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Category Archives: Inspiration

Half Way There

In January of this year, I decided to write one post a month that includes 10 things that I am thankful for during that month. I haven’t been checking in here as often and June just slipped away from me. While I did not post, I have so much to be thankful for each and every day of the year.

1) We recently took a short little overnight trip to get away. Our destination … mini golf. We love some mini golf! It was a cooler, sunny morning. The course was pretty empty. We had so much fun! I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to just get away from it all for a little bit!

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2) I recently took my grandson to a doctor’s appointment in another town. Afterward, we went to a local park that had a free water area for kids. He had the best time! And nothing could replace the look of pure joy on his face as he experienced this for the very first time. Priceless!

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3) I am thankful for the little things in life … like this little butterfly that entertained me outside of the windows while sitting in a waiting room.

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4) I am thankful for creative people that place cool things in their yard for us to see.

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5) I am thankful that the flowers are really blooming from all of this wonderful rain!

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6) I am thankful for summer cookouts and s’mores!

7) I am thankful for wheel barrels, rakes, weed eaters, lawn mowers & all of the convenient tools that help me keep my yard in control!

8) I am thankful for the nail polish that brightens my toes in a pair of flip flops on these warm summer days.

9) With now having a bigger dog in our house, I am so very thankful that I have a shop vac. That little baby is light weight and portable & helps to keep the dog hair to a minimum!

10) I am thankful for over the counter allergy meds to help me deal with these wonderful summer allergies.

We are already halfway through this year … what do you have to be thankful for so far this year?

“I’m Not Perfect But I’m Thankful”

Starting in 2015, I made it a goal to list 10 things that I am thankful for every month. And, thankfully, I have made it until May! WooHoo!

1) This week, I am thankful for weekend walk in clinics. After a week which started with allergy type symptoms, progressed to what I thought was just a viral laryngitis but quickly became strep throat and bronchitis, I was so happy to have someplace to go that was quick in and quick out since I felt so poorly. It was an added bonus that the doctor was very caring and friendly. My recovery has been slow but I feel so much better than I did Saturday!

2) I am thankful for animal shelters and the work of volunteers.

I am not making the assumption that all animal shelters are for the good of the animal. I am not saying that all are run perfectly. But, after visiting a  local shelter with my son to adopt this beautiful, sweet girl, I am thankful for the good work that they do!

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3) It seems like when Spring rolls around, we are already way ahead on our April showers and the sunshine is such a distant memory. Some days, it seems the rain will never end. But, then we hit the dry spell. It is amazing how quickly the sun dries everything out. We finally got a nice rain shower. It perked my garden right up. So very thankful for that!

4) I am also very thankful for the cool breezes and mild temperatures the rain sometimes brings. Nothing refreshes the soul like fresh air coming in the windows.

5) I am thankful for pillows. As I sit here in bed unable to sleep from the wonderful steroids, I am propped by a mound of soft pillows, making it easier for me to breathe.

6) After blaming the steroids for my insomnia, I am also going to thank them for helping me to breathe easier. Nothing feels more frightening to me than being short of breath!

7) As I sit here typing this on a tiny kindle screen, I am thankful for my dollar tree reading glasses. Boy, did I mention this screen is small? But, seriously, I have pairs of these in my car and all over my house.

8) Before I headed over here to type this post, I finished my to-do list for this week. I am thankful for pen and paper to help keep me straight.

9) I am not sure if I have said this one before, and quite frankly I am too lazy to go back and double check, so … I am thankful for Netflix. It has been quite a while since I have felt so ill that all I did was watch tv.

10) With an on-going theme of my being ill, I will part on this final thought. I am thankful for my health and healing from the ultimate healer, God!

Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
– Melody Beattie

Starting in 2015, I made it a goal to post ten things every month that I am thankful for. No repeats.

In March, I am thankful for …

1) My safety

After this week of dealing with a family member being in what she felt was an unsafe environment, I am thankful for not only my safety but my peace of mind … knowing that I am safe, loved and that I have people I could go to if I felt otherwise.

