Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 30

Today is the last day of the November Challenge - Giving Thanks. As I think about my list, I realize I'm truly blest! I pray that I can always remember that -- even on "terrible horrible very bad no-good days." (as Alexander would say ... any of you read that book to your kids?)

Day 30, Sunday, November 30: As I end this challenge, I want to thank God for one of my biggest blessings. My hubby! He has been my best friend for 32 years. I don't know what I'd do without him. He is a big help to me in so many ways. I love you, Jim-Bob!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 27-29

Well, I have 4 days left in my Giving Thanks Challenge. I hope that everyone has been concentrating on things they are thankful for in this Thanksgiving season. Now, I'd like to focus on being thankful for some spiritual blessings:

Day 27, Thursday, November 27: I am so thankful for salvation! I'm thankful that Jesus paid the price for my eternal life. If I had to earn my way into heaven, I'd probably never make it.

Day 28, Friday, November 28: I am thankful that the righteousness of Jesus is imputed unto me. In other words, when God looks at me, He sees the righteousness of Jesus covering me. Not my own righteousenss (right standing with God), because I know that my righteousness is like filthy rags. Even on my best day, I fall short. Yet God loves me anyway and made a way to cover me!

Day 29, Saturday, November 29: I am beyond thankful that God loves me in spite of all my flaws. Here's one of my all time favorite scriptures:

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
Psalm 103:11

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 26

Day 26, Wednesday, November 26: In a few minutes, I'm going to get off this computer and go into the kitchen and begin Thanksgiving cooking early so that I don't have to do it all tomorrow. As I think about today's challenge, I find several things to be thankful for:

  • All my family will be home for Thanksgiving. I realize that not always will this be the case. As the girls grow up, they might not be able to make it home for every holiday. I thank God that today (and tomorrow!) they are with me.

  • I thank God that we have plenty of food to serve.

  • I'm thankful for all the appliances that I have to make my job easier. I do not have to whip things by hand, fire up the woodstove, chop with knives, etc. Instead, I have a mixer, processor, stove, and best of all -- microwave! WooHoo for modern kitchen technology!

  • I'm thankful that all my family is healthy. One particular Thanksgiving, my husband was in the hospital during the holiday.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving 2008?

Works For Me Wednesday - Easy Label Removal

Have you ever had an item that has a label on it that won't peel off? Ruins the look of the thing, right?

My husband discovered an easy way to remove it. Take your hair dryer, aim it on the label, and as you blow dry it, take some sort of scraper and slide it under the label. It will come off easily!

Works for us!

To learn other great ideas, visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 25

Day 25, Tuesday, November 25: Today I'm thankful for the gift of laughter. I love to laugh every day. The old saying "laughter is the best medicine" is true -- at least you feel better! To celebrate the gift of laughter, here's a couple blogs that always make me laugh:

All's Fair in Love and Chocolate

Honey, I Fed the Kids


Book Review - "Through the Storm"

“Through the Storm, A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World” by Lynne Spears is an account of Lynne’s life, seen through her eyes.

If you read this book thinking it will give you inside information about Britney or Jamie Lynn Spears, you will be disappointed. Instead, you will learn about Lynne, her parents and siblings, her hometown and its effect on her values, and her marriage.

She is very candid about her husband’s alcoholism and the struggles the family went through. Those of us who grew up in the South, and/or those who have experienced alcoholism in the family will be able to relate to her story. However, most of us can not relate to having a child determined to be a superstar, nor can we imagine what life would look like under the scrutiny of tabloid journalism.

Lynne ponders decisions she made in the beginning of Britney’s career and points out that her image as “pushy stage mother” is terribly incorrect and unfair—after all, she was walking in unfamiliar territory.

A good part of the book also discusses the paparazzi and their constant surveillance of the Spears family. Was the loss of privacy too big a price to pay for celebrity status? There is no question that Britney’s stardom affected her entire family.

This book is an interesting read; you may walk away feeling sorry for the family.

If you'd like to preview the book, click here.

