Month: November 2016 (page 1 of 3)

A Month of Gratitude – November 30

It has been an entire month – of blogging, of gratitude, of November. And Christmas is almost here. I’m grateful for the season of Christmas – it is my favorite holiday and favorite time of year. And it also ties in to today’s ‘what I’m grateful for’…

A current radio song I’m grateful for …

This is a little bit of a cheat. I struggle, starting around August, with listening to Christmas music already. It is an excruciating effort not to play it all day starting in September.

When I’m finally given permission to listen to Christmas music all day without guilt, I gravitate to radio stations that play it 24/7 starting the day after Thanksgiving. I’m not in my car often to listen to the radio, but since Thanksgiving, I’ve heard Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven” at least five times.

While it is an old song, it is my current radio song that I’m grateful for. The lyrics speak to my heart these days:

cold and weary…

frightened by the load I bear…

hold me together, be forever near me…

light up my darkness, pour over me Your holiness…

I offer all I am…

Help me be strong, help me be, help me.

And this reminds my heart of why He was born, why He gave up everything for me … to be near me – forever – holding me together.

A Month of Gratitude – November 29

A single moment today that I’m grateful for …

The holidays are overwhelming … especially if you’re most likely OCD. I’ve not been officially diagnosed with the disorder, but I’m for sure a perfectionist at least. By default, I’ve been designated the family planner for my husband’s family.

Although I had been doing really well spending time in the mornings with my Jesus, the week of Thanksgiving went to the pot. For an entire week, I chose to put other things before Him, to cancel dates and miss out on our talks. I chose to be busy planning, be busy OCD-ing, be busy perfectionist-ing.

Then the guilt swept in – if I really loved Him, I’d WANT to spend time with Him, I’d look forward to our dates, I’d crave our talks. And I dreaded seeing His face again – apologizing again – canceling again – disappointing again.

Yet, today, I did. I opened the door when He knocked. I was embraced in greeting, in joy, in love, and there was no ‘look’ just warm arms and loving eyes. We had coffee together, although I let mine get cold.

And my heart was lightened – my perspective was brightened – my attitude was heightened … and I’m grateful for the love of my best Fried and the moment of His embrace today.

A Month of Gratitude – November 28

A game I’m grateful for …

I grew up in a family that played a lot of games. We often didn’t have television, so school vacations and holidays were spent with board games and cards.

As a young girl, I loved to play Stratego with my older brother. I also suffered through Risk with him, but eventually I quit playing it. My favorite board game was probably Life – I didn’t like Monopoly because it took so long, but I played it often anyway.

My sister closest in age to me would play cards with me. She and I spent many summers playing rummy, gin rummy, canasta, and Uno.

Recently my brother and his wife introduced us to The Settlers of Catan which is probably my new favorite board game. However, as I’m getting older, I’m finding I need more active games rather than thinking games because I fall asleep when I sit still.

My closest friend just bought us Reverse Charades – which is the best ever, especially for a crowd – and my oldest sister introduced us to Anomia a couple years ago – which is my current favorite. It is on my Christmas wish list.

A Month of Gratitude – November 27

A travel destination I’m grateful for …

I have not had the opportunity for much traveling. My childhood was filled with parents working a lot and no money to travel. My adulthood has been full of 3 children and jobs and just enough money to live okay. I look forward to traveling with David as an empty-nester (in 3 1/2 years)! Our first travel destination goal is Paris and other specific parts of France.

In the meantime, Colorado and Wyoming have been my most recent favorites, with Sante Fe coming in close behind.

I was quite please with Cheyenne this past May (my first time to visit there). I wish we could have spent more time there. It was wonderful to see the town of my birth that my family left when I was one. The city is clean – quaint – historic – country … and I loved it.

Estes Park is also a favorite. I cannot afford to go there often, and I definitely cannot live there, but I thoroughly enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park, the new friends I’ve made there (Marty & Belle, Eric & Chris), and the beauty of its surrounding mountains and lovely downtown.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel, and I look forward to years of doing so.

