Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Day for Thanks

Happy Lord's Day, everyone!

I do hope your day of Thanksgiving was full of blessings and joy and warmth!
Mine was full of just those things and more, and it was a day brimming
with delight of getting to spend time with my mama in the kitchen and
moments with my family that gave me so much happiness.

The greatest and most powerful moments of this wonderful day were spent, though,
in prayer for others on a day when I have so much to be thankful for, many of those
things being those which tens of thousands of others of God's children
are praying for.
I believe that this year, perhaps most of all, I realized that the true point
of a day of thanksgiving (which should be every day we have breath)
is not only to thank God for his blessings and providing for us and our family,
but perhaps especially to PRAY for others who are less fortunate.
And how much more thankful for what I do have do I feel when I do this.

Photographing little spots of beauty or moments, especially in the kitchen,
throughout our day as we prepare our meal is special to me... to preserve
those memories and to know I'll have them to look back on in 2 or 20
years and smile and feel the joy I did then...
which leads me to the fact that this photo above is my favorite that I took on
Thanksgiving day because the glow of the candle is reminiscent of the warmth
inside that I felt all day, as is the lovely glow of the decorations on our
mantel, twinkling in the background.


The day began with the childlike joy and cheer of waking up to the Macy's Parade!
I watched for a little while with my dad and then joined my mom in the kitchen.
We started off with the cranberry sauce, and how the fresh, bright color
made me smile as they cooked in the saucepan.   So pretty!



Every year when this day rolls around, I remember all over again how much
I looove the heavenly aroma of the onions and celery as they sautee in butter 
and are stirred for the dressing.  It is a treat to the senses to take in, and I must
admit I wish that I could stand over the stove longer just stirring them.

After our main course, the Southern dressing (I highly recommend our go-to recipe
for this from Paula Deen- heaven!), mashed-potatoes, and other dishes were finished,
it was nearly afternoon as I proceeded onto the grand finale...
my labor of love... the apple pie!




Using my hands to make a pie to serve and feed family is 
something I treasure and consider such a privilege.
And baking a pie is, to me, a symbol of the old-fashioned, country, Waltons-esque
 lifestyle that I admire so much... of pure goodness and living simply and 
happily, where family and God are your world.
That may seem like a lot to feel just from pie-making, but that's
the way my heart feels when I get in the kitchen to make one.
The last pie I made was topped with leaf cut-outs with one of the leaf cookie-cutters
a dear friend gifted me with, so for this one, I decided to use a cookie-cutter
from another set... and ended up with an apple pie done Texas-style ☺



All around the house, the yellows, deep reds, and warm hues of our autumn
decor made our day (and has made this whole season) all the cozier!



We enjoyed relaxing in between cooking and baking by watching the parade
and the most wonderful event of the morning:  the National Dog Show!
We look forward to watching all of the sweet and beautiful breeds every year
and getting to smile as we enjoy and admire God's creation & man's best friend.
I don't think that they could host the dog show on a perfect day, 
as dogs and creatures great and small are truly something to be thankful for...
what happiness and heart they bring to our lives.
Lucie is front and center for the dog show right alongside us ☺

Our table (minus the main course and mashed-potatoes), full of food that I felt so 
grateful to have and to sit down to eat, surrounded by my favorite company in the world.

And with the lights dimmed for a better view of the twinkling beauty above the table.


All of the past week has been so joyous, a week I'm so grateful for.
It began with a trip to the grocery store that started my excitement for the week
ahead as we picked up our ingredients for our recipes we would be making,
as well as watching A Walton's Thanksgiving Reunion, and going out for a day
of fun as a family.  And then the day of our wonderful meal came, and a 
lovely weekend to follow.

I thank God for this week and the multitude of blessings that happened 
within it.


Who did you spend Thanksgiving with?
What was your favorite part of the day or favorite memory or part of the meal?



Have a wonderful beginning to the new week to come!

-J


Friday, November 18, 2016

Simple Delights (Thank you, Lord!)

Hello, dears!

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying this autumn season.
It ceases to amaze me how time can spin past you and fly so quickly as it does
and sometimes without a true realization of it.  This is how I have felt as I
come to pop in on my blog today after several internet troubles, which unfortunately
have not gone away (but thankfully are subsiding for me to have time to write today!),
but have kept me from my blog and, sadly, from visiting you, dear friends.

It seems it was only a couple of weeks ago in my mind that I last
wrote, and it is hard to believe nearly a month has passed in actuality.


In the in between moments that my internet has decided to cooperate,
I have had the chance to sit and put the finishing touches and additions
on my post in which I am sharing my Saint Louis trip.  It is yet to be finished,
just due to not having much time free as of late, as well, but it is closer and
closer to being done, and I await sharing it with you all ☺

Until I can hit publish on it, I wanted to say hello!

And I also thought this a perfect time, with Thanksgiving just around the corner,
to just share a simple list of things I am eternally grateful to the Lord
for in my life right now... and also ponder personally on some things that I
know I could certainly show more thankfulness for.
So, here is a list I have been mentally putting together for personal thought and
reflection... the things, simple moments, and precious blessings I have
been thankful for lately... those great and small.

The precious everyday moments with my parents and family.

The warmth of familial love and the blessing of hugs (something so easy
 to take for-granted).

The sweet creatures and wildlife the Lord has given us to enjoy and admire.

A full plate of food for supper every night.

The changing, magical views of nature in every season... especially
in this, my favorite, time of year.

His word, access to it, and the comfort & promises from within it.

An ever-growing relationship with my Savior and God.

Having the blessing of the weather become cooler after a brutal summer.

The joy of looking forward to something, such as Thanksgiving.

The incomparable gift of prayer- to think that we can talk to our Creator!

Inspiration that brings joy through reading, crafting, sewing, writing.

Health and the access to medicines.

Being able to access things that inspire and delight my heart, such as a new
bolt of fabric or new paints for a project.

Memories and the indescribably beautiful feeling inside every 
cherished one as I think back on special, once-in-a-lifetime moments
 and memories, or everyday ones that have made my heart surge with happiness.

Examples and role models that I can look up to as I seek a life pleasing to God.

Programs and even film that inspires me in my way of life and positivity...
like Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons and more that I am
enjoying more than ever this time of year!

The gift of being able to study and learn about things that interest and enamor me.

A warm, cozy home... when many are praying for that.

Glorious nature, the soother of my heart and mind, and my true joy...
from cascading waterfalls on a hike, to the wildlife at the coast.

Traveling with loved ones, especially in this season.

Dear, caring friends.... like those of  YOU I have been overjoyed to get
to know better and be encouraged by!



I hope you are enjoying a wonderful autumn so far!
It is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already next week!
How did that happen?  It seems as if the new year was just rung in,
and now the end of November is soon to arrive.

What is your heart especially grateful for?



I hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with blessings beyond measure
and time spent making treasured memories with beloved family!
Are you like me and excitedly planning your meal!?  I can't wait.


"Oh give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good
for his steadfast love
endures forever!"
-Psalm 107:1


Love and many blessings,


J


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