Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It seems to me sometimes, in this fast-paced world we live in, that Thanksgiving sort of gets lost in the push for Christmas. I'm seeing Christmas decorations, and gift displays, and already hearing Christmas music in the stores.

Don't get me wrong--I love the Christmas season. I just feel I should take time to dwell on my blessings and all that I have to be thankful for. I am of course thankful for all of the things that are common to many--my wonderful family, my friends, a loving husband who provides well for me, my pastor and a church where the Word of God is taught, and most of all a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior.

Beyond that, I'm so very thankful for my eyesight. I have wet macular degeration in my right eye, which requires an injection every month to keep it at an acceptable level of sight. But I am so very grateful that there is medicine available for this, and that my left eye has not been affected. It is truly a blessing from the Lord.

I've come across some Thanksgiving quotes and wanted to share a few here.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.
(J.F. Kennedy)

He who thanks from the lips, thanks but in part; the full true Thanksgiving comes from the heart. (J. A. Shedd)

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and true homage comes form the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ( T. Roosevelt)

No one is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. (Fred D. V. Amburgh)

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. (Melody Beattie)

(I think this last one says so much what my heart feels)

For, after all, put it as we may to ourselves, we are all of us, from birth to death, guests at a table that we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet--Shall we not think of the day as a chance to come nearer our Host, and to find out something of Him who has fed us for so long?

I trust you will have a blessed Thanksgiving, as you recall the ways you've been blessed this past year.

(I am having a problem with my personal computer, so I am allowing comments to post without approval for now. Hopefully I have set it correctly to do that. I did add a word verification.)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two Are Better Than One

Bride,Bridegroom, Beautiful, Blessing, Beginnings, Beloved--These are all words that came to mind today, as I had the privilege of attending the marriage celebration of my niece Amy to her betrothed, Eric.

BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM--Repeating their vows to each other, before God and many family and friends.

BEAUTIFUL--I had never seen this done before, but what a beautiful picture of the union of not only Amy and Eric as husband and Wife, but uniting them as a family with these two beautiful girls. (This was the Unity Sand ceremony, where each of them put in a different color of sand. Once the sand is all put together, it can never be separated into individual parts).

BLESSING--How wonderful it has been to see how God has brought them together. The ceremony was a reflection of how they both want the Lord to be the most important person, to them individually as well as in their lives together as a couple and a family.

BEGINNING--They were introduced for the first time as husband and wife. This, then, is the beginning of their journey together: there will be much joy and gladness, as well as challenges, but whatever comes, they will find that "two are better than one".

BELOVED--Lauren and Mackenzie, Eric's beloved (and charming) daughters, made him a special groom's cake. Is it possible he loves football?

Yes indeed, a beautiful, blessed, beginning for this wonderful couple and their two precious girls.

Genesis 2:18 It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helpmate suitable for him.

Ecclesiastes 4: 9, 10, 12 Two are better than one...if one falls down his friend can help him up! Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands (God, Amy and Eric) is not quickly broken.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our Fifth Wedding Anniversary. It hardly seems possible in some ways, and in other ways seems like we've known and loved each other for a long time.

Last night he brought me flowers. He is very sentimental, so it shouldn't have surprised me that he would remember. We actually celebrated our anniversary the end of September with a weekend trip to Chain of Lakes.

It has been a very special relationship for us, as we each lost our first spouse. I don't think either of us expected to find someone again who would love us so completely. We are both so very blessed. I've had some challenging times during these years, all of which would have been much more difficult to handle without a loving, supportive husband.

I believe I speak for both of us when I say that, we hope to continue our journey together through the sunset of our lives. As young as we are, I'm sure that will be many years down the road!

"Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude or self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs....It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
(I Corinthians 13: 4-8)

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Heart-felt Gratitude

I know, I know! Thanksgiving is almost a month away. But I've been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I am at this point in my life. God has blessed me in so many ways and I am so thankful.

One of the things that prompted me to write this post at this time was a little article I read; it was written by the editor-in-chief of Guidepost magazine, Edward Grinnan. I trust it will be OK to quote him in my post, as you could also read it in the November issue of the magazine.

He said: "One of the pleasures of growing older is the perspective it brings to the store of blessings that multiply in your life; growing older means growing more grateful. Of course there is loss and heartache and disappointment too. But it is against these adversities that our blessings stand in high relief, the joy of family and friends and faith and work, and gratitude for the gifts each new day holds. These are the things that make us whole, and with which, as I daily remind myself, I am so richly and undeservedly blessed. Even in these dark and troubled times I find more to be thankful for than not--much more. Gratitude is a practice of the soul that helps us live happier lives and grow closer to God, and our blessings are the living evidence of His grace."

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His, we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.