Archives for posts with tag: thankful

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Silent Sunday

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“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ❤
~ Frederick Buechner
So, it’s already Thursday again. Thankful Thursday, that is. And here are a few things I’m thankful for today.
First am thankful for..this quote. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”  Amen. Faith, not fear. Faith. Feed faith, not fear.The news tells us to fear. Looking deeper into things through eyes of faith can encourage us to ….not. Not fear, that is.   Love Frederick Buechner’s tip for sure.
Am thinking faith, not fear, in the little things. Thankful for my one-of-a-kind youngest son who leads the way in this.  He dresses to the hilt for every “Spirit Day” at school, even when it’s at someone else’s school for another team’s football game. Tonight, Hawaiian night. So he doesn’t just put on the  crazy fuschia pink and yellow and black Hawaiian shirt that a dear woman, Christine, bought for Buddy years ago. No, he doesn’t stop with that. He makes sure he’s got the puka shell necklace, the shirt that says, “Hawaii”, and the One Love Skate hat that has the continents of the World on it. He thought they look like Hawaii…and the one who started One Love Skate is living in Hawaii now. Anyway, he goes to the hilt and so does not get it from yours truly. We had Spirit week at school this week and I participated, sort of. Wore a bandana and jeans on Western day and a hat on hat day, ha. Pretty pathetic attempt, I’d say.  But Tanner, Tan-man thoughtfully prepares and goes all out in these things. He’s not afraid of what others think. No fear. Just courage. And with courage comes freedom. Love that. Wanna be more like that.
Thankful for conversations had, and conversations that are not yet voiced. Because sometimes waiting is important. Sometimes the unspoken and restraint and processing before words are spoken is a gift. Sometimes words come like thunder. Sometimes they come like a gentle rain. Usually, some thought and prayer and time can help dispel storms a bit. Takes courage to be still. Takes faith to know that there will be a time to talk later…takes courage and restraint to actually do the waiting. And then takes courage to speak.
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Thankful for heroes. Everyday heroes who see a need and jump in the water, the way, the whatever, to make a difference. Thankful that everyday heroes look just like you and me and that, well, they are you and me when we choose to be. We can all be heroes to somebody. We just need to look for opportunities to jump in. Thankful for the many reminders this week that sometimes the little things are truly the big things. And that those little efforts made at the right time can make a world of difference.  Thankful for the reminder that, “except for the grace of God, there go I.” Natural disasters aren’t personal. They sweep on in and leave people in their wake without regard for race, economic status, creed, gender, political views or ethics. Heroes do the same. Disasters help us see through a different lens…where we are on the same side with the same mission. So thankful for the ordinary heroes sweeping on into Houston this past week and the love in action that was shown.  Thankful for the way it inspires others and inspires me to take initiative to jump in when there’s a need. And there are needs all around….
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Thankful for retrospect. For lessons learned, lightbulbs in heart and mind turned on, and then freedom to move forward. Takes courage to step on into unknown futures.  Takes tenacity to keep moving your feet when they want to stand still. Takes courage to keep eyes and heart wide open. Thankful for loved ones who are moving their feet and going forward into the unknown. Thankful for being in the here and now and thankful for the truth that we need each other. We need each other period. Takes courage to takes walls down. Cool thing is, that’s when there’s room to be en-couraged.
Thankful for celebrations and milestones. For bright lime green balloons and sprinkle donuts, and  cards signed by every faculty member celebrating One student. Thankful for the awareness that one plus one plus one equals way more than three..it equals “We”. Thankful for “We’ll miss you” cards colored with every color in the crayon box. For 3rd and 4th grade students who share encouragement and ‘remember whens’ and give with words and actions.
Thankful for fragrant little white flowers that have cropped up on the Broad River greenway, in the woods by my school’s parking lot, and on the roads on the way to work.  Thankful for the fragrance and the beauty that’s there for just a short season, and then gone. Enjoying them while I can.
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I’m thinking maybe my blog should be called “Rambling on…”
Random thought?  Yep. But pretty accurate, ha.    Or…”Random Ramblings…”Am thinking I’ll close for now 🙂
Blessings to you all.
Heather
P. S. Feed faith. Not fear. Courage. Not fear. Faith. Not fear.
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“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ❤
~ Frederick Buechner
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10
Thankful Thursday

