To Be Thankful Everywhere, In Everything

 

This week, the United States will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s the busiest day of the year for airlines, and highways will be crammed with people heading home to gather with family and friends.

I have so much to thank God for this year. We have two new little grandboys. This summer, we had a lovely vacation. My husband and I celebrated 34 years of marriage.

As I thought about all the joy, I heard a voice from deep inside challenge me. For every blessing I saw, there were many more I didn’t recognize. What about the gifts that were given in unexpected places?

Thankful in the Moment 

Giving thanks is easier looking in the rear-view mirror. If you sit quietly long enough, memories of past happy times, laughter and special moments will come rolling in. Looking backward over the year lifts my thanks from heart to pen. I can write about the landmark events with ease…the celebrations, holidays, vacations and personal victories.

But now my heart asks, “What about giving thanks for ‘right now’, this minute?” In other words, what about the ordinary times?

It’s a great question, isn’t it? It certainly cuts to the heart of spirituality. St. Paul says:

Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God for you.                                                                       1 Thess 5:18

 

So I say: Thank you Father for my warm clothes on this cold day. Thank you for the food in my kitchen and the clean air I breathe – and for a computer that allows me to publish on my blog. Thank you for my family and friends who show me love every day, and a faith in You that sustains and feeds me no matter what’s happening in my life.

Thankful in the Hard Times

I guess you could say that ‘thank you’ doesn’t come naturally in a storm. Am I able to see blessing in events that are bewildering or even hurtful? Hmm. Another good question. I wondered at how many things have happened over this past year that were sad, even upsetting. I’m supposed to find thanks in those things? Okaaaay…

My most immediate headache has been renewing our medical insurance coverage. Because my husband remains without steady employment, we get our health coverage from the health exchange, i.e. “Obamacare”.

Oy. That’s one topsy-turvy system my friends. ‘Confusing’ and ‘frustrating’ are words that come to mind.

Our current plan was deleted for 2016, so we had to find another one. Now we’ll be paying over twice as much in premiums for less coverage. (As my husband said, “Good think you broke your leg in 2015!” Um, right… Hey! Something else to be thankful for!)

So I say: Thank you Father, we have coverage. There is no doubt we’d be truly challenged without this help. Trying to navigate the system, all I saw was challenge and frustration. But tucked away in those moments, there You were, guiding us with your strong hand.

At the table this year, when it’s time to pray over the Thanksgiving dinner, I want to remember ALL my blessings. The ones that were easy to remember, the ones that looked like trials, the ones right in front of my eyes.

And I’ll thank God for you. Yes, especially you, for making this blog a interactive, peaceful, and friendly place. You never fail to encourage me.

 

Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

Dear Friends, I will be taking a blog-break now until January 2016. The holidays are coming, and I want to be truly present to the joys in every day; and to prayer and preparation in the Advent Season. 

Happy Thanksgiving! May God bless you and yours abundantly now, and in the Christmas Season. See you in January, with a new word for the year!

 

 

 

 

80 thoughts on “To Be Thankful Everywhere, In Everything

      • Ceil,

        Responding to your comment on my blog here:

        Yes! Seems to be a recurring theme of thankfulness recently. Ok, that is probably because it is almost Thanksgiving, but still.

        I read a wonderful article in the NY Times this morning about the subject and felt inspired to send it to you. Not sure how you feel about links in comments, so I will just say it’s called “Choose to be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier” by Arthur C. Brooks. Such an encouraging read.

        Thought you would like it!

  1. Thank you for the reminder of thanking God in the hear and now as well as in the challenges of life. It is so much easier to look in the rear view mirror because everything looks rosier.

    I am praying for you and your family as you celebrate together. May you prepare well, rest and let God lead you in the journey we call the holidays. Hugs and blessings!

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your supportive comment, and I do think it’s easier to see blessings from down the road.

