What I Learned This Fall

Thanks to my friend Laurel over at Muffin Dome, I discovered a new blogger this fall: Emily P. Freeman.  Her podcast is my new favorite listen in the evening, and her wisdom about “creating space for your soul to breath” is exactly what I need to hear right now.  Her seasonal “what I learned” sheets have been working well for me, as I attempt to be a bit more reflective and thoughtful about my life.  Joining her linkup for the first time.

Here are eight things I have learned this Fall:

  1. “When once we begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.”  St. John Chrysostom
  2. After attending a Called and Gifted workshop, I will be discerning the charisms of mercy and hospitality.
  3. I made my first double crust, traditional apple pie.
  4. As I detached from the frenetic pace of being a work-from-home mom, I have been able to slow down and enjoy playing with my children.img_7657
  5. The power and real graces from the sacrament of Confession, especially to help me forgive those who have wronged me.
  6. God freely and lovingly can bestow any grace, even unlooked for and unasked for graces.  This fall, I enjoyed the season.  I was constantly noticing the beauty of the changing leaves, the brilliant blue sky and bright sunshine, and the smells of falling leaves.  I have never particularly liked the season of fall, and since the September our daughter died, its been a season of grief.  But this year, it was a real and beautiful grace to enjoy the season.    img_8875
  7. 10 Year College Homecoming was THE BEST!  It was so much fun to see friends after many years.  Everyone in my class, whether I had been close friends with them or not, was friendly and kind and interested in how we were doing.  It was great to catch up with people I don’t regularly keep in contact with.  And the college put on a great weekend, with lots of good food, beautiful dinner, fireworks and a special dance.
  8. Thanksgiving hosted in our own home, with our parents there, was a peaceful and happy experience.

 

 

Grace, age 6

Our beautiful, growing Gracie turned six this week.  Her birthday was a fun-filled day, beginning with a special breakfast of waffles, then we went to Mass and also had a tour of the Sacristy.  We went back for a birthday blessing from our favorite priest, and he showed us the safe with the gold vessels and a huge closet with a motorized dry-cleaners rack with probably over a hundred vestments!

At home, one of our friends and her little daughter visited in the morning, then we worked on a science project and had a video chat with cousins.  Grace opened her presents from the Texas relatives and was thrilled with her first watch!  We had homemade pizza for dinner, a few more presents and birthday cake.  At her request, she had a Dinotrucks birthday cake, which was a total hit because it featured two Dinotruck figures which she immediately announced were new her favorite toy!  She also received a clock for her room (learning to tell time is the theme for this birthday).

Looking at her birthday picture, I am amazed at how mature she looks these days, and continue to be impressed by her new skills and interests.  It seemed like she was a baby and toddler for a long time, perhaps longer than some other kids her age we know, but now she is growing into a beautiful girl, who is become a competent helper, quick learner, and imaginative child.

The perfect Dinotrucks cake.  Except for the Lego that caught on fire.

Looking back over the past year, Grace has been a busy bee and has had lots of new experiences.  In February we took a plan ride (her second) down to Texas, and she had so much fun with her cousins, and even got to hold this bird when we visited the Dallas Zoo.

Dallas Zoo- February

In April, we had a fun Easter trip to Orlando, Florida.  At the Lego store, she made her first Lego creation.  Since then, she has become much more interested in building with Legos, drawing, crafting and creatively making things herself.  Since the girls got bunk beds, a favorite game is “tent”, with blankets over the bunk, and “boat” which involves blankets all over the floor!

Legoland, Orlando- April

Last spring Gracie participated in her first dance recital, with an adorable ballet routine.  Going to ballet class increased her confidence and listening abilities, and she enjoyed it immensely.

First ballet recital- May

Since June, when we moved to Fredericksburg, Grace has been more helpful and independent then ever.  She plays on her swingset or in the driveway, checks the mail, corrals her little sisters, and wants to help with everything.  From washing dishes to planting flower bulbs, cleaning and vacuuming to raking leaves, its amazing to have a child independently doing some of the chores around here.

