Posts

Showing posts from May, 2014

Day 43: Grace

Image
I am so grateful for grace ... for the grace of my readers who did not remind me that I failed to post yesterday ... for God's grace which I don't deserve ... for the grace that others have shown to me ... and for the many reminders of grace today.

May I learn to show grace more to others.

Day 42: Cowl

Image
When the temperature struggles to get into double digits, I am so grateful for my snugly cowls, scarves and knitted neck warmers. It was only recently that I realised just what a difference they make to my overall comfort and core temperature, despite what DH had been telling me for years. (There wasn't much use for scarves where I grew up in Australia. I mean, today their winter temperatures were our summer highs! Seriously.)

Today I was especially grateful for my latest knitting project: my lace sampler cowl. Winter has suddenly hit and when you're outside and there's a wind that feels as if it's coming straight off the mountains, nothing beats this cowl. Made from merino, silk and possum (supposedly 55% warmer than merino) it is warm and cosy and being a cowl, it stays in place (great when working with children or when working, period). Plus, I made it extra long so I can wrap it not once, not twice, but three times around my neck! How's that for warm comfort on…

Day 41: Church

I am grateful for the opportunity to worship freely with other believers, for parents who brought me up to keep the Lord's Day, for being able to enjoy worship alongside my family (it's been such a long time since it was all the family together), for a church family, for conviction and healing, for a God that hears, and for a faith of my own.

Day 40: Fuel

DH jumped into our car today and asked, "What is it with you and petrol stations?"

Um, are they those places I tend to avoid because it costs a small fortune to pump extremely volatile fumes into the dark chambers of my car? It's even worse than shopping because I don't even get to see what I'm paying for unless watching a needle move on the gauge is the reward for having just forked over the kids' inheritance.

And while I'm avoiding petrol stations, I tend to also ignore the fuel gauge - until after the warning lights have passed the flickering stage and are now on full time. (You can imagine how thrilled my husband is about this.)

So today I'm grateful that DH filled up my car with petrol today without telling me off. However I did end up paying for it later. We went to Mitre10 (hardware shop) and the time we spent there I could have put to good use cleaning my house, painting my nails, and cooking a three-course dinner. Any longer and I probably co…

Day 39: Struggles

Because it's been a really long week ... and a hard day at work ... and windy enough to make me cross ... and the thought of having to clean the house one more time made me want to scream ... and then I felt guilty for being so ungrateful because I realise I have so many things to be grateful for ...

Breath ... a week lived ... a job ... a house to clean ... a family to clean up after ... a house to keep the wind at bay ... a family to cook for ... little ones to visit ... and a biscuit jar full of freshly baked choc chip biscuits thanks to Son#4's industry this afternoon.

Day 38: Boys

Image
I am so grateful for the awesome privilege of being the mother of boys. I never expected to give birth to sons. I mean, girls reigned in my family and the men (fathers) were shadowy figures in the background. This was my impression and probably arose from my maternal grandfather being an extremely quiet man and my father working early shifts which meant he went to bed hours before my sister and I.

So when I was expecting my first baby I just assumed that I would have a girl. I mean, I was a girl, and it just seemed natural that I would have a girl. A son was a shock. A good shock, but a shock all the same. What did I know about boys? (Next to nothing and some of my family would tell you that nothing has changed.) How was I meant to bath or change a little boy? I mean, they were ... different.

In the beginning it wasn't too hard. I could talk cars, Lego, and trains at their level. PlayStation hadn't yet been released and I knew zilch about rugby (still do). Now I do my hardest …

Day 37: Tea

My family - at least those who have never developed a fondness for it - think I'm an addict. And perhaps I am. But I am grateful for a good cup of tea. English Breakfast, Early Grey, Lady Grey, New Zealand Breakfast, English Afternoon, Green Tea, a personal blend, or even Decaf; first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or any time in between, I enjoy my cup of tea.

And I'm not the only one ...

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”   (C. S. Lewis)

“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.”   (James Boswell)

"A great idea should always be left to steep like loose tea leaves in a teapot for a while to make sure that the tea will be strong enough and that the idea truly is a great one.” (Phoebe Stone)

“I stil…

Day 36: Multiple

Image
I'm grateful that today is over and I survived the speaking-in-public part. Eek! But it's done and I didn't do too badly  and for that I am definitely grateful.

