Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So Many Gifts... (#165-227)

Even though I am quite certain that not even my dear old mom would have a strong enough interest in my life to warrant reading through all of these gifts, I post them here anyways for posterity. If future generations of Hollinhead offspring should prove to be interested, they may look back at Grammy Hollinhead's blog (if by that time anyone remembers what that outdated fad called a blog even IS...) and see what things she was thankful for. (Note: some of these may seem strange and random...it is because I am sharing these with an accountability partner, Laura, and we sometimes follow a theme from the calendar found on this blog and it may call for you to think of three orange things you're thankful for, or something unexpected, or whatever it may be for the day. It helps my feeble brain engage in thinking about what I am thankful for in new terms. It is not just happy little blessings...it is the sum and totality of my entire life experience because it has all passed before my Father's eyes and been deemed to be good. It is everything that comes from His hand, which is everything. 165~ the beautiful pink blooms on my rose bush 166~ the smile on Irene as she helped me cut them to put in a vase 167~ the joy that I get each time I pass them as I walk through the kitchen 168~ extra time with Mike tonight, and a date at his favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel 169~ Creme Brulee Cheesecake bars, new recipe I tried for everyone tonight 170~ God's faithfulness to remind me that He is here in the smallest moments, every moment! 171~ strawberry picking at Southern Belle Farms today. Seeing the kids running up and down the rows with strawberry juice all over their chins reminded me of my own strawberry picking days as a kid! 172~ a cool and kind of gray day, I love a little bit of melancholy weather! 173~ Blockbuster Express movie rental machines...I love being able to rent a movie for only a buck, very cheap family movie night. 174~ a squirt of Reddi Whip straight out of the can and into the mouth! (Bought this to go with the beautiful berries we picked today) 175~ the mess of a sloppy house that reminds me that there ISN't enough time or energy in a day to do all that is needed, and there never really will be. In this life there is chaos despite our desperate attempts to reign it in, such is a fallen world. I will never get it all done or really even come close and God is the one who knows what is NEEDED and gives me enough strength to do the necessary. 176~ a headache at the front of my forehead reminds me to be thankful in all things, God knows everything that I need! 177~ an evening spent with old firends. It doesn't matter that it was a Tupperware party, we had a great time anyways! There is something comforting about spending time with people who have known you for more than a decade! 178~ my new jeans that fit me and are so comfortable, and don't look like I have been wearing them more than a decade, haha! I haven't bought new jeans in a few years and it feels so good to have a pair that I can wear out in public (my old favorite pair had a hole at the top of the back that showed my undies through them!) 179~ still soaking up all of this strawberry goodness...tonight it is strawberries over pound cake with whipped cream. Strawberries are healthy, but not all of the stuff that I put with them!! 180~ a phone call from my sister saying that she may get to visit 181~ curling up with Rachel's kindle at the end of the day, in my jammies, a warm blanket and a cup of hot tea. 182~ salvation...how can I not think about salvation when I think of what I have found in Christ. My Savior. Everything. 183~ acceptance. I know this may sound like one of the lesser things we find in Christ. It isn't necessarily a "rock your world" kind of thing...but a quiet peace, a knowing that I am loved, no matter what. Security that I long for, only found in Him. 184~ I can't stop at three. Hope, life, love, abundance, peace, contentment, joy, breath, assurance, friendship, inheritance, sanctification, beauty, strength, faith, grace, redemption, provision, forgiveness, new life! 185~ a timer on my oven that beeps to let m eknow that it has reached pre-heating temperature! I LOVE that!!! 186~ my kids having fun together...they are being so creative right now, making a "scary movie" with the camcorder we borrowed from friends to tape Irene's recital. 187~ Irene facing her fear by standing up and giving her first violin recital. She did a good job but more important to me, she prayed that the Lord would help her and give her courage, and she saw that He answered her prayers! 188~ the way a whole big field of grass looks when the wind blows strong across it 189~ the heavenly feeling of sitting outside and watching the wind blow on all the trees around you, the sound of it in the trees, the bright blue sky with puffy white clouds overhead and the sun shining on my face 190~ laughter with friends over something a silly as cupcakes 191~ conversation with sisters in Christ that makes me think and rethink...not take for granted my opinions but hold it up to the lens of what God really says 192~ coming home to a house full of chatterboxes who made pink and green homemade cupcakes...it ALMOST made me feel guilty about the ones I bought! 193~ another bright and beautiful day today and the promise of a playdate with friends 194~ a cup of strong hot coffee in the morning! 195~ Plans falling apart, after hours of effort invested...because in it you teach me to let go of my selfish desires and trust that You know best. And You always do. 196-198 Three Things Orange: 196~ My orange post it notes, scattered all across my desk. Without these, many more things would be missed or forgotten than already are! 197~ the bright orange card that came in the mail the other day from a friend, just to say, I care about you! 198~ a big fat juicy navel orange, so sweet! 199~ Matthew being able to go to the Relay for Life...I am so thankful to have spiritual family that invest in my children by including them in their lives! 