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Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

7-18

Sometimes, grace is given in an overwhelming, emotional, more than you can imagine kind of way.

And sometimes it arrives softly, simply, in some tiny little detail or some nearly missed moment.

In the busyness of everyday, I’m guilty of passing by those sweet little moments of grace — of stopping to watch the sun set, listening to the happy song of birds in the backyard, taking a minute just to smell the lovely fragrance of a rose.

On the occasions when I do indulge in those moments (and that is all they are is a few moments), my heart is lifted and my soul lighter. And it makes me wonder why I don’t make it a point to savor every amazing, sweet little moment of grace that comes my way.

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7-5

I spent an hour talking to someone the other day that I hadn’t seen in four years.

It was good to catch up on life with her, to hear how things were going so well in her world.

And she said something that just made my heart smile.

Three times during the course of our conversation, she stopped and looked at me, shook her head and said, “You just look so happy. So peaceful and happy.”

I can’t even begin to tell you how much her words meant to me. It reaffirms that I’m doing what I ought to be doing – fulfilling my purpose and place, if you will.

The last time she saw me I was working between 50-60 hours a week in a job that was, day by day, sucking the life out of me while struggling to write in the evenings and any spare moment I could find.

Looking back, I think of all the things I was the last time I saw her – fatigued, frustrated, despondent, angry.

No wonder she thought I looked different.

It isn’t just doing something I love to the core of my being every day that fills my heart and world with happiness. I chalk a lot of it up to learning to be grateful every single day, learning that happiness wells up from within, and grace is a beautiful, truly amazing thing.

I know I am so blessed in this life and I’m so very thankful for the opportunity to live it. My hope is to live it with an abundance of grace.

Having someone say, “You just look so happy. So peaceful and happy,” certainly provides some awesome inspiration.

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Grace week 7

In last week’s post, I shared both something challenging that had happened, and two wonderful things that made me smile.

The outpouring of encouragement, support, kindness, love and grace from all of you blew me away.

I can’t even begin to express how deeply you touched my heart.

More and more, I realize how incredibly blessed I am by all of you, incredibly fortunate to have such amazing people in my corner.

And I thank you – from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for kindness, for your love, and for every little measure of grace you extend.

Love you all!

Shanna

Thank you pink roses 2

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The gratitude challenge for today is to find something I’m grateful for about my home.

Super easy!

I love my home – not so much because of the foundation and walls and roof on it (although those are all great!). To me, that’s a house.

And I do love my house. It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have beautiful new windows to look outside and enjoy the sight of apples ripening on the tree or an adorable puppy playing next door or horses blatantly ignoring me in the back pasture. When we walk inside our house after being gone, a feeling of comfort and relief often floods over me to be back in the place where we live. I truly do love our house – even if the yard doesn’t look like I want it to and it still needs some trim painted outside.

A home… well, that’s where my heart resides and it hangs out in a pretty great place with Captain Cavedweller.

I’ll try to rein in my sappiness this morning, but I am truly blessed to be married to such a warm, caring, supportive man who encourages me to chase down my dreams and reminds me what really matters in life. Truthfully, I’m “home” whenever I’m with him, regardless of where we might be.

And before I tamp down all my sappiness today, I have to say thank you to all my wonderful friends and family for their incredible outpouring of love and support last week.

2015 Reader's Favorite Award CrumpetsIt came as a big surprise to me to find out I’d won a Silver Medal in the Romance – Christian category in the Readers’ Favorite 2015 book contest.

Admittedly, this isn’t a big award, but it’s important to me because it’s my first writing award. Excited, I posted the news on Facebook and the next thing I knew, my mascara was running from all the wonderful, kind words you shared.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before – I appreciate you so, so much and can’t thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support. It means the world to me.

Many thanks to you all.

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gratitude challengeI’m finding it a bit of a challenge to be grateful for today’s challenge – my age.

Since I’m a firm believer in age being more about how you feel than the number of years you’ve lived, most days I feel far younger than my “real” age.

