Tag: thankfulness

scarves/Christmas 2016

How to express true gratitude this Christmas

I woke up in the middle of the night Sunday night thanking God for all my blessings:

Great husband

Great children and grandchildren

Great friends

Good health

A nice home

Abundant food and clothes

Transportation

Etc,

Etc.,

Etc.

Then after thanking God, I thought, “Well, of course, I’m thankful. Why wouldn’t I be?”

But what if I were in a different position?

What if even one of those in my list were absent? Would I still be grateful?

From my perspective, the ultimate test of my gratitude is what I do about it. I don’t believe just saying the words is enough.

If we’re truly grateful we are paying it forward, passing it on, etc., however you want to say it.

So that brings me to the subject of this post. I hope you understand that I’m sharing this with you not to pat myself on the back, but to be an encouragement, as was the Apostle Paul, by using myself as the “least” of the example.  I receive such a blessing from this I’m hoping it will encourage you so you can experience this same blessing. (While I am sharing this with all of you, only a very few people who actually know me even know about this and that’s because they’ve seen me knitting and asked me about it.)

There are two fields of thought about sharing something like this. One is that you shouldn’t share it because there is a risk of being thought of as “boasting”. The other is that by sharing something like this we encourage others to do the same and that causes even more good to be done. I have chosen this second reason for my justification and hoping no one accuses me of the first.

Anyway…………

For years, I’ve been knitting scarves and buying up inexpensive items and putting them in my “Rescue Mission” box for Christmas.

But this year I took it a step further. I wanted to challenge myself to see how many scarves I could knit in a relatively short period of time. I think I started knitting/crocheting in earnest about October. Also, I didn’t work on my project every day. I added hats to my project this year;  I have not tried hats before. I added felted flowers to the women’s hats.

I’m not going to show you each individual scarf but will photograph them in groups. I will complete even more this week. I have some specific recipients in mind for some specialty scarves. They will not know they came from me. It’s like a secret Santa kind of a thing. I love trying to figure out how to get these gifts to these people without them knowing. It’s fun. I imagine them opening their present and it truly warms my heart.

I’ve been the recipient of unexpected “gifts” myself and I know how I felt. How cool to think I can give that to someone else. Again, I’m not sharing with you in an attempt to pat myself on the back but just to make a point that, in my humble opinion, our gratitude requires so much more than just saying “Thank you, God”, although it certainly begins there.

So with all that in mind, here’s some pictures. So far, there are ten hats, and twenty-five scarves. Not all items are shown in these pictures as some have already been distributed.

Here’s the hats:

And now the scarves. Most of these were cowl-type infinity scarves but they were all different sizes. Some you can wrap around the neck two or three times, others only once. Some were bulky-type yarns, other’s much thinner. It was fun to see how they all turned out and I learned al lot about needle and yarn size and how they determine the final product.

I buy my yarn only on sale. I also find a lot of it at garage sales for almost nothing. I think the most any individual scarf costs might be about five dollars. That’s why I knitted the shorter cowl scarves rather than the really long ones. It’s much less expensive.

These scarves were sewn from double-sided plaid fabric.

scarves/Christmas 2016

And these last two are from a pattern that seaman like because they are narrower in the middle and can wrap around their neck better. I found this site that inspired these scarves.

scarves/Christmas 2016

There are all kinds of ways to show gratitude. It certainly doesn’t have to be knitted scarves and hats. It can be anything. And it doesn’t have to be a “thing”. It could be a service, cookies, some home-cooked meals, transportation, errands. There are as many ways to give back as there are people.

If you really want to, you’ll find a project that works for you.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

anzac cookies

so many blessings and yet I fear

I woke up this morning and before I ever got out of bed, I took some time to thank God for yesterday:

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  • the cookies turned out better than ever

Anzac cookies

  • a normal conversation with my mom
  • a long phone call from my grandson
  • finishing up the Christmas decorations

Christmas decoration

  • finishing my on-line shopping

But if you’re like me, all those good things can cause fear.

I know: silly.

But I can really be like “Chicken Little” at times. It goes back to feeling as though I don’t deserve all this. Well, because I don’t. None of us do.

And yet here I am. Feeling mighty blessed.

But then, there was my husband’s annual check-up today. I always hate this day every year until I get a phone call saying everything is fine. (He’s scared me on more than one occasion.)

Not only was everything fine. It was GREAT!

And tonight we are doing something we haven’t done for years. Attending a play. We’re going out for dinner to a restaurant that we to make reservations for. I’ve been planning what I’m going to wear for days. I realize most people don’t dress-up anymore but I’m going to.  So there.

Anyway, it’s hard sometimes, isn’t it, to know what to do when we feel so fortunate. I do my best to “pay it forward” but sometimes it seems it’s all very lopsided in my direction.

Anyway, find something or someone to be grateful for today. My days aren’t always like yesterday which you know if you follow this blog. But there is always something to be grateful for.

Always.

Gratefulness seems to always attract more good things. 

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my followers

Happy Thanksgiving to all my followers.

Thanksgiving

I was thinking this morning how I wished I could meet each of you and hear your story. Especially if you struggle or have struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD, etc, what I could learn from you.

I would love to know what has helped and what hasn’t. What I haven’t focused on enough, what I should focus on more.

I know for sure that some of you are not going to have a great Thanksgiving. I can remember some that weren’t so great myself. Depression had stolen my joy. I can remember just wanting the holidays to be over.

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There’s almost nothing worse than seeing everyone else’s happiness while you feel so empty inside.

I am praying for you. I am praying for you to find something in your life today for which you can be thankful.  I know that gratitude can be a wonderful mood-lifter.

laugh

For those of you who have been able to leave mental illness in the dust, I pray for your continued progress. For those of you still struggling, I promise to continue writing messages of hope and encouragement.

For all of you, I pray a day of peace from worry, anger, anxiety, fear, etc. I am truly grateful for each of you and say thank-you to all of you. I know there are many of you lurking in the shadows as my stats show that. That’s OK. I know you’re there and I am grateful.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

Can we rewrite our memories?

Today I’m thankful for yesterdays. Not all yesterdays. Just like all tomorrows won’t necessarily be something to be thankful for, not all yesterdays are either. But at least tomorrows hold promise. Yesterdays only hold memories. We can’t rewrite memories. Or can we?

yesterday

Our past is our past: the facts of it, but not necessarily our interpretations of it.

I’ve looked back on a lot of my yesterdays, even the ones I’d rather forget, and have come to understand their contribution to making me who I am.  Without my yesterdays I wouldn’t have hope that I could handle my tomorrows.

For the most part, yesterdays hold no surprises. But we’ve all had those moments when someone or something opens a window to a past memory. 

Sometimes  we react to a person or a remark and we don’t know what triggered it. If we examined those reactions we would no doubt uncover a past experience as its source. There is a certain word that when I hear it, it catapults me back many years. Whether it’s in a movie, a book or a conversation, it takes me back to an experience as a teen-ager. The years have softened the “sting” of that word but it still unnerves me. I’ve never uttered the word myself. 

yesterday's feelings

Memories are called memories for a reason, they’re in the past. I’ve learned to “neutralize” the very hurtful ones. Yesterdays only have power over us if we allow it.

yesterdays

We can never fully understand anyone else’s yesterdays. We all have some painful yesterdays but we also have hope for our tomorrows. If your yesterdays include periods of depression or if you’re worried that your tomorrows might, remember you got through it then and you will again. Don’t be afraid to look back and gain strength from the past. 

Depression quite often gets a foothold because we’ve let the past fester.  

hope for tomorrow

hope for tomorrow

Today will be your yesterday soon enough so make today count.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

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