      Thank you for your precious prayers for me and the family. I will join you! May we all find our true road to Him in these holidays, sacred faith and tradition. And may I always see my blessings.

      Best of blessings on your Thanksgiving and Christmas!
      Ceil

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you, Ceil! Thank you for being a consistent source of encouragement to me over this year. I appreciate every time you have posted a new blog and every time you have visited my blog and left such sweet encouragement behind. Sometimes we think these thing are just small and insignificant, but they can mean the world to someone else. I am thankful for so many things this Thanksgiving, too…my gratitude list is very long, and I feel so abundantly blessed by God. May He bless your time away from the blog and fill it to overflowing with peace, happiness, and love. Lord willing, we will connect again in the new year! 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl! Oh my, what a beautiful comment for me my friend. I think we were really blessed to find each other on our blogs. You have always supported my writing too, and never failed to encourage. Thank YOU!

      I pray that God will continue to bless you and yours, and fill your Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons with His peace and joy. I’ll see you next year for sure!

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  3. You are so right – it is a lot easier to be thankful when we look back but not so much in the here and now – or when we are going through a struggle.

    Actually I do pretty good praising Him through a struggle – because I’ve learned in through MUCH training; but I have a harder time remembering thankfulness through just plain everyday life. Yet, I am so blessed to have this ordinary life.

    I understand about taking a break through the holidays – but I’ll miss you!

    Have a wonderful season of blessing!

    • Hi Jerralea! Well, I wish I was more like you my friend. I am STILL learning to praise Him in the fog and storm. I’ve had plenty of hardships in my life, you would think I’d have the hang of this thing, wouldn’t you?

      Thank you for your lovely comment about my blog-break! I’ll miss visiting you too 🙂 Can’t wait for a new year, shiny new pages of promise.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with you and yours (especially the grands!) and a blessed Christmas Season.

      God bless!
      Ceil

  4. Have a Blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, Ceil. I will miss your encouraging words, gentle nudges, and words of wisdom until January. Happy Advent season!

    • Hi Diane! You too my friend! Thank you for all your support and encouragement this year, especially for your hospitality. I told my friend that your picture was next to the word “welcoming” in the dictionary. It’s so true! I am a blessed woman to know you, and be in a small group with you.

      I’ll see you soon (phew!), but in the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and start to Advent.

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Ceil! And I totally understand the blog break, so Merry Christmas as well! I loved this comment, “Giving thanks is easier looking in the rear-view mirror. ” My challenge is to feel Gods prescence in the moment, every moment. To be thankful in everything, to see the gifts He gives us on a daily basis. What a fear and anxiety buster that would be too! A grateful heart brings joy even to the toughest situations! Looking forward to spending time here in 2016!

    • Hi Anita! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours in your beautiful new home, sitting right next to that gorgeous fireplace!! I think 2016 will be the year we get to meet each other, don’t you think?

      You are so right about thanks breaking through any anxiety. It acts like TNT, disintegrating fear. What a powerful weapon it is, and how much I need it too. It’s the same thanksgiving that Jesus had for His Father in the midst of His suffering. That’s just beautiful Anita. Thank you for that insight!

      I look forward to keeping up our blog-friendship in 2016. What a blessing to be connected through our writing 🙂
      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  6. As you know Ceil, we don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK, but perhaps it wouldn’t hurt if we were more thankful every day. As another commentor has said, your writing and responses give great comfort. Your words always seem to fit the need of that particular moment – I wonder who prompts you!

    I’ve had a flu which went to my chest and I’ve found it hard to sleep or eat. I’m always grateful for a roof over our heads, food and warmth, but the other night I woke shaking with cold as I must have thrown the bedcovers off. I was also very, very hungry. As I lay there I realised I hadn’t felt so cold and hungry since childhood. I felt humbled as I re-experienced what had once been a daily event (no-ones fault) and it was actually a good reminder to relive what so many people have no choice about. After all, my situation will change when so many other’s won’t.

