Today I am grateful for…

We survived one week of lock-down, it’s almost Monday and we have almost reached our 14 days of self-isolation. On Monday we can declare ourselves safe!

I could hear how people asked me; “how are you feeling?” and they didn’t mean how I was feeling about the weather or lock-down or work from home thing. They really wanted to know if I was in the slightest bit sick. Then they always asked about hubby, how is he feeling? Is he also OK?

I was always too scared to mention that sometimes I had a cough. That’s the thing nowadays you can’t cough or sneeze without getting some kind of panicked reaction….nope it’s not always corona.

We are fine, we really are! I am so grateful for God’s protection so many airports, places, things and people that we touched.

One week of lock-down and I am grateful for our holiday even when everything was shutting down behind us or ahead of us. I am grateful that we managed to get on a flight back home before all airlines parked their planes on runways, and airports became large creepy empty spaces.

Grateful for my family, the comfort of my home, that I was able to stay home and work in my PJ’s and slippers. That I can take a break to make lunch (not just eat at my desk) well actually the kitchen might be a problem, I spend way too much time there and I fear I’ll get out of this fatter than I came in! Just this week I baked two cakes (one flopped) I made bread and my own pizza from scratch!! See what I mean? Fat!

But I am grateful for the comforts and freedom of working from home and having a salary at the end of the month.

I am grateful for nature, the joy of the birds and the loud hadeda, that inspire love in some and hate in others. Has anyone noticed that they are louder now that we are home? Maybe I hear them as louder because I am not rushing to do something or to go somewhere. Grateful for the slow days, no traffic, no crowds, no business. Grateful for the generous amount of rain we have had, it has reminded me of Ireland and also, no one wants water restrictions in winter.

Grateful for the gift of prayer, we can all pray and I have been praying and thinking of my family spread all over the world, if we need to comfort one another we are so far even for that…I miss them so much it hurts.

And then I have to say I am grateful for technology – for this nonsense called Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, because although it is not always a good distraction, and it consumes us, and teaches our children things we don’t like if we did not have this crazy distraction and connection right now how would we “talk” to each other when we are on lock-down and social distancing?

You know that I am friends with my cousins’ children that I had never met in real life. But because of this thing called Instagram, we connect and chat to each other occasionally and we stay in touch. If it wasn’t for that we would be complete strangers, but I arrived in Portugal and meeting and hugging them for real for the first time was like ♥ I don’t know how to explain it, it was magical and wonderful and emotional and all things fuzzy and warm.

As churches are closed all over the country and in other parts of the world I see pastors of our churches posting videos of themselves doing devotionals. Little messages of encouragement from others, as they learn to use their cell phones and become more and more comfortable with the camera and posting their videos. I love them and they have brought me peace over the past week.

My sister and her family have been locked up and cooped up in a two bedroom apartment for much much longer than us, oh Itlay ☹ your numbers are still so high. I hear the pain in her voice sometimes.

So tonight when everything was silent and the rain was softly falling we received a special message from our own pastor on WhatsApp.

We can’t go to church tomorrow but no one and nothing is stopping us from worshiping together. And so we received his message; something inspirational and uplifting as some of us will be fasting tomorrow and praying. Yip worshiping with our phones in our hands, who would’ve thought this could ever happen!?

Ah I am grateful that this technology can keep us connected for now. And I am especially grateful for the soft confident voice saying that we are to put our complete trust in Him. He will give us courage to face this crisis, Be still and put your trust in Him.

Happy Sabbath all ♥

Gratitude Jar 2018

 

This was a damn long year, it was one of the worst starts I could have ever imagined. On day one I was already crying and begging for it to end.

It was a harsh year of pain but I guess it was one where I grew the most. I made it through each day with a lesson of some kind, whether I liked it or not each day was a new lesson.

Despite all the hardships I filled my glass jar with so many things to be grateful for and of course it’s beautiful and bountiful. I feel blessed.

And so I will take a deep breath and enter into 2019 on a positive note, with hope and confidence….

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

My 2017 Jar  ♥ ♥ ♥

Gratitude Jar 2017

I started the year with a positive attitude, this is going to be a better year, I’m not going to have a complete meltdown over big small huge things in my life…..and then it all came tumbling down.

