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My favorite things (I’m betting you’ll be writing your own version as you’re reading mine!)

Dec

06

Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 | 17 comments

{sung to the tune of My Favorite Things, of course!}


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Rain boots on Robin and soft fuzz of kittens

White lights on Christmas trees, soft chenille mittens

Coffee with friends, when my tea kettle sings,

These are a few of my favorite things.

 

Romantic comedies, cozy pajamas

Dark chocolate (with nuts), snowfall and tall llamas

Fluttering, fairy-like butterfly wings

These are a few of my favorite things.

 

God's lavish grace, lion's roar of the ocean

Bike rides and beaches and smelly-good lotion

My children's laughter and flowers in Spring

These are a few of my favorite things!

 

When I can't sleep, when my heart stings

When I'm feeling sad.

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don't feel so bad.

 

Inspired by a rainy day and the need to wear my rain boots; everything I've mentioned really is a favorite thing!!  Come on…you know you have a stanza or two waiting to be written!  Let's make this a sing-a-long!

 

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Simple signs

Jul

11

Posted by on Jul 11, 2011 | 14 comments

One Thousand Gifts ~ Multitudes on Monday

I'm a lover of words and delight in those who string them together like exquisite pearls or even a chunky beaded necklace; I suppose this is why I'm inclined to share my own on this corner of the web.

But word economy is not my strength!  Though I think I've gotten a little better tightening prose through the years, I still struggle with packing dynamite in small packages.  Oh, how I admire those who do!

I suppose this is why I often take pictures of signs with my cell phone.  But it's not only about brevity, "good" signs make me think or laugh; they inspire or sometimes call me to action.  Sometimes they stir memory.

This morning I find myself grateful for a few that have recently crossed my path; everyone of them tells a story :).

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51.  Artistic expression.

52.  A quick get-away with my husband.

53.  Seeing beauty through another's perspective.

 

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(Captured by my sweet friend Rachel, A Southern Fairytale)

54.  A reminder to carpe diem!  Better yet, carpe momentum!!

55.  My life–the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

56.  This day, every day, to rejoice and be glad.

 

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57.  A country that values freedom and responsibility.

58.  Those who defend my country.

59.  Those who've given their life for my freedom.

 

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60.  Modern conveniences.

61.  Good manners and common courtesies.

62.  Humor in unexpected places.

 

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63.  Neighbors.

64.  Regarding others more highly than myself.

65.  Working for free.

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66.  The hard things that shape us.

67.  Pithy little sayings.

68.  Understanding the difference between needs and wants.

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69.  Dark chocolate with almonds.

70.  Perspective.

71.  Word treasure hunts.

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72.  My nieces and nephews.

73.  Family celebrations.

74.  The unique, distinct and diverse personalities of each person in my family, and how they all have effect on me.

 

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You're invited to join this community offering of gratitude with multitudes on mondays, hosted by the grace-filled Ann Voskamp.

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A new perspective of old friends
One Thousand Gifts ~ Multitudes on Monday

Jun

27

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 | 17 comments

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I'm back from a long weekend in the place where my marriage was infant-nurtured, my babies were conceived and loved by a hundred mamas, and that still feels like going home though I wasn't born there.  Well-familiar faces give me reason to add to my thanks this morning.

41.  The unexpected friend who appeared when it felt like the world walked out.

42.  The friend who taught me a memorable lesson in generosity.

43.  The friend God used to illustrate "It's not about me."

44.  The friend who never told me what I wanted to hear but what I needed to.

45.  The friend who convinced me that anything is possible.

46.  The friend who showed me appearances are deceiving, differences don't matter so much and love is more desirable than riches.

47.  The friend whose enthusiasm, excitement and encouragement is measured in time and intent.

48.  The friend who always gives me reason to laugh.

49.  The friend who inspires me with creativity and beauty.

50.  The friend who reminded me that it's more about your present and future than it is about your past.

It was a great weekend….

(I wonder if each could identify her/himself in my characterization… :))

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You're invited to join this community offering of gratitude with multitudes on mondays, hosted by the grace-filled Ann Voskamp.

 

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One Thousand Gifts, “Truly scrumptious” edition

Jun

20

Posted by on Jun 20, 2011 | 3 comments

Ranier cherries

It's an achievable thing for my Bucket List–cultivating my own vegetable garden; but my cowboy father-on-law insists it will cost me exponentially more to grow my own.  That, and a 90% shaded yard, are healthy deterrents.  So until something changes, I'll remain indebted to the farmers who grow and provide wonderful things for me to eat.

Late Spring and Summer are my favorite growing seasons.  I literally watch the calendar and scour grocery store flyers in anticipation of my favorites.

This week as I "grow" my list towards 1,000, I find myself especially thankful for a full pantry and never having to wonder where my next meal will come from.  Yesterday I wrote one of my Compassion daughters, and it hurts me to think she could be going without.  

