Saturday, January 22

Cuppa Tea

This thankful heart is feeling rather puny. I haven't felt well all day. Nothing smells good, nothing sounds good, I just want to lay in bed and sleep. In fact, I did a lot more than was responsible.  Kudos to my oldest daughter who held everybody together in the food/entertainment department while I just conked. And when my husband got home and was feeling the same way (both sick at the same time!? unfair!), he crawled into bed with me, and we both slept.

Now, it's dinner time, and neither of us is up to cooking, let alone eating. Add that to my snail's pace, it's going to be a long evening. It took me forty-five minutes to get a batch of muffins in the oven for the kids to have something to eat.  I am brewing a cup of very strong peppermint herbal tea. It feels so good to my complaining tummy. Mark is upstairs running "bath night", and I made some for him, too.

Every small thing matters when a person feels this yucky.  I am thankful for peppermint tea.  I am even more thankful for my girl.  God bless her for being Junior Mom while I was down for the count.

What are you blessed with today?

Friday, January 21


Not five minutes after I walked into the kitchen to get serious about lunch preparation, my little brothers walked in the back door.  I was not expecting one until much later, and I was not expecting the other at all.

It was such a delight to have them visit.  They stood around the kitchen, talking to me as we prepared lunch.  They played with my children.  At one point, they stood side by side, each with a little child in their arms.  They stayed after lunch, visiting and playing games and sharing interesting stories and jokes.  They took my husband and I out to dinner.  Then they hugged us and drove the hour and a half back down to the city.

It was a bright spot of joy on a dim, gray day.  I don't get to see much of my family, vast as it is.  We talk a lot, and harrass each other endlessly on facebook.  But actually being around each other is a rarity.  I love them all, and it ia a treat to be around them whenever I can.

I am thankful I got to hug my "baby" brothers today.  I am thankful that they made the trek all the way up to see me and my family, for no other reason than that they love us.

What have you been blessed with today?

Thursday, January 20


I left town, headed for a party (well, it was a "sales" party, but a social occasion nonetheless).  When I got there, the party had been canceled.  But I ended up stayed for an hour of visiting, all the same.  It was totally unplanned, and it was a very pleasant visit. 

I love visiting.  I am a huge proponent of the sport.  It is no small casualty of our online social networking world, I think, that friends don't do as much actual face-to-face visiting anymore.  I, for one, miss it.  I mean, I very much enjoy the interface and connectivity made possible through texting and facebook and blogging (obviously).  Even so, I am very grateful for friends who take the time to just hang out and chat, and who don't mind a bit when someone drops in unexpectedly; for friends who invite you to pull up a chair, take off your coat and stay a while.

I am grateful for visiting.

What are you blessed with today?

Wednesday, January 19

Ready-Made Meal

Early this morning, before I even started in on breakfast, I pulled out my trusty Crockpot, plopped a frozen cut of venison in, dumped a can of beef broth and some Worcestershire sauce on top, turned it on, and walked away. There is a certain amount of peace in knowing that, no matter how rough the rest of the day may be, dinner is accounted for.  An hour before dinner time, we scrubbed potatoes and threw them in the oven.  When they were ready, I pulled out the venison, added two cans of cream of mushroom soup and a teaspoon of pepper, chopped up the venison and tossed it back in.  Baked potatoes and yummy venison gravy for dinner.  Done.

I am thankful for my Crockpot (and for the venison my honey brings home every autumn!).

What are you blessed with today?

Tuesday, January 18

Beautiful World

I married a poet. Once, whilst working the dreaded night shift, he wrote a poem with the opening line, "Why did God make a beautiful world when a plain one would have done just as well?"

January makes it easy for me to stay home and stay inside. This morning, however, my toddler came to me and, beckoning with his hand, said, "C'mon, Momma!" and drew me to the back door. He had spied a cat in the yard, and was putting on his boots and opening the door before I could effectively distract him. The thought crossed my mind that he hadn't been outside for days (and neither had I), so I followed him out into the sunshine, buttoning my coat as we went.

The cat came willingly to him, and they had a moment of friendship. Then he discovered that the snow made a delightful crunch under his boots, so he stamped around off the sidewalk for a bit. And I followed him following the cat down the driveway.  He was occupied with the cat, and the snow, and I was trying not to be impatient.  I looked up, and realized the air was full of fine, sparkling snow, drifting gently on the breeze. It took my breath away.

Later, just before dinner, I ran to the store for an essential ingredient.  As we were pulling out of the driveway, I noticed the brilliant gold and blue and orange of the setting sun; and the deep blue of the sky to the North.  Enchanting.  The sky in winter seems as though it is trying to make up for the lack of color in the rest of the world.

So, why did God make a beautiful world, when a plain one would have done just as well?  

Another poet, Robinson Jeffers, wrote:
Is it not by his high superfluousness we know
Our God? For to be equal a need
Is natural, . . . : but to fling Rainbows over the rain
And beauty above the moon, and secret rainbows On the domes of deep sea-shells,
And make the necessary embrace of breeding Beautiful also as fire,
Not even the weeds to multiply without blossom
Nor the birds without music. . . (read a great article that references this poem here.) 

I love that thought: secret rainbows on the domes of deep sea-shells.  Today I am grateful for beauty all around me, free for just the small effort of seeking it.

What are you blessed with today?

Monday, January 17


Sunday mornings often run a tad bit frantic, and they aren't my favorite. Time and again, I arrive at Church frazzled and irrationally irritated with myself, my family, and the world in general.

This Sunday, I had so many people stop me to say "hi" and chat. One woman I rarely see hugged me and told me she missed me. Plenty of my fellow church-goers loved on my baby, and let me know how perfect she is) I agree completely!) Several of them asked after my son (who is old enough to be home sick by himself, so that's where I left him).

All in all, I walked out of the Church building feeling so much better than went I walked in. I felt loved, and needed, and loved, and appreciated, and loved. It's that feeling of love that keeps me coming back when I want to throw my hands in the air and give up on the world and everything in it.

Today, I am so very grateful for community, for the fellowship and friendship and love I feel from my friends, and from the members of my Church, and yes, from my family.  Community.

What are you blessed with today?

Sunday, January 16


I did something huge for me. And it turned out marvelously. If you know me, "shy" and "timid" and "hesitant" aren't words I would normally apply to myself. But that's until I leave my small world of home and family and friends and venture out into Reality.

I am embarrassed to relate that this week, we experienced a fiasco of the finances. There was an error in our checking account, and it was not in our favor. I'm on money matters at our house, so the mistake was mine. That right there is sufficient to level my confidence to zip. My default coping mechanism in these situations is to explain it in detail to my husband...and let him solve it. That wasn't an option, as time (and money!) were on the line, and waiting until he had an opportunity was risky.

Don't think I didn't pray. I did. "Help!" I pleaded heavenward. Then, I did my hair and my makeup (!), picked up my confidence and dusted it off, and went to the bank. I don't like dealing with people in their professional capacities. It always seems slightly forced and vaguely manipulative, and I feel like a fourteen-year-old girl again. So, this is a hard thing for me. But, I did it. And it worked! The woman I spoke with was kind and understanding, and agreed to waive the (very hefty) insufficient funds fees.

And when I walked out of the bank, our account was in the black, and my confidence was buzzing brightly!  "Thank you," I replied to the sky.

I am thankful for confidence, and for people who are warm and compassionate when they are on the clock and wearing a name tag.

What are you blessed with today?