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Another Thanksgiving word

As I have tried to focus on the words of Thanksgiving, I have come up with a few that are most meaningful.
The first one I wrote about was gratitude, adding in thanksgiving and being grateful.
The second word I am focusing on today is tradition. says: it is the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or practice.
It is also a long established inherited way of thinking, a continuing pattern of culture belief or practices.
When I think of our homes of origin, my husbands family had very different traditions then my side of the family.
We could not and never would have Thanksgiving without my grand mother’s traditional menu.
That was a tradition….a knowing, a familiar experience, even long after she passed away.
Now I am not just speaking of the food that would be on the table, but even more when I was growing up, our tradition was the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade.
I remember to this day of getting ready, all day long it seemed, doing our hair, getting dressed up, making ourselves presentable.
I remember those prickly black metal rollers in my hair with a plastic stick holding it in, till my hair dried in hopes of making it curly.
I remember we always dressed up. It was not ever a casual day, no it was special, you were expected to look nice.
That is a part of tradition that I am talking about.
My husbands side, of his family often ate in a much more casual setting.
In our house, it was a time of pretty and nice and festive and formal.
I believe every one has traditions they remember around the Thanksgiving holiday.
For some maybe there was nothing to expect. Nothing repeated. Just a dinner.
In my home of origin. We knew we would always have Turkey, potatoes, gravy (oh so good), dressing and green beans always with bacon, rolls covered in butter, relish dishes of pickles and olives, carrot slices and celery, oh and never forget the pumpkin pie with whipping cream, as you sat next to grandpa’s warm fire in the fireplace.
Traditions are good.
I love the memory of our grandpa and grandma’s traditions.
It really is a very important part of the day we call Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving week ~ words to challenge us

Today is the beginning of Thanksgiving week. Many will be taking vacations to go visit family.
Others will be shopping and preparing for the festive feast.
Some will be working single or double shifts. Holidays are hard in some professions.
There are some words I would like to challenge us with, words that give meaning to the day and season.
As we move forward into the fast chore list of what needs to be done.
Today’s word is going to be gratitude. says Gratitude is the quality of feeling of being grateful or thankful.
When we look up the words we learn of these meanings:
Grateful is warm or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.
Thankful is pleasing, agreeable, welcome or refreshing, feeling or expressing gratitude.

Do you see where I am going with this?
Thanksgiving… giving thanks with a grateful heart.
It is a time of reflections, observations, remembering and expressing.
Giving thanks for all we have now, for love of family and friends.
Giving thanks that we live where we can worship without fear, sing songs without worry, and choose our acts of freedom every day.
Many cannot do this without great concern for safety and peace.
On this day of Thanksgiving, I pray we not only give thanks for our peaceful lives, but to say a prayer and
send a thought, or perhaps even tell someone, how grateful you feel to know them and have them close to your heart and life.
It is a time of giving thought for how much we are given.
Romans 12:3 [a book of The New Testament]  The Message (MSG)
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you.
Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.
No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

Friday’s new word prompt

I love to participate in the Friday’s word prompt, as it challenges me to think on a word, and the many directions one can go with it.
Today’s word prompt is: Dwell
I have read some who chose to write about the homes we live in as we dwell together. Yeah that is a great choice.
The word has three parts to it: dwell, dwells, and dwelling.
The Bible mentions them 179 times which is pretty significant.
The idea or concept from the dictionary is to live, stay or reside or to ponder upon a thought.
One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament of the bible is in Isaiah 32:18.
The message version is: My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood – in safe houses – in quiet gardens.
The revised standard version: My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure houses, in undisturbed places of rest.
Both of those verses are full of calming promises.
In Psalm 4:8 it says: In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Don’t we all want to claim that verse? No fear, no restlessness? no danger.
There is so much chaos these days for many, how we stay strong and with hope?
Another verse I like is Psalm 27:4:
One thing I ask of the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple.
It is all we can do in this crazy unsettled world. Ask for safety, and peace and pray for those who are on the journey of finding that too.
In Psalm 91:1 it says: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I think we all need and want to find the ‘rest’ that is promised to us.

A time to pause…think and remember.