To order the book, click here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 22-24

Day 22, Saturday, November 22: This was the day that the annual craft fair comes to town. It has long been a tradition that my sister-in-law and I go spend the day together walking to every exhibit in the city. However, this year she could not go. Previously, she had fallen and hurt her ankle. She did not feel she could walk all day, or even part of the day. I went to one exhibit by myself. I didn't have the heart to go to any more of them. It's not the same without your shopping buddy! I thought about how thankful I am that I can walk. So many times at the grocery store, I see people using the motorized wheel chairs. We take for granted the simple pleasure of walking on our own two feet!

Day 23, Sunday, November 23: I am thankful that I can breathe! I know several people who have COPD, and some with pulmonary fibrosis. I see lots of people that have to take oxygen tanks with them wherever they go. If you can breathe, be thankful for those deep, cleansing breaths!

Day 24, Monday, November 24: I love recipes and today I'm thankful for the internet where I can find bazillions of recipes. I also am thankful for search engines, where I can type in ingredients and websites come up! Technology is a great thing.

The Simple Woman's Daybook - November 24, 2008


Outside my window...
the sun is peeking through the clouds.

I am thinking...
so much to do ... so little time to do it!

I am thankful for...
my home!

From the kitchen...
butter beans and turkey sausage, and some kind of chocolate dessert ... any ideas?

I am wearing...
navy blue track pants and lime with navy blue trim shirt.

I am creating...
a peaceful home. [That's my ultimate goal.]

I am going...
to town later to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey.

I am reading...
"Through the Storm" by Lynne Spears. Check my blog tomorrow, I'll be doing a review of it.

I am hoping...
to enjoy my week off. I'm taking a "staycation" this week.

I am hearing...
silence, except for the hum of my appliances running.

Around the house...
the smell of candles burning.

One of my favorite things...
is blogging!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
cooking, cleaning, scrapping, blogging and a little day-trip for hubby and me.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I just love to look at landscape pictures. This one was taken at a park near my home. It's too cold right now, but there's a big rock that you can sit on and look down into this valley -- a perfect place to think and dream ...

Join Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook to join in the fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 21

Day 21, Friday, November 21: Today I'm thankful for benefits. I'm grateful my job provides benefits like paid vacation, insurance, holidays, etc. One benefit that I have that most may not is that I have access to the church's media library. For a voracious reader like me, that's really a great perk of the job. Think how much money I save not having to buy books or magazines!

There's a scripture I really love about benefits:

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his
benefits" Psalm 103:2

Did you know there were benefits to serving the Lord? Here's just a few: forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, compassion, satisfied desires, and renewal. Read Psalm 103 for yourself. I guarantee it will make your day! In fact, I'm thinking this would be a great passage of scripture to memorize.

And remember, His retirement plan is "out of this world!" (Sorry, I couldn't help myself!)

Friday Fill-Ins #99

1. The last band I saw live was Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is the food and playing board games with my family.

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is not started.

4. Thoughts of my to-do list fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear a smaller size.

6. Bagpipes sound melancholy.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my church's Progressive Dinner, tomorrow my plans include going to the craft fair, and Sunday, I want to collapse!

If you'd like to see how others answered these questions, visit Janet at Friday Fill-Ins.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Random & Day 19-20

Today's Thankful Thursday is a random list of things so I'm combining my Thankful Thursday with my November Giving Challenge.

Day 19, Wednesday, November 19: Wednesday was another day spent at the office, on the road, at church, then back on the road home. I'm thankful for safety! God kept me safe through all that driving. I did come close, though. A skunk was running on the road as I went on a country back road to church. At first, I wasn't sure what it was. As I drew closer and realized it was a skunk, I swerved and missed it. Thank you, Jesus! It would have been embarassing to drive a smelly vehicle onto the church parking lot!

Day 20, Thursday, November 20: Today is the first day of my "staycation". (That means vacation time spent at home.) I'm thankful for job benefits!

