Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 183: Thankful Today The Snow Isn't Sticking

I looked out the window at the rush of snow flurries making their first significant appearance. I worried that they may hinder my errands for the day if they became a slippery surface over the roads I planned to travel. But then as I watched them fall I noticed they posed no threat. They weren't sticking to the road, the cars or even the grass. One more day, not affected by winter weather. I am thankful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 182: Thankful Today That I Have Light and Water

 So many suffered loss and damage due to the storm.  My heart goes out to them.

I am also filled with gratitude. I was spared. Why the storm was devastating to some and just a minor disruption to others, I don't know? Life is so complex and contradictory. One house on a street has power and another just a block away is without. This time my circumstances were favorable, and I am grateful.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 181: Thankful Today That The Tree Fell Sideways

 I woke after a rough night of howling winds and beating rain not knowing what to expect when I stepped outside that morning. I looked out the window and found I had an unusually clear view. Then I realized, the large tree that used to block my view, was gone. It wasn't atop the cars parked out front. And thankfully, it hadn't awakened me with a crash through my bedroom window. It was not snapped in half, but instead pulled out of the ground, leaving dangling roots and a gaping hole as it lay sideways atop a pile of kid's bikes. I felt for the kids, but I am sure the parents were happy to have the family's transportation or roof over their heads spared.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 180: Thankful Today for a Vegan Thanksgiving

 I rarely cook Thanksgiving. If I don't spend it enjoying a meal at family and friends then I use the time to relax and recharge during this busy season. And I usually cook a simple meal that day. But this Thanksgiving I thought I'd try a vegan Thanksgiving and cook a Tofurkey. It took longer to cook than expected but much shorter than a huge turkey. It came out golden brown and full of stuffing. The sweet potatoes I roasted were rich and flavorful but healthfully prepared. The meal was topped off with a side of sauteed Kale. Well how was my vegan Thanksgiving?

I loved the kale and sweet potatoes, even though they were missing the traditional marshmallows and tons of butter. The Tofurkey was okay. You know there are some meats that aren't easily faked. So next year if I cook, will be a Cornish hen or turkey breast. It was a fun experiment though and inspired me to cook next Thanksgiving if I'm not able to join friends or family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 179: Thankful Today For Over 1,000 Views

I checked the counter recently and found I had reached over 1,000 views. I am always curious as to how a stranger comes across my blog. What leads them to it? What keywords do they use in their search that adds my blog to their list? And what snippet of text inspires them to click to see more? I guess I'll never know the answer to that question.

But what I do hope is that one of my entries will speak to them. Maybe it will cause a moment of reflection. Or more importantly they will ask themselves, "What am I thankful for today…?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 178: Thankful Today For Fresh Laundry

There is nothing like accomplishing the forever-repeating chore of laundry. It is one goal you can always count on completing. There isn't a choice not to. Well I guess you could replace the shirts and socks instead of washing them. But that's not financially possible or prudent. So every week the task is the same, but so is the satisfaction that accompanies it.

A pile of clean clothes is a signal of a start of a new week, and a fresh start to other goals that have yet to be tackled.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 177: Thankful Today We Weren't Noticed

An open dumpster is an open invitation to lunch for the neighborhood wildlife we unwittingly discovered. We pulled into the parking lot after enjoying a lunch away from the office. But just as I exited the car I saw movement at the dumpsters. It was walking on four legs instead of two. And it was soon followed by a similar creature of a larger size. A mother bear and her two cubs had just finished exploring our dumpsters. In a low voice I hoped was inaudible to the bears I warned my co-worker to be still and not make any sudden moves away from the car. We may have to jump back in. We stood frozen in fear, hoping to not be noticed.

Slowly the family strolled away to continue their normal lunch route. When we were sure it was safe to move, we quickly headed into the office.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 176: Thankful Today I Missed An Unfortunate Incident

 I scooped the beans into two separate bowls, one for a lunch later and one to microwave for dinner tonight. I got to the bottom of the can and heard a strange sound. The source was confirmed when the scoop of beans entered my bowl with a thud. There among the beans was a rock. The first thought that crossed my mind was, "What if I had bitten that. I could have ended up with a broken tooth." And the second thought was the passing of my appetite. I threw the beans out and contemplated whether or not to return the can and stone to the grocery store. I had just missed an unfortunate incident.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 175: Thankful Today for My Apartment

 This is something I thought I'd never say.

Let me give a little history. When I arrived for house hunting I ended up back at the hotel almost in tears. What had I done and where was I moving too? And it was too late to turn back. I had given up my job and home in the state I was leaving. And becoming disappointed with where I was moving.

