Monday, February 29, 2016

Tuesday @ Ten - BELONG


Another week is here; and another opportunity to link up with my friend, Karen, for this weekly prompted post.  Hope to see you there, too!  And, be sure to check out Karen's Facebook group for the Tuesday @ Ten followers here.



This week's word is Belong:

Growing up in a loving family, I knew where I belonged!

There are many who grow up in different types of family - or perhaps even with no family.


But, there are more people around us than just our family.


In school, sometimes it's hard to "fit in"; to belong.  And, many times, I felt as if I did not belong anywhere...


I wasn't in the "popular" group.  I wasn't in the "athletic" group.  I wasn't in the "academic" group.  I wasn't even in the "talented" group.


But, I was in my group!  I was in a group of friends that connected...a group where I could belong!  Perhaps we were neighbors; or we met and connected in one of our classes.  But, however we connected, we had fun together, whether a group having a party or a get-together, or just 2 or 3 of us.


I was brought up in the church; but we moved around a lot because of my father's military service.  So, I wasn't one who "grew up" in that church (whichever church we happened to be attending).


Even as an adult, I did not always feel as if I belonged to the church.  But, eventually, I did fit in!  I became part of the choir; I became part of the Christian Women's Fellowship.  I became part of the Sunday School class.


And later, when the time was right, I became a leader in the church; I became our group's leader.  I taught Sunday School!  I even led the church in worship as an Elder during a time when our church was without a minister.


I had a place where I belonged!


There were also times in my career that I felt I didn't belong.  Sometimes it's hard to have friends in the work place; and it's come to "bite me in the butt" at times!


Friends - or those I thought were friends - turned against me when it was more beneficial to them.  But I was able to find friends among those I worked with.


When you are with people so many hours of the day and week, it's hard not to connect and have friends.  But, I found the places I could fit in; the people I could connect with and hang with; and those I could trust.

Found on Pinterest
Shared by flaviosiqueira.com


Now that I am retired, it's probably even harder to find a place to belong.  My former friends are still working; so we have to "schedule" our special times together - like, celebrating our Christmas in February!

And, though we still connect, it's just not always in the same ways.

Thankfully, before I even retired, I found a place where I can belong - through my love of scrapbooking and crafting.

I have connected with a number of wonderful women who also love to craft.  And, we have connected on another level through that crafting.  I {still} belong!

A few years ago I found another place where I can belong - through the online art of blogging!  I have connected with so many wonderful writers through a number of links and blogs, beginning with a challenge called "write 31 days", which I have completed the past two years in a row during the months of October.


I don't really dwell on whether I belong or I don't belong.  I know that I do belong!


And when I do think about it, I know that no matter where else  I may or may not belong, I will always belong to The One; and He will make sure the people I need to connect with are there, right where they need to be!

Yes, perhaps there have been "belonging" challenges throughout my life...but I have learned where I belong and to whom I belong.

Praying you know, too!


Found on Pinterest



Thanks for joining me for this week's Tuesday @ Ten...see you next week!





Thursday, February 25, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - Praying with Joy



My Word for the Year 2016 is JOY!  Each week I will share a "Word Wednesday" post as I discover the JOY in my life that has been revealed to me during the week.  Please join me during this year-long journey...


This week's title is, "Praying with Joy":


The title is based on Philippians 1:3-6, taken from the New Revised Standard Version:

"I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing (in the gospel) from the first day until now.  I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ."

What do you think about that?  Paul prayed with joy for the people of Philippi!  In the first verse, he said that he and Timothy "write this letter to all followers of Jesus in Philippi, pastors and ministers included."

Paul wasn't just praying for the leaders; he wasn't just praying for the pastors and ministers.  He was praying for all followers of Jesus in Philippi.

I wasn't satisfied with just one occasion where Paul prayed for others.  I was certain I'd find more; and I did!

In Romans 1:9b, Paul writes, "...without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers..."

And, 1 Corinthians 1:4 begins with "I give thanks to my God always for you..."

Colossians 1:3 begins with "In our prayers for you we always thank God..."

In 1 Thessalonians 1:2, Paul assures us that he "...always give(s) thanks to God for all of you and mention you in (our) prayers, constantly..."