It's been fun (and a little challenging) to focus so much on thankfulness and gratitude. But more than just being thankful, we need to show by our actions how we appreciate the blessings God has given us. I found this quote that really made me think:

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

Visit Iris at Grace Alone to read more essays on thankfulness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 16-18

Day 16, Sunday, November 16: I am so thankful that I have God's Word! I'm grateful that I have the freedom to possess a copy of the Word; in fact, I have more than one copy, more than one translation. I am so blessed! There are believers world-wide who cannot be seen with a copy of scripture or they face imprisonment. There are groups of believers that only have one copy between them and they take turns taking a page home and memorizing it. Yet, we Americans value our bibles so little that they sit on our coffee tables and gather dust!

I have to share this: as a church secretary, often I see that people have mistakenly left their bibles at church. Do they ever call the church asking if we've seen their bible? Rarely. Sometimes I call the name listed inside the cover and find out the bible has not even been missed!
Day 17, Monday, November 17: It's back to work on Monday, and I realize how thankful I am for technology. Of course, you can see that I love blogging on the internet, made possible by the invention of the personal computer. There are other technological marvels that make my job easier. I'd be lost without my copier and my printer. Fax machines are amazing, too. And typing on the computer is awesome -- no more carbon paper and white-out! And one of the church secretary's best friends -- the folding machine! Thank you, Lord, for the technology you've blessed me with to make my life easier.
Day 18, Tuesday, November 18: After the last few rainy dreary days, today we have glorious sunshine. I am thankful for sunny days because it helps me to have a sunny spirit. It seems to give me energy when I see the sun shining.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook - November 17, 2008

I didn't get to fill out my daybook before work today, so I'm having to post it later in the day.
Outside my window...
the sound of the neighbor's dog barking.
I am thinking...
that 2008 passed by too quickly!
I am thankful for...His mercies that are new every morning! I need them!
From the kitchen...
beef stew, cornbread, and chocolate pudding
I am wearing...
black pants, black top with a burgundy suede jacket
I am creating...
lists of things to do in the coming week. I'm taking a vacation at home! (I hear that's called a staycation.)
I am going...
after work to my favorite destination -- home! It's good to be home.
I am reading...
a book by Dee Henderson, "Kidnapped." It's very interesting.
I am hoping...
to accomplish so many things on my staycation. (I know I won't be able to do it all, but it's good to have goals.)
I am hearing...
the hum of the copier.
Around the house...
hubby has been installing Christmas lights.
One of my favorite things...
organizing! Orderliness makes me happy.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
On Tuesday night visiting the revival at the church where I work; Wednesday night church at my own church; Thursday night is the board meeting; Friday night is the progressive dinner; Saturday my sister-in-law and I will visit the craft fair.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

My two youngest daughters. I love it when they smile!
If you'd like to read other daybooks, visit Peggy's new site: The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 13 - 15

I'm continuing my daily thankfulness posts:

Day 13, Thursday, November 13: I've been thinking about the gift of our five senses. They make life so much more enjoyable! Today, I'm grateful for the gift of smell. Think about how wonderful some fragrances are. This time of year I love to burn scented candles. I have so many favorite fragrances, it is hard to choose. I also love to smell fresh laundry, the smell of something baking in the oven, orange blossoms, honeysuckle, furniture polished with Pledge (particularly if someone else did the dusting!), roast in the crockpot when I get home from church, and I absolutely love the smell of a baby right after his bath. I could go on and on.

However, I can't forget to be grateful when I smell a bad smell, because that is a signal that something is wrong! That same baby that once smelled so delightful can also be saying, "Hey, I need help. Change me!" At one of my churches, we have a janitor that was in an accident years ago and has lost his sense of smell. Sometimes, when I get to the office in the morning, my nose will tell me something is wrong. He's never noticed the problem. I'll tell the janitor and we'll start searching. Sometimes it's a plumbing problem. Other times, we'll find that someone has not flushed a toilet, which is one of my pet peeves. My goodness! Do they do that at home? Okay, I digress.

My point is that the gift of smell, while being enjoyable, is also necessary, and I'm grateful God has given it to me.