I'm grateful, too, that DH has forgiven me for being such a grump when I was so stressed about above mentioned speech.

I'm grateful for my new refrigerator (purchased yesterday which was exactly eighteen years to the day since we purchased our last one) and for DH taking the time to make sure it was level (since the person we paid to deliver it, install it, and take the old one away left it obviously lopsided - I say 'obviously' because I noticed it and I usually don't - to DH's utter astonishment and disbelief).

And I'm grateful that Son#4's official photos have arrived already and are stunning (apart from the ones that I feature in). For someone who was dragging his feet about photos and would have found a way to avoid them if he could, he certainly came out looking handsome, relax…

Day 35: Finally!

I am grateful that after several attempts and far more hours than it should have taken due to the computer freezing whenever I tried to save/copy/print, I finally - finally! - finished my report that I have to deliver tomorrow.

Now I just hope I don't freeze when the time arrives to get up and speak ...

Day 34: Eighteen Years

I am grateful that our refrigerator lasted eighteen years less two days, which in this age of disposable appliances is probably a decent innings. I'm also grateful that while we wait to make the decision about a new one, we have an old one (in the garage) that we can use in the meantime. I'm grateful, too, that it most likely won't break the bank to replace said refrigerator.

Okay, I'm not particularly thrilled about the fact that it decided to give up the ghost yesterday afternoon, but I am grateful that we discovered the problem in time and that no food went to waste. I have a feeling that we're going to go through a lot less food this week as no one can be bothered to walk out to the garage in the cold to get something when they're feeling peckish. We've even cut back on our hot drinks because it's too much hassle to go all the way out there to get milk.
And, I'll admit it: if I was going to buy something new for the house I'd rather a new so…

Day 33: Tolerable

Image
I am grateful that The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 tolerated my presence at our wee celebratory graduation dinner for Son#4 last night despite stating earlier that she wanted only Grandpa and Uncle#4 to attend. I suspect she was so distracted by watching all the other people in the restaurant and the traffic outside the window and the 'fire' in the lights opposite that she almost forgot my presence. I'm not even sure if she really knew what she was putting in her mouth as she did it mechanically without looking at her food while her head swivelled around to watch the next interesting person pass our table.

I'm not sure what I've done - or haven't done - to not rank very high in either of The Most Adorable Granddaughters#4 and #5 list of top ten people. I've become used to hearing a little voice ask "Grandpa?" as soon as they walk in the door and when on learning that he's not available to go through the names of the uncles likely to be at ho…

Day 32: Second Chances

I know, I know, I said I was going underground but by the second day I realised a very important truth: accountability. It’s easier to be disciplined about being grateful each day when you have to write about it. It wasn’t until I climbed sleepily into bed last night that I realised I’d forgotten to take the time to be grateful.

Two days is all it took! I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. I could delete my ‘farewell to grateful’ post but then it would make me look better than I am. Besides, the lovely Sharlene commented (one of the very few comments I’ve had since I started this project which may have also influenced me to consider abandoning it on here) and her words challenged me to keep on with it.

So I'm back to where I left off and today I am grateful for second chances and the opportunity to be grateful every single day.

Gratitude

No, I haven't forgotten to be grateful but after sharing on my blog for a month, I've decided to go underground. That is, I will continue to be grateful and to record each blessing in my prayer diary, but I will only share the significant ones on my blog.

There are several reasons for this, and certainly the challenge to blog every day is one of those reasons, but there were other challenges too. One was deciding what I was going to write about when there were so many things each and every day for which to be grateful. Another was writing in a different vein to the majority of the posts shared on this blog (a good challenge for a writer but it was beginning to become a burden for this writer). And my blog was starting to no longer feel like my blog.

So change is afoot. I just hope it's change for the better.

Day 31: Ceremony

Image
I am grateful for a ceremony that has its roots in academia ceremonies of 800 years ago and which marks and acknowledges the hard work that goes into gaining a qualification.

Today DH, his mother, and I had the privilege of witnessing Son#4's graduation ceremony. It's not the first we've been blessed to attend, and hopefully it won't be the last.

I love every aspect of graduation ceremonies: from the official photos (which Son#4 wasn't too keen on at first) to the ceremony (which usually becomes less interesting once our son has been up on stage), to the march through the streets to the sound of bagpipes, to the celebratory dinner (which is still to come).

