There is much to be thankful for in life. As I enjoyed time with my family and friends this week I am reminded that in the midst of life and its happenings, there are ALWAYS positives in all situations and Psalm 23 reminds us every struggle is only a valley to go THROUGH!
"Even though I walk
Last year we didn't put up a Christmas tree or even decorate the house. Do you remember the four inch metallic tree next to the Scentsy I posted? Yep, that was it. Well this year we inherited my parent's three-foot, already lit, artificial tree. It was the perfect thing to ignite some Christmas spirit in the house. We even took all the boxes out of the attic and decorated. It was a special holiday of new traditions interwoven with those of past years.
A week before our daughter returned home from college, she fell on campus. A swollen ankle developed into a trip to Urgent Care and then the orthopedic, and next week she has the chance to meet an orthopedic surgeon specializing in ankle fractures. Her attitude has been positive and fun so her first gift of Christmas was twelve rolls of assorted colored ace bandages. I "had to" wrap her ankle in red and green for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She went along with it.
I also took advantage of "free time" to finish a few crochet projects, organize and put away the piles around the house, and enjoy "sharpening my saw" looking through magazines, articles, books, and quilt patterns. Our daughter's cat seemed to like me taking time to pause and snuggled up on my lap, even posing for the selfie.
We didn't travel. We didn't get together with friends or spend a lot of time shopping or doing BUT WE DID ENJOY OUR TIME together and reconnecting with each other, and God. A blessed time for sure.
How did you spend this week?
As the snow gently falls in Oswego County it is easy for me to be thankful. We have good health, a home, heat, running water, food available, and three vehicles for the three employed people who live in our home. Rather than worrying about how to stay warm or what we will eat today, we have the blessing to look out our clean windows and choose to be thankful. We don't have the biggest house or the newest cars. We might not have the all the food we "want" but we have more than enough to fill our needs. I am thankful.
Why do I share this today? Simple, as I volunteer at one of the local food pantries or through my job at the local school district. I have seen first hand the effect of worrying about one's basic needs being met. We too have lived this life within the past few years. This is the first year we were able to fill our fuel tank with the 150 gallon minimum. For a couple years my husband and brother-in-law were getting twenty gallons every pay day to get us through and we prayed it didn't get too cold. We kept warm in blankets and learned many lessons.
As you pick up your journal today, write about what and who you are thankful for. How have you seen God provide for you in ways that only He could have. I remember a time a couple years ago when we had to pay a bill by a certain date to avoid disconnect and as we prayed...God was already answering. On the last possible date, an unexpected check arrived in the mail for an over-payment for the exact amount needed to pay our bill. God is good.
Instead of focusing on the worries or stressors, focus on ALL THERE IS TO BE THANKFUL FOR! There is so many things we can choose to recognize and thank God for. He uses our neighbors, family, friends, churches, and strangers to meet our needs EVERY DAY. I hope you fill your journal page(s) with the ways God's provided for you. Never lose hope!
Write about what you are thankful for today!
This morning our local news counted down the last two minutes until it was "officially" winter. If you are familiar with Upstate New York then you know the effects of Winter start well before the calendar tells us it is really here.
My hope is for warmth, love, and friendship this winter -
these will keep your heart and mind warm.
As we start another winter season,
share a favorite winter memory below or in your journal.
Hello and happy Saturday everyone! I see some of you are enjoying the TOP's Tuesday and #OSJWritersWednesday posts every week. Then there are those messaging and asking me, "Where have you been? I miss your blog in the morning." If you enjoy the blog more than once a week, I apologize for my absence but sometimes we NEED to take a break to reconnect and find our inspiration.
I haven't been creating stories, pictures, and emotions with my words for a couple months. Instead I've been creating with fabrics and patterns. Back in the day, a long, long, time ago my friend Ret taught me how to sew. The first thing I made was a dress for Easter. It was a simple pattern and with all it's flaws, I wore it proudly. The time and energy to sew after our daughter was born seemed to become less and less with each year. With the exception of holiday outfits or special occasions, the sewing machine collected dust.
By the time she reached middle school I basically retired my sewing maching and it only worked for minor repairs or a Christmas project here and there. Fast forward a decade or so and guess what, I remember why I enjoyed sewing so much. With Mags in college I have more time available to think and create but to sit and write has been a challenging task since my Mom passed away. Yesterday the light bulb of "why" I probably struggle to write came to the forefront, thanks to a conversation with a friend.
As I talked with a friend who blessed me with a quilting magazine and gift card for JoAnn Fabrics, I told her both are appreciated and I had a pattern (or 2 or 3, lol) I hoped to create over Christmas vacation. Somehow my writing came into the conversation and it was thanks to a magazine, the written word, and a friend that I realized something.
It's a challenge to write because when I completed a chapter or piece of writing, my mom was first one to read it. She offered honest (sometimes editorial honest, lol) feedback and I went back to the drawing board. The only time she wasn't reading and editing was if the writing was a gift for she and my Dad. As I thought about this epiphany last night and woke up with it still on my heart I realized something, Mom would want me to write. She knew my heart better than myself.
As Mom made notes one night, she left this. Dad found it after she passed and shared it with me so I snapped a picture to remind me. On one page she told me to keep writing, I tear up thinking about it. A few pages later there is another note and it ends like this, "...few minutes later laughing, thinking to ask Lisa to write me book Christmas, lol" I did laugh when I read this because as I cared for her in those last weeks and days she told me I should finish a book I'd been working on. We both laughed and I told her "In my 'free time' Mom", and we laughed even more. I didn't write her a book for Christmas last year and with only a week until this Christmas, there won't be a book this year either.
BUT thanks to God, friends, and a note she left behind...I'm ready to create. I'll use the gifts God's given me to share hope, inspiration, and joy with those I meet and even some of you that I'll only know via the Internet and written word. As I work out at the gym or putter in the sewing room I've realized something, both these things relieve stress AND give me ideas of things to write. I might not be writing as much as I used to or working towards a publication goal BUT my heart and desire to create and share with others has been restored.
Call it a Christmas miracle, a gift from God and my Mom from Heaven, or me finally picking my selfish head out of the sand...it's time to create and share with others. You might not have a new book to read in 2017 written by me but one thing I promise you...you can find me here blogging and sharing snip-its of stories and pictures of projects completed. There are so many ways for us to utilize our gifts to encourage, uplift, and inspire others. Mom can see and read from above, who knows, she might be enjoying me taking a break and not pushing so hard to meet self-set-deadlines.
Quilt Block Pattern used to create this Christmas Tree Block:
What are your gifts and desires?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323