the journal of gratitude

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Taking time to count the gifts, the big and the little.  As long as thanks is possible – then Joy is always possible!

  • looking forward to the journey God has before me
  • to know no matter how dark the situation may seem, my Abba Father has it all in control
  • blooming colors of newly planted flowers
  • waking up to the smell of freshly ground hazelnut coffee
  • the sounds coming from the kitchen – sweet man making breakfast
  • a new day to worship Jesus, Son of God.  He helps me overcome
  • the sounds of guitar playing and my BFF singing
  • the joys and hurts – the blessings and the griefs of being a mother
  • enjoying a walk and a quiet dinner after a hectic day at school
  • a note from a student apologizing for disruptive behavior – her smile as she reads a note from me saying “thank you for the kind words and apology accepted!”
  • laughs with friends
  • sharing the Word with hubby at the breakfast table – best way to start my day
  • puppy kisses waking me up
  • new day is a new page
  • thankful God called my name and I listened and responded
  • thankful a 1000 times a day for my husband who loves God more than me
  • busy day of teaching comes to an end – no work to take home tonight!
  • seeing little boys running in the park brings back sweet memories of my two boys
  • sweet teaching friends makes the job so much easier and more fun!
  • I can count on my God
  • my sweet man holding on to me
  • sharing popcorn and diet Dr. Pepper on a movie date
  • a day to sleep in a bit later
  • restoration is stronger than guilt
  • friends praying with open hands for our prodigal’s eyes to see his reflection of God’s creation, chains to be broken
  • running into an old friend at the card shop – a Divine appointment.  she’s going through chemo again
  • working for a principal who loves the Lord
  • email from parent with kind words of appreciation and encouragement
  • leisurely breakfast with a long-time friend, catching up and encouraging
  • fresh manicure – hands feel clean and soft
  • smells of fresh cranberry bread baking filling the room
  • comments of encouragement from readers on blog  🙂
  • unusually quiet sounds of an early morning
  • sunshine pouring in through the french doors warming the floors
  • candles burning that smell like fresh lavender
  • yearning to forgive as Jesus forgives
  • red velvet yogurt on a late night walk with hubby and Lizzy dog
  • homemade tamales – yummy and spicy
  • running in the rain and not worrying about getting wet
  • sharing lunch with a friend, cultivating our friendship through laughter, encouragement, and prayers
  • honeybees buzzing around the blossoms on the lime tree
  • heaving puppy sighs while she sleeps in the sun
  • watching Downton Abbey with my sweet man
  • beautiful turquoise earrings given in celebration of our love
  • sitting on “our bench” just watching the people walking by
  • learning more about human trafficking – touring the city at night
  • words of thank you from a mom whose prodigal has been ‘lost’ 20 years
  • day before spring break begins – time for a much needed break
  • new bright red geraniums waiting to be planted
  • the smell of cupcakes drifting out the door of a shop on a walk
  • curling up to read a book – enjoying the quiet
  • sparkling kitchen counters (at least for a little while!)
  • return of the mourning doves to our balcony (4th Spring)
  • waking to the sweet, gentle cooing of the doves
  • great night at the woodlands pavilion with “Burning Lights”
  • “God’s Great Dance Floor” live with Chris Tomlin
  • sound of rain beating on the windows
  • rain clouds building on the horizon signaling another cold wind
  • losing an hour of sleep and making it to church early!
  • a much needed sunday afternoon nap
  • 27 years ago today . . . Daughter was born . . .JOY!
  • His love, like His power, can’t be managed
  • God’s timing isn’t hurried because He loves me
  • Jesus in hopeless situations gets me far more than I had in mind
  • writing with sidewalk chalk with 2 little girls
  • spending an afternoon with a longtime friend, catching up and sharing
  • sitting in the sun and soaking in the beauty around me
  • hearing the bubbling sound of fountains and kids playing in the water
  • white, puffy clouds slowly drifting through the blue skies . . .
