A Week of Thanksgiving - Day 5

Today I am choosing to be thankful for my problems. It could be worse.

That's all I've got.


A week of Thanksgiving! Day 4

Our pastor has been talking about thankfulness, and instead of focusing on one day a year, changing it to ThanksLiving. Always having an attitude of thankfulness. Part of the scripture he used today was from Colossians 2:6-7:

6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

I'm finding it's easier to focus on Him when I'm constantly reflecting on what I've been given. Not just material things. But the people in my life, the gorgeous surroundings, words, music -- it's all a gift.

So today I am thankful for:

  • Our church, which felt like home the day we walked in. I'm thankful for the people in it, and their vision and mission.
  • Good friends, that I can talk to or see after forever and just pick up where we left off.
  • Girl Scout cookies.
  • Hot chocolate.
  • Wisconsin cheese.
  • Everything this week holds.


A Week of Thanksgiving - Day 3

I bet you thought I was going to forget. Because I almost did.

I had a lovely day at the spa today. I had a gift card from Christmas, so I headed off for a super relaxing spa retreat. I'm a person that enjoys entertainment. I like to watch tv. Or listen to music. Or read. And I like to multitask. So just sitting in a quiet room drinking tea while I waited for my massage & facial was really good for me.

I took some time to be think about more things I'm thankful for. Such as:

  • Quiet
  • Tea
  • Nice smells (including the smell of pine trees in the fall)
  • A husband who easily handles the kids so I can do things like go to the spa
  • Driving. I love going for a drive - even if it's an hour.
  • Quiet


A week of Thanksgiving! Day 2

There is much to be thankful for today. And I'm going to focus on those things. And not the things that are attempting to make me insane.


I am thankful:

  • That this time tomorrow I will be in the middle of 50 minutes of facial, after I'm done with 50 minutes of a massage (courtesy of a gift card from last Christmas).
  • For mild temps even as we approach the end of November.
  • That I won a Zhu Zhu pet set on a blog a while ago, so we're covered for Christmas (although if you know my children, you know that I need to find one more Zhu Zhu pet. Have you seen the hysteria over the Zhu Zhu pets? If I put this set on ebay, I could make enough to fund our entire Christmas).
  • That I ended up getting to sit on the couch with Natalie for over an hour last night reading books (She's a big fan of the Llama Llama books right now).
  • For the chance to help some college kids out with some green bean casserole today.
  • That God has always provided, and He will continue to do so, out of His infinite wisdom. And that His plan is always better and more complete than mine.
I must remember this strategy for the next time life is creeping up on me. Making a thankful list does wonders for ye olde attitude.


A week of Thanksgiving! Day 1

And by using that title, I nearly ensure I will not remember or sit down to post every day for a week.

So here are my "thankful fors" for today (in no particular order):

  • Healthy family
  • A warm place to live, complete with maintenance people (ahhh, renting...)
  • A Starbucks on my way from school to the grocery store, by way of Target.
  • Diet Ginger Ale (delightful)
  • A new cookbook
  • Good friends
  • Music
This week I'm also thinking a lot about the people who are going to have a tough Thanksgiving. Maybe they won't have much to eat or feel that there isn't much to be thankful for this year. Maybe they've lost someone special this year and nothing will feel right. Some will be very lonely, whether or not they are surrounded by people. I pray everyone will know how deeply God cares for them, even if it doesn't seem like it.

Here are the lyrics to a song by Chris Tomlin that I've been listening to a lot this week:

Come Home Running

Oh heart of mine, why must you stray?
From one so fair you run away
And one more time you have to pay
The heaviness of needless shame

Oh heart of mine, come back home
You've been too long out on your own
And He's been there all along
Watching for you down the road

So come home running
His arms are open wide
His name is Jesus
He understands
He is the answer
You are looking for
So come home running
Just as you are

Oh child of God so dearly loved
And ransomed by the Savior's blood
And called by name, Daughter and Son
Wrapped in the robe of righteousness


Reclaim Thanksgiving!

I love me some Christmas, and some Christmas music, but it's always so sad how Thanksgiving gets overlooked.

Wanna Reclaim Thanksgiving with me? Here are a few ways I'm doing that - let me know if you have more:

1. Blog about what you're thankful for
2. Rework every Facebook status into something you're thankful for
3. Follow me on Twitter! I'm tweeting what I'm thankful for using #reclaimthanksgiving
4. Start a thankful list - you might be surprised how quickly it will grow
5. Let people know - if you're very thankful for something someone did for you, thankful for their friendship, or just thankful they're in your life - tell them

If you try it just until Thanksgiving Day, I can't even tell you how it will impact your perspective. I've found I'm thinking of all the little things I'm grateful for, and less about things that aren't going well. I'm able to focus on all the blessings in my life, instead of the junk. It's less about me. And I like it.

I'd love to hear some things you're thankful for, too!