200~air conditioning to feel so good and cooling after the heat! 201~flat tire on my van...gave Mike and his dad a chance to joke around together while they "fixed" it (which later had to be fixed at the tire shop!) 203~ flat iron , keeps my hair from being completely frizzy, ALL of the time! 204~ the flat of my kitchen table. So much gets done around that table...schoolwork, meals, bills get paid, art projects created. Who knew a beat up old table could be the center of so many good things? 205~ a very yummy salad from Zaxby's that I snuck away and got while the kids were at AWANAS tonight, and ate all alone in my car, in between paragraphs of reading on Rachel's kindle! 206 & 207~ classic books of the past and the authors who wrote them. Reading Dickens' "Great Expectations" right now and I am amazed at the command of the English language, and the artistry of words that seems to be lacking in our written works today. 208~ that God is so patient with me. When I keep trying to get it right and I can't...when I want to draw near to Him but when I get the opportunity to spend time in prayer,instead I stay wrapped up in myself because it's hard sometimes to draw near to HIM. He patiently guides me back to His arms. What a loving and amazing Father He is. 209~ I know this one is not a new one, but, OH...the smell and taste of that first cup of coffee...and it the way it makes me feel like just maybe this day is possible (I know, I should be more spiritual than that, it should be the Lord that makes me feel that way!!! And He does...I am thoroughly convinced that God gave us coffee as a means of His grace! : ) 210~being the only one up when the house is so quiet that I can actually hear the birds chirping outside, and stepping out to feel that early morning sunshine and warmth after being in the cold A/C all night! 211~ a part time job on some Fridays that helps me earn a little to help out the family finances, thank you for the opportunity to earn, Lord. 212~ My dad. he would have been 80 years old today. Words can't speak how much I miss his presence in my life, in my mom's life, and in his grandchildren's lives. I know how nuts he would be about Maddie, his first great grandbaby. He LOVED babies. How I hope in the Lord that I will hug you in Heaven one day, Dad. Not a day goes by that the loss of you is not felt. 213~ Outside: the flowers (petunias) that sprung up in front of my mailbox. They are supposed to be annuals and I planted them last year before Rachel's graduation party. They have popped back up from seed and it is such a sweet reminder of God bringing things back to life, and what lies dormant is not dead! Also a reminder that a year has passed since my baby graduated, time passes so quickly! 214~ Inside: a home that is cozy to me...I definitely don't have decorator designs in my interior spaces, but I have a home with reminders everywhere of our life...the alphabet chart on the wall because Abbie has trouble remembering how to make all of her letters, cards on the mantle from friends who care, pictures on the fridge that the kids have colored, the book on the table that we were reading aloud together earlier today. All of these make a home! 215~ Upside Down: I had trouble thinking of something in this category but remember when Matt was younger, he always used to watch TV by laying with his head off the couch as he lay upside down with his feet up in the air. I am always surprised when I think of things like that, things that I had completely forgotten! It is amazing how fast those phases pass! 216~ a fantastic Mother's Day full of good things! A great gift (Kindle Fire!!) , relaxing time, going out to eat, and NO DISHES! : ))) 217~ a great campout for Matthew to Cumberland Island...I am so grateful for his Boy Scout troop! 218~ a lovely bouquet of tulips from my sweet Rachel 219~ answered prayers, even when we don't get the answers that we THINK we want! 220~ that sweet, wonderful feeling when I first fall into bed and feel the soft blankets close in around me, such a place of refuge and comfort. 221~ crushed ice from my icemaker...makes me feel so spoiled to say it (how would I have done as a frontier woman?) but I love that crushed ice! 222~ Leo, our dog. He is such a big pain, but I love that dog. He is such a good boy. 223~ a car that runs and nothing wrong with it at the moment. This is a huge blessing ! 224~ watching my kids interact as they become more mature is a fascinating thing to watch. I saw Matthew's crestfallen look as he realized that his big brother couldn't stay and hang out with him today. Even though sad for Matthew, this was really neat for me to see that they really do like spending time with each other. If those two boys can end up being friends, then things look a lot more hopeful than I once believed! 225~ having a Dollar General right down the road. I love it that when I am out of something, I can just zip down there and grab it. (Again, evidence that I would have made a sorry pioneer woman.) 226~ a working dishwasher. I love that little miracle-worker! 227~ the awesome feeling I get when the whole family is all in a good mood at the same time, and we can laugh and goof around and get generally way too silly. It is so much fun and I feel like it peels away layers of frustration from me!


  1. I read every single one, Mary!!! I get so excited to see an update from you (sad, that I don't just call for an update--ha, ha). I loved all of these, and it reminds me that I need to get back to listing what I am thankful for. There is so much, right?!!!! And I also talk the big talk about wishing I lived in Pioneer Days, but I wouldn't last ten minutes. I want my dishwasher and most importantly--washing machine!!! Not to mention, chicken already dead and in a package ;)

  2. I am so honored that you made it all the way through that, LB! Seriously! You made my day. And I am with you on the dead chicken in a package...try as I might, I can't see myself breaking necks, pulling feathers, or chopping off feet! ; )