Day 14, Friday, November 14: Fridays are always long days for me. My day at the church can be long because I must finish up anything that might be needed for the weekend. Then after work, I have the glorious task of being a hunter-gatherer for my family. (I'm talking about hunting for bargains and grocery shopping.) Do you realize how much groceries and supplies a family of five requires? This particular Friday was a cold and rainy day. We're not talking about a "misty rain" as my friend Wes always says, but a drenching rain that penetrates to the marrow of your bones. The kind of rain that soaks every nook and cranny of you and the groceries because though you have an umbrella, it cannot cover your cart of groceries.

After I slung all the wet bags into the trunk of my car, flicked off the rain that had dripped from the bags down my arms inside my sleeves, and started home, thankfulness was not really in my spirit. But then, I thought about how blessed I am that I CAN go shopping and get the things we need. I don't have to stand in line for hours to get a morsel of food like some have to do in other countries. (I know, sometimes we do have to stand in line at the check-out at Wal-Mart, but it's not for hours. It just feels like it.) So, yes I'm thankful for my local Super Wal-Mart!

Day 15, Saturday, November 15: Returning to my theme of being grateful for the five senses, today I choose to thank the Lord for the gift of sight. I probably use this gift more than any other! I'm a voracious reader, internet junkie, secretary, student of the Word -- why I even read the backs of cereal boxes and labels and license plates wherever I go. How could I do these things without my sight?

Thank you, Lord, for my eyes and help me keep them fixed on you!

Friday Fill-Ins #98

1. Please feel free to comment. Comments are like chocolate to me! (Have I mentioned how much I like chocolate?

2. When I light a candle I can't help sniffing it occasionally. This is my favorite time of year to light candles.

3. My favorite thing to cook is mexican food.

4. Chocolate is something I can't get enough of. (See #1 above)

5. That's the thing I love most about M & M's (the chocolate).

6. Having a few M & M's in the package always makes me think to myself, what the heck? I might as well go ahead and eat them!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hangin with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include working my second job and cleaning out the fridge :p and Sunday, I want to rest! (I'm in a rut!)
If you'd like to read answers from others, visit Janet at Friday Fill-Ins.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Life

Today, over at Grace Alone, Iris was talking about being thankful for life - eternal life. She did a beautiful job talking about how our perspective should be focusing on eternal life. I totally agree with her. This life is NOT all there is!

I want to share with you a scripture that has always resonated with me:

"... What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14

Are you going through a rough time? In light of eternity, this is only a bump in the road. If you are a child of God, and by that I mean if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then in a "little while" you'll be with Him and this trial will be over.

Another scripture that comforts me when I am going through a trial is found in the Psalms. (I adore the Psalms!)

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all." Psalm 34:19

I'm so thankful that the Lord promises deliverance! I'm thankful, too, that He has given us His word so that we can stand on it.

I want to be thankful for my life and make the most of it. I'm only here briefly -- I don't want to waste my opportunity to serve the Lord and do His will.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 12

Day 12, Wednesday, November 12: Today is a rainy dreary day in the heartland of America. I am so thankful for umbrellas and rain gear! I'm all about keeping dry.

However, I'm not complaining. I know that we need rainy days. The bible says that this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. It doesn't say to rejoice if it's a beautiful day. We are to rejoice that we HAVE another day in which we can praise the Lord. After all ... think of the alternative!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks - Day 8-11

Because of my computer problems, I'm late on posting my Giving Thanks entries, but better late than never.

Here they are:

Day 8, Saturday, November 8: I've been on the road all day, and I am so thankful to have a home to go to at the end of the day. It's nothing fancy, but it's paid for, and it's mine (and my husband's!) There's no place like home!

Day 9, Sunday, November 9: I'm also thankful for my church home. I love it here! This is home. Everyone needs a church home.

Day 10, Monday, November 10: I'm thankful for my hubby of 32 years! I can't imagine life without him. He's my rock and always there for me.

Day 11, Tuesday, November 11: I'm thankful for the price that was paid for my freedom. I never forget that "freedom isn't free." I can pursue my dreams and go about my every day life simply because others have paid the price for me to do so. I salute all the veterans and their families who have made sacrifices down through the years for Americans. They can never be thanked enough.