And just in case you're wondering, yes, I am so proud of our son (and there will be official photos to come later - if he gives them the thumbs up).






Day 30: Glow

Image
I'm grateful that I'm still 'glowing' after such an awesome weekend. I am still blown away that my family surprised me. It was so special and it was absolutely incredible to have time with so many of my family all at once.

I'm also grateful that they have all arrived home safely ... including Son#5 who climbed a mountain rather than came home for Mothers Day. I'll have to remind him that he was the one who got really upset the year I was away for Mothers Day. Obviously things have changed. (I guess it's not cool to admit to your peers that you'd rather go home for Mothers Day than go climb a mountain. And judging by the weather, the views would have been absolutely awesome. Ah well, perhaps he won't mind if I share his photos with you.)





Day 29: Motherhood

Image
I'm grateful today for mothers - for mine and my husband's (who has been an incredible and godly mother-in-law to me) - but I'm also grateful for the gift of motherhood. It has been a huge privilege to raise five sons and I'm glad that  God entrusted each one of them to me.

I'm also grateful that they seem far more willing to forgive and forget my mistakes than I am. I still wish I'd done so many things differently but you do the best that you can at the time and I'm super proud of how my sons turned out.

So on this Mothers Day I really want to say thank you to those who I was blessed to mother. I am so grateful for each one of you.



Day 28: Squeeze

Image
I am grateful that when some of the family got together tonight that it made seating fourteen around the table a tight squeeze!

I love these photos of the evening taken by a child from a child's perspective ...












Day 27: Surprise

I am so grateful for a surprise visit from Son#3 and DIL#3 this weekend!

Day 26: Success

I am so grateful that DH's surgery went well today. Now to get him to obey surgeon's orders ...

Day 25: Little Moments

I'm grateful for the little moments.

A meal shared with family ...

Hearing "I love you" ...

A moment in the sun ...

Fresh sheets ...

Coming home to the smell of dinner cooking ...

A great cup of tea ...

A favourite song playing ...

A message from a friend ...

Sun ripened fruit ...

A hug ...

A hand on the shoulder ...

A smile.

Day 24: Employment

Sometimes I wonder why I do it ... sometimes it doesn't seem like much fun ... sometimes I just want to stay home and write, write, write ... but I am grateful for employment especially in these tough times.

Day 23: A Child's Touch

Image
I'm grateful for those special moments when a child puts their hand in yours and you feel them saying, "I trust you. I know you will care for me."

As a mother, grandmother, and early childhood teacher, I have had my share of such moments and I never fail to feel blessed whenever it occurs. Each time I am reminded what a privilege and honour it is ... and each time I want the moment to last forever.



Day 22: Tears

Image
I'm grateful for tears ... tears that heal ... tears that bring release ... tears of sadness ... tears for no reason ... tears of joy ... tears of humility ... tears of overwhelming emotion ... because sometimes we just need to shed a few.



Day 21: Great-ful

Image
Text message from Son#3: We're safely in Auckland. Only just though. That's the first time I've ever had to call 111 ... it's quite an experience.

Further questioning revealed the following: they were travelling on the motorway and came close to having a head on collision with a car going the wrong way!!!They were thankful they hadn't overtaken a slower vehicle because that would have left them no where to go.

They seemed shaken by it which I can understand. I was shaking after reading their messages. DH and I took a few minutes to thank God for His protection and to ask for His continued protection as Son#3 flies out to Australia earlier tomorrow morning for work and DIL#3 has to drive home alone (on that same motorway).

As you can imagine, I am extremely - extremely - grateful (and humbled) for God's protection on Son#3 and DIL#3.




Day 20: Publishing

Image
I am grateful - and nervous and scared - all at the same time.

I have finished Book Three (for the what I sincerely hope is the final time) and it has now gone to the publisher.
I await his response ...

Day 19: Writing

Image
I am so grateful for the writing time I have had this past week. I had forgotten how much I love to write. Too many other things have crowded it out this past year. When I write I feel that this is what I've been created for.

I'm also grateful for the ways ideas have flowed. It's not always the case. But these past few days, I've struggled to get everything written down before the next idea has demanded its share of attention. And when the ideas don't come, well, I'll be grateful for that, too, because it's all part of the craft.