Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Everyday Giving Thanks

It seems like Thanksgiving becomes more overshadowed with each passing year.  I've seen some stores begin as early as summer with Halloween and Christmas decorations & advertisements.  No matter where a person goes or what channel they watch on television or what radio station they listen to ... there's still one day of the year that has been set aside as a day of thankfulness that gets overshadowed.
I have some priceless childhood memories of our family Thanksgivings.  My Granny always made sure there was turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, casseroles, rolls, cakes, pies ... and my Mother & Aunts would be up before the crack of dawn to make sure food was prepared for all of our family.  Long before microwaves or automatic dishwashers or various ovens ... just ordinary pots & pans along with "tin foil" to prepare our family feasts.  Aunts, uncles, cousins ... all of us at Granny's being thankful for our relationships & all that God had given us.
Our traditions have changed through the years.  My family & my sister's family will meet up at my parents' house for various holidays and gatherings.  My parents & sister live close by each other while Dan & I will drive about an hour & a half.  Not a long drive at all.  And this year will be bring yet another change in tradition.  Since our daughter & her family now live a couple of hours from us, they will be celebrating Thanksgiving in their new home on the military base.   And then they will be coming down to see everyone for the weekend when we will all go to my parents' house for another Thanksgiving celebration.
So ...
with the many changes in traditions and family ventures
with the mountainous pulls on our prioritizing "one holiday at a time"
with hearts longing for "peace on earth" earlier and earlier
... where does that leave "Thanksgiving"?
I am as guilty as anyone when I see people complaining about "rushing the seasons" ...
I get as caught up as some people for "early bird" Christmas shopping ...
I desire deep down just as other people who truly need one day of giving thanks ...
And then ...
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy
endureth for ever.
Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Let them that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 118
Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not the prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I Thessalonians 5: 16-21
How much more would I be thankful for all that God has given me if I simply gave Him thanks
every moment of
every day of
every year.
One of my favorite pictures hangs in our sunroom
as a reminder as we go out into the world
and as we come home to our corner ...
The world may be loud and our traditions undergo changes over time ...
but we just need to quieten our hearts for the whisper of God.
And each and every moment will become Thanksgiving
as we give thanks to Him who is always good.
May you & your family have a
blessed Thanksgiving
not only tomorrow ...
but everyday.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Today is the day we aside to honor our veterans -- past & present -- who have sacrificed for our country.  A few of my uncles have served our wonderful country in the military.

My Uncle Don served in the Navy along with his brothers in WWII ...
some of the most honorable men who served God first in everything they did. 
Men of God ... men of honor ... men of all men.  
When we were growing up, Uncle Don sure didn't want to talk about his time in the War because he did not want "upset" any of us kids.  Simply stated -- he didn't want to scare of us young children with any talk of war. 
A true man of valor.

And our son-in-law ... who gave his blood serving and protecting.
Two tours of duty overseas ... two years in between training troops ... serving for his military career.
And then the explosion that was intended by the enemy to end his life ...


On this Veteran's Day 2014 ...
we honor and remember those who have served our great country.
"Thank you" just does not seem enough for the price our freedoms have cost.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

At The End of a Long Week

At the end of a long week ...
we recognize The One who brought us through it
we praise Him for His goodness & His power
we know Who holds us in the palm of His hand
At the end of a long week ...
I am more aware of His amazing grace
I am more aware of the little things in life
I am more aware of blessings I have every moment of every day
At the end of a long week ...
he is drained from the events of the week
I am drained from the events of the week
we reflect on the events of the past week
At the end of a long week ...
my Mother had laser surgery on her "good" eye on Monday
my Daddy ended up in the emergency room early Tuesday morning {extreme vertigo}
I had a root canal on Wednesday
our cat Penelope had a routine vet check-up on Thursday
{while I rush-painted before picking her up}
Thursday ...
1:30pm the vet called & Penelope was doing great after her dental procedure
{I was planning on getting her at 4:30 after I painted}
3pm the vet called -- Penelope had died
... a mystery to the vet's office
... no reason as to "why"
... everyone is simply shocked
Friday they called and said they found Penelope's heart was enlarged 2 1/2 times the normal size.
Everyone still stunned ... first time this has happened at the vet ... everyone cries.
Saturday {this morning} Dan & I go to vet to get Penelope. Everyone still cries at the vet's office ... they simply loved Penelope ...
they give us hugs & endless "I'm sorry". 
We do love our vet's office.
So we come home and lay Penelope to rest close to her predecessors ... Midnight & Smokey were litter-mates ... Midnight lived close to 8 years and Smokey 13 years.  Penelope was our daughter's saving-grace after Smokey -- 'Joe was in his last few months of his first deployment & it was before their first wedding anniversary.
Penelope was a special cat ...
she was Lucy & Tag's first pet ... she was playful ... she was protective
and Granny & Grandad miss Penelope just as our daughter and grands miss Penelope. 
But, we believe that God takes care of His animals ...
and we know Penelope is in good Hands.
At the end of a long week ...
we thank Him for every breath
we praise Him for His goodness
we rest in Him
God is always good