Happy Thanksgiving

Holiday Fun

I participated in a craft and vendor show this past weekend at Harvest Fellowship Church, manning a table with my books. A writer friend of mine was there as well, her table next to mine. I’d been waiting a long time for this event, as it always promises to be a wonderful time and sets the mood for the beginning of the holiday season, including Christmas.


Christmas? you say? But it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

Yes, I know. I, too, am not a fan of stores displaying their Christmas merchandise before Thanksgiving. It seems to be getting earlier every year, to the point that one of these days it will probably be in the stores year-round.

However, that being said, Christmas means different things to different people. For the world of retail it means money. It means starting sales as early as possible, taking advantage of the marketing opportunity to make as much money as possible. Christmas music pipes through the speakers in department stores, subconsciously inspiring people to buy, buy, buy.

For others, me included, celebrating the Christmas season in combination with Thanksgiving means something entirely different. I don’t believe it can ever be too early to celebrate the birth of Christ. To begin preparing our hearts for the coming of the Savior. Thanksgiving isn’t only about remembering the Pilgrims, it’s about giving thanks to God for the thousands of blessings he gives me.

On October 3, 1863, in the third fall of the Civil War, President Lincoln issued a proclamation:
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, …, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him …

Giving thanks to the Father for the birth of His Son fits in nicely here. It’s never too early for that. So bring on the Thanksgiving holiday, complete with turkey, pumpkin pie, family, and football, while at the same time preparing my heart for the birth of Christ. And Christmas lights and music? When the heart is focused on Him, Christmas music isn’t about buying, it soothes and helps prepare. And lights? Who doesn’t love the beauty of lights.

Enjoy this holiday season, the entire season, for all it’s worth.

Wishing you a most blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. – E.P. Powell

Thankful Thursday – Angels

An Angel.

Not in the heavenly form with wings and harps, but sent from heaven nonetheless. I’m referring to the special people God has strategically and perfectly placed in my life at the exact moment and purpose that He knew I needed. Those who have made a lasting impact and imprint on my heart, each planting a lasting seed creating the most beautiful flower garden in my heart.
Using first names to personalize, omitting last so as not to “over”-personalize, these people have made my life an amazing journey.

Lisa was a dear friend back in high school. We won’t say exactly how far back. We didn’t have a lot in common and hung around with only a couple of the same people, but I always admired her honesty and standing firm in who she was, and how she always stayed true to herself and her values. That has stayed with me thirty-some years later.

Mr. Rudy, my high school Prose Forms and Creative Writing teacher, taught me the beauty of words, how to connect those words to create beautiful sentences, and how to create stories. He taught me how to appreciate books of all different genres and to think through the characters’ view.

Pam played an instrumental role in my life as she pulled away from our life of parties and drinking fun to that of sobriety and faith. And still much fun. 🙂  Pam had a zest for life and passion for God unmatched by anyone I’ve known. She showed me how to beat an addiction and be truly happy can happen if we keep our focus on God. And years later, as I worked to beat my own addiction, her example still remains fresh in my mind.

Lynne was in my life for a short time, but that time was filled with the power of God and prayer, finding the positive in every situation. The most memorable lesson she taught me? When she was upset or frustrated with her husband she would vent in a way that would not criticize harshly or paint him in a negative light. She would always follow it up with, “But he’s my husband and I love him,” and a giant, genuine smile. Lynne carried me through some of my toughest life-changing events that had I not had her support, I surely would have crumbled. She was a pillar of strength and my rock.

Becky taught me compassion for those with mental illness as I watched her battle bi-polar disorder. She had the most beautiful heart and spirit, loved her family more than anything in the world, and nothing made her happier than to give to others and to make them happy. When she walked into a room, she radiated beauty from inside and out. Ironically, she also taught me the value of life when hers tragically ended. She was, and continues to be, my light.

Ben and Alex (yes, my precious boys) have taught me how powerful the love is between a mother and child. How it feels to say you would give your very own life for another in a heartbeat, and mean it more than you’ve ever meant anything. Ever. They have taught me how to keep giving something to God as I lift them up to Him and take them back again–daily–foolishly thinking I’m the one that keeps them safe. They have taught me about joy, laughter, milestones, and pure, unselfish love.

Clint (my amazing husband) is the life partner I have always dreamed of in a spouse since as far back as I can remember. He has taught me work ethic, the value of family, and a strong belief system. He has taught me it’s okay to take time out, to take a vacation, and how having your spouse as your best friend makes daily life so fulfilling and a beautiful ride. He has encouraged me to pursue my dreams and interests that he knew were so important to me, always my biggest fan.

Nikki has taught me how to live life on life’s terms as it unfolds and as it is given to me rather than how I want it to be. Watching her display such grace as she has struggled through tragedy and some of the worst times of her life has taught me that serenity truly is possible in the midst of life’s trauma and drama. She has taught me true humility and the power of friendship.

Tiffany has taught me by beautiful example how to truly care and listen to another, being 100% present for whoever I’m with. She models beautiful, simple and unwavering faith, as well as wellness of mind and body.

I pray I remain open to God’s calling and to be led to the lives of those He chooses.  I pray that I may be an angel to another, making a lasting impact on those He leads me to, as my angels have been to me.

White Ox-eye daisy flower, Wellington, New Zealand

Daisies. That’s the flower I would like to plant in the hearts of those I touch. They’re known to represent simplicity, loyalty, and purity. And they’re strong. Yes, that’s the seed I want to plant.

All is Grace.