Friday, October 16, 2020

Friday's Fave Five #606

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  I was thinking of the words intentional and habit tonight as I was starting to type this post.  I tend to use them a lot in my attempts at encouraging those who might read the FFF post to pause in their busy lives and take notice of the blessings that God has brought their way in the last week.  It also described what I was trying oh so hard to do in my own life.  But tonight I actually decided to look up those words.  I love looking up definitions because sometimes I think a word may mean something and then I find it goes so much deeper even than I thought.  So upon looking up intentional it basically defined it to be what I thought:  done on purpose and deliberate.  And that is what we do here.  We are deliberate in taking this small amount of time each week to look for our blessings and to share 5 of them.  Then I looked up habit and this is where it became interesting, especially in light of the difficult week that I have had.  Habit has a few definitions but for our purposes these are the ones that stood out:  "1) A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.  2)  An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.

And a light went off.  Have I got to the point where I have become so deliberate that this weekly practice has become hard to give up?  Have I acquired enough of this behavior over all the years of doing these posts that looking for blessings in my life and being grateful for them has become involuntary?  I'll not lie.  Sometimes when I'm exhausted and I've yet to write a single word, it is hard.  When I've had a rough week, it might take a bit longer.  When I've had what I consider a mundane, slogging through the everyday kind of week it takes more effort.  But I can say without a doubt it has been hard to give up.  The benefits of taking note of what is good, what is uplifting and what brings joy and then being thankful for them in my life far outweigh the effort it might take some weeks to look.  I want my goal to be not just looking for these weekly but for it to become my "involuntary mode of behavior" on a daily basis. I want to see God's hand in my life.   I just want to say "Thank you" for joining me for any part of these last 605 posts.  

Just some rambling thoughts I had tonight about the FFF.  It's been a rough week for me, with my mom requiring a couple of er visits.  My body is tired, my brain is overwhelmed but I cannot give up looking for where God has brought things that lift me up throughout the week.  So onto picking 5.

~ thanksgiving weekend ~ It was thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  And it was very different than most Thanksgivings we have had.  Usually there is at least 10 people crammed around the table with a great variety of yummy food.  This year there was 3.  Only my youngest daughter could make it home.  It was oh so quiet.  And I missed all the family gathered around.  But I also found the blessing in the much less stressful cooking day on a weekend that already had a bunch of stress in it.  We still had turkey but it was just so much more relaxed.  I wasn't stressed about cleaning the house or setting a nice table or doing up a whole variety of sides.  No  big table to set up for food, we just served ourselves out of the pots.  It was a lovely meal with just us three. Later in the day we snapchat videoed with my other daughter & took over some turkey for my mom.  And dare I say it was wonderful not having a mountain of dishes, pots and pans?  

My son teased me that even though there was only the 3 of us I still had to take a Thanksgiving selfie to mark the holiday.  

~ beautiful fall color ~ I have been loving the gorgeous fall color on my buckeye tree this year.  This is the reason I chose this tree.  The oranges and reds are amazing.  It has been the perfect weather for it and the colors really popped this year.  Last year we had that horrid blizzard that basically killed the leaves that had not yet turned color and they just ended up dead and grey/black.  But this year it is ablaze and a feast for the eyes.  

~ blessing of a meal ~ when I had to cancel small group this week due to a revisit with Mom to er, one of the ladies who attends brought supper over for us knowing it was going to be a stressful day.  What a blessing that turned out to be.  I didn't get home until just before 6 after being gone all day.  Physically tired and emotionally spent, making supper would have been a no go.  But it was there, ready and waiting when I got home.  So thankful for her care and compassion.

~ containers cleaned ~ I got a fall chore off the to do list done!  Sometimes I get busy or lazy or just leave it for too late and the cold weather or snow is upon me and I haven't cleaned out the summer's flowers from their containers.  But yesterday while the dayhome kids played I managed to get them all cleared of their plants and put away for the winter before the snow storm that is coming this weekend hits us.  Today I'll just have the flower garden by the driveway and I'm done.  Feels good to have this chore out of the way.  And for my efforts I got a nice mason jar of sweetheart geraniums from my monster bushes that I mentioned last FFF to enjoy for another few days. 