Soap Box Derby, Fredericksburg – June

Another area Grace has made great strokes is swimming and water confidence.  We had more opportunities this summer to visit pools and the beach, and Grace has been doing great in the water.  She still loves the beach and playing in the sand too.  She also enjoyed her first sailing trip in Annapolis this summer, although the water was very calm!

Sailing Trip, Annapolis- August

Although she frequently argues and complains about Theresa, they love being together.  My favorite is when Grace “reads” to Theresa, or they are both happily playing together. And of course, Grace adores Cecilia.  She takes care of her like a little mother, and has begun giving her piggy back rides!

“Reading” to her sister.

Grace is still a very talkative and social child.  She loves going places, even just grocery shopping, and being with other people.  She easily gets very silly and excited, and can laugh and laugh and laugh over her own silliness.  She also instigates her sisters to be very silly.  Her enthusiasm for just about everything is a joy to see, and she reminds epitomizes childlike joy at the world around her.

Performing with the puppet she made. September

Grace also loves Jesus and Mary and going to church.  She faithfully says her prayers, prays every time she sees a cemetery or emergency vehicle when we’re driving around, and wants to sit in the front at church (which doesn’t usually happen).  She keeps talking about receiving Holy Communion, but that won’t be until she is seven.  Recently, we have been making friends with one of the parish priests (who was in seminary with my husband) and now she is very excited to see him every time we go to Mass.  On her birthday, we went to the sacristy to receive a birthday blessings, and this priest showed us the gold Mass vessels, as well as a huge room with an electronic rack with the hundreds of vestments the parish owns!  Now, she keeps wanting to go to the “priests’ house” (the sacristy:) again!

Helping with Christmas cards. November

Grace is very verbally and physically loving and affectionate, she brings so much joy and laughter into our home, and reminds us to play and spend time together.  I am so thankful for my precious Grace from God, and looking forward to seeing her continue to grow into a beautiful girl.

Birthday questions (borrowed this from Rosie at A Blog for My Mom.)

1. What is your favorite color? Blue and purple and pink.

2. What is your favorite toy? Claire (doll)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Pumpkins. No, clementines.

4. What is your favorite television show? Dinotrucks

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwich

6. What is your favorite outfit? Fuzzy pants

7. What is your favorite game? Dominoes

8. What is your favorite snack? Apples and cheese

9. What is your favorite animal?

10. What is your favorite song? vowels jingle we are learning

11. What is your favorite book? Charlotte’s Web

12. Who is your best friend? Aurelia, Theresa (sister), and Mom 🙂 Or Daddy.

13. What is your favorite cereal? Frosted shredded wheat and Cheerios

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with everyone, play games, play on playset.

15. What is your favorite drink? Lemonade

16. What is your favorite holiday? Easter (because we sing Allelulia) and Christmas

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Claire

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza and chocolate cake

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a doctor.

Bonus: What’s your favorite vacation place? “Allelulia! I want to go to Florida!”

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Everyday Gratitude: wk. 10 {Thanksgiving Edition}

“Let us remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm, and look forward to the future with confidence.”
Pope St. John Paul the Great

At Mass on Thanksgiving day, our pastor mentioned the above quote from St. John Paul II. Certainly, it sums up very well what our Thanksgiving should look like. I have been thinking a lot about gratitude this month, and trying to remember my blessings, be happy and content in the present, and look forward to the future with great trust in the Providence of God. Ironically, I realized it’s been three weeks since I recorded my every gratitude. So here’s a few things I’ve been particularly grateful for this past month, though not necessarily in chronological order.

Dear Lord, I praise and thank you:

  • For the kids being all better after two weeks of a nasty virus. We had to stay home, and the Cecilia wasn’t sleeping well, and Grace was getting very antsy and wanting to get out and see her friends.
  • For a warm, snug house as the weather turns colder. Cozy blankets, and snuggle time.
  • For hosting Thanksgiving in our own home. And lots of help doing so from hubby, who cleaned the house, set the table and carved the turkey 🙂
  • For pleasant, sunny days, and the chance to be outside, take walks and go to the playground.
  • For our first hike since last spring, when we explored the Chancellorsville Battlefield.