Again in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Paul says, "We must always give thanks to God for you..."

Paul writes to Timothy in the 2nd letter of "Timothy 1:3b-4:  "...when I remember you constantly in my pryaers night and day.  Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy."

And, finally in his letter to Philemon, Paul writes, "When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God..."

Well, I am not a scholar, and this is not intended to be a Bible study.  But, I think we can learn a lot from Paul!

Paul prayed for others - without ceasing; constantly; always.  And, he thanked God for them all when he lifted them up in prayer.

AND HE PRAYED WITH JOY!

Almost every day I read requests online for prayer.  Some are people I know who are having a rough time in one way or another: a sickness, loss of a job, a multitude of crises that have occurred, or even just needs that are "un-named".

And there are also requests from those that I do not know - personally - yet, I have a close connection to through our blogs and Facebook groups.

Do I pray joyfully when I read these requests?  Do I pray without ceasing, constantly, or always?


Well, to truthfully answer that...not right away; and certainly not without ceasing, etc.

Perhaps later I remember to whisper a prayer; but am I praying without ceasing, constantly, or always? 

Hmmm?!

What I can do, but what I don't usually do, is to stop right then and there and lift that person up in prayer.

Does this sound a little like Paul who had that dilemma of doing that which he didn't want to do in order to "press on to the goal ahead"?

I guess we really can learn a lot from Paul, and from the Bible!  That's for certain, and no surprise!

But, even if I did pray as soon as I read the request...

Do I pray joyfully?

And, what does that look like?  Why would I pray joyfully that someone has cancer; or has lost a loved one; or lost their job; or...

What exactly does it mean to pray joyfully?

Let me share what the Message says in Philippians 1:3,  "Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God.  Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer.  I find myself praying for you with a glad heart."

How would it be if we broke out in exclamations of thanks to God every time we learn of a need for prayer?  If that exclamation were to be a trigger to prayer...

I don't think that "praying with joy" necessarily means we are joyful because of the need.  I think it means that we are joyful because we know we can lift that need up to the One who can take care of that need.

And, with Paul, we can thank God every time we remember them!

So, what are your thoughts on "Praying with Joy"...I am not an expert at all; just sharing my thoughts!


Join me again next week for another Word Wednesday where I'll be sharing yet another joy I've discovered!





Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday @ Ten - CARE


Another week is here; and another opportunity to link up with my friend, Karen, for this weekly prompted post.  Hope to see you there, too!  And, be sure to check out Karen's Facebook group for the Tuesday @ Ten followers here.


This week's word is:  CARE


"I don't care!"

Words that come easily...whether the slight answer to, "What do you want for dinner?"; or a real attitude of not caring about a situation or person.

Not to make this a negative post; but there are times I really don't care!

What will we watch on TV tonight?  I really don't care!  There are certain shows I enjoy watching, but my husband does not.

But, there are also shows that he enjoys that I do not.

And, then there are those we actually watch together!

My life doesn't revolve around a television show.  Most of them I can watch later with Comcast Cable's "On Demand" feature.  And, if I don't catch it, what have I really lost?  An hour or so?!

There are plenty of things I can do instead of sitting in front of a television...though, there are days when that is all I want to do!

But, truly...I do care!

I care about many things:
  • I care about how my "work" looks to others;  I know I'm not as good of a crafter as some of the ladies I craft with; but, I do it because I love to craft!  And, most of the time, I am happy with what I have created.
  • I care about what people think about me, my thoughts, ideas, opinions...but, really, why?!
  • I care about my "children" and grandchildren; my brothers and their families; my "distant" relatives, as in...they live further away than my brothers and we don't see them often  -  or ever!
  • I care about my friends!
  • I care about my online friends; not really a different category of friends, just to make sure you all know I include you in "friends"!
  • I care about my cat, Midnight!
  • I care about how I look...well, not really!  I am who I am and I don't have the funds to dress any other way; or to have hair that shines a beautiful color rather than the dull gray!  But, I am neat and clean and...ME.
  • I care about what I watch on TV...even though I said above that I really didn't care what we watched, I refuse to watch the OLD Black/White shows that seem sooooo ancient now!  And, I refuse to watch movies that have filth, and vulgarity, and cursing...no thanks!
  • I care about...as I said, "many things"!

