Cultivating a Life of Gratitude

I am committing myself, during 2010, to attempt to cultivate a greater awareness of how much I have to be thankful and grateful for by sharing my daily findings and musings with you. It is my hope that by blogging about gratitude, I will be more aware of what is going on around me in my life, my family, my friends' lives and our world.

March 31, 2010


Being away from E-man and Ross for a few days was refreshing in that it gave me a renewed appreciation for being at home with the little guy every day.  I missed him and his hugs, smiles, words, faces, giggles and more!  Ross mentioned to me he felt like he hardly saw E-man while I was gone because of how rushed they were to get out the door in the mornings and arriving home later at night, etc. I know it's not a choice everyone is able to make and every woman is not cut out to be mostly at home but I really do enjoy it.  Of course, I'm also thankful for a part time job I also really enjoy out of the house ... but I just wanted to make sure to mention how much I am really grateful for this season of life!

(P.S.  I really love the toddler stage so if any of you mom's need a break, I'd be happy to watch your toddlers for a few hours! :))

March 30, 2010

Oh the library ...

While I was gone I read ...

Fire by Night (Lynne Austin) - historical fiction about the Civil War
Words Kids Need to Hear - read on the plane ride home, now have Ross reading it
Love and War (John and Stasi Eldridge) - book on marriage, still in process, good so far
Lonely Planet's Guide to Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque
Redeeming Love (F. Rivers) - favorite book from past, listened to on CD with Jill while driving, still a favorite

I'm thankful for the library (once again) which provided all of my free reading material.

I am also thankful for the library because it provides a GREAT free "Story Time" for E-man on Tuesdays. We really only 'read' one story/board book together.  The rest of the time is spent doing poems and rhythms to music.  We also usually do one activity like ... bubbles or the parachute or musical toys.  At the end of class, the librarian brings out a big bucket of toys for everyone to play with - E-man is usually at the door waiting to go out by this point but we enjoy our time with all the other kids.  I could literally be paying for a very similar class with Music Together (we attended a check it out session there this fall) but this is so great because it's FREE!

So once again, I'm thankful for the local, public library!

Sister Getaway Gratefuls

1.  I had more hours to chat with my sister on this trip than I have had in the past few years since she moved to CO.  Talking was delightful, inspiring, good for the soul.  No one knows me quite like my sister.  I can visit memories from our childhood without explanation of who this was or where we were ... she just knows.  We can talk about faith, marriage, family, work, and so much more with great ease.  We can laugh and tease and be serious and contemplative  I love my sister.  I am grateful for her just being her.

2.  I am grateful for safe travel and storm racing because we made the most of our time and saw some spectacular cloud formations due to the 'racing'.

3.  I am grateful Jake and Lexi shared their home with me more than was originally planned.  I really was blessed to hear about Jake's Grand Canyon backpacking experience first hand.  We shared some meals together and I enjoyed catching up with Jake, too!

4.  I am grateful that Santa Fe was a fun city to explore.  New Mexico is somewhere I would go back to and I would spend more time visiting national parks and historical places.  It was super fun to see a new state and experience a new culture.

5.  I am grateful for airplanes that take us high up in the sky and back to the ground in a quarter of the amount of time it would have taken me to drive to CO.  I am also grateful I was able to fly into CO Springs as it cut down on the driving time from Denver that we didn't have to do.

6.  Jill and I ended our last day together with a viewing of Crazy Heart (excellent, based in Santa Fe!!) and dinner with Jake and his dad Max.  What a special time!

7.  I am grateful my adventure was good for my soul and it even gave me a greater appreciation for my boys!  I was grateful to come home to them and lots of hugs and kisses.

March 26, 2010

30 Hour Tour

Jill and I have looked at our pictures from the last 30 hours at least 6 times since arriving safely back at her home (grateful).  I think we've been gazing at them so often because our wonderful trip went so fast and we're trying to absorb everything we just experienced.  From culture, to food, to new roads, to a new city, to history, and crazy weather - we have had a whirlwind wonderful trip.  We had a belated start due to weather and an abbreviated stay due to weather in the mountain passes but I'm thankful for those weather reports and for lots of quality road trip time with my sister.  Pictures are up on facebook.  We still have one more whole day together (possibly hitting the outlet stores)!  I think one of the things I'm most thankful for (along with sister-time) in the last 30 hours is the amazing creation masterpieces we have experienced from the Rocky Mountains to the desert of New Mexico.

Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
       the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
       night after night they display knowledge.

