Friday, December 15, 2017

forty-one


In honor of turning forty-one years young today, I thought I'd share forty-one things I am most grateful for and some things I absolutely love.

1.  Jesus, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Faithful Friend, my Hope and Salvation, my Strength, and the Song I always sing.  He is my everything, and it is only because of His redeeming love that I am who I am today.  The only thing good in me is Him, so while I thank you for the kind words, let it be known that it is all because of Jesus and how He changed me.  (He can do that for you too, if He did it for me.  I would love to tell you how, so reach out, if you have questions.)

2.  My wonderful, loving, sometimes makes-me-crazy (and then gets away with it) husband and best friend, the father of my kids.  Toddley, your card was as precious as you are, and it was MUCH better than a store bought one, you were right.

3.  My awesome teenage sons.  Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah~I love you all, if you read this, which I doubt, but let it be said anyway.

4.  My family.  I am the youngest in my family, and the second youngest in Todd's, and the Lord has been so gracious to give us such loving family members.  We are not perfect, I assure you, and sometimes we all bicker or hold grudges over the dumbest things, but through it all, we always love each other.  I feel so blessed, so fortunate, that we are so close to all of our family members.  I know most people cannot say that, and I pray that I never take any of them for granted. 

5.  I know I said my family, but I have to also say something about our parents.  Just two days ago, while I was walking out of Kroger, the dear man ringing the Salvation Army bell asked me about our families, and I told him that we always stay home for Christmas, that we are from here, and our parents all live here.  I was struck again at how thankful I am for that.  I've never known what it's like to live away from them, and I cannot imagine how hard it must be living far away, like my sisters in Colorado.  Todd and I were supposed to have moved to Huntsville, Alabama when we got married, to start up a branch of the company there, but it was God's provision that He allowed us to stay here.  We are so close to our parents, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

6.  Friendship.  I have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love this week, and I am pretty sure that my best friends are better friends to me than I am to them.  I know none of them keep record, but wow.  I need to step up my game.

7.  My church family.  We've been part of two really great churches in our married lives, and I am thankful for both of them.  One will always be like family to us, and the other is the one that the Lord put us within, and I am thankful.  We have made so many beautiful relationships while being at both. 

8.  Being part of the music ministry.  I love being a choir girl, I always have and always will.  Last night our worship pastor gave an appreciation dinner for the music and technical ministries, and I was so sad that I had to miss.  I started getting sick yesterday afternoon and was forced to stay home last night. 

9.  I am also so proud of my husband, for being awarded as volunteer of the year 2017 in these areas.  And grateful that our worship pastor recognized him in such a special way.  Todd works his tail off several times a year helping out the technical director, and it's voluntarily that he does this.  This is along with his regular job and working with the sheriff's department.  My husband is the opposite of lazy, and I am thankful for the way God made him.

10.  (I better speed this along, or I'll never finish.)  I love that I am able to stay at home and that we homeschool.  I've worked all of my married life, until we started homeschooling, and Todd would move heaven and earth to make sure that it could happen that way.  I love my "job" and that I get to experience up close and personal, all the teenage years my kids have gone through.

11.  Homeschooling.  I love the flexibility, I love the schedule we have, that we can travel whenever, that we are able to keep our own pace and that they can start and finish when they choose, depending on the amount of work they do.  It's different for all of them, but that's okay.  (Jonah finished school for the year yesterday and Noah and Drew will finish today.)

12.  The simple things, like reading and watching favorite shows on Netflix or Hulu.  Especially reading.

13.  CHRISTMAS.  No other explanations are needed.

14.  Special days out, like the one my mom and I are about to have today.

15.  Our pets.  I never knew I would love dogs so much, but thanks to Todd, I do.  He really wanted the boys to grow up with dogs, and if he hadn't pushed this with me, it wouldn't have happened.  Andy was my first perfect angel dog, and now there are Crash, Callie, and Chip, our newest little guy.  Chip was like an early Christmas present to me, I love him so much! 

16.  The memories having dogs gives us.  Just today on my Timehop app, I was reminded of the day four years ago today, that Andy the Wonder Dog ate all my birthday cards.  Maybe to him that was his strange way of giving me a gift, that gift being laughter. 

