Thursday, November 27, 2014

Today, I'm Thankful

^Thanksgiving. Anyone who knows me knows this to be favorite holiday.


Simple. Nothing is required but to be thankful.

  • No toys to be purchased.
  • No decorations or lights to be hung.
  • No cards to send.
  • No financial burden (except a turkey, and most of them are deeply discounted this time of year).
This year I'm thankful for many things ...
  • My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to Earth to save me.
  • My beautiful wife, who is the best help meet I could have imagined.
  • The smart, gorgeous children God has given us. Each one is unique and wonderful.
  • My brother and sisters. Even though we've had our differences, I couldn't imagine my life without them.
  • In laws,  cousins, brothers and sisters in law and other extended family who love us and care for us.
  • My DNA accountability group. We are few, but we are faithful.
  • My (relatively) good health.
  • Our church, some of whom are like family to us.
  • Our LEAH home school group, who have surrounded my wife with an overwhelming blanket of prayer and love in the face of devastating news.
  • An excellent team of doctors and nurses.
  • My work family who check on me every day to see how I'm holding up.
  • The kind people who provided a Thanksgiving basket to us, "just because."
  • A warm home.
  • Reliable vehicles.
  • And, of course, pumpkin pie. :)
So, this year on my favorite holiday I am filled with gratitude for all the things, both tangible and intangible,  that God has provided for me and my family. I  do not know what this year will bring,  but I am confident that He will see us through it.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Slow Down and Enjoy the Conversation

Some days I reflect on my life.  I had both sad and happy memories. There are surely some things I remember more fondly than they occurred in reality, but when it came to supper time, there was a unique quality surrounding the supper table, especially in the later years, that tugs on my heart strings.

The conversation was friendly, the food was warm, and the time slipped away unnoticed by all those who sat around the table. 

After supper there was always coffee or tea, and more conversation.  It wasn't unheard of to sit for two or three hours, just talking and laughing. 

It seems we don't have time for that anymore.  Maybe if we made time for coffee talk we would be happier people. Maybe we would slow down and find more joy in other areas of our lives.

Or maybe we would just let the dishes pile up in the sink.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

One Does Not Simply ... Paint The Porch

It's just another hoop to jump through.

I have to paint the front porch.  Tomorrow.

Yes, I know it's November. Yes, I know it's cold outside. Yes, I know it will take forEVER to dry.

However, I received a phone call yesterday from an inspector who works with New York Rising, the grant office that is administering the buyout/elevation money for our village.

Apparently our front porch failed the lead paint test, so they have to come and inspect to make sure we painted over the lead paint. 

Trouble is, when dealing with federal programs the hoops are a never-ending list of criteria that are almost impossible for the average human to complete before the deadline.  It is, I believe, designed that way.

Invariably after you have jumped through all the required hoops ... nothing happens.  N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

You see, federal grant programs change on an almost daily basis.  So just when you think you have completed the task, there is another hoop.  One that you didn't know about (because it didn't previously exist), but you discover after you receive a phone call from an inspector who notifies you that you have failed to complete this or that.

Nice, huh?

So, long story short, I have to paint the porch.

But first I have to move all the porch furniture, sweep, wash, scrape where necessary, wash the dirt off, and buy paint, brushes, and rollers.

THEN I will paint.

In two days. Because that's when the inspector will be here.

Oy vey.