Monday, October 6, 2014

Birthday Wishes & Thankful 37 ways

 Today I'm 37.  Yup, 37.  It feels . . . anticlimactic . . . since about 1/2 of this past year I thought I was already 37.  I'm *that* old--old enough that I can't remember how old I am!  I never used to understand how people forgot, until now.

Here's what I faced on my birthday morning:
What am I supposed to do with this counter top?  Seriously, I'm baffled at how people keep their counters so clean.  I mean, I try . . . I do.  This will get organized and then I will deal with a similar-looking situation tomorrow.

And then I got to do this:
Dishes.  This is AFTER I did most of them. 

And of course, this:

This.  This I love.  Play dough--I love you.  Little C loves you.  He plays with you for a long time, happily.  I love play dough.

And I love this:
Coffee with home-made pumpkin creamer and whipped cream.  The whipped cream is my birthday treat.  :)

And this is something else I love:
I sat outside while Little C played, studying the book of Matthew.  And drinking the coffee.  I am blessed.

So that is what I was thinking about today.  How extremely I am blessed, even in the mundane of life:  facing messy counter tops, dirty dishes, and feeding small people--all the time.  As I began reflecting on my life, I thought of my sister in Christ, Amanda, who died this summer.  I have already been given 7 more years than she was given on this earth.  I remember the impact that her short life has made on so many people.  Here, in my blessed state of 37 years old, my birthday wish is this:  that I live selflessly and generously.  I am thankful for so many things and I have been given SO MUCH that truly, truly, I desire that my life be so much more about Christ in me than me. 

Today I have the privilege of sending a check for $600 so that I well can been drilled in India, in order that a remote village can have clean water.  YOU have partnered in this with me to make this happen.  And I want to thank you SO MUCH for supporting #skirtsforcleanwater and I hope that this one little tiny thing will make a huge difference in the lives of people unknown to me that live so far away.  THAT is the just the beginning of my birthday wish coming true.

37 things I'm thankful for, not necessarily ranked in order!:
1.  My husband, who took me to lunch today.  :)

2.  I have an appetite.  Sounds weird, but it's a sign of health.  I can easily obsess over weight, what I look like, etc, but I'm happy that I want to eat.  Thank you, Lord, for good health.

3.  My body is healthy!  I love to move and I'm grateful I can.

4.  My kids.  They are an indescribable joy!

5.  My parents.  They are also my "in door" neighbors.  I can't begin to describe how they have shaped my life in ways that are good, healthy, and pleasing to God.

6.  My extended family.  I have wonderful brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

7.  My in-laws.  They love me and my kids.  They have helped us in so many ways and I am grateful. 

8.  The Y.  I love teaching classes and feel like I'm valued there.  I love my co-workers!

9.  My church.  UFC is a family and I love my family.

10.  My small group.  My "close church family."

11.  My friends.  I have many--all unique and speak into my life in differing ways. 

12.  My home.  It's beautiful.  Not perfect, but perfect for me.

13.  Wine.  It tastes good.  I like wine!

14.  Chocolate.  It's one of those things that makes me happy.

15.  The Word of God--the Bible.  It really brings hope and light and life. 

16.  My minivans.  I never wanted one, and now we have 2, but ya know, they get me from A to B and I'm happy for that!

17.  Heat.  I get cold and I'm so happy to easily turn a knob and have heat.

18.  Electricity.  I realize these things I could do without, but glad I don't have to.

19.  My kids' school.  It's awesome and I feel so blessed by my kids teachers and the staff there.

20.  Oregon.  I love Oregon--it is beautiful.  I see pictures of places that look so desolate.  I'm grateful I was born and raised here.

21.  Fresh produce.  Living in a lush place means I get fresh, lush food. 

22.  Books.  I love the escape that comes with reading.  It's fun!

23.  Animals.  We've got a few and sometimes I wish I had more and sometimes less but I'm thankful for furry things. 

24.  Ability to choose.  There are so many options--in general --in America.  Many freedoms that I often take for granted and I'm thankful for the opportunity to have choices.

25.  My mind.  I'm thankful for the ability to think.

26.  Music.  Music is very moving and it often gives feeling and emotion to what I am thinking.

27.  Coffee.  Yeah, ok, I'm back to foody things.  I love coffee.

28.  Rebekah.  While I have many friends I could mention by name, she is my oldest and dearest friends.  We have so many shared experiences, ideas, and background.  I love her dearly and am thankful for her.

29.  My bike.  I don't ride her enough, but she's beautiful and I love riding her along the river.

30.  My bed.  The single most used and best piece of furniture I own.

31.  Flush toilets.  Aren't you?

32.  Washing machine & dryer.  Whenever I am tempted to complain about laundry, I am reminded that I really have it easy.

33.  Dishwasher.  Simplifies my life and creates time for more important things!

34.  Sewing machine.  It gives me the opportunity to create things I like!

35.  The internet.  While sometimes I actually sort of wish we could undo things, I'm grateful that we are more aware of what is going on around the world.  However, it does create more responsibility to do something about what we see/know!  But it's opportunity to help others.

36.  Medical care. 

37.  Freedom from sin.  I'm most thankful for God loving me so much that he would pay the price for my sin, giving me freedom in Him. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Year's Resolutions . . . in February

They say it takes 6 weeks to form a habit.

I joke that I think I've almost got into the habit of eating cookie dough.  Yeah, yeah, I'm mostly just joking.  And on that note . . .

I teach several classes at the Y and am so proud of the newcomers who pour themselves into the gym in the New Year.  It's hard getting those habits formed.  I can't even say I would be in the gym as often as I should if I didn't already HAVE to be there.  In fact, I was sooooo tired yesterday afternoon that I didn't want to have to teach my 2 classes.  But I knew that I would feel so good afterward!  AND I DID!!!  It's amazing how exercise energizes our bodies. 

What I'm trying to say is Don't Give Up!  

Justin & I decided to start getting up before the kids so we have quiet time in the morning to read our Bibles. 

I am not a morning person.  

But it's been more than worth it!  I just completed "The Gospels in 30 Days,"  a reading plan on my iphone Bible app.  Honestly, it took me about 35 days, but there's this awesome feature in the plan that lets me "catch up" so it looks like I'm right on schedule and I don't have to self-inflict guilt about being "behind."  I love that. 

I also started food journaling in My Fitness Pal app.  There's not "catch up" feature though so I either have to stop eating cookie dough or stop journaling.  Which habit should I sacrifice?