Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Thankful’

remembrance day

Dear Sir (who I never met, and whose name I will never know),

It is that time of year again, as a fellow Canadian citizen, to be thankful and to remember those (such as yourself) who gave their lives, so that I could live my life in freedom.

I have a good life.

I am married, and have three grown children. My youngest just turned eighteen (eighteen … if my son were to have been eighteen in the early 1940s …), and two daughters who are twenty and twenty-five (you might have had a girlfriend, a wife?).

I work in a high school, assisting students to do the best work they can on their assignments and tests (if you had not gone to war, would you have worked a trade? gone to university?).

My husband and I own our home, on which we often spend our time, cleaning or fixing up each spring and summer (did you help your parents on chores around your home growing up?).

My husband coaches community football to young men who are sixteen to eighteen (I wonder, did you play football, or other sports).

I love to garden, and read, and write (what did you like to do in your spare time?).

We are involved in our church …

did you attend church?

did you know the one who gave his life for yours?

the one whose sacrifice of great love mirrored your own.

I need to be honest with you, sir, I live a pretty ordinary life. I have never saved the life of another. I have not invented or discovered a cure for a life-threatening disease. I can be apathetic, sarcastic and down-right lazy at time. I have been known to spend far too much time on frivolous time-wasters like social media and Sudoko.

Was it worth it? You giving your life, so that I could live my days taking your sacrifice for granted?

I am thankful, sir. I am thankful when I hear or read of one, a kindred spirit of yours, who died a hero, stepping in, stepping up to give their life for another. I am thankful when this November 11 day rolls around each year, when the familiar, pin on that red poppy pokes at my arm, when the planes fly over, the songs are sung, the guns fired, the prayers offered and the silence …

Sir, please accept this letter of thanks. Please receive it as a love letter, from one who is undeserving of your sacrifice.

Your friend,

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Being a Mom

IMG_2184

Is there anything better than being a mom?

Don’t get me wrong, there are those days when I shake my head and bury my head in my pillow, while asking the Almighty what on earth I was thinking IMG_2181those three nights when I only asked for a back rub.

Most of the time, I cannot believe how blessed I am to be called “mom” by my favorite three.

As I was chatting with a woman, pregnant with her first child, last week, I realized how much time has gone by, how many experiences I have had and shared, because I am mom.

From the moment I first was confirmed pregnant, to the first moves detected from within, to those first indicators that their exit was soon to take place.

From that first eye to eye investigation of each other, to the eye spy games, to the first time I got a stink eye from them.

From the rocking them to sleep, to wresting them back to bed for the umpteenth time, to trying to wrangle their sleepy heads awake on a school day.

From the stories read in cardboard books, to the stories shared in novels, to the stores shared on social media.

From the first attempts at latching, to the first solid foods, to the meals they have made for me.

From counting toes, to counting steps, to counting kilometers on a hike.

From first steps, to first bike rides, to first time behind the wheel.

From preschool, to kindergarten, to graduation.

From tears of joy, to tears of sorrow, and back again.

From prayers for their safe arrival, to prayers shared over meals, to prayers made in faith.

IMG_2182These three have changed my life, my trajectory, me in every conceivable way. They have made me softer, harder, more consistent, more flexible.

The stretch marks, across my tummy, were the first signs of the stretching that being a mom would require. They were the predictors of what would be required of me, for the rest of my life. I have been stretched in such a way, that I have been changed, marred, tattooed by mothering.IMG_2183Recently I was talking to a friend. She shared with me that it was an anniversary of the loss of her baby … her only baby. In an instant I had whispered “thank-you” to my God for the three that He has allowed me to spend life with.

It is easy to forget, it is easy to get so consumed by living, that we forget about the blessing of life, as a mom.

I remember well those (five) times when life within, ceased to continue to grow. I remember the heartache, I remember how it seemed as though the world stopped spinning.

Today, I choose to remember those (three) times, when life was birthed … and it seemed as though the world stopped spinning … because I became a mom.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

My favorite place to go is Cannon Beach, Oregon.

IMG_1555.JPGIt is, for me, the happiest place on Earth … and there isn’t an animated mouse in sight (except, maybe, at Bruce’s Candy Shop). I cannot walk on that beach without a smile breaking out across my face, and tensions rolling off hubby’s shoulders.

It is where I have studied God’s Word the deepest. heard the most profound, yet human Bible scholars. prayed the most sincerely. joined in collective worship, in song, with a room full of people who participate together.