So I'm thankful….

31.  The discovery I liked cherries when I tasted a Ranier.  They're different…and better.

32.  If I "am what I eat," or at least the thing I eat most, I'd be Silver Queen Corn.  Slathered in butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, is there anything better?

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33.  Okra.  Fried to perfection, I like it almost as much as corn.  

34.  Melons, melons, melons!  A "good" honeydew is my favorite, with cantaloupe a close second.  And watermelon dripping down your arms means it's an extra good one!

sliced watermelon and cherries
35.  Peaches.  Mmmm, fuzz-covered candy!

36.  A pantry, full enough to share.

37.  Rain and sun and fertile soil, the stage and backdrop for growth.

38.  For my "country" relatives who REALLY taught me the art and beauty of Southern cooking…and I bet they didn't even realize it.

39.  Southern Living and Paula Deen; they pick up teaching where my family left off.

40.  My husband's job and all the ways he provides for us.

 

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One Thousand Gifts: Critters & Creatures

Jun

13

Posted by on Jun 13, 2011 | 6 comments

As long as I can remember, I've had a fascination with bugs–the good (ladybugs, fire flies & butterflies), the bad (bees, dragonflies & spiders) and the ugly (praying mantises freak me out!).  On hands and knees or tippie toes scouring cabinets for an empty mayonaise jar, stabbing breathing holes with an ice pick, and capturing "friendly" insects is hallmark of my childhood. 

Buying ready-made bug boxes robs you of half the fun.

Because cicadas arrived in plague-like proportion this Spring–shells litter our yard like peanuts on the floor at Texas Roadhouse and their buzz has been as loud as the ocean–I thought this would make a nice addition to my 1000 Gifts list; I'm not so sure I often (ever??) remember to thank God for his wonderful imagination when it comes to the insect population.  

22.  Metamorphosis ~ the process of transformation bewilders and amazes me!

23.  Piercing, orange alien eyes of cicadas makes me wonder WHAT they're looking at!

24.  Bees.  Sigh.  Their productivity and service to their queen. 

25.  Ants.  Their work ethic and eagerness to tackle giants.

26.  Ladybugs.  Their cute factor.

27.  Butterflies.  Have you ever been tickled by a butterfly's tongue?  Watched it unroll and taste your skin?  A simple addition to your bucket list. 

28.  Caterpillars.  I wonder what it feels like to go through metamorphosis; their lowly beginning is worth their spectacular finish.

29.  Spiders.  Shudder.  Even the tiniest ones scare me, and yet I can watch one spin a web or wrap its prey forever. 

30.  Praying Mantises.  I'm too scared to pick one up but I think they look intelligent.

Cicadas

Pollinating bee on a dandelion
 

creepy caterpillar

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Praying mantis close up

ants at work on a dead Junebug

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Monarch butterfly

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Eucharisteo ~ The Beach Edition

Jun

06

Posted by on Jun 6, 2011 | 12 comments

beach umbrella under blue sky

sand in shoes on the beach

balcony view of beach

Loggerhead turtle nest

sunset in Ponte Vedra
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I feel like there's something wrong with me; the premise of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts is so…well…me.  It's my nature to be grateful for simple things, to notice the beauty of the ordinary and every day.

But I can't seem to finish her book…

and I haven't yet cultivated the habit of journaling gratitude.

Ann opens her veins and bleeds painstaking beauty in One Thousand Gifts.  It's spiritual and mental feast, meaty and rich and delicious…but difficult for me to digest.  Am I the only one?  Maybe I'm spending too much time ruminating over thoughts cast in new light, maybe I'm making the simple too hard.

Thanksgiving, joy, grace–should pursuit and practice be such a challenge?  Then again, there is a learned aspect to all of this.  Gratitude comes easily when good things happen, but it takes intention to be thankful when life takes turn unexpected.

Today I'm not giving into defeat; in spite of my inconsistency and lack of discipline in journaling my own 1,000 Gifts, I'll pick up where I left off, and this time remember and share a glimpse of the easiest things to celebrate ~ moments from our beach vacation.

6.  Blue skies (almost) and rainbows you can touch.

7.  Sand in my shoes.

8.  A room with spectacular view.

9.  Crashing waves, thunderous applause for their Creator.

10.  Invisible loggerhead turtle nests.

11.  Spectacular sky shows morning and evening. 

12.  Happy feet.

13.  Cousins working hard.  Cousins playing hard.

14.  The best buried treasure of them all.

15.  Palmetto trees.

16.  Fascinating sea creatures, ordinarily taken for granted (or depised!).

17.  Tan lines.

18.  Beach walks, beach talks.

19.  Gulls who dance with the wind.

20.  My boys…and the staff member who captured an image of us on the way out of town :).

21.  A perfect reading spot.

 

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  Dasani water bottle on the beach

reading on the beach

 

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