So, saying that I don't care is really not the truth, since I obviously DO care.  But, at this age, I'm not running my life the way "others" think I should.  I am not a bad person; I don't do bad things.  And, if I am not living my life as others feel I should, then...well, perhaps they can join me because I happen to love the life I am currently living!

Could it be better?  Perhaps!  But, I don't care that I don't have all the things that seem to be missing in my life.  I have what I need; and I have those around me that I do care about!

And, I guess that's my post on "Care"!  It didn't quite go the way I originally thought, as in my being a "care"giver; but here it is!

So, if you feel as if nobody cares about you, just remember there is one who cares for you no matter what!
Found on Pinterest





Simple Woman's Daybook - February 22, 2016



Join me for another week to link-up with Peggy and many others for a prompted post.

Glimpse into the lives of those who follow Peggy here.




For Today
February 22, 2016


Outside My Window:  Another gorgeous, beautiful, sunny day with temps somewhere in the 60's!

I Am Thinking:  That Spring is just around the corner, and it's time for a little - a lot! - of spring cleaning around here!!

I Am Praising God for:  The words I find in His Word and other sources that can be used in my blog.  I am especially thankful that each week, prior to writing my post for my "Word of the Year", he gives me the inspiration from some of those sources! 

I Am Wearing:  A pair of jeans and a pink top; and, of course, my crocs!

I Am Creating:  Still working on the three projects that have deadlines!  And I hope to be able to work on some of the Prima dolls and add them to tags and scrapbook layouts.  I used one this weekend for a layout challenge and swap; and did not get to keep it - I knew our "eldest" scrapper wanted it... Ms. Mary (who is 90 years old), joins us for our special events and crops.

A Few Things for the Week:

Monday:  A quick trip to the store for prescriptions and milk; and to the bank.

Tuesday:  Staying home, baking brownies for our Pastor Search committee in the evening.

Wednesday:  Scrapbooking, either with my friends at our crafting place and joined by my daughter; or at my daughter's house.

Thursday:  Perhaps another day at home?  Or, if I don't get with my daughter on Wednesday, perhaps on Thursday?  She is trying to finish a project before their Disney cruise in March for Spring Break, and I've been helping her with it.

Friday and Saturday:  No set plans; but I may scrapbook one of these days to work on my projects.  Or, I have been wanting to go to St. Augustine lighthouse with the family; but not sure what their plans are.

And I just thought this was going to be a "slow" week!  I'm beginning to think my days are never "slow"!

I Am Wondering:  Now that the weather is nicer, planning a few outings for us, even if it's just my husband and I.  We need to get back to enjoying our retired life - together!  He is a "home-body" and would just as well stay home.  Me?  Nope!  I love to be busy, but NOT at home!

I Am Reading:  Finished reading "Fat Tuesday" by Sandra Brown last night.  Started reading a small book this morning that I picked up at church:  "Ruth - When Fairytales Come True" by Stephen Davey.

In the summary, the author states:  "I hope this love story motivates you to develop the depth of faith and character possessed by the title character; but more than that I hope you will rest more securely inthe arms of the Sovereign God who is directing each scene in your life story."

I Am Hoping:  To find some time to enjoy the beautiful weather we are having, with sunshine and pleasant temps.

I Am Looking Forward to:  A trip to Epcot in Orlando, FL with a few of my friends for their Flower and Garden Festival!


Epcot in Orlando, FL
I have never been to Epcot!  Living in Florida since 1980, that would be a crime, wouldn't it?  But, the finances of a blended family did not include Epcot or Disney, or most of the other parks.  We did get to go to Universal and Sea World on discounted tickets when I worked for the bank.

I Am Learning:  Just learning to relax and enjoy my life; and try to over-look the verbal "abusiveness" from my husband.  It may be the "dementia" talking; but it still hurts!

I Am Hearing:  The TV is on one of the older shows - "Matlock", I think.  Hubby likes watching the older shows!!

In My Kitchen:  A dirty floor!!  Dishes are put away from the dishwasher, then dirty ones loaded.  Clothes were washed late last week, so nothing really needs to be washed yet.  So, guess I'd better head to the kitchen and get that floor done while I am home!

