Saturday morning

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“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls…'” Jeremiah 6:16a

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Rest for your souls…doesn’t​ that sound lovely? Make room for some soul rest this weekend. There’s room on the porch…

Grace and Peace!

Day 23–NCN2016

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and as much as I would love to think that this blog would play a major part in a world-wide celebration of it (grin), I am realistic enough to know that it won’t–and smart enough to be grateful that we will ALL have more to do than write or wait to read a blog post over the next few days.

This is a time for family and friends and food and football (LOL! A lot of my favorite things start with the letter “F”!) and lots and lots of gratitude for all the
blessings we have–those we know about AND those not yet in evidence. I plan to  rejoice and spend some time telling God “THANK YOU!!!” even though this will be the first time ever that we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving without traveling to see family. We are looking forward to a quiet restful time together here at home. I pray that wherever you find yourself and regardless of how your plans unfold, you will be full of gratitude and know that you are loved by God in amazing ways.

Each year since I began the blog,grandmother hodum thanksgiving poem I have 1122160901shared the following poem. My Grandmother Hodum used to recite it for us each year as we gathered at her house and I simply can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it. I still miss her terribly even after all these years. I treasure the copied words in her handwriting–and I hear her voice in my head as I read it every time– but I know you can’t really have the benefit of that. (and I really hate that for you! She was wonderful!) It is difficult to read her handwriting if you don’t already know the words, so I’m also sharing them below.

“Thanksgiving Dinner”

I don’t believe in eating much

of turkey, pumpkin pie and such.

It make me dream bad dreams at night

and then, besides, it’s not polite.

So I’m not going to stuff and stuff

and act like I can’t get enough.

For me a turkey leg will do

with just a slice of breast or two,

then some liver, gizzard, and a wing,

Lots of dressing, that’s the thing!

Mashed potatoes to make me grow

Squash and cabbages, they’re fine, you know,

And I must have some cranberries, too,

And layer cake–two pieces will do.

Then of pumpkin pie so yellow–

One piece, because I’m a little fellow.

With nuts and apples I shall quit

and not ask for another bit.

For it isn’t good the doctors say

To eat too much on Thanksgiving Day!

See you in a few days! And until then, remember this: Moderation in all things (grin!) and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Grace and Peace! (and NO COMPLAINTS!)

Day 18–NCN2016

I rarely watch commercials, so as we were watching a previously recorded show last night and my husband asked if I had seen “that commercial” (as they sped by thanks to the remote control), my answer was a definite “no” regardless of which one he meant.

He paused, backed it up, and we watched the one he wanted. Apparently, he had seen it while on a recent business trip because I’m pretty sure he hasn’t seen it here. We’re both1118160811a-1 fans of the remote control and its fast-forward button. (it gets you back to the game a LOT faster!)

That tiny little interaction has me thinking about life and wondering what else I might have been speeding past…things that are a lot more important than a commercial. What else have I gone “remote control” over and put on hold until I finished this task or that one? What have I outright ignored or just deleted before it finished because I was in a hurry?

1118160811.jpg“You’re spending too much time thinking about crazy stuff!”, you might say and, perhaps you’re right. I’ve been so focused on “getting through until…” lately that I’ve probably missed more than I realized. That changes today. I’m adding another element to my NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER, and you’re welcome to join me in that, too.

In my efforts to “get through” and “get it done”–and not complain about it!–I’ve missed out a little bit. I tend to get so task-focused that I forget to actually “enjoy” sometimes. Am I the only one? I don’t think so. Oh, I’ve taken some time out to have fun this month. I took friends on a picnic and decorated for the season a little bit and I’ve spent more time writing than I have in a while, but I also know that, while I haven’t complained (often!), I also haven’t deliberately enjoyed things as much as I could have, either.

That brings me to this weekend’s challenge: take time to appreciate who and where you are–and who shares life with you! Look for the beauty around you–in nature and in 1118160817.jpgpeople. Take a photo, write a note, drag someone you love out to enjoy it with you or celebrate the beauty all by yourself, but do THAT this weekend instead of remote-controlling your life while you miss out on actually living it.

Thanksgiving is coming up next week and we might as well start practicing for it today!

Grace and Peace! (and NO COMPAINTS!)

*And yes, I did go out and take these pictures while still in my pajamas today just for fun! The colors are even better in person and that late-blooming hydrangea picture had to be taken from my deck because it is higher than my head! (big grin!) Stopping to smell the roses actually happened today and it was worth every single second! 

 

Days 12 & 13–NCN2016

Good morning! It’s about 4:30 or so (VERY A.M!!) and I woke up thinking about all the angst and rancor of this past week…not so much in a bad way, but in a “I SO wish it had been different” way. I truly think that’s how a lot of us are feeling. This has been a most interesting NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER so far!–and a most necessary one! (and you know, God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect!)

Earlier in the week I posted about some of the ways that my friends were using different items or methods to remind them not to complain. I’m looking forward to exploring that a bit more next week, but for these next two days, I’d like us to focus on expressing our appreciation to the people around us. Let’s DO something POSITIVE in addition to eliminating the negative!!

So, here it is, your weekend challenge: Make a point (and even keep a count, if you’d like!) to let the people around you know that you love them. Give them a hug! Give them a compliment! Give them a lollipop, if you’re so inclined, but make every effort to raise the bar in expressing your appreciation of those who make your life and your day something better. Use your words, for sure, but be deliberate about passing out some hugs and kisses, too, if appropriate–and if not, a good firm handshake WILL DO! (grin!)

Experts in the field of human interaction have long since told us that it takes at least TWO positive interactions to counteract ONE negative. I think we’ve all had more than one negative interaction this week, so that means we’ve got a LOT of catching up to do! Make it FUN! Make it a GAME! Make it HAPPEN! Change the world where you live and bless the socks off the people you share life with this weekend! Be intentional about being a light in the darkness!