    Enjoy your break; your family and the celebrations of the Christmas period. I expect God has something extra special for you to do next year, Love, Andrina xxx

    • Hi Andrina! I hope this comment response finds you feeling better? You sounded so miserable…is there anything worse than feeling so bad at our age? I had the stomach flu over the weekend…just misery.

      You had such a hard childhood too! What a blessing that you have been able to move on, and to reach out to so many on your blog. God works in mysterious ways doesn’t He?

      Thank you for your good wishes on my break and Christmas Season. I pray that you are right, and that God will lay good things before me in the new year. I know you said your Christmas will be ‘low-key’, but I pray it will still be blessed with joy and peace. And more health for you and yours in 2016. Hang in there Andrina. Who knows what good things He has in store for you?

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! Oh, I know Obamacare is a very touchy subject with people. Including the people who use it 🙂 I can honestly say it’s been a life-saver for us.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too, and I hope your finals go well. You are an inspiration to me, and to the students you mentor. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. And have a Merry Christmas too!

      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  7. Ceil, another blogging friend put it this way: We are to be thankful in all things, not necessarily for all things. I love that perspective!
    May you have a blessed holiday with family and friends; I will miss you here during December, but truly understand why a break is in order. Giving thanks for you!

    • Hi Martha! Thank you for your blogging friendship this year Martha. I have loved following your writing/publishing life, and your family times too. We share a great love for family and our grandchildren…that’s a pretty big bond!

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a joyful and peace-filled Christmas Season. See you in 2016!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  8. AH—once again–we are on the same subject–on the same day–coincidence-NO–Godincidence. He draws us collectively this week to this common theme. I am in the process of navigating the Medicare-Supplement-Advantage maze—it does not get easier with age, Friend! I hate to think of those who are not as familiar and astute when it comes to business and insurance trying to make this decision!

    BUT—I will have insurance–and I can pay for it! Thank you, Lord!

    Enjoy your break and savor each moment!

    Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Advent, Ceil!

    • Hi Lulu! I saw a commercial for Medicare Open Enrollment, and how you have to pick your coverage. I was speechless… I have to do this on Medicare too???? Oh jeez…

      I truly understand your gratefulness at affording coverage, it really is a gift to have it. I know that now more than ever. I think we may be living parallel lives!
      Thank you for your good wishes my friend. May God bless your Thanksgiving and Christmas Season too. I’ll look forward to renewing our blog friendship in 2016!

      God’s blessings be yours,
      Ceil

  9. But now my heart asks, “What about giving thanks for ‘right now’, this minute?” In other words, what about the ordinary times?

    Those are great questions, Ceil. I had to ask myself that last night in the midst of a worship service when my stomach was hurting so bad. My answer was that God was giving me grace that very moment to not be in such pain that I had to leave. I could stay there and worship and all was well. I was thankful for that! (And I feel better today–I’m thankful for that, too.)

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Lisa! Oh no! I feel so bad for your pain, I just got over the stomach flu myself. So tough to go through. I’m so grateful that you feel better today too! God is good, even in the storm, right?

      I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving Lisa, and a blessed Christmas Season. Thank you for sharing your family, faith and love of Scripture on your blog this year. I look forward to being inspired by you in 2016!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  10. Thank you Ceil for posting this – especially Thank you in the hard times that I have needed so much these days.

    It’s beautiful to take a break and enjoy this wonderful season time with family and beloved ones.

    Praying for you and hope to see your time with fam in facebook – hopefully

    Blessing ❤

    • Hi Delvalina! I may still post on FB occasionally, and I hope you’ll join me there. I’m so sorry to hear about your stormy weather. That’s not fun, especially while planning your wedding. Are you concerned about your parents being able to come to the US for the ceremony? You will remain in my prayers!

