Very Thankful

I have been thinking about blogging about this for a little while now and given than yesterday was Thanksgiving and as I type Dave is outside putting Christmas lights up that I have been nagging him for, I figured now would be appropriate.

It will be no surprise to you that I love photos and that I have probably millions of them.  After we came home from our European adventure I started the process of updating our back-ups so that these fun memories were included.  This project lost a little momentum when we found out that we were having Josh, but now it has shot back up the priority list with the edition of our very precious photo memories of our little boy.  So the last couple of weeks
while I have been on leave I have spent a lot of my time looking through, sorting, storing and re-storing our photos.

Projects like this always take me a long time because I like looking through the photos, reminiscing and reflecting on what we have done, where we have been and who we have been spending our time with.  It’s nice to look back sometimes and in true thanksgiving style it always makes me very thankful for the things, memories, experiences and people who make up my life.

Anyway, while I have been getting the photos sorted, I decided that I also needed to include the videos we have of things like our wedding.  I love our wedding video, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually sat down and watched it… but this week I found myself doing just that, watching it after I moved it over to the back-up drive.  Now, I pride myself on remembering most of our special occasions well, and in detail, but it turned out that I had completely forgotten about the song that was sung while Dave and I signed the registry.   It was a song that we chose for the lyrics and as I listened to the song again tears flowed from my eyes because I realised that the lyrics were more true that I had ever understood.

The song is “When God made you” by NewSong and the lyrics are as follows:

img_9200It’s always been a mystery to me
How two hearts can come together
And love can last for ever
But now that I have found you I believe
That a miracle has come
When god sends the perfect one

Now gone are all my questions about why
And I’ve never been so sure of anything
In my life

Oh I wonder what God
Was thinking
When he created you
I wonder if he
Knew everything I would need
Because he made all my dreams come true
When God made You
He must have been thinking about me

I promise that wherever you may go
Where ever life may lead you
With all my heart I’ll be their too
And from this moment on
I want you to know
I’ll let nothing come between us
And I will even love you more

Chorus

He made the sun
He made the moon
To harmonize a perfect tune
One can’t move without the other
They just have to be together

And that is why I know its true
Your for me
And I’m for you
Because my world just can’t be right
With out you in my life

Chorus 

At the time, I have to admit that while I agreed with the words, I found it a little corny, but now given the events of this year, traveling together, working on our house and with the addition of Joshua, I realise that there is no one else that I would have rather been with.

I don’t give Dave anywhere enough praise.  He is truly a wonderful, wonderful man.  A man who is brave and courageous, a man who is wiser than his years, more caring and more loving than I have ever known.  He is talented and good at everything he does, he is humble and serves people without expectation.  And in the last couple of months I have learnt that he is far stronger than I ever understood.  He has stood in the gap for me, been my voice, my comfort, my protector, my support and my love and he has done all of this without any return, knowing I have been completely empty and unable to look after myself at times.

So this thanksgiving, I need him and everyone else to know that I could not be more thankful for him if I tried.  I love him more than I could ever say or show and he deserves so much more than what I have to offer.  I know that when God made him, as selfish as it sounds, he was thinking about me, because there is no one else but him that completes me, compliments me or who loves me as well as he does.

Thank you Jesus for giving me Dave, and thank you Dave for loving me.

I love you.

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How November has improved my December

Ok so while I started writing this blog on thanksgiving Thursday… I didn’t quite finish it but now it’s the second week of December, but hey, they Christmas season is like that and I think that it might even be a better time to stop and be thankful… to wrap up my month of deliberate thankfulness.  Not to stop being thankful though… well at least I hope not.  I have really enjoyed pausing this month, and I am hoping that through out December, even thought I am not blogging about it, that I will continue to remember to stop and count my blessings, because there are a lot.

Nov 22:  Worship – I always love worshiping God with music, but sometimes it’s extra good… and tonight was one of those times!  In fact today I am thankful for my church, for learning new things and for having some great time in worship.

Nov 23:  Good Team Peeps – Sometimes I get a chance to reflect on who I work with and today I am thankful for them because they are actually grand! They are hardworking and encouraging and I love being in a team with them.