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So yesterday as Tanner and I were talking about the start of school, he said, “Yeah, Mom…it’ll be your  ‘last first’ day of school…”  Now I had expected him to say HIS last first day of school…but not mine.  And yep, I had a little difficulty seeing through the sudden pool that welled up in these eyes of mine…and all I could see as I looked at my senior in high school was the little boy with the blond hair and the blue smiling eyes.

And a flood of memories came.  My first first day of school with Zac’s first day of kindergarten…turning around as he got on the bus and waving so bravely with a smile. The mom who was waving back was trying to be brave too. And the many, many many photos on couches and porches and driveways of 2, then 3, then 4, 5, 6 children posing with their new shoes and back packs….and then photos of 6, then 5, 4, 3, 2,….and then this morning only one posing. One taller than me senior in high school ready for his last first day.

‘Last firsts’ are milestones…for our kids. And for us.  Am thinking that on milestone days we need an extra dose of grace (and chocolate or ice cream or your go to of choice…) for them and for us. We need to let ourselves feel and let the well that comes up from the deep spill on over in tears or words or laughter or whatever. Because life is so short…and the milestones need to be seen as precious treasures that we don’t just pass over.  For them and for us. 

I’ve been so in the ‘function’ mode recently that I hadn’t even let myself think about it being my “last first”.  I had thought about it being Tanner’s ‘last first’ day of high school, and had tens of balls juggling in my brain of things that need to get checked off for our family in the midst of lots of transitions and changes.  The list is long and broad and includes details, details, details, with needs for communication and planning and determination all crammed and crunched into a short period of time. But I don’t want to let the details squeeze out the moments that need to be celebrated, relished, and enjoyed. My mom-hat-of-function often bids me forget to let things seep in to my brain when it has to do with me.  But the cool thing is…with this great gift of motherhood… my firsts are multiplied with each new venture in my children’s lives. Because even when they go alone, my heart, my prayers, my love goes with them. …on the first day of kindergarten, or college, or walking on down the aisle…I’ll always carry the child that I carried. Might be in my heart, or thoughts, or prayers. Might be in my dreams or hopes or mind, but I’ll always carry the child that I carried. The ‘carrying’ just looks a bit different…

Am thankful for Tanner’s awareness, kindness, and words that helped me not just look at his ‘Last First’, but at mine as well. Am thankful for the reminder to treasure the day and be in there with each other. We don’t know what the next day holds.  And here’s the thing…we may all be experiencing our own ‘Last Firsts’ and not even know it. Am thinking being ‘all-in’ and ‘all-there’ is something that we will never regret. Ever. Sometimes I so need to be snapped out of the busy-ness to be able to see it.

So, Tan man, thanks for the ‘snap’, and reminder to your so-often-distracted, scatter-brained mom (who adores you by the way!). It’s your Last First day of high school, and it’s my Last First day of watching my 6 gifts go to school.  Definitely something to  both contemplate and celebrate. Am thinking that celebration and contemplation might need to include carry out dinner …and chocolate.  Or ice cream.  Or both.  All with extra extra doses of grace, grace, grace. (Because those pools of both celebration and contemplation just keep welling up in my eyes and I’m thinking it has quite a bit to do with this whole “Last First” thing.)

Blessings~

Heather

And to my 6 amazing gifts who have brought me a thousand firsts and a thousand lasts and a million in betweens…this little compilation of firsts and lasts is for you for today, for this moment in time. Because as Tan-man reminded me in the car yesterday, it’s good to be reminded of milestones and celebrate them.  Now, Tan and I are off to celebrate with carry-out and some sweet concoction.  It’s a good thing I had decided on doing carry-out, because the past hour and a half I’ve spent going through photos of you all. Love you all so much and so thankful for all the many, many first and lasts in our past…and the million more firsts and lasts to come.  Love you. Hugs and Kisses ❤ Mom

 

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Yeah…thanks for the reminder Tan.