While I won’t disclose my age for multiple reasons, I will say this – I hope my life isn’t yet half over even though I’ve inched past living for more than four decades.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it somewhat offensive when people ask, “how old are you?” In fact, some creepy dude on Facebook asked me that very question a few weeks ago and got himself unfriended.

It’s always fun when someone thinks I’m younger than my age and acts completely shocked when they find out how close to ancient I really am.

On the flip side of that is the moron at the local “Mart” store who asked me if I was buying 40th birthday party supplies for my daughter when I was getting them for a friend’s party. Captain Cavedweller still laughs about that one.

Overall, I don’t spend a lot of time obsessing about my age. When I wake up and something creaks as I roll out of bed, I definitely give it a moment of thought. However, for the most part, I’m just grateful to be blessed with the wonderful life I’ve been given.

I’m healthy, get to do something I love every single day, and am married to the world’s biggest sweetheart (even if he is a cavedweller). Regardless of age, how can I not be filled to overflowing with thankfulness for that?

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gratitude challenge

Today’s gratitude challenge is to share my favorite memory.

Wow! I have to pick just one?

The first one that comes to mind is the day I met Captain Cavedweller.

Don’t laugh (at least too loudly), but we met on a blind date arranged by our meddling parents. I was a year out of college, gainfully employed and living in town at the time. He was home for Christmas break from college.

Despite the best efforts of our parents to force us to meet, we foiled their plans. I’m not kidding… my dad and his dad conspired to have me pick up some truck parts at his parents’ house. Aware of the schemers’ plans, he refused to answer the door and I grabbed the parts and got out of there so fast, his mom claims I nearly made her head spin.

The next planned attempt to introduce us was a joint family trip to the woods to get Christmas trees. I found some reason not to go (although it was one of my most favorite things to do) and he refused to go. It ended up no one went that year because everyone got sick.

Fast forward a few weeks. CC’s car wasn’t working right and he couldn’t figure out what was wrong. His dad promised to fix his car but only if he’d go out on a date with me.

Tired of hiding out and creating excuses not to meet, we both gave in and agreed to a date on the day after Christmas.

In the very brief conversation that took place over the phone, CC agreed to pick me up at the house where I was living (which just happened to be less than a mile from his parents’ home) at six so we could eat dinner before going to the movies.

Six o’clock arrived but CC did not.

By 6:30, I was annoyed. At 6:45, I contemplated changing out of the dressy clothes I wore into jeans, turning off the lights and fuming quietly in the dark.

As I headed to the bedroom to change at 6:55, the phone rang. It was him and he’d somehow failed to write down directions to the house (tucked at the end of a curving dead-end street). Even over the phone, he sounded sheepish – and a little frustrated. Apparently, he’d been driving around for more than an hour trying to find my house.

Within five minutes, he rang the bell. I took a deep breath, smoothed down the front of my slacks and opened the door.

He glanced at me with those vibrant blue eyes from the front step and grinned.  In that moment, I knew I’d met the man I would someday marry.

We laugh now, about how persistent our dads were about setting us up. I’m ever so grateful they did. If you ask CC, I think he might just agree.

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gratitude challengeToday’s gratitude challenge is to be grateful for something in my past.

There are several things I’m grateful for, so maybe I’ll sum it up like this:

* I’m grateful for the people who didn’t believe in me, told me I couldn’t do something – because it challenged me to prove them wrong and pushed me to succeed.

* I’m grateful for the people who were unkind, spiteful and mean because they taught me what behavior I’d no longer accept and made my relationship with those who treat my kindly that much sweeter.

* I’m grateful my family believed in kids having responsibilities, chores and doing their share on the farm. My childhood shaped me to be responsible, hard-working, self-motivated, dependable, and organized.

* I’m grateful for the opportunities that nudged (or tossed) me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow as a person.

* I’m grateful beyond words that I met Captain Cavedweller.

 

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