Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful P-Z

Psalm 118:1- Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

P- Pops. I call my dad-in-law pops. He is the sweetest, most gentle, caring, kind hearted man I know. He is willing to drop whatever he is doing if he knows you need a hand. He loves his little granddaughter and gets a kick out of watching her little antics. He was the best man at our wedding. He had 4 sons, but he is so gentle and loving towards his daughters-in-law that you would never know. He is a family man, and if his family needs him, he will be there. I love you, and I am so thankful for you, Pops.

P- Paper. As a scrapbooker, it is no surprise that I love paper. I have since I was a little girl. I loved stationary products, notepads, and the like. When I discovered scrapbooking back in 1997, a whole new world of paper and paper-type toys opened up to me. I am so thankful for the hobby that has been my main enjoyment since 1997. It has allowed me to express my feelings, not just recounting the events pictured, about the people and places who have shaped me into who I have become. One day, as Addie gets older, she will get to meet those who have gone on and know them because of the stories that are written on these papers.

Q- Quiet moments. I am not a loud person. I can make noise, but generally I prefer the quiet. Loud noises have always made me jump. I prefer that doors be closed gently rather than shut. I prefer that cabinets be held as they are closed rather than let go to bang on their own. It is a quirk I have, yes. But in the quiet is where my mind works the best. Sudden noises cause me to jump and disrupt my train of thought. I love the early morning and the later evening hours because of the quiet that they bring. Thank you Lord for the quiet mometns which help us to reflect more on You and Your blessings. Thank you for the louder moments also, which are just indicators that life is happening around us.

R- Rest. I am the kind of person who likes to squeeze each opportunity out of my day down to the last drop. Brian tells me constantly, "You always have to be doing something. Just relax." I am so thankful that God built a rest period into each day. If we kept going without stopping, we would burn out in no time. I am also thankful for a husband that requires me to stop what I am doing to just sit and relax with him.
R- Reading. On Monday, as Addie and I sat down for her reading lesson, I felt in my heart that I should just point to the words instead of saying them to her. I sometimes ignore that little voice and then regret it later, so I decided to listen and see what would happen. I pointed to the phrase "arms up" and didn't make a sound. Addie threw her arms in the air with a squeal! I was overjoyed and called Brian immediately. After telling him the good news, I continued with the lesson. I showed her "nose" which she said and pointed to her nose, "toes" (same response except she pointed to her toes), "mouth" (she pointed and then licked her lips), "eyes" (poked them), and "clap" (which she did). I burst into tears and just repeated, "Thank you, Lord," over and over again. I truly needed that encouragement after a little bit of frustration the night before (maybe she isn't eating "normal" foods yet- my source of frustration-, but hey, she can read!). Lord, thank you for the encouragement you gave me from a few little words and a beautiful little girl.

S- Slow Cooker. I am so thankful for my slow cooker/crock pot. I can put my ingredients into it in the morning, do what I need to for the rest of the day, and Brian walks in the door from work, dinner is ready and waiting. I think I use it more now that I am at home than I ever did while I was working. I have come across so many wonderful recipes for my slow-cooker. I plan, Lord willing, on sharing them with you all. Maybe a new weekend installment at the beginning of the new year?

S- Sales. I am so thankful for sales that allow me to stretch Brian's hard, earned money. After Mom passed, I kept her coupon book. Inside she had a little piece of paper that read, "Dear Lord, thank you for these sales." I looked at it for a moment and realized that, of course, my mother had the right idea (Moms always have the right idea! Just waiting for it to kick in with me. I had the funny notion that it just automatically kicked in at the first birth of a child). Sales are never to be taken for granted, they are gifts from God to us (He just happens to use the retailers to be His instruments). So, Lord, I thank you for the sales you have always allowed me to come across.

T- Team Mac. You all have been such a blessing to us way down here in Florida. From the boxes of blessings to the blog posts sharing what God is doing in your lives and in your family to your constant words of encouragement, you have been a blessing to your Florida friends in ways you may never know. We love Team Mac!

U- Uncle Jack. Uncle Jack is married to GrandTiti. He is a Vietnam Veteran and has one of the softest hearts I have ever known. He, like Pops, is a gentle man. Uncle Jack treats Addie as if she were his own granddaughter. When they come to visit, or vice versa, he spends as much time with Addie as possible. When she was very small, he held her as much as possible (she is a bit independent now). While visiting us, he would always ask, first thing in the morning, "Where's Addie?" Well, good morning to you, too, Uncle Jack! Uncle Jack, thank you for being such a wonderful uncle to me and my family, husband to GrandTiti, and PapaSan to Belinda. I love you.