2) Healthcare Professionals

Even though I am a nurse, sometimes the water you are treading is a little muddy. It is nice to be guided in difficult situations by people in healthcare that have “been there and done that” and sincerely care about a person’s well being.

3) An intact mind

We all have those moments when we walk into a room and forget exactly what we were going in there to get. But, I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose moments of time, people, … with several family members having had or showing signs of dementia, I am thankful for an intact mind for as long as possible.

4) Pill boxes

You know the ones that hold your daily medicine in sections. When engrossed in other’s situations, it is sometimes hard to remember to take care of you. This past week, I am thankful that I did not have to remember if I had taken my own medicine or not. It’s been a life saver.

5) Extended family

In the past, we have found out where lines are drawn and where loyalties lie when dealing with traumatic & dramatic family situations. Despite what I have learned, I am thankful for extended family … the good, the bad & the ugly.

6) Family Stories

I am thankful for all of the stories from “way back when” that families tell when they are gathered together. I never tire of hearing them. I am always amazed at what I did not know.

7) I am not an alcoholic 8) I am a non smoker

That was a hard one to word correctly. I once had a smoker tell me that my addiction to food would kill me just as quickly as his addiction to cigarettes. I do not dispute that it is a possibility. But, my eating too much does not hurt my family with second hand smoke nor the abuse & hurt sometimes associated with alcoholism. Having spent the week dealing with some alcoholics in my extended family, I am thankful that I am not one nor do I have any among my immediate family. I am not against drinking responsibly. I, myself do have a drink on occasion. But, I cannot imagine the addiction. Unfortunately though, I have seen it’s effects.

9) My kindle

When real life gets tough, it is great to submerge yourself in a good, “happily ever after” story. I love my kindle because it is portable, I can buy a lot of free books and I can read easily in the dark. Don’t leave home without it. 🙂

10) My little doggie

She was mentioned way too far down this list. My little chihuahua is always happy to see me. She never holds a grudge against me. Knows when I am feeling bad. Is my constant companion, always ready to follow me wherever I go. Is always happy to be my photo 101 subject. She just doesn’t get enough credit for her role in my life.

Project: A New Posting Style

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My trust in God flows out of the experience of his loving me, day in and day out, whether the day is stormy or fair, whether I’m sick or in good health, whether I’m in a state of grace or disgrace. He comes to me where I live and loves me as I am. Brennan Manning

Giving Thanks in February

Last month I decided that if I would only have the things left that I had thanked God for each day, my world would be empty. I made it my goal to be more mindful of all of the things that I am thankful for everyday and to post a list each month of at least 10 of those things. No repeats.

Last month, I talked of my thankfulness for family, friends and some of the basic necessities of life. Last month, I had no idea how our little part of the world would be turned upside down … at least for a few days.

This month, after an ice storm that knocked our electricity out for 3 entire days and nights during some very cold weather, I am very blessed …

1) That my Dad had the forethought to cut down some very huge trees from our front yard.

This may seem like a crazy thing to be thankful for. However, as I drive through our town and see all of the damage from fallen trees. I am very thankful that those trees did not have the opportunity to fall onto our house. We wanted to keep the trees. My Dad insisted they come down. Thank you Dad!

These are our neighbor’s trees that fell over our fence. One scraped the side of our house, but no damage.

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2) Electric workers & all of those additional workers helping them to get us up and running again.

Last month, sitting in my warm home, I admitted how I was thankful for our electricity. I had no idea how thankful that I would truly become when we lost that power. Over 18,000 people have been without power in our little town for the past 3 to 4 days. They are saying that the power may be out for another week. I can believe that. We have seen crews all over town diligently working in the freezing temperatures to restore power to all of us that have been without. Thank you would never be enough!

3) My son’s girlfriend

She welcomed 6 of us into her home without question so we could warm up and get a good night sleep on the coldest night that we were without power. I know we turned her world upside down. But, we are truly grateful!