      Thank you for your good wishes on my break, I do hope to enjoy it all, good and not-so-good. To see God in it all, that’s my goal. I hope your Christmas Season will give you many memories of God’s goodness, and the love of family and friends. You are His Chosen One my friend, holy and beloved. He will never forget you.

      God’s blessings always,
      Ceil

    • Hi Denise! Thank you so much for your always uplifting comments. May God pour His light and love on you this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season. Take care of yourself, and enjoy 🙂

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  11. First of all, thank you Ceil for keeping this Blog going. I’m certain it is much appreciated by the many readers who keep visiting you and commenting here (and those who don’t comment also).

    We have so much to be thankful for. The good times as well as the difficult and painful times in our lives. The Lord is with us then, even if we don’t realise it.

    Have a good break from Blogging (hope you’ll have time to visit though) and enjoy the holiday season with your family and loved ones. May I now wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, a Blessed Advent and Christmas, and a wonderful splendid healthy New Year.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! Such a beautiful comment as usual my friend. Thank you for your blog-friendship this year (and last!) and I look forward to being inspired by you in 2016!

      May God bless you and yours this Advent and Christmas time! I know yours will be a house filled with faithful joy and cheer; how could it not be with you around? Be sure to tell Fr. Ignatius “Merry Christmas” from me 🙂

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  12. I, too, find it easier to see the blessings in hindsight rather than in the here and now struggles. I’m sorry your insurance has doubled and gives less benefits. 🙁 But thank you for the reminder to intentionally look for the blessings in everything.

    Have a Blessed Thanksgiving, Advent Season, Christmas, and New Year, Ceil! I will miss you and your posts and comments so much, but I hope you have a truly refreshing and renewing time in your spirit. You are such a compassionate encourager, and I thank God for you! Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! Thank you for commiserating with me about the insurance thing. I never thought I’d have to use it, but I’m very glad it’s there to catch us.

      Thank you for all your wonderful wishes for me too 🙂 God bless you for your generosity. I hope I have a renewed time in the Spirit too, and a time of recognizing His movement in my life. May you have a wonderful holiday this week, and a holy and blessed Christmas Season. I look forward to visiting you in 2016!

      Hugs right back,
      Ceil

  13. That verse from Thessalonians always makes me think. I hear two things in it. One, that we are to be thankful, for it is God’s will that His children be grateful people. And second, that we are to be thankful for everything that happens, because God will work His perfect purposes through it all.

    This post was very timely, as it talks about what I believe God has revealed as His word for me in 2016. A challenging one, but He likes to do that!! Can’t wait to hear what He’s laid upon your heart.

    My best wishes for a wonderful holiday season to you and yours.

    GOD BLESS!

    • Hi Sharon! Now I can’t wait to hear your ‘word’ for 2016! (Is it gratitude??) Well, I guess I’ll have to be patient and wait a month or so!

      I really agree with your comment on the two sides of gratitude. I’m still learning about the thanks in the dark, but I hope to get closer and closer to that. Lord knows I’ve had plenty of experience in it. I guess I still need some more!

      Best of blessings on your Thanksgiving and the Christmas Season. May you be blessed with inspiration, joy and peace…and safety on that mountain of yours!

      Hugs my friend,
      Ceil

  14. Dear Ceil … I’m so grateful to you for all the sweet, consistent support you’ve shown me in this topsy-turvy year. I hope the holidays are filled with golden moments for you and yours … and that the break from blogging will renew you in splendid ways, big and small.

    I’m gonna miss seein’ ya’ around!

    Hugs to you, girl. And here’s to 2016!

    ;-}

    • Hi Linda! It has been an honor to travel the road beside you. I know it’s been a really tough one for you, and I look to 2016 to be a year of healing and regrouping for you and your husband.

      I’ll miss you too, but we’ll get back in touch in the new year. May God’s blessings be yours this Thanksgiving, and in the holidays that might seem a little emptier. But ‘the souls of the just are in the hand of God’, so I know your loved ones are with you now in even more intimate ways. May their souls touch yours…

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

    • Hi Jennifer! It’s time for the US to have their Thanksgiving Day! I know you already celebrated in Canada.