I Am Pondering:  The loyalty of Ruth; am I loyal, as Ruth was to Naomi?  Or to Boaz?  I think I am loyal...pondering that thought.

A Fave Scripture Thought:  

From the book I just started about Ruth -




A Fave Quote:  Again from the book I just started reading, "Ruth - When Fairytales Come True", in the chapter "Decisions...Decisions":

"The decisions you make today will ultimately determine how you live tomorrow.  Today, you are either becoming more gracious or more cynical; more selfish or more giving; more positive or more pessimistic.

"You are either a vulture or an eagle.  A vulture sets his sights on decaying remains below him; but the eagle focuses upward as it majestically rides the wind.  The primary difference is where they keep their gaze.

"You and I have an objective today and it is to choose who we're becoming - are we choosing to soar above or to drift below?  Remember this truth as you make choices:

"the decisions you make will ultimately make you."

From the 'Net:  My friend, Susan, who is co-founder of Patriot Service Dogs posted this link to a great story about PSD;  you can find it here.

This company, Flagology, shared this story about the non-profit organization I support.  We have a retreat coming up April 1 - 4, 2016 and would appreciate your consideration of donating either funds (cash); gift cards for businesses; products, restaurants, etc.; or gift baskets to be raffled off at the retreat.

The retreat is held in Jacksonville, FL and attended by crafters from near and far.  We also have some of the dogs-in-training stop by, or even staying at the hotel along with their raisers...and sometimes even a vet or two may stop by with their service dog.


This is Jerry;
I had the pleasure of rooming with
him and his raiser, Janet

If you wish to make a donation, visit their website at Patriot Service Dogs.  If you choose to donate through their secure website, please mention my name so it will count towards my fund-raising efforts.

Thank you for reading and considering a donation; and, you are more than welcome to share this information.


Thank you for joining me again this week for The Simple Woman's Daybook.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - The Joy of Writing





My Word for the Year 2016 is JOY!  Each week I will share a "Word Wednesday" post as I discover the JOY in my life that has been revealed to me during the week.  Please join me during this year-long journey...


This week's title is, "The Joy of Writing", and I owe this inspiration from my friend, Dawn, who blogs at enthusiasticallydawn.com.  She has just started a series called "Journaling as a Lifestyle" which I will be following.


I love to write...guess that is pretty obvious for anyone who follows my blog!  I mostly write for myself; when writing, I can get my thoughts out and share with those who do read the posts I share.

I didn't really consider myself a writer...

Until I completed that first year - 2014 - of the "write31days" challenge.  At the end of that time period, I finally accepted that fact - I am a writer - as well as the fact that I am a caregiver.

I love to read the blogs that others write, and learn more from those whom I follow.  Knowing how passionate she is with her journaling, I was excited to see the series Dawn has just started.  In her post "Read, Pray, Write: On Living a Journaling Lifestyle (Intro)", found here, these words caught my attention:

"...I will write.
Not because I am a great writer.
Not because I have something to say that hasn't perhaps been said before.
Not because everyone wants to read my writing.
I will write because when I write I feel the wind beneath my wings, satisfaction in my soul, and a JOY that is UN-containable."

Yes, Dawn, you took the words right from my brain!

Oh, wait...

I think it was I who took the words from your blog!!

{Thank you, Dawn, for sharing with us and allowing me to remember the Joy of writing and sharing my words (and yours) with others!}

Be sure to check out Dawn's series!

Found on Pinterest
Shared by meetville.com


For me, it really doesn't matter if anyone reads my journaling or my blog.  I mostly write in my journal for my eyes only.

But, sometimes I share what is in my journal; and then, it doesn't matter to me if it's even read.  I think it's the sharing that I love...

The writing my heart in my journal; the sharing my heart on my blog...

This is what I love!
Fount on Pinterest
Shared by etsy.com


As Oprah says on the Weight Watchers commercials - "This is my joy..."

I say, "this is my joy...I. Love. To. Write!"

   

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - February 15, 2016



Each week I link-up with Peggy and others for a prompted post.

Glimpse into the lives of those who follow Peggy here.




For Today
February 15, 2016


Outside My Window:  A little over-cast; cool and chance of rain sometime...I think the temp is low 50's.  I plan to stay home today and get some "chores" done - so I can "play" later in the week!