Nov 24:  Walking catch ups – so the spring time weather has on occasions like today been delightful and allowed for a wonderfully long catch up walk with my friend Julia.  The walk was good but the catch up was even better!

Nov 25:  Glasses – tonight I picked up my glasses and I am just very thankful that some genius worked out how to make blind people like me see… The world is so much more interesting when I can actually see it with crisp clarity.

Nov 26:  Dave’s never ending list of talents – You’ve probably already worked out that Dave is a winner, but tonight at his school’s presentation night I watched him work his musical magic and it was so good.  He is a teaching and conducting wiz and I am very proud of him.

Nov 27:  Wise Friends that tell us where things are at – While it wasn’t quite how we expected the night to go, Dave and I got to hang out with our friends Matt and Fee  which is always fun, but they also speak wisdom into our lives, they are honest and loving and push us to be our best selves.

Nov 28: Holy City – even though it’s only November  Christmas can now happen, I have heard someone sing ‘Holy City’… all is well and I am ready… we not really, but if it happened tomorrow, my heart would be ok because I have heard this song.  This song that seems to be so ingrained in my Christmas experiences that it simply doesn’t feel right without… even if it is sung by David Hobson… my love-hate relationship with him and this song only seems to make the nostalgia attached to this song worse.  Oh and I am thankful for the Langham and it’s deliciously wonderful dishes, both actual dishes and food dishes.

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Nov 29: The Salvos – it’s who I am, and even though there is lots about it I would like to change, there is even more that I love and cherish and today was an army day of celebration… Commissioning and the festival of mission.  Thank God for the Salvos.

Nov 30: Thankfulness in November – This month has made me stop and actually look at my days and to be thankful for what I have.    But it’s actually been more important than that, it has given me a little attitude adjustment just in time for December.  I am not really sure how, or when it happened, but it has.  Leading up to November and December I had found myself cringing every time I got a text message or looked at my diary because there was so much to do and no more time to offer.  I hate saying no, but I also hate not having time, time to prepare, time for Dave, time for me… just time and December makes these two parts of my being feud in ways I never imagined they could.  But I have decided that I just need to change my perspective… I have to look at it differently.  So instead of looking at my diary full of things I need to do as obligations, I have decided to celebrate that I actually get to catch up with people that I might not see regularly, I get to hang out with friends and family and celebrate all that they mean to me and I get to practice generosity and be blessed by being a blessing.  It doesn’t always work, but so far it’s made a pretty big difference.  I am finding that because I have changed my perspective on why I am going, I am open to enjoying things more, so it’s a double bonus.  So while this whole month of reflection hasn’t changed my daily practice as much as I perhaps thought it would, it has helped me face December with much more Christmas joy than I have had in many years.  Here are some of my Christmas joys so far in December…

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… List adventures, fun runs, special birthdays, family Christmas celebrations, church nativities, Myer windows, light displays at the Town Hall, catch ups with friends  and work Christmas parties… And there is still two weeks until Christmas, but at least now I feel a little more prepared to face it.

Missed it again, but gratitude is still gratitude

So thankfulness on a Thursday is not really working out for me… Because once again it is Saturday… And perhaps thoughts of gratitude haven’t invaded my everyday, but I am still enjoying stopping and reflecting…

Nov 16:  A good list – I have a long list of things I need to do at work… Unfortunately for everything I cross off 2 more things seem to be added… But today I got lots done… And there is nothing better than the feeling of crossing things off the list…

Nov 17:  Listening ears – so after my over achieving yesterday, today I crashed and realised that Christmas is coming like a steam train and I am no more ready than I was weeks ago… But luckily I sit with a winner friend at work who was more than helpful as I panicked.

Nov 18:  How far I have come – I had the opportunity to reflect today on how far I had progressed at work over the last 2.5 years, and to be honest it was a pretty good reflection, I have grown a lot as a dietitian, but also in a number of other areas and I am really thankful to work somewhere that helps me use and also appreciates my skills.

