Monthly Archives: November 2013

Day 28…..And Beyond


Day 28, the last day of this personal challenge I gave myself. It’s OK that I’m not getting it out until day 29. Right? Please say YES because truthfully, I was so full from food and pure contentment yesterday that even my fingers didn’t want to move.  You too?  Be honest now!

Although I didn’t post an #IntentionallyThankful article, the attitude of gratitude was ever present on my mind and heart.  This challenge has awakened a higher level of faith, grace awareness and renewal in me.  It has given me a different perspective than before. Hey, that’s what it was supposed to do, right?  I just didn’t know when I started this personal project how big and bold it would become in me.   Nor did I realize how it would impact my family and especially my son, who now insists that we share a thankful tidbit during our bedtime routine right along with our Bible story reading and cuddles.  Yes ma’am, I’d say that is a SCORE and a WIN! 

As I bustled around my kitchen, cooking, cleaning up and serving my family this year (as I do every year), I was never more aware of how truly blessed I really am and just how much I’m loved by the Almighty God, creator and provider of everything.  So much so that I found myself needing to keep a hanky handy as the reality of the hugeness of God and his goodness overwhelmed me over and over.  Do you have any idea how weird it probably is to be slathering melted butter on a naked turkey and suddenly start squawling because you are overcome with the realization that God loves you so much, He made sure this fine creature was born and lived so that you could one day eat it?  Yeah, it’s been like that!

So on this day, 29 days after I started this journey of looking for and purposely noting the blessings instead of focusing on difficulties and adversities, I can honestly say that I am thankful…..FOR EVERYTHING!  Even the smallest things have become big in my eyes, not because they are spectacular or even remotely special. Because they’re really not.  No, they are just ordinary things that are part of an ordinary life.  But put them all together and see them from the perspective of where they come from and why….OH MY!  They become something entirely different. Something wonderful and new.  Something extraordinary.  As I shared with you earlier in the week, little things make up the big things. Each one is a piece of the puzzle that creates a beautiful picture!  That picture is one of love, grace, mercy, provision, protection, personal attention and so much more from a loving Father and a glorious Savior and Lord.

And for that picture, I’m extremely thankful.

What about you?  Has these last few weeks changed how you see your world and your life?
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Until next time…enjoy your at home world and remember to stay #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 27 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 27, 2013


Today, I’m thankful for the joy on my son’s face and his infectious laughter as he has spent the entire evening watching The Peanuts Marathon on television.  

Peanuts

Peanuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I introduced him to Charlie Brown. Snoopy and the Peanuts gang several years ago and he’s been hooked ever since.  Generally, unless there is a holiday themed episode on TV, we normally have to go to YouTube to watch these loveable characters.  Not tonight though. Tonight, ABC Family channel started showing full length Peanuts movies at 4pm, showing one right after another, until 11pm.  I can’t recall any network ever doing that!

Of course, being the push-over I am for that little face of my adorable (he looks like his dad) son, I gave in to his pleas to “watch every one of them all the way through”.   But so did his dad.  So there! LOL!  FYI – We’re on the last movie now.

I honestly hope this becomes a yearly thing that this network (or another) does because it will make for a wonderful new tradition to include in our Thanksgiving holiday.

Until next time….enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful

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Day 26 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 26, 2013


Today, I’m thankful for these walls and floors and roofs and windows and doors.  They help protect me and my little family from the wind, rain, snow and ice, from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. They keep us safe from the wild aminals (my hubby’s fun word for animals) that roam these hills……like the coyotes and bob cats we’ve seen, the bear we hear is living not far from here and the skunks that we’ve whiffed in the air more often than I care to think about. And let’s not forget the snakes, whether it’s the harmless garden variety, the venomous rattlesnake and copperhead variety or the 2 legged variety.

