Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 30

Well, today is the last day of the 30 Days of Thanksgiving project. I wasn't able to post every day, but 21 posts in a month is pretty good for me and hopefully I will be encouraged to write more often now.

Today I am thankful for Facebook. I know, it probably sounds nuts to some of you, but it has turned into more than just a "social networking" website for me. It is my connection to friends and family that I don't see often. Even with family members that I do see more often, it is still good to keep up with what is going on in their lives.

Facebook is also a great place to find out about where to find good deals. Last week I did some major online shopping and got most of my info there.

Tonight I saw that someone posted that Rudolph was on television. I didn't know that, so I quickly turned it on so BK could watch the rest of the show. I also posted a photo of BK in her new Christmas gown and a Santa hat, which generated lots of comments.

Since finding myself a single parent, my social activities have diminished greatly. I have to be home to get her to bed early every school night. Taking care of her is my priority. That leaves little time and energy for much else. So in a way, Facebook is my social life too...as pathetic as that may sound. I can keep in touch...feel connected...share a few laughs...and just have fun. And for that I am thankful.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 28

Today I am thankful for rest.

Sometimes we go and go and go, until we just can't go anymore. It is easy to get overwhelmed during this time of year as we contemplate gifts to buy and filling our calendars with places to go.

Tonight I sat in the dark living room, looking at the Christmas tree lights. What a peaceful time to rest and enjoy the quiet.

As the hustle and bustle of the season threatens to sweep us away, let's remember how important it is to make some time for rest. Our bodies require it and our souls crave it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 27

Today I am thankful for internet shopping.

After many years of fighting the crowds, I now do most of my holiday shopping online. I don't just shop for gifts, but other items including clothes, toiletries and over-the-counter medicine.

I replied to a Facebook friend's request for online shopping tips a few weeks ago, so I decided to post them here as well.

First, go to www.retailmenot.com to look for a coupon for the store you want to shop. When you find what you want to buy and are ready to checkout, there will be a place to enter a coupon code and it will deduct it from your total.

Next, go to Ebates and sign up here. Then when you get ready to shop, go to Ebates first and look at their list of stores, click on where you want to shop and you will automatically receive a rebate check for a certain % of what you spend.

Be sure to check out customer reviews. I have avoided some items because of bad reviews. Amazon.com is pretty good at having customer reviews, so I look there even if I end up buying on another website.

Amazon.com offers free shipping on many items if you spend at least $25.00. Sometimes I will pick out what I want and put it in my cart, but just wait until I have $25 of stuff so I can get free shipping. Coupon codes don't work there, but sometimes their prices are lower, so it's worth it.

There are also Facebook groups you can join that tell about great deals. If you are on Facebook, do a search for http://www.dealfindingchik.blogspot.com/ and go to their page to "like" it (click the like button). Then when they post deals, you will see their posts on your live feed.

Go to websites like www.Walgreens.com and www.CVS.com to sign up for their emails and then you will get info on their online sales and coupons. I just recently ordered four Pillow Pets from there. I got exactly which ones I wanted, had a coupon code to get $10 off a $50 order, they offer free shipping with a $25 purchase and I will get 4% cash back through Ebates...that's a deal!

I didn't venture out yesterday for Black Friday deals, but I was shopping the deals online. Cyber Monday promises even more online deals.

In this economy, when it helps more than ever to save where we can, I am very thankful for shopping that I can do in my pajamas.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 25

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Instead of a list of things that I'm thankful for today, I want to focus on the One to whom I am thankful. Without the love of God, my life would be empty, regardless of the "things" I may have.

I am thankful that God loves us all enough to send his Son Jesus to live and die and live again so that we can be adopted into His family. I am thankful for His forgiveness and mercy. I am thankful that He knows my name and how many hairs are on my head. He knows what I will do and say before I do and say it...and He loves me anyway.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.

Oh how I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 23

Today I am thankful for the wisdom of my years.

One of my friends mentioned that it would be great to be 30 again. I agreed, but added that it would only be great if I could know then, what I know now. I have learned things after living fifty years that you just can't read in a book. Wisdom is a gift of a long life. After all, we have to have some compensation for wrinkles, right?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 21

Today I am thankful for my friends through the mail. I have had pen pals on and off since I was a young teenager. My first two were from Japan and Korea. Most of them have been from various parts of the U.S. This summer I decided to take up this "hobby" again and now I have four people that I write.