When we turn off the highway, and into the town, where we live but a week of the summer, our kids wave and call out to friends on the streets, even before our wheels have stopped. We have met friends with whom a year apart is as if days, for myself, my hubby, my kids. Friendships that have stretched across the continent, into our homes, and through social media on a daily basis.

It is the place that I have laughed the heartiest.IMG_1554.JPG

I never have to make meals, or make the bed. We are greater at mealtime by friendly smiles, and gentle leading to meet someone new. We have memories of candlelit dinners, and I have eaten pounds of bacon (without having to cook it myself, and smell like smoked Wilbur).

It is where we have watched our children play with freedom and abandon. stretched curfews into late in the night. giggled with my girl in the shops. shared s’mores with my son. snapped dozens of pic of my girl chasing the gulls from their beach breakfast feast,

I have loved and been loved.

Despite the many clicks of scenery photographed, I have come to understood that no device can duplicate what my wondering eyes did appear.

I have started my day with starfish, anemones, crabs, barnacles and other ocean life. I have ended my days over hot coffee, s’mores on the beach, with crowds, with my kids, with my guy, with my God.

I have sat alone on the sand bar sIMG_1558.JPGinging praises, thanks, laments. The salt of my tears of joy and sorrow have mixed with that of the ocean.

I have walked miles of sandy beach … in the warmth of the sun, the damp of the rain, the wind, the cold. I have had weeks where I trekked the beach to Haystack twice a day, and a year when I could not physically walk more than half way there … once during our week there. I have shared that trek with darling ladies, dear couples, our kids, my guy, on my own.

IMG_1557.JPG

I have …

fully, deeply, cleanly,

breathed.

And I am so thankful that my guy and I got to share a few days in that most happy place on Earth.

I returned home, yesterday, with sand in my shoes, color on my cheeks, a smile on my face, thanks in my heart, and a desire to go back to that rock in the sand and surf.

IMG_1556.JPG

 

 

Read Full Post »

20140420-215907.jpg

Ever have a day when thankfulness seems to be spilling from every pore in your body?

Recently I had such a day, in the area of mothering.

My son came home from school puffed up bigger than the Magic Dragon.

He had had three interactions that day, that reminded me that, as parents, we are not raising our children all alone. It also reminded me that God, in His infinite wisdom, places people in the lives of our kids.

Our son had visited a past teacher that day. One who had nurtured his soul, and encouraged him that who he is, is valuable. My son still visits this teacher periodically, because in the presence of this teacher, my son knows he is accepted. In the presence of this teacher my son is valued.

That day our son had also conversed with another teacher, one whose opinion of how our son did in the school play, meant more than any other opinion. Why? Because our son respects this teacher, and thus the opinion of this man matters to him. This man continually, indirectly, reminds our son that they are brothers … brothers in Christ.

There is another man who has encouraged our son, one who has surprised me (oh, how I love to be proven wrong in these things). This man instilled confidence in my man-child, that he could learn his lines for the school play, when others may have doubted. And this man affirmed his efforts and results.

As I prepared dinner that night, I lifted my thanks to God for the men of good examples that He has placed in the life of my son.

Read Full Post »

27cb8859ec534f1d02ad95ce18c8b07b

Some days it takes intentional effort to find the joy in the day.

Some days the best part is that first cup of coffee, or that hot and steamy shower, or that toast with jam.

When I saw the image, above, I was at the end of ‘one of those days,’ and it reminded me of something, God sometimes blesses through the everyday, mundane, never noticed but always utilized …

things.

Why, just today, some of the things I often forget that I am so thankful for :

  • a rain jacket
  • a borrowed umbrella
  • a fork to eat my dinner with
  • books … beautifully written books
  • a white board (my favorite teaching tool)
  • a table and chair
  • a photocopier
  • a drivers license
  • a wooden spoon
  • a clean facecloth
  • a sharpened pencil … and eraser
  • 50% off sticker
  • a radio in the van
  • toilet paper
  • a lock on the bathroom door (so very thankful for that

Many years ago I read a devotional about a little girl and her grandfather. The pair had heads bowed to pray a blessing on the food they were about to eat. The grandfather’s prayer was one of thanks, not just for the meal, but for the sunshine, the lazy dog at their feet, the granddaughter across the table, the sick neighbor across the street, even for the plates the food would be eaten from. Once the amen was spoken, the granddaughter sat quietly, not touching her food.

