Archive for the ‘thankfulness’ Tag

Thanksgiving   Leave a comment

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always chide, he will with patience wait.

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Posted November 26, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude

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Just Stopping By   Leave a comment

Last week I decided to take advantage of the time of year and the wonderful cool weather and go pick blackberries.  I wanted enough to make a batch of jam and some blackberry lemonade.  I asked my mother if they wanted to come and she said “not interested.”

But then when she checked with my dad, he changed her mind for her.  And they came out and met us at the berry patch, where we found more than enough berries to collect fourteen pounds amongst the five of us, despite the hard winter here, which killed off a great many canes.

Then when my youngest begged his grandmother to come back to the house with us, she succumbed to his wiles.

After all, it’s only 10 minutes from the berry patch, so why not.

Before they arrived I had time to shower and get cleaned up, and by the time they were done picking and joined us, we were ready for a game, which the boy again suggested and the grandparents agreed to.

Then they said they had better get home.

But it was getting on toward lunch time and I said, “Why not stay for lunch?”

“Oh we don’t want to take your leftovers!”  Mom looked into the fridge and told my father they had better not stay because I didn’t have enough.

What she had missed was that I had already downloaded the contents of the fridge onto the counter.  I assured her that I had enough goodies for everyone…so they stayed a little longer.

They used to live a two days’ drive away.

It is so nice to have them here, where we can meet for berry picking and spend as much time together as we like.

Posted July 31, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude

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Like it or Not, It Will Change   Leave a comment

No matter what it is, how bad the day is, if it’s a horrible week, it’s good to know one thing is true — your circumstances will change.

If you’re going through a bad time, and things are just downright unpleasant, it won’t last.

Things always change.

I have always hated that this is true about the good days and the golden hours when all seems right with the world.

I’ve heard someone comment that the reason we want things that are good to last forever is because we were made for eternity.  A desire for the eternality of all that is good is engraved in our nature; it’s inescapable.

You ever have a perfect day, you can’t help wishing at some level that it would last forever.

July 7, 2007, Greg and I were hiking in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado.  My parents kept the kids for the day, and we went out and up into the mountains, all the way to Diamond Lake.

I have never been in such a gorgeous place.  There were multitudes of wildflowers, green grass, waterfalls.  The air was cool, the sun shone, and the lake reflected an incredible blue sky.

I did not want to leave, and felt like I was sucking in each glorious minute, as if somehow by thinking about it, I could stop time.

The heart stores those days in memory and hopes to see them again sometime.  A day that incredible just cannot be lost, we think.

Knowing that the creator of all of the good stuff has eternity in hand, makes it a bit easier when we lose the good days, and get stuck in a bad time.

Thank God that things do not stay frozen in time.

The bad times won’t last, but eternity will.



Posted April 17, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude

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Not too (Good) Busy to Blog   Leave a comment

Silence here for a while and I guess for the time being, I have run out of steam.  I still have great ideas — I just don’t feel like blogging them.

It might be because back to school was winter back to school.  And although I personally prefer snow to looking at grey and brown and tan for four months…and I grew up in Alaska and Montana where I learned to love snow…and I still love snow…

I’m at the point many others are at where I feel like, enough snow already!

I think what I am feeling, may be what they call cabin fever.

I am ready to feel softer breezes and to hear the sound of running water outdoors.

I’d love to hear the spring peepers.

It’s just not that time yet.

It is the time that parents everywhere can relate to, the middle of February, when we are just ready for something different.

It could be a lot worse.  It’s just harder to be content with things as they are this time of year.  Working on that.

Posted February 12, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude, waiting

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Songs of the Year   Leave a comment

This year there have been a few songs that have stayed with me, that have summed up the year, and what God has been doing.  It has really been a year of blessing.  These songs have literally gotten stuck in my head, in a good way.

This is the first year in I can’t think how long where there are no major struggles or issues that the children are dealing with.

For a while there, it was just one darn thing after another, for a mom to help them with.  There was never a moment to stop and breathe almost, for the last two years, it seemed like.

But for sure I look back now on all the struggles and all the challenges and I do feel this year has been a year of rest and blessing, and I can see it, taste it and feel it.

The weekend that Zach graduated, as I went about the shopping, picking up the graduation cake and all that fun stuff, this song by MercyMe was my companion.

I’ve been the one to try and say
I’ll overcome by my own strength
I’ve been the one to fall apart
And to start to question who You are

You’re the one who conquers giants
You’re the one who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the one who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the one Messiah
You are I am
You are I am

It’s stayed with me the rest of the year, returning as I think about all the mercies God has showered on us, mainly on the boys.  He’s brought them through so many hard times.  He does change hearts and minds in real ways, and we’ve seen that.  So when I hear “You tell the dead to breathe” I know it’s true.  And I’ve seen it in my own life when I was emotionally or physically “dead.”  He’s been the air.

Same with this one by Sidewalk Prophets, was with me on graduation day, fittingly I think, but has recurred as we’ve observed Zach following his road, and as we’ve resonated with him as he’s wrestled with a certain class and subject this fall.

If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it  If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will, whatever Your will

Can you help me find it?
Can you help me find it?

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I’m giving you doubt, You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath, You’ve never let me go

The weekend that we took Zach to college and got him settled there I had another companion song.  This one is not one I had especially noted before and really the only part I know is the refrain. But that was what remained as we traveled around the campus, rode a bus that ran into a car (nobody was hurt), and gave Zach his final hug and words of encouragement before we headed back home.

I know who goes before me I know who stands behind

The god of angel armies is always by my side

The one who reigns forever He is a friend of mine

The god of angel armies is always by my side

Chris Tomlin, Whom Shall I Fear?

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side

Seemed like that was provided just for this mama who was, as all are, reluctant to face the final moment of parting.

The song that reached across the whole year however is 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman. I don’t remember when I first heard it, but with how full my heart has been this year, starting with our last spring break with Zach, it has been a song I continually seem to refer back to.

You’re rich in love and you’re slow to anger

Your name is great and your heart is kind

For all your goodness I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord oh my soul, Oh my soul

Worship his holy name

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship your holy name

My heart has been so full this year.  So that kind of summed it up.

I’m not saying I believe that nothing unpleasant will ever happen again.  I know that things will get harder again for us, because that’s just the nature of life.  I don’t know why I’m sailing a peaceful sea at the moment.  I’m just really thankful that I have come to port here for a time, and I thank God for answering so many prayers.

Posted December 17, 2013 by swanatbagend in gratitude

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