Monday, March 18, 2013

Ten Things I'm Thankful For ~ Pre-Lenten edition

I know. It's late...but please read on.

"Time and reflection change the sight little by little
'till we come to understand."
~ Paul C├ęzanne

Yes, this is the "pre-lenten edition", very obviously later than expected. It's sat patiently in my drafts' folder, awaiting editing, a few more uploaded photos, and the last of the text. And then, just as Lent tends to do, it intensified with its own rerouted agenda to disallow publication when due. 

Forgive me? 

Usually in our home, pre-lenten anything begins with winter in our midst, not such a good time health wise for my hubby, especially during February! 

This time of year is often dreadful for many, and seems to end up being the worst "winter month" for respiratory issues, freezing cold temperatures to create "freezing-cold-lung-pounding-pain" for him, and the rest of us working on building up our immune systems aplenty! 

Here's to a beautiful effort, a tangible, fruitful and prayerful lent ahead, a time for reflection, for delving even deeper, for the ability to carry our own crosses, and even in the toughest of moments, to be able to offer back everything - I MEAN everything (!!!) offered up to the greater glory of God, and towards others, who are in incredible need of our prayers during this fast approaching six week lenten season. 

The way to reflect while on our journey ahead on the road to Calvary this Easter, was never meant to be misconstrued as something easy peasy, no sir, not for anyone. If it feels easy folks, you either took a wrong turn, a short cut, or might possibly not be in tune with all there is to personally pray for. 

Honestly, maybe it's because I've grown older. Maybe not. But, there is SO MUCH to pray for! There are also so many opportunities to embrace those pay it forward moments in life. Like the one I was in awe of last week when the man at the Tim Horton's window handed our hot drinks out to us, and then announced "no charge because the woman ahead of you already paid for yours". 

Thankful. Humbled. I'm usually the one doing that, but have to admit this is the first I've had thrown my own way. 

"How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world."
~ William Shakespeare

How to pay it forward? In action, word or deed?

You'll know what to do when these times present themselves to you...

Here's my "ten things" for today, no rhyme nor reason, just thoughts and memories to share with you this day.

- 1 - I'm thankful for weekend visits with my hubby when he's allowed a two day pass out of the hospital's respiratory rehabilitation program, to come home and recover with family surrounding him. 

Mostly, he sleeps during that recovery, and it's in tender moments like this one above that we find ourselves smiling. It's definitely in the little things. That's for sure! Blessed.

- 2 - I'm thankful for the love of all things family! My family! My big beautiful family! 

There is always someone pressing on my mind, held dear to my heart, someone I'm prompted to pray for, or memories revisited in a very surprising way. 

It's a beautiful day to remember they all used to live right here with us, well, not right HERE exactly in Ontario, but you know what I mean. Missing the big bunches, loving and dodging about to get me my share of hugs from the younger ones these days. They are handling their father being in hospital quite well, asking about him often, and knowing this is all good at this time.

- 3 - I'm thankful for ceremonies like the one above when our son is able to advance as an altar server to the duties of both senior acolyte on future schedules. 

Mass was offered for the intentions of this day, beautiful and touching for all the parents and boys being presented with new blessed medals. Good service Son! Congratulations!

- 4 - I'm thankful for maple syrup days ahead! Well we hope so anyway. We've been doing our homework, chatting on the telephone before my husband has to get to bed at the hospital for his next morning's routine, and hoping that this won't be too big of a project for our family this year. 

I'll be back to let you know what we decide. 

- 5 - I'm thankful for our family's favorite hot cross bun standby recipe, only used during lent around here, so that makes it extra special for all of us! 

Praying arms during lent? Always appropriate. :) Here's to many of these pans filled with our Friday hot cross bun offerings our the family and friends to consume. 

- 6 - I'm thankful for signs of spring, even if those signs are only ones recently found indoors. 

My husband brought me home a large bunch of carnations, enough to fit into three separate vases! So, currently they grace the dining room table, the kitchen table, and the family room side table. Boy, oh boy, do these ever last a long while!

- 7 - I'm thankful for surprise little gifties and/or inspiring cards from my children. They all know mom is alone in the evenings, and this asked me if I was lonely at night because if so, she'll gladly come and join me in my great big bed (she said), so I have someone with me through the night. 

Cute. Thoughtful. Sweet daughter. 

"There is no possession more valuable than 
a good and faithful friend."
~ Socrates

And thankful to a whole bunch of friends, my hiking buddies who were so thoughtful and sent me this card above. That's the kind of support one often realizes during small storms of life, so incredibly grateful to all of them! xox

- 8 - I'm thankful for new pretty pyjamas, a soft cotton set of long sleeved shirt and pant bottoms, a gift from my hubby to keep warm this winter. I forgot about them, and finally pulled them out to wear after a nice warm bath this week.

I'm usually not a pyjama type of fan, preferring nighties, but lately, well, it's winter and so cold. Time to warm up under my flannel sheets! Delighted.

- 9 - I'm thankful for boys, the ones that live here and the ones that visit often!
They bring games to play (Angry Birds above), and they bring homemade pies to share with our family;

They come to watch and cheer our son on at hockey games, especially when his team gets to the privilege of playing in the BIG ARENA where the OHL leagues play. 

Here's to one of my sons, who has recently found a fun way to study his Wordly Wise vocabulary for the week's testing, making it a game for his own memory. 

He's been really pleased, and encouraged by the great results from challenging himself to remember words and their descriptions in this game format. Anything to make it fun he says...


And here's to the boys who presented me with an entirely different end result than I could ever have expected the day I left a fun winter edible project on the table to complete. 

Yes, the following photo shows what were supposed to end up as cute little snowmen, but what ended up as white little robot men. HAHA! 

Oh boys! You make me smile. You all make me laugh. You are all so protective of me, a whole unique bunch of your very own caliber who richly bless me. Thank you!

- 10 - I'm thankful for mornings after the winter rushing storms the night before. The sun shines, roads and sidewalks are fairly clear, and everyone just resumes their "normal", whatever that might be for them. 

There you have another "Ten Things I'm Thankful For" post. Please grab your own pen and paper, if you haven't already, or go ahead and challenge yourself to become a 365 photo snapper of one thing everyday that makes you thankful. Do something towards that end at the very least to trigger gratitude from within for all the many blessings that fall unto you each and every day.

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. 

If you...ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. 

Your life will be impoverished. 

But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life." 

~ Frank Lloyd Wright

To find the beauty in our days, the days that are already numbered like the stars in the heavens above, well now, let us really search for our intentional items to offer prayer for, and when we recite our morning offerings, let us do so with eyes, wide open! Rejoice if your cup becomes quite full, then you know you're doing something right. Indeed lent has its own plans for all of us, so relax, let go, and accept them.

Are you scared to proceed? Come on. Take my hand, let's jump in the next six weeks together. Shall we?

Sending warm thoughts your way as you too prepare for the Liturgical season changes ahead, when we walk our walk, and attempt to do the very best we can, baring any uncertain circumstances mounting up as near impossible road blocks. 

The path awaits, and we hope 
you will enjoy your journey.
Think the thoughts and see 
the sights along the way...
and delight in the anticipation 
of what may lie ahead.