4) My brothers.

When I think about it, they should have been included in my first list along with my other family. We don’t see each other as often as we should. But, I am still thankful to have them in my life! My oldest brother is an artist & photographer. We have a good time when we get together. He is thoughtful and generous. My younger brother is a jack of all trades. He never hesitates to come over and help us with computer issues, home remodel issues, etc. And, he made sure that my parent’s were doing ok without power.

5) My grandson

After many years without small children in our home, he gives us wonderful chaos. He says and does the sweetest things. It’s such a delight to see things through a child’s eyes. He remained with us during our recent “chill.” It is amazing how children adapt. He always brought us laughter when things seemed so dreary while we were awaiting the crews to restore our power.

6) My eye sight

My niece is legally blind from a juvenile form of macular degeneration. My brother was recently diagnosed as being in the early stages of macular degeneration at the age of 49. Upon doing more research, I found out that my great grandmother was also blind. Heredity plays a big part in this disease.  During our time without power, we were often in the dark or with little light from candles & lanterns. Today and every day, I am thankful for no signs of this affecting my vision.

7) Nature

Without the use of computers & tv over the past few days, we really appreciated the nature around us. We could even find the beauty amongst the downed trees.

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And flowers … definitely looking forward to spring!

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And all of the beautiful things that God has created in nature. Flowers just make me happy. They are just like a great big smile from God!

8) Bathtub

Most people I know would prefer a shower over a bath. Not me. A nice long hot soak in a bath is a true blessing! Me time. Something that I sure did miss over the past few days!

9) Restaurants

Without them, we would have had very little hot food over the past few days. And, also thankful to the workers who went to work to feed us even when they did not have electric themselves.

10) God’s promises

Without those, we have no hope. A plan for our future. Rest for the weary. Strength to the weak. Peace. Saving Grace. Eternal life. Victory. This is just a short list of His promises to us. Those we don’t deserve. Gifts.

Every day, with every move we make & with every issue that we must overcome, we have multiple things to be thankful for. Thank you, God!

What are you thankful for?

 

 

Being The Wife That My Husband Already Brags About

I have been married 27 years. When I think of that, I am amazed. We married young … so full of hopes and dreams and ideas of our future. Nothing has gone as our youthful hearts had hoped for. We have had many ups and downs. Many hurts. So many times I have wished for a do-over. But, as I sit here typing this, I can honestly say that we have made it to this point stronger as a couple. More assured in our future together. We still have our hopes and dreams for our continued future together. But, they are more realistically drawn from where we have been than our young minds could have ever created.

My parent’s have been married for almost 55 years. Sure, I have had a front row seat to know that my parent’s have weathered their fair share of issues through the years … including several long term separations due to a military career without the conveniences of staying in contact through cell phones, facebook, e-mail. But my mother has always said that no matter what, she knew God meant her to be with my Dad.

As I skimmed through facebook today, I came across a shared post from a friend … A Divorced Man Wrote These 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had. A Must Read. Good advice for all stages and ages of marriage. Although this was written by a man, it can be adapted for the wife to do her share to keep her marriage strong.

Number 2 on his list …

Protect Your Own Heart

Through these technological advances that my parent’s (and even myself) did not have in the early years of our marriage, the same one’s that we use to communicate with each other clear across the other side of our world, I have witnessed so many seemingly “ideal” couples marriages crumble in an instant. Old friends reconnecting innocently online. We have to be so careful to guard our hearts from the temptations out there. Even those that appear seemingly innocent.

Number 1 on his list …

Never Stop Courting. Never Stop Dating.

I have a friend that goes on a date once a week with her husband. They do everything from simple short dinner dates to elaborately scheduled weekends away. I’ll admit that I am so jealous! To be ever present in your marriage, I truly feel that you have to work at it. Even if that “work” is fun. I have been having a difficult time convincing my husband that now that our boys are grown, it is ok for us to go out alone … to date. When our boys were young, he felt guilty leaving them for us to go out. So, we often took a weekday while they were in school to have a lunch date at someplace we had never been before. Now that they are older, he wants to spend that extra time keeping them included in all aspects of our life. While I agree that these things are important, I also feel that our time out alone is a much needed time to stay connected and to keep the spark alive. I am still working on him!