      Thank you for your good wishes, and always supportive presence here on the blog. I look forward to continuing our blog-friendship in 2016!

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  15. Ceil…this is a wonderful post. Thank you for this wonderful reminder…I know all these things to be true for myself as well…sometimes we just get busy and burdened… but thanks can ALWAYS be found…if for nothing else, just for breathing! Happy Thanksgiving AND Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful break and enjoy your family and the spirit of what each holiday represents. See you next year!

    • Hi Debby! Yes, just for breathing, I agree! It seems like such a little thing, but tell that to someone with lung disease.

      Thank you for your good wishes, and I wish them right back to you and yours. I’ll think of you looking out of your door to the beautiful country you live in. Such gorgeous photos! Enjoy your family and friends, every hug and good wish 🙂

      I look forward to staying connected in 2016 🙂
      Ceil

  16. So much to say Ceil. I am so thankful for God’s grace. For my wife of 42 1/2 years, my two adult daughters, and the son-in-law & grandson I have. I am thankful for the church I have served for 10 fantastic years. I am thankful for so much. My on line friends (like you). My wife retired so “Obamacare” it was for us. How can they call it the “Affordable Care Act” is beyond me. ‘Nuff said. Oy is right. But I’m thankful we are taken care of and at least have coverage. Blessings this Thanksgiving to you and your hubby.

    • Hi Bill! You do have a lot to be grateful for, as do I. And Obamacare…oh yes my friend, we could talk for hours about that. but like you, I appreciate the help in getting coverage.

      Thank you for your good wishes for Thanksgiving. Same to you and your forever partner 🙂 God bless you always, and keep you in His care.

      Merry Christmas too!
      Ceil

  17. Hi Ceil,

    Learning to be thankful is certainly a process–one that takes a long time to learn. Christmas will be “an ultimate” test of sorts in my learning to be thankful. The last few Christmas Days haven’t been the happiest of times.

    I’m thankful for your encouragement on my blog.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Merry Christmas to you, as well!

    Blessings,

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! My heart goes out to you about your last Christmas Day experiences. I hope this year will be different, and that you will find the love and peace of the infant Christ in your home and heart. You will be in my prayers.

      Thank you for continuing our blog-friendship this year. I look forward to another year of encouragement from you in 2016!

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

  18. Hello Ceil, I don’t believe this is goodbye till next year, By God’s Grace*missing you already*
    Thank you for every time you spent visiting my blog. I am very thankful for you. You have encouraged me more ways than you know!
    Do have a pleasant holiday and enjoy your Christmas break.
    God Bless and Tons of Kisses and Hugs too

    • Hi Ifeoma! What a lovely comment my friend, thank you so much!

      I’m so glad I was able to support you this year, it was nice to meet you :). Thank you for your kind wishes on my break, and let me wish you a very happy and holy Christmas Season. May God’s joy and peace be yours always,

      Hugs right back,
      Ceil

  19. Hi again, Ceil!
    What a blessing to get this reminder of the “ordinary” things of moments in time! You are so right! I know those seemingly small things are precious in part because it is what we often remember after we have experienced a loss. I pray your Thanksgiving will be a blessed time with your family. We will be at our son’s.
    I hear you about the health insurance. I hear that from anyone and everyone who needs to rely on that program. Our son and his family do as well.
    One of the things I am thankful for is the discovery of you and the relationship we have been building.
    Love and blessings, my friend,
    Pam

    • Hi Pam! How fun to be with your son’s for the holiday! My SIL is cooking this year, so we’ll be with them and my Dad on Thursday.

      I’m so glad we met each other too this year! That is something to remember and be grateful for on Thanksgiving. I pray that your family will have safe travels and a peaceful and joyful holiday.