I am even more thankful for these because of what they symbolize.  Yes, together they are a house. But more importantly….they contain a A HOME! Where we relax, rest, eat, sleep and live. Where I’ve cooked many a meals, share many a laughs and cried many a tears.  Where the man I gave my heart to and I have grown together, prayed together, dreamed together, loved each other through everything and have shared and built a life together.  Where I rocked my baby to sleep, listened as him said his first words, watched as he took his first steps and have wondered at the sweet blessing of him.  Where family begins and always will be.  

Home

To quote Laura Ingalls from Little House On The Prairie, “HOME is the nicest word there is!”.

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Until next time….enjoy your at HOME world and be #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 23-25 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 23-25, 2013


Over the last few days, I’ve become ever more aware that I’m thankful for the little things. Every single, seemingly unimportant or under-appreciated little thing that I experience or encounter. For it is the little things that make up the big things that make up a life. 

Little things make the big things

Those little things have helped mold me and my family. Those little things have given me different perspectives.  Those little things have led to large things that have changed my life directions over the years. Those little things make big impressions on my heart and mind.  Those little things are the very things I will one day miss.  Those little things are my life…….unfolding, growing and expanding.

Yes, it’s the little things that make up the big thinks that make up a life.  And for those things, I’m thankful. 

Until next time….enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 22 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 22, 2013


Today

hot baths & bubbles

 

That’s my unguilty pleasure!

Until next time….enjoy your at home world

and be #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 20 and 21 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 20-21, 2013


Today, I’m doubly thankful. First, I’m thankful that my Little Man, who’s been sick, is feeling better today. He’s still chugged up with the cruds and is complaining of his ears hurting (Uh-oh, I hope it’s not an ear infection.) but he isn’t feverish now. It scares me when he gets a fever because it often spikes hard and fast.  

Secondly, I’m very thankful that tomorrow is a new day and God‘s mercies and compassions are new every morning.  That is a great comfort to me right now.  

God's mercies1

You see, today was a very trying day for me. While my son felt better and for that I am grateful, his feeling better also meant that he was catching up on the days he didn’t get to use up energy and chatter. 12 hours of non-stop talking, questioning and movement had me very much ready for his bedtime tonight. Oh my, was I ever ready for his retreat into dreamland!

Combine all that energy with my lack of sleep from the past few days of being Nurse Mom, trying to get some things crossed off my wanna-do and must-do lists and others needing me for various things and I have to admit, I was not a very loving and patient at home woman as the day progressed.  I raised my voice. I was harsh.  I lost my cool.  And I said things that I have had to apologize and ask forgiveness for.

I really do not like when I’m out of sync like that.  I don’t like when my emotions rule and reign.  I don’t like when I’m not following the Lord’s promptings to do it His way to get the best results.  I don’t like when my words and actions do not release love, healing and encouragement. I especially don’t like knowing that I may have hurt the ones I love most with my emotional and fleshly reactions and responses.  

But I know and admit that I am not perfect, that I do fail and that I have let situations rule my emotions which in turn have ended up ruling me.  I know this is not the ways of Jesus.  I am grateful that He understands and I get another chance, many in fact, to do it His way. And I know He will be with me every step of the way with mercy and grace as He gently guides me toward growth and maturity.

So I’m most definitely thankful for brand new days full of God’s mercy.  Because like it or not, I have to be real and tell you that this parenting/marriage/homemaker/business owner/friends and family thing can be really hard sometimes and I need His mercy, His grace and His leading to wade through it all.

Until next time….enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 19 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 19, 2013


Today, I’m thankful for choices. Seems like such an insignificant and somewhat trivial thing but when you really consider the options most of us have at our disposal, having choices is really rather large and prominent in our life.  Being able to make choices is pretty powerful. Having choices offers us much peace and holds so much freedom.  

CHOICES

For example, today my son woke with a sore throat and feeling none too perky. Well, because I am a woman who works at home, I didn’t have to leave him with someone while I reported to a job and a boss. I had a choice.  Because we homeschool, I didn’t have to cart him off to school or pay for a doctor’s visit that is unnecessary at this point. He is not sick enough for a doctor visit but most public and private schools require a note from the doctor or the absence is considered unexcused.  I had a choice.  Likewise, I have the choice to modify our lessons in light of his not feeling well.   For all this, I’m truly grateful.

