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Posts Tagged ‘thankfulness’

Photo Credit: Linder

Photo Credit: Linder

I had a request for a third chapter in this bizarre little series, and it just so happens that we had another crisis.

I was just drifting into sleep on Friday night when my phone rang. It was the camp where my daughters were at. This was not a good sign at 12:30 at night. I was informed that Melanie was having a asthma attack and was being taken into the hospital.

The weird thing about this was that Melanie doesn’t have asthma. I threw on my clothes and rushed to the hospital.

My stomach tightened when I saw a van—with the sliding door still opened—sitting in front of the hospital entrance. They must have been frightened for her to leave the door wide opened. Stay calm, I told myself.

The hospital had been recently renovated and it felt like I was dreaming as I rushed down unfamiliar corridors looking for my daughter.

I was led into emergency where I found Melanie grabbing her chest and gasping for air. Her wide eyes were filled with panic.

A mask was placed over Melanie’s face, and as she sucked in the steam and medication I felt her body begin to relax.

After the mask was removed Melanie’s eyes filled with tears, “I really missed you, Mom.”

“I missed you too, Sweety.” I held her close to me, and felt the tears spill onto my own cheeks.

Melanie was soon released from the hospital and decided that she wanted to come home instead of going back to camp that night. The asthma attack remains a bit of a mystery but seems to have been triggered from extreme excitement and exertion as well as smoke in the air from forest fires. The panic made things worse.

I’m so thankful for the camp director who drove Melanie to the hospital and to the camp nurse (my dear friend Miriam) who stayed with Melanie and offered her comfort and love. Most of all, I’m thankful that Melanie is fine now.

The truth is, things can always get worse. My lesson in all of these trials is to count my blessings—to realize that in spite of the difficulties, embarrassments, disappointments, and fears . . . my cup overflows.

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Today’s post is written by Toni Hammer. I met Toni on a writing website a couple of months ago, and we quickly became friends. Her insightful writing reflects her fun and witty personality. Enjoy!

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Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for a third of my life, I’ve acclimated to the fact it rains 412 days out of the year. It’s expected. Rain is the status quo.

Knowing this, I get super excited when the sun comes out. I want to hug that big ball of fire and give it my raincoat as a sacrifice. The sun is warm and full of love and vitamin D. I might go a little crazy when it shows its face after a month long rainfall.

That happened earlier this week. Not only was the sun out, but it was almost seventy degrees! Flip flop and iced coffee weather. It was magical.

Then the rain came back. This weather which I was so accustomed to that I barely batted an eye at it now filled me with rage. It was sunny yesterday! I was warm! I hate you rain!

This happens a lot in life, too. Something extraordinary happens to us–promotion at work, favorite band in concert, child takes their first step–and our excitement level rises above that of someone who just won the lottery.

Photo Credit: Katman

Photo Credit: Katman

Then the next day comes. The next week. Before long we’re back to the expected. The status quo. It feels sad and boring.

Don’t get bummed when life goes back to normal. Don’t start scowling because your ride in Excitement Land is over. Appreciate the familiar rhythm of your life.

We need to be content with our day to day life so the new gifts and achievements are that much brighter. We need to appreciate what seems mundane because it’s comfortable, it’s what we know, and it’s where we prepare for our next big thing.

Don’t let the sun ruin the rain.

 

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You can read more from Toni on her website tonihammer.com.

Have a great week!

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As a mom with a large family, I’ve realized that I don’t get to be grumpy. At times it seems a little unfair; bad days just aren’t an option. When I’m irritable and snap at my kids, then they get irritable and snap at each other, and in no time at all, things are uglier than a hen missing half her feathers!

Just because bad days aren’t an option, doesn’t mean that they don’t happen from time to time. Yesterday was one of those days…

I had kept the kids inside the day before, because it didn’t really get above -20C. The kids had far too much energy from being cooped up inside, and I had far too little for the same reason. I snapped at the kids a couple times, so they went from happy-hyper kids to grumpy-hyper kids. You get the picture.

Then I had some technology frustrations. Oh yes, I felt like throwing all the computers and other technology out into the snow.

At the end of a rather frustrating day, I shut off the lights and and went upstairs in the dark. There is a large window at the top of the stairs and I caught a glimpse of a green glow breathing across the sky. I stood transfixed as the Northern Lights danced before me.

I was the audience as the Composer wove the luminescent threads into a visual symphony. Awe filled me, and I felt like I could almost hear the melody that the lights danced to.

My tension melted away in the presence of such beauty. There was a message for me in all of this. The Composer is also weaving the thread of my life—and yours—into his master symphony. There is a purpose and a plan in all that he does in our lives. The frustrations are there as harmonies to bring out the beauty of the joys, and to teach us to be thankful for our countless blessings.

Lord, teach me to be thankful for the waterfall of blessings that you pour over me. Help me to see your hand in my life, on the rough days, as well as the smooth ones. Shine through me, my God and my King.

Photo by Dyet. Thank you for sharing this stunning photograph!

Photo by Dyet. Thank you for sharing this stunning image!

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I’m sorry that I have neglected my blog for the past couple weeks. I
have a fairly decent excuse- our generator is getting some work done
on it, and we have very limited power at the moment. Even my little
laptop computer is a heavy draw on our portable battery packs. And
so, I have had a little vacation from writing.

I know that many think we are crazy to live like this, with
occasional power and no running water, and there are times when I
feel a little crazy too! But it doesn’t take much to remind me of the
blessings of living debt free. Sure, we have chosen to give up, or at
least postpone having much of what our society deems essential, but
I think that we have learned to enjoy what we have more. In learning
to be content with what we have, we have discovered that we are rich
in the things that truly matter, and in material things too.

I think that few people appreciate their pantry shelves as much as I
do, (after enduring a year of having everything piled on the floor!)
I love my dry-walled and painted walls, (after spending years looking
at dingy, pink insulation and having sheets as room separators.)  And
the sight of my newly sided home always gives me a little tinge of
satisfaction as we drive in the driveway. Who enjoys such simple
things as shelves, walls and siding? People who have lived without
them.

We do what we can, a little at a time, and it gives us a chance to
enjoy what we have and to work towards our future here. One day, when
I can flick on a switch and be gratified with instant light, I’ll
enjoy that too. And when I can turn on a tap and hear the water
thundering into the tub, and when I can add a little more hot water
at the turn of a tap, well that, will be bliss!

It is easy to look around and see people who have more than us. It is
easy to be discontent. But when I am tempted to complain, I am
reminded that I have more in material wealth than 90% of the
population of the earth, and more then that, I am at peace with God,
surrounded by loved ones and I have true joy.

What more could a girl ask for? 🙂

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A Matter of Perspective

I found this story while reading the OK Homeschool Mom blog and just had to share it with you all. 🙂


One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.  They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad.”
“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.
“Oh yeah,” said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.
We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
The boy’s father was speechless.
Then his son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have.

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