 3 There is no speech or language
       where their voice is not heard. 
 4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
       their words to the ends of the world. 

March 24, 2010

Travel Gratefuls

I'm grateful my flight was only delayed an hour or so and I am also grateful I was child-less during the 2 hour wait in the airport.  I enjoyed having the internet on my phone during my delay and I'm grateful for uninterrupted reading time - finished another book!  (Side note: People laugh when they see how many books I haul with me but I just really love to read - and I only brought 4 with this time - one is done, one is a book about our destination.)  I'm grateful the flight was uneventful.  (Side note: I really enjoy people watching during travel -how does one get their cheek pierced?!  Do you come up with theories about the people around you?  I do!)  One of my favorite moments of the day was when two elderly gentlemen, wearing WWII caps, greeted each other like friends, even though they had never before met, to talk about their experiences in WWII.  So amazing  - I couldn't help but eavesdrop on their conversation.  I'm thankful for my sister, Lexi and Jake.  I am grateful I got to hear about Jake's back-packing trip in the Grand Canyon.  I will probably never see the Grand Canyon from the back-packers perspective except through Jake so that was fun!  While we weren't able to make our trek to Santa Fe tonight, I'm thankful Jill got us a 3 for 2 night stay so it's not like we're really giving up 'money' missing a night there because the mountain passes were closed today.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

March 23, 2010

Thank you!

In advance, I want to thank everyone who will be caring for E-man and Ross while I'm away the next few days.  We are blessed to have numerous people pitching in to watch the little dude and he loves them all! I'm also grateful that my husband supports me getting away and being with my sister - thanks babe!  I'm really looking forward to time away with my sister.  Since she has moved to CO we really haven't had a whole lot of just 'sister' time.  We have visited as much as the miles allow with the boys always involved (which is great) but there is something REALLY great about just girl time.  No one knows me quite the same way as my sister.  I'm looking forward to our car time, chatting about everything, touring a new place, meeting her work friends and spending time alone at Compassion on Wednesday afternoon while she finishes up work, reading books, eating out (I'm breaking my eating out fast for this trip obviously :)), and more chatting, laughing, watching movies, etc.  I'm also thankful for the anticipation of vacation.  There is just something so fun about anticipating going away somewhere with someone you love!  YAY!

March 22, 2010

Amy Jo

I was teaching piano tonight - last lesson down in the Shoreview area.  As I walked in, L's dad warned me that they had family visiting and he encouraged L to try to focus.  He let me know they were all heading to Bethel for dinner right after the lesson - so she had lots of exciting things going on ... well ... middle of the lesson, I glance up as someone exits the bathroom on the main level only to be looking at my RIOT (Bible study) leader from FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE.  AMY JO is L's aunt.  We freaked out for one second and then she wisely went back into the other room but I pretended I didn't see her and kept the lesson going but I was so excited inside!  At the end of the lesson, I was able to meet her 5 month old son and husband (who is L's Dad's brother) and give her a BIG squeeze.  What a SMALL, Bethel world!  It was so wonderful to hug this dear friend.  She helped me through one of the hardest, most transformational years of my life.  She was a true friend and a great encouragement and listener.  I am grateful for her friendship and mentoring in my life.  I love the connection we still share - I just know if we had coffee we'd be able to talk for hours.  I am thankful for the memories it brought back to me and for what a bright spot seeing her was in my day!

March 21, 2010


I had the privilege of leading worship for the 'traditional' service at Saint Louis Park Evangelical Free Church this morning.  My dad spoke there this morning, too, and I am always blessed by opportunities to work with him as a team in this way.   The congregation that attends this service is precious and full of encouraging people and one of the women looked at my hand and exclaimed 'Oh you're married!?  You look so young to be married!' I think I shocked her when I told her I was married AND had a child AND I eventually told her I was 28 after she said 'you don't barely look old enough to be out of high school' (which I'm taking as a compliment?! :)).

