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Giving thanks for - all the good things I am reading and listening to in the aftermath of a very divisive election. I am encouraged by the women who are choosing to focus on good things, small things, things that bring them and their families simple joys. It really is a choice to be happy or not.

Also, it was incredibly nice to have such a beautiful November day to celebrate my youngest grandbaby’s first birthday - outdoors with all the colors, crunchy leaves, and perfectly mild temperature.

Outside my window - there is a back yard that needs some winterizing. If nothing gets done it won’t be the end of the world, but it makes me feel better knowing that things are tucked away where they will be protected from the long bitter cold, snow and, more often than not, ice. It will be much kinder to pull them out of storage in the Spring when we can’t wait another minute for the long awaited thaw than to wonder what condition they are in and if they even survived. :-)

Clothing myself in - denim capris, once again, and a favorite Gryffindor t-shirt. It was a hand-me-down from one of the kids - Rachel most likely. It’s a favorite go-to when it’s cleaning day. Maybe I’m hoping there’s a little magic in it that will do the work for me (or at least make it a little easier). Keeping house - On Saturday we spontaneously tackled the spaces that needed attention that we put off at some point the past couple months. We got mom moved in and rearranged several times before getting to a place where we (I) feel like it’s using the space in the best possible way. I don’t love that we have a sewing room in the very first room where you enter the house, but for practical purposes it will have to do. I have plans to help make it multi-purpose and less a pile of clutter that greets you at the door. It’s a good plan. Wonder if it will ever actually happen… maybe that’s for pondering :-)

I do love that I have a private writing space, and although I still wrestle with the whole writing life big picture and purpose, I am settling into more of an ordinary daily writing life. It feels good, like it’s the right place to be.

Keeping it simple - I started down a path of the “New Thing” - building a community around our practices in hospitality to effect change in our little sphere of influence. I might have gotten a little over-excited about the whole thing, because as usual for me I am thinking I need to walk it back a little. Did I get carried away thinking about creating a community? Creating an Instagram, Facebook page and Facebook group - along with adding a category specifically for that on this blog? Maybe, I don’t know yet. But this is where I feel like I need to really keep things simple. I’d rather go slow and steady than too quickly and burn out before it even gets a chance to where it grows.

Pondering - there is so much to ponder on any given day. Maybe I need to consider where the line is between pondering and obsessing… 

Listening to - silence. That will change around 5:00 when I pick the littles up LOL

Reading - a little bit of everything. I have created a  publishing schedule, and a reading schedule. Leave it to me to need something that helps me not forget to read the things I love! But there is just so much good stuff to read. I have collections piled on my shelves to select from on the assigned day. Listen, don’t judge me okay? I won’t beat myself up if I choose something from the wrong pile for the day. I just wanted a system to help me know that while I can’t read everything everyday, I can read a little everyday. And if there are so many good things to choose from, I think it’s good that I get a little taste of it on a regular basis so I don’t forget about it all together. I guess you could say I like a little variety in my reading diet. I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every meal, everyday, so I have a menu. We’ll just consider this system my reading menu.

Watching - Hallmark. More Hallmark, and yet more Hallmark. A little news lately, but not too much.

Projects-in-progress - the aforementioned work to get the spaces settled and ready for company and better use. That would include the landing upstairs, which will now be a library basically; the guest bedroom is getting a facelift; the sewing room needs rescued.

Then there are sewing projects - who knew!? I have fabric waiting to be transformed into a quilt. I also have multiple aprons I’ll be working on, and casserole covers to coordinate with pans for one of my favorite forms of hospitality - meals delivered. I had planned to “make” enough to participate in an upcoming Christmas Market that our Mastermind group is organizing, but I’m still not sure I’ll have enough to do so. I’m not counting myself out yet, but not pressuring myself either.

And then there is just the work to build on The Hospitable Heart. It will be interesting to see the path it takes.

Mastermind thoughts - I love, love, love our mastermind group! I love the women who are part of this group - they are my people. I am finding it challenging to be in the Zoom meetings we have during the evenings on the alternate weeks that we meet in person. I will strive to fix this problem so I can be fully engaged and involved.

Loving the moments - Something I read this morning in one of my new books - it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. On day five of Everyday Holy by Melanie Shankle, she shares a story about when she was watching Barbara Walters interviewing Ellen DeGeneres. She asked what she would say to God if she really could call him on the phone - and her answer is just so true from my own experience and it’s the simplest thing -

 “I’d say thank you. I’ve got nothing but gratitude. My whole life, I’m so blessed. I’m so lucky and I feel it every day.”

Just wow.

Planning for the week ahead - I’m planning to lean on God to show me every hour of every day what it is that he wants me to be busy doing. That’s my plan for this week. I will strive to make it my plan every week.

Words worth sharing - “Just because it isn’t wrong, doesn’t make it right.” The outcome of the election one way or another doesn’t really matter to me. Regardless of what politicians lead our country, I will still continue to do the things I believe are good, right, kind and pleasing to God, and that all hinges on loving Him and loving others. It really is simple, but it’s not always easy. 

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