Fast forward several years later and I am still here. Circumstances have hindered my leaving. So I have gotten used to my place and am starting to become thankful for what it provides: a roof over my head, a place that keeps me warm in the winter and sometimes cool in the summer, a safe environment (except for the occasional wandering bear). Maybe I should go ahead and hang the last group of pictures that are still leaning against the wall. For right now it is home, after all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 174: Thankful Today for the End of the Morning Commute

Narrowly missing a side-swipe from a distracted driver who was more engaged in a phone conversation than driving. Cut off by a guy weaving in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hoping the driver tailgating me doesn’t end up in my back seat as the traffic makes a sudden stop due to construction or an accident. This is a normal morning commute. Stressed, irritated, but yet always thankful, when I arrive to work with my vehicle and myself undamaged.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 173: Thankful Today for My Morning Cup of Coffee

Oddly, it's only tasty when filled with interesting flavors like Hazelnut or Almond and lightened with a sprinkle of creamer. But yet I still drink it, consistently every morning. Though its taste has to be doctored for me to enjoy, I can't seem to go without it. So it must be the comfort of the warmth in my hand as I nurse my cup over breakfast. Or is it the alertness that follows as the caffeine clears my morning fog. Maybe it's both. And now it's a familiar ritual.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 172: Thankful Today for the Bus Ride Home

A trip into the city is fun and sometimes exciting. But I am always thankful when the bus pulls into the station and I am back home.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 171: Thankful Today For A Day At The Museum

A day of inspiration was long overdue. My eyes feasted on the mastery of the Wyeths inside the museum. My camera caught the beauty of the nature outside the museum. I delighted in color, texture, perspective, expressions of emotion, and exhibits of skill.

I left with a desire to create.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 170: Thankful Today for the Arrival of My Amazon Shipment

There is always anticipation with an online order. Will it arrive in the time frame they estimate, or hopefully even earlier? Or will I be left waiting on a late package? The order could be a simple thing. But the wait never is. In such an instant society, waiting is something we don't do well.

Thankfully, my wait is over. I can enjoy the end of anticipation, but the beginning of the possibilities my order presents.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 169: Thankful Today for Getting To Work On Time

It was one of those mornings the bed held me in its clutches, beckoning, "just hit the snooze again." And so I did, several times. Finally, I realized I could no longer give in to the lure of sleep and I rolled out of bed with not a minute to spare. I couldn't be late. Things have been tenuous, since the last layoff. And my current boss lacked the grace and mercy of my former. So I rushed, trying to beat an unforgiving clock.  And I made it, just in a knick of time.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 168: Thankful Today for My Honda Dealership

Whether it's an oil change, scheduled maintenance or some strange noise that has me worried, I can always count on the problem being solved or a reassuring word that everything is in top shape. And all is delivered with friendly service. The guys greet me by name and know my car.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 167: Thankful Today for that Moment after 5 and Friday

As I reached for my backpack I glanced at my watch. It was after 5 and Friday. It was past time to go home. I am thankful for the start of the weekend and ready for it to get underway.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 166: Thankful Today For A Simple Walk

 With the injury to my ankles, my usual workout and life routines have been severely hindered. But slowly I have been getting back into the groove. I am beginning to experience walks with less discomfort the day after. I still can't run or jump without painful consequences. But I can walk more. It's amazing how something like the ability to perform a simple walk can bring such joy.

Hmmmm the small moments in life are proving to be as valuable as what we would consider great accomplishments.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 165: Thankful Today For The Stone Path

There are times life throws stones in our direction that block us, cause us to stumble or fall. But I am thankful for the times those stones become a path to greater strength and resilience, because they lead us to surrender to Him.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 164: Thankful Today For My Mother's Answered Prayers

When I didn't have the faith, she did.
When I had lost hope, she hadn't.
And she prayed.

When I doubted, she believed.
And those prayers were answered.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 163: Thankful Today For LinkedIn

It took me awhile to get around to using it. My first thought was not another website I have to check. I have several email addresses, go to school online, have a Facebook account, and more. I just didn't want to add one more reason to be on the Internet more often. But through the encouragement of friends I made a profile. And did nothing else.