Anyway - what I wanted to say was - I am thankful for hymns.  Leading a "traditional" service meant I got to pick hymns to sing with the congregation today.  It was a refreshing week for me.  Hymns express things about our Christian faith that I find lacking in modern/contemporary Christian music.  I have appreciated the 'remaking' of hymns by contemporary artists but there is just something about how hymns are sung and the way the text directs your thinking that goes deeper than what I'm finding in many (NOT all) contemporary Christian 'worship tunes' (ugh - I hate that term but this is a blog about being thankful so I'll end my rant right now - done.).  Dad was preaching on 'the way of the cross' and about the cost of being a true follower, not just a fan, of Jesus.  This led my planning into songs such as "When I Survey the Wonderful Cross", "My Jesus I Love Thee" and "Jesus Paid It All".  During the season of Easter, hymns that tell the story of Jesus' sacrifice for us on the cross and his victory over death - they are just powerful and perhaps it's because of the stories they tell. Perhaps it's because I have grown up knowing hymns that I find them meaningful but I think there is more to them than just tradition.  While I have often found myself leading in the contemporary/modern worship setting, I will always be a believer in the power of hymns and in the teaching of them to congregations, even if they are played with drums, bass, and electric guitar.  It's an important part of our faith's 'musical heritage' and I was thankful for the opportunity to spend some time with some of these hymns this week.

"Jesus paid it all
all to him I owe
sin has lost it's crimson stain
He washed me white snow."

March 20, 2010

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time

Double entry day - I know ... making up for yesterday's absence. 

  Click to buy Three Cups of Tea

If you want to read a book that speaks to what is going on in our world specifically in Pakistan and Afghanistan, read this one.  If you care about children, education and humanitarian causes you should read this book.  If you like to learn about different cultures and parts of the world you may never travel to - this is a great book.  If you enjoy stories about real, human people making a huge difference in the world you need to read Greg Mortenson's story.  TV newscaster, Tom Brokaw, calls Mortenson, “one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, who is really changing the world”.  

I am grateful to have read this story because while it is inspiring it's also very eye-opening.  Reading this story has reminded me how thankful I need to be/should be for my education and for all of the freedoms and opportunities I have as an American woman.  I am also grateful for things like clean water, health care, shelter, an abundance of food, and missle-free skies above my head.
My mom told me I needed to 'hang in there' with the beginning of this book (it's was a little hard to get into) and I'm glad I did because it was worth the read.  

New phone!

I realize I have been a little bit of a slacker this week when it comes to blogging about my 'thankful' moments.  We'll chalk it up to our stay-cation which was fun but threw the 'routine' and I'll warn you, I'm going away next week for a girls weekend in Santa Fe with my sister, so I might be not so on the ball again - we'll see.

This afternoon the Manders conquered TMobile.  Uf-dah ... E-man barely made it out of there sane.  I think it's funny how little kids are allowed to act out and interpret how their parents are really feeling on the inside.  For instance, we both find TMobile to be a stressful type of store.  You have to be working with a sales rep, and depending on who you get they can either be a pressure cooker or low key/almost not helpful or middle of the road and you don't get to pick.  They kinda pick you.  (Thankful) We got a middle of the road kind of girl today and she was super nice.  However, after the tedious checking out process and having to start all over because the computer lost our stuff after I swiped the credit card - on the inside, I was ready to scream and stomp like E-man was doing on the outside.

Long story short, I almost got a 3G with web/talk/text and app features but ... we decided we didn't want to pay an extra 50 dollars a month for an unlimited plan which we'd probably need if I'm using minutes up for web time.  Ross did ask me if it would take over my life and I don't *think* it would but just the way he asked me made me think it might (thank you Ross) and I'm not sure I'm ready for my life to change that much.  So - we ditched our contract (thankful) and now I have a new phone and unlimited texting (thankful) and 500 more minutes to talk per month  (thankful) for at least 10 dollars less a month (thankful) than we are currently paying for less texts and minutes (we get more for less because we no longer have an annual contract).

So - all in all - I'm thankful that errand is behind us and I think I'm satisfied with the decisions made in the crowded store.  I'm definitely grateful to have a new phone!

March 18, 2010

'Just Because'

My mom bought me these beautiful flowers 'just because' when we were at trader joe's.  I had them in a vase that wasn't working and just decided to use my spaghetti noodle vase to house them instead and it's working better.  I'm not a flower arranger by any means and these could probably get cut another inch from the bottom or so but that's not the point.  The point is I'm grateful for colorful flowers which brighten my kitchen and my day while we're 'in between' seasons.  Thanks Mom!  

March 17, 2010

Grilling Leprechauns

I couldn't resist the title.  I know - I have a sick sense of humor at times.

Tonight we will be grilling chicken which is marinading in Trader Joe's Island Soyaki marinade.  We used the grill on Monday night for brats and dogs.  I can't wait to taste my first grilled chicken of the season!  I am grateful for whoever invented the modern grill.  Grilling is one of those smells that conjures up lots of happy memories for me.

