A Lovely Day

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Today was a lovely day. January – but the temperature was in the 70’s and did I ever get Spring Fever! I spent most of the afternoon outside planning my gardens for this year. I also washed off the porch rockers and spent some time there thinking and enjoying the weather. The kids kept busy playing four-square, basketball, and exploring by the pond. Michael got out my Dad’s old tackle box and tried to get his fishing pole lined up.

I had mixed up some Taco Soup in the crock-pot earlier in the day, so all I needed to do for dinner was pop some cornbread in the oven, which gave me even more time to enjoy the outdoors. Sarah baked some Brownie Pops, so dessert was covered, too.

As the sun started to set this evening, the sky was very beautiful, all striped in blue and pink. The moon came out and was lit up with a lovely bright white light. It was a serendipity day – a blessing that I didn’t expect. The kind that makes my heart sing and my soul praise the Lord.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.”
-Psalm 19:1-4

I’m so thankful for this lovely day – a nice break from winter to enjoy, and the promise of Spring ahead that it brings to mind.

Blessings,
Nancy

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Thankful Journal

One of my goals for 2012 is to cultivate more of an attitude of thankfulness in my life. I am generally a “glass half-empty” type, and so I am always in need of improvement in this area. The good news is that being thankful is so much more pleasant than being grumbly. And God has told us that He wants us to be thankful, so it’s like we’re given permission to be happy, rather than sad!

One of the things that I have wanted to do for quite awhile, but never really got around to doing is to keep a Thankful Journal. I’ve talked about doing this all year, but haven’t taken action on it. Well, that has now changed because I sat down on New Year’s Day and made my journal so that it is all ready for me to write in, and, in fact, I have started making some entries in it already.

To make the journal, I started with a sketch pad from Walmart ~

I then added scrapbook paper to the cover to make it pretty. You can find out how to do this here.

After I had it all covered, I pulled out some old magazines and started cutting out pictures that I liked. I do this for my daily planning journal and I really love it. I love looking through magazines with lovely pictures, and by cutting them out and using them in my journals, I can keep the pictures that I enjoy looking at so much. It makes for a really pretty, personalized journal that just makes me happy looking through it! Sometimes, if I’m really motivated, I pull out my stamps and add more embellishment with them – I really love the look, but don’t always have time to do that much. Here are pictures of some of the pages I made ~

On the first page of my Thankful Journal I copied Colossians 3:15-17, and on the second page I wrote out Philippians 4:6-7.

I started recording my thankful thoughts on the next available page. This just consists of an on-going list that I am keeping on a (mostly) daily basis. In the beginning these entries are tending to be of a more general nature, but I intend for them to get more moment specific as I go on. Here is what my first page looks like ~

By writing in my journal on a regular basis I am hoping to help keep my mind and my thoughts in a grateful mode – just one way that I am hoping to affect a change in this area. Thankfulness is first and foremost an outpouring of the heart in response to God’s love and abundant care for us, and so spending time in the Bible and walking and talking closely with the Lord is the most important means for me to change my thoughts. My journal is a tool that I am using to help retrain my mind towards more thankful thoughts.

Now you don’t have to make a journal like this to have a Thankful Journal You could use any blank book, or simply some paper, or I guess even your favorite electronic device (!) – whatever is motivating to you – you need to want to write in it! I’m so glad that I finally got mine put together, and am looking forward to its positive impact in my life.

Have a lovely day!
Blessings,
Nancy

Simple Pleasures . . .

I’ve been thinking about how much joy can come from the simple things in life. Things that pertain to family, nature, and just life in general. They usually aren’t expensive, but are worth so very, very much. I like to think of these as – and I solidly believe that they are – blessings from a loving Father, sent to delight us and, many times, to teach us about Himself.

Here are a few of the simple pleasures that I am enjoying in my life ~

~ Bedtime stories every night with my littles.

~ The changing of the seasons.

~ An afternoon on the front porch with a cool drink and my notebooks, drinking in the beauty of tall green trees, pretty flowers, and watching my little ones play.

~ Baking goodies for my family.

~ Conversations with my teenagers.

~ Beautiful pictures in magazines – cutting them out and decorating my journal with them.

~ Lighting a seasonal candle while I’m cooking or relaxing at night.

~ Hearing a sweet “I love you” from one of my kids.

~ Harvesting anything from the garden.

~ Stroking a kitty’s soft fur.

~ Sewing on a quilt and enjoying the beautiful fabrics.

~ Small town friendliness.

~ Fresh clean laundry.

~ Stopping by the Sno-cone stand on a hot summer day.

~ Seeing my husband pulling into the driveway.

~ A good book.

~ Popcorn with a late night movie.

~ Occasionally taking the slow, windey, country road rather than the highway.

~ Watching my children grow and learn.

~ Seeing the Lord working in my heart, growing me.

I begin to think that I could probably go on and on. Thank you, Lord, for all of your special gifts to us!

What simple pleasures are you enjoying?

Blessings,
Nancy