Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blessings and Hopes

Sally gave us this Friday Five:
As you look back over 2011 share 5 blessings, they can be as grand or as simple as you like,if you year has been like mine they are probably a mixture!

As you look towards 2012 share 5 hopes- again, anything goes!

Blessings of 2011
Physical health - mine and that of those I love.

Significant anniversaries - mine and DH's 20th anniversary, and my parents' GOLDEN anniversary.

God moments - see the Barbarry sheep at left and turkeys below.
The small mountain churches and people there that I serve.

To have lived through and learned from the many trials and tribulations of this very difficult year.

Hope for 2012

To be kinder and gentler with myself and those I love.

To find a permanent (rather than transitional) position in the church, and increased financial security.
To grow in health - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

To look for God in every day things.
To show the love of God in my life.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Five

This Friday Five comes from

Friday Five: Random

I don't know about you, but my life seems to have a lot of random surprises lately.  Just little things,
like the doggy in the picture, who was rescued by a Good Samaritan from running into traffic, who then brought him to the police, who brought him to my neighbor's house.  I took the doggy, now named Scout, to the vet on Monday, and the woman behind the desk said, "This dog looks so familiar.  Were you here last week?"  I told her no, that this particular dog is a stray, and she looked at me, and said (use your best Boston accent here), "Oh my GAWD!  I rescued that dog on Satuhday!  I took him to the police!" and then she proceeded to tell me the story.  She was Scout's angel.    

Random, right? 

So, for our Friday Five, I invite you share five random things about you, or five random thoughts, or five random surprises in your life. 

Just be random!

Random thing #1
New song learned from the kindergartner:

Chubby little snow man
With a carrot nose.
Along comes a bunny,
What do you suppose? 
Hungry little bunny
Looking for his lunch,
Took the snow man's nose,
Nibble, nibble, crunch!

Random thing #2
I love batter-dipped french fries with jalapeno mayonnaise.

Random thing #3
I drive 269.6 miles each Sunday to preach at my two churches.

Random thing #4
It has been two years since our house fire.

Random thing #5
It turns out the pediatric pulmonary doctor we are seeing for my son's asthma was my cousin's doctor for Cystic Fibrosis for 16 years.  Just found that out this week through a facebook greeting!

Thanks for a great Friday Five! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Singing Christmas

Sometimes during this time of year, 
things get so hectic and people get so frazzled and grumpy that blessings are hard to come by.  We can snap and snipe at one another over the littlest things. 
I suspect that this year, 
there are even more reasons for us to be anxious or worried about Christmas. 

So as I stopped to think about the blessings in my life right now, 
one simple thing jumped out.
My youngest son is five, 
and he is learning Christmas songs at school.
We have been practicing a lot,
sometimes just he and I,
sometimes with his big brother.

Tomorrow his kindergarten class goes to sing
at a hospice facility.
His teacher told him today that he is one of the best singers in the class.
So tonight, in bed, we were practicing,
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
and giggling,
and snuggling.

The simplest things are often the greatest blessings.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Five: Giving Thanks

Jan gives us this Friday Five:

I've been home from Russia for less than a week, and in less than a week it is Thanksgiving Day in the USA (Nov. 24). So for this Friday Five, answer these questions (and if they don't apply to you, list five things you are grateful for):

1. Where will you be on Thanksgiving Day? With whom?
We will be in Texas with my whole side of the family - thirteen of us in all! 

2. Are there any family traditions or memories associated with Thanksgiving?
Food, football, festivities!

3. What will be on your Thanksgiving menu?
It's a pretty traditional menu - turkey and stuffing with all the fixings.

4. Are you trying anything new this Thanksgiving?
This year, because all of us can be together on Thanksgiving, we're celebrating "Thanksmas."  Thanksgiving on Thursday, Christmas on Friday, and my eldest son's birthday thrown in somewhere!

5. What is the weather forecast for this day (next Thursday)?
Sunny and 68 degrees.

Bonus: Prayer, poem, song, or whatever you choose to exemplify your image of Thanksgiving (giving thanks).

My favorite Thanksgiving hymn:

 Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
To God the Creator triumphantly raise.
Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,
Who still guides us on to the end of our days.
God's banners are o'er us, His light goes before us,
A pillar of fire shining forth in the night.
Till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished
As forward we travel from light into light.

His law he enforces, the stars in their courses
And sun in its orbit obediently shine;
The hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains,
The deeps of the ocean proclaim him divine.
We too should be voicing our love and rejoicing;
With glad adoration a Song let us raise
Till all things now living unite in thanksgiving:
"To God in the highest, Hosanna and praise!"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Face of Grace

Today we went to the Fair.  Although the getting ready had somewhat marred my excitement, and I was determined that it would be a wonderful day.

The weather was gorgeous, crisp and autumnal, and we had a lot of fun.  As at all fairs, there was a giant slide.  My boys climbed up and slid down over and over again.  My youngest wanted us to watch each time.  On one occasion, while I was away from the slide with my older son, two women watched with amazement my five-year-old's unabashed joy and delight as he slid down.
Grace should be received like that.
With unabashed joy and delight.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Paying Attention

Today was the fair parade, a sure sign that fall is here.  The day was beautiful, as it is here in the autumn - warm but not hot, a hint of coolness and changing in the air, bright blue sky with brilliant sun.  The best thing was the faces of the kids, eager and excited, anticipating.  I guess that was what resonated, the anticipation.  Truth be told, I too anticipate this harbinger of autumn each year.  It feels like a signal to begin settling in, enjoying anew the things of creation and of home.  A time to pay attention, and to savor the hues and fragrances.  After the heat of the summer, it is delicious.