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The big 4-0 has arrived.

Well, the first 40th birthday has nearly arrived. Son-in-law Chris turns 40 on Tuesday and son Tim will follow two weeks later.

So far, I think Chris is enjoying the celebration.

This weekend he got to play paintball and have an evening on the town. Then his parents took he and his twin (along with their families) to dinner.

And on Sunday, his boys presented their gifts. Each had made something for him. Callan went to a ceramic studio and painted a football helmet in Florida Gator colors and Konnor created a broken-glass picture frame. Using a hammer (which was a HUGE hit…pun intended), he smashed up some colored glass tile, then glued the pieces on the frame. A little grout, and a carefully chosen picture and voila! A gift for his dad.

Best of all…

But most fun for the boys was planning a treasure hunt for their dad so he could find his goodies. They wrapped and hid their gifts along with ours around the house, then wrote clues for Chris to follow. Both boys were proud not only of their gifts but in the enjoyable time they created for their Dad in finding his gifts.

Chris came into our family in 2003. And though I call him my son-in-law, long ago my heart welcomed him as another son. Our family wouldn’t be complete without him!

Happy 40th Chris. We sure do love you. Here’s to a wonderful, wonderful year.

Mimi

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Appearances can be deceiving.

We recently received a text from our daughter showing a picture of a shark her hubby had caught near New Smyrna Beach. To me, it was rather impressive.

Then I thought…hmm, wait a minute. That can’t be a real shark; it must be fake. I haven’t heard of anyone catching a shark with a surf rod and line. So, I texted my thoughts back and was assured it was definitely a live shark. And apparently, it put up quite a fight, too.

Of course, it needed to be returned to the sea. So, they opted for the safer method of cutting the line rather than trying to fight the creature to remove the hook from its mouth. (Smart move!)

Then came the next picture…

…and boy did I laugh. In the pic above, it looks like it could have been a 3- or 4-foot shark. I was imagining the strength it took to land the thing. But without anything else in the photo, my perspective was obviously skewed as you can tell with a quick look at the happy fisherman holding his catch!

Without anything else to add information to what I thought I was seeing, my perspective was off. Way off.

It’s just what happens in our everyday lives.

We may blow something out of proportion (like I did with the shark’s size) or we may not pay enough attention to something important. In my personal experience, I see this most often with my initial impressions or reactions. So, I’ve learned I need time to investigate, research, contemplate, etc. And I need time to look to God’s word and talk to Him to get His perspective rather than relying on my own.

This becomes imperative because often I don’t have the whole picture. But God does. If I remain close to Him, if we’re communicating with each other, there’s a better chance my eyes and understanding will see and know what He sees and knows. And that, is a good thing indeed.

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Both pictures remind me about the importance of having the proper perspective. And today’s Bible verse reminds me that above all, God’s perspective is what really matters most.

Mimi

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year!

In the photo you can see hubby hard at work un-decorating the Christmas tree that we had outside this year on our lanai. I’m so grateful for him. He put most of the decorations up and was happy to take most of them down, repack, then get them up in the attic. With the two of us working side by side, it was down in about two hours, maybe less.

But I have to laugh…

…at how I’ve changed over the years. Our long-standing tradition has us putting the tree up and decorations out the day after Thanksgiving. But in years past, I would leave it all up into January, just enjoying the cozy, warm feelings. Especially on cold nights with a fire in the fireplace and a cup of cocoa in hand.

But not anymore. I think it all changed when we moved to Florida. While I still buy into “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” pre-Christmas and am delighted to pull down those attic stairs and bring out our assortment of decorations, I have to say that January 1 or 2 runs a close second because we get to put it all away…usually in shorts and tee shirts.

This year it was in the 80’s for nearly a week after Christmas, so you’d better believe we needed to pack things away until next November.

How about you?

What are your traditions for beginning the season and for ending it? I bet some, like a few of my friends, are taking things day on the 26th. But I just betcha there are a few who keep things in place for several more weeks.

In any case, stay tuned. Once the Christmas decorations have been returned to their resting places, it’s on to January reorganization. I’ll share a little about what I’ve been up to next week.

Until then…

Mimi

Family Love

Family means everything to me. It really does.

There’s not a gift in the world anyone can give me that compares to time spent with my loved ones.

So, I feel especially blessed that the past few weeks were overflowing with family time: Thanksgiving, the Saturday after for our annual Family Craft Day, and three days later a 10-day cruise with Dad, the hubster, and my brother and his wife.

After all that, I already feel like Christmas has already come and that I’ve been showered with more gifts than I know what to do with.

While my Dad, kids and grands live close enough to see frequently, it’s tough being away from my brother and his family as they live in cold country in New York State. That typically means annual or semi-annual visits. And to me, that’s simply not often enough.

Despite that…

I’m very grateful for each and every one of them.

Desmond Tuto said “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

So, thank you, God. The beautiful gifts you have given me are not found under the tree. Rather, they are flesh and blood. They are the ones who raised me, the ones I grew up with, the one who married in and eventually birthed four more to love, the one I married 44 years ago, the ones I birthed, the ones they married, and the ones born to them. No matter how they arrived, they are my family. My loved ones.