“Wherever you are, be all there…”  ~ Jim Elliot

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” ~ Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

  “Love one another…”

John 13: 34

 

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Potential

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Kaleidoscope

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Gray

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Divergent

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Connections

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Unique

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Belong

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Grow

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Reflect

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Wade

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Bloom

Silent Sunday

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Backyard view, Shelby, North Carolina

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”

~Helen Keller

Amen ❤

Maybe because dear friends reflect the light we so need to see during darker times.

Maybe because sometimes we need others to remind us of what is true, who we are, who God is.

Maybe because perspective changes when we know we’re not alone.

Maybe because friendship is a gift that gives and takes at the same time…gives encouragement, takes a share of the load.

Maybe because courage to take the next step into the unknown can come from being encouraged by one that’s in there with us, through it.

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Shelby, North Carolina

And sometimes we might not want to share the darkness…we might want to pretend that all is light, that all is al-right or “fine”. We might want to isolate ourselves to protect others from any of the “darkness” going on. Not a good strategy I’d say, no matter how noble it may appear. Here’s a tidbit:…”isolate” comes from the Latin root “insulatas” which means, “made into an island.”  And we all know, “No man, (or woman) is an island” (John Donne).

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Am thinking it’s kind of cool that friend-ship has the word “ship” in it because sometimes we need a ‘ship’ to go rescue a friend that has a mental blip when they think maybe they need to be an island…and that ship sails in and reflects and reminds and rescues one that’s emotionally needing to be drawn back in. In the same way that a ship navigates the very waters that isolate the island, friendship can permeate the walls that keep us locked up ‘in our own worlds’ and keep others locked out. Friend-Ships sail through those rough waters to bridge the gaps…

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Yes,”Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” And here’s the cool thing that Helen Keller seemed to know as she wrote the above quote, There is often beautiful-pared-down-for-real connection that comes when things aren’t all smooth sailing. There’s an awareness of need, a gratitude for others, and a sincerity that often comes with darker times. Silver linings don’t only come on clouds. They come in stars. And stars shine when it’s dark.  They seem to shine really bright when they are furthest from the light.  Friends that walk along side in the dark can help us see clearly the beauty that’s there in the midst of the reality of what isn’t. They can remind us of the truths of scripture that are anchors to our souls and hope to our heart.

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New Smyrna Beach, Florida

So I’m not sure whether life is smooth sailing for you right now, or whether you’re on rough seas. Or maybe you’re finding yourself drawn to become an island. Am thinking we all feel that desire to just check out for a little from time to time. My encouragement is to draw near. Draw near to God. Draw near to friends and family who know and love you well. (Not perfectly for that’s way too much pressure for any of us to bear, but well….well like a deep well that knows you to the depths…and what they don’ t know, they’re willing to…)  Yes, draw near…fly that white flag of surrender if you find yourself isolated on an island and call in the ships.  Friendships, that is. Call. Seek. Move toward.

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Austin, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Take it from me…there’s treasure when the ship meets the island. Even Helen Keller who lived in darkness chose friendship and companionship over light and sight. That’s incredible! Am thinking she really knew what she was talking about for I’m sure she knew a thing or two (hundred) about isolation. Yes, there’s something to be said for smooth sailing, and light-er times. But oh, the depths of knowing that no matter what you’re facing, there are those who are with you in it. That’s a tangible heart-encouraging gift. And I’m so so thankful for it. More thankful than I’ve ever been for you see, I’ve had my turns at being ships and islands.  But recently took my turn as an island. And am so very thankful for the sweet ship that sailed on in. Thankful. Renewed. Back on track.

