Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My heart is full of thankfulness

Last night, I got my college guy back under my roof and we have a long weekend stretched out ahead of us to hang out with each other and with family and friends . . . it just fills my heart with thankfulness pretty much to the brim!

I know others are having similar feelings and experiences, but I also know people who are experiencing a time of grief or sadness or aloneness and my heart goes out to them.

While I am thankful to have family around me and to have a fun son to spend time with this weekend, something I am even more grateful for has been given to me undeserved. Here's a song written by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend and a video performed by Keith and Kristyn Getty that beautifully describes my thankfulness to God for the gift of his Son, Jesus.

My Heart Is Filled
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses and strengths
And causes fear to fly
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above;
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace;
Whose every thought is love.
For every day I have on earth
Is given by then King.
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow Him.
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright  © 2003 Thankyou Music/MCPS

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Tree

Yesterday's picture was a little teaser for what I was really working on. I can't believe that I did this, but there's a first time for everything and I don't have to do it again, unless I want to.

Let me back up a little and say that my mom helped me to find/buy a new-to-me pre-lit Christmas tree. She brought it over last week and when my friend, Debbie, was visiting on Saturday, I asked her to help me set the tree up to see how it looked. It was easy-peasy to set up (only three parts) and the base is like a planter, so there was no wrestling with a wobbly base.

So, we plugged it in and the lights all worked and so we decided to put on Christmas music and go about the plans we had made for the afternoon (a different project). After Debbie left, I scooted the tree over into a corner of the dining room and decided to just leave it up until the time to decorate for Christmas (I like to stick to the tradition of waiting to do that until after Thanksgiving).

The more I thought about it and saw the tree sitting there all "neked" (OK, this has only been over the past three days), the more I wanted to decorate it for Thanksgiving.

I did a little searching online and saw some ideas and then decided to see what I could come up with using (mostly) what I already had on hand. I found a template to make a banner and got the letters printed out and assembled them on some brown card stock. Then I went to Michael's and bought some burlap ribbon and some jute twine (thought I had some, but it must have gotten used up at some point in the past 16 years).

I came home from Bible study tonight, intending to get ready for bed immediately, but then I got a second wind and decided to put everything together on the tree. I "shopped" my house for some other things to make it look "bountiful" and printed out some thanksgiving scripture verses and hung the banner and the verses with little clothes pins (I love mini things).

And here's the final result . . .

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Road Rage

Yesterday on the way home from work, I witnessed an act of road rage. I was stopped at a red light and heard a loud, continuous honk coming from two lanes over on my left (in the turn lane). What I assume happened is that a guy driving a nice car pulled out of a parking lot into the turn lane and might have cut off a guy who was driving his car already in the turn lane.

I'm not sure if the first guy was truly in the wrong, since I didn't see that part, but the second guy sure thought he had been wronged! He showed his displeasure with his car horn and with a hand gesture. About the time that I noticed what was happening, the guy in the first car got out of his car and the guy in the second car also got out and they stood facing each other out on the road. I don't think it went anywhere worse than that, but I'm hoping that the light turning green put a stop to anything getting out of hand. I had to move on with the traffic, but it got me thinking about what road rage is.

I have to confess that I may not use hand gestures and don't usually even use my horn, but I can get mad at other drivers at the drop of a hat. In fact, I even get mad at people when I'm trying to do something "nice" for them, like let them into traffic. If the other driver is trying to get into my lane and I allow a gap or even slow down, but then the driver isn't paying attention or isn't acting fast enough, it makes me so irritated. So it's really a "nice" form of road rage.

So, back to my thoughts about what road rage is:  I think at the root of road rage is the emotion of being mad that I'm not getting what I want at that moment or that I'm feeling "wronged." It's also a feeling of being out of control of the situation. Pretty self-centered and self-placating. Looking out for number one, so to speak.

Maybe one reason I sometimes feel justified in getting mad at people in the "privacy" of my own car is that it's one area of my life that I can actually express my displeasure at not getting what I want. Sure, people can probably see me talking in an animated way, but they can't hear me and they don't get a chance to respond (that's probably a good thing for me).

None of us always gets what we want. We learn this from a young age, if we have loving parents who teach us about delayed gratification. We also learn this from our loving, sovereign Father God, who knows better than we do what we need and what is best for us. I'm still learning not to get so mad when I don't get my way, but I'm thankful that my God is merciful and gentle and doesn't mind me asking questions a lot of the time.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Favorites: The West Wing

It's probably way past time for me to admit my latest favorite TV show:  The West Wing.

Back in the summer, Daniel and I wanted to start a new series together on Netflix, so I chose this one and started watching without Daniel (he was in and out a lot this summer, although he was able to catch up after a couple of episodes of Season One and was able to watch almost through Season Two before he left for college).

I am so hooked! I think I'm into Season Five, but not sure, since I just go to the next episode. I have done a little reading about the episodes, plus I think I watched some when they originally aired, but it all is mostly fresh to me. I have a great appreciation for being able to watch episodes continuously without commercial interruption and without having to wait a WHOLE WEEK (sometimes longer in the quirky world of network television that is way different from when there were just three major networks and they ran new episodes from September through May without fail).

I think the writing was definitely a big part of the success of The West Wing, especially in the earlier seasons. But the acting was also what made it such a great show to watch. I kind of hate to admit that I have to sometimes remind myself that Martin Sheen (aka Jed Bartlett) is not our current president (and never was) and that I don't go to work with these people every day (not that I would want to work at the White House).

It's also kind of surprising to me that I have gotten into a show about politics when that's not one of my favorite subjects. It has been fascinating to me at times to realize that a topic they are talking about as maybe happening "one day" in our country is currently taking place in our culture (that has happened with more than one topic).

So, if you ever wonder what I'm up to on a quiet evening, you can probably find me on my couch catching up with President Bartlett and his staff. But don't worry:  I can always hit the "pause" button and get up to do something with people in real life!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I found Fall!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called "Waiting for Fall" and I think the wait is over!

Here's the picture I took on Oct. 9:

And here's one I took about a week and a half later on Oct. 22 (see the one really bright yellow tree--early bloomer)

And then yesterday (Nov. 1), I finally got what I had been waiting for:

And with the "fall color" setting on my phone camera, the colors popped! I love this time of year!!!