Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I looked up "thankful" and "grateful" in the dictionary.  Thankful says "expression of gratitude".    Grateful says "thankful".  I always wondered what the difference was.  I guess there isn't any.

I have learned that being thankful is so often a choice.

I heard a sermon long ago (and was reminded of it last Wednesday night by my friend Roger) that we need to "compare down" instead of "comparing up".   We need to focus on how we are so blessed. Now here we go into the Christmas season - all those ads and commercials make me a little crazy!  I feel like I need to go BUY BUY BUY.  I don't like it!

A few things I am thankful for:

I am thankful for my neighbors.  They fertilize my lawn.  One of them cleans my computer and cleans my espresso machine.  They bring me yummy leftovers. (FYI Dan's turkey soup is the best I've ever had!!!)   One of them sometimes makes home vet visits.  If I fall from a ladder when I am cleaning the gutters, they will probably see me.  I can borrow a cup of sugar from them.  I have amazing neighbors.

I am thankful for my workout classes.  These workouts were my "therapy" when Les was sick.   I have met new friends there.  Since my cholesterol is border line bad, I am trying to stay healthy - so I keep going to classes!  Thank you Bethany and Christian (and others) for kicking my butt the past couple of years.

I'm thankful for my dog.  When you live alone, you talk to yourself a lot.  At least I can say I'm talking to Dutch!!  Ha!  And it's nice to have him greet me so excitedly when I come home!

I'm thankful for all the people I work with - my dairy farmer, my construction workers, my boat people and my church people.   I am glad they are all a part of my life.

I am thankful for all the fresh snow on the mountains.  What a glorious sight.

Yes, being thankful is often a choice.  Many times I could just curl up under my blankets.  Or not accept an invitation to do something.  But instead I am choosing to be thankful and to get out and about and to have some fun.  Life is short!  Let's all be thankful!

From my Jesus Calling this week:   When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining.  If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker.   The Bible verse:  I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - "Be JOYFUL always, pray continually, GIVE THANKS in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Tomorrow is Les' birthday.  The second time he will have a birthday in heaven.  I ran across this picture a few weeks ago:

I'm thankful he was such a good dad.  I'm thankful he was a part of my life for 35 years.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Life Lately

This weather.  Seriously.  I don't remember experiencing SO MUCH RAIN in October before.  And these early dark nights!!   Honestly, I've had some hard days lately and I wonder if the weather contributes to this??  Ha!

I went over the mountains for a long weekend the end of September.  I stayed with my niece Dani and her family this trip, which was really fun (well - maybe except for the 6:30 am wake ups from her girls, but their cuteness made up for that!)   I had a great lunch with some high school friends, and a really nice dinner with a high school friend.  It's been fun reuniting with some of these people!
Double the nieces!
I spent several days last month in sunny California with my sister and family.  I have been auntie-nannying her kiddos in October for many years now.  Becky and her husband go on a business trip so I zip down and watch the kids (and golden retriever Cooper) for them.  Their two boys are grown and gone so it's just Jenae these past several years.  She is now a junior so I only have one more year -- as long as she says to have auntie come, I come!  I adore all these nieces of mine and enjoy our time together!

It was close to 80 every day when I was in California and I for sure took advantage of it!  Jenae drives herself so "taking care of her" does not involve much "taking care of."   It gives auntie time to sit on the patio and read in the sun.
Since we never take a pic together.....my baby seester!
I recently attended our church's women's retreat.  We used to have these about 20 years ago!  Some young moms were the planning committee - it is so great to see these young women be involved AND they did a GREAT job!  The weather was dreary, but the retreat is up in the hills with beautiful scenery.  The food was amazing; we had a good speaker.  My friends Lori & Jami Jo led the worship, and this was my favorite part!  I loved hearing all those women raise their voices in praise to Jesus!!
Our rainy afternoon walk!
 Our sermon this past Sunday was on "The Dark Side of the Soul", based on Psalm 42:1-5.  Once again Pastor Kyle nailed it.  Couple things:  He said we will all go through dark times when we are desperate for God.  Of course God is always with us, but He does allow us to experience darkness.  This makes the good times with God that much sweeter!! - "the cloud is black before it breaks".  I have certainly experienced that! We need to lament; we need to remind ourselves of God's saving grace in those times. Pastor Kyle also talked about the importance of community when going through a dark period and I have said that before - I could not have made my journey without community.  Speaking of community, my "cleaning fairies" and I had a get together last evening.  We have a pretty special bond!

These longer evenings have been a little hard for me.  I miss my Tuesday "training walks".  I miss being able to be outside!!  I have tons of things to do in the house; I need to adjust my attitude and just get some of this yucky house cleaning stuff done (cleaning out cupboards and closets....)!   I've said this before, but when you lose your other half, it's a lonely journey.  I am so grateful for friends who have me over for dinner, who take me out for dinner with them, who ask me to get out and about with them.  I need that!!!  I'm also thankful for my parents - they are great about having me for dinner.  Mom and Dad are also very willing to take Dutch when I leave town - such a relief!   AND I could not do this without my kids.  They and their kiddos bring me great JOY.