Blessings~

Heather

P.S. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) That’s the verse ringing in my ears right now. When we fly our white flag, He’s the “ship” that will always, always come in, no matter how far the island or stormy the seas. Love that.

 

 

 

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Silent Sunday

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On this ‘Thankful Thursday, am thankful for…

…for sun…and rain…and sunflowers in the rain.

…for the way the seed from bird feeders has allowed for these beauties to pop up in some of the most inopportune places…and that even though they looked like weeds, I didn’t pull these sunflowers because I knew what potential for beauty they held. They were worth the wait.DSCN0786

…for looking on the bright side of having old cars: no car payment,  low insurance rates, and the humility that comes with driving them. 🙂 Also for the time I have to catch up on my summer reading during the three hour repairzzzz.

…for two more days of “Summer break”.  For time well spent with family and friends and for all the things crossed off my “summer” to do list.

…for phone calls from one coast to another from my kids.  For connections with them that miles can’t take away. Yep. Very very thankful for that.

…for a new coffee mug that I love and use for way more coffee than any person should ever admit to drinking.

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…for three different “chance” meetings with people this week. Love how paths often cross at just the right times.

…for little hands and eyes that remind me of wonder 🙂

 

…for the reminder that life is precious … and the reminder that we need each other. (A friend from years gone by lost her 24 year old son… have written some things…but tough to find words for things so deep sometimes.) Prayers for Ashley and her family…and for those Jake left behind who adored him and are facing a deep ache and incredible void.) May God comfort in the ways that only He can. Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 2.12.28 PM

…for a friend sending me songs ‘out of the blue’ that helped yours truly beat a bad case of the blues. (Thanks Cheryl. Worship gets my eyes and heart back to where they need to be…. and for the so cool fact that the first one she sent was one of two that I keep playing over and over daily.)  One of my new favorites is Starlight by Amanda Cook. Bethel Music.

…for my camera and misty mornings walks. For cows that make me laugh and dandelions that so don’t look like weeds to me.

 

…for visual reminders that help me see and understand deeper truths that I need to take hold of…and the truth that “Love hopes all things, bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”  It was on the bulletin for my wedding. And “if I have not love…I am a clanging symbol…”  Below is a photo of a visual of “the two shall become one…”  Black sand mixing with white sand as a powerful visual.  Tough to separate grains of sand. Marriage is a blending, a meeting in the middle, a union. Yeah, good to have that reminder for me and my oh-so-polar-opposite-of-me-husband (and him and his oh-so-polar-opposite-of-him wife!) Thankful for the differences though…I really am.  A balance of extremes can be a good thing. Even a great thing. Just sometimes the blending of the two isn’t as easy as with sand.  At all.DSCN9764

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…for Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola (tastes like dessert… probably even qualifies as dessert!) and the time to eat breakfast outside on a cool summer morning. (Yep, there’s my new coffee cup ❤ ) For the views, the fresh air, and a new day and the birds flitting around from branch to branch singing their little hearts out.

…for ‘game changers’…truths that reach deep and transform mindsets and encourage and give strength and a new awareness for the day (or the minute as it may be)… (Ephesians 1: 18-20)DSCN0798

…for writing…blogging…and the venting and processing that comes with it. …for time to be able to write over these past few weeks, and for the creative outlet it is.  For connections with people I’ve never even met but feel like I know, and for the deeper connection made with people I do know that comes through sharing of thoughts, heart, and experiences and those moments of smiling because we get it and understand where the other person has walked or may be walking.

…for this verse…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  Thankful that the ‘wherever you go’ doesn’t have to be distant lands, or huge undertakings. The ‘wherever’ is wherever…. grocery stores, back yard decks, car service stations, business meetings, schools…yep. It covers “where-ever”.  And the courageous doesn’t have to be big and bold and earthshaking. It can be the quiet trust that knows that it’s not alone…and that thought alone is enough to empower and en-COURaGe to take the next steps…where-ever and what-ever they might be. 

