One of the best parts of The Cabin is its remoteness. Oh, we’re only about 8 miles from a grocery store, a gas station, and a nice sized $1.59 dish of Moose Tracks Ice Cream, but the cabin itself is situated on about 100 acres with no close neighbors to speak off. (The owls last night were having quite a discussion, but since I’ve never actually met (or even seen) them, they hardly count!) Back in the day (as the days before cell phones) there was no way to contact anyone short of driving those 8 miles into town. Today it’s a different story. Sort of. The good news is the cell phone works – if you find just the right spot, stand in just the right angle and hold your mouth in a certain way – so you can call someone to remind them to bring paper plates. The bad news is there is the possibility that the phone will ring and interrupt your solidude. And then of course you have to quickly find that right spot, position yourself at that perfect angle and hold your mouth in that magic position while saying hello. And before it goes to voice mail. The same goes for my little wifi card. Which, sadly I suppose, is just a part of my life these days and my desire to “stay connected.” The device doesn’t move, but the signal that it emits is quite intermittent. Sometimes it zips right along (as in the page I am trying to load will eventually appear) but mostly it just plods along with barely enough umph to retrieve email and I consistently get the dreaded “cannot load data” message when I try to navigate the web. All this is to say that uploading pictures has been pretty much impossible (though one occasionally sneaks up), and even posting this no-graphics entry might present a challenge. So tonight I thought I’d do a bit of a retread of a Gratitude Challenge that I recently completed on Facebook. The challenge was to post 5 things you were grateful for for 5 days. I tried to chose things that I was specifically thankful for that particular day – well, until the last day anyway. So here goes –
Day One –
- Fresh Blueberries. (Been munchin’ all day.)
- Dinner that is being cooked by someone else. (Mmmm…Mac and Cheese!)
- A wonderful prayer walk this morning with my good friend Cheryl. (Amen and Amen.)
- A husband who puts up with my sewing stuff periodically taking up a good part of our 300 sq. feet home. (Project’s almost done!)
- That Jesus loves me regardless. (Regardless.)
- Paint rollers and painters tape. (Only two days left to finish those rooms.)
- Good friends to work with. (I’m such a party worker.)
- Pictures of the grands on Facebook. (5 out of 6 today!)
- Dinner with precious friends. (And their charming children!)
- Amazing Grace. (That saved a wretch like me)
- Fresh brewed coffee every morning. (Made with fresh ground beans =) )
- Grapes in my chicken salad. (And walnuts too!)
- A husband that is happy to throw in a load of wash, do the dishes and make that fresh brewed coffee every morning. (He grinds those beans, too!)
- An hour long phone conversation with a dear friend we don’t talk to often enough. (But we still know we care. )
- A Sovereign God who is never surprised. (Even when it doesn’t make any sense to us.)
- Project jobs that wrap up perfectly at the end of the project (location). (Doncha love it when a plan comes together?)
- Expiration dates on dry goods. (Oh. My. Goodness. – I’ve had that HOW long?)
- Friends that pray with me. (So much these days to lift to the Cross.)
- Our Cabin vacation is just a day away. (So ready. So ready.)
- A God who answers prayers. (With a “yes” or a “I have something better”.)
Days of Gratitude, # Five – a whole week late! My earlier gratitude lists were mostly of items I was grateful for that particular day (like grapes in my chicken salad). For my last list I thought I’d do a list of some of the big over-riding things that I’m grateful for. I’m grateful for them every day, and they are so much more important than expiration dates on those cake mixes (Helpful though they may be!).
- I wake up every morning and dress myself. Oh, there may be some creaks and groans, but my general good health is not a thing that I take for granted. Too many of my contemporaries are struggling with major health issues for me not to be grateful that my 60-something body is still in (relatively) good working order. I’m especially thankful for good genes (all my grandparents lived until at least their mid 80’s and Gramma Wood made it to 99), and that I love almost all veggies.
- My kids are amazing. I’m thankful daily that despite our flawed parenting, our children made it to adulthood. And quite nicely, might I add. They are kind and compassionate, loving to their mates and children, provide well for their families and even like each other. Heck, they even like US! I could also say they are beautiful and brilliant, but then you might think I was just bragging. (But they are. Just sayin’. And don’t get me started on the grands!)
- Where God has Gary and me right now. Not in the wildest stretch of my imagination could I have envisioned in my 40’s where God would have us in our 60’s. Our marriage is stronger, our faith is deeper, and our vision clearer. All because we got rid of most everything that we owned, quit our jobs, moved into a 300 sq. ft. tin can with wheels, and followed HIS lead into full-time service ministry. It amazes me every day.
- The Cabin. My week-long delay in this final list of” Gratitudes” is largely due to our arrival at our beloved Vermont Cabin. There is so much gratitude wrapped up in this little cabin – from the faint echo of our children’s giggles in the loft to God’s masterful creation all around it to sweet reminders of the generations that preceded us and promises of those who will follow us. The Cabin – where my heart sings and my soul rests.
- And overreaching it all (from the fresh brewed coffee to the family I have been blessed with) is the giant umbrella of the God of the Universe’s love for me. For when I could have cared less He reached down and, because of his great love for me, He rescued me. And He continues to reach into my life each and every day, regardless of what kind of job I am doing at loving Him. Great is Your Faithfulness, Oh God my Father. Great is Your Faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
So much to be thankful for, today and everyday. How about you?
Oh, before I see if the internet is feeling peppy tonight, here’s one more thought from the great Reformation Theologian Martin Luther – Blessings at times come to us through our labors and at times without our labors, but never because of our labors, for God always gives them because of His undeserved mercy.