Saturday, November 25, 2023

So Many Things to be Thankful For

 I thought I would share a few pictures from this last month and just a couple of thoughts. The picture above is Malcolm and I when our family went on a walk at the state park on Friday. 
The other walkers: Aaron, Mara (with Ewan on her front), Thomas and Megan)
I didn't get any good pictures from Thanksgiving day but we were blessed with family and friends joining us at our place. 5 international students from the university joined us and that was a blessing. It was fun to introduce them to Thanksgiving as it is an American holiday.

My seatmates. Some pretty fun ones that had lots of requests and questions. :-)

As usual we had plenty of pie.
Mom, Dad and I. 
We have a couple of kitties (that hopefully we can find a home for at least one of them). This one is so incredibly friendly and purrs away even when Malcolm picks him up like this.
A couple of weeks ago we had a Thanksgiving meal at church. That was fun. At it we were challenged to work together as a congregation to come of with 10,000 reasons that we are thankful (praising God). I normally write a list of things that I am thankful for everyday and have done that for 15 years or so. It has truly changed my life to do that. If you struggle with discontent or unhappiness in any way I highly recommend it. This challenge at church has caused me to put a lot more thought and effort into it -more than my normal 10 or so things per day. It has been such a blessing!

  I don't believe that it is just for God's sake that He tells us over and over again to be thankful. It is so incredibly healing for us! Even if it did nothing for us, He deserves all the thanks we can give but I think when we start obeying Him and begin praying with thanksgiving the way He tells us to we will be blessed far beyond what we can imagine.

  God gives us hundreds (thousands? millions?) of gifts every day and many of them we don't even notice. Instead we are busy thinking about our struggles, the hard things we face, the loneliness in our lives. When we start looking for those gifts instead and writing them down it fills you with such a great sense of overwhelming love - realizing just how much God cares for you. Taking the time to write them down can retrain your thinking. Romans 12:2 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of your mind" and I think obeying God in giving thanks is part of the way to do that.

   Go beyond just being thankful for family, friends, a home, a job, enough to eat and a vehicle to drive. Start thinking about all the people in your life and then think about what about them makes you thankful for them. Start noticing the beautiful things God puts in your life whether it be a mushroom you chance upon out walking, a frozen puddle that has pretty ice designs, the bark on a tree. Start noticing and get specific in your thankfulness. Give thanks for specific interactions/conversations you are able to have. Notice the sounds around you and give thanks for the ears that can hear and the beauty of music, nature, breathing, etc. Think through the things in your life that have molded you into who you are today. Give thanks - even for those hard things. Once you get started writing down what you are thankful for and truly noticing things you will find it is pretty hard to stop. 

   I would love to hear if you practice this already and if you do what affect it has had on you. If you don't do it would you please, please try? I know you will be blessed.

  Two huge blessings in my life are my Grandsons. I have started watching them once a week while their parents have a date. Ewan is normally breastfed but he gets to drink a bottle while with me. He doesn't seem to mind at all. A couple of weeks ago while Ewan was napping I asked Malcolm what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to paint. So Malcolm and I were having a great time painting away. Then Ewan woke up. We decided that he probably needed a bottle. Malcolm helped me to fix it and wanted to carry it over to the living room. Once there he also wanted to feed Ewan. So I got them set up and then Malcolm tells me " Grandma, you go paint!" He had everything under control and thought I might as well get back to painting. I love these guys so much!

Ewan isn't the only baby at church. We have been blessed with many new ones lately. Juliette was born the end of March and Juniper was born around a month ago and the rest in between. We are so blessed!


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