One thing I know is that there is always a lot to be thankful for. Not just on  Thursdays, but every moment of every day.  I’ve just gotta take the time to see it.  So thankful for extra doses of time these past few weeks to do just that…

Blessings ~

Heather

 

Thankful Thursday

 

 

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Giving myself 15 minutes to write what I’m thankful for for this week…so here goes…

Thankful for Sky.  For wide open spaces. For sunsets and endings to days.  Good to have endings so that we can have beginnings.

Thankful for sons on the way home from different places & different ventures, a daughter on the way out to see family, and me sitting right there in the middle of the comings and goings being thankful that I get to see them as they come and they go. Thankful they have places to go to do their thing, but that there’s a magnet of family to come home to.

Thankful for friends. For truths shared. Encouragement. Laughter. Gut-level prayers sent up, and the ‘you’re not in this alone’ reality that sweet friendship brings to both sides. Internal perspective has a way of changing external views. So very thankful for friendships that help me see things through the lens of faith.

Thankful for stark realities of death that lead to beautiful awareness of LIFE and the gift of each day. That the darkest moments one one’s life can lead to wake up calls of living well in so many more lives. Thankful that the Bible speaks of deep gut-level HOPE that doesn’t let us or loved ones go in times of loss.

Thankful for stupid videos that my son shares that make me laugh like crazy….and make me admit that his quite goofy sense of humor may have come from someone.

Thankful for evening walks after the rain.

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Thankful for triple chocolate gelato (almost as good as the pistachio)…and for a son who eats a lot of it so that his mom isn’t tempted to eat more. Thankful for the memory of a year ago…eating my first gelato on a small island in the Archipelagos of Sweden…and for the son who was determined to help me check some things off of my bucket list.

Thankful for a ridiculously cluttered garage that is becoming less cluttered, and for the many moments in the past week of finding lost treasures of notes from kids, family photos, and little reminders of different stages of our family. Thankful for the laughter and cleansing tears shed in the reminders, and for the laughter and smiles from my kids as they get unexpected photos popping up on their phones with “remember when” messages from a mom who is trying hard to hold things loosely, but hold tightly to the things that matter.

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Bookmark Josh made years and years ago 🙂

Thankful for a misty rain that watered the plants that I had forgotten to.

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Morning Glory

Thankful that God’s mercy is new every morning.

Thankful for spinakopita and Greek salad and lunch with coworkers.

Thankful for time with my girl of laughter and talking and accomplishing daily tasks as a team…always feels so good to be part of a team working towards a common goal. Thankful for her feisty self that has a heart of compassion and wisdom underneath all that beauty and spunk.

Thankful for calls from sons…and catching up and laughing and connecting…and the little things that remind me that even though they are now men with lives of their own, they are so the same little guys with the same eyes that I looked into when they were young.

Thankful for my husband’s determination to provide for our family, and for the humility and wisdom to keep pressing on when things aren’t anywhere near easy street.

Thankful for walks with friends and wise decisions to meet at the River Trail instead of DQ.

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Carolina Thread Trail

Thankful for good reports from family members and the reminder that we all aren’t quite as invincible as we may think.

Thankful for new books to read and the desire to learn and grow. For me from the library, and for my youngest from Young Life youth leader. Yep Thankful for people investing in my kids big time.

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Thankful for quiet mornings, coffee, and for the missions and checklists for the day.

Thankful for “Thankful Thursday” posts and for the way being grateful for the little things has a way of empowering me to tackle the big things/tasks of the day.

Welp, my 15 minutes (stretched to 20 actually) are up.  Thankful for those who take the time to read these words, and for the many connections we all have. Thankful for words that bridge connections.  ❤

Hope your day is full of many, many…. Blessings ~

Heather

 

“..give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thessalonians 5:18

Thankful Thursday

 

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DSCN2456My view of his view.  Again. Love seeing things through other people’s eyes.  And love seeing people do their thing. Especially when the eyes I’m seeing through happen to be my child’s.  No matter how old they are (or I am…), so cool to see the world through their eyes.

 

Wordless Wednesday

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