We had some really rough months, huge storms and lots of turbulence, at some stage I thought the plane was going down!!  But look at this, I still have a glass jar this year and so many things to be grateful for, just look at it, it’s beautiful.

IMG_8641

It’s four years in a row that I fill a jar and it feels so good to think back and find so many blessings. They always stand out. Just look at this year, WOW!!

Picture1

And so I end off 2017 with a huge *sigh* and another big Thank You LORD for keeping us safe. Thank you for saving us so many times from so many things that could have turned out badly.  And of course, thank you for keeping me sane in the midst of all the craziness

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

 

My older jars – 2014  2015  2016  ♥ ♥ ♥

I filled a glass jar in 2016 !!

Last year I received a new jar from my friend, it was a Christmas gift.  She filled a large jar with homemade cookies and she wrote this on the card:

“This is your gratitude jar for 2016. Empty it this year and in 2016 you have to fill it with thoughts of gratitude…big or small.  So that by the end of 2016 you can reflect and appreciate the awesome year I know you will have!”

jar

For the past two years I have filled a glass jar with little notes of the things or moments I am grateful for. And this year I was going to try to fill my gifted jar with gratitude but actually filled it with some home-baked cookies for the family. I had to find another jar very quickly, and I did, it’s a special one too and I started filling it with everything I am thankful for.

It’s a good feeling, because I tend to remember the negatives too but when I start to write down each special moment I realise just how blessed I am.

It’s also a great feeling when I’m feeling a little down to see so many happy good moments we had as a family.

This year was hard but when I started filling the glass jar I experienced the amazing power of gratitude. The feeling is small, at first, there was only one little piece of paper but then it then gets bigger as the jar gets fuller.

It’s a good way to start the holiday season and wrap up my year I have so much to be grateful for.

Thank you LORD for keeping us safe this year and for keeping me sane…thank you for everything….

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

My glass jar is bigger _ 2015

My glass jar _ 2014

It is a serious thing to be alive

It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world  _ Mary Oliver

Not that I need to be reminded of this but sometimes I do need to see it so I don’t forget it. And I’m not going too far into the past just the last couple of months is enough to put things into perspective.

In September last year my uncle passed away, he had the type of cancer that never gave him a fighting chance

In March this year my last surviving grandparent passed away, granny was 90

In April we lost another family member, another uncle. My godfather passed away

Today I was at a funeral of a beautiful lady with the most contagious radiant smile, a senseless brutal crime took her away

Oh add to all of this that I find out a dear friend of mine has cancer?!

At the same time we have been battling with some serious business issues and the light at the end of the tunnel was so far away and everything was so dark…

We have not been sleeping well. I have been worrying way too much and asking God; how much more can I handle? How long before things get better? Every thought was a question with no answer.

At work we are busy packing for a big move. A whole new office and building, now I’m used to these office moves I have worked in this company for 24 years and I’ve lost count how many times we have moved. Sometimes they can be quite a lot of fun!

This one is not more stressful or hard but moving is rated as one of the top 5 most stressful life situations (Death of a loved one, Divorce, Moving, Major Illness, Job Loss)  So things have been pretty hectic lately, I see this move as a new life, a type of cleansing (so much was thrown away) it was a huge spring clean project in the office. Total office madness!

Emotionally exhausted!!

I am just emotionally exhausted and feeling so tired that I get this type of nervous feeling at the bottom of my stomach.

Today I was a mess and moody and definitely hard to handle and to be around. But still some people stay close, they stick around and put up with my shit.

At the church service we heard “be grateful for the gift of life” and “never stop saying I love you” and “live every day to the fullest” and “be happy to be alive”

And so it is, life is so short and untimely things and events leave us with so much pain sometimes.  As I sat in church our little business issue was somehow being resolved…we have a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, things are working out. Let’s see where this takes us.

For now remember this –

IMG_4601

God has not turned His face away and I have felt His love and protection, as hard as these months have been they have also been wonderful. I have so many people to be grateful for so many things to be happy about that all these feelings are almost confusing ♥ life is incredible and every day I am awake is a gift from God!