Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Throughout November, people have been posting and sharing things for which they are grateful.  I do this with 2 different online/email groups, but we do 3 things each day for which we are grateful.  Finding their emails in my Inbox every morning is such a blessing, especially on the days when I am grumbling around, or have not yet done my gratitudes for the day.  
As I'm sitting in my living room this morning, I started to think through all the things for which I'm grateful.  I decided to see if I can do an A-Z list.  So - here goes.  

I am grateful today for:
A: Abundance.  I don't take lightly the fact that at any given time, I have more than enough of whatever I need.  I have been blessed. 
B: Bread.  I don't mean this in the literal sense (although who am I to pass up a good dinner roll?!), but the fact that I am able to nourish my body in a healthy way is another example of the abundance in my life.  
C: Coffee.  Seriously.  It's a treat I get to enjoy every day. 
D:  Dave.  I had always heard how your spouse completes you.  I never fully understood that, until I married Dave.  I love this man more than I ever imagined I could love another human. 
E:  Energy.  Sometimes I joke about how exhausting it is being me.  I am grateful for the energy and spirit I am given to complete the tasks that are in front of me.  
F:  Faith.  Knowing I have everything I need in Christ is beyond incredible for me to imagine. 
G:  Godchildren.  I've not been blessed with my own children, but having been asked to help with the spiritual rearing of Lauren, Lucas, Anslei, and Laura Mae (and being a confirmation sponsor for Vanessa) has been a humbling, incredible blessing.  
H: Home.  We are blessed with a wonderfully safe, secure home.  I love that Dave opened his heart and home to me when we got married, and that we can share our home with our friends and families.  
I: In-Laws.  My brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws mean so much to me.  I am grateful for what each of them brings to our family.  
J:  Jesus.  Need I say more?!
K: Krance family.  Just typing that brings tears to my eyes.  I love my family.  
L: Life.  Too many loved ones have endured "close calls" with health this year, and their experiences have helped me treasure each day even more. 
M: Music.  Ahhh.  
N: Network of friends who support me.  Whether from a professional perspective, heart-to-heart friends, or more casual acquaintances, I am grateful for the incredible people with whom I surround myself. 
O: Opportunities.  I have been given great opportunities to grow as an individual, but also to encourage others, which is my greatest joy.  
P: Purpose.  My purpose in this world is to help others know Christ.  I am grateful for the guidance and opportunities He provides me to do this.  I fail miserably at times, but that makes me more grateful for His mercy and grace.  
Q: Quilts.  I love making quilts or afgans to share with others.  The warmth and security they provide is almost like an invisible hug from me to them. 
R: Running.  I don't do it nearly enough, but I am grateful for my health and strength, and the ability to run. 
S: Sunrises.  They just remind me of God's presence, and the possibilities that come with each new day.  
T: Teaching.  It is my job, but it is my passion.  Whether teaching young people, or other adults.  
U: Understanding.  Grateful for my mental capacity to understand , and grateful for being understood.  
V: Vastness of the world.  The beauty I observe, whether here at home, at the beach, at the mountains, all bring my heart and focus back to the wonder of creation and what God has done.  
W: Wendt family.  OK, a new round of tears for me.  How this family has welcomed me into their lives is beyond what I thought any family could.  I love them.  
X: X-periences.  (So I cheated a little......) We have had some awesome experiences this year, which I cherish.  
Y: Young people.  They drive me wacko once in a while, but I see such hope and promise in them. 
Z: Zucchini.  I like zucchini, but what zucchini makes me think of are people sharing what they have been given.  I am grateful for what others share.  

That's my list.  What would you include in your list? 
I have so very many things to be grateful for this year.  
Including zucchini.   

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: True

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday, where we write for five(ish) minutes on a one-word prompt.  This week's word:  True.

We had our fall concert last night at school.  I'm fortunate that Dave and I had dinner before the concert together, and he stayed for the concert.  I don't take this for granted, the fact that he stayed for the concert.  Not having any relatives in the program, or even any real connection to the school or community (other than me teaching), it'd be easy for him to bow out.
And I'd be ok with that.
But the fact is, he was there.
That's one huge indicator of true love, in my book.
A funny thing happened after the concert, though.  I had opened up my room so students could claim their belongings, and was standing at the door as they went in and out of the room.  Dave was standing next to me, and was ready to go, so he leaned over and gave me a kiss as he was leaving.  One of the students walked by and made a funny comment about PDA.  We all laughed about it, and Dave leaned over for one more kiss from me before he walked away.  Another group of students saw and, oh my goodness, the squeals that came from them.  So darling.
As I reflected on this as I was driving home, and as I was finishing up the day, I realized the incredibly humbling way God is answering my prayers.  My most constant prayer is to make a difference for Him.  That's all I ask.  I realize as I am in situations every day where Christ's presence in me is making a difference for some of the young people.  As they see me interact with other teachers. As they see me handle challenging situations.  As they see me with my husband.
Do I always succeed?
Oh my.......I wonder when "grace" will be our Five Minute Friday prompt........
Heavens, no, I don't always succeed.  I fail miserably.  But I am so, so, so very thankful for God's true grace and mercy and unending love.  I am thankful for these reminders to keep me humble and always searching for His guidance in my life.
Love.  Grace.  Mercy.  Love.
These things I know are true.