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Thankful Thoughts - January 18th

Today I'm participating in Ten Things of Thankful, a weekly blog hop that asks us to "focus on the good things going on in your life by listing ten things you are thankful for..." 
 
1) High on the list of things I'm thankful for this week is Toby, the tiny new furkid in our family that we adopted last week. He has been the source of ongoing entertainment and laughter all week long, and will continue to be as he grows through his kitten stage into the handsome boy he is sure to become. His three big sisters have gotten past the hissing and glaring stage, and now patiently endure his lack of proper kitty manners and endless games of chase and pounce. He is fearless and affectionate and gives me another reason to look forward to coming home at the end of each day. Look at the size of those paws... going to be a big guy I think! :-)
 
2) I am thankful for big changes in the works at the law firm where I am employed, which could eventually lead to improvements that we all would welcome.  I never cease to be amazed with the way God takes situations that seem unchanging and turns them in a new direction when we least expect it.  Even though we are currently struggling and I often feel overwhelmed and exhausted, I am hopeful for a brighter future. Hope is a great thing to have!

3) I was reminded this week of how thankful I am for situations and people who are no longer in my life, that weren't a healthy influence. I learned from them what not to do and what not to be!
4) I am thankful for the beautiful photos of animals, flowers, and scenery that friends post on Facebook; those glimpse of beautiful faces, bright colors and wonderful places remind us of all that is good in this world on days that are stressful, or gray and gloomy!  Sharing enables us all to experience a bit more of the big world than we can see from our own front door!

5) I am thankful for my husband's calm, rational manner when it comes to dealing with challenges, like an electric bill that is three times higher than normal!  It is so nice to now be married to someone who does not become emotionally unglued or leave it to me to resolve things on my own. Our ability to talk about everything in our lives and work through the challenges life presents us together is what keeps our relationship and love strong. I respect men who handle their role as head of the household with dignity and honor.

6) I am thankful for friends who help me to see my own foibles and laugh at myself! One posted the following quote to Facebook and I just had to share it on my page. Anyone who knows me well, knows that it is so clearly me. :-) I am thankful for those who love me in spite of myself.
7) I am thankful that God motivated me to reach out to my older sister this week.  We have had very limited communication for the last few years but it's been gnawing at my heart, so I called her on her birthday and we had a nice, long phone conversation.  I know it meant a lot to her, so I'm glad I did it.  Sometimes we have to give people new chances and hope for the best, while maintaining a cautious approach. :-)

 I am still working on my relationship with my younger sister. I called her on her last birthday, but she told me she was busy and would call me back to visit the next time her husband went golfing.  That was in July and she still hasn't called... I suspect that perhaps he is not a golfer. ;-)  In fairness to both sisters, it is I who put some distance between us for the sake of sanity and self-preservation, but we are all getting older and I realize that I want us to have better relationships.  I'm praying on it.
8) I am thankful for the Mountain Man vendor who comes around to our offices twice a month with his pushcart packed with bags of snacks, nuts, and candies, and allows us to sort through his cart to find what is most appealing that day... like wonderful chocolates!  He is a retired banker and great conversationalist, and his visits always make us smile... as do the free samples he shares. :-)

9)  I am thankful for cellphone cameras and the magic of instant picture sharing. I think often of how much my mother would have loved it!  My daughter often sends me photos of beautiful Nashville scenery, the antics of her cats, some shopping bargain she's discovered, or her latest cooking or house decorating endeavor. Papa Bear and I fire photos back and forth every day while we are apart. It's fun, it generates smiles, it keeps us connected! These are two of my daughter's cats watching a squirrel at the feeder outside her window.
10) A conversation with a friend this week started me thinking about how often we thank God for the good things that happen in our lives, but don't always stop to thank Him for the things that didn't happen, the problems we had or were headed for that He prevented, stopped, or guided us in another direction.  I look back on how many times God has saved me from myself, and realized that I could easily do another list every week of just those alone. This coming week, remember to be thankful for all the times God says "No!" He knows what's best for us, I'm sure of that!
Ten Things of Thankful
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30 comments:

  1. Lovely list of things to be grateful for Josie and welcome Toby!

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    1. Thank you Jess, Toby is indeed a welcome addition to our Family, we love him dearly!

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  2. As always, a nice list of blessings. It is important to thank God for everything in our lives, including that He is in control. He sees the big picture; our view is very limited. He definitely deserves our thanks.

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    1. Thank you Annie! You are so right, what we want is often not what will be best for us, and so often God has something much better than we could ever imagine in store!

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  3. Toby sure does have big paws! Kittens are so much fun. We got Spunky Doodle when she was just a kitten and she always made me laugh too, in fact, she still does and she's 9 now!

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    1. Yes he does, Karen! Along with the big ears they look so disproportionate at this age, but he will grow into them! :-) You are right, our furkids never cease to give us reasons to smile, and so very much comfort and love!