  • finding all kinds of fun “pictures’ in the clouds
  • coloring books and crayons . . . brings back happy memories of time-well spent
  • locked up car keys = a few hours of quiet writing time
  • smile of my sweet man coming home after a day in the country
  • sitting around laughing, talking, enjoying dinner with old and new friends
  • sharing clothes with someone else who needs them
  • the cacophony of chaos drowned out by His love song
  • sharing birthdays dinner for Daughter and sweet man
  • surf and turf . . .  steak and lobster with chocolate lava cake
  • a new haircut welcoming spring
  • the gift of friendship
  • a fun afternoon of shopping and browsing in old Heights with Daughter
  • 50% off some new fun jewelry
  • a super good night’s sleep and remembering to set the alarm (school starts back up!)
  • red skinny jeans and a new white top – the end to a fun weekend
  • honey crisp apples with peanut butter
  • daylight savings time and an evening walk with hubby and puppy
  • text message from a teacher friend asking for prayer for her niece – honored to be asked to pray
  • a new friend shared news of her pregnancy
  • hard eucharisteo —–  6 months of silence from July Son
  • forgiving past wrongs
  • discovering 5 new nests in bluebird houses
  • a birthday gift to my sweet man – a beautiful sunset shared at CHR
  • the yummy mix of nuts, raisins, and M & M’s-  just the right combo of sweet and salty
  • encouraging words about peace during times of pain
  • kind words of comment from a fellow blogger
  • Daughter calling just to say “hi” and talk
  • a dream about Prodigal brought prayers during the night
  • Unglued   – by Lisa TerKeurst – dealing with raw emotions
  • Identity Theft  -by Laurie Dodds – knowing my true identity
  • Palm Sunday . . . one last blast of cool weather?
  • celebration at HFBC for mission 1:8 – growing discipleship
  • news of a sweet friend’s pregnancy – answered prayers 🙂
  • podcast of our church services when we’re home sick
  • chicken pot pie for sunday lunch . . . takes us back to being kids
  • listening to audio book  He Loves Me with sweet man
  • music and dancing under the stars
  • Easter services – we crave Resurrection
  • playing hooky from school to spend time with the folks
  • text messages sent asking for prayers – a plus for technology
  • a hot, fresh bagel with cranberries
  • trimming of trees gives lots of firewood, plenty to share
  • birthday April son – first-born 31 years ago . . .miracle #1
  • coming home to a candle-lit dinner for two after a busy week of school
  • jumbo chilled shrimp with fresh asparagus
  • sharing recipes with Daughter
  • relaxing date night at home curled up on sofa 🙂
  • spring flowers for the pots on the balcony
  • celebrating another birthday
  • birthday cards arriving in the mail – there’s something about holding a “real” card
  • my favorite 4-year old’s name written on a card to me – makes me smile whenever I look at it
  • a surprise bouquet of pink roses and stargazers
  • voicemail birthday message from July Son . . . an answered prayer 🙂
  • listening to his voice over and over again
  • a new pencil sharpener given to me by a challenging student
  • the popping colors of coral and turquoise on a spring day
  • pitch-black darkness at 9:00 am …as a thunderstorm rolls overhead
  • son-in-law grilling shish kabobs for mother’s day – beautiful colors of red, yellow, green and purple veggies . . . even when he doesn’t like veggies!
  • “when distance separates” prayer
  • a Mother’s Day surprise ~pulling into the drive and seeing April son’s truck  🙂
  • a text reading “happy your day” from my prodigal  🙂
  • a day of enjoying being with my mama ~ dinner made by the guys!
  • counting down the days until the end of school
  • enjoying a few minutes of sitting in the sun
  • seeing my mom’s smile as she opens K’s card
  • sharing laughs with loved ones
  • another end to a school year 🙂
  • handwritten notes of appreciation – reminders for when the times seem “tough”
  • summer – a season for ripening and picking of fruit
  • anticipating summer “fruits” shown by God
  • smell of fresh oranges cutting up for a salad
  • seeing anticipation of summer vacation in eyes of kids
  • Psalm 139 – I am fearfully and wonderfully made
  • watching a video made 2 years ago of Ry in the bluebells . . . happy memories
  • 1 Cor. 7:23 ~ you have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to HIM
  • sweet conversations with mom and dad
  • reminders from dad that every day is a sweet day
  • such a beautiful example of Love – mom and dad married 64 years
  • my dad looks to his Father, his Creator
  • doing laundry, thankful I have a sweet husband to do laundry for
  • reminder of faith – framed words ‘FAITH makes things possible, not easy’
  • finding just the right rustic-looking frame for bluebonnets photo
  • online Bible study – Gideon – Your weakness. God strengths.