Since it is St. Patrick's Day - happy St. Patty's day to all of you who are Irish - I thought I'd share a favorite grade school memory of this holiday.  I grew up going to Chancellor Street Elementary School for Kindergarten and first grade.  It was an old school built many years ago (trying to come up with the date - no luck - just know Newtown existed back in the day's of George Washington crossing the Delaware River to win the battle of Trenton).  The building has many of the charms of an old building/school house with a twisting, circular stairway in a tower and old vents/grates, dark waxed wood floors, etc.  My first grade teacher, Mrs. Cojerian and the other favorite first grade teacher Mrs. Black totally had us all on the look out for leprechauns.  You see,  leprechauns would sneak in during recess and sprinkle gold dust every where and leave messages on our chalk boards or hiding in someone's desk.  I believe the Leprechauns even spoke over the loud system and we made leprechaun traps and the whole bit, trying to catch one for several days leading up to March 17th.  They are sneaky little guys though, and we never did manage to catch one.  Can you imagine what fun those teachers had coming up with these great treats for our imaginations?! What a great memory!    I was blessed with so many fabulous teachers in the Council Rock district.  I will never forget them and the way they helped me love learning!

March 15, 2010


Elmo has been a favorite character of this little dude for a few months now.  I am so thankful for all of the Elmo books E. loves to read every day and the stuffed Elmo he carries around and for the rest of the Sesame Street gang.  They have provided many new words for E-man to share with us and lots of laughs for the family.   This shirt is from my parents and it was warm enough today for him to wear it without another layer! WOOHOO!

Thank goodness for Elmo - he brings me sanity some days.

March 14, 2010

64 - 7 - 3 - 1.50 - 100

It was 64 and beautifully sunny today.  After 7 straight days of clouds, fog and rain that felt more like Seattle weather, today was a glorious change.  I could sit in the sun for hours.  We went on a three mile walk with a half hour stop at one of the many parks in our neighborhood. We bought 2 dixie cups of kool-aide for a 1.50 a piece because she didn't have change. We saw 100 people out and about during our walk (yes, we started counting).

I'm so thankful for all of these numbers that seem to be an indication that Spring is arriving in MN.

March 12, 2010

Stuffed Shells and Siblings

I'm thankful for a pan of frozen stuffed shells thawing on my counter, waiting to be put in the oven for an easy dinner.

I'm thankful for Josh and Ann who will be coming over to share those shells with us in a bit.

I'm also thankful for my sister, Jill, who I will be meeting in CO in just 12 days for a drive/sister trip to Santa Fe, NM.  I'm thankful for her willingness to be somewhat spontaneous, taking a few days off of work to hang out with me and explore a new city neither of us has been to yet.

Happy Friday!  TGIF!

March 11, 2010


Ross's mom is named Diane.  She is one of E-man's favorite people.  She is also one of mine.  I appreciate her so much.  She watches E-man for us every Thursday while I go teach at Keyboard Kids and when I was thing about today's 'gratefuls' she was at the top of my list.  Her house is right on the way for me as I trek down to Wayzata every Thursday and E. enjoys going to Grandma and Grandpa Manders' home very much.  Today when we turned on their street, he said "Kush" (the dog) and "Doggy" and "amma" and got excited. She always has a warm hug and smile for us both.  She has a caring and giving spirit.  She has taught me many things about cleaning with natural products and she is the BEST oven and microwave cleaner in the whole wide world.  She will do anything for you and I just love her.  Plus, they raised Ross who I love to pieces and much of who he is, he is because of them.   (Jerry - I'll blog my thankfulness for you another day - don't worry!) I know not everyone feels that way about their in-laws, so I feel blessed to appreciate mine so much.

March 10, 2010

.8 miles

Today I am thankful for something very simple but something which I often don't think twice about ...

The distance from Super Target to my house is .8 miles or 4 minutes.  It's definitely walkable when the sidewalks are clear and the grocery run isn't too large.  I've even mastered the art of ONLY going for groceries which took some practice when we first moved so close.  

Who knows how long we'll live here, but while we do, I'm going to try reminding myself to be grateful for the "I really don't think twice if I have to run to the store in the middle of making something" distance more often.  What a blessing!

March 9, 2010

421 Merion Drive

421 MERION DR, Newtown, PA

Yesterday our PA neighbors emailed my mom an update about my childhood home.  