But then a class introduced me to the concept of using LinkedIn as a personal learning network. It was an assignment so I did. I joined groups pertaining to what I was studying. Not only did I learn more about the industry I hope to enter, but I also began to make new connections. I started to meet people who practice what I am learning. I also met people in my current industry. LinkedIn has turned out to be a productive tool in my educational and career development.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 162: Thankful Today That I am Nearing the End

With only about a week and a half left in the semester I am nearing the end. I have enjoyed my time with my classmates. Together we have grown in understanding of the subject being taught in our class. We have grown to appreciate the varied talents we each brought to the group projects. And we have also begun to know each other and form friendships they may carry beyond this class.

But we have also grown weary with the demands of work, school, family, … life. It is time for that break between semesters that give opportunity for rest and recharge. I am looking forward to that time and am thankful to be heading towards it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 161: Thankful Today I Don't Have to Move My Office

What may seem like a small thing was actually an answer to an unspoken prayer. The new spot that had been chosen for me posed quite a few challenges that would have made my situation worse. And then today when I relented and was ready to accept my fate without any further complaint: it changed.

I was given the news that after further discussion they thought it best to leave things as they were. They wanted to keep the group dynamics they saw developing. Hmmmmmmm. I knew that was a better solution all along. But I guess they needed time to see it for themselves. Thank you Lord for opening their eyes.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 160: Thankful Today for Re-Connecting with an Old Friend

Through Facebook and old friend found me. We tried for months to connect to no avail. But finally, today we did. It was so nice catching up. A lot has happened since we last spoke, which was over 10 years ago. It was comforting to hear how some things hadn't changed but also exciting to hear what had. There have been good times and bad times in both of our lives. But interestingly, the conversation ended on a value I didn't know we both shared.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 159: Thankful Today for A Better Encounter

Thankful today for a better encounter with my new boss. The first one was not good. So many unfortunate factors influenced our initial meeting within the new reporting relationship. So after much prayer, contemplation and counsel from my old boss, I devised a strategy. And so far it seems to be on the path to a working relationship that is livable. It is not the synergy and mutual respect I had with my former boss.  But for now, it is better than it started and hopefully will improve much more over time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 158: Thankful Today for Time with Old and New Friends

 It was going to be a usual holiday away from family and close friends. It is not the way I like to spend them, but it is one of the consequences of living here. But then I got a text from a friend I used to work with that he and a friend of his would be in town. Was I available for dinner? Of course the answer was yes.

It turned out to be a very enjoyable dinner and then a lunch the next day. It was so nice to spend time with an old friend and meet a new one. The food was good but the conversation and time together was even better. It was also nice to see his life had taken a turn for the better, with a new relationship that complimented him.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 157: Thankful Today for A Calm Day

 I haven't posted much lately because my life has been like a constant storm lately. And oddly the passage in my devotional today talked about the time Jesus asked Peter to walk out of the boat, in the midst of a storm, and walk on the water towards him.

Today I recognized what I had been holding onto during my storm. And I was reminded that the safest place to be is where Jesus calls me to, even if it looks unsafe. And that I can trust him to calm the storm.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 156: Thankful Today for the Perfect Score

I am relieved and happy. We received a perfect score on our first group project. All the hard work, compromise, late nights studying and writing, etc. were worth it. Our collaboration turned into a great project as well as a learning experience in so many ways.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 155: Thankful Today for the Rain On Me Devotional

A couple years ago a friend gave me a devotional that had been written by a mutual friend. The gift was to help me through a certain ordeal. It was a gift that was actually for a later time. I skimmed the pages, encouraged by the bit I read, but it ended up joining the other unread books that occupied my bookshelves. Until now…

And now, the beginning of each morning I am guided into encouragement and faith through the words of the devotional. I am given hope that the rains in my life will pass. But until then I do not walk them alone.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 154: Thankful Today for A Co-Worker I will Miss

I haven't posted in awhile because it's been a challenging week. My company's layoffs continued and I lost two people I cared about. There is one I want to mention today. I am thankful for the friendship we built. Her sense of humor relieved the tension that often filled the office. We inspired each other with conversations full of depth of thought. And at times she was a surprise. The cross pictured was one of those.

I found it on my desk upon my return from a Christmas vacation. What was special about it was that she made it herself. She was expert in making jewelry in silver and other precious metals. But what really touched my heart was that though we did not share the same faith, she recognized how important my faith was to me. And she chose to make a symbol of that which I hold dear. I am thankful for my co-worker, my friend, and I will miss her.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 153: Thankful Today for Time with Him

I sat parked, looking down at the magnificent view in the distance and in awe of the wonder of God's creation. Amazed, that someone so great would want to spend time with me. It was a quiet time. No earth shattering revelations or momentous answers to prayer. But instead a quiet obedience that would set the stage for a new pattern. I sought him yesterday and will continue to meet him. Looking not for a big event, but instead being thankful that He, my Savior, desires time with Me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 152: Thankful Today for My Jeremiah 3 Bible Study

Bible Study today was Jeremiah 3:6 - 4:4. As usual the timing of this section and subject matter of the study was perfect. The study showed God's patience and love as he called the nation of Israel back to him. As we studied the passage we realized how much God loves us, and desires to spend more time with us. I recognized how much my time with Him had lessened lately. My focus was off.