As I pondered the matter of choices today, it came to me that we are given choices every day that many around the world may not have.  Here’s a quick list of just a few that came to mind that I personally have. 

I get to choose what clothing styles and outfits to wear each day. 

I can choose which of the several pairs of shoes that I own I will wear each day…or I can choose to not wear any at all. (That’s my most often choice. *grin*)

I can choose to wear makeup or not to wear it and to apply it in any way I  like.

I can choose to wear my hair up, down, curled, not curled, long, short or anything in between. I can also choose to cover it with a hat or scarf…or not. 

I can choose to wear jewelry or not wear it and I can choose what jewelry pieces I want to wear. 

I have a variety of food in the pantry and fridge, so I get to choose what I will eat and when I will eat. 

I have clean water to drink, so I get to choose when and how much I will drink and can stay healthy from drinking it. Likewise, I can choose to drink a variety of other beverages such as milk, tea, coffee, cola, hot chocolate or juice or whatever else my taste buds desire. 

I can choose the temperature on the thermostat of our home that is most comfortable to me and my family.

I can choose what I will read or watch on television or listen to on radio.

I get to choose what my child will learn and be exposed to as well as from whom he will learn from or be around that can influence his life.

I am able to choose when I will sleep and when I want to wake up and get up.

I can choose where and how I will worship and what I will believe based on my faith and relationship with God.

I get to choose how I spend my time, with whom I spend my time, and for how long. 

I can choose how I treat others, what I say or do and how I will react to any given situation or circumstance.

What’s more, I get to choose to have pets or not, to further my education or not, what career path I will take, how many children I want to have, what kind of car I want to drive, what stores I will shop in, what holidays I will celebrate and how and who I will vote for to sit in a seat of authority and government. I have the option to choose what hobbies I want to enjoy, who I will support, who I will be friends with, where I will live, how I will live and where and how my child will be educated.  I was able to choose who I would marry and what my child would be named as well as how we will raise him. And the list goes on and on. I believe that we can even make the choice to be happy or to be unhappy.  

Every day, we are presented with choices. Many of them, we most likely take for granted and don’t even consider the impact they make on us or others.   Every single thing we do is a choice. Every single moment of every single day, we are given a choice…actually numerous choices…on how our life will proceed and how that will transform into other choices.  Our choices affect us, they affect those around us and they affect generations after us.  Makes you really consider the words “Choose Wisely” doesn’t it?

I sincerely pray that our choices are not taken away….not even one of them….EVER.  All those many years ago when the early English settlers traveled across the miles and miles of ocean in search of a new land to call home, it was for the ability to have choices.  All those years ago, when brave men stood up, fought against the tyranny of a royal king and government to establish the nation of the United States of America, it was for the cause of having choices.  Through the years, as people have stood up, stepped out and fought against the many forces that have tried to take control, it has been for the right to have choices.  

Yes, I’m thankful for choices. Because having choices to make means I have options.   It means I have freedom.  And that is something that not everyone in this world enjoys.  No, I will not take the ability and right to make choices for granted.  Because without choices, we have no real life to live and enjoy. 

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Until next time…..enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 16-18 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 16-18, 2013


Today, I am thankful for the freedom to enjoy a little R & R! Yes, rest and relaxation is such a wonderful thing.  

I purposely took Saturday and Sunday off from doing much of anything. I didn’t even blog my thankful posts here.  I needed the rest as my body heals from the tooth issues from the last few weeks and my mind needed to rest from the hub of constant activity that I find myself in with family and business.  I also needed to reconnect with myself and my family. I needed time to enjoy life. 

