Tag Archives: grateful


’Tis the Season for Gratitude

My dining room will soon come alive with food and guests, including our son and his girlfriend and possibly our daughter and her boyfriend. Yahoo! They will get a chance to try out our new, well-padded dining room chairs that just seem to say, “Stay, enjoy, talk!”

I anticipate the sights and smells of Thanksgiving dinner in the oven, but over and over I return in my mind to thinking about the conversations and connection that will happen around the table.

I dont have a perfect life or a perfect family. And I suspect you dont either.

BUT we all do have much we can celebrate. For me, so much of that comes down to relationships. I see every day how the people in my life strengthen and encourage me. They challenge me. They make me laugh. They pull out the best parts of me. They point me to God.

As I plan my Thanksgiving menu, I want to weave into it the spice of gratitude. I want gratitude to flavor the words I speak, the thoughts I think, and the way I relate to the people gathered around my table.

Perhaps you do too.

So let me share with you a gratitude idea I discovered at http://www.plantlovegrow.com/index.html and plan to weave into our Thanksgiving celebration. I love this idea because it involves coloring. :) I think I will create one of these for each person at my table. If you want to do the same, you can print them out from my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/415175659378643945/


Check in next week for another gratitude idea. And know that I always love to hear your ideas.



Looking Back and Looking Ahead

New Year. New resolutions? New word for the year?

Seems like the start of a new year automatically pulls me into reflection on the past year and speculation about the year ahead. Especially when I walk around the Arboretum.

First, looking back on the past year.

As I walked last week, I realized how much I like my 2014 word: Grateful! So, I’m hanging on to it for 2015. Hope that doesn’t break any rules.

Grateful reminds me of the many gifts in my life, including friends, family, and time to write. It especially reminds me of God, the giver of all good gifts. I feel better, more whole, when I remember these gifts.

So . . . I’m sticking with my word. Grateful!

Second, I also realized on that walk around the Arboretum that I want to take the temperature of my friendships periodically. Thought you might too. Sometimes I get into ruts with relationships. I get too busy to notice when things need to change. Or I fear to own my own voice. You too?

As I begin 2015, I’ve decided to begin every month with a Friendship Checkup blog. I’ll mix stories with a question to help us both think about our friendships.

With so much to read online, I completely understand if you opt for only reading my blog just once a month for the friendship checkup. Do what works best for you. 😉

Know that I love hearing from you when you have the time. See you next week with a Friendship Checkup.


2015 in a Word


That word defined my 2014. I signed most of my book with it. What better way to say how I felt about all the people who became a part of my Storm Sister story? Thank you all!

Now in 2015, I think about picking a new word, something to serve as a guide.


But can one word really direct and shape me in 2015?  Not sure.

I do like the idea because I think I can remember one word. 😉

My friend, Sharla Fritz, wrote a great blog about her word for 2015. You can find it here: http://www.sharlafritz.com/2015/01/my-word-for-2015-focus/

What about you? What word (or words) do you want to define your 2015?


Walking around in Circles

So . . . I finally dragged myself to the gym last week, making my debut at 4:30 one afternoon. I walked in to see masses of college students working out on treadmills, lifting weights, running on the track. . . .  Eek!

At least I have pretty shoes.

I began to walk around the track. But clever-me, I first plugged my headphones into my phone, and pulled up Mozart on my Pandora App. I wonder if these youngsters know I can figure this out?!

As I watched (and felt) these college students fly around me, mother-thoughts crept over me: Are you balancing your exercise with healthy eating? Are you getting enough sleep? Making time for friends?

I wonder if some students had thoughts of their own, such as: Who is this annoying middle-aged woman with the really blue shoes who can’t stay in the inside lane?

I tried to grin and hold my head up and keep walking in circles. Then I started to see.

A young man skipping (!) at the other end of the track. Big grin.
Another young man sitting by the pool below the track and engrossed in deep conversation with a young woman. Not much of a grin.
A woman ahead of me with her arm in a sling. Lots of grimacing.

Each person a story.

Think I’ll come back to the gym. Maybe tomorrow. Something fascinating about going around in circles and feeling all mixed up in the human story.

Thank you, friend, for choosing to be mixed up in my story. Know that I am grateful.

“Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, ‘Oh, thank you, God!’ ”  (Philemon 1:4, The Message)