I Am Thinking:  About the awesome meeting of our Disciples' Women's cabinet this past weekend.  What a wonderful group of women to work beside in ministry!

I Am Praising God for:  The women I work with on our cabinet - as noted above.  Together we share so much talent, inspiration, love for God, and our beautiful Retreat Center, planning for events we will be sharing with many other women.

I Am Wearing:  A pair of black stretch pants - quite worn and "stretched out"; a pink night shirt with white dogs all over; and, of course, my crocs!

I Am Creating:  I have 30 cards for a swap that need to be completed; a "doll" tag to finish; and the puzzle project for my friend.  All of these projects should be completed this week; and I'll move onto another project...unknown at this time.

A Few Things for the Week:

It's payday week for us; so we will be shopping on Tuesday morning or afternoon.  I will be meeting a friend at noon to pick up a 4-drawer cube-unit I'm buying from her.

Either Wednesday or Friday I will be scrapbooking with my friends, as well as a special "Love" event on Saturday.

One evening I plan to meet my friend for our "Christmas Dinner"; and the puzzle project above-mentioned will need to be completed by that day!!

Meetings at church on Tuesday evening and Thursday morning...

And I just thought this was going to be a "slow" week!

I Am Wondering:  What the next step will be?  For what, you may wonder...so am I!

I Am Reading:  "Fat Tuesday" by Sandra Brown...it's a good book that I am already halfway through reading!

I Am Hoping:  To complete an "assignment" soon...as chair of the Nominating Committee for our Disciples' Women, I am seeking "volunteers" to serve on our cabinet.  It is interesting speaking with the different women from throughout Florida.

I Am Looking Forward to:  Doing some fund-raising for the April 1st - 4th Patriot Service Dogs' craft weekend.  Hitting the streets soon to ask for donations of items for our raffles.  It will be a FUN weekend, as always!

I Am Learning:  Still learning to accept the generous gifts of others.

I Am Hearing:  Food Network; my husband really doesn't like watching "cooking shows and painting and houses".  But, when he gets ready to walk or do something else, he always turns it to a "cook show" for me - I am usually on the computer!

In My Kitchen:  Clothes in the washer and dryer; dishes in the diswasher; floor needs attention...and soup for dinner!

I Am Pondering:  The "celebrative" feel of the following scripture we found during our planning meeting this past weekend.  Everything all came together with our brainstorming and sharing ideas and, of course, using the computer to look up scriptures and ideas we could use.

A Fave Scripture Thought:  Our Spring Enrichment Conference for the Disciples' Women will meet in April using the scripture, Acts 2:42 - 47.  We will base the theme, "Embracing Sisterhood - Celebration", on that scripture; and conclude the over-all theme at our fall retreat with "Purpose":

Acts 2: 42 - 47 (New Living Translation) - 

"All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer.  A deep sense of awe came over them all ... and all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had ...They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people."  

A Fave Quote:  

From enthusiasticallydawn in the introduction to her new series, "Journaling as a Lifestyle", she writes:

"...I will write.

Not because I have something to say that hasn't perhaps been said before.

Not because everyone wants to read my writing.

I will write because when I write I feel the wind beneath my wings, satisfaction in my soul, and a joy that is UN-containable."

Be sure to follow Dawn's series; and share why you write!

From the 'Net:  Shared by Karen Courcy on Facebook:

  






Friday, February 12, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - Tears of Joy





My Word of the Year for 2016 is JOY!  Each week I will share a "Word Wednesday" post as I discover the JOY in my life that has been revealed to me during the week.  Please join me during this year-long journey...


This week's title is, "Tears of Joy"... 



There are many reasons we may shed tears...

A baby cries out in pain, or hunger, or maybe they just want to be held.  It is their way of communicating their needs.

A toddler cries out when they have fallen, or when they do not want to go to sleep, or when a toy has been taken away from them.

Older children cry when they get hurt, whether physically or when their feelings are hurt in some way.

Teenagers cry when they are shunned or ignored or someone has broken off a relationship.

And, adults cry too...

When my cat recently - accidentally, of course - scratched me on the face, I cried!  Boy!  Did it hurt to have those "too-sharp" claws drawn across my face!


