Much To Be Thankful For

(From Veronica’s husband Andrew)

Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is very hard. We struggle just to make it through the day. But even on our worst days we need to focus on the positive. Seeing only the negative takes little to no effort. You have to work at looking for the good. As we do though, life gets better. That doesn’t mean our problems go away. It means we get better at dealing with those problems. Focusing on the positive and finding something to be thankful for strengthens us. It fortifies us so that we can face our problems and make it through them. It all begins with being thankful.

Thanksgiving Day for our family this year could have seemed like a time of sorrow and frustration. We just went through a bout of the flu, our vehicles were having mechanical issues, and my mother-in-law suffered a stroke a month prior. We were worn out, rundown, and discouraged. Yet rather than give in and crumble, we chose to count our blessings and be thankful.

We are thankful that not everyone in our family caught the flu and that those of us who did were not sick all at the same time. That meant we could still take care of each other. (There is nothing more miserable than when the whole family is sick at once.)

We are thankful that Veronica’s mother’s stroke was considered a small one and that it did not effect her memory. We found a nursing & rehab facility that, although not perfect, had some good people working there. My mother-in-law got the physical therapy she needed. We are also thankful that she was discharged in time to be home with us for Thanksgiving.

We are thankful that despite it being an unexpected expense we were able to get repairs done to our van so that we could transport my mother-in-law home.

We are thankful that, as weary and exhausted as we were, we did not have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Dear friends of ours invited us over to their house to share in their Thanksgiving and afterwards sent us home with lots of tasty leftovers. We didn’t even have to wash dishes.

Finally, we are thankful for God’s continued grace and mercy, His care and His provision, and His never-ending love.

No matter how bad your day feels, take the time – force yourself to take the time – to find something, anything to be thankful for. Make it a habit and it will become the means by which each bad day is turned into a stepping stone on the path that leads out of the bad times.

– C. Andrew Nelson –

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It’s the 4th of July (and we can all celebrate)

No matter your political leanings or your country of origin, the 4th of July is an important date. Yes, it tends to be most important – or at least most celebrated – by those living in the United States of America. But it is a day when many outside the USA can celebrate as well, for the United States is a ally, trade partner, and supporter to many other countries. So as the United States celebrates her 242nd birthday I hope that we all can take a moment to reflect on the good that came from the forming of this nation. May God bless the United States of America and may the USA be a blessings to others.

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Thinking Back to D-Day

You may know about the history of D-Day on June 6th in 1944, but have you ever heard General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message of encouragement to the many Allied soldiers who were about to be part of the cross-Channel assault against the Nazi forces? I present it for your here courtesy of The U.S. Army.

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Remembering Memorial Day

Always remember. Never forget.

Thank you to those who served the United States of America.

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Being A Mom on Mother’s Day

Although Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day where mothers are celebrated, pampered, and catered to, we know the truth don’t we, ladies?  Mother’s Day or not, we never stop being moms. It’s a 24/7 job. No, not a job,…a calling.  And it always calls to us.  Once we become a mother everything changes.  I’m not just talking about giving birth to a child.  I mean truly becoming a mom. Whether a child comes into your life through the miracle of birth, the blessing of adoption, or the commitment of foster parenting, there is that moment where a woman’s whole way of thinking…of feeling…of viewing the world completely shifts.  She is no longer the center of her own world.  That child becomes the center.  It is an amazing thing that, once it happens, can never change back.  You become a nurturer.  That’s how you view your child and your world from here on out.  Even on Mother’s Day there is no break from that.

I spent this Mother’s Day weekend not focused on myself, but on my family, specifically my daughter and supporting her as she took to the stage to perform in a college dance showcase.  I also reached out to the other mothers I know through texts to connect with them, each of whom were spending their Mother’s Day nurturing their children or loved ones.  One fellow mother was at the Emergency Room with her daughter who was suffering an infection, because that’s what moms do – we drop everything and be a mom.  And my husband says that the wife of a friend of his was also at the hospital on this Mother’s Day…because she’s a Delivery Room nurse.  Instead of being with her husband and children (who were still on her mind), that mother was helping other women become mothers.  She was still nurturing.  Still being a mom.

Our families, our friends, and our children may try to tell us that Mother’s Day is our “day off”, but it isn’t. There are no days off. And that’s okay. There aren’t supposed to be any. Even if there were we wouldn’t know how to have a day off from being who we are.

Thank you for Mother’s Day, but if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to it, because you know…I’m a mom!

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He Is Not Here. It’s Easter!

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Matthew 28:1-10 (KJV)

Happy Easter to you!

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Got Green?

You don’t need to be Irish in order to appreciate this day and the history behind it. (But if you don’t want to get pinched you better get some green on!)

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Happy Valentine’s Day

I hope your Valentine’s Day was blessed.

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It’s a New Year! Are You Willing to Be New Too?

It’s a new year, 2018!  With the new year comes the hope of new things: new opportunities, new adventures, and new blessings.  We often look at the coming new year with anticipation of newness coming our way from the world around us.  Are we, however, willing to be new within?

God’s word reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)  If you want it to be a new year with new opportunities, adventures, and blessings, it has to start with a new you.  Motivational speaker Les Brown says, “If you want to keep on getting what you’re getting, keep on doing what you’re doing.”  What he means by that is if you like what you are receiving in life then keep doing the same things to maintain those results.  However, if you do not like how life is going for you, if you want things to be different, then you have to be different.  You need to try new ideas, try new methods, and have a new mindset.

If you want this to truly be a new year, be a new you.

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Out With the Old and In With the New This Christmas!

There are Christmas traditions and then there is Christmas baggage.  When my husband and I were first married, like many young couples, we did not have a big budget for our first Christmas.  For decorations we had to be resourceful.  We made our own out of paper, beads, glue, ribbons, and some dollar store items.  They may not have been made with much money, but they were made with much love and we enjoyed them.  Over the next few years we inherited some “vintage” Christmas ornaments from my husband’s grandparents (a lot of them) and we added those to our homemade decorations.

As time went on, however, we found that we were putting out these decorations at Christmas simply out of habit.  It was what we did, right? That’s what we were supposed to do.  But we really didn’t have any connection to them anymore.  The old ornaments from my husband’s relatives meant something to him as a child and our homemade decorations we special to us at the time.  Though we have fond memories of Christmases past because of those old festive items, they no longer reflect who we are today and certainly don’t reflect our family as a whole.  Christmas is supposed to be an exciting time of new beginnings and salvation (“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11). In our house it was the same old same old.

So this year it is out with the old and in with the new! Embracing the spirit of our first Christmas together (and the spirit of Cornbread Wisdom), we kept the budget small and found bargains at stores like Ross and Daiso, as well as finding discount decorations a little closer to Christmas Day at Target and Kmart.  And because it wouldn’t feel like us if some items weren’t handcrafted, we made some new Christmas decorations from dollar store items, only kicking them up a few notches from where our very first Christmas was.  Doing this helped bring the family together, paid honor to the past, brought a breath of fresh air, and started new traditions.

If you’ve been doing the same thing year after year at Christmas time try changing it up with something new.  A fresh outlook on the festivities can help bring a fresh insight into the meaning of the season.

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