During one of the major snow storms of this winter, the neighborhood was without power for 40 hours and the realtor currently listing the house had left the water on and after 40 hours of no heat and the water being left on, a pipe burst and the house is a total mess.  The neighbors said word on the street is that they will try to sell for whatever they can get because the house is so badly damaged.  The Jewish congregation that purchased our FBCN church location downtown, Newtown, are the kind of Jews that walk to synagogue, so being in walking distance of the church is key for them.  My childhood home is definitely within walking distance of that building, so our guess is that a Jewish family will probably purchase the home, knock it down and build a brand new, huge home on the lot.  

All that said, yesterday I had a little mourning moment but I'm trying to turn into a gratitude moment.  

421 Merion Drive is the house I lived in from the time we moved to Newtown when I was 3, until I officially moved to MN after college to marry my Minnesotan.  Ross and I went home often to visit until my parents moved to MN in 2007.  It is the house my little brother came home to after he was born.  The tooth fairy, easter bunny and Santa Claus visited me at this house.  It is the house we played in for hours and hours - barbies, legos and everything in between.  It is the house we played around the outside of night after beautiful summer night with our neighbor friends.  The tree on the left and our front porch were always 'jail' and 'home base'.  Our neighbors here are life long friends and still near and dear to our family.  Many adventures were had in the woods and creek of this backyard.  Hours were spent in a pool that probably killed the grass on hot summer days.  Cleaning and learning the value of doing chores happened in this house.  I learned to play the piano and french horn in this house.  The walls of this house have heard so many of my Dad's sermons preached while he was practicing his amazing gift of sharing God's word.  Journal keeping became a habit here and I fell in love with reading thanks to our nightly ritual of reading as a family before bed.  My Mom taught me much about the power of prayer during especially anxious times in my life, sitting on my bed with me, rubbing my back and praying for me.  I learned to ride my bike without training wheels on that driveway and I rollerbladed on the street in front of our house all of the time.  I learned how to get along with my brother and sister in this yard and home.  Softball coaching and practice happened in our big backyard.  Chloe - the best dog ever - was raised and well loved in our home.  I lived in THREE of the 4 bedrooms in the house.  I learned about email and the internet for the first time under this roof.  I had my first kiss in the driveway of this house and I learned to drive the car in this neighborhood.  Over the years, many sleepovers and hang outs happened in the basement of this house. I completed many homework assignments, papers and projects under this roof. I got ready for proms and other school dances here and the pictures are in the yard of this house.   Many tears were shed over heart breaks and hurt feelings under this roof.  My SAT and AP results arrived at this mailbox.  I taught piano in the living room during high school.  This is the house where my college acceptance letters were sent.  My high school graduation pictures were taken by the birch tree. I couldn't wait to go home to my family and this house for breaks and holidays during college.  I brought many college friends home to meet my parents and see the 'east coast' sites.  Wedding central was headquartered here and a wonderful reception was held in the backyard for our out of town family and friends.  Most importantly, I learned about the values of family, love, hospitality and putting Jesus at the center of it all under this roof.  

For these memories and countless others, I am thankful.  While I know it is just a structure, it is a structure in which my memories exist.  I am thankful for 421 Merion Drive and all it means to me, my family and my memories.  

March 8, 2010


There is a girl named Maizy
She's 6 months younger than Ethan
Her mom is one of my closest friends

Our two kids spend a lot of time together
Riding in their strollers
Listening to their mom's figure out life

Lately they've had several play dates
Ethan now says her name
They hold hands across their strollers

Today we dropped her and her mom at the airport
Ethan cried major tears when she was gone
They'll be back but all he knows is

He misses Maizy!

I'm thankful for Maizy-girl.  It's fun to watch Ethan interacting with her and learning from her.  She helped him learn to say please and try new foods.  Little kid friends are very cute.  E also shared a fist bump with a little guy from Renovation yesterday - I love watching him start to be aware of other kids and enjoy other little people.  So fun!  

March 7, 2010

Weekend Gratefuls

1.  Friday night at home (I LOVE these more and more), watching Netflix instant play with husband (new favorite thing thanks to laptop) on our macbook.

2.  An already fairly clean house which allows us to get out and about do fun things Saturday morning like a trip to IKEA in search of a few household items. Found:  storage for Ethan's toys, bibs for 2.99, smock for finger painting, pants hangers - Ross's favorite - I'm not kidding, a new book shelf to help with my piano music storage.  Still looking: kitchen table.  Grateful for money able to be spent on these things.

3.  Fairly lazy Saturday afternoon.

4.  Great night out with good friends thanks to Footloose tickets Ross got me for Christmas - delicious food, great company and fabulous show - love the rebellious pastor's daughter theme.   Since we're not eating out until Easter - it was a welcome treat to eat out last night since tickets were purchased back in December.  Woohoo!

