"Gratitude consists of a watchful, minute attention to the particulars of our state, and to the multitudes of God's gifts, taken one by one. It fills us with a consciousness that God loves and cares for us, even to the least event and smallest need of life. It is a blessed thought that from our childhood God has been laying his fatherly hands upon us, and always in benediction, and that even the strokes of his hands are blessings, and among the chiefest we have ever received." Henry Edward Manning
When we returned to Charlotte after having welcomed our Marine back onto American soil...it was a unique feeling. FIRST time I had been back in 15 months since trekking over to Iowa. In revisiting all of the old routes, seeing the familiar settings, getting to see my beloved Cottage on Woodberry...
There were never any lights on, no lampglow coming from that little house on the hill when we drove by at night. And it seemed so forlorn and empty looking to me... void of LIFE!
And the FLAGPOLE...it was GONE! It HURT to see that beautiful symbol missing. So much labor went into that project. Those OLD GLORY and USMC flags flying...billowing in front of our home, meant something huge to us...said something to all who drove by...
The work by my men... to get the spotlight on them, so that they could fly 24/7 was immense.
But OH, in the end, it was SO worth it. A glorious sight. And SUCH a special gift to me. A TRUE LABOR OF LOVE FOR ME, from my sweet man.
GONE. Guess I needed to come back to see this. It was a knock on the head and a tap on the heart to confirm that this was NOT my home anymore....
And so, the trip back was good, and hard... for many reasons. Closure not being the least. ~
While staying with my dad, I asked him if any of mom's watches were still there, and yes, he told me to look in her drawer. I was hoping to get a stretch band watch of hers, since I wanted one. I actually came back home with TWO. [Sentimental.] YES.
Wearing one every day. (but not both at the same time...LOL!)
I shared in a previous post that I had come back with a framed print of my mama's. It had also belonged to my dad's mom. (my dad had told me to pick some to take with me.)
Well, I actually came back to CR with THREE things. My mom's watches. The vintage print. And one other item.
I was out running around looking for some Christmas items and a miniature tree for Kat and Jonny's apartment while they were at work one day, and I stopped by the Salvation Army store I had visited many a time when living in Charlotte. I got to speak to a few regulars, and asked about Mary - my favorite girlfriend worker there. I had ONLY JUST missed her. :-(
But while there, I spied this beautiful and colorful Tole tray.
I walked out of the store with it under my arm and a smile on my face, minus ONE DOLLAR. It was quite a "happy moment" for me to find it in one of my favorite places back on my old stomping grounds. The Aqua/Turquoise color is just so cheerful...and I knew right where it would go.
Here it rests below my bedside table. **It usually has books and magazines on it, but they were removed for the photo. ;-)
And so...I find myself back where I started...
Gratitude is an attitude. It is being constantly aware of God's involvement in ALL of our affairs. THE REALLY BIGGIE ones, and even the TINIEST ones. And that means - as the quote says...paying attention... to the DETAILS. In the ups and downs, the coming ins and going outs, the oh-so-dailies and the once-in-a-lifetimes....God, ALL THE TIME, yes, even from our childhood, has lovingly and graciously and providentially been CARING. OVERSEEING. DIRECTING. PICKING US UP. SENDING US OUT....Even in the hard times.
God is GOOD. And a GRATEFUL HEART renewed on a daily basis keeps us mighty aware of that, and encourages us to keep looking up...like little Pooh up there...to acknowledge to God that we know HE is there, and we will keep trusting.
I STAND ON THAT TODAY.
A random and rambling post, FOR SURE...but I think I just needed to journal about it. Thank you to all visitors popping by. Blessings to you.
Pursue Gratitude. It changes your worldview. :-)
Hearts full of hugs sent flying your way from Iowa today!! and adding on a pic of my current circumstances here in the frigid Midwest as of 6:45 this morning...