And though I wish I could be with them in person every single day, it’s okay. After all, they really are with me…because I carry them in my heart.

I love you all.

Mimi

So very thankful.

November 19, 2018

 

With Thanksgiving upon us, I can honestly say I’m so very thankful for my wonderful Lord. His kindness to me and my family simply cannot be described in words. My heart is full not only for all He’s done in my life but for who He is.

Thankful, grateful, and truly blessed.

This wall art hangs in my kitchen where it is seen every single day. It’s a wonderful reminder to me that I am blessed…not because of anything I’ve done, not because of anything I have, but because I am in God’s family. I belong to Him. And that, my friends, is more than enough.

Some Favorite Verses

Here are just a few Bible passages about giving thanks and praise to God. Would love to read what your favorite ones are. Please comment below.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

 

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

 

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3)

 

Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders; His love endures forever. Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1-5)

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Mimi

 

Labor Day: A reminder of my hubby’s continual labor of love for me.

My hubby is a hardworking man. No matter what the task, he puts his all into it.

I laughingly tell others I don’t even know where the off/on switch is for the vacuum. He’s been doing the floors for decades…and the laundry…and the yardwork…and all maintenance both inside and outside, and so on.

Greg shows his love.

Greg likes to keep busy and shows his love by how he cares for me and our stuff.

While I was running errands the other day in my air-conditioned car, running into and out of air-conditioned stores, Greg was hard at work on an outside project in the intense Florida

After finishing up, he left his wet, sweaty clothes on a chair in the garage so they could dry out before he threw them in the laundry basket.

But as I pulled the car into the garage and saw Greg’s sweat-soaked tee shirt draped over a chair, my own heart melted at how much love he shows me every day.

Hopefully, you are able to see why as you look at the picture on Greg’s tee-shirt…the one formed by his own toil, his own sweat…a big heart.

You betcha I took a picture.

Because as soon as I saw it, I also saw the love behind it. The love that had him working in the yard enduring yet another 95-degree day. This love he has for me!

Greg’s demonstration of love is experienced daily. But there’s another love, an even more important revelation of love available to us.

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

What a powerful, truth-filled statement. Overflowing with amazing love for us, God provided a way to himself through the sacrifice of Christ.

Prayer

My prayer for each of us today is that we will cherish the loving sacrifice that came from the One whose heart of love for each of us is so much bigger than we can even imagine.

Mimi

Being willing to take a detour will often surprise and delight you.

Recently, we enjoyed a two-and-a-half-week road trip to visit friends and family up north.

For the return trip home, we planned on three days and two nights on the road. Partway through the first day of driving, we decided to continue on for another three hours. But soon we would question that decision as those three hours turned into four!

The flashing road sign advised us to tune our radio to a specific station that notified us of an accident that had completely shut down the southbound lanes. At about the same time, Google Maps spoke up to say it was rerouting us to leave the highway the exit before, take a 10-mile detour, and join up south of the accident.

We were good to go.

After reviewing the mounting delay on the Maps app, we decided it was best to take the detour. Since it was only a few miles away, we knew we’d be saving ourselves at least 30 minutes, maybe more.

The new plan continued to make sense until two miles before the exit when the traffic came to a complete stop on the interstate. Turns out, the traffic had back up all the way from the accident site, blocking the new exit completely.

I try, I really do.

I want to be okay with delays. But it’s not always easy. It was nearing the end of the day and we were looking forward to dinner out and an early bedtime at the motel as we planned to be up early the next day for the 10-hour ride ahead of us.

Traffic moved but only every 5-10 minutes, and for only 5-6 car lengths. And it was frustrating watching the timing of the delay continually count higher as restlessness built inside of me. I ate a snack, tried listening to music, and talked non-stop about sitting on a highway with a 70-mph speed limit!

Finally

After about 40 minutes the traffic seemed to be inching ahead a little faster. As the exit was nearly within reach we had a decision to make. Google Maps finally showed the slow-down time going down. What to do? Take a chance and remain on the highway…or exit the road on the proven route that would be much slower but definitely get us to our destination. We chose Option 2. And I’m so glad we did.

As it turns out, staying on the interstate was faster because soon after we left the highway, the accident was cleared and vehicles once again began to move at the speed limit.

But I relished in our decision to take the detour. First of all, I dislike sitting; I dislike doing nothing. So, to travel at any speed, even 15 mph, which we did at times on the side road, was better than sitting in traffic and not moving.

Our detour took us on back roads alongside of several miles of railroad tracks. We encountered S-turns like you wouldn’t believe. Train trestles ran over the road and concrete bridges helped us cross babbling brooks. We saw a country church in the middle of nowhere. And the sweetness of being in a forested area compared to a concrete highway was relaxing and at times blissful.

I loved our detour and by the time we arrived at our motel, we were both relaxed and smiling.

And…

I was reminded that we can’t always avoid trouble. We can’t always travel an easy route. But if we are willing to take a detour, we will often be surprised and delighted along the way.

How about you? Any delightful detours lately in your own lives?

Mimi