Now that I have revealed one of my husband’s flaws from the list, I will be accountable for one of my own.

Number 19 on his list …

Forgive Immediately

I can hold a grudge with the best of them. If I go to bed angry, I wake up just as angry the next morning. I will stew over it. And even when I forgive, I have more difficulty forgetting. This has been something that I have been working on. Truly! I am trying to admit my fault in these disagreements that we have and allow my husband the right to have his own thoughts and feelings without placing blame on him for how he feels. So many of Gerald Rogers’ other tips are helpful when it comes to forgiving. I encourage you to give them a read!

In the end, his advice is to

Be the type of husband that your wife can’t help but brag about.

Truth is … with all of my faults, my husband still brags about me all of the time. My goal is to actually be that wife that he already brags about!

Giving Thanks in January

In November, in honor of Thanksgiving day, I always see so many friends making lists for all that they are thankful. I think that being thankful is always a good thing. It helps us to focus more on the positives and less on the negatives.

I remember a post shared by a friend on facebook that said something like …what if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday? If this were true, what would you have left tomorrow morning? Unfortunately, many of us would have nothing.

This year, I plan to take one day each month to thank God for his many blessings in writing. While I will still be thankful for all of the things from the previous month, I will build upon my list … no repeats.

1) I am thankful that both of my parents are still living.

My parents are both in their 70’s. I have watched many of the friend’s my age having to say good bye to one or both of their parents. My mother has dealt with many health issues through the years. But, fortunately, both my Mother and my Father are still happy and healthy. Thank you, God!

2) I am thankful for my boys.

While my three boys have been typical boys and have not always made the best decisions, they are good boys. Actually, they are now men. My oldest is a good father. A good provider. My middle one has a kind heart. He is a hard worker. My youngest is shy. But, we have recently learned that he has reached out to classmates and is a good teacher / friend. He is very caring. He had a snow day off from school today and one of the first things he said to me was, “I want to cook lunch for you today.” It was yummy! They love their Momma! I have no complaints there!

3) I am thankful for my husband.

My husband and I have not always had a path that has been smooth. But, I am thankful for where we are today. He is thoughtful, forgiving, loving. I look forward to growing old(er) with him.

4) I am thankful for a roof over my head.

I am not always happy with our house. I always see the negative. The closets are small. The windows are too old and small. There is no “safe” place in case of tornado. But, I am truly thankful for the house that we have. It has lots of potential. It has a great yard. We were able to totally remodel it. And, best of all, our payment is cheaper than rent. Thank you, God!

5) I am thankful for transportation.

As the temperatures dip to the lowest lows and the snow comes down, I am even more thankful for having reliable transportation.

6) I am thankful for a full belly.

As I am on a quest to lose weight, I think I am hungry. But, I am thankful to have never had to know what it is like to be truly hungry. We are blessed to not only have a full belly, but to also be able to afford to eat what we are craving. Thank you, God!

7) I am thankful for education.

As I am trying to find a job outside of nursing, I have become more thankful for my education. As I have recently tried a job in the seafood department of a grocery store, I have learned that some jobs are just not for me.

8) I am thankful for electricity.

As the snow comes down outside, I am warm from the heater, eating my warm lunch, watching tv while writing this post. Thank you, God!

9) I am thankful for sunshine.

One thing about living where we do, is that it rains a lot. This is why we have so much green in our area! As the sun is shining through my window today, I am thankful for the sunshine.

10) I am thankful for my friends.

I do not have a lot of close friends. But, I am thankful for those that I do have. They are there in the good times and the bad. Always there for me in thought and in actions.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for me. I am going to be more mindful of all things that I am thankful for in the coming months, material blessings and spiritual blessings. What are you thankful for today?

Chris Martin Writes

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