Soon we will be entering into the time of Thanksgiving.
It really should be a life time of giving thanks, but we have a ‘calendar day’ we set aside for a big meal.
A warm inviting day full of family, friends and perhaps a fire in the fireplace, with the smell of turkey and baked pies cooking in the oven.
I remember the days of younger years, when we would go to my grandma’s house. She made everything.
The meal was carefully chosen and always the same.
Never changing the menu of the day which was turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon, gravy. Oh and always the relish plates full of a variety of pickles and olives and carrot sticks. Grandma took great pride in making the meal and she did it up into her early 70’s all by herself.
I loved those times, when I could see the chandelier’s light reflect multiple prisms of beautiful colors, on the white ceiling in the dining room.
We didn’t always have warm fuzzy moments as a family, but it was a tradition I do remember.
The table was beautiful with china settings and crystal glasses, candles flickering, and often a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers as a center piece.
I learned the value of a beautiful table. Then as I became older and wiser I also learned the value of conversation and tradition.
We make the fancy dinner always on Thanksgiving.
Last year there were only three of us and it was still a festive time of sharing life together.
Thanksgiving is a time to pause… to think and to remember.
Giving thanks with a grateful heart, to the God who allows us to remain here one more season.
Life is challenging for sure. I am thinking of a family who will have this holiday without their loved ones.
Tragic circumstances took them away and it is a difficult journey to enter into the ‘holidays’ remembering.
Thanksgiving is a time of slowing down, sipping the coffee a bit slower, eating the pie and enjoying it.
Sharing conversation and prayers, enjoying the quiet time spent together.
It is a time to remember what we are giving thanks for and why we need to slow down.
In life we all need a time to pause. A time to think. A time to remember.
Traditions are good and wonderful, but let’s try to do something this year a little different.
Let’s try to take note of ‘what we are giving thanks for,’ and remember all that we have been given.
1 Chronicles 29:13(NIV)
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
Psalm 7:17(NIV) I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
Psalm 69:30(NIV) I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Without God, our lives would be without purpose and without hope.
In this season for giving thanks and remembering, let us give thanks for his glorious love and provision for our lives. Let us begin to give thanks with a grateful heart, for we have many things to be grateful for.

Friday’s word prompt

One more time we enter into the challenge of a word prompt.
Write for five minutes then stop, with no editing and no revising.
I have to admit here, I did spend more than five minutes on this.
In order to look up what I needed, it took a bit longer to get my writing finished.
Today’s word is weary.
The verse I am going to work with is this one, from the New Testament book of the Bible,
“Come to me all, who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28
The word come means to approach or move towards, a place or a person.
It is an active word, to move into view and appear or extend or reach.
It means we must make a decision to ‘come’ to Him who can help us.
“Come to me,” It is realizing we can enter into a place of peace if we decide to.
The word weary, means to be physically or mentally exhausted fatigue.
We have all been in this feeling at one point in time and understand the fog it leaves us in.
The word burdened means to have a difficult obligation or feelings of heavily troubled oppression.
“Come to me – walk towards me in your deepest heaviest spirit and accept my peace (my interpretation)
The word rest means refreshing quiet, refreshing ease, relief and freedom from trouble or deep disturbance.
It is a quiet stillness that restores your unsettled spirit.
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
In the message Bible, this is the way it says the same verse.
Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG) 28-30
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I think this could be a life verse. I love the line ‘learn the unforced rhythms of grace.’
Shall we drop our heavy hearts and let something go today?
There is so much in this life that can weigh us down, so many worries and stresses.
Perhaps it is time to finally, once and for all, ‘come to HIM’ who is able to help us, find the true internal peace we so desperately need.