~ short work week ~ With it being Thanksgiving on Monday I had used my last holiday day from the summer and took Tuesday off also.  When I booked that in the summer upon reopening after the COVID shutdowns, I had in mind a nice extra day to rest after a houseful of people.  I had hummed and hawwed trying to decide whether I should take the Friday or the Tuesday but finally made the Tuesday decision.   But as it turned out it was a day that I had to use to take my mom back to er.  Who but God would know that I would need that day for that and because I already had it booked off I didn't have to feel any guilt for leaving parents in the lurch with no dayhome available at the last minute.  And it left me with only 3 days of having work before the weekend.  Very thankful for that this week.  

What have been the blessings that stood out to you in your week?


aspiritofsimplicity said...

I”m sorry to hear about your mum. I will keep her in my prayers and you as well. I love your Thanksgiving photo. We will be a very small group this year when we have our Thanksgiving next month.

Schotzy said...

Susanne, I accidentally posted the wrong link the first time. Could you moderate and omit my first link? Thank you.

Faith said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you....."keep it simple stupid" is the phrase that dave likes to use a lot and i have a feeling the big huge 28 people around two tables in MA isn't gonna happen this year either. Should be interesting.
Glad your girl could come home for it!! And great family pic by the way!!

Hoping and prayers that your mom is ok and that is a HUGE blessing to have the friend cook dinner and bring it over.

Beautiful tree and flowers.

Have a great weekend!

Snow???!!! Keep it out there please. I'm headed to the border of VT/NH tomorrow to meet my claire and it's supposed to be in the 50s and sunny. Sure hope we don't get any white stuff.

Deb J. in Utah said...

Hi Susanne - I love these heart-felt faves. Thanks for being such a great example and helping us all to see the sun behind the clouds in our lives. Prayers for you, your mom and your family, and belated Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara Harper said...

I'm so sorry about your mom. I hope she's doing well now. It was so neat you had already booked that day off. And how kind of your friend to bring supper on a busy, stressful day. Those flowers are so pretty. I am going to have to look for sweetheart geraniums next spring. I'm glad your daughter was able to be there for Thanksgiving. I understand what you mean about missing the others, but being thankful for a less stressful/busy meal prep and cleanup. I've started thinking the last few holidays that the day may be coming sooner than I had planned to hand the hosting off to my d-i-l.

I appreciate what you said at the beginning of this post, and I am thankful that FFF has been a tool to facilitate that habit of intentionally looking for God's blessings through the week. As you said, sometimes the hard or mundane weeks are the hardest to write a post, and sometimes I approach FFF with seemingly nothing to share. But once I intentionally think about it, I always see things God has provided and done through the week. I am so thankful for His graciousness.

Linda Hoye said...

I’m sorry your mom’s not well. That must be so hard to weather. Praise God for caring friends! I appreciated your segue about intentionality and habit. Years of posting daily blog posts (not quite daily these days) where I intentionally wrote about things that are good and true shaped my thinking through difficult times. So much of how we walk through tough times can be influenced by where we set our minds. Wishing you a blessed weekend.

Wendy said...

Well I hope your Mum is doing ok and you have a restful weekend. Looks like you were enjoying your Thanksgiving even if it was just the 3 of you. And thanks for the reminders at the start of your post. It's good to take a step back sometimes and take a fresh look at things.

Willow said...

I like that idea of the involuntary mode of behavior applied to being thankful. It reminds me of Brother Lawrence's Practice of the Presence of God.
Yes, the leaves have been beautiful this fall! I am reveling in them.
Sometimes a low key holiday is nice. Our Thanksgiving last year was like that--just three of us. (And I bought too much pie!!)
I hope you can rest and relax this weekend and that your mom is doing better.

Karen said...

Prayers for your mom, Susanne. I hope she's on the road to recovery and that life settles down for you for a while.

Happy Thanksgiving! Ours will look different this year, too, but at this point I'm not sure what that will be. We'll have to take whatever is thrown our way.

I so appreciate how you continue to facilitate our practice of gratitude each week!