Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Grace In The Form Of Gifts!

" Thanksgiving opens the eyes, the heart,
to the Grace that falls upon us."

One Thousand Gifts is such a good book to be reading this time of year. It's about noticing all the gifts we've been given, and remembering to give Thanks! Ann Voskamp was dared to come up with a list of 1000 things she is Thankful for. It took her about 18 months or so, and once she reached 1000 items, she just kept on going.

"With every Grace, He sings, 
'You are precious to Me. You are honored, and I Love you. (Is. 43:4)

I read this book for my Book Club at Church. I think I have about half the book underlined! :) We had a good discussion about remembering to say Thank You for all we've been given in life. And I shared that I had started my own list as I was reading the Book. I keep a list on my phone since I always have it with me, and when I notice any little thing I'm grateful for I add it to the list! Then I put them in a Journal, cause I like writing, and I want to have a hard copy of it! 

 "The discipline of Giving Thanks, of unwrapping One Thousand Gifts, 
unwraps God's heart."

So since today is Thanksgiving, the day we are to Give Thanks for what we've been given, I thought I'd share the beginning of my list of One Thousand Gifts with you. It's the Huge, important things in life, to the little, mundane things we take for granted everyday, Grace given to me, in no particular order . . . 

One Thousand Gifts  

1. The Love of my Life: John, who Supports me, Laughs with me and Loves me! He is too good to me. 

2. My First Born: Kyle, who has always been his own person. And brings fun wherever he goes. He really is a Party waiting to happen! 

3. My Baby Boy: Zach, who's smart & Funny. Gifted in more ways than he knows. 

4. Erica Starr; My Beautiful, smart, talented Daughter. Who feels things so deeply, and is Courageous and Brave! 

5. Alexia Jewell: My Precious Girl. Who is Loving and Giving in so many ways. She's Talented, Beautiful and Smart. 

6. Katie my Daughter In Law: who loves Kyle & lets him be him. She's Brilliant and Beautiful and fits right in. 

7. My soon to be Daughter In Law, Kendra: who Laughs right along with me. She's Caring, Beautiful & she's good for Zach! 

8. Tinkerbell; Our Faithful companion who's always so thrilled when we come home! 

9. Luna: Our newest addition, who's Cute & Cuddly and is quickly becoming part of the family. 

10. Books that speak of Love! God's Love for me, Romantic Love, Friendship, A Mother's Love, Sisters, Etc.

11. Memories in the form of Pictures! 

12. My Bed. Rest & Comfort. 

13. Healthy food that also tastes great! 

14. All our Temporary Jobs on our way to a more permanent "Real" Job!!

15. My Car. (Which actually was a gift from my Mom!) And all the places it takes us!! 

16. Glimpses of my Mom in myself or in my kids.

17. My Kids really want to hang-out with me! And even like it! My Nieces too!! I'm Doubly Blessed!! 

18. Public Restrooms that have just been cleaned, with the seat still up! :) 

19. Twisted Peppermint! The Fragrance of Christmas! 

20. Coconut! The Fragrance of Summer! 

21. Bargains! I Love getting Great Deals on Great Stuff!! 

22. Music that gives voice to what you're feeling! 

23. Movies and/or Books that make you Laugh and/or Cry!! (Or Both!) 

24. The United States Soldier. We live in The Land of The Free, because of The Brave! 

25. A President that pardons hard working, good hearted Immigrants as to not tear Families apart! 

26. Soft Fuzzy Socks that keep your feet warm.

27. When I meet someone new & they think I look too young to have a Married 24 year old son! Because I am! :)

28. Our Families! Parents, In-Laws, Brothers, Sisters, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, they are my backbone and they have my heart!

29. Christmas! The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! 

And this is just the beginning of my list of One Thousand Gifts. We've been given so much! What are you Thankful for this Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Love

I can't tell you how Thankful I am for Love! And this year, for us, Love has been aplenty! Both of my Son's got Engaged this past spring. And my oldest got Married! It was a great day for us all!

Zach & Kendra! 
He popped the Question!

A sneak peek at our son's Beautiful Wedding!
Kyle & Katie!

And I am most Thankful for the Love of My Life! We've been Married over 27 years now. John is way too good to me and takes such good care of me. I wouldn't be who I am today without him!

27 Years & Counting! 

I hope you have had a year full of Love as well and that we all continue to! There is nothing more meaningful in Life than giving & receiving Love! The Book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp that I'm reading this Thanksgiving season, has been a reminder not to take it for Granted!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Zach!

Happy Birthday to my Baby Boy! 

Who today turns 23!!

This little boy, who wanted to be an Archaeologist when he grew up,

Just registered for his last semester of College to get his Bachelors Degree in Wildlife Biology!

And by this time next year, he will be a Married Man!

Happy Birthday Zach! 
We Love You
Are So Proud Of You!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Time!

As a new Mother you're always told to Cherish Every Moment! And every Parent knows that time passes much too quickly! You blink & your Baby is off to school! Or your little Toddler is walking down the isle! Yikes! We all wish we could stop time. But, what if we could? And what if being Thankful was the key?

In the Book I'm reading right now called One Thousand Gifts by: Ann Voskamp, she has a Chapter titled A Sanctuary Of Time. And I already know it's gonna be my favorite chapter! She says "Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment." "Give Thanks and get time; Give Thanks . . . slow time down with all your attention!" 

By not waisting time worrying about the future, or dwelling on the past. By just simply being present in the moment, noticing what's happening right here, right now and being Thankful for it slows time down. I have always tried to Cherish every Moment with my kids! Fully enjoying every stage of their lives, and this was such a great reminder that by just paying attention, being Thankful for the here and now can slow time! And as a Mom, that's all I want! 

The day we moved into this house, my kids climbed into the built in wall unit. So of course we had to take their picture! I have always loved this picture of the 4 of them! And on that day I said we will have to take another picture just like this when we move out of this house! Well, we still live here, but my oldest son recently moved out into his own place & got Married! So we retook the picture before he left. We moved the T.V., the Stereo, all the pictures, etc. out of the wall unit, so the kids could strike the same poses they did on that day 11 years ago! Retaking the picture brought tears to my eyes! They have grown up so much! A visual reminder of how time passes! 

"Wherever you are, be all there. I don't reach forward and I don't reach back and I weigh the moment down with full attention here." "I'm growing older. These children growing up. But time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there's this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity." Today and Everyday I am Thankful for Memories in the form of Photographs. They help us hang on to those moments we treasure. Take the time to notice the moments. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Beauty!

Yes, it's that time of year again! Every year during the Month of November, I do what I've dubbed here on the Blog as Thankful Thursday. Where every Thursday in November, I talk about things I'm Thankful for.

And this year I've recently joined a Book Club through my Church and this month we are reading a Book called One Thousand Gifts by: Ann Voskamp. I've heard good things about this Book & was really looking forward to reading it! I've barely gotten into it and already it has really touched me. It talks about no matter what you are going through or have gone through, no matter how bad life gets, there are always things to be Thankful for! I've always tried to look on the bright side of things, and this has been a great reminder to live a life of Gratitude.

There is Beauty in Everyday Life! And to me there is nothing more Beautiful than being surrounded by my Family! I Love being with my Husband, who is my Best Friend. And being a Mom and having my kids all around me . . .

Especially this year since my oldest son just moved out of our home, into his own. :( And he got Married! :) (Pictures coming soon!) There is no greater Beauty in this world to me than my Family! Today and Everyday I am beyond Thankful for each of them: John, Kyle, Zach, Erica & Alexia, I Love you and am Beyond Blessed to get to be in your lives! You add so much Beauty into my Life and into this World every single day!