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  • or the opportunity to pray for the Holy Souls this month in a special way.
  • For an almost six year old daughter, who keeps us amused by her constant chatter, and who has become an incredible helper, always willing to lend a had and do some clean-up. She even begged to clean the bathroom one day!
  • Raking leaves and the sweet smell of falling leaves and pine needles. There’s a lot of trees in our yard and we raked an enormous leaf pile, which the girls loved!

  • Making my first fresh flower arrangement for the church altar! I put it in front but it was moved in front of Our Lady 🙂 So blessed to be using my floral skills this way!
  • Freshly painted shutters for the house, changing the way the whole front looks! Great to be adding some *curb appeal* and looking forward to decorating for Christmas.

  • Checking out historic homes near our house, which had beautiful grounds to walk around. It’s a fun way to get out instead of going to a playground.
  • Christmas cards are almost done! Grace put on the stamps, return address labels, and then stuffed and sealed the envelopes! I cannot believe what an awesome helper she has become.
  • Walking through downtown to see the Christmas lights and displays. We love the town here because it’s so old fashioned and pretty.
  • Looking through pictures of the last month, I remember that at the beginning of November, Bobby and I were invited to a Gala to benefit the charitable outreaches of the OB/GYN I go to.  It’s an a great, pro-life practice, and we had a wonderful night out with dinner, live auction and dancing.

  • Gracie helped me plants 60 flower bulbs in the front yard.  Hopefully lots will bloom in the spring!
  • Solemnity of Christ the King and the end of the liturgical year. I love Advent, and I’m looking forward to it. Since it’s so short this year, I feel like this week is a bonus week to get ready *before Advent* instead of scrambling right after Thanksgiving.

Everyday Gratitude: wk. 8

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink,
or about your body, what you will wear….

Look at the birds of the air;
they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them……
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they neither toil nor spin,  
yet I tell you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these……
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:25-33

In the latest copy of Imprint, (a publication of the Sisters of Life) I read a striking article on prayer, particularly what they called “praise prayer.”  The article states “praising Jesus for everything says, ‘Jesus, I trust and know you will bring a greater good out of this situation than any I could possible create or imagine.  Your plans are more beautiful than mine.  You have the big picture.  You see all things with an eternal perspective.  I trust you and I thank you.’  Let Jesus work it out…. If you think you can’t get beyond a trial, pray these words again and again.  He slowly takes over and brings peace.  Be patient.”

I feel that this simple, yet profound suggestion, challenges us to go deeper in prayers of gratitude, to actually praise the Lord for everything!  It almost seems silly, like saying something absurd, yet it is the way of the saints, so here’s my best shot…

  • Praise you, Lord, for a blessed pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  The children were (relatively) good for a Holy Hour and Mass, the music was beautiful, and Theresa especially loved praying at the individual Marian shrines.  There was also a new Rosary garden with a large, beautiful depiction of Our Lady of Fatima and the three children, where we said the Rosary and the kids could run around.  (It is entirely fenced it!)
  • I praise you, Lord, for the odd and initially unpleasant experience of glimpsing my former boss during the Mass.  We parted on extremely bad terms, and I struggled awhile with forgiveness and charity towards him.  At first, I was irritated that I would be reminded of such unpleasantness during this pilgrimage, but as a prayed for peace, I realized that God gave me the grace to see him and know I had forgiven, moved on, and no longer harbor resentment.  I was able to pray for him.  That, truly, is a profound grace.
  • I praise you, Lord, for the child screaming and crying every night, even as a write.  She is strong, healthy and talking amazingly well for almost 20 months, and this is part of her development.  I praise You for the opportunities for extreme patience, perseverance and humility as I am nightly deprived of sleep (after enjoying several weeks of her sleeping through the night).
  • I praise you, Lord, for the opportunity to stay home with my children and educate them myself, enjoying the milestones, little moments, and beginning of the education adventure.  Although this involves far more of a sacrifice than I realized it would (since I cannot easily find a job and work outside the home), I do love being with these little girls.
  • I praise you, Lord, for the good you will bring out of the financial and marital difficulties I am experiencing.  I trust that You not only can but will care for our daily needs and bring good out of the situation.
  • I praise you, Lord, for the beauty of these autumn days- blue sky, the scent of fallen leaves and pine needles, the subdued colors of the the fall leaves, the song of birds in the many trees surrounding our home, and the clear, dry air, so rare in Virginia!
  • I praise you, Lord, that my husband can easily take sick days when myself and the kid are sick, to stay home and help me get better.
  • I praise you, Lord, for new friendship, very dear friends of many years, new opportunities, and the chance to grow, chance, learn and discover who You call me to be.
  • I praise you, Lord, that somehow I have been finding more time to read again.  Indeed, all year long I have been able to read several books a month.
  • I praise you, Lord, “O Beauty ever ancient and ever new,” for a life filled with beauty and blessings, especially the gift of my Catholic Faith, and the treasures of the traditions, Traditions, writings of the saints, gifts of the Spirit and very real grace of the Sacraments.