5.  E-man sleeping over with Bubbup (my dad, mom was out last night) so we could go out.  Grateful for another Sunday sleeping in kind of morning. Grateful E-man does so well with his g-parents and loves both sets of them so much.

6.  Renovation Church ( is a blessing in my life.  Even when serving in kids ministry I'm learning new things and getting to know very cool kids - I count it a privilege to be able to serve in that way.

7.  Lunch with friends we met while working at Salem, who now also go to Renovation, and live 2 miles from us.  I also teach their boys piano and they were SO good with E-man today.  So not only was the food delicious and conversation fun but E-man was totally entertained by nerf guns, chasing the boys around and watching the 'big' boys do their thing.

8.  A walk with Ross and E-man on a warm sunny afternoon. I'm actually sore from walking outside but it feels good and yes, E-man face planted in another puddle but he also went down slides and was swinging at the park today - I am SO GRATEFUL FOR THE SUN!!!!

9.  Productive hour or so during which I was able to do my "financial secretary" duties for Renovation and email out my billing for my piano students.

10.  House Group with Renovation people ... enjoying the friendships that are growing.  Our roommate watching E-man for us while we're at HG.  Thanks Christin!

March 5, 2010

New Boots!

Thank you Auntie Beans for my new Penguin boots!
Love, E-man

Yesterday my sister who lives too far away decided E. needed puddle-stomping boots.  She bought these for him on and they arrived today.  Isn't it amazing to order online in CO and receive in MN the next day?!  

His first time out in his new boats he was very concerned that the penguin's beaks were getting wet and he kept saying "oh no, wet!" and drying them off with his hands ... very cute.  We went out twice in the new boots  and they arrived around 1:30 p.m. today! 

I'm slightly fearful he will never want to wear anything except his penguin boots out of the house ever again ... 

March 4, 2010

Hugs from PA

A friend of the family from Newtown, PA has been speaking, teaching and sharing her story with the Bethel community.  She has been staying with my parents this week.  Although our schedules were opposite, I was able to sneak in 15 minutes of hellos with her today and in return she stood on the couch and gave me a bone crushing hug from Dave Secrest and a gentle hug from Karen Secrest.  Sylane also gave me hugs of her own.  I still miss Newtown and our church family on a regular basis and those hugs were a blessing to me and a reminder of a church body who has loved and supported our family for many years.  All of the 'adopted' aunts and uncles and cousins - surrogates for our family who lived far away most of my growing up years - all of these people influenced my life in big ways.  What a blessing they still are in our lives!  Thanks for the hugs, Sylane.

March 3, 2010

The B-I-B-L-E and Puddles

"And the Word I need is the Word that was who put on flesh to dwell with us in the beginning..." (Sara Groves, The Word) 

Sometimes the words just jump off the page and right into your heart and mind.  Sometimes words jump off of the page you just need to share with a certain friend as a word of encouragement.  Today was one of those days.  I have a friend who was going into an important meeting today and the words of Galatians 6:1 came up in my Beth Moore study.  I immediately sent her a facebook message to encourage her and it was neat to hear how that impacted her mind frame as she went into this meeting.  

I'm thankful the Word is still alive and living and able to impact our lives.  

SIDE NOTE: I'm also thankful for the entertainment the melting snow in the form of large puddles provides for E-man.  We soaked in our vitamin D today while walking and splashing in puddles.  Outfit changes were necessary for both of us when we got home but it was worth every minute of playing outside!

March 2, 2010

44 Degrees

My car thermometer read 44 degrees today as I was running an errand.  Ethan is actually daily asking to go 'outhside' to play.  Ethan went on the swings by Bubbup and Gmas house yesterday.  I heard and saw water melting into the drainage ditches when I picked up the mail.  THE GLACIERS (as I refer to the thick sheets of ice which have been feeling like MASSIVE pot holes under our cars during the melt) at the place where you turn into our home are almost GONE!!!!  Sidewalks are reappearing ... not quite ready for stroller pushing but getting closer ... these are all signs of Spring I am very thankful for today.

March 1, 2010

Paying the Bills

Each month when I sit to pay the bills I attempt to be thankful for the jobs and provision of money to pay each bill.  Some months this is an easier attitude to have than others.  It's easy to see the total continuing to grow smaller as each bill is paid and feel frustrated  but it's healthier for me to focus on how amazing it is that every month we can pay our bills and how God continually provides just enough and even a little extra many months.

So, today, on the first of the month of March I am thankful for being able to pay our bills.