“Sweetie, are you not feeling well?” asked the grandfather.

“Shhh,” she replied, “I’m praying grandfather.”

Soon, her head popped up, a satisfied smile across her face.

“What did you pray for?” the fascinated man said.

“I thanked God for doorknobs,” she said, beaming from ear to ear.

The grandfather was puzzled. “And why are you thankful for doorknobs?”

“Because, Grandpa, when I turned yours, you were on the other side of the door.”

Ya, and I am thankful for doorknobs too.

Read Full Post »

15600326422

Last week I was telling one of my daughters about a blogger I follow.

Although this blogger is young enough to be my daughter, she lives in a vastly different culture, and our theologies might be equally different, we share space and time, joys and struggles, as well as a love to communicate the written word. This lovely lady, whose posts I have shared a time or two (PrivyPlace), has just become a full time (paid) blogger. It is her dream come true, and I am so excited for her.

My daughter asked, “Mom, are you jealous of her?”

My daughter has heard me many times say, “when Oprah asks to publish my book …” and so she is very aware of that area of dreamland I sometimes escape to.

So, am I jealous of her?
No.

Happy for her, I am! But not jealous.

It has been about two and a half years since I dared to share my words, publicly, here where I aim to declare each day that it truly is a wonder filled life. I started, selfishly … because I needed to remind myself of the blessings of wonder in this life I live. This venue gives me the accountability I need to live intentionally thankful for all that I have … blessings and curses.

Without revealing too much of my inner soul, this space has enhanced my days, strengthened my relationships, and keeps me walking with my God.

What I never expected was that anyone (other than my mother) would read my words on the screen. Yet, the stats indicate that there is more than mom reading.

Almost every day that I have written (or posted the words of another) I receive input from someone …

a comment
a FaceBook comment
an email
a message

Almost every word that is shared with me communicates …

“that is what I needed today”

“thanks for being … real”

real …

for many years I felt that my ‘real’ words were not what anyone wanted to hear, to read.

But, that is what you get here …

the real me

messy, imperfect, flawed, sinful,
sometimes a guilt-laden daughter
sometimes a wiggin’ out mamma
sometimes a resentful wife

always
always a redeemed child of God.

My hope is that my posts might be, for those who read, what Proverbs 25:11 tells us :

“A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.”

And my friend who is now a full time (paid) blogger … I knew her when she just did it for herself, and that makes me love her new opportunity even more. A profession born out of passion!

Read Full Post »

To be redeemed is to be saved, to be freed, to have the chains of your life cut free from your wrists, your ankles, often at a price you could not pay, so another steps in and pays your debt.

There are many ways, many circumstances, from which we can be redeemed.

Old bananas that are getting not just brown spots, but soft spots as well, can be taken and made into delicious banana bread. The paper products that we use can be recycled and made into new paper products rather than become landfill. But I am not thinking of the redemption of ‘things’ I am thinking of the redemption of people, of lives, of souls.

The person singing too loudly for their musical abilities, can be surrounded by others with much more talent, who join in the chorus, and make the bad of one sound good when surrounded by many (thank you to those who, with musical ability, surround my poor singing each Sunday). The person who has been in prison, convicted of a terrible crime, can be found innocent, and set free from his or her prison chains. The person whose sins have been erased by a holy and loving God …

Humanly speaking redemption, God’s redemption of mankind, is impossible to understand.

It makes no sense that I am saved, freed, through the innocent, perfect blood of the son of the God of this world. It makes no sense that He would choose me over holy, and that through the sacrifice of the holy One, I am made holy (“for God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” Hebrews 10:10).

Isaiah 44:22 says, “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

They are swept away … like the dust on the floor, like the sand as the tide goes back out … never, ever to be exactly the same. Cleansed, re-created, and re-birthed into a new creation. All that was, is no more.

What good reason to celebrate! To be thankful.

“I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19:25-27

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Quotes, thoughts and musings

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.

This is Ellen Peterson.

Playwright and actor Ellen Peterson writes mostly true stories.

Widow's Manna

A widows journey. Discovering God's provision is just enough for each day.

My life in words...

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure

Explore Newness

My quest to do or learn something NEW as often as I can!

Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

Have Kids, Still Travel

A Family's Adventures Around the World

LoBrow | UpStyle

Castoffs are the new couture

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!