Friday, January 31, 2014

One Month Grateful

Day 31 

Goodbye January you have been vet very good to me!! Here are my grateful review through pictures : 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Look for the grateful

Day 30

So the ice storm has passed, things are thawing out. In the midst of all the chaos and confusion ther were so many who were helpers .  There were teachers who stayed by their students, a dad who walked 6 miles to pick up his kindergartner, a company that handed out free food to stranded motorists, hotels that housed people in their lobbies, networks set up to connect friends to shelter and households that let strangers spend the night . 

That's a whole lot if goodness to be grateful for .  Tomorrow will be January's last post and then February will start a new grateful series with a thank you note a day written, posted and delivered to express my gratitude for their presence in my life. 
Be making your list and join me !!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wise Decisions

Day 29

Do it's day 2 of snow/ice pocolypse here on the Gulf Coast.  Yes that the Gulf as in  
Gulf of Mexico; and snow and ice should never actually ever be in the same sentence as " Gulf" or " Coast" and yet 
Here we are. 
So I am super grateful to my school district and superintendent for making a wise decision to cancel school on Wed and saving us the headache and dangerous that some other southern cities faced ( AKA Hotlanta) 

We aren't prepared for this type of weather anymore than the northern states are prepared for hurricanes . 

We use salt on our margaritas round here not our roads! 

So a big thank you to Baldwin County School system !! And since it happens to be school board appreciation month here 
I am writing my email to the board and especially to my district representative Shannon Cauley for the great job she is doing. 

Enjoyed my snow days with the family : safe , sound and fun. 

If your in my district log on to 
www. and give them a big ole southern thank you . I am sure they would also accept pie. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

All stuffed up

Day 27 

Thankful for cold medicine and a warm bed.  
I'm out for the night y'all!! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rosy Tosies!

Day 27

It's very simple. Warm socks!!
So grateful. And the tangible way to demonstrate that ? 
Donating socks do everyone can have warm feet! 

One grateful to another

Day 26

Grateful for those who encourage me to be grateful

Friday, January 24, 2014

Early Riser

I woke up - let me rephrase that-
I was woken up this morning before 5 

My mind was already at work long before my body agreed to join it .

I checked my phone,  4:56.

Ummm.... that's 30 minutes before my alarm
And yet my mind was going and reminding me of the fact that just yesterday I was asking God to help me know him better .

I usually try to talk myself back into sleep when it is this early .
I was reminded of the scripture 
"He wakens  me morning by morning 
to hear as one being taught"
Isaiah 50:4

So any rational person at this point would understand
" God has a word for me"
but lets remember that it's 4:56 a.m. , and I'm well not always .. Rational 

So I honestly think "if I lay here 5 more minutes and I'm not asleep then it is meant to be that I get up." 

Deep breathing
Relax my body
My mind not cooperating

I recall a principal from the current book I am reading:  The 3rd decision from the Travelers Gift , a tremendous read by Andy Andrews, states 
" I am a person of action. When faced with a choice to do nothing or do something I will always choose to act"

Okay  personal battle lost- but the War of the  soul won .

I make my coffee, let the dog out and settle into a warm blanket on the couch
 and realize as I start my Bible study
just how incredibly easy this was to do. 

Effortless really.
The only effort involved  was the overcoming of laziness.
 I myself am my only obstacle . 

I am able to wake in a warm home, walk to multiple locations in that home to retrieve fresh clean drinking water, use sanitary restrooms, pour hot coffee supplied from an abundant pantry plugged into an electrical unit , drink into a healthy body and snuggle into a warm blanket  while freely picking up the readily available word of God.

This reality is not the same for everyone. 
The needs of food, safety, shelter, and freedom
are not the same for everyone.

They should be but they are not .

As I dwell on this truth - a truth I am aware of and have the power to change,
my mind turns to a man who is unable to do this simple effortless morning I take for granted. 
Pastor Saeed wakes with a bruised body, in a dark , cold and dangerous cell, with little if any good , water or sanitation,
and without freedom and most assuredly without access to the written word of God. 

And yet without these things and without the access to the written words of hope - he has hope
His God of hope has not failed him
He finds privilege even here.