  • coffee flavored candle burning and fresh coffee brewing ~ double yum!
  • bringing home Willy the fish ~ beautiful purple Beta
  • zesty taste of jalapeño mango salsa ~ can’t stop dipping!
  • honored to pray for another sweet young friend’s (R) pregnancy  :-))
  • a freshly washed and waxed car . . . and the smell of clean leather
  • a gift of life – one last baby bird waiting to fledge
  • fresh ripe peaches waiting to be eaten
  • finding little wildflowers even in the drought
  • curly fries smothered in ketchup
  • wispy curls around Lizzy eyes
  • curling up under a blanket, even though it’s 101 outside (yes, AC works well!)
  • shades of yellow in summer squash
  • smells of fresh fruits and veggies at the Farmer’s Market
  • rain clouds building in the western sky as we celebrate baptism at The Grove
  • lightning painting the summer evening sky as we head home
  • raindrops the size of a half-dollar falling on the patio stones
  • the small stone of 1 Sam. 7:12 – given to me by Cody
  • City Centre stone pathway marked with “To Be the Glory”
  • palm trees lining the walk to the store
  • figs hanging over the fence
  • reading Grace by Max Lucado
  • e-books on the iPad . . . so convenient to take with us anywhere!
  • waking up thinking it’s early morning only to realize raindrops are gently hitting the windows
  • warmth on my feet from sun-baked pavers on patio
  • baked tilapia crusted with parmesan cheese
  • Collina’s primavera pizza shared with Karla – delicious and so colorful!!!!
  • Menchie’s fro-yo . . .  graham cracker, Dole pineapple and peach mango
  • brownie bits to put in fro-yo
  • compliments on new haircut make me smile
  • new light bulbs bring light again
  • welcome shade trees found on a sunny morning walk
  • a new storage space came available . . . and it’s climate controlled
  • stopping at Dairy Queen for soft-serve in a waffle cone . . . on a hot July day
  • getting caught at a red light, put us 30 seconds behind the roll-over crash that happen right ahead of us
  • a new Swedish word (shared by K) – fika –taking time for coffee, sweets, and conversations with friends
  • cold, white cream for my coffee
  • fluffy white clouds strolling across the blue sky reminds me of cotton fields in the country
  • white jeans that go with anything this summer
  • cleaning out space and sorting through stuff ~ it’s only temporary!
  • the breeze blowing on a hot August afternoon while filling the deer feeders
  • coming up the road and seeing 8 deer running across the field
  • fresh peaches and nectarines
  • a new burger place that makes milkshakes right around the corner
  • girl time with sweet friends ~ sharing time with a new baby
  • hearing Aunt E’s voice – strong in the Lord – even when receiving news of cancer
  • enjoying the last few hours of summer vacation
  • new students, new teaching partners
  • key lime pie milkshakes with whipped cream
  • fall decorating . . . is fall in the air?!
  • reviving rain, rain, rain . . .
  • green grass shooting up across the field of brown
  • a fun morning and afternoon experiencing Austin malls
  • listening to K practice scripture reading for the wedding
  • Wild Onion Ranch wedding
  • Peace beyond understanding – prayers answered
  • an opportunity for forgiveness for hurts caused by someone
  • hugs from Prodigal after a year’s absence
  • time for reuniting, if even only for an evening
  • beautiful sunshine breaking through the old oak trees
  • a mix-up in seating arrangement brings family together
  • prayer said by Granddaddy for the wedding couple
  • fire pit for s’mores —- yummy!
