Monday, October 31, 2011

Cracker Barrel's Biscuits and Pay Day

Today, I am grateful for:
- Time this afternoon to try to get a little organized before tackling NaNoWriMo - writing a novel in 30 days...sure, I can do that, right?
- Cracker Barrel's biscuits - dear Lord, do I love me some biscuits!
- Lunch with a former co-worker that I already miss a bunch
- Pay day - and juuuuuuuuuuuust in time, too. Phew.
- An awesome short hike with S yesterday - we found a lake behind our house (ok...HE found it on Google Earth, and then, WE went out on a hike to find it)
- Beautiful fall weather (especially since my friends up North are still without power and are snowed in!)

Dear Lord - thank you for the many blessings you've put on my plate - the ones I am mindful of, and the ones that I seem to take for granted by not mentioning them. I do know that I am truly blessed in every way. Please help the friends of mine that are without power - literally - it's less than awesome for them right now, and they are freaking COLD. Please continue to watch over the people that recently lost their jobs and guide their paths - and also, please keep an eye on my friend, M, her heart can't take much more, Dude. Please grant her safe travels and a peaceful mind as she takes a trip into the unknown. Please show me if I can be of service today to You and Your kids, and help me to get out of my own way long enough to do what is needed and right. Amen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping my job, and the lessons I can learn from the people that didn't

This week was a rough week at work - and now that it's public knowledge, I can talk about what's going on. Unfortunately, our company did a "RIF", also known as a reduction in force - and a lot of my favorite people had their positions eliminated. There were rumors that I was going to be one of the casualties, but luckily, I am still standing after the RIF.

I talked to my friend, C, about this the other day - he used to be in the same field as I am, until becoming a casualty of a RIF a few years back....and then, remained unemployed for a YEAR. Yet, he says it was one of the best things that ever happened to him, and he says that the lessons he learned in that year about himself and how he fit into the world were something he wouldn't trade for the world.

Another friend, R (one of the people that lost his job) was so gracious about this whole situation, even though it happened the day before his 30th birthday! He said, "Oddly, I am at peace with it. I've had a good run here...Totally starting a new chapter on my 30th birthday...I'm pumped to see what my next adventure is going to be." What grace!

What I know is this: God has a plan for everyone. It may not look like each of us think it should, and we may not like what it takes to get us to where God wants us to be. Yet, there IS a plan. I know that each of these people will end up in a better place: personally, professionally, or both, even. In the meantime, my job is to pray for them, and to keep my ears open for opportunities for them. Oh, and to do the job I am blessed to still have! I can also be a power of example, if I do my job with a positive attitude - so I am going to make that "my job", too.

Today, I feel gratitude for:

- Getting to keep my job

- The opportunity to work with the amazing people that I did, and to be able to continue a friendship with them outside of work

- The safe return of S from his business trip and a quiet evening together to get caught up

- The lady at the post office yesterday that gave me free tape (I had forgotten it and was going to have to buy it or go home and get it...she saved the day!)

- Getting my hair cut and colored yesterday - I want to go there every day and just have them wash my hair and rub my head!

Dear God, thank you for the many blessings in my life today, especially, my job. I was in a lot of fear about losing it - as you well know! - and still feel some fear about moving forward from here. I know You have a plan - please help me to have faith in You and It, and to keep my hands off of it. Please watch over my former coworkers as they begin this new path - guide their steps and grant them peace as they deal with the challenging prospect of trying to find a new job. As a matter of fact, please also keep an eye on all of my current coworkers too - help us to find comfort in You and each other, as we try to move forward after this shakeup. Also, please keep an eye on my family, loved ones and friends, too. That's a lot of people, dude - but I know You are up for the job! If I can be of service today, please show me how - and give me the tools to do what You need me to do. Amen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A True Test

Yesterday, I got a call that shook me up a bit - and unfortunately, due to the nature of the information, I can't even say what it was. It was an excellent opportunity for me to practice using my gratitude list. I felt my old self try to bubble up and throw myself a pity party.

(Side note: I really think there's a market somewhere for Pity Party decorations...maybe I could sell Pity Party Packs: one black party hat, one busted noise maker, a CD that only plays "All By Myself", a giant vat of cookie dough. That's what I would want at MY Pity Party!)

I fought the urge, and closed my eyes and made up a mental gratitude list...because even in the face of some potential bad news, I have lots in my life that I can be grateful for. Here's the list!