Actually, taking time off to just “be a couch diva” as I call it is a big thing for me. Time was when I didn’t and wouldn’t stop and take a little breather.  I felt like I HAD to be doing something all the time.  Even if it was non-productive, I had to “DO” something, anything to meet that self-imposed mandate that I must be busy and I shouldn’t take a little time for my weary self. There was too much that needed doing and I had to be the one to do it.   

Well, all that came to a screeching halt when the Lord had a rather amusing conversation with me about it one day.  I was complaining about not having enough hours in the day, not having enough this or that, not being able to do this or that, I was exhausted, I needed help, etc.  I was crying out to God to “fix” it.   Suddenly, I heard Him say something to the effect of, “I’d really like to but I can’t.  You won’t get out of the way and stop trying to do it yourself.”  What?  How was I in the way? There was just too much for one person to do but I was forced to step up and do it if any of it was to get done. I was the victim here, not the problem!  

And that’s when the conversation began. The Lord started asking me questions, the first of which was, Why?. Why was I doing all the things I was doing?  I had no real answer.  Sure, I had all kinds of excuses of why I needed to do whatever but with each excuse, I got another why or how or who or when or what or where question from the Lord. Goodness gracious! I didn’t want questions. I wanted answers. More specifically, I wanted Him to miraculously fix the problem and I didn’t want that miracle fix to take any effort on my part. 

Then…as He often does with me, the Lord very calmly and lovingly told me that while I was busy ALL THE TIME, it was barren busy-ness.  It was not producing any good fruit or helping me birth anything.  It was just busy-ness with no anointing on it.  He didn’t tell me to do it so it had no real power to produce anything that was profitable to me personally or professionally. Very simply, I was doing it in the flesh, in my own self effort, instead of by the leadership  and in the power of the Holy Spirit.  

He went on to tell me more than I really wanted to hear about how my motives were way off. *GULP*  I enjoyed the sympathy and empathy that others gave me when I was “voicing” how busy I was and how overwhelmed I was. I had a need for recognition and loved  the praise I would get for being so “active” and “industrious”.  I liked that people knew that I was not lazy and gave me atta girls for it.   OUCH!  I was playing the pity card AND the praise card. Now that revelation really hurt!  On top of all that, I believed I was supposed to work constantly and suffer like this….1. because I was a woman and 2.  because I didn’t deserve any enjoyment in life.  UGH! I was punishing myself too.

I had to admit it was all true and repent (change my mind/thinking) on the entire matter.  I allowed the Lord to set me free from a long standing stronghold in my mind that had kept me weary and stretched farther than it should have and am letting Him teach me His way.

Getting set free from this is wonderful! Although I still sometimes (OK, often times) have to purposely make the effort to stop, rest and relax, I now can enjoy doing nothing at all and I will ask the Lord what I am to do and when. Truth is, I don’t want to do it if there is no anointing there for me to do it. I don’t want to be tired for the sake of being tired. I also try very hard not to “voice” to others about the busy days.  It’s been a growing process that has helped me in so many ways.

I can’t say how it is for others but taking a little R & R is a bigger thing for me than you can imagine. Because for me, it’s freedom from a wrong mindset that was planted in my thinking long ago and by many sources.  I am grateful for the freedom to “be” instead of a drivenness to “do”.  Reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.  Yes, I’m pretty sure that I’m learning to be a Mary instead of a Martha. And it feels good!

 

Until next time…..enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful

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Day 15 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 15, 2013


Today, I’m thankful for my periodontist, his staff, Novocaine and laughing gas.  Yep,  I had to have a tooth extracted this morning.  One that has been bothering me a few months and absolutely giving me a TERRIBLE fit the last few weeks.  I have a fairly high pain tolerance but this molar was inducing some major pain this week. I’d say on a scale of 1-10, it was a 20.  Yes, it was that bad and nothing brought relief.  Anyways, I finally called my dental specialist for an appointment two days ago to check it out and probably get it removed.  At least I hoped it was that simple.  They worked me in for this morning and now I am one tooth lighter and pretty much pain-free from what they called an erupted tooth with exposed roots.  No wonder I was ready to take a hammer to my jaw earlier this week! 