The dance of marriage

This was our anniversary week.
We did a variety of fun things to celebrate our ‘time’ together.
The day is always a good time for us, to remember how far we have come.
When we stood at the altar of the church as young, barely out of high school teens.
We had no idea what kind of dance marriage is and would be for us.
I call it a dance because there are moves in many directions as the years come and go.
The stage of young marrieds, alone and discovering how to navigate out of your parents home.
Then the stage of new expectant parents, anticipating a new baby and what that would look like together.
Then the parenting stage of crying infants, diapers, and lack of sleep.
Then the stage of no money and little sleep again, and toddlers and no energy.
Then the stage of preschool and driving to a place who you trust, to take care of your child.
The stage of trusting and hoping all will be well when they enter into grade school.
Then the stage of junior high and then on into high school, and you wonder and you wait, to see if you did a good job or not as they grow into young adult hood.
Then the stage of them emancipating themselves and moving out, starting a new journey of their own.
Then you drive away from the college campus and you pray for safety and the money to be enough and for them to make good choices.
Then you find yourselves standing as the parents of the groom, and you are now in the role of in-laws and how proud you are in this stage of life.
Then you find yourselves sitting in a nicu room filled with tiny babies, with your daughter, and one of them is YOUR first grand baby.
Then you become the parents of the bride, and then more grand babies come into your lives, and soon you find yourselves calling each other grandma and grandpa.
The dance of marriage is ongoing. You grow old together, seasons change just like the beat of the music.
The journey is easy if you follow slowly and learn to be adaptable.
The dance of growing older and marveling at how far you have come, and knowing that forty two years is a long time to learn this dance.
I love the imagery of dancing together, because every season of life is different and we must learn new steps to get through it.
We have years ahead of us, where the dance of aging will be even more difficult, than the young parenting years.
Oh we thought that would never pass, we just could not see how it would be ‘different’, those who told us, someday you will look back and realize how far you have come.
The dance of remembering is sweet and sad at the same time.
We moved through the dance of losing our parents and letting go of that part of our lives.
The days now are quiet and sometimes lonely.
Often you find ourselves in the stage of waiting again, and wondering if they will call or come visit, just as your own parents did many years ago.
The caretaking days have ended and even though, the dance of marriage is both difficult and rewarding.
In the end, it is beauty and a story unfolding, of life and of love, and of a familiar commitment.
This was our anniversary week and I pray for many more.
{THIS is part of the five minute writing challenge on one word: the word was dance}

Fall our favorite time of year

Years ago my husband had this picture taken of himself, our grandson and grandpa’s dog.
It remains one of my favorite pictures of all time. The colors, the walk together, the dog just following the trail.
I always love the fall.
We chose to get married in the fall just because of the colors and the time of year we both loved.
Our wedding day was simple because we were young and didn’t have a lot of money.
Here we are saying our vows at age 18 and 19 and praying that God would bless our decision.
Forty two years later, I can say HE has blessed us far beyond we ever thought or dreamed.
The other day we went on a ‘outing’ to a winery in the fall. We love the colors and time spent together.
This anniversary we celebrated for about three days doing winetasting, then to the beach, then into the valley where I posted yesterday.
The rains have not ruined the colors of the landscape and in fact might have even made them more rich and beautiful.
David hill winery 4
Soon the leaves will disappear and we will begin to get the winter rains, our Pacific Northwest is known for.
Not sure if we will be getting snow this year.
I hope we do, but it is not that common to get snow in our area.
For now we will enjoy the fall colors and the continual theme of giving thanks, as we head into the Thanksgiving season, full of family memories gathered together.
david hill winery 3