Nov 19:  Private Health insurance – Tonight I ordered new glasses, something that would have been much more expensive without my health insurance, but more than the discount I got today, I am thankful that we can afford luxuries like health insurance, because there are lots of people that cannot.

Nov 20:  Home – I know it sounds simple, but I am thankful for our house.  It has all we need and we have made it ours and it is good.

IMG_0422Nov 21:  Friendsgiving and Pumpkin Pie – Hanging out with people you love seems to be a theme of this thankfulness month, but I suppose it just highlights how grateful I am to have friends and family who I love and can spend time with.  There is also something special about baking special treats for people too and today I made a pumpkin pie, thanks to a generous recipe share from a friend, just for Davo, although we all enjoyed it too, because praise the Lord it turned out pretty good.

So there you go, another week of November gone…

Still Thankful

Ok, so I missed Thursday again this week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thankful this past week, I have… here check it:

Nov 7:  Catch-Ups with old Friends – there are some friends who I don’t see all that often, but when I do it is like no time has passed, things just click back together.  I am truly thankful for this because I know it isn’t always the way these things work, but I am so glad that with these guys it always seems to happen.  So much has changed since we first meet during O-week at Uni, but the three of us remain solid… it’s good.

Nov 8:  That God made berries and that we could pick them – But this is so much more than berry picking, although we picked so many and they were so very delicious, we also got to hang out with My brother and his girlfriend and enjoy the beautiful sunshine… just a winner combination.

Berries

Nov 9:  Skills – This one might sound a little arrogant, but I am thankful that I have skills in a lot of different things and that I am currently in a job where people appreciated my skills and encourage me to use them.   It’s good to feel supported and appreciated.

Nov 10:  The gym – It’s a love hate relationship, but this week I have been really glad to be back in the gym, it’s good to exercise… I wish I felt like this more often.

Nov 11:  Meeting wise people – During Alpha at church we have been put in a group with some pretty wise people, I don’t think I will ever get sick of learning about what God is doing through people, or challenged about how I can lift my game.

Nov 12:  Friday Feels on a Thursday – Today was a great day at work, and there was a Friday feeling in the air, even though it was Thursday, although technically my work Friday… because I wasn’t actually working on Friday… but it wasn’t just me… work was just really fun today and for that I am thankful.

Nov 13:  International Post – It was my bestie’s birthday yesterday and I popped a card in the post last week hoping that it would make it but not expecting that it would… and guess what, it did.  Only a day late for her birthday, but even so I am pretty proud of myself and really thankful that it actually made it to London.

Nov 14:  Camping – I really love it, much to the surprise of my friends and family.  So a impromptu overnight camp organised by Davo to help me cross some things off my list is pretty flippin good.  We crossed three things off the list… 61. Go Camping, 31. Stargaze while lying on the grass and because Davo planned the whole thing just for the list we also get to cross off no. 48. Go on a romantic getaway. But even without these things on the list, it was just really nice to be away even just for one night, see some wildlife including a random deer (who knew that was a thing in the Yarra Ranges), go for a walk and have some peachy keeny custard with our worrying about a thing.

Camping

Nov 15:  Birthday Brunch – You know the thing I wrote about for Nov 7?   Well its true for today as well.  Today we celebrated another besties birthday with delicious breakfast and it was good, everything about it was good, except the serve that was pretty bad, but everything else was top notch.  I am thankful for the people that are in my life, especially the ones like those I hung out with this week, who have known me for longer than I care to think about and still love me anyway.  Friends who just accept me for me… they are good ones.

Breakfast

So far November is proving to be a winner.

Hello November… you got here quick!