Today, I feel gratitude for:

- A husband that wakes up to kiss my goodbye every morning at 4:30am

- Friends that bring me back from the ledge

- A coworker that expertly cleaned my car!

- Tenant in my condo back in CT that covers most of the mortgage

- Gorgeous weather so A and I could have coffee outside

- Getting caught up with two very good friends yesterday on the phone - more to come today!

- Getting all of my steps in (I am wearing a pedometer to try to get 10,000 in per day)

- S having cell service exactly when I needed to talk to him

- A good reaction from ____ when I called him for support

Dear God, please remove my fear about _____. Help me know what You want for me, and to have faith that You have a plan for me. That's about all I have right now. Thanks for keeping my loved ones safe and sound. Amen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogs I Feel Gratitude For

I am very appreciative of people that read this blog - and give me such good feedback...and for friends like my buddy Greg, who is desperate to do something to "make the blog". (I don't know if this counts...)

So, today, I want to show some gratitude for the blogs that I read and share them with you:

1. Jon Acuff - for both his "regular" blog and Stuff Christians Like - both blogs make me laugh and inspire me at the same time.

2. Carla Ten Eyck - a fantastic photographer AND a very funny (and sometimes, poignant) woman - pretty to look at, and fun to read.

3. Annie Eats - she makes food that I want to share with friends (or sometimes, eat alone at home so no one can see how much I have actually eaten of her yumminess!) - Meredith and I made the cake you see here last night, and it was DIVINE!

4. Oprah - I kind of want to BE Oprah - or the next Oprah anyway.

5. Office of Letters and Light - the blog for National Novel Writing Month, which kicks off on November 1st (and I am going to do it!)

All of these are great blogs to get me motivated and back in the "right" state of mind - all for different reasons.

Which blogs do you love to read for inspiration??

Friday, October 21, 2011

Marrying the right man, the USPS and McD's

Lots of stuff to be grateful for today - as there is every day, really! After lots of waiting, our marriage license finally came in. That meant that I could go get my social security card with my new married name, and my new driver's license...and every other piece of identification that you can imagine. Good grief - I had no idea how many things I use my name on! It's a small price to pay to be officially Mr. and Mrs.

We were also able to begin the process of combining our finances - which some people think is a scary thing, but I actually think it's a great thing. As my friend C says, everyone she knows that has separate finances ends up getting divorced! Now, I am not saying we won't each have our little "fun money"...but for the big stuff, it all goes in one account. We are a team, and I am grateful that I married a man that believes in that, wholeheartedly.

So, today, I am grateful for:
- Marrying a man that believes in us really being a team, emotionally, spiritually and financially
- Getting 9 1/2 hours sleep last night - I fell asleep watching a movie last night...and slept the whole night through. Aw - yeah!
- The USPS - when I can't be with the ones I love, I can mail them cards!
- 24 hours McDonalds - when I really, really need a caffeine fix on the way to work at 4:30am.
- Finally being done with two amends that I had been putting off
- A new freelance voiceover client - a friend recommended me out of the blue - thanks J!

Dear God, thanks so much for all of the blessings in my life. Help me to slow down enough to appreciate them and give them the attention they deserve. Please bless A and K tomorrow as they officially begin their lives together. Please watch over all of my friends and loved ones, and if there's a way to be of service to You or them, please move my heart to act in the way that would be most helpful. Please watch over the G family as they continue to mourn the loss of Z. Please help me to seek and do Thy will in all things. Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Safe travel, new sheets, and found time

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Safe travel home for S - and a good outcome from his business trip
- New sheets - not just clean sheets, but NEW sheets. Heaven.
- "Found time" today to get caught up on a few things around the house (not everything, but it's a few steps in the right direction)
- Finally being able to make the amends I've been putting off - and for not creating anything else to have to make amends for during the process
- Freshly groomed and good smelling dogs

Dear God, thanks for the many blessings in my life - and all the ones I didn't mention, too. You are pretty darn awesome, and my life is pretty darn good. Thanks for my friends, family and loved ones, and please keep them safe and healthy. Amen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Old Reliable

In an effort to try to be "interesting", I was sitting here trying to think of things that I haven't mentioned before that I feel gratitude for, but as it turns out, today, I am feeling gratitude for the "same old, same old". Just because it's not something NEW, doesn't mean I can't feel grateful for having it in my life. As a matter of fact, today, I think I most grateful for the constant and continued presence of my Monday night women's gathering.

