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A time of giving thanks this week

As we enter into a time of giving thanks in this season of thanksgiving.
I pray for all to have a wonderful time with others.
I love that it’s also a time for family and if not family it’s a good time for friends.
We are at the stage in our lives that if we can see our grand children that is a bonus; but we also know they are growing and things get rearranged sometimes.
This year our oldest grand daughter has a job in a care home and is working on Thanksgiving day.
So dinner will have to adapt to a smaller group, our son and his family is doing something new.
Inviting others into their home. It is kind and generous to do that.
We will make turkey and all the fixings. Perhaps order a pie and have real whipping cream.
I will make good use of the left overs and boil the bones for broth.
It will be soup and other left over meals. We are not having green bean casserole none of us like it.
Tomorrow our daughter and her family will come for a pre-thanksgiving dinner so we can enjoy Faith (our oldest grand daughter) too, and her boyfriend.
The ability to be flexible is needed as the family changes.
I am thankful we live close to all of them and see them often.
I am thankful we can be encouraging and helpful in many areas of their lives.
I am thankful we can cook, and have meals together and just enjoy each others company.
There are many things to be thankful for.
Did you know that in the bible the word thanks and thanksgiving is used 143 times?
That is pretty significant and it challenges us to have an attitude of thanksgiving.
[Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, And I will sing praises to Your name.] Psalm 18:49
[Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;] Colossians 4:2
Let us challenge ourselves to keep an attitude of gratitude and faith no matter what happens.

Today we remember all the veterans

Today is the day we remember all veterans. Those who have served and those who currently are serving.
It seems like it isn’t the same as it used to be these days. I remember when Bob Hope would go and do special entertainment for the service men and women. It was a special time for them.
Christmas music and gifts given for them. For some reason we rarely hear about those who serve.
Even in the holiday season they used to have the service men and women on TV talking to their parents, and sharing where they serve. It isn’t the same any more.
I feel bad that many choose to go and protect us yet they get forgotten while there or at home.
It would be a huge life change to go from a ‘normal’ home life where freedom is everyday then move to a foreign country with ‘military attachment’s’ all around.
I have also heard they carry heavy back backs along with heavy artillery.
The connections made so far away from home are probably good; but once home I doubt if they contact anyone.
I pray for those who are so far away. It’s not an easy life. It is very life changing for them.
My dad served in the navy and my father in law served in the army. That was when wars were less sophisticated and the fighting was more one to one combat.
I had a friend at one of my work places who was from Vietnam and she showed me the other side of the story from the ‘opposite’ point of view. She escaped on a fishing boat after she lost her entire family.
I think war of any kind is horrible. It is not a win or lose it is a hard topic for sure.
Many who return home don’t talk about the experiences. I am sure there are many reasons why too.
Today we remember the veterans. Those who have served and those who serve.
Thank you for your choice and your decision. We know that freedom is not free for everyone.

This time of thanksgiving

This time of Thanksgiving.
As we move more into the month of November I find myself thinking of ways to be thankful.
There are so many things we can be aware of, family and friends in our lives, things that give  us peace.
To be thankful is to have gratitude. An attitude of blessing.
Most of us have many things to be thankful for.
Traditions are good. They bring holidays full circle to what was ‘then and what is now.’
As a little girl we would go to my grandparents house for the ‘large’ family gathering.
The table so festive full of warm homecooked food. The flowers so pretty with candles flickering.
I love the formal festivities and have tried to continue that tradition with our ‘family’.
The tradition of dressing up a bit more than jeans, making it a special event and meal.
Oh how we love to cook the turkey and have it smell throughout the house.
Then you add the rolls, potatoes, gravy and always green beans. Then a fresh made pumpkin pie.
I am loving the whole process although it tends to be a pretty messy meal to clean up after.
I also use formal china and pretty glasses that all need hand washed.
Someday when the grand children think back on the meal; I hope they not only have warm memories of good food but also remember how pretty it was.
I guess that doesn’t really matter so much as long as the room is peaceful and happy.
It is a wonderful tradition that sometimes seems to be passing away. Life is different now.
Holidays are always going to be special in our home.
As this time of thanksgiving moves us towards the season of giving; may we treasure every moment we spend together. Life is different now but we can make a point in making it good and special.