Even Jesus wept!  In John 11:35, Jesus wept for the loss of his friend, Lazarus.

This statue, "And Jesus Wept", stands as a remembrance of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  We all cried tears of anger and hurt and loss.

Thank you to catholic.org  for sharing this image on Pinterest.  

Another reason we may shed tears: when we have lost a loved one.

But, this post is titled, "Tears of Joy"...

Those tears shed when something makes you happy, or proud, or just overwhelmed with emotions!

Found on Pinterest
Shared by relateableblog.com


There have been many times in my life when the tears just rolled down my face.  As a teenager, my girlfriends and I would laugh and giggle so hard; and usually couldn't even remember what had made us laugh.  One time, we were laughing so hard, the red cool-aid we were drinking spewed out of out mouths!

And the times when my children or grandchildren make me laugh so hard that...


Oh, yes that kind of laughter.  It starts with a good, hardy laugh; then comes the "snort" and perhaps hiccups; and then, here it comes...

Yes, tears of joy!

I have also been over-whelmed with the love and generosity of friends who have gifted me with things.

Most recently I was gifted with having my fee paid for a Puppy Crop that I was not planning to attend (because of the costs involved).

When I was told of this generous gift, I cried and could not contain my joy.  Once I had shed the last tear - or so I thought! - I went to the person (she was not anonymously donating the funds) and cried all over again!

She was unable to attend and wanted to gift me with the funds so that I could go.  "I know your struggles; I follow your blog and your Facebook," she told me, as we hugged and I cried once again!

At the beginning of my post, I shared a number of reasons for our tears; I hope you have more of the "tears of joy" than those of sadness, hurt, loss and of sorrow.

I pray you - like this image - see "more tears of joy and happiness," instead.

Found on Pinterest



Share with me in the comments your tears, whether of joy or sadness...we can {hug} each other and share together!

One last image I couldn't leave out...

An emoji sharing "tears of joy!"










Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tuesday @ Ten - SURROUND/WHEN



Well, the past few weeks have really gotten busy; and I am  hoping it slows down a bit soon!  Since I missed getting anything written for Tuesday @ Ten last week, I will try to combine the two words in this week's post!




I always enjoy linking up with my friend, Karen, for this weekly prompted post.  Hope to see you there, too!  And, be sure to check out Karen's Facebook group for the Tuesday @ Ten followers here.



So, here is my post for Surround and When:

When I plan a weekend getaway, I know that once I {finally} get to where I am going, I will be surrounded by women of all ages who are connected by things we all enjoy.

Most often the retreats I attend are for crafting, specifically scrapbooking; but at times I also attend retreats for our Disciples' Women.

Scrapbooking may be my obsession; and I may have a room full of supplies to use when I work on my projects...and I am always open to sharing my supplies when I am surrounded by others who also enjoy this craft.

When we get together for a weekend, or even for just the day, we are surrounded by those who share our love of crafting.  But, the connection between us is not just the craft!

We are connected by so much more than just working on our scrapbooks or other projeccts.  Those who share this love also share each others' joys and concerns and ... our lives!


I am so fortunate to be surrounded by women who care about the person that I am; the ups and downs of what is happening in my life.  When we get together, we support each other with our hugs and love and concern and...our resources.

It always over-whelmes me when I am gifted with "stuff" to add to my stash of supplies; but it over-whelmes me just as much, if not more, to be gifted with the funds required to attend the retreats.  Sometimes this is done anonymously; other times I know who has given the funds.  Either way, I am over-whelmed by their love and generosity.

So, today as I sit here at the computer to write my post for Tuesday @ Ten, I am thankful for my friends I see when I attend the scrapbook retreats, usually three or four times a year.  I am thankful for my friends I am surrounded by on a more regular basis, like our weekly crops or get-togethers.  I am thankful for my online friends I have not even met; and when the time comes that I do get to meet them...I will be just as over-whelmed and excited as I am when they share gifts with me.




What more can I say?  I am just over-whelmed!!  I think my past has been filled with low self-esteem and periods of feeling as if I did not belong.





I am learning to accept the gifts and generosity of my friends; and to just smile and say "thank you".  I am learning to share when and where I can, just as those who surround me are doing.

And I am learning that I am truly blessed!