Since being introduced to this group of women, we've morphed and grown. Some people have fallen out of the habit of coming - or their lives have gotten so full and good that they can't make it as regularly as they used to, but at the core of it, is a group of women that support and love each other - and honestly, I don't know what I would do without them. Whether I see each of them each week isn't the most important part - for me, the best part is knowing that SOMEONE will be there each week, no matter what. I know we are a lucky bunch of girls - especially because so many of us don't have "family" near by. We've become, what we call, a "family of choice" - and I love my FOC!

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- My FOC - they are "Old Reliable" - always there in some way or another
- Facetime - it allows S and I to see each other when he's on the road
- Pinterest - I could spend all day on that website!
- Cute shoes - I am so glad I spent money on GOOD shoes a few years ago, because they are fun to pull out again season after season.
- Cold weather - it may make me a freak down here, but I love the cold weather and the clothes that come with it!

Dear God, thank you for all of the blessings in my life, and for the many others I don't even know You are arranging all the time. Please protect S as he travels and goes up against ______ today. Also, keep an eye on my FOC - some of them need some serious TLC, and that would just be awesome if You could help them out. Help me to be of service today, and please remove my obsession about freaking food. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, grateful Sunday

Today, I am grateful for:
- S's safety - it's scary how quickly things can change with a text that says "Everything's fine - but I was in a car accident". Truly one of the scariest moments I've had.
- A day to just chill out and read
- A friend to go for a walk with - because otherwise, I wouldn't have gone!
- Unexpected refund from medical bills that were overpaid - it's nice to GET some money from the medical system for once!
- People that take volunteering seriously

Dear God, thanks for all of the blessings in my life - and for a chance to have a better week than last week. I have planned to lay low - and NOT fill up my days beyond recognition. Let's see how that goes, right? Please keep an eye on S as he travels - and please grant us BOTH some courage as we have to have conversations with ________ this week. Also, please remove my fear about _____, and direct my thinking to what you'd have me be. Amen.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Can you be too tired to feel gratitude?

It's hard to feel anything but exhausted when you don't get enough sleep for enough days in a row. I've done it to myself again by scheduling too many things in one week - you'd think I'd learn by now not to try to do EVERYTHING, but I haven't! That being said, I am grateful to be able to have so many different opportunities available to me to be involved with my friends, work and the community. I just have a hard time prioritizing - or choosing, actually. They are all so near and dear to my heart that it seems impossible to eliminate any of them. Do you ever feel like that? I can't be the only one!

I was so exhausted yesterday, that I didn't even have the energy to put together a list for the day. Bad Jeannine. I know, from experience, that I get MORE energy if I take the time to take an inventory of the positive things in my life. So, today, I'll START the day with a gratitude list - and we'll see how it goes!

Today, I feel gratitude for:

- A husband who is supportive and loving, when I am kind of a mess (re: cranky, tired, and feeling frumpy and frustrated about being on a diet)

- Modern Family - I know I am a little late to join the bandwagon for this show, but holy cow, it is super clever. I was literally laughing out loud yesterday, while watching.

- New Ben Folds album - "The Best Imitation of Myself" - he makes me happy I have ears. Genius.

- Girls' Night tonight with some of my favorite ladies

- Pay day! (The bills were starting to pile up a little too high for my comfort level!)

Dear God, it seems silly to be complaining about being tired when I chose all of the stuff in my life - so, please help me to get better at putting down some realistic boundaries about what I can and can't do. Also, please help me with this healthy eating thing - it also seems silly to be praying about food, but this stuff continues to kick my butt and affect my mood for the whole day. I know there are people struggling with MUCH bigger things than that - so, please keep an eye on those people and show me how I get out of my own crazy head to be of service to them. Also, I chickened out of making amends yesterday to ____ and _____ - can you show me the best time to do that? Thanks for today and all of the blessings it brings - help me not to squander or ignore them. Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- a positive result for a friend's unexpected trip to the hospital
- being part of the process to interview new candidates for the ED position at St. Anne's - it feels good to be part of the solution
- Smoothie King's Lean One Smoothie - I wish I would have listened sooner to Steven when he told me how awesome they are (and with my schedule, having a quick thing to take with me is a MUST!)
- a long nap this afternoon - I am always grateful when I find time for a nap! Today, it was much more needed than usual.
- advice from friends on a sensitive topic - without judgement.

Dear God, thanks for everything. Help me to remember to turn to You in all things, big and small - even when I feel like it's out of Your jurisdiction or that it's not something I think You need to be worried about. Please keep an eye on KK - I love her lots and need her around for a long time. Amen.

Sent from my iPhone - please excuse any typo's!

