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Giving thanks for - things, just the way they are, because reality is teaching me lessons I need to learn. I so often just need to be shaken a bit out of my daydreaming about how I want things to be in order to appreciate how things are. The list of things I am grateful for is long - so long there is no way I could write them all down in a single setting. And isn’t that how it should be? In every moment, there are so many things to be thankful for and that means that I could pretty much continue to write them with every breath I take. So today, I will just give thanks for this journey with every single bump and pothole, hill and plain, mountain and valley. I have never, not even once, been left alone on this journey. Jesus has gone before me every step of the way. He leads me and will never leave me. I take great comfort in that, knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be and always with the presence of a good Father who guides me, fights for me, loves me and knows what is best for me.

Outside my window - it’s still nearly dark. Sunrise is getting later and later, as it always does at this time of year. So much has changed out there in our backyard this year! The deck is 90% done - some staining and painting still left to do. Our plan for the shade sail isn’t quite what we wanted and needed, but we are working on corrective measures. The patio is complete and lovely. All that’s really left is the finishing touches; additional lighting, planters, wind chimes, etc. I am looking crazy forward to some time out there in the Fall when the humidity drops considerably. The temperatures haven’t been terrible - especially considering it is August - but that humidity kicks you right in the teeth. I’ve had conversations with a couple people about the temperatures - it seems like we haven’t had the extreme highs this year, and if I recall correctly, we didn't’ last year either. Perhaps it’s actually normal, and I just anticipate August being disgustingly hot. I’m happy to accept that it’s not :-)

Clothing myself in - stretch denim capris, black swing tank, ponytail. The hair is getting a nice trim this week. It grew longer than it has been in a long time during the months of the pandemic when the salons couldn’t open. When I finally got an appointment we decided to leave a little more length than I normally do. I thought I might like it. Nope. I am a medium to short length kinda girl these days. I don’t see that changing. I appreciate the length for the daily ponytail, but it leaves so little shape for when I don’t want the ponytail… Keeping house - boy is that a challenge these days. I spent a week or two purging, and I do mean PURGING the last remnants of stuff I had either held on to “just-in-case” or simply had not been able to sort through. Something big happened this month. I got the phone call from my sweet mama saying it was time for her to come live with us! We have extended the invitation many, many times and had just been waiting until she said the time was right. When she decided it was time - she meant NOW. LOL Within the course of two weeks, I had purged our house, gone to my hometown twice - once to access and help sort and pack a bit, the other to pack and load the moving truck, the house of my childhood was put on the market (and sold in 6 days), and we were back home with Mom and all the stuff I decided I wanted to bring with me. I say that because the truth is that everything she wanted to bring with her would have fit in the van. I chose to bring other things that required the moving truck. I don’t regret it. There were things that will prove very useful as we integrate some of her belongings with ours to create space that will feel more familiar to her. All that to say, the garage is filled with boxes and totes of stuff that I still need to unpack and put away. Some things will not make the final cut, and will still end up being donated or thrown away. But I was able to do a little rearranging and make space for the important things. I’m excited to see how she likes the space when it’s all finished. In the meantime, I'm still doing the daily stuff that always needs doing :-) Still waiting for the dishwasher that I ordered at the end of June… Lowes is not on my good side, neither is Bosch. But I’ll reserve final judgement until we get it installed and decide whether or not it was worth the wait.

Keeping it simple - one day at a time. It’s that simple.

To be fit and healthy - I’m no doubt hitting my 13000 steps nearly every day. I can’t verify that because I returned the FitBit I recently purchased because I didn't like the new style. I’ll keep looking for my old one and hope I find it. But honestly, the only thing I used it for was to track my steps. And I believe I am aware of my activity levels most days. I didn’t really want to have the ability to read texts - I’m far too available with my phone anyway. I need discipline to know that I don’t have to answer every text immediately. That’s a new thing that I’m not sure is a good thing in our modern society. 

Today is the second day that I am working on eliminating processed sugar from my diet. I’m probably not doing it the way the die-hards would recommend that I do it. I have not made a mental or written list of the taboo foods to avoid. I’m simply starting with the thing that I know makes me feel utterly crumby when I consume it - and that’s sweets. It really is that simple. I’m going to do my very best to eliminate all sweets and sweet drinks from my diet. Once I get that under control, I’ll move to the next thing on the list, whatever that is. 

I have noticed the number on the scale going down from the small changes I have already made due to our current situation. I’m busier and snacking less, and not enjoying that small glass of Rumchata in the evening :-) It’s not just the number on the scale, I can feel it, and it invites me to keep going. Pondering - how to make the very best of the life and circumstances we have right now. Nothing surprises God, and everything that comes to us is known and filtered through his mercy and love. I’m good with that. 

Listening to - morning traffic on the nearby roads, AC maybe? Basically quiet… until the little rascals wake and arrive at the kitchen hoping for breakfast LOL.

Reading - uh, not much this week. My focus has turned to getting the house re-settled so I haven’t even been reading Bird by Bird this past couple weeks. I am confident I will return to doing so very soon. I also think the fiction train is well on its way back into my life once it’s all settled a bit. Daily reading is a solid anchor in my days. Scripture, Jesus Calling, Language of Letting Go (both of them) are consistently done in the mornings. I’ve also added the three daily Al-anon books recently. I had forgotten how helpful those daily thoughts are to my sanity.

Watching - Blacklist again LOL. I’m actually not watching it so much as I’m an innocent bystander while other people are watching it. We finished Madame Secretary a couple weeks ago and decided to return to Blacklist so Rachel could continue where she left off. We’ve started it a couple times now to help Mom catchup too. Cardinal baseball games and Days of Our Lives are Mom’s regulars. I’ll definitely just be a bystander for those ;-)

Loving the moments - knowing that Mom is here - safe, comfortable, with a full tummy and rarely alone. Winter doesn’t hold the same power over her as it has these past years. We will enjoy each other’s company, all of us. And I’m sure a few games of euchre and some sewing projects will be tackled.

Planning for the week ahead - God willing… finish unpacking all the things and getting them to their new home, prepare the freezer space for shopping, said shopping, long overdue visit with my best friend, haircut, and an orthodontist appointment. When will these braces be coming off?! So over having them. I really thought they’d be off by now and I’m just done. Not sure I would have had them if I’d known then what I know now. 

Words worth sharing - it is what it is. It’s not new, but worth remembering, always.

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