Thursday, August 30, 2012

thankful thursdays.

My how time flies. Based on an assessment of my last four posts, it would appear this is a blog of thanksgiving and truth be told, I don't think that is such a bad thing.  While I struggle to find the time to craft a thoughtful post, it is quite easy to find a few things to my thankful for, so I think this series will be sticking around.

It is no secret I love the psalms and it's no surprise that a "man after God's own heart" dedicated much of his poetry to the theme of thanksgiving to the Lord.  I love that no matter what is going on in this life, I can still find things to smile about and be grateful for if I open myself up to receive that grace.

Psalm 26:7 - That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.

Psalm 95:2 - Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

This past week, I have been grateful for:

1. perfect little cherry tomatoes perched on top of pesto-covered bread, adorned with cheese, and drizzled with olive oil  (I might have had one or 10)

2. beautiful friends with which to commune with (over the aforementioned bruschetta)

What were the bright spots in your week?  What made you reflect on God's goodness and pointed you back to Him?  Do share.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

schoolhouse rocks.

Have you ever had one of those totally surreal moments where it feels like you are having an out of body experience or viewing something in the future that can't possibly be real?  Well, friends, I had one of those moments when I received the following pics on Monday:

Yes, that's right - my niece has officially entered "real school" (meaning all day, 5 days a week) and had her first day of kindergarten on Monday.  HOLY COW.  How on earth did this happen?!?  It still boggles my mind that I'm old enough to be an aunt, but now I'm an aunt to a real live kindergartner - fuggedaboutit.  It's too much and blowing my pea-sized brain.

Not to worry that her Mama did it up right.  She had a special book for her the night before and presented her with a fabulous, too good to be true, princess alarm clock.  She also packed a killer lunch box with a sweet note inside.  (Yep, I actually asked her if she included the note and she provided proof.)

Her mother assured me there were no tears on either side - a feat I can hardly imagine.  I mean, I teared up big time when I attended Hay's first dance recital.  I feel like I would have been a blubbering mess had I witnessed her first real day of school.

Truth be told, I honestly do not remember my first day of kindergarten and back then, it was only a 1/2 day if I recall.  I do, however, remember having my first kiss in kindergarten with a boy named Chaz (or was it Chad)...wonder what he's up to these days...ah, I digress.  I also recall wearing my pajamas under my clothes one day.  It was a long, white nightgown with red stars shooting across it.  Frankly, I will still never understand how my poor mother didn't notice the huge lump on the side of my pants where I had stuffed it in, but I'm sure if I ever have kids myself, I might have much larger oversights.

Just for funsies, I dug up an old pic from the good 'ole days of the kindergarten variety. (Note: this is not the nightgown I wore to school. Nope. The one I wore to school was floor length.)

Oh to be in kindergarten again where the only problems I had to deal with were of the adding and subtracting nature.  Since I took a walk down memory lane and shared a memory from those days, I would love to hear from you.  What is one of your favorite memories from kindergarten?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

thankful thursdays: 2nd edition

Greetings, readers, and happy almost Friday!  As promised, here is my next installment of thankful Thursdays.  I shall start today's post with another quote that echoes the sentiment desired with this series.

How wonderful is that to reflect on!?  When we start giving thanks for the things we have, we tend to realize just how much we have to be thankful for and that what we have is, in fact, MORE than enough.  Such a simple idea and yet so very true.  Practice it - I dare you.

So without further ado, here are a few things that have made me smile and subsequently offer thanksgiving to the Lord:

1. sun rays beaming out the top of fluffy clouds, drawing my eyes to the heavens amidst the power lines

2. two nieces that love to vogue and consistently take me back to my childhood, prompting visions of being a carefree kid with my big sister (work it, girls)

3. not one, but two lovely conversations with one of my nearest and dearest fousins. she lives so many miles away that I truly treasure a phone call with her, an activity I typically avoid at all costs (talking on the phone, that is). not only are we kindred spirits, we also share a love for stripes as can be evidenced by the picture below

What are you grateful for this week?  What made you smile and led you to reflect on the goodness and provision of the Lord?

**shoutout to Elisa for letting me know what she was thankful for last week.  I, too, am thankful for family and for you, dear fuzz!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

thankful thursdays.

Well, dear readers, you might remember some time ago I used to do a regular posting titled "Tasty Tuesdays" in which I would outline one of my tried and true recipes.  As you may have noticed, this series died, but I was recently inspired by my cousin's new blog to get back in the habit of a regular post; however, I hadn't really gone much further with that thought...

That was until Sunday night, when I was reading at Starbucks, that the idea came to me.  Taken straight from the pages of one of my latest re-reads (yes, I read books over and over and over again), A Thousand Gifts, the following passage resounded with my soul and I was practically bursting with new found insight as the truth of the author's words sank in:

"I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war.  I have lived pain and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.  Why would the world need more anger, more outrage?  How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us?  Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering.  The converse does.  The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.  When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows.  How can this not be the best thing for the world?  For us?  The clouds open when we mouth thanks"  (Voskamp 58).

Gosh, I cannot began to tell you how those words moved me and spoke to the deep recesses of my heart.  I felt like I was having an internal revival of sorts and almost shouted "hallelujah"...almost. 

Therefore, I shall now be instating my "Thankful Thursdays" series which will provide nourishment of a different sort as it will be dedicated to thanksgiving, the act of eucharisteo, if you will.  It might be long, but will more than likely be short.  No need to drag out long reflections or attempt to conjure up flowery language that will impress my expansive readership.  Nope, this will just be a brief exercise, listing a few things I am thankful for at that time and offering my thanksgiving as a gift to God.

Without further ado, here is my top 5 for the past week or so --

1. Thankful for my girly nieces who are drawn to all things pearly and sparkly.

2. Thankful for neapolitan-style pizza with chewy dough and "leopard" spots on the crust created from the screaming hot flames of the brick oven

3. Thankful for Abbi's stellar gas mileage...she went 361+ miles on less than 10 gallons of gas and STILL had 4 bars of gas to spare.  I've never been so proud.  Her big sis, andi (may she rest in peace), would have been beaming with pride!

4. Thankful for champagne birthday toasts

5. Thankful for strawberry cakes, covered in artfully arranged strawberry slices and topped with polka dot birthday candles

What, dear readers, are you thankful for this week?