  • wedding reception dancing under the stars
  • sleepover time with Riley
  • sharing morning time with K and A before they leave
  • Salt Lick BBQ – a fun Sunday lunch with kids and wedding party
  • sharing with small group praise for His Peace
  • an unplanned parent meeting – starts with confrontation, ends with kindness
  • a deluge of rain brings in cooler weather
  • stormy day turns into a beautiful sunset
  • shadows of trees
  • a hawk calls out in the quiet of the morning
  • loss of the internet, time to read a book
  • caramel apple, a gift from a little Angel
  • short-stack of pancakes with hot syrup, shared with a friend
  • homemade chicken-vegetable soup on a rainy day
  • my favorite pair of boots, well-worn
  • happy, happy, happy news . . . a sonogram picture sent by text!!!
  • another sweet miracle . . . waiting for Baby L!
  • sweet notes, emails, texts . . . such support in prayers from friends
  • laughter shared with my sweet man – such a wonderful caretaker
  • days off from school . . . winter weather comes our way!
  • little bitty snowflakes swirling around
  • the pinging sound of sleet hitting the iron patio table
  • icicles hanging – reminds me of popsicles
  • celebration of a birth of baby Rhett . . . unplanned C-section
  • wedding celebration for 2 friends who found “new” love . . . “At Last”
  • the hearts banner surprise gift from sweet friend, Denise
  • seeing results of prayers for healing . . . taking the bandages off!
  • spending evening with new friends and old . . .  movie night
  • the sweet smell of baby Rhett . . .
  • seeing the changing body of my baby girl . . . expecting her first child
  • the beauty of ultrasounds and a strong heartbeat
  • silence of being alone . . .  time alone with my Creator
  • the ticking of the antique clock
  • surprise lunch brought by a friend . . . missing her!
  • open windows bringing in fresh air
  • the wind blowing through the pine trees outside window at school
  • making plans for a barn
  • measuring and marking the layout of the future barn and house
  • seeing and hearing the excitement in my sweet husband as we talk about where things can go
  • empty birdhouses beginning to show signs of another season of nesting
  • the wind blowing in my face on my first time to drive a 4-wheeler  🙂
  • soft piano music playing “Amazing Grace”
  • a new pair of work boots
  • the red cardinals darting out of the trees as we drive down the road
  • hanging the bird feeder in the spot that will be near the back porch
  • picture sent by daughter showing her baby bump . . . baby is the size of a sweet potato and hears music!
  • 50 blue tents spread across the meadow —- each one filled
  • last weekend in March – OBT weekend retreat – promises!
  • bluebonnets bursting out of the ground
  • a double rainbow . . .  reminder of HIS promise . . . a double portion
  • approaching storm . . .  reminder He is in the clouds, He is in the wind
  • the blazing sunset after the storm . . . He is in the fire
  • 4 marriages that were on the path to divorce  . . . promises of restoration OBT spring
  • cross of nails . . . a reminder from Cody
  • blueprints for our house
  • finding the best birthday cards for loved ones
  • Lizzy hiding underneath the picnic table
  • celebrating another birthday with my mom
  • picture sent by Kelly  . . . “first family photo”  . . . pink smocked dress – waiting for Baby Annabelle
  • sound of quiet . . . total quiet
  • being in the room when sweet little Annabelle arrived
  • seeing my own little girl become a momma to her own little girl
  • holding new life in my arms  . . . what a perfect gift
  • hearing AB’s first cry
  • start of a new school year . . . new faces, new challenges
  • 4 generations of girls together for the first time
  • smell of lavender and chamomile oils in the diffuser
  • tiny fingers wrapping around my finger
  • news of another little one to be born this spring
  • first opportunity to babysit AB
  • sweet snuggles at bedtime
  • glorious sunrise reminds me that light takes away the dark
  • gingerbread cupcakes
  • riding a rollercoaster with Ry . . . what’s a Nana to say?
  • making s’mores with Ry
  • a “puppy” hiding in the big middle of pillows
  • love note left on a new jar of honey
  • the sweet smell of AB’s little head
  • the first smile of a toothless grin
  • waffle ice cream cones from DQ  ~ road trip time
  • capturing precious moments on iPhone
  • sharing special “talks” with AB . . . such expressions on that little face

 

 

 


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