Mary, most holy, Mother of the Church and my Mother, purify the praise of my heart and let it be a pure offering of love to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Mary Catherine, pray for us. 

My Sunday Best {2017}

I had a NEW dress to wear to Mass this morning, and with that happy incentive, got a picture of my Sunday Best!  (Note: child did NOT wear pictured clothes to Mass.)  We took a quick trip to a second fall consignment sale to fill in a few gaps in the girls’ wardrobe, and I found this lovely new dress.

I also realized that this was a pretty nice shot of our neighborhood in autumn!  The weather has been beyond perfect, and I think I might become a “fall gal.”  Summer and winter have always been my favorite seasons, but that was from growing up in upstate NY, where winters were white and summer were in the 80s….

I had a small win at Mass today with Cecilia, who has been clingly and demanding at Mass for weeks.  Since I’ve been adamant about staying in the pew, this means putting up with nursing her during Mass (which she really shouldn’t have to do at this point.)  Today, I simply told her, “NO, if you yell, Daddy will take you out.”   And it worked!  Now, if that would just work when I tell her to go back to sleep at 2am, 3am, 4am……  Her sleeping through the night suddenly stopped, and I desperately need it to start again!

Last thought for today.  The priest mentioned that one significance of rendering unto Caesar the coin with his image, was that therefore what we render to God is that which is made in His image, i.e., ourselves.  We are made in the image of God, and thus should give ourselves to Him.  What a great way to move beyond the coin image to reminding us to see our selves as made in the image of God.

Linking up with Rosie today.  Happy feast of St. John Paul the Great!

Everyday Gratitude: wk. 7

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
Ephesians 1:16

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
St. Thomas Aquinas

This past weekend, I was immensely blessed to see numerous friends and classmates at my 10 year college reunion.  I am so thankful for all the people who made the trip, and I was sad for those who were forced to miss it.  I chatted and laughed with dear friends from freshman year, as well as people I hardly knew at school.  I especially loved seeing so many beautiful children, a testament to the Faith and love still shared by all these classmates.

  • Dear Lord, thank you for four years at Christendom College, and the friends and formation I received there.
  • Thank you for the opportunity to attend my reunion and visit with friends.
  • Thank you for delicious food at receptions, dancing with my husband (he still remembers the foxtrot we learned for our wedding!) and a fantastic fireworks display.
  • Thank you for a fun “family day” where the kids spent hours in the bouncy house and took about a dozen pony rides.
  • Thank you for the generosity and hospitality of my parents, who watched the kids most of the weekend so I could enjoy time with my friends (and my husband) sans children.
  • Sleep.  Because my parents get up with the kids while I sleep on the other side of the house.
  • Rain.  Because it has been very dry here (beautiful but dry) and the soft pitter-patter of rain, as well as the gray days to spend inside, has been pleasant.
  • The freedom to fit school into our schedule, and the need to only do a few hours a day.
  • The joy of baking.  Chocolate cake (oh my!) and Dutch Apple Pie.
  • Warm apple cider, hot tea, steaming coffee. 

Everyday Gratitude: wk. 6

“For me, prayer is a burst from my heart,
it is a simple glance thrown toward Heaven,
a cry of thanksgiving and love
in times of trial as well as in times of joy.”
St. Therese of Lisieux

This week, we celebrated the feast of St. Therese the Little Flower, one of my favorite saints.  How much I can learn about gratitude by meditating on her quote above!  To glance toward Heaven with thanksgiving and love during times of trial and suffering continues to be one of the hardest parts of gratitude for me.  Particularly when the trials are ongoing, or daily annoyances, or problems without clear or foreseeable solutions.

