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Ten Things of Thankful/50 Happy Things

Last week, Lizzi invited us to combine our Ten Things of Thankful post with participation in Dawn's 50 Happy Things challenge.  I had already written my TToT post for last week, so figured I would join in this week instead.  If I understand the rules correctly, we were to set our timer for 15 minutes and just start listing things for which we are thankful.  I spent about half that time brainstorming the following list.  I didn't try to prioritize. I didn't try to remember anything in particular; I just sat in my bed, looked out the window, enjoyed some mango/apricot juice, listened to the rain, and typed, There are more than 50 items listed, and thousands more I didn't mention:

rain
oranges
bunnies
warm blankets
comfy bed
birds
garden
electricity
family
grandchildren
children
John
Jesus Christ
faith
temples
scriptures
books
computer
blogging
grandparents
family history
photos
camera
smooth-writing pens
paper
dogs
fish
music
piano
violin
memories
emotions
road trips
Christmas
a house
raspberries
artichokes

Six Sentence Story: Patient

I tell you, I can't make this stuff up.  This week's Six Sentence Story prompt:  "patient." (Permission was obtained to share this experience.)  

A man in scrubs pulled back the curtain, rushed into the room and, taking one look at the young adult, asked disappointedly, "Did I miss it?"

"Yeah."

"How did the other doctor get your jaw back into alignment?"

"He just grabbed each side of my mouth and yanked with all his might."

"And how did you dislocate your jaw in the first place?"

"I won the 'How many Tootsie Rolls can you shove in your mouth' contest."




Thanks for doctors.  




Looking Ahead Toward the New Year

My friend Nancy of Wyoming Breezes  invited her readers to fill out the following form as a fun way to think about possibilities and dreams for 2017.  I decided to give it a whirl.  If you'd like to participate, go to Nancy's blog for a blank form.  






Thanks for friends, and for possibilities and dreams!




Ten Things of Thankful: Wrapping Up Edition (#LightTheWorld)

I know Thanksgiving is a day set aside to remember all that we are grateful for, but Christmas also gets me thinking in a similar vein. My heart is full as I ponder and recognize abundance, tender mercies, friends, and family.  I see others whose circumstances are different than mine, and I feel compassion and a desire to help.

This year, I've been even more focused than usual on really trying to do good, as I've participated in the #LightTheWorld campaign. Yesterday's topic was "Jesus Showed Gratitude and So Can You." Although I'm a day late in that particular challenge, I knew that a TToT post would be perfect for that topic.  I also recognize that the next few days will be filled with family activities, so I'm going to combine this TToT post with the few upcoming #LightTheWorld topics, and take a short blogging break.  I won't be gone for long; I'll be back by next weekend.

1.  This might sound counter-intuitive, but I am thankful for opposition.…

#LightTheWorld: Forgive Others

Jesus Christ forgave even those who crucified him.  We are encouraged to forgive others, but sometimes that is easier said than done.  Forgiveness requires us to act in faith, to let go, and to trust God. 




Thankfully, we don't all have situations like Nnamdi Okonkwo. Most of the time the things we have to forgive are much smaller-- the person who cuts you off in traffic, for example.  

I'm going to try to be forgiving today.  It's a happier, lighter way to live. 




Thanks for forgiveness. 




#LightTheWorld: See Potential in Others

Why was Mr. Roger's Neighborhood so popular?  Why do we teach our schoolchildren to support children who are bullied?  Why do we have billboards advertising National Suicide Prevention Month?

Collectively, and individually, we have a need to know we are worthwhile, that we make a difference, that we are good, and that we have potential for greater good.  We have as much right to happiness as anyone else.  




Today, be a cheerleader.  You can encourage and remind others of their own potential.  We are all on this cruise ship of life together; let's enjoy the journey, and help others to do the same.  




Thanks for potential.




#LightTheWorld, Calm the Storm

Years ago, when John and I had five children, ages 8 and under, getting everyone ready and to church on time was a challenge. Arriving on time AND with everyone in a good mood was practically a miracle.  