      I also pray that your Christmas will be the same! We’ll reconnect in 2016. Let’s see what God has in store for us!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  20. Hey Ceil! Such a great challenge to be thankful in all things. Even in the ordinary and in the painful moments. So tough. I’ve been going to bed each night recently, thanking God for the routine things I tend to take for granted. Shelter, a warm bed, enough money to pay the bills, a husband who loves me. Keeping those things in focus creates such a perspective shift. When I’m hurting or confused over circumstances, I come back to that gratefulness like an anchor. Thanks for continuing to challenge us in that. Have a blessed break. 🙂

    • Hi Crystal! I like that image of thanks being an anchor in the storm times. What a great mantra to have too. We don’t have to look for huge things to be thankful for, breathing is plenty!

      Thank you for sharing your faith, and habit of thankfulness, it really supports me. I pray you’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving this Thursday, and a wonderful Christmas Season. You and your husband and cat are very blessed to have each other 🙂

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  21. The graphic in the insurance part of your message is hilarious. Love all your words, though, because the Holy Spirit inspires them. So many trials and even pits are looked at in the natural negatively, but when Jesus is involved, He turns it around into a blessing somehow. I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am very grateful for your friendship! Merry Christmas, too, since you are breaking in December. Enjoy all your holidays with your family and may they be safe and fun.

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your beautiful wishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas too. I wish the same for you and yours, and I thank you for your blog-friendship this past year. And for meeting you face-to-face too 🙂

      That graphic is pretty funny, I must admit. It also perfectly shows my frustration at the whole mess. But as I said, God showed us that we could do it, we could navigate it all…hand and hand with Him.

      Blessings for peace and joy always,
      Ceil

  22. Enjoy your blog break so happy thanksgiving,Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

    You are so right that the rear view mirror has the best sight. So sorry your hunt for health insurance is so difficult. Our system is such a mess – I think the intentions to make it better are good but the answers aren’t there. yes indeed frustrating.

    • Hi Jean! Thank you so much, same to you! I hope you’ll have a wonderful time with family and friends. And a happy Advent too. As I told you, I love this time of year. So still and bright in the middle of shopping craziness! It’s definitely my peace place.

      Obamacare…love it and hate it. All I can say is that at least we have coverage for next year. That’s enough.

      Blessings always,
      Ceil

    • Hi Deb! Thank you for your encouraging comment and wishes too.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas Season too! I know God will bless you and yours with His peace and joy. You are so faithful, and have so much love for God and His will. I have enjoyed walking 2015 with you 🙂

      See you in 2016,
      Ceil

  23. OH Ceil, to be thankful for those moments- right then and there. YES!

    I’m so sorry your insurance went up now- with lower coverage. ACK. I totally get that mess… and the medical bills! Oh yes. The medical bills. 🙁

    I will miss you during your break. I love that you are taking it, and you are such a powerful influence in my life- that it is more confirmation for my break as well. I am planning on taking December off- to do just what you said. I’m a bit scared really. Scared of the overwhelming feelings of anxiety in what I ‘should’ be doing. I know I need this. I know God has been asking me to do this for a while now- and I can’t think of a more perfect time.

    May we both bask in the glow of our Savior and find restoration and nourishment in our quiet moments with Him. God bless you, my friend.

    • Hi Chris! I know you get the whole medical bills scene. We were invalids together this year!

      You enjoy that break of yours Chris. Enjoy your family, your prayer, the silences and the noises. Sometimes it’s just really good to kick back and let go. God will take that time and fill it with His plans, His grace. Who knows what He has in store for you? It’s an exciting time.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas Season. May you experience the love and joy of the Lord!
      Ceil

  24. That rear view mirror really does make it easier to see these things. I so agree, my friend. I’m sorry to hear about your insurance mess. I have 2 kids with chronic illnesses which pretty much means I’m dealing with a doctor or medical bill constantly. I feel your pain in navigating the messiness of health insurance. You will be missed, Ceil! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season offline. I’ll be taking off the month of December as well starting on the 5th. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving tomorrow!