17.  Small things, like getting my nails done every couple of weeks and getting my hair done.  I don't often get my hair done, but about four times a year, I splurge.  I'm hoping to splurge again soon.  :)  Turning forty was what did that to me, by the way.  I had never done either so frequently in all of my life, until last year.

18.  The word of God.  This should have been closer to the top, but the Lord knows my heart on this.  I love to read, study, learn, write, and memorize the word of God. 

19.  Social media.  I use mine in a good way, and I've made lots of connections on there that I wouldn't have made, otherwise.  I use my accounts to inspire and to be inspired in my daily walk with Jesus.

20.  Good coffee.  We are coffee snobs, and we love our good, expensive coffee.  It's not really that expensive, but it is not Folger's or Maxwell House.  We buy the good stuff and grind our own beans. 

21.  The beautiful home the Lord has provided us with.  It's not perfect, but it's perfect for us.  We have leaky pipes, and "memories" all over the walls, furniture, and missing railings, but I love this home we've lived in for the last fourteen years.  (November of 2003 was our move in date.)

22.  Dependable cars.  We have had a rough few years with cars that we've had, but praise the Lord, that both Todd and myself now have good, dependable vehicles to drive.  Drew's is getting there, and Graham is about to buy a new (to him) one for himself. 

23.  Cold weather.  I have asthma, and the only time I can breathe really well is when it's cold outside.  Praise the Lord, He has made it cold again!  Also, it's just a personal preference of mine.

24.  Good health. 

25.  Kind words.  This is the time of year that it's most prevalent around me, and it's just one more reason why I love this beautiful season we are in.

26.  Quiet, early mornings, when it's just me, Jesus, and the dogs.

27.  Also, going to bed at nine o'clock.  Because I wake up so early, I go to bed early.  I never just go to bed, though.  I read, or watch a show on Netflix.  Usually, Gilmore Girls.

28.  Fluff news.  Anyone else love good reports?  There is too much of the negative junk.

29.  (It is now Friday.  I took too long to write, so I had to stop yesterday.)  I picked out some new bedding yesterday, using some birthday money.  It looks so pretty in our room!  We're about to have our room, our bathroom, and the bonus room painted.  Todd and I are doing that for each other for our birthdays and for Christmas.

30.  Pretty things.  I love making things pretty.

31.  I also love when things are neat and orderly.  Have you ever heard you can tell a lot about a person by the condition of their car?  Well, for a while, I was sharing mine with Graham and Drew, and it drove me bonkers that they wouldn't clean it out after they drove it.  I like to keep it neat and tidy.  And clean.  Clean is always good.

32.  Instagram stories and podcasts.  I follow some really cool people on Instagram, and one of my latest favorites is a gal named Jamie Golden.  She's on the Popcast. 

33.  Finding new authors.  I am always looking for more people to read, and I struck gold this week, with one of the books I got from the library.

34.  THE LIBRARY.  It makes me so happy.

35.  Twinkle lights.  I keep mine on our mantle all year long, because I love them.  I believe if you love it, you should decorate with it.  If not, get rid of it.

36.  Do you know that I love to fold clothes?  I do.  I have never minded doing laundry.

37.  Candles.  I love candles, and I always burn them completely.  My newest favorite scent is pine anything and everything.  I got a new Yankee candle yesterday that is scented pine. 

38.  Fridays with my dad.  We have done this for a solid twelve years now, almost every single Friday.

39.  Traditions.  I love time with family, and I was reminded of it again last night as I sat around a table with my loves. 

40.  Decluttering the notifications on my phone.  I like things empty.  (Messages, inboxes, and such.)

41.  This blog, and the connections I've made through it.  I've been writing here for about eleven years, and I have new friends who I am always in contact with, thanks to this lovely little slice of internet. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 


2 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot to you! This has inspired me a lot. There is too much in our lives to be thankful for, if only we look. Our whole family had a great time in the event space San Francisco, where we had our thanksgiving this year. We made a lot of good memories. Happy holidays to you and the family!

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