A Gallery of Gratitude

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Florida. We stayed at the Grand Cypress Hyatt Regency Resort in Orlando, went to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, shopped at Disney Springs, rented a car and drove to St. Augustine (the nations oldest city) for the day, spent a few days reading and lounging by the pool and relaxing. I decided before we left that I would embark on a quest to notice and document through pictures “treasures to be thankful for” and share them in this blog when I returned. Here are just a few examples of the many:

The first morning, we woke to this view out our window. I had just been studying in Genesis about God’s covenant promise represented by the rainbow. It was lovely.

When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:16

We stayed at the same hotel at this time last year and could not wait to go down to the Lakehouse Restaurant located at the resort to partake of this delicious squash lasagna. Yum!

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

As we were driving our rented Grand Cherokee down Highway 4 towards St Augustine, I noticed a billboard that said to turn to Z88.3. I did and it turned out to be great Jesus music. I gleefully sang the entire two hour drive. My blessing- yes- my husband’s maybe not so much.

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Psalm 98:4

I was excited to see the nation’s oldest school house. I a sure glad some things have gotten easier for teachers and students.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

We had a few cold days while we were in Florida and even laughed that the temperature at the exact same time on one day was colder than back home in Utah. We took it as an opportunity to go bowling (neither of us had been in years and had a blast) and go to a fun Christmas movie (Last Christmas) at a Dine-In Movie theater with a waiter, real food, and heated seats. Yes!

I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.”-Philippians 4:11

The entire trip we were blessed with great transportation providers, especially from fun and friendly Uber drivers.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7

Surrounding the lake at the resort, signs warned us to be aware of snakes, alligators, etc. Thank you, Lord, that in our many walks we did not encounter any of these creatures, only squirrels and a friendly black and white cat.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

We had a wonderful time on our vacation and as we paid attention, we noticed so many special gratitude gifts throughout the week. We received surprise coupons for free breakfasts at the hotel, Sky Priority on our luggage from a nice Delta attendant, moments of connection with waitresses, drivers, hotel staff, housekeepers, and other bus riders, etc, that made our days special and just the thrill of enjoying sights, smells, and sounds of “somewhere else”.

I am especially thankful for my husband, my partner, my friend. He makes me laugh and he watches over me. He has patience when I do silly things and he goes along with my antics. He may not want to dance in the street with me or sing “Let it Go” at the top of his lungs with Anna and Elsa, but he is right by my side while I do it and does not make me feel like I am a nut. Thank you, Lord for this incredible man in my life.

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Blessing upon Blessing

I love November. I love being with family- listening to them laugh with each other and catching up. I love that it is the month of the birth of my incredible son. I love watching grandkids running through whoever’s house we are visiting-playing some made-up only-for-cousins game. Of course, I love the turkey, the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and jellied cranberry from the can (my specialty). I love the crisp weather and the creative colors, but high on my list of reasons I love November is the reminder to NOTICE people, places, and things to be grateful for. Every time I stop and take a moment to actually NOTICE, my mood lightens. If I express it, my world gets brighter still. So thank you, dear reader for allowing me to express the grateful (in no particular order) I have noticed this week.

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. John 1:16

  • An unexpected call for your help
  • Perfect song playing in a public place at the perfect time
  • Fun fellowship with family
  • Surprise spectacular sunrise or sunset
  • Spontaneous lunch invitation
  • Kind representative at Delta Airlines- Thanks, Kim!
  • Cinnamon french toast
  • Out-of-the-ordinary promptings
  • Running into a former student. Yay!
  • Passing on a compliment to your son
  • Gym time with inspiring fellow exercisers
  • New friends, present friends, long-time friends
  • A funny meme sent by your grandson right before you go to bed
  • Impromptu tee time
  • Smell of “Eucalyptus Spearmint” bath gel after you wash your hands
  • Laughing out loud with your husband while watching “our show”
  • Guidance exactly when you need it
  • A baby’s smile aimed at you
  • A well-timed encouraging “like, comment, share, email, text, or call”
  • Anytime you hear the word, “Grandma”
  • Anticipation of a much-needed trip
  • Morning time in prayer room
  • New insights from scripture
  • Hot tub in chilly weather
  • The incredible intense colors of fall
  • His unconditional love, forgiveness, and never-changing presence
  • Another day

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. John 1:16 Amplified Bible

Grace upon grace, spiritual blessing upon blessing, favor upon favor, gift upon gift. Though God’s gifts are not always exactly what I am waiting for, asking for, or feel I need, they are there out of His fullness if I choose to NOTICE them. I am always happy to hear about what’s on your list during Notice November and I am praying that your next week is filled with blessing upon blessing. In Jesus name, Amen