Happy Thanksgiving!

“A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick.” (Proverbs 17:22)

They say to cure one’s self from the complaining habit, and the depression it usually spawns, is to re-focus your energy by counting your blessings each day. I keep a grateful journal on the nightstand by my bed and endeavor to write at least 5 things every night that I am grateful for. Sometimes I neglect it; there are certainly some minor gaps throughout…and even a couple of major ones. But, you know what? Almost everywhere there is one of those major gaps, my confidence and self-esteem have taken a nosedive…and returning to this habit brings me back up again.

I read about a family years’ ago that kept a grateful jar. A small notepad and a pen was kept near it and every time something good happened, someone in the family would write it down and place the paper in the jar. On Thanksgiving Day, they would open the jar and take turns reading all of the many blessings aloud to each other and give thanks to the One who made these blessings possible before they dug into their meal. I like that idea. You focus on the positive twice: once when you write it, the second when you read back the reminder. I’m thinking it might be a nice tradition to start with Mom & I as it is easy to let worry and stress, hurt and anxiety derail you. Counting your blessings is a great way to remember how blessed we truly are.

Even if you’re not keeping a grateful journal, or a jar, isn’t it wonderful that we have at least one day out of the year to remind us of our blessings? You don’t have to be a believer to appreciate your gifts. Just focus on them…and let the healing begin.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

May God bless you & keep you!

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They Say It’s Your Birthday…

“Methuselah was 187 years old when his son, Lamech, was born; afterwards he lived another 782 years, producing sons and daughters, and died at the age of 969.” (Genesis 5:25-27)

I’m not sure I ever want to be as old as Methuselah, but there are certainly days when I feel that old. Almost. Turning 52 yesterday was tough enough, with the usual questions rippling through like tidal waves through my mind: How did I get this old? And what am I doing with the rest of this life? My vanity takes a hit, too. In the mirror? I look all of those 52 years. Maybe not Methuselah, but close enough.

If I flip the numbers around, I’m 25 again.

Honestly? I would not wish to be 25 again…unless I could bring the wisdom of these years with me. That’s an age-old and almost-universal musing as well. What would we do with our lives if we could have back the years of our youth with the knowledge gained over so much time here on this earth? I think, well, I know now what I would truly love to do in this life. And I think, to have the energy and determination I had at 25, I could truly be unstoppable. My get up and go has got up and went. But, had I chosen a different path, would even this little white and black-spotted kitty in my lap be a part of my life? I can look back at the ripple effect my life has had to bring this tiny being into it, a ripple that would never have happened if I had never married, never divorced and/or found a new friend (and vet!), in whose office this kitty was once displayed for adoption. Every single thread that is part of the tapestry of our lives, even if we aren’t exactly happy with that particular color coordination, is part of the total weave we call life.

So, as I turn the page on another year in my life, I can honestly say, I have few regrets. Even the hurts and setbacks over the years have taught me something, welcomed in new loved ones, brought a new blessing…albeit, at the time, they were in disguise. And I wouldn’t trade any of it.

May God bless you & keep you!

Now What?

“He nurses them when they are sick, and soothes their pains and worries.” (Psalm 41:3)

Yes, I know. It’s better not to ask such a question. You never know what gremlins are listening. (Chuckle)

My left eye and ear were slightly puffy and extremely itchy yesterday. I woke up this morning and they’re both quite a bit larger than normal, really red and irritated and I have a rash spreading down the left side of my face, under my right nostril and under my jaw. I’m assuming it’s some sort of allergic reaction so I’m waiting for the doctor’s office to open to see if I can get in. If not, then I guess it’s another trip to the ER before everything swells completely shut.

Now I’m certainly not dissing the medical profession, especially when needed. But all I keep thinking is, “Really?” This year has been the most challenging one I’ve faced: the flu twice (don’t do shots due to bad reaction 3 years’ ago to a tetanus vaccine), heat exhaustion (one episode landing me in the ER), an upper respiratory infection, plantar’s faciitis, a broken toe and now an unexplained swelling and rash. I have health insurance but it doesn’t cover Connecticut physicians. And this out of pocket stuff gets old pretty quick.

But, alas, I carry on, knowing He has a plan for all of this. The impatient little monster that I am would love to know at least a smidgen of what that plan is. Learning patience? Probably. I seem to be forever in short supply of it. (Insert heavy sigh) However, whatever the plan, I know He’s got this, too.

Here’s to hoping the rest of you don’t have quite as itchy, red and irritated a day. (Did I mention I’m a terrible patient?)

May God bless you & keep you!