Well, that's my list so far. What about you? Have you been concentrating on being thankful each day for one thing? I'd love to hear about it, and if you'd like to join the challenge, go over to Leah's blog at South Breeze Farm.

[We're actually supposed to post our list in our sidebar, but I'm technologically challenged and haven't figured out how to do it, yet! For now, I'll just have to do a post every day!]

Friday, November 7, 2008

November Challenge - Giving Thanks

Yesterday, over at Heart Choices blog, I read this:

"I'm going to throw out a challenge to you! I discovered Leah from Iowa who has a blog called South Breeze Farm. She challenged bloggers to keep a daily list of things for which they are thankful during the whole month of November. So, I decided to accept the challenge."

I also accepted the challenge, and here is my list of things I am thankful for to date:

Saturday, November 1: I am thankful for my washer and dryer. Saturdays are normally my laundry days, and in the past I've sometimes had appliances that did not work correctly. I am so thankful not to have to go to the laundermat!

Sunday, November 2: Everyone who knows me will know that I am thankful for Sunday afternoon naps! It's the highlight of my week! Sunday IS a day of rest, right?

Monday, November 3: I'm thankful for my job. I have one of the coolest jobs in the world! I always look forward to Mondays because it is a fresh start and a new beginning; and I always believe that this is the week that I will accomplish so much!

Tuesday, November 4: I am thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy.

Wednesday, November 5: I am thankful for God's protection and safety. Wednesday was a long day with me on the road quite a bit. Towards the end of the day, I felt very sleepy. I had problems staying awake in church. (Sorry, Pastor Jonathan, if you're reading this. It wasn't you, I promise!) So, before heading home (a distance of about 24 miles) I prayed for protection and safety and He granted my request.

Thursday, November 6: I am thankful for my couch that is so comfy to lay on after a hard day's work. It's the little things, really.

Friday, November 7: I'm thankful for beautiful sunny fall days! I'm grateful that God chose to give us nature and the seasons to enjoy. I know to be thankful on the cold, dreary days, too, because His Word says "This is the day the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad." It's just easier to rejoice when the sun is out!

All righty.

That's my list for now. Please join me in this challenge. It will make you feel better, I promise. If you do decide to join this challenge, please leave me a comment.

Friday Fill-Ins #97

1. My blueprint for success includes being organized.
2. Candy corn was the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is Oil of Olay.
4. Cleaning the house can be good therapy.
5. I'd like to tell you about my faith and why it's important to me.
6. Being nice is my strongest characteristic. I have been accused of being too nice!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to buying groceries after work and then spending the evening with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include going to a surprise birthday party for a friend and Sunday, I want to recuperate!
If you'd like to read what others had to say on these topics, visit Janet at Friday Fill-Ins.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Random

I've not been able to blog as much lately because my computer won't boot up; therefore, I've been having to borrow other computers until I can get the problem fixed.

That being said, I still want to say "I'm blessed, and so thankful that I am!"
Today's Thankful Thursday is a random list of things:
  • Even though some things did not go my way Tuesday evening, I'm thankful to live in a country where I have the right to vote.
  • I'm thankful for the wealth of information that I can access. When there is something I want to know, I have no excuse for not finding out the answer! ... If there IS an answer ...
  • I'm thankful for my family and for my home. Going home every night is a pleasure to me. No, it's not always perfect at home, but it's always filled with love and acceptance. Even on my worst days, they still love me there. And I will always love them, regardless of times I may think they are making wrong choices.
  • I'm thankful for my church family. It's awesome to know that if something comes up, I can drop them an email or phone them and they will start praying!
  • I am so thankful for all that God has done for me and for the Word. Today I read this verse:

"The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation)." Psalm 9:9 Amplified Version

This verse is so timely! There are many who are living in a time of high cost, destitution, and desperation right now. I'm thankful we have a stronghold to cling to in these times of trouble.

If you'd like to read more Thankful Thursday lists, visit Iris' blog at Grace Alone.