V- Veterans. If it weren't for the valor and sense of patriotism that our veterans have and had, our country would not be as we know it today. These men and women have (past and present) put their lives on the line so that our country and all that it stands for can continue to be the "land of the free and the home of the brave". I am so thankful for them. They are out there in my place fighting for the things that I believe in. So I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

***A little side note here. When Brian graduated from high school, he applied for the Air Force. He passed all of the tests and physicals and was at the final point of the physical exam when a doctor walked up to him and pushed back his hands at his wrists. Brian has had problems with his wrist since high school because of an injury during a game of football. Brian to this day does not know why the doctor singled him out and pushed back his hand which made him wince and pull his hand back. Because of that, he was not accepted into the Air Force. I think God had a hand in that. Had he been accepted into the military, who knows how or if we would have met. Brian, I know you have the heart of a warrior, and I thank you for being willing to seve your country.***
V- Victoria. Victoria is my dear cousin by marriage. Here is the breakdown. My aunt Elsa is married to her great uncle Johnny, but in our family that qualifies us as being related. Although we have been related forever (I was in her parents' wedding...well, I was supposed to be. I never actually made it down the aisle. I was 5 and terrified of doing anything in public. My behavior in their wedding was the reason that no one under the age of 7 was in my wedding.), it wasn't until earlier this year that we connected through FaceBook. We have watched several ballgames "together" and have posted back and forth our opinions on calls, players, and teams. When I burst into giggles, Brian can't understand what I'm laughing about. But Victoria has such a wonderful sense of humor that it is so easy to have a good time with her (Chik-fil-a!). She has such a sweet heart and has been so generous to Addie (and me!) by bringing us Veggie Tale videos (you know how much I love Veggie Tales!). I have loved our visits and look forward to the next one (hint, hint, Victoria!). She has been one of my constant encouragers concerning this blog and has even tried to get me to publish my writing. I love you my dear friend/cousin/encourager.

W- Winter- the season not the "holiday" (stay tuned for my December 1 post where I declare my stand on the "holiday season"). Here in Florida we have temperatures that usually range from low heat, medium heat, and high heat. During the winter time (usually January and February with a few days in March), we are given a reprieve from the heat and the weather becomes cooler. We are able to break out the sweaters and jackets and enjoy the outdoors because we know that we won't melt into a puddle between the front door and the mailbox. Thank you, Lord, for the change in the weather that we are able to enjoy for just long enough.

X- Extraordinary moments. And for me those include an unexpected text message from Brian saying that he misses me, an unasked for cup of coffee brought to me while the two of us are just hanging out, being given a scrapbooking magazine by Brian becase he was working next to a scrapbook store and thought of me, hearing Addie say "Men!" at the end of a prayer, the first time she said "Bye!" (with a very heavy southern accent, I might add), the first time Addie folded her hands and partially closed her eyes when we prayed for her food (she actually looks like she is frowning, but she is trying to close her eyes and keep them open at the same time), the first time she said "nite nite" (also with a southern drawl), having a hug around the leg for no reason, being at the store an having my 20 month old reading the letters on the signs, the first time she took over the bedtime time prayer (Brian stopped praying and let her take over. In his words, "I was not going to get in the way of my daughter praying to God.". Those are the extraordinary moments that I am so thankful for.

Y- You (and I don't know who many of you are, either, except for those who have told me that they read the blog or have left comments in the past). Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for showing an interest in what I am thinking and what I have to say. It is very humbling to know that you really care about me and my little family. So, thank you!

Z- Zeal (this one took some real thinking to come up with). We all zeal for something. Something that we feel very passionate about. God has put that feeling inside of us so that we can reach our goals and hold a position on something. I am zealous about the Lord, my family, and the great position I have been given as a woman, wife, mother, and homemaker. I am also zealous about encouraging other women to in their positions as women, wives, mothers/caregivers, and homemakers. I would encourage you to take a moment to consider what you are zealous about.

Well, that is my list for now. I am thankful for so much more as well. I think this is a great exercise that we should try quite often. As in a Veggie Tales song (yep, I think I have seen them all a gazillion times), "A thankful heart is a happy heart." When we take the time to be thankful we find ourselves looking at life with a different perspective. By taking stock of what we have been blessed with, it is hard to think about the things we thought we wanted. I pray that you thoroughly enjoy your Thanksgiving and the crazy weekend that usually follows.

I will have posts up still throughout the Thanksgiving weekend (and maybe a slow cooker recipe on Saturday:), so when you have a moment, don't forget to stop by with a cup of coffee or hot tea (blueberry and raspberry flavors are very nice) for a little break and "friend time".


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