So this has been my thinking this week…. Oh crap it’s November… things are already really busy, but it is about to get worse… Christmas is coming… how on earth will we get everything we need to get done in the next month and a bit… everything please slow down… please slow down… please please please slow down.  Because despite what the Christmas tree in my living room might lead you to believe, I am not ready for Christmas or the end of the year.  I just don’t want to be surprise attacked by Christmas and I feel that if I don’t go through my regular Christmas time frame… that is exactly what will happen… so the tree is up and it looks nice, but I am still not ready… so rather than remove things from my life (which would be a more logical response) I thought I would add one more thing in… just for November…

I have seen a few bloggers and instagramers doing this too… so it is probably a thing… and now that I am typing… which is pretty much thinking out loud… it’s probably an American thing because it is Thanksgiving this month… but I am jumping on the thankfulness band wagon.  It’s not a new concept, in fact I’ve actually tried to do this on this very blog previously but for some reason I didn’t follow through… but it gives me a chance to actually stop daily… but for the sake of the blog lets say weekly and reflect and be thankful on how blessed I actually am, because even when I am having a ‘bad’ week… life is still way grander than I deserve.

So my plan is to make more of an effort to be thankful everyday and then once a week write it down… whatever it looks like… so… As this is the first week of November here I am sharing what I am thankful for…  (just as a side note I think next week I will do this on Thursday to take full advantage of the “Thankful Thursday” alliteration… coz alliteration is the bomb.)   Anyway… here is what I have been thankful for so far in November:

Nov 1:  Country Vic – it’s actually always more beautiful than I remember… seriously and this time was no different, even as we drove through a giant storm.

Nov 2:  Understanding Husbands – I have been pretty sick this past week and Dave has been pretty flipping amazing, cooking, cleaning and generally just looking after me with no complaints even when I am crying my eyes out, thanks Davo.

Nov 3:  Family and Christmas – Even though it’s the beginning of November traditionally this is the day the tree goes up… and up it did go, as did the tree at Dad’s place complete with a Mexican feast prepared by my bro and his girlfriend.  I am truly thankful for my family and that Christmas is a good reason to meet with them.

Nov 4:  Whatsapp – this week whatsapp has been my second saviour (Jesus still being the first).  Keeping me connected when distance, time zones and tummy bugs want to keep me away.

Nov 5:  New friends, Fonda and Fro-yo – what an epic and fun combo, plus Melbourne’s crazy weather passed which also meant a quick walk after work and a balmy and wonderful Thursday evening out.

Nov 6:  Writing – I know it sounds lame but I am thankful that I have stopped to do this… It’s made me feel much better about my week which was already feeling good compared to the last one anyway… hopefully this trend continues!

It’s good to be thankful.

Thankful for so much

Wow, I am really behind… my crazy busy life has taken over and once again my blog has been neglected… but I am back… perhaps just to come up for some air before I disappear again, but hopefully not.

So because I promised to do this weekly, three weeks ago and I have done nothing, I thought I would do a catch me up with a ‘forever grateful Friday’… all part of fixing my attitude and keeping my eyes focused on the blessings I have, rather than the hurdles I have to jump.  Oh and just FYI they probably won’t all be this detailed:

1. Friends and Focus
On Easter Saturday Dave and I got to spend some time with the youth leadership team from church, planning, brainstorming and goal setting for our church’s youth and young adult ministry.  It was really nice to be able to share our past trials and victories together, but even more importantly to imagine what could be, and to start the ball rolling towards these.  Oh and even though my brain hurt by the end it was a fantastic day with an even more fantastic group of people.

2. Surprise Family Encounters
On Easter Sunday, Dave and I headed to Leongatha salvos for morning church and we got there we bumped into my grandparents, my aunt and uncle and their kids, which while in hindsight it perhaps isn’t surprising as I knew they were down at Inverloch, it was still a pleasant surprise, and there is just something really special about celebrating days like Easter Sunday with family.  We also got to have an impromptu chinese lunch which was delicious.

3. Birthday goodness.
What’s not to love about your birthday (apart from the getting older bit)… nothing… that what.  In true Emma style I did a million things for my birthday, a movie and dinner with Dave, breakfast with mum and Jake, dinner with Dad and Jake and a dinner with friends.  An awesome Zumba gift, an impromptu cake and a delicious cake from carousel with the biscuit bits… best husband ever.  Oh and a kindle that is coming… I am thankful already.

