Thursday, January 26, 2023

Thankful for So Much

Happy Friday!  Another week in the books.  It is important to me to be mindful and thankful of all the small and large ways I am blessed each day and week.  Therefore, Friday Fave Fives is important to me.  Here is my list of Five Blessings I have noted in Willow's Week.

1.  Our area has been clobbered twice with snow storms this week.  I am glad that the snow melted off fairly quickly from both storms.  Even so, area schools were closed one day.  I'm thankful for the beauty but also that the snow didn't stick around for days and days.

2.  On Tuesday afternoon, The Professor and I braved the weather during one of the warmer times and took a drive north through a couple of small towns and ended up in a place called Mt. Vernon.  It is a lovely quaint town which has at least two small universities.  Our interest was in the walking trails there.  We enjoyed a lovely two and a half mile walk along a river and around a lake and then back across the river to our car.  I took some lovely photos of the scenery but unfortunately, my camera and my computer are having a tiff and not speaking to each other. (detailed fix-it coming soon, I hope)

3.  An added joy to that walk was a lovely conversation with a gentleman who pointed us in the right direction for the best walk and also traded numbers with The Professor and invited us visit him at his home some time soon as we have much in common beyond our mutual love of walking and exploring.

4.  I love living near my daughters, like a five minute drive.  One afternoon, we realized that our clothes dryer quit working.  The clothes were washed and wet and we needed them.  So we checked with the girls and arranged to pop over and dry our clothes.  And had an opportunity to chat with the teenagers, too.  I am so thankful to be so close to them.

5.  We love to travel.  It's just in our nomadic bones.  So yes, we are traveling.  With all that cold and grey and rain and snow, we decided we needed some sunshine and warmth, so south we are headed.  So far, we haven't found any warmth or sun, but at least we are enjoying our adventure.  And we will be spending time with friends and family.

How about you?  What blessings have you found in your week?

Friday, January 20, 2023

Midwinter Friday Faves

Happy Friday!  Willow's Week was mostly quiet with a few bursts of energy.  In midwinter, that is probably the best way to gratefully walk through a week.  These are my Friday Fave Fives (the link will connect you to Susanne's blog where you can read more or join in).

This week I finished reading a book titled Simple Ways to Be More With Less by Courtney Carver.  At the very end of the book there was a section written by guest writer Joshua Becker about Prayer and Gratitude.  I loved his closing statements and feel they are worthy to be quoted here and used for my first three faves because they have encouraged and challenged me over and over this week. 

1.  "Another benefit of prayer in your life is that prayer leads to gratitude.  Gratitude leads to contentment."  

2.  "Unfortunately, we live in a culture that preaches discontent.  A consumer-driven culture will always attack gratitude.   If they can sow seeds of discontent in our lives, they can sell us on their new product line or latest version with new improvements.  In contrast, those who can find gratitude in their current existence will be less influenced by those empty promises."  

3.  "Gratitude grounds us and focuses our lives on others."

4.  Sunshine and somewhat temperate weather filled me with joy and gratitude this week.  We took several walks in the sunshine, one of them at the local arboretum.

5.  Finally, I read a book this week that challenged me.  Titled Safer Than A Known Way, it is an autobiography of a young woman who worked with Brother Andrew and was also the companion and caregiver for Corrie Ten Boom at the end of her life.  I highly recommend it.

6.  Yes, I have an extra this week again.  Younger Son's birthday was this week.  He was my miracle baby as I was sick with malaria when he was born.  We both lived.  And for that too I am grateful.

Wasn't he the cutest six year old in the world?

Friday, January 13, 2023

Five Reasons To Be Thankful This Week

Friday.  That means Friday Fave Fives.  I try hard all week to be thankful and focus my mind on how God is showing me blessings every day.  So writing out my Fave Fives is important.  I am thankful that Susanne has been so faithful to host this every week for YEARS.  You can do it too--here's the LINK. So here is Willow's Week...

1.   I noticed this quote this week and it resonated with me.

"Be always grateful for getting another chance to do whatever you love doing."  (Thoughts Wonder)

2.  One thing I love doing is knitting.  Obviously, I am thankful that I have another chance to continue knitting.  I finished this twelve month vest this week.   I am thankful!

3.  I didn't include this fave last week although our grandson's thirteenth birthday was January 2nd.  I am thankful for this guy and all the progress he is making.  He decided that he preferred having everyone choose their favorite blizzard at DQ instead of having a birthday cake.   When he's in the mood, he loves hugs from Bapa and Meema.  Can he really be a teenager??

4.  I do love coffee and conversations.  This week I spent an hour chatting with a friend.  And of course, we had our usual weekly coffee date with T and S.  I am so very thankful for friends and coffee.

5.  Our weather has been cold and grey and rainy (and snowy).  Younger Daughter commented that she encourages herself on days like these by pretending she is in Scotland or England.  That prompted me to scroll through some photos and find some iconic British grey pictures.  They cheered both of us up remembering the wonderful time we had on our holiday.

Bonus.  I know that California is getting hit with lots of rain this week.  That has prompted me to check in with World's Best Neighbor out there.  She states that she is safe and her house hasn't floated away or slid down the hill.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Welcoming in the New Year

 Happy New Year! 2023!

Wow, how did it become 2023 already?  And how is it Friday already?  Friday Fave Fives sneaked up on me today.  And it's Friday evening.

Here are my Five Faves from Willow's Week, five things that stand out to me from my life this week.

1.  New Year's Eve.  We really know how to party here at Willow's Cottage.  Family came over for dinner about 6:00pm.  At midnight London time (7:00 here), we gathered around the TV and watched the ball drop while Big Ben bonged out twelve rings!  Happy New Year!  Then we relaxed, and eventually the family wandered home, and we were all in our beds before midnight in our time zone.  That is my kind of New Year's Eve celebration.

2.  I made it through 2022 and into 2023.  That in itself is a blessing.

3.  On New Year's Day, the weather had moderated enough (from frigid and snowy) so we could take a walk.  We were blessed to have great paved trails near our home, so we can just pop over and walk a few miles and our daughters can join us and bring the puppies.

4.  Finally, I started knitting a sweater using some very very lovely 100% cashmere yarn.  I purchased it from a small company June Cashmere that supports small farmers in Central Asia.  Little by little, I am able to knit more.

5.  I am thankful to be back in the rhythm of normal, not holiday, life.  I love Christmas!  But I am also glad when life calms down and we can rest in everyday activities.  Coffee with friends.  Daily walks.  Weekly Bible Study.

Are you ready for 2023?  Are you back in the rhythm of daily life?  Are you already finding joy in this new year?