Monday, August 3, 2015

Gifts Found in July 2015 - Part 4

Continuing with "One Thousand Gifts" - check out Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 of "Gifts Found in July 2015"...

July 22nd
3 Gifts of Understated

1.  The Gift of Inspiration - To me, "understated" means something (or someone) has not been given proper "notice"...

Highlight more the book that opened your eyes;

Speak highly of that person and their blog post - and be sure to share the post and comment!

The comments I receive on my blog really help me in my writing and my life!

Thank you, God, for words that uplift and inspire!

2.  The Gift of Help - OK, so I know I am a "do-it-yourself" sort of person.  I "claim" the reason is that he "doesn't do it right" - and some of that I refuse to let him do: "wash" the dishes, because he doesn't wash them!  Or, cooking -  because when he did cook, it was not seasoned, and the meat was either touch as leather or undercooked.

I am thankful for many other things he does to help; and admit I do "understate" that help ("understate" - to make seem less important than it really is - because it really is important!

3.  The Gift of a Mother - A mother has a hard job, whether she has one child, or many!  Her job, while the child(ren) are young is 24/7; yet when they grow up, she is still "on call" 24/7.  The job of a mother if very much understated!

July 23rd
A Gift High, Low, Far Away

The Gift of Surprise Friendships - I have connected with many people since I've started blogging, and through scrapbooking.  It has always surprised me when someone I don't even know - actually knows someone I do know!  Or, they lived somewhere I have lived, or close by.

Recently, through another blogger I follow, I "met" her sister who graduated the year after I did - from the same high school!  Small world...not really so "far away" afterall!

July 24th
3 Gifts of Sand

1.  The Gift of Sand and Water - A quiet walk on the beach, the water rushing over my bare feet; sand squishing between my toes...

My thoughts wandering here and there, thankful for the time to reflect on my life...

This is but a dream; a thought - yet, not that far out of sight!

2.  The Gift of Moments - The popular soap opera, "The Days of Our Lives" - yes, I did get hooked years ago!! - begins with these words:  "Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives."

This reminds me of the "moments in time", the grains of sand mixing these moments together - to make up our lives...the days and months and years of our lives!

3.  The Gift of Footprints

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I thank God for the times He walked beside me; and for the times He carried me...

July 25th
3 Gifts of Endings

1.  The Gift of Getting Away - I love to get away from the "routine" of daily (retired) life, and enjoy my family (vacations!) or friends (scrappin').

But, all good, FUN things come to an end.

2.  The gift of New Beginnings - In my lifetime, there have been many "endings", followed by "new beginnings"...

Let me share just a few from my adult life:

  • Several job changes; most ended well, with "promotions", more money; and the things learned at one job helping in the next one.
  • First marriage; ended on a fairly "good" note, and eventually a new relationship.
  • Residences; not sure how this applies, but moving from one state to another after a separation; and moving from a house to an apartment... all worked out to be good "new beginnings".
  • Friendships; especially when leaving jobs or even residences, friends may hang on for awhile; some may continue much longer.

But with church and hobbies and new neighbors, new friendships will bloom!

3.  The Gift of Changes - We have control over what happens in our lives - to some extent!

If we are headed in a wrong direction, we can make a change and head on the right path.  God will lead us in the way we should go...the end of the chapter, or the book of our life...can be changed!

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July 26th
3 Gifts Fresh

1.  The Gift of Fresh Air and Sunshine - You might say I'm mostly a "home body", especially in the heat of the summer!

But, it is always great to get outside for some fresh air and sunshine!
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2.  The Gift of Fresh Ingredients - I am really not a great cook; but I do get by - mostly with boxed food, packaged dinners or desserts.

But, occasionally I do bake something "fresh", "from scratch", like the Banana Bread I made for our retreat.

One of my friends asked me if it was "from a box"; I shook my head and said, "No, from scratch!"  She said it was good!!  (Well, it's just a recipe I found online!)

 Light and Fluffy Banana Bread

3 - 4
Ripe bananas
1/3 cup
Melted Butter
1 cup.
Egg, beaten
1 tsp
1 tsp
Baking soda
1 ½ cup
All-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; mix butter into mashed banana.  Then mix sugar, egg and vanilla into bananas.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt over mixture.  Add flour last and mix.  Pour batter into buttered 4 x 8 loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool on a rack; and serve.  Also good with a slice of sweet butter melting on it…or with cream cheese.