I think that writing honest to goodness letters is almost a lost art, especially with the instantaneous communication of email and Facebook, combined with the rising cost of postage. But there is something special about a letter. It is hard to describe the feeling I get when I open the mailbox and see a letter with my name on it. I consider it a gift that I hold dear.

Over the years I have gotten to know many wonderful and interesting people, who enrich my life. Hopefully I add some joy to their lives too.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 19

Today I am thankful for good health care.

BK is sick again. It seems that this time of year she always has trouble with upper respiratory junk. I am so thankful that we are able to have her seen by her pediatrician and get the medicine that she needs.

When we lost our health insurance earlier this year, I wasn't sure what we were going to do. I did some research and found out that BK was eligible for CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), which is a state program that provides health coverage for uninsured children. This has been such a blessing for us. She was able to continue going to her pediatrician and it pays for her medicine. It covers her dental care too.

I am still without health care, although I have found some alternatives. A free after-hours clinic has opened in the town where I used to live. It is staffed by local doctors who volunteer to see people who are working, but just cannot afford health insurance. I have also joined Christian Healthcare Ministries. This is a group of Christians who share each others hospital costs. There is a monthly payment, but it is much less than traditional insurance. I like the idea of us all sharing - kind of like the Early Church.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 16

Today I am thankful that I don't have to be perfect.

If you are following my blog, you will notice that I have already missed two days of this 30 Days of Thankfulness blog project. It's not that I was not thankful on those days, but rather that I just forgot. Once upon a time that would have bugged me immensely. But now I am much quicker to cut myself some slack, take a deep breath and move on.

Maybe that's just one advantage of getting older...or perhaps it is a gift of freedom from the bondage of perfectionism. Either way, I'm thankful that I can mess up and it doesn't have to mess up my whole day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 14

Today I am thankful for my daughter-in-law Angela on her 30th birthday.

Angela is married to my son Jeremy and they have four sons. Each of these boys is so special in his own way and I love them dearly. But I know that raising four boys is a LOT of work, at least if you raise them right, which she is doing. Angela is a stay-at-home mom and she keeps her household running.

Like so many mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships, ours has take a while to grow into friendship, but I am so glad that it has.

So here's to you, Angela on your special day. I tip my hat to you and say "Well done!"

I'm thankful to have you in my life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 12

Today I am thankful for adoption, for without it I would not have my beautiful daughter, nor would I be the daughter of a King.

What a wonderful thing it is to know that as Christians we are all adopted into His family, with a forever family and an eternal home.

Good stuff.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 11

Today is Veteran's Day and I am thankful for the men and women who fight bravely and selflessly to ensure our freedom. I am proud to say that my Dad was a Veteran of WWII.

I am also thankful that there are still folks who are thankful for those who serve us by putting their lives in harm's way.

I will never forget the tragedy of the Vietnam War. I was a a teenager toward the end of the war and one of the things that haunts me to this day was seeing the way the service men were treated as they returned home...not as heroes, but rather to be blamed for the war. I guess those same people who were doing the hating forgot that many of the troops were drafted and did not even volunteer. They were simply serving their country.

Whatever we may feel or believe about war, the men and women who are willing to sacrifice anything in order to protect our way of life should be honored.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 10

Today I am thankful for my glasses.

Since I have been wearing glasses over four decades now, I would venture to say that there were many times that I was not thankful for them at all. My vision is so bad that up until a few years ago, the lens in my glasses looked like Coke bottles (for those old enough to actually remember what a Coke bottle looks like). They were heavy and uncomfortable, not to mention UGLY. I look back at my school pictures and I see pair after pair of pitiful looking glasses.

I got my first pair of glasses when I was two years old. I'm told that on the ride home, I looked out the car window and saw all sorts of things that I had not been able to see without them and I was amazed.

Thankfully, my vision is fully corrected by glasses. Without them I'm sure that I have to be legally blind. So even though I've had a love/hate relationship with my glasses over a lifetime, I am truly thankful that I can see normally.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 9

Today I am thankful for good Southern food (those of you who know me would expect this to make my list) and for those who know how to serve it well.

My Mother was a good cook. I've heard that her Mother was a good cook, as were Southern mothers for generations before them. Grits and eggs, homemade biscuits, chicken and dumplin's, sweet potato and pecan pie...good enough to make you eat another serving even if you're full...just because.