A Month of Gratitude – November 26

A local spot I’m grateful for …

I’m grateful for the Owasso Tree FarmWe don’t get real Christmas trees every year, but occasionally I love going to Owasso to get one.

Christmas tree farms are rare in northeast Oklahoma, and Owasso survives because it has branched out (pun intended) into other things besides Christmas trees.

I love fresh Christmas trees – the smell, the texture, the beauty. Owasso offers all the things I’m looking for – at a great price – along with a cute little gift shop – a place for a good family picture – a hayride – excellent customer service – and fun times.

 

A Month of Gratitude – November 25

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I’m grateful for YOU!

A silver lining I’m grateful for…

I mentioned it briefly yesterday, but there’s a silver lining to my unemployment. I now have time to focus on writing … to make a concentrated effort at writing for income … to see if I write for just myself or for others as well.

I’m entirely too practical, and too dependent on financial security and stability, to have left a job so I could write full-time. The words in my head were good – they gave me clarity of mind and purpose and understanding – but I was not at a place where I would have pursued them fully.

Then God put me in a place where that is my only option. It continues to be my only option as I apply for jobs and never even get interviews.

This silver lining – time for writing – is quickly becoming the sole purpose and goal of my time.

A Month of Gratitude – November 24

An opportunity I’m grateful for…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY! I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this day with you – even if it is only through my words.

Being laid off the end of September was hard. I am a planner … a details girl … a see and anticipate the future person … but that one surprised me.

But I’m grateful. I’m able to stay home and help my in-laws. I’m able to focus time and effort into writing … into seeing if I can make a living through my words.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to TRUST God with my future, with my details, with my words, with my anticipation, with my plans. I’m grateful for the opportunity to finally let His plans and dreams and details and words become mine.

I pray your day is filled with THANK-full-ness.

A Month of Gratitude – November 23

An upcoming task or assignment I’m grateful for …

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Today, I get to hang out with my brother-in-law and begin the cooking process for him and I to feed 22 people tomorrow. I’m grateful for this assignment.

A) I love cooking, especially for family and large groups.

B) I enjoy cooking with my brother-in-law chef (loving called Robbie and/or Bobby Billy), the big brother I inherited. We’re simpatico… particularly in the kitchen.

C) I look forward to Thanksgiving Day. The food traditions are some of my favorite – green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with real gravy (not pre-packaged) – but I also get to try new recipes on a ‘captive’ audience – bread in a dutch oven, roasted winter root vegetables – yum.

D) I get to eat my Robbie’s cooking. Honestly, I’m an okay cook, possibly even a good cook, but Robbie knocks it out of the park always!

 

A Month of Gratitude – November 22

A small gesture I’m grateful for…

I’m a sucker for small gestures. To me, it proves that the giver was thinking of me at some point and knows me well enough to know I’d like the gesture. That in itself means the most.

At this current stage in my life, I’m most grateful when a friend gives me the opportunity for a change of scenery … gets me out of the house, away from family members I see daily, and off my computer (where I’m attempting to make a living).

I appreciate the invitations for shopping in Owasso …

for coffee at the Brew Cafe…

for an extra night at the holiday gathering place with just my immediate family…

for sleeping late on Saturday morning without guilt…

for lunch at the local donuts shop.

Giving thought to me means the world, and it’s the best small gesture ever.

A Month of Gratitude – November 21

A personal gift or ability I’m grateful for…

I’m grateful for my gift of creativity. As I’m getting older, I’m exploring aspects of my creativity and learning that I can do more than I thought – from writing to painting to re-purposing.

I enjoy this give because it is my escape from reality. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by responsibility, by expectation, by failure, by limitation, I can escape by creating – either something totally new or reborn into new purpose.

It helps me see and appreciate old things better, too. Even the ugliest, old item can be given a new purpose, a new life. It reminds me that it is just like Jesus does for me.

The creativity He has given me helps me appreciate His, too. I’m grateful that I have this gift. This gift also brings in a little bit of money through a booth at a local boutique.

For example… I’ve never painted with acrylic on canvas without lines before. This was done in March 2016…

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