Today is the day to vote

Today is the day to vote.
All over the United States it’s a voter privilege day.
I never realized what an honor it is to be able to vote; even though my ‘one’ vote doesn’t seem like much.
Each person must decide who they want to win for office if they care at all about the choices made.
History has proven over and over when people vote it changes the way and the direction of politics.
I do not ever bring up politics but today is the day to vote.
It is the day for us to be unified in decisions and unified in having our voices heard.
When we say ‘God bless America’ it is not said lightly or in a joking manner, we really mean it.
Please God; bless OUR United States of America and hold us up to be strong, and respected.
I hope we can voice our opinions and say our thoughts and still choose to agree or not in a civil way.
I do believe in the goodness of most people and those who are questionable; I don’t choose to be with them.
Life is often a series of choices and we can choose and still know wrong from right.
Today I pray for our voters and for good choices and good results.

Today is our wedding anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary.
We are celebrating 45 years and actually we have known each other almost 48 years because we dated in high school, graduated a year before me.
We were young, and not knowing much. I was 18 and he was 19.
A lot has changed in 45 years. Our first child was a son then three years later we had a daughter.
We raised babies into teens then from teens to adults.
Both got married and had children creating for us the ‘ability’ to be grandma and grandpa.
It has been many ups and downs and better and worse moments but through it all; we made it together.
We are more mature now, in our 60’s and age has not been kind to our waist lines but we are healthy and happy and that is way more important than a number on the scale.
We have seen preemie babies and also teens once more pass through our doors.
The circle repeats itself with our children then with their children.
I feel honored to be called grandma to six. Our son had three sons and our daughter had three girls.
It is a privilege to live close to them and be an active part of their lives.
We celebrate us today. It has been a journey that nothing can prepare you for when you first begin.
Life was as we knew it as young adults who played house for many years then grew one into a home.
Maturity and values play a huge role in this commitment together.
We have cared for each other through surgeries, recoveries, and illnesses too.
We have watched our parents age and pass away and that has left us feeling very different.
Life has changed us for good and we have a story to tell and a legacy to leave.
Today is our 45th anniversary and we will celebrate with a nice dinner and dessert.
It is good to be together. As we move into our sunset years there will be many unknowns; and that will be ok we have our faith and our God and that is all we need to face the years to come.

I found a wonderful saying

I found a wonderful saying the other day. I have no idea how to verify whether it was a real quote from the person I believe who wrote Winnie the pooh series.
“Its more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, “what about lunch?” AA Milne
That is exactly who I like to be with. Simple too the point and not over done with words.
We have all met those kind who talk non stop and so much so that I want to just say, “hush.”
I love the real authentic way it sounds. What about lunch? that is relational.
On this first day of November the month for giving thanks. I am challenging us to be more real.
Keep it simple and in our speaking and in our friendships, be simple.
Don’t over expect things. Don’t demand. Just be.
Authentic and real behavior will get us so much further.
I also don’t like overly busy people who want to know more about things they do not need to know.
I love simplicity of words, life and life’s choices.
As I have gotten older and more mature I would rather be with someone who is real, and who does not demand from me their ‘expectation of our friendship.’
Rule makers don’t always make the best of friends.
At least in my point of view and experience.
Do you have a good friend who you can say to on any day, “what about lunch?”
During this time of Thanksgiving I challenge us to write down who we are thankful for and maybe even why we are thankful for them.
Then to take it a bit further and maybe even send them a note hand written letting them know of your gratefulness for them.
Simple words get to the heart. When we have lunch with someone we chat, we share and we break bread.
Relational experience and honest sharing.
Let’s begin today and see how our lives can be enriched by a simple question, ‘how about lunch?’

When I think of the word peace

When I think of the word peace, it seems to me that it would follow all the other ones we’ve studied.
We began with the word belong, then we moved to rest, then to pause, then to letting go, then to release and now the final one would be peace.
Once we have understood that all the words work together; the final thing to settle in our lives, is peace.
Peace: a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations:
(Try to live in peace with your neighbors.) A state of tranquility or serenity: silence; stillness, freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession.
I think it is calming to think of what happens when all these words play a role; bringing together the deep peace we are searching for in our lives.
When we let go; we release, when we pause; we rest, when we realize we truly belong; we stop fighting to prove we do, we just rest in the knowing.
It is a great peace for our spirit. It is well with our soul.
Jesus came to bring us peace, he also came to teach us healing, and give hope.
The word peace is used in the bible 249 times, a rather significant amount I think.
Luke 8:48 [Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”]
John 14:27 [“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”]
Philippians 4:7 [And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.]
So receive your healing. Receive your peace. You have worked hard in the process.
Know you belong… learn to rest well, learn to pause, learn to let go, learn to release then accept and breathe in the peace that is given to you.
It is a good thing.