I have blocked out time for so many other activities. But the one activity that is most important had fallen off my schedule. It was time to make a date with God, an uninterrupted time totally devoted to him. I am thankful that he is so patient and so loving to wait until our eyes and hearts open. And during the wait continually call us in so many ways. The most special way being through his Word.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 151: Thankful Today for the Completion of My First Group Project

We have two major projects in this class and both are group projects. This comes with a unique set of benefits and challenges. We do learn quite a bit from each other. We each bring varied backgrounds and skills to the process. But along with that comes varied personalities we will have to learn to collaborate with. It has been a journey to get to this point, sometimes frustrating, sometimes fun. It can take longer to create something when you have more opinions involved. But I have to say it has been a process worth going through. I have increased my knowledge base, grown my collaboration skills and practiced patience.

We just completed our first group project and a week early. Now, on to the next one.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 150: Thankful Today for the Spring Ahead in Time

Tonight we set our clocks ahead because of Daylight Savings Time. Even though I am not crazy about losing an hour of sleep, I am thankful for the additional hour of sunlight at the end of the day. I look forward to the springtime evening walks in the park. The sunshine and fresh air is a natural stress relief. It helps me to collect my thoughts, calm any anxieties and plan my evening or even future. It's also a time when great ideas can enter a quiet mind.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 149: Thankful Today the Raindrop Sketch is Started

This first art project in a couple years is going a lot slower than expected. School takes priority, so finding the time for additional projects is difficult at best. I am thankful that I have squeezed in the time needed to start the sketch for one of the trading cards. The project is on its way.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 148: Thankful Today for The Opportunities That Lie Ahead

I was thinking of them this morning. So many potential doors, but none have opened. However, they all have benefited me in other ways. They have pushed me to begin to prepare, provided direction and encouragement for the journey ahead and given me hope.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 147: Thankful Today for my Great Great Aunts

The message at church today reminded me of two of my Great Great Aunts. They both died some time ago. The most recent was about 4 1/2 years ago. They were two sisters who did exactly what the pastor at church talked about today. They had a multi-generational impact.

They passed on their faith to generations after them, who would then pass it on to generations after them. One had children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The other never physically had children but was a mother to many. I see the children they both influenced carrying their children to church and teaching them the truths of the scripture.

Together these women touched over four generations with their faith and love of God. They practiced Psalm 78:1-7.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 146: Thankful Today for H&R Block

Tax time can be stressful. But I am thankful for H&R Block because they make the process so much easier. Every year I am sent that big green envelope with a checklist on the back. It is my guide throughout the year. As each piece of needed information arrives it is filed away in it.

On tax preparation day I grab my envelope, and can go to my appointment with the assurance that I am prepared.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 145: Thankful Today for a Cleared Desk

I left work yesterday with a huge stack of work that I would need to tackle first thing this the morning. Cup of coffee in hand and all my emails answered I then dove in. It took several hours through the morning and into over half of the afternoon. But by day's end my desk was cleared. Tomorrow I handle the next pressing task on my list.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 144: Thankful Today the Project is On Track

I have been worried about the progress of our group project. It is always a challenge when you have to depend on others to accomplish a task. But after our update meeting tonight it looks like we are all on the same page, and so far on track. If we can keep up the pace we will finish on time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 143: Thankful Today the Weatherman Wasn't Wayyyyyy Off

I went to bed expecting to awake to only the dusting to an inch of snow the weatherman predicted. I awoke early at about 3am and the scene outside the window was a surprise. The snow was coming down heavily and I feared the prediction was definitely off. I went back to bed with visions of an earlier storm playing in my head. It was about 2 years ago at this time of year. It was my first major snowstorm in this area and we received almost 2 ft. of snow. I so hoped I wouldn't awake the second time to that scene.