While sharing on my blog my weekly blessings has helped me be more faithful to the practice of recognizing them, I am hesitant to constantly mention my trials, in the fear of seeming too “holy” in being “grateful” for them, or of seeming to have a perfect life if I don’t mention at least some of my crosses!

Blessings are funny things, are they not?  For those with eyes to see and appreciate, even the most mundane things may be rightly regarded as blessings, and for those accustomed to complaining, cynicism and negativity, even the greatest goods may be looked down on or disregarded.  Likewise, since life consists of so many little moments, both happy, sad or ordinary, it can become so easy to focus on the negative and overlook the positive.  By personality and childhood experience, I always considered myself to be a positive and happy person.  Cynicism and sadness I found very distasteful.  And then I grew up, and the cares of adulthood pressed in, and I endured terrible loss and sorrow.  Slowly, my natural, happy and carefree girlhood personality threatened to be overwhelmed by a cross and unhappy woman of 32 (so old, I know!)

This past year, my discouragement and depression became so acute that I had to find another way; a way to live both the reality that life is difficult, and the hope and faith that God has and will continue to abundantly bless me.  Although numerous elements have influenced my return to a more positive and happy day to day existence, gratitude undoubtedly plays an important role in cultivating a life of faith, hope and love.

  • This past week, I was grateful for the opportunity to host a Blessed Brunch, and spend time with several lovely Catholic women.
  • The weather in Virginia has been beautiful, and we’ve been playing and doing schoolwork outside.  Tuesday, we had an outdoor reading session on the front lawn.
  • I have been getting back in a groove of creative dinners and baking.  This bruschetta chicken was ah-mazing.  I also baked an apple pie with the apples we picked last week, made a yummy jambalaya at my husband’s suggestion, as well as these apple chicken sandwiches on raisin bread that I need to make again ASAP.

  • School with the girls has been progressing well.  Hope to write a quick post about that soon, too.  Last week, we made puppets and a xylophone, and the girls have enjoyed putting on shows!
  • I am grateful that despite some coughs and cold as the cooler weather settles in, we have been mostly healthy.
  • Looking around at my home, which I decorated with a few fall items, I am immensely grateful for this cute, smaller house, which has proven much easier to keep clean that the sprawling one level we used to live in.
  • I am grateful for new friends, new opportunities, and the fact that old friends are only a phone call away.
  • On Monday, we were blessed to attend a special Mass offered for the homeschoolers in our parish.
  • Also on Monday, I got through a dental appointment with no new cavities being found!

  • I finished reading Mansfield Park on Sunday evening.  I dearly love Jane Austen, and have read Pride and Prejudice and Emma many times, as well as most of her other works more than once.  But Mansfield Park I only read once in high school, and I totally did not appreciate it.  Now, I found it quite enjoyable, and was better able to grasp the character intricacies and faults which Austen was bringing forward.  I understand now, as I didn’t 15 years ago, that the charm and brilliance of her work is in the characters, their dialogue, their foibles, and their ordinary lives.  I think Mansfield Park lacks a character of wit and depth such as we see in some of the other novels, but nonetheless I found it wonderful read.
  • After that side note, I’ll close my reflections from this past week with the most ordinary, and yet extraordinary blessings I have: my husband, my children, my Faith, my freedom, my health, my home, and my friends and family.

My Sunday Best {2017}: Finding my Floral Niche

It’s been awhile since a remembered to take a Sunday picture before changing out of church clothes!  This weekend, the weather was so nice when we got home that the girls stayed outside to play and Gracie snapped this photo!  Happy to be able to link up with Rosie this week for My Sunday Best.img_8670

 

The weather in Virginia has been amazing, and its time to break out pants and sweaters, along with a pretty Lula Roe floral top.  Speaking of flowers, today was Parish Life Weekend at our new church, and there were representatives from probably 25+ ministries, after the Masses.  Since I’ve already gotten involved with about four different things at church already, there was only one more ministry I was really interested in signing up for: liturgical decorating.  These are the people who decorate the inside of the sanctuary, but it turns out its only done at Christmas and Easter.  So I signed up, but I also approached the Sister in charge about something close to my heart; regular flowers for church, as there doesn’t seem to be any arranged.