Here are a few tidbits about Southern cooks:

They hover around the table asking "What can I get you?" I'm not sure that my Mother ever actually ate a meal with us.

They LOVE to see folks enjoying their cooking. I think that while they are hovering, they might be listening for "yummy noises" too.

They never think that what they are serving is special. "Oh, it's just something I threw together!"

They always have something to "throw together" in case unexpected company shows up.

But the most important thing is that their kitchens are filled with love and that's usually where visitors like to hang out.

I'm thankful for my heritage of Southern cooks and I hope that one day my children and grandchildren will say that I carried on the tradition well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 8

Today I am thankful for friends.

Six months ago, I felt like my world was suddenly falling apart. I was scared and there didn't seem to be many options. Not only was I responsible for my own well-being, but for that of my small daughter as well. Did I mention I was scared?

I sent out some emails to tell a few friends what was going on. What happened next still makes me shake my head in amazement. Friends called...and emailed...and prayed...and encouraged...and offered all kinds of help...and gave money...and prayed some more...and helped me move...and opened their home to us...and spoke words of healing and hope.

I learned more about being a true friend during that time and I know that each of my friends are a blessing from my Heavenly Father who loves me dearly. And I am thankful.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 7

(It's after midnight, so technically it's Day 7)

Today I am thankful that Daylight Savings Time has ended and I will be able to sleep an extra hour.

How appropriate that this happens on the Lord's Day...a day that He ordained for rest.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 6

Today I am thankful for provision.

There are many people out of work these days. Even I was looking for a job all summer long...sending countless resumes and going to many interviews. But God finally opened the right door and, according to His plan, I am where I am.

Four days a week I work at a non-profit ministry that gives partial scholarships for leadership training in Africa. The fifth day I am the bookkeeper at a church. I have been placed in a Christian environment, working with people who love God and want to serve Him...it just doesn't get much better than that.

Jehovah Jireh...God my provider...I am thankful.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 5

Today I am thankful for family...for my children and child-by-marriage...and their children...and my siblings and their children and their children's children.

My family gets together at different times during the year to eat and to have fun visiting. The food is always excellent (good cooking genes came from my mom) and the laughter is plentiful. There is ALWAYS something to laugh about...it's just what we do...and so much fun.

I love my family and I am thankful for each and every one of them.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 4

Today I am thankful for Fall. It has to be my favorite season of the year.

All of the seasons are of God's design and bring good things. But Fall brings back fond memories of special times to me.

Crisp mornings and overall cooler temps, falling leaves, and upcoming holidays (including good food and family fellowship) are all reasons for thankfulness...and I am.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 3

Today I am very thankful for good health.

Around mid-morning yesterday, I realized that I was getting sick. Before lunch the vomiting began and did not stop for hours. I will spare you the details of the rest of it, but suffice to say, I was a sick puppy.

I know that there are people who struggle with chronic illness and pain every day. That has to be a difficult life. I am so thankful that after the bug passed, I am back to my normal, relatively healthy self. I pray that I will never take that for granted.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving - Day 2

Today I am thankful for the privilege of living in a country where I am free to vote my convictions.

It was raining as I pulled into the parking lot of the Community Center this morning. I had valid reasons for staying in the car. I had to be at work...and did I mention it was raining?

As I sat there trying to talk myself into waiting until later today (or quite possibly not voting at all...after all, it's only ONE vote, right?), out of the corner of my eye I saw a young couple walking across the parking lot, sharing an umbrella and pushing a baby stroller. Suddenly I felt a little embarrassed about my hesitation and crawled out of the car.

Voting is not convenient. There are often long lines and rain. But I smiled as I left the building this morning, proud of myself for making the effort, proud of the young couple for inspiring me, and proud to be an American, where my one vote does indeed count.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving All Month - Day 1

I am taking a cue from a few of my friends who are posting 30 days of Thanksgiving this month. Of course there are multitudes of things that I have to be thankful for, so that part should not be hard. The challenge will be to actually log-in and post on my blog every day for 30 days. Once upon a time that was not a challenge at all, but alas, that was before Facebook stole my affection. So here is Day One:

I am oh so thankful for the children in my life. My precious daughter and four grandsons fill my heart with joy. Last Saturday I had a chance to babysit three of the four grands and we all had such a good time together. I will post some photos so you can share in the joy with us.