice for me

 

 

It Changes Me

Today I am thankful that I am feeling at least a little better. It is no fun being sick! Even when I am not feeling up to par, I still have a lot to be thankful for. When I am thankful it changes me, for the better. When I focus on the blessings, I see God in the midst.

 

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Today I am thankful for: 

*being able to breathe

*warm clothes

*good books

*a husband that is understanding when I’m sick and miserable

*a chance to rest

*clean laundry

*Netflix

*dark morning hours

*walking the dog

*crunchy toast

*Jesus, who loves me