4. For more than a house
On my birthday I said goodbye to my old family holiday house, the one that holds many memories and have helped Inverloch become so special to me and most who know me.  I was sad to say goodbye as I tend to get attached to things a little too often.  I will miss the love hearts Pa used to mow into the backyard for gran, I will miss the awkward stairwell, I will miss the uncomfortable, yet practical fold out bed.  I will miss the stories that each room tells, like the spare room with the patched up door for a duplow box assault and eski made bedside table in my parents room.  It will be strange not to look down the street and see who else is in Inverloch when we walk past, but I am thankful for the house and for the experiences I have shared with it.  I am also thankful that there is still Dad’s place down there so that I can still enjoy the beach and free accommodation… oh and the beach.

 

So April has been pretty choccas… but I am super thankful.

Fixing my attitdue

So I have something exciting to share with you… it turns out my husband is a lot wiser than I thought. Seriously no sarcasm intended… he is really wise. He has been writing this blog called ‘just a thought’ for a while now and each time he posts something I learn something… I think he is on to a winner… so if you are looking for some interesting thoughts… check his blog out… seriously do it… you won’t regret it.

Another wise man has been sharing some rather wise words in the form of a podcast I have been listening to this week. I have been listening to Steven Furtick speak at Life Church about the favour of God and what it means to walk in the favour of God. I have found it quite challenging, which was quite unexpected, because normally when I think of the Favour of God I think of it raining down blessings of all kinds. In fact, to be honest, I normally get a little sceptical when people start talking about the favour of God, because it makes me think of prosperity gospels and doing things so God gives you stuff, but usually it’s a feel good message so I gave it a crack. But that’s not what it is about at all… seriously the favour of God could not be further from that. Sure while you are walking in the favour of God you might get some good stuff, your blessings may increase but that’s not the point… the favour of God doesn’t mean favors from God… in fact Steven defined favour as:

The guarantee of His presence and the provision of His power to accomplish His special purpose, in and through my life.

Pretty cool ey? I really like it… The other thing that hit me was the attitude it should come with, Steven talked about the fact that lots of people walk around doing life and when bad stuff happens they say things like ‘that would only happen to me” or “that’s the story of my life” but if that’s the way we are thinking then we need to get a new writer/director… because our current is terrible! Instead we should be waking up in the morning saying “I wonder what blessings God is going to give me today” or “I wonder how I will see God working today”, we should have a grateful attitude as gratitude is the gateway to favour.

This really made me think, I have been guilty of having a ‘woe is me and my life’ frame of mind for probably a couple of years now, granted I have encountered some pretty life altering events and some of them haven’t been that awesome… in fact some of them have been less than average. But through this I have come to expect that I will always get the rough deal, that me, and my family are destined to have second best, to always be facing something bad and that when things are looking good for once, not to get too excited because it probably means that the next disaster is about to strike. This is a terrible way to live… and it doesn’t really scream hope, faith, love, grace and favour… in fact it pretty much says doubt. I know I have blogged about changing my attitude before and it probably seems like I just round in circles, which is probably true in many ways, but I think each time I go round I get a bit better at taking steps in the right direction. I need to start living like God likes me, like really does have something special for me to do, which he does, like he loves me and wants the best for me, which he does, like all things will work for good, for those who love the lord and are called according to his purpose, which I am and he will. I need to get thankful, like really thankful, not just for the big things, but for the little things too, in fact for everything (because he is worthy). I need to expect wonderful, powerful, amazing stuff all the time, I need to trust that even if I can’t see, I’m in his favour so I am safe, secure and heading in the right direction, and I need to do this consistently… I need to life the bar of expectation for my life… and when/if… no, when the bad stuff comes, be thankful for the people, the prayer, the power that I have been given to lift me out…

So one of the things I am going to do to help me be more consistent is get more thankful, like really thankful because I am and I should be! So one day each week I am going to stop and take a moment to post about the things I thankful for, it might just be a wordless Wednesday, or it might be a day of its own, perhaps marvelous Monday… Or something along those lines, either way, when ever it is it will be full of thanks, not just for big things but for all the small things too… I am going to share the favour that have received… And slowly but surely my attitude will change… I hope… but just to get me started, I super thankful for God’s beautiful earth… how’s this for favour…

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