Life is good - and I am grateful! Http://

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grateful for what didn't happen

As the Garth Brooks song says, "Sometimes, I thank God for unanswered prayers..." Some of the time, it's the things we DON'T get that are our blessings for the day, right? Have you ever NOT gotten something that ended up being better? Could be big or small?

Here's my list from the weekend - and it's all gratitude for things I didn't get or that didn't happen. Today, I feel gratitude for:

- Not walking all the way into the men's room at church yesterday - I wasn't paying attention to where I was going (shocking, I know!), and walked halfway into the men's room before I realized where I was. Luckily, I was able to turn around before I saw anything I shouldn't!

- Not gaining weight on a football weekend! For the past few weeks, we've been "bad" while tailgating, so we've put on a few each weekend and spent ALL week getting back on track, only to do it again

- Not getting worried about potential "drama" that would have made me crazy only a few years ago.

- Not running out of gas on the way to work this morning - it was a little stressful to watch the gas gauge at 4:30am and know that I would really be stranded if I didn't make it into work!

Dear God, thank you for all of the things you didn't allow to happen this weekend - and for the many other ways that you blessed me. Please keep an eye on my loved ones today - and please show me how to be helpful to them, if they need it! Please remove my fear of ______, and direct my thinking to what you'd have me be. Amen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Random Gratitude

After I get out of work for the day, I don't usually spend a lot of time in front of a computer - so, when things pop into my head that I feel gratitude for, I try to hold them in my head as long as I can to write them down or type them up on my phone. Looking back on them later, they might appear kind of random, but it ends up being almost like a diary of my activities for the day, which I think is kind of fun.

So, in the past 24 hours, here's what I felt gratitude for, in no particular order:
- the super friendly staff at Publix in Helena - and I mean, FRIENDLY. Wow. These people love their jobs, and their customers, and it makes me happy to shop there. The produce guy was literally cutting me samples of apples yesterday while I was there because he was so excited about his new shipment of Gala's.
- having enough cash in my wallet to pay for parking when I was running late for a work event and couldn't find a free spot anywhere! (When am I going to learn to be on time? I don't know...)
- couch time with S - it really just does a heart good.
- a quiet place at work, with a door that locks, where I can sneak in a nap, instead of having to drive home and waste the hour back and forth.
- a friend's anniversary today - her story is inspiring!

Dear God, thank you for the fantastic life I get to lead today - help me to act as grateful as I feel, and to be an outward steward of the gifts You've provided. Show me Your will, and please give me the power to carry it out, today. Please keep an eye on my friends, loved ones and family - and if I can be of service, please show me how. Amen.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." ~G.K. Chesterton

Growing up in my house, we always said grace before dinner - did you? Did you give thanks before breaking bread and digging in?

I remember my dad saying it a lot of the time, and it often sounded too "big" for me, as a kid. "Bless us, oh Lord, for these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive..." Quite honestly, I didn't really understand what we were doing - I was too focused on the yummy, fragrant food that my mom had prepared and was ready to stuff my face. It seemed like some silly grown-ups' trick to make us wait before we could eat.

Now, like a lot of things I didn't quite understand as a child, I "get it". My parents were setting the example of taking the time to pause and actively thank God for the nourishment He provides - both literally and spiritually. While my dad and I pray in very different ways, using very different language, we are both aiming at the same target - and I am grateful for the example that he and my mom set for us.

G. K. Chesterton makes an excellent point in the quote today. What else can I say grace for?

Tonight, S and I are going to see Cirque De Soleil, and I will take a minute before it starts to thank God for the gifts of the performers. I most certainly am not blessed with the same gifts - and I am grateful that I get to witness their artistry, and to share it with my husband.

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- So many new books to read on my Kindle that I kind of feel overwhelmed by the options when I lay down to read
- Time this afternoon to recharge
- Date night with S to go see Cirque
- Affordable football tickets
- Being able to say "no" gracefully in a tricky social situation today

Thank you, oh Lord, for these thy gifts - and all the other awesome stuff that You continue to bless me with each day. I really do live a blessed life, and I know it, today. Keep an eye on the girls at St. Anne's - and please help me to sense Your timing in making amends to ___, ____, and ____. I know that's coming, but I just don't feel brave enough yet. When You think it's time, please give me the courage to do what's right, even when I am scared. Also, please remove my fear around combining finances with S - help me to remember this is all part of the deal and that everything's going to be ok. Amen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A nice email that made my day!