Dentis getting a good look

Here’s a bit more of the story and why I said I hoped it would be as simple as pulling a tooth. About 10-12 years ago,  I had been experiencing severe dental issues for a while.  Many of my teeth loose and my gums very irritated and inflamed, in spite of brushing well and caring for my teeth properly. I didn’t have a regular dentist any longer at that time and needed help finding the right one.  A friend who is a dental lab specialist and owns one of the leading dental labs in the south recommended I see Dr. Charles McBrayer, a periodontal specialist.

Dr. McBrayer diagnosed me with advanced periodontal disease, a dental disorder that in my case is hereditary and due to an over abundance of the normal mouth bacteria that everyone has.  Basically, no matter how much I brushed and flossed, the problem would have still likely arose because no dentist had ever realized this.  He advised a treatment plan that included extracting over half of my natural teeth, oral surgery that involved scaling the bones and direct antibiotic application to the gums and bones, and regular quarterly cleanings on the remaining teeth. While I did have to have a couple more teeth pulled soon after the initial mass extraction process, for the last 9 years or so, Dr. McBrayer and I  have managed to hold on to what few teeth I had left.  That is until today.

In those years, I’ve been pregnant and had a baby.   Pregnancy affects your teeth and gums and usually not in a good way.  Dental issues when pregnant can cause problems for pregnant women and their unborn baby.  My periodontal disease issues could have resulted in very serious issues.  Dr. McBrayer and his staff worked diligently to make sure that didn’t happen plus my regular hygienist in his office was extra gentle when cleaning since I could not take my usual nitrous oxide while pregnant.

Then came the inevitable time around 6 years ago when I was forced to get a total knee replacement to my right knee. A major injury in my early teens had left me with almost no cartilidge and damaged ligaments that were unable to be fully repaired way back in 1982.  We pretty much knew that someday, I would need some sort of repair work done as the bones eventually began rubbing each other and the joint became completely incapacitated.  In case you didn’t know, any type of joint replacement requires that special care be taken with dental work.  It means that every single time I go in for so much as a cleaning, I must take antibiotics to protect the prosthesis from any bacterial invasion through the blood or bone from the dental work.  Again, Dr. McBrayer and his staff have been critical in helping ensure that this does not happen by working with me and my orthopedic surgeon on this.

So thank you, Lord for sending me to Dr. McBrayer!  Thank you to Dr. McBrayer and your staff for helping keep my healthy and capable all these years.  Without your expertise, skill and fabulous patient care, my life and that of my family could and likely would be very different today.

Until next time….enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful!

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Day 13 and 14 Of Being Intentionally Thankful – November 13-14, 2013


 

Today, I’m thankful for forgiveness. More specifically, your forgiveness.  As you may have noticed, I didn’t post my daily thanks post yesterday. As often happens with time, the hours and minutes got away from me and it was nearing the 11th hour when I finally got a few minutes to sit down and tend to posting.  By then, my eyes were drooping and my brain was already nodding off.  Sooo…..I just played hookie! *hanging my head*
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Forgiveness gives you wings to fly

I am asking for your forgiveness.  I’m truly sorry for missing my own deadline and not posting yesterday.  I know many of you are following along and taking the Intentionally Thankful project to heart with me.  Many of you have let me know with comments here or emails or messages to me on social media.  I’m sure some are journeying with me that I don’t know about as well. I want you to know that I am truly grateful for those of you who are participating. For those who are taking a moment out of their day to let me know and sharing your declaration of thanks, a special hug and thanks to you. Your partnering and sharing with me has encouraged me so much, helping me stay focused and determined to stick with this project of being intentionally thankful each day.  A lifestyle of gratitude really does change so many things for you, doesn’t it?

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To each and every one of you….THANK YOU!  I speak many blessings over you and send you much love. 

 

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Until next time…..enjoy your at home world and be #IntentionallyThankful

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