Yesterday (November 14 if you're wondering), I took the girls to the mall to look for a couple of things. When we walked in through Barnes and Noble, there was Christmas music playing. When we got inside the mall, we saw Santa has already taken residency.

Love Christmas. Feel bad for Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I love the idea of focusing on all the good things in our lives, and giving thanks to the One who provided it all.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving things is at our church back home. It's got a fancy name like the "Harvest Festival of Praise." I still call it the Thanksgiving Eve service. We've actually been going since before we had moved there, and it's always been one of our favorite things. It's a service with mostly music. Some kids, some families, some hymns. The saw*. Lots of pie afterward. What I love about it is that it helps me to slow down and refocus. Instead of thinking of all the things I have to do, I'm reminded why we're doing it.

I'm excited that we're able to go again this year even though we've moved. I feel incredibly blessed and thankful this year. And I think it's time to reclaim Thanksgiving. It's time to focus on what we've been given, and not take any of it for granted. I'm going to keep a list for myself and keep adding to it. Well beyond Thanksgiving.

Our pastor this morning talked about living with an attitude of gratitude. ThanksLiving. I love that idea. And I know when I am able to focus on all the things I'm thankful for, everything looks better. His scripture was in Luke 17, when Jesus healed the ten lepers, and only one came back to thank Him. I pray that I would not be so full of myself, that I would run off without a second thought. I pray that I would be thankful in everything, so that the only thing I could think of would be going back to the One who has blessed me. To shout His praise the whole way there. To fall at His feet. I pray that my faith will make me well.

*Edited to add: Burt actually plays a hymn of some sort on the saw every year (no Saw movies). It's quite impressive - and a favorite of a lot of the kids (and me). It's not Thanksgiving for me until Burt plays the saw.


In which I quote Friends yet again

So a couple of weeks ago we had a game night with our small group. Only a few of us could make it, and Captain America stayed home with a cougher so I could go be among the grownups. We played the game Loaded Questions. One of the questions was something about "what kind of pattern is never appropriate on bedsheets?" or something. I tried to think. Puppies? Perfectly good on kid sheets. Sports teams? Again with the kid sheets. Huh. Seems there's something that's going to always work. What's a symbol that wouldn't work? Peace signs? That'd be kind of a tween sheet set. Swastikas. I mean really, never a good idea. And how weird would that be on sheets?

This past week we did a make up game night, since so many people missed the previous week. We started talking about the sheet question from last week, and before my answer is mentioned Captain America pipes up with something about Nazi Germany.

See?? He's my lobster! (I don't know if you've seen that episode of Friends. I try not to think about how often I still bring back a quote or an episode thought from a show that's been off the air forever. If you need a refresher (if you care), click here. I'll wait.)

I laughed so hard I had tears. Honestly, what are the chances he'd think of the same thing? Clearly, we are perfect for each other, what with our mutual disdain for swastika covered bedding.


They get it from me, I guess

When I get a cold, there's a good chance I'm going to have a serious coughing fit. A couple of times. I remember several times in school, I'd cough so hard that I'd have to just leave the room because I couldn't stop long enough to ask the teacher to go to the nurse's office. I'd cough like crazy. Til my eyes watered. Til I nearly gagged. No amount of water or cough drops could make it pass. I just had to cough it out. I still get those sometimes (often with horrible timing - like during church). I have even coughed so hard that I seemed to sprain my tongue.

And guess what? My girls are coughers. When they get a cold, they cough. Not the smoker's hack. Not the baby seal. Just as if they've swallowed water the wrong way. They'll cough all day. No fevers. Nothing else. A little sniffle means a lot of coughing. Natalie stayed home Wednesday, and Ella's coughing day is today. They'll do it 3 or 4 times in a school year. They'll cough a bit, and then one day they'll just cough non-stop. Usually when it's at the tail-end. So the terrible coughing day is when they're actually getting better.

But since it's just a cough, and they don't feel particularly sick otherwise, they're kind of high maintenance sickies. Not interested in laying on the couch all day. ENTERTAIN ME. Natalie's a little easier than Ella, because she's willing to watch more movies & relax. Ella's gonna last through almost one movie. And then she'll feel done with being sick. It's hard keeping them home from school, when they don't feel terrible or have fevers. But I do it more because it's such a distraction. And I suppose they're coughing out a bunch of cold germs.

So today I won't really get anything done. And I'll think a lot about that gingerbread latte I was going to try after dropping Ella off. Or the walk I was going to take since it's already 50 & sunny. I will miss my few hours of peace. But I still feel grateful. Grateful I work from home, so it doesn't throw my day off that much. Grateful it is just a cold. Grateful I'm familiar with their colds now, and I know what to expect. And so very grateful just to have them for another day. Our friend Patty just lost her 4 month old grandson in his sleep. This life does not make promises or guarantees. So today I will be thankful to listen to the coughing.