a good ole Saturday, with breakfast and goofy friends and painting things.
the return of snow = majorly wanting to bake.
things that made me misty-eyed: a poem from my Dad, the end of Toy Story 3, Pastor Matthew’s sermon, and laughing too hard.
getting to see my cousins sing in the choir for Handel’s Messiah!
that extra bit of patience when I reeeeally needed it.
working on support letters for my Jamaica trips + watching Harry Potter + chocolate (because dementors).
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, He is God!
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
For the Lord is good;
His steadfast love endures forever,
and His faithfulness to all generations.
(Psalm 100 esv)
that Tuesday, Monday, whatever, this is something I do basically every day and it helps me so much. Especially when I get to feeling overwhelmed.
that “now is not an emergency to rip through but a moment to embrace with gratitude.” (Ann Voskamp)
for a very special baby shower some friends & I hosted for Jill.
that my brother knows when his Christmas break starts based on how many days it is before the next Hobbit movie comes out.
for another awesome Fiesta of Deliciousness, complete with a house full of friends and food!
for checks with “Jamaica mon” in the memo line.
that “the world doesn’t evolve around you, Frances,” as a neighbor kid once told me. I was sick last week and missed some things and was brain fuzzy for others, but it was fine.
that I found my phone (it was in the bottom of my laundry basket in case anyone was wondering! Naturally.)
4 years of caregiving! Two words to describe it so far: “hard” and “wonderful”. Specifically I’m thankful that I’m not burnt out. I am still challenged & interested & learning. I smile when talking about my clients which I think is a good sign.
a long Saturday morning friend chat, coffee & cinnamon roll included.
when cute friends are about to become awesome moms & we have baby showers for them.
the hard situations of life.
talking about Jesus & Isaiah 53 at 6 a.m. Friday morning with Hanner and Julie. That makes me sound like a super spiritual person, not to mention a morning person, sorry to mislead you. All I mean is it must be pretty wonderful or I would not be out of my house at that hour.
and Fridays, mid-afternoon usually, when I stare blankly ahead, swamped by random emotions and thoughts like: “life is sooo amazing” “life is way too hard” “I can’t” “what day is it?” “why does it feel like I’ve been up for 10 hours?” “oh because I have” etc. etc.
the smell of banana bread in the oven on a cold rainy night.
hearing Brian Regan tell his funny jokes in real life.
that I don’t have a private plane to transport me back and forth across Nebraska. (I think I could learn to be content in that situation, though, given the chance.)
crazy games of cards & Thor 2 & ice cream with my cousins.
November bonfire & chili & smores.
very beautiful days.
lots to do.
the many amazing people who care about me.
Anna and I
being adults playing on the playground at the women’s retreat.
conversations with friends.
people who inspire me.
that I’m not allergic to cinnamon. At office job I’m typing in forms from students that include a “food allergies” section and one poor girl has a cinnamon allergy? That would be terrible.
bad days & new starts.
the kindness of friends.
that I am still learning.
when I can “be there” for someone during a hard time.
and, a delicious lunch after church with best friends who enjoy each other and enjoy food and so much leftovers and it was a beautiful day.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” -Psalm 34:8
for cute 4 & 5 year olds, worship, and free apples at church.
that Valerie makes, not a mean grilled cheese, but a nice, friendly, wonderful grilled cheese.
for friends & meals together & outings & fun.
for days where I do not feel like a good caregiver or even someone with half a brain… ugh!
that most days are not like that.
that engineers love to play games like “Power Grid.”
for Saturday mornings in the fall.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27 niv
It’s Saturday night. We are sitting on the floor instead of the couch, eating popcorn & peanut butter cups & chips & queso, and laughing/quoting along with The Emperor’s New Groove. Our socks are striped & argyle and before us there is an excessive spread of pumpkins and gourds.
I pushed the wheelbarrow on the way out to the pumpkin patch because I have always loved wheelbarrows (Dad made me a little red one so I could garden with him when I was little), and Skip pushed it on the way back, because it was very, very, very heavy. In between, Val posed with our haul:
At times like these I wonder if we are making up for those dark years before we were friends. Back when one of us preferred bells on their shoes, another enjoyed hanging out in the dryer, and the other had a small red wheelbarrow but otherwise was completely normal and boring.
I’m thankful for my friends. Especially the ones who are so much fun and plenty silly, enjoy playing games with me, bring me toys (like giant slinkies!), accompany me on adventures and
eatings outings, and make me laugh. I call them: Best Friends for Frances.
friends who take my crazy ideas and make them reality. (Pastor: “Bring watermelon or cookies.” Me: “Valerie!! Watermelon cookies!”)
how excited we all are for our new church house. We had our first service there, in a tent in the parking lot.
sitting on a deck & drinking coffee & just talking with best friends.
a conversation with my cowboy brother. I love him.
when the cinnamony goodness cannot be contained.
saying Romans 8:1-39! Woo hoo! Hanner secretly timed me and I said it in under 6 minutes. Our memory group had an awesome little gathering to celebrate finishing the chapter. How many people can say they’ve played Romans 8 bingo?
how thrilling it is to be able to say that chapter from memory.
my cute cousins. We always have so much fun together.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26 esv)
too much dessert.
my friends, my family.
a giant slinky.
me being healthy.
friends to share birthday week, celebrating together is much more fun.
that my friendship with Cherry didn’t end in jr high because of mean words.. but has lasted 19 years and counting and we speak love to each other now, she’s so encouraging to me and I’m so thankful she’s a permanent part of my life and if it takes a run on sentence to get that across then so be it. (I’m reading the book Speak Love right now, wish I could send it back in time to 8th grade me, but planning to share it with teen girls from now on. Speak Love by Annie Downs, check it out!!)
holding a hand tight.
(when caregiving is not fun but rather is heartbreaking and tragic and mostly, sad.)
being schooled in mini golf by Val… choosing to give thanks in all circumstances here.
birthday coffee and a muffin and sitting with Skip, Val, Anna & Derek and my wonderful church.
when we agree, a breeze from Jamaica must have made it’s way to Nebraska, because for a moment it mysteriously seems like Jamaica. Just does.
losing things and that terrible feeling that you’ll never find them again.
saying 32 verses of Romans 8 at 6:20 a.m. Friday with no prompts, ahhh WOW, I’m almost sad that there are only a few more verses left.
saying one, three, twelve verses of Romans 8 at a time, when stressed or angry or can’t sleep… it really does calm down my mind.
a good morning at the farmers market.
my roommate who waters my plants when I’m gone and leaves milk in the fridge for me and is just all-around wonderful.
a day off where I did basically nothing except finish my book.
the interstate. Though I am so tired of driving on it.
seeing what the cronut hype is all about.
a fun night at Shakespeare on the Green.
my cousins, they are growing up so fast!
that pity party I had for myself. Oh my goodness.
being a caregiver.
Romans 8. I said the first 14 verses at 6:15 a.m. on Friday with only one help. That should tell you that anything is possible!! Ha. This chapter is an amazing one to be able to say aloud from memory.
This incourage post.
when I remembered exactly where a random constellation was that I found on my own last summer at camp.
Hailey and Crystal, two godly women I get to be related to who encouraged me this week.
that pie, which was so much better after the second time I baked it. Sigh.
bitter losses to Jonathan at the windmill game. And the part where he said, “I feel much better now!” then feel back asleep for two more hours with his face mashed against the seatbelt. haha. I miss my youngest brother being that age!
life and peace, from a mind set on the Spirit.