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  4. What an adorable kitty! I really can't wait to have cats by ourselves! Good for you that you reached out to your sister. Sometimes, time apart can change perspective on things. Enjoy your goodies at work :-) Have a great weekend, Josie!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie! I am so blessed that Papa Bear loves cats as much as I do! It was time for me to open up communication lines with my sister, it isn't easy, trust comes hard, and I am moving slowly, but walls of silence aren't right and they don't feel good. We each guard our bags of office treats carefully! :-)

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  5. THat TOby is ALL feet! He could be a bit lion! Love your list as always it makes me think on a more real level ... someplace I need to be more often than not! Thanks Josie... I always appreciate the chance to connect to you!

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    1. Zoe, I loved your Toby comment, it made me laugh! When he stretches out he is sooo long! My thankful lists are always very simple things Zoe, things I tend to overlook and want to become more aware of, like being thankful for things that don't happen! I thought about some of the life situations I've been in that could have ended up so badly, without God's intervention!

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  6. Cool list, Josie. And I'm glad that your new kitten's fitting in well now.

    SO nice to hear that you're building bridges with your sister, and getting some positive response to that. I hope that things will go in the same positive way with your other sister.

    Your #10 is a toughie for me. I have a post to write for tomorrow on exactly that. And it's gonna be hard.

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    1. Reaching out to my sister was a hard choice, but it's something I felt I needed to do. Maybe it will work out ok. Hopefully the other one will come around in time too. #10 didn't come easy for me either, I am hesitant to give up control in my life, it makes me feel unsafe and insecure, so to trust that God knew what was best and would work out right for me in the long run took some time to believe. With Papa Bear I've seen the proof. I never would have made such an awesome choice if God had not set him directly in my path and moved me to chose someone quite the opposite of what I had chosen in the past! I know that life is going to work out ok for you too, maybe not in the way you dream, but in ways that will be good and fulfilling. We will all be around to see the proof of that someday, and I can't wait! :-)

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  7. I, too, am thankful for anyone in my life who is calm and can react unemotionally. Not me. Not me at all.

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    1. I tend to react emotionally when it comes to relationship issues, Sarah, because I am less confident in that arena. When it comes to life problems and issues that require attention and decisions, I can be very practical and methodical. I will get things taken care of, because most often in my life I had to be the one to see that they were. It is so nice to have Papa Bear in that role now, he is an excellent caretaker, and such a blessing!

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  8. I just LOVE this list!! Yes- YES to pruning away people in our lives, no matter how difficult it can be. It is necessary sometimes for the sake of our health (mental, spiritual emotional and physical!)

    I love every one of those precious quotes and so many beautiful perspectives here that blessed me!! I am so glad I came by from TToT to visit you!!! :)

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    1. Thank you Chris! It took me many years to learn that I did not need to be a people-pleaser and a doormat, that I had a right and an obligation to do what was best for me too. I am much happier with that understanding. I like to surround myself with positive people! :-) I am glad you found meaning in my list and the quotes I shared. That's what I love about TToT, we uplift and encourage each other, I always feel better for being a part of it!

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  9. That last one struck me -- i need to be more mindful of the bad things that could happen and haven't!

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    1. It took a conversation with my ex's next ex this past week Mimi to realize that there have been many times God led me away from things that weren't good, and said no to things I really thought I wanted that wouldn't have been good for me at all. God not only blesses us, and gives us so much, but also protects us from ourselves and from the world. I am thankful!!

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  10. Josie, you have such a wise soul. It's so true that we should sometimes be thankful for the things (and, sadly, people) who are not in our lives. Sometimes it is for very good reason. And it's so easy to thank God for the good and forget that sometimes, like any good parent, He says no because it's for our own good. I just loved this post.

    And as for husbands who are calm and non-emotional, I am also thankful for mine. He is a rock and always manages to be the voice of reason in all things. I, on the other hand, tend to become unglued and reactionary pretty fast!

    Have a fabulous week!

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    1. I start thinking about things I really wanted in life that God allowed me to have, and I later realized that they were a lesson, not being nearly as wonderful as I believed they would be. Now I know that when God doesn't answer my prayers in the way I hope it's because He truly knows the whole picture and has my very best interests at heart, I trust that... but it didn't come easy at first!

      I am also a bit of a reactionary, I get mad quickly, and then get over it quickly. Often I have lived to regret my impulsive responses to situations. Papa Bear is a wonderful sounding board, he lives his life drama free, and I have learned from that!

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  11. I have enjoyed seeing all of your photos of your adorable Toby. Kittens are just so darn cute. I'm glad the adult cats are coming to terms with the new kid in the house.
    Good for you, reaching out to your sisters. It isn't easy to do such things, especially when there have been rough times in the past. One day, I hope and pray I'll be able to make such calls to my younger sisters. Now just isn't the time.
    Camera phones are a great way to keep in touch with people, both near and far. I love that you and Papa Bear send photos during the day.