3.  The Gift of a Fresh Start - Similar to "endings and beginnings", a fresh start is one of those opportunities to "start over" - like after a move; a divorcce; even the death of a loved one...even after graduating from high school or college could be ocnsidered "starting fresh"!

July 27th
A Gift on Vacation, at Home,
in Relaxation

The Gift of Gracious Gratitude - OK, so I am a giver; that is very well known by my family and friends.  During my recent "vacation" - a scrapbook retreat about an hour from home - I was blessed several times:

1) A friend blessed me with some female "products" I needed;
2) "Somebody" paid for my Saturday night's dinner at a seafood restaurant;
3) Another "somebody" paid 1/2 of the fee for our next retreat ($30); {I was told this when I went to pay $20 for a deposit.}
4) Another "somebody" paid the last $10; {After paying the $20, and 1/2 had been paid, I went to get the last $10; when I returned, I was told "You're too late; somebody paid the balance."}

As I said, I am a giver...when I am the receiver, I used to get emotional and say, "But, I can do this myself," or "I made allowances to have the fund..."

I am learning to have "gracious gratitude" whenever I receive these blessings!

July 28th
3 Gifts of Beginnings

1.  The Gift of a New Day - At the end of a day, I can rest assured there will be another one when I open my eyes the next morning...

So, no matter what today brings, there is always the opportunity for a new day - a new beginning!

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2.  The Gift of Inside - Our Soul! - 

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Life begins from the inside; love begins from the inside...and, deep inside our soul, God shapes us to be the person He wants us to be -

A new creation; a new beginning!

3.  The Gift of Today - 

Found on Pinterest

There's always tomorrow...and you can make a new start today - for a new ending!

July 29th
3 Gifts Together

1.  The Gift of Imagination - I love to see my grandsons playing together; their imagination is sometimes funny; sometimes weird; sometimes just amazing what they come up with...together, sharing play and imagination.

2.  The Gift of Sharing - And, I love to be with my daughters, just being together, sharing our lives, concerns, blessings - all while enjoying what the kids come up with to do.

But, we just don't get enough time to be together as mother and daughters without the kids, for real adult time!  I love my grandchildren; but sometimes, we all nee that adult time!

3.  The Gift of Time - After almost 32 years of marriage, we still find a movie or TV show to watch together; spending time in the evenings.  Our likes may not be the same; but it's the idea of being together!

July 30th
3 Gifts Heard

1.  The Gift of Learning - You can never learn too much, and can certainly not ever stop learning...

It is so precious to hear a one-year old mimicking the words she hears:  MeMaw (or MaMa; they sound quite similar.); PaPa (but more of a "b" sound); and the cute no no no or go go go!  Precious!

2.  The Gift of Music, Instruments and FUN! - All gifts of wonder and precious little ones...

Music time at the home of a music teacher means children's fun music, instruments, and everyone dancing, bouncing, and shaking to the music!

(Can you guess where I spent my day?!)

3.  The Gift of Nature - A flash of lightning, followed by a loud booming thunder-clap, forces of nature signaling a thunderstorm, either far off or close by...

God's awesomeness, His nature.  Thank you, God, for the Gift of Wonder, the Gift of Your Nature!

July 31st
3 Gifts Difficult

1.  The Gift of Communication - It is so hard to communicate with someone who is very hard of hearing, and also has a memory problem...

And his idea of a conversation - he speaks, you listen...and don't try to make a comment; he always assumes it's negative to whatever he's saying.

It's hard, frustrating, and yes, very difficult!

2.  The Gift of Innocence - A precious child, 4 years beautiful blue-eyed grandson; one of my four grandsons...

And the difficult news of another blue-eyed little boy, 21 months old, missing for a week...such a difficult time for his family.

How do we look at this as a gift?  His innocence, his acceptance of those loved ones around him...How is this a gift, except for the 21 months of joy this blue-eyed child brought his family.

God, You know the truth; You know where he is...please protect him - and, if it's too late, comfort his loved ones.

3.  The Gift of Relaxing - Being retired, I can "take it easy" - rest, relax - when I feel the need.  After a somewhat busy week, I spent today relaxing, after a quick trip to the store.

Naps don't come easy for me; and sometimes, if I do drift off to husband wakes me up!!

But, feeling a bit sleepy, I ended up taking a nap!

Thank you, God for the nap-time when needed!

And so ends another month of counting gifts with Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts"!  Follow my gifts in the month of August!!

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