Anyone can do this! Will YOU?

Grace & Peace (and NO COMPLAINTS!)

Day 5–NCN2016

There are times you just have to laugh…at yourself! A very sweet friend who also happens to be new to NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER sent me the following text yesterday:

“Ok I gotta know. What is NCC?! Is that some play on words that I’m missing?!”

She meant the daily titles of the blog for the past several days…where I have consistently typed NCC2016 instead of NCN2016!!!

After I stopped screaming with laughter and explained that is was just the latest in a very LONG line of mistakes for me, she replied with this: “Well….at least you know I read stuff!! LOL! And I’m paying attention! I’ve been thinking on this for 3 days, but I’m not complaining! 😂❤️

Neither am I! In fact, I have learned that mistakes are usually good for a laugh…maybe a lot further down the road on the really big ones, but still, mistakes are rarely just about what you messed up and more about how you can improve.

Oh, if we only applied that to ourselves instead of just looking for it from the people around us! (tiny, tiny grin because that’s more truth than we want to admit…) Grace is meant for ALL OF us! Who needs yours today?

As we enjoy this finally fantastic fall weather this weekend here in Georgia, I hope you’re having a similarly wonderful weekend where you are. I pray that your mistakes are few, but funny. I pray that this first few days of NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER are just the the latest step forward in a lifetime full of becoming a person of influence. I give praise to God that you’ve joined us in this adventure and I look forward to hearing from you in the upcoming week. Until Monday…

Grace (LOTS of it!) and Peace! (and NO COMPLAINTS!)

Day 4–NCC2016

IMG_20140705_141046_350Continuity. It’s an important concept. I’ve yet to meet anyone–even one who likes a lot of change–that doesn’t need continuity in at least one part of their lives in order to deal with all the change that happens around us on a daily basis.

Beginning a new habit can a hard thing. It breaks up the continuity, but choosing to break up the continuity of complaining HAS to be a better choice than keeping it in place. Just taking that statement on face value has merit. I mean, choosing to be NEUTRAL over NEGATIVE is a step in the right direction, I think, but what if we added to it? What if we pushed ourselves to go even further?

What if we, as we’re focusing on eliminating the negative, also added in a positive to fill that “void” in our thought pattern? What if we…deliberately looked for the GOOD? What if we PRAYED for that person? What if we prayed for OURSELVES in that situation? What if we–brace yourself!–chose to SPEAK WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT in to those situations we used to complain about? To build UP instead of tear down?  Or even just redirect the conversation?! What if we became  beacons of blessing instead of contributors to the darkness? What if we created a continuity of deliberate actions that led us to becoming a person of influence for good…and for good, as in “permanently”.

That may be a lot to take in for those of us who are still working up to the idea of eliminating the complaints, but I want us to think about it this weekend. Keep posting reminders that help keep you on track. Continuity is key! My friend Audrey looks for cardinals, leaves, and bells…and frogs, apparently. (really, 9?! ~grin~) Ron says he’s using prayer as a reminder. Our friend Betty says she intends to send out a distress call when she feels the urge to complain, so if we get a “Mayday! Mayday!” text, we’ll “know to pray hard!!” (I love that! Getting the people around you in on this will make it SO much easier!)

I’m using my bracelets (pictured above) as my reminder that I am too blessed to complain and that I need to keep asking God to “create in me a clean heart in me” (Psalm 51:10) because Matthew 12:34 tells me, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”–all the while, I’m giving thanks for Patty and Jody who gave me really great physical reminders to help me and for those of you who have joined in this challenge with me! Your involvement is encouraging! See! You’re already making a difference in the world!

For today, just keep doing whatever YOU’ve been doing so far to remind yourself not to complain, to catch yourself before you let your mind go “there”, think before you speak, or simply choose silence over condemnation. After all, it’s Friday! The weekend is almost here and there’s a lot of living to be done! No extra homework from here, just more opportunities to change the world where you really live…with the people you love.

Grace & Peace! (and NO COMPLAINTS!)

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER: Day 21

I woke up cold and early this morning and couldn’t figure out why. I got up and pulled on a robe and house shoes, turned up the heat, and settled into my favorite chair in the living room. The chair used to belong to my Grandmother and it is old and covered in what is now (and was then, too!–grin) a hideously brown and orange flowered print from the 1970s…and it reminds me of her and how she loved me and it warms me up in ways that have nothing at all to do with temperature.

About an hour later, my husband emerged from the bedroom and I wondered why the heat was still running and I moved through the house looking for another way to warm. Entering back into our room, I noticed that the curtains at the window were gently moving…with the breeze of an open window…left open all night long.

I did that. I did that yesterday to air out the room and I’m the one who forgot to come back and close it up, make it tight against the chilly night air. I did that.

It doesn’t sound like much, but God doesn’t always need big things to teach us. Lessons of the day:

Sometimes, the things that make us uncomfortable are our own fault. It may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, but the effects of our actions–or our inactions–still make themselves known. There’s no point in complaining about things that are in the past or that we can fix today. Fix what you can and move on. (And I pray those things are as simple as shutting my window.) Be careful about where you are and what you do today.

Sometimes, the things that make us the most comfortable aren’t really things, but the emotions brought on by people who have poured love into us in days long ago. It’s a pretty good reminder that to become people of influence, we need to be pouring love into the people around us now…and be more vocal at expressing our appreciation when the ones around us pour back into us. Again, fix what you can and move on. Be careful about WHO you are today and what you choose to pour into those around you now.

Wishing you a warm, dry, cozy day surrounded by love and great memories…with no complaints…

Grace & Peace!