    • Hi Candace! Thank you for commiserating with me over health care. I can only imagine what you must go through with two children who need medical attention frequently!

      I hope you will enjoy your blog break, as you make ready for the coming of our Savior. It’s such a beautiful time of year. Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one too 🙂

      Blessings!
      Ceil

  25. Everything is much clearer in the rear view mirror life isn’t Ceil? I appreciate this reminder to savor all the ordinary moments. Hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday season. May Christ peace and joy permeate your heart and home.

    • Hi Wanda! Thank you so much for your prayers. I hope that I’ll have many moments of recognizing God’s great presence and love right at the moment. If not, the rear-view mirror works too 🙂

      Have a blessed Christmas, see you in 2016!
      Ceil

    • Hi Patty! I hope you and yours will have a peaceful and joyful Advent, and blessed Christmas too. It’s my favorite time of the year, and I hope to soak in as much of it as I can!

      See you next year my friend. God’s blessings be yours always,
      Ceil

  26. Oh Ceil, I’m sorry about your health care coverage. But you’re encouraging many of us to give thanks in ALL things. We’ve had some hard things happen in the last month, and giving thanks has sometimes been a challenge. But I like your husband’s attitude, and I’ll say, “Thank God my car broke down twice, IN OUR GARAGE, instead of out on the road!” 🙂

    • Hi Betsy! Erg…is there anything more irritating than a car break-down? We depend on transportation so much! It is a mercy that you weren’t stuck out somewhere that would have been dangerous for you, I can thank God for that along with you.

      I hope you had a great Thanksgiving (do you still celebrate that?) and I pray you’ll have a beautiful Christmas celebration. God bless you and yours on your journey through Advent. See you in 2016!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  27. Oh dear. I well know the frustration with health insurance. I was there many years. Might be there again soon. Praying.

    • Hi Terri! Oh boy, I sincerely hope that’s not true. May God bless you and yours with employment and support in insurance.

      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday, and a beautiful start to the New Year!

      Blessings,
      Ceil

  28. Oh, my. We feel your insurance pain. My husband is independently insured now and thanks to Obamacare, one plan after another gets dropped. Each new one comes with higher premiums and worse coverage. Gee thanks, right? But we pay it and are thankful that we can. Enjoy your blogging break!

    • Hi Susan! Your comment sounds exactly like what we are going through now. I am so thankful for the coverage, I really am. But it is a process!

      I celebrate with you the gift of health insurance, and pray that neither of us will need in very much in 2016!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  29. To be grateful in all things isn’t always easy, however does alleviate frustration and lifts our spirits. As well, taking time to be with God during this season is lifts us closer to Him. It is putting first things first. And that you are doing this for yourself is inspiring, showing God’s way to want us to rest in Him, always. Have a blessed Advent season!

    • Hi Lynn! Thank you for your kind words about my break time. I am enjoying the time now, working a little, and trying to present to the Season and to family. I have to confess, it’s lovely.

      Have a wonderful Advent too my friend. See you again in 2016!
      Ceil

  30. Hi Ceil,

    Your idea here — “there were many more I didn’t recognize. What about the gifts that were given in unexpected places?” — is striking. Thanks for the reminder to look back reflectively to all the things that I might not have recognized as gifts from God. He is a good God whose heart can be trusted, huh?

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

    • Hi Jennifer! How nice to see you again 🙂

      Thank you for your Christmas wishes, the same to you my friend! May you and yours be filled with the wonder and joy that the birth of Christ brings. He is indeed a God who is to be trusted.

      See you in 2016!
      Ceil

    • Hi Kim! Thank you for stopping by! It’s so nice to see you here 🙂

      The same to you in sunny California! Enjoy your warm weather, and being with friends and family.

      Blessings,
      Ceil

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