Sister said she would talk with the pastor, and that this might be an answer to prayer, if I would purchase and arrange flowers regularly for the sanctuary.  Friends, this would be a dream come true for me, to have a flower budget and create beautiful arrangements to adorn the altar and statues in the church.  I worked as a floral designer for several months after college, and it was the BEST job I have ever had.  Lately, I have been exploring ways to pursue this passion again.  If its God’s will, I hope this opportunity comes to fruition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Gratitude: wk. 5

 “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.”    Job 1:21

  • Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of four daughters.  I bless your name, as we returned to Philadelphia last week, to visit the grave of my firstborn, Mary Catherine.  I thank you for the precious gift of her life, of the witness we provided that the life of a tiny baby has infinite value and worth.  I thank you for the amazing and unknown nurse who baptized her in the OR, when I was under anesthesia and Bobby wasn’t allowed in.  I thank you for her beatitude in Heaven.  I thank you for sustaining me through the early months of grief, and for blessing us with more children.  Amen.
  • Lord, I thank you for the chance to rest after a long week, when all the girls rested and let me rest on Friday afternoon.
  • I am thankful for time in the car to talk with and listen to Gracie.  I love hearing her “read” a story to her sisters (she knows The Very Hungry Caterpillar and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by heart).  She makes up silly, sometimes elaborate, stories, then tells me she’s just kidding!   Like her dad, you never know what ridiculous things she’ll come up with next.
  • I am thankful for Cecilia’s sweet and infectious baby laugh.  She laughs a lot, because everything amuses her.  She is definitely my happiest, most fun baby yet!
  • I am thankful for Theresa’s snuggliness early in the morning.  Generally, she is independent and busy, but in the morning, and occasionally throughout the day, she gets affectionate and acts so very sweet.
  • I am grateful for a special day with my husband on Saturday, as we attended a diocesan workshop for couples on Prayer and Communication.  The talks and insights where very interesting, inspiring, challenging, and a few times, profound.
  • I am grateful for my parents now living close enough to come spend the day with the kids on short notice, for continuing, beautiful warm weather, and sunny days.
  • I am grateful for the chance to go apple picking with friends, and begin making all things apple!
  • I am grateful for good books to read, making time for reading to myself, and to the girls, and for the opportunity to teach Gracie to read.
  • Finally, I thank you Lord for the challenges, tension, waiting, and change of my life right now; through this time, please help me hear and discern Your will.  Amen.

Everyday Gratitude: wk. 4

“In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God,
and in all things give Him thanks.”
 St. Teresa of Avila

  • After the first day of school went so well last Monday, the rest of the week was challenging.  Cecilia didn’t nap as well on Tuesday, but school still went fairly well.  Then the rest of the week I got sicker, as the kids (thankfully) felt better, so we didn’t do much else in the afternoons, after our morning activities.
  • I am very thankful for the new activities and friends we’re making, to get out of the house and have new experiences.
  • I am thankful that the lawn in finally mowed; the tall grass I had to call someone, but Bobby finished the back yard.
  • I am thankful Saturday was a productive and busy day, and Sunday we relaxed and visited one of the local Civil War battlefields and cemeteries.
  • I am thankful for the lovely fall weather, a few nice walks, and our quiet little neighborhood.
  • I am thankful the first week of school is over, and it went relatively well, and I have more confidence now that I can homeschool smoothly.
  • I am thankful for cold medicine and for finally feeling better.
  • I am thankful for my husband and my beautiful daughters.
  • I am thankful that all the people I know personally in Florida are safe after Hurricane Irma, and I pray for all those adversely affected by these hurricanes.
  • I am having trouble discerning the “providence and wisdom of God” in several matters lately, especially bills and my lack of a job, but still trying to persevere and “give Him thanks.”
  • And I would also be very thankful for any prayers of others this week, as we remember our first born, Mary Catherine, and visit her grave tomorrow.