I encourage you to click on the links to know his story - his story is happening now , this is not some  mid evil martyr 
this is a modern day Christ follower persecuted for his love of God.
From Pastor Saeed's prison cell -given to his family

I take for granted my access to God's word. 
I am a  embarrassed that I was trying to wiggle my way out it. 
It always blesses me ,
it always changes me,
I have never once regretted taking in the love letter God wrote to me at the beginning of my day. 

I am grateful that not only do I have access to it but that God practices the patience He preaches in it .

How can I tangibly express and pay forward thus gratitude? 

I have found the best way to love God is to love others . 
To share His word - in my deeds. 

I believe , after lots of seeking  and research, that the Bible is God's infallible  word,
yet I'm not about to get all preachy Bible thumper on you .

God's word speaks into you before it ever speaks out of you. 
So I want to be spoken into-- so that I can speak out loud to others.
Action speaks. 

Words hold power - Gods words most of all.
After all He speaks and action happens.
I encourage you to seek them out since they were written to you. 

I will express my gratitude for these Words that are so easily available to me by acting. 
I am a person of action . 

So if your in my neck of the woods today I welcome the opportunity to love on you
 and if I am acting in a manner less than which I have been called to ( phsss like that ever happens!)  you are welcome to love me right back with a slight graceful  reminder ( try not to slap too hard- ha!) 

Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words

attributed to St. Francis 

See where you can act.
 Click and share any of the links above to find a accountable effective place to serve.
love, service, freedom, grace, morning

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day is done

Day 22

Grateful for grace because I'm not posting big today. -  
Grateful for endings and new beginnings 
Bring on the dawn 

Memory Loss

Day 21
Better late than never

I was grateful yesterday , day 21. I just forgot I was.

Ever have that happen to you? 
It was a good day .

And then something set me off
I can't really remember what it was 
Something about dinner and the tv and everyone eating randomly and being unappreciated and wondering where I went wrong and how we are not bonding and my every past mistake streaming through my head like a archived video 

Like the book " if you give a mouse a cookie"---
If you give a mom a negative thought then she will remember another and another and well you get the picture 

So I huffed and I puffed and brought the whole house down 

In like 5 minutes

And somewhere in my pity party I was throwing for myself 
I realized how quickly it all happened and how much influence I possessed

They - the family were following my lead .

And I had lead poorly . 

The saying : iIf mama ain't happy 
Ain't nobody happy .
Was a living truth at this point 

I was about to pile that guilt 
on the icing on my pity cake 
and then decided to exercise a little something in my arsenal called

" Thelaw of contrary behavior"

You do the opposite of what you are feel like doing when your feelings can't be trusted. 

I love my family that is a feeling I can trust 

My irritation- not so much 

It's not actually my idea I stole it from a Sienfeld episode where George uses it.

I about wet myself watching that episode. 

Anyway. I got it together - decided 
to spin my head around and spew words like a nail gun into the sweet hearts of my family 
and instead made dinner , asked questions specifically about their day and found 2 positive things to remark on per family member. 

And that led to more positive and grateful thoughts . Which really is the point of this whole blog :  One Grateful

One grateful thought can lead to other 
Grateful thoughts 
And string them together in a whole line of grateful ways making 
One Grateful year and 
Making me One Grateful 

So to my family I write to you and say :

That I am 
One Grateful to have you, to be with you. to love you 
One Grateful to do life with you, to forgive you, to be forgiven by you
One Grateful to be your wife, mama , and friend 

This day ends and another begins with me as 
One Grateful!

Monday, January 20, 2014

All Together

Day 20

Today was an eventful day . 
Made the list  and then God laughed

So one urgent care visit and a drop in Ortho appointment plus a manufactured cancelled order on the dress that we need for the dance in 2 weeks and we have a perfect outline for well......

Chaos .

Hmmmm .......
Where's that silver lining? 

Its in the fact that we now get to handle these opportunities for patience and perserverence together.  

We will take care of each other, serve each other and undoubtably laugh together. 

Sisters are searching the Internet together , were making soup and ice cream for sore throats and even remembering that no one has list a leg. 

In softball there is an expression when things get really bad- I mean err after error and it just well ...Sux 

You will here the coach say " alright , alright. Nobody's hurt-- Nobody hurt"

It reminds them no one is put out the game - we are still in it - all together 
As a team 

And that's what we are doing today

Team Hill working it out.
Sore throats get better, braces come off and dances come and go and we regret having even taking the picture to prove we wore that!!