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    1. Kittens are indeed the sweetest little bundles of energy and curiosity, Christine. I posted a new photo on FB of Toby snuggling up to Sophie, they are slowly adjusting to his presence. :-)

      It was hard to make the move to mend fences with my sister, a lot of mistrust and hard feelings to work thru, but I realize how much guilt and regret I would feel someday if I never got the chance to say "I love you" despite the areas where we will always see life quite differently. My little sister is a harder issue as she views herself as always being the party wronged, and it is hard to work past that. I do not care if we are never truly close, I don't need that, but I would like us to at least me in communication and aware of what's happening in each other's lives.

      Papa Bear is such a romantic, he so often sends little text messages or photos of things that will make me smile. He always calls when he is headed home from work, and will gladly stop to pick up something for our supper if I am wiped out from an exhausting day at work. He is low-maintenance and so loving, and has a great sense of humor. It doesn't get better than that!

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  12. nice sense of 'balance' to the week that you describe this week, with a proper perspective, the giant daunting things become a little more manageable and the quiet little things even more positive and enhancing.

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    1. Thank you Clark, I keep a list going on my phone notes, and try to balance the serious stuff with some lighter fare, and to offset the struggles of my life with the bright spots and blessings. Coming home to the antics of a kitten can totally erase the stresses of the day! Perspective is everything! I try hard to keep mine in focus... somedays I succeed! :-)

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  13. I don't know much about cats, but I wonder if Toby is part Maine Coon? I believe they are big cats, and Toby's paws sure are large!

    I hope the reconciliation with your sisters works out.

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    1. Yes, Kristi, Toby is clearly part Maine Coon, as is our Sophie, and was my big tomcat Smokey Joe. They are big teddy bears, with mellow, affectionate personalities. The moment we saw him, we knew he was the one. He is already doing the little Maine Coon talking thing, and I love that!

      I hope to keep my relationship with my older sister on track too, I will proceed slowly and carefully, and will remain ever on guard with how much I share or involve myself, but it is better to be talking than not-talking, I know that must make my mother so very sad, as it would me if my own two kids were estranged. Thankfully, they are not, and are far less prone to drama than are my sisters and me! :-) I flatly refuse to be a party to that anymore, life is too short!!

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  14. Naturally, I have to comment about the handsome Toby. What a beautiful puddy tat! How old is he? His ginormous feet are one of the first things I noticed about him - he's going to be a big 'un! And I'm very impressed that his big sisters are adapting so quickly. Poor Pete at our house is still snarling and hissing at Ruby, but I've come to the conclusion it's because he's scared half out of his wits of her, since he runs away from her when she comes near and has never been aggressive towards her, other than vocally.
    Good for you for talking to your older sister, and prayerfully hope you and your younger sister can work things out.

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    1. They estimated Toby to be about 3 months old Dyanne, and yes those huge paws hint of what a big boy he will one day be. He clearly has some Maine Coon in his makeup! :-) We had a few days of hissing and warning slaps as the girls worked to teach him his rank, role, and kitty manners, but we watched them carefully and they are all getting along fine now, though our big girl Tiggy will still run if he chases her, which is so funny, as she is at least four times his size and could easily flatten him if she desired! All that snarling and hissing is indeed just a way of saying "I'm big and bad, don't mess with me." At times Sophie has even been known to make a great show of sharpening front claws that she doesn't even have! (She was a declawed rescue kitty.) I think like all siblings they is a little jealously and rivalry for attention and in time they all come to terms with the new rank and file. As Ruby grows older and settles down Pete will probably be more accepting of her presence.

      I am hoping that my younger sister will come around too. There just comes a time when you realize all the fussin' and fightin' isn't worth it. We really are old enough to just get along! :-)

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  15. I really like the quotes that you chose for this post!

    Ya, my brother and sisters seem to want to live their own lives now that we are getting older, but they usually respond, when I email them, or call them, or something. It is hard when the family you grew up with is longer with you, but i'm ok with it. As long as they are living happy, peaceful lives. I don't want to bother them.

    I like and agree with number 10! : )

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  16. Thank you for leaving such a nice comment, Joseph! I'm glad you liked the quotes, they are favorites of mine too. Yes, as children grow up they each move on with their own lives, and it is easy to drift further apart. I am glad your sisters and brother stay in touch at least a little bit with you so that you don't feel totally abandoned. My little sister loved being the last one at home, as she had all of mom and dad's attention to herself! :-)

    #10 is an important thought because God often prevents us from getting ourselves into big trouble! I'm sure my guardian angels all had gray hair long before I did! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)