One particular Sunday morning, we managed to herd our children into the pew just in time for the opening song. The song spoke to my heart:




The tempest most definitely had been raging that morning, and I most definitely needed peace to my soul and stillness to my mind. Singing the hymn allowed me to calm down and arm myself with an extra measure of patience.  

Though those five lively children have grown up now, and I'm not frazzled walking into the church building, I still can use reminders to be calm in the face of the storms of life.  

Today, I will try to remember to be patient.  I can use calm words to encourage others to feel at peace.  




Thanks for music, and for peace. 




Ten Things of Thankful: Another Week to #LightTheWorld

This month, I've been participating in the #LightTheWorld initiative, which focuses on pondering different ways Jesus helped others, and committing to help people now with similar challenges. It's been a great way to bring true joy into this busy season.  

To kick off #LightTheWorld, my daughter and I put together bags to hand out to people we see around town who are homeless.  The bags contained socks, lip balm, water, granola bars, and applesauce. We didn't get all of the bags handed out the first day, so we've been handing out more as we find more people. Friday, I had the chance not only to hand out a bag, but to watch discreetly (from the rear-view mirror) as the recipient opened up the bag and discovered what was inside.  The socks were the first thing she took out.  She fingered them, seeing how thick they are, then put them up to her cheek.  She touched them again, then put them to one eye, then another.  It looked like she was wiping away tears.  Next, she took…

#LightTheWorld by Showing Compassion

I have always been impressed by the Bible verse that simply states, "Jesus wept."  Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus, were sad because their brother Lazarus was dead.  When Jesus saw their sorrow, he wept.  Even though he had the power to raise Lazarus from the dead (and he did bring him back to life), Jesus did not minimize the feelings of those who were grieving.  He took the time to mourn with them.  After he wept with them, he performed the miracle.


What can I learn from this?  I can have compassion on others, even if I can see a clear solution to the problem.  Feelings are valid and real, even though they might be fleeting.  I can share in the feelings of others, even if my own circumstances might be more pressing. (It was after this miracle of Jesus that the chief priests and Pharisees sought to kill him.) 

Developing true compassion takes time--perhaps even a lifetime. Though I am still working on becoming a more compassionate person, I remember years ago having an &quo…

#LightTheWorld by Clothing the Naked

Don't you just love the #LightTheWorld initiative? Everyday when I wake up, I think, "How will I participate today?"  Fortunately, it is usually easy to come up with an idea that works into my schedule--it really isn't difficult to give service!

Today's topic--"Jesus Taught Us to Clothe the Naked and You Can Help"--is another one that it is easy to do.  I already have a bag of clothing that has been waiting for me to take to the local Salvation Army.  Today I will get it out the door and to the charity.  

Another way to participate is to knit or crochet hats for babies.  I read about the Little Hats Big Hearts program yesterday.  I'm not sure if I will get hats made before the end of the year (which is the deadline), but I am going to share this idea with my daughter, who loves to crochet.  

We still have some leftover bags for the homeless waiting in our car, too, and those bag have socks in them.  As we are driving around town today, we will pass out…

#LightTheWorld by Being Humble

Jesus sought no glory.  Everything he did was motivated by love, rather than praise of men.  As I looked at the suggestions for the #LightTheWorld initiative today, one of them caught my eye.  It said:  
Learn to laugh at yourself. Start by posting an embarrassing childhood picture.My first thought was, that won't be too embarrassing.  What would be embarrassing would be to post a photo of my room, which is in that awkward pre-Christmas phase, with presents in various stages of wrapping, and boxes and wrapping paper all over the place.  The other day I was embarrassed in person, as a friend came by when my kitchen (also in the middle of holiday preparations) was a disaster with a capital D.  As I looked through old photos, I realized that I had pictures of me "helping" my mom around the house--proof positive that I had at least been trained in basic housekeeping skills!  

I decided to post some of those photos.  Housework is humble work, done out of love and is not usually…