Giving Thanks (from the heart)

I’ve learned as of late that it’s not so very difficult to give thanks, even in the midst of hardship. God has surrounded us by so much goodness and beauty that it’s hard to ignore. When you’re broken, seeing the little things can be strangely easier. But even though we can appreciate those things which make us thankful, we need to take the harder step and live and speak and love in a constant┬áspirit of giving thanks.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks…

It’s true that…

I’m thankful for my home, my family, food, winter gardens, and sunshine. I’m thankful for my church, my country, and for God who loves me.

but it’s also true that…

I’m thankful for tears that really do heal. For a daughter who will tell me about her day, read to me the poems she writes, and play the piano early in the morning, filling the house with music.

I’m thankful for a small patch of grass, where I can spread a blanket and breathe some fresh air in the afternoon when I’m all done and can’t keep going. Grass, right here in my backyard, all cool, and inviting, and where miniature pinecones hide, and where John Ronan comes and plays all around me.

I’m thankful for matches that light on the first strike–a whole box of them, and just how easy it is to light a candle and say a prayer. I’m thankful for the people who pray for me.

I’m thankful for a long, wool, cozy sweater, that has given me warmth and a sense of safety these last few weeks.

I’m thankful for Carla who brought soup (twice!), for Viktoria who brought a vase of freesias, and for friends who have allowed me to say no to things during this busy season.

I’m thankful for hardship. Even though it’s HARD, you learn all sorts of things about being weak and being strong, and a little bit about being both at the same time.

I know that you, too, have a whole list of things for which you are thankful. Bless you…

But, let’s try to remember, you and me, to allow that spirit of giving, of giving thanks, to sit at the forefront of our hearts. So that when we’re cooking, and gathering with our family and friends, that our words

and actions

reflect the real thanksgiving that sits quietly inside us.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends…

A Heart of Love

Mixed, molded and baked on Valentine’s Day

This (somewhat lopsided) heart-shaped bread was made specifically for my sweet goddaughter, Maria Rachel. Not quite two, she’s a bread eater (!!!) and already very loved (!!!). But I figured, why not a little more love–a little more bread on this busy February 14th day?

We filled our day with scooter rides, wearing pink, giving out Valentines, admiring the newly blooming plants, and lots of tackles and kisses and laughter. (Plus my husband and I zipped away for dinner out!)

Hope your day was also filled with hearts, and love…