A day out on our anniversary

We decided to go on a drive just the two of us. It was our special day and we were spending it together.
We had breakfast out and then we were planning on a dinner out and in the middle of the day we were not sure where to go.
So when that happens the logical thing to do is ‘don’t plan’… just drive.
We started down the freeway from Oregon to the Washington side of the Columbia river following the old roads through tunnels and along railroad tracks.
The weather was beautiful and the colors of autumn amazing.
columbia river by Larry
The Columbia River is a majestic large body of water that flows it always amazes me with it’s beauty and it’s power.
This is a little farm we saw while over looking the Columbia river. I noticed a little road that traveled up to the farm then as I looked closer I saw sheep and perhaps even a large dog or horse.
Can’t even imagine how beautiful that would be to live there.fall in the valley
My husband took a panoramic picture and it shows the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
our day out on the gorge 11 3 15
Autumn is so beautiful and so ‘ever’ changing. The landscape went from yellows, oranges, golds and from green fields to golden wheat fields.
It was amazing and so breathtaking at times.
God in all his glory painted beautiful portraits of color.
fall drive c
We also stopped and checked out a pioneer cemetery, we love to read the words and imagine why they died. One stone had baby infant named Lucille… the other stones had two babies from the same family who died a day apart, one was age two and the other one was age 19 days.  I cannot imagine the trip out west in the pioneer days on rough terrain and in wagon trains. The Oregon Trail followed part of the road we travelled, I cannot imagine losing and then burying your little ones and then continuing on in your wagon to a new ‘place to live’.
The broken hearts of so many left behind on the trail.
flag at cemetary
At the entrance of the cemetery there was a flag blowing in the wind and not far was a mighty oak tree standing in all it’s glory.
Before we got to these we had to travel up and down the road along multi colored trees and farm lands full of vineyards and fruit trees. fall drive b
The difference from autumn colors to then wheat fields was both amazing and beautiful.
On our way home we headed from the wheat fields of almost Central Oregon, to the road near Mt Hood.
We even drove through a blustery light dusting of ice and snow mix.
It was a bit scary driving through the very empty roads and when the sky got darker, it was a bit unsettling as the heavy rain mist came down on our car window, we did end up seeing a road crew and that made me feel not so ‘alone’ on the road heading home.
We covered over 300 miles and saw lots of beautiful country.
It was all in a days drive on our fall anniversary.
Our 42nd wedding anniversary ended up at a restaurant named PF Changs and we shared our ‘final’ part of our day together before heading home.

dessert anniversary

Our Pastor’s teaching

Our pastor has been doing a fantastic job of teaching on the concept of the Holy Spirit.
Often the forgotten third person of the trinity.
Sunday he taught on the dwelling places of our hearts.
Now I know it’s a hard concept for some who perhaps are not ‘believers’ or for those who don’t understand or know the Holy Spirit and how important it is to our faith.
Don’t let that intimidate you.
Stick with this study and you will learn the concept and the importance of how it works for us.
In the New Testament book of Second Timothy the writer says this:
13 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus;
14 guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
(another version says to treasure it instead of guard) Both concepts are good and understandable.
Now to explain the concept of dwell: it means to set up residence, house or occupy or live in.
Such as you dwell in your home, and long to be there when you are gone.
I know I am most at home ‘in my home’… I think we all are like that.
When you come home you want to relax. If you have a guest you show welcome and honor to them.
(Perhaps only show our good side and not our messy)
Pastor said we often compartmentalize our homes, in reference to the presence of God.
We often will say, “God I want to make my home open to you, but can you not go into that room or that closet?”
Pastor said how we host the Holy Spirit will be a clear sign of our heart and how much we allow Him to change us.
Pastor said hosting is different than hindering or honoring. They are contrast of emotions and reactions.
To Honor is: power, peace, victory, life, truth, guide, wise and fruit.
To Hinder is: impotence (not able), fear, defeat, death (spiritual), lies, lost, foolish and failure.
When we move from the truth of the Holy Spirit we become comfortable with deception and lies.
The concept of whenever there is a lie, someone always gets hurt.
He used the story of Ananias and Sappira who were husband and wife, and in the New Testament book of Acts their story is found if you want to read up on them.
They lied and cheated thinking it was acceptable and in the end the final outcome was not a positive one.
God dealt with them in a very strong way.
I think it was an example for us to understand, lying always erodes truth.
Let me say it again, lying always erodes truth, but when truth is exposed healing can begin to take place.
In the time and era we live in, there are a lot of untruths floating around our heads and hearts.
All we have to do is turn on our television or read the internet news.
Pastor said, when we start to accept the lies our society is telling us, on many levels we begin to tolerate them, and not the story of what God is telling us.
He said lies will always hinder intimacy and truth.
Think about that line. Lies will ALWAYS hinder intimacy and truth.
The walls go up when lies move within our relationships.
The Holy Spirit is truth telling and the enemy is always deception and lies.
So the question I guess, is to ask ourselves what are we most comfortable with?
Would we rather live in harmony and peace or frustrating chaos?
Truth telling is painful but living within the concept of lies is deadly.
It is a choice we all must make.