Last Friday, I received this wonderful email and wanted to share it with you. It totally made my day/week/month! I am grateful for Geralyn taking the time to reach out - and I am SO happy that she's found this blog helpful. Have you found it helpful? I'd love to hear from you, as well! 
Congrats on your marriage.  Love your pics and wish you and S a lifetime of health and happiness.
I love your gratitude blog.  I had heard about the gratitude journal several years ago, and did one for a few years....but life got in the say and I got so busy with other stuff that I quit doing it.   After reading your blog, I am starting one again.  When I get in my car in the morning, I turn off my radio and say my prayers, and always thank God for all the many blessings I have, and say my prayers.  Then, I turn on Magic 96 and listen to you and Rob!  I listen at work and it really helps my day go better, and love 'dirty laundry'.
Just wanted to let you know what a difference you are making with your listeners.  Keep up the good work.
Geralyn Humphrey   

Monday, October 3, 2011

Strep throat can't keep me from being grateful

I woke up this morning with a v-e-r-y sore throat and glands that felt like golf balls. I was pretty sure it was strep throat. I am a strep throat veteran, you see. Strep throat has been a companion of mine many times over the years. It's been a while since we last visited, but I remembered it, crystal clearly. So, even without going to the doctor yet today, I knew what I was dealing with.

It was 4am - which is when I usually get up for work - and I've been sick quite a bit this calendar year, so I've used up the minimal sick days my company gives me. Any further sickness requires I use up my vacation days, and I am only down to two of those for the rest of the year. So, I had the debate: "Do I use up one of my remaining vacation days to stay home, go to the doctor and head this thing off at the pass?" or "Do I tough it out, go to work, potentially get everyone else sick and hang on to one of the two remaining vacation days I have left?"

In the end, I felt bad enough to sacrifice a vacation day to be able to stay home. I am so glad I did. I went to the doctor, and sure enough! I've got strep! They gave me a steroid shot to help kick start the recovery (so far, no Hulk-like symptoms have reared their ugly heads!) and a massive antibiotic, which the doctor said will "pretty much knock out anything you've got in addition to strep".

I've been a zombie today. All I've had the energy for (despite the steroid shot they gave me!) has been watching movies and TV, and playing games on my cell phone. The doctor DID prescribe more rest and fluids, so I am doing what he said. Hopefully, I'll be better by tomorrow. I have a FULL day tomorrow (as always)!

So, here's my list for today - because sick or not, there's something to feel gratitude for, right?

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Modern medicine - I am pretty lucky that I was able to go into an "urgent care" clinic this morning, get seen by a doctor within an hour, get diagnosed and get medicine on one trip out of the house.
- Cable and DVR - a sick girl's best friend - kept me occupied all day long without having to get off the couch.
- Pretty weather - I am able to sit out on my back patio for a little bit to let the dogs play in the yard since they were going stir crazy. (Bonus gratitude for the patio to sit on and the backyard for them to play in, and for being able to figure out the umbrella so that I could sit outside and type on my laptop...which I am also grateful to have.)
- Friends that offered encouragement when I was bummed about _____
- My fantastic husband - he's just a good egg, all around and I am lucky to have him.

Dear God, I know that even when I feel yucky, life is better than I realize. Please help me to focus on the positive, and not resort to one of my favorite character defects: self pity. Thank you for the many blessings I've listed, and for the ones I have in my heart, too. Thank you for L going to do yoga at St. Anne's today - and for her gracious attitude when it didn't go as planned. Please keep an eye on my friends and family, especially my in laws going to the wake and funeral of their cousin, Kim, may she rest in peace after her valiant struggle with cancer. Also, please divorce me from the resentment I feel at the JERK who took down my Komen signs from the front of the neighborhood. Amen.

So, how about you? Even if you are having a yucky day, is there something you feel gratitude for in the middle of it all?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Does good weather just change everything?

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Incredible weather - good grief, it's gorgeous outside!
- Fun night with friends watching football last night
- Breakfast with friends this morning
- Spontaneous walks in two different parks near our house - what a husband I have to suggest them!
- Time in the hammock this afternoon to cuddle with my dog and read a new book

Wow, Dude - when you make good weather, you make GOOOOOD weather. This is awesome, and I am grateful for all of the awesome stuff that comes along with it. Thanks for filling my life with good friends and an awesome husband - they were all worth the wait. Please keep an eye on my family with their health and traveling, and on my in-laws as they deal with the loss of a beloved cousin. Thanks for friends birthdays and anniversaries today - what a filled day! Amen.