When the alarm went off at 6am a second peek filled me with a mix of relief and irritation. I had hoped for just a dusting to an inch. Instead I would be delayed cleaning about 4 inches of snow off my car. But thankfully even though the weatherman was off. He wasn't wayyyyy off. It was under a foot of snow and the delay was short. By the time I was ready for work the rising temperatures had melted much of it off the roads and cars.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 142: Thankful Today for My Favorite Vegan Restaurant

When it first appeared we went out of curiosity. The food was only okay but it was something different. So we continued to visit on occasion. In time, we noticed the menu evolve from just meatless choices of the lunchtime sandwich to a more creative cuisine. It quickly became a favorite as we began to enjoy the cook’s experimentation with new, original menu items. The restaurant staff was friendly. They also remembered their customers' names and sometimes, habitual food choices. I liked being greeted with a smile and satisfied with a tasty meal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 141: Thankful Today for a Warm Winter Walk Downtown

We are still enjoying a warmer than normal winter and today was beautiful. This time of the year the appearance of the sun is usually rare. But today it shone bright and was accompanied by a cool wind. It was the perfect weather for a mid afternoon walk. I hadn’t been downtown since we moved are offices, so a trip to my old stomping ground was over due. I had errands to run and used the opportunity to soak in a little vitamin D, feel the wind blow my hair in disorder and be amused by the sights and sounds of lunchtime downtown crowds. I so miss those walks. They are a break from the chaos of the workday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 140: Thankful Today for The Start of My First Art Project of the Year

Since starting school art projects have been on the back burner. I have been so totally focused on school and the new things I am learning. But the artist in me still calls out for the need for expression. And that call was answered yesterday. I used to create little mini pieces of art called Artist Trading Cards. Yesterday, I took a couple hours to begin to plan out a few and I prepared the bases for painting them. It felt good to pull out the brushes and paint and mix the colors for each surface. As I stroked and sponged on the colors I began to envision what each card would look like.

I put the bases aside to dry. Hopefully I'll get back to them later in the week to start bringing each vision to life. I am glad I finally had a chance to jump in and start.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 139: Thankful Today for Those Who Serve As President

On this President's Day holiday I reflect on the office of the President. I can't imagine the amount of sacrifice a President and his family endures. It takes a unique individual to accept such an amount of responsibility. Yes there are perks with the office but there is a also an extremely high cost to it. And it is seen as each President that leaves looks many more years older than they did on the day of their arrival. The weight of the world literally rests on his shoulders. And a private life is no longer his, even long after the term ends.

Imagine being in a job that every decision you make affects thousands maybe even millions. And you will never be able to make everyone happy. Some will love you, some will not. But you have the unique opportunity to make a great impact on history. Your only hope is that you will serve well and the impact will be remembered favorably, and you will do little harm and much good. I am thankful that there are those willing to take on such a task.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 138: Thankful Today for That Perfect Pair of Jeans

I went shopping the other day for a pair of jeans. I found some that fit okay. But nothing feels like that perfect pair of jeans. There is one pair I have that no matter how my weight fluctuates they still seem to fit. Even if they are a little tight that first wear after a wash, by the middle of the day they are broken in and comfortable. I wish I had bought multiple pairs of that style and cut because I haven't been able to find them since. I am thankful for that perfect pair of jeans and hope to one day stumble upon another one just like them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 137: Thankful Today for A Clean House

There is nothing like the feeling of a freshly cleaned house. The vibrant smell of lemon scented cleaners fill the air. The calm of order from chaos fills my view. I sink into my easy chair and relax with the feeling of accomplishment. All is well in the world today.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 135: Thankful Today for Classmates I Met Online

I was a little nervous at first when I started school online. But over time my fears diminished as it became habit to check into the discussion boards, download assignments, upload projects, etc. And then when the group projects started my fears arose again. How will I work successfully with other students across the country on different time zones, different schedules and varying priorities. I discovered some group situations worked better than others. But overall I have found my experience positive. I became acquainted with people I wouldn't have normally crossed paths with. They have sharpened my collaboration skills and introduced me to alternative ways of thinking.

And also I've just met some really great people. I am thankful for the new relationships I have made and the ones I'll make in the future as I work through my degree program.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 134: Thankful Today for Her Voice

Yesterday we heard of the passing of an awesome talent in the music industry. A talent whose life ended too soon. But she is not the first to experience an early passing and unfortunately will probably not be the last. Her life was troubled like so many gifted artists. So her early passing was probably not a surprise to some. But it was something we hoped would not happen.

Today I listen to her music and am thankful for the mark she and others like her have left on the industry and her fans. I am thankful that I got to be moved by her music. It brings me joy, tears, memories, inspiration, so many emotions. She will be remembered.