But family - our family - 

The Hill Family 
we are together 

Not as in having "it all together "  because then this post would be the top tweet on the comedy channel!!

I'm grateful to be together!!

Because being together 
when the suns out,
When The rain falls or 
The meal burns and 
The hamster is lost.
When The car is broken,
The job is lost and 
The pain comes
Or when
The the hugs abound,
The smiles lasts
And the forgiveness flows 
Together is the best place to be.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

5 degrees of fun!!

Day 19

So happy to be outside today and take a trip to the hunting camp and see college girl.  

These spontaneous bursts of generosity when you get invited to be a part of the family. 

And it was a long line to get to us 
College girls boyfriend ( hubby) - his moms sisters husband ( wow thats 5 degrees , almost made it  to Kevin Baco!!). 
He has a hunting camp that he was willing to let us cone and hunt on for the day and we all met there!!

It's about halfway between college and home   So it was perfect!! 

Yeah for spontaneous family fun!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let the good times roll

Day 18

They make for good times!!
The little one has  some sweet ones!!!

So grateful for kind fun friends! 


Day 17

It's 12:03 am
It is technically Day 18, but stay with me

I am just now going to bed and I can still hear the giggles in the next room

The price of sleepovers

So I bid everyone goodnight

Stick a fork in me I'm done .

I am about to be unconscious and I am grateful!!!

Night y'all!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unexpected Assurance

Day 16

13 years ago I gave birth to the sweet creative one who made our family complete.  
I am so grateful for Addie Grace.  

She was an unexpected blessing. 
Not planned but expectantly received .

We were coming out of a hard season in our marriage and I went to seek done counsel with our pastor at the time, Ron Lewis. He said some words that I have always cherished and that set a new and hopeful course for our lives ever since.

I was concerned about being a good mother,  ashamed of my frustrations with my 2 girls I was raising, and what our future looked like .

Pastor Ron with his likeable easy ways smiled and said 
" What an amazing thing that God thinks that your such a wonderful mom that he is giving you a third child to love and raise"

This single sentence changed my entire perspective on parenting. It freed my mistakes and let me loosen up and embrace the moment because I was chosen to BE THE MAMA ! 
And God wanted to let me do it again!!

Addie has blessed our family in numerous ways . The trio of sisterhood has been wonderful to watch and our family is complete. 

I will be writing a thank you note to our former pastor because I'm not so sure he knows just how much his words have meant to me. 

I am grateful for truth spoken at a difficulty time and so grateful
For our Addie Grace!!
Happy 13!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Perfect Timing

Day 14

You make plans- you make the list
And then......

Nothing goes right

One friend has an unexpected test result and can't make the day trip you planned

You worry ---

Then you rework your plan trying to stay busy

Then a phone call. A different friend 
A different concern. 
Can she come over she asks. 

Of course .
Plan C 

You listen. 
You worry. 
You hurt with your friend 
You pray  
 You laugh a little or else you'd have to cry a lot 

And the day turns into night and you realize the list is still there... Unfinished

You look at the list and see that it was a fruitless list. 
Of no consequence  what so ever 

And the plan. 
The perfect plan is the one that happened today just the way it should have 

So here the real list 

I'm grateful for:

1. 2 friends who trusted me today
2. To be off work and available
3. My plans were rearranged beautifully 
4. The privelege to pray for and with women of faith 
5. A God with perfect timing 

Monday, January 13, 2014

20 years of gratitude!!!!

Day 13
20 years ago today I gave birth to this sweet thing.

I am so grateful to be her mama.

I'm grateful she made it.

she gave us quite a scare.
2cm to birth in 
33 minutes.
Heart rate dropped down to 34.

 I was throwing up, Marc was struggling to keep it together
and I had a dozen nurses and 2 doctors in the room.
Marc, me and College Girl

Listening  to some cool beats

The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck

after 5 days in ICU

We go to bring her home

and she has been making
us smile
ever since.
At Easter time

At the nutcracker


after  time
She  makes us laugh!

Christmas 2013

what a Smile

Preschool Graduation


Sister Love

Happy Happy Happy

we are too cool

Thank you

Thank you

Thank You

for being my daughter !!!