When I think of the word release

When I think of the word release; it brings me to the thoughts of how it is much like the last few words we have studied.
It’s definition is: a freeing from anything that restrains, to give up, relinquish, or surrender, a form of liberation.
When I think in the light of our personal growth there are often times when we must let go of something old and familiar in order for us to experience something fresh new.
Remember the trees letting go of the old so new can take shape?
It is a willingness to ‘open our hands’ and let it go.
It requires us to be present in the decision, it also requires us to be mindful of the choice.
When I release anger, or frustration or hurt, I choose to let it go so in that space I can have joy or peace or healing.
It is freeing and necessary to our spirit to release things that burden us.
No longer will we be enslaved to the thoughts or the clutter once we learn to release it all.
This theme we have been studying about words that are similar and challenging hopefully has been something for us all to think about.
When we open our choice to release all the hard things that blur our vision of hope and joy we gain so much in the quality of our life.
It is not an easy task. Some of us like to control many things and we cannot release and control at the same time, it doesn’t work that way.
We must find it within ourselves to release the places within us that are not healthy or good.
In the spiritual sense we release and surrender to the Holy Spirit so that HE can help us grow deeper.
There are many levels of release.
It is up to us to decide if we want to stay unchanged and unsettled.
It is freeing to let go. It is hard and difficult and may take many times to finally accomplish it.
But oh what a joy when we can know we have done what we needed to do to release it.
So my challenge for you and I is to ask ourselves, what do we need to do today?
What needs to be released within our lives?
Then after we know what it is we can find the courage to do what we need to do.

When I think of the words letting go

When I think of the words letting go, they really follow after the word pause and even rest.
This morning as I sat in my chair with my hot cup of coffee; I watched the trees outside drop leaves.
They fall ever so gently down to the ground and pile into little mounds of golden beauties.
The trees don’t worry about letting go of the leaves they adorn themselves with in the fall.
They know as in all nature it is a part of the change of seasons.
In the winter the barren branches hold secrets we know nothing about.
They prepare the tree for new growth in the spring all in the quiet of the dormant season.
I think our lives are very similar to this.
We busy ourselves with lists of to do’s and focus on what must be done and sometimes… just sometimes… we must learn the art of letting go.
Perhaps there are programs, classes, some duties we assigned ourselves to; that are not as necessary as we once thought.
As I mentioned before sometimes saying, “I have had enough” is the most healthy part of letting go for us.
Sometimes it’s also the hardest thing for us. For when we are doing; we find identity and when we let go we feel empty and not needed.
Not realizing we are not what we do; but who we are in the quiet.
Let’s learn to let go of things that crowd our lives with stress and turmoil.
The idea of letting go, and seeing the piles of unnecessary jobs or duties we thought we must do is empowering through the simplicity of movement and choices and it becomes freeing.
It leaves room for new growth; just as the trees outside prepare themselves for winter then spring.
They cannot form new leaves with the old ones still hanging on.
Yesterday we drove by a row of fall trees on our way home from the beach.
Most had lost the leaves and they looked bare with branches empty, then I noticed two little trees fully covered in orange and yellow. They were not ready.

They were hanging on and it reminded me of how we hang on to things that are not helpful or healthy to us.
Often our grip is firm and what we thought we needed distracts us from our real growth.
Maturing is a necessary part of life and letting go is what our heart needs to embrace.
Let’s challenge ourselves to do the hard part.

When I think of the word ‘pause’

When I think of the word pause, which is a word prompt from a writers group; it stops me in my tracks because the word is so powerful.
When you hear it what does it stir within you?
The meaning is: a temporary stop or rest, a cessation of activity, to linger or dwell, to wait or hesitate.
To pause is not too much different than the last word we thought about, to rest.
P-ray
A-sk
U-nderstand
S-eek
E-nough
Pray, Ask, Understand, Seek, Enough… that is what came to me..
When I think of pausing it seems fitting for me to ask ourselves what do we need?
That is why the word pray came to me. Sometimes we need to stop, and pray about what is bothering us.
If you are someone who doesn’t consider prayer in your life then just journal about it.
Then we can ask: what do we need right now? what would be helpful during this ‘pause’ time?
Then we can understand why it is important to stop, to dwell in the moment, to wait.
Then we can seek to listen to what our heart needs and our spirit desires, during this pause.
Then we can truly learn to say: “I have had enough” I am taking a break and this is the reason why.
I think of the saying that has been circling around on face book that says:
Pause before doing anything. Ask yourself, is it kind, it is helpful, is it hurtful, is it healing?
To be able to ask those questions before proceeding is so important.
I find the ability to pause is vital to a healing heart.
To learn to say, “no not at this time”. To stop and take a break, it is empowering and freeing.
Again it brings us back to the word restore.
To pause is also very similar to wait. To stop and not move.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 NASB
Are we ready to pause for a season?
                                                                          (unsure of photo source)