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because life is full of twists and turns

Month: November 2013 (page 1 of 3)

happy thanksgiving!

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
-John Milton
happy thanksgiving from my family to yours!
We hope you are surrounded by those you love and that you fall asleep counting your blessings.

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thanksgiving feast

{my mom’s famous cinnamon rolls, which are technically sticky buns but we didn’t know that until we were older so we call them cinnamon rolls}
My sister and her family are visiting us for Thanksgiving and I cannot wait!  It’s going to be great for many reasons, but one thing I’m looking forward to is cooking together.  My entire family likes to cook and try new recipes, but Thanksgiving is about the classics.  When my sister and I talk on the phone, we’ve planned all of our family favorites.  I don’t cook these foods normally (especially not since Whole30!) so I’m looking forward to eating my childhood favorites.
My only concern is how we’re going to cook all the food in my kitchen!  Most of it needs to be in the oven at the same time, so I’m getting creative about alternate heating sources like the crockpot.  It’s going to be a juggling act to get all of our dishes cooked and serve them warm, but hopefully I’m up for the challenge.  šŸ™‚
I’ve made some things ahead of time, like the cinnamon rolls pictured above.  But I’m excited to have a full kitchen on Thanksgiving, even if it’s hectic.  I love having my family around and making memories in the kitchen and around the table.  
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?  I’m looking forward to Kentucky spoon bread which I haven’t had in YEARS!

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repost: gratitude wall


Note: I wrote about our gratitude wall back in April, but thought that re-posting it again (with a few changes) would be a good way to begin Thanksgiving week on the blog.  My apologizes about the iPhone pictures…I was too tired to grab the real camera today and fuss with getting the perfect picture.



{our gratitude wall, complete with a quote from Spurgeon who just so happens to share a name with my son}


For a few years, I kept a gratitude journal.  It was a spiritual disciple as I trained myself to see beauty in discouraging circumstances and identify God’s good gifts on a daily basis.  My list lengthened.  Soon I had listed over 1000 things that I was grateful for.  Slowly I fell out of the habit of writing them down.  Life got busy and my writing time grew slimmer.

Then I started noticing how much I was bothered by negative people who couldn’t find anything nice to say, but instead focused on criticisms.  Let’s be honest:  it’s a slippery slope before we’re all there.  When I said that gratitude was a spiritual discipline for me, I really meant it.  I have to practice it or I’ll never learn.

I decided to transform my gratitude journal into a gratitude wall.  This was it was visible and communal.  We set aside a little wall in our kitchen where we write down our “grateful for’s” (as we call them) on sticky notes and are working on covering the wall.  As we fill the space, we are making a visible testimony to God’s goodness and reminding ourselves of what He’s done.  I can’t wait until our son is older and he can participate too.  My husband is the one responsible for writing on the chalkboard.  He doesn’t change it often, so it’s a bit of a surprise to walk downstairs one morning as see a new quote, note or picture.  

As you can see from the pictures, we’ve added quite a few since we began.  As our son gets taller, we’ve had to stop adding them to the bottom because he’s learned to pull them off.  Recently we’ve failed at writing down our thanks.  I still think them in my head and sometimes I even stop in the kitchen to read our old notes hanging there.  I’m sure we won’t keep this up forever – after all, we’re a military family so we’ll probably be moving in the next couple of years.  But perhaps we’ll pull the sticky notes out each November as a way to ground our hearts in gratitude. 



{February 2013}                                                {April 2013}

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