Saturday, November 28, 2015

Counting Our Blessings

Ahh, Thanksgiving!  One of my favorite months because we focus on family, friends and all the blessings that God showers on each one of us every single day.  Everywhere we look we can see the beauty of  His hands that surround us.  Autumn has been absolutely spectacular with the beautiful changing of the leaves and the colors so majestically displayed. The weather was just perfect here in Maryland this year. One of God's blessings this Thanksgiving was no exception for our family. We will have a Thanksgiving story to share for many years to come. It goes like this:

Sharon and I had prepared Thanksgiving dinner for all who were available and in town for our immediate  family and that of  my sister's family as well, just like we have for the last few years, except there was one chair in particular that was missing this year. In January, my sweet sister, Iris left us to go home to be with our Lord. Such a sad time it was for all our family to start our year off. Little did we know then, that we would be blessed with "Little Iris", who would come into our lives and hearts in the same year.  God is an awesome God!  My sister's grand-daughter, Rachael, ironically announced that she was pregnant on my sister's birthday, May 23rd, and would be due in November. If they were to have a girl, the baby would be named after her Great Grandmother, Iris. What wonderful news this was for our family!

Well, as the story goes;  we formed a circle and said our prayers before sitting down for our meal, giving thanks for all God's blessings.  We  had just sat down for our Thanksgiving dinner, when Rae began to feel a bit uncomfortable.......yes, you guessed it, I'm sure!  Thus, began a night of much anticipation of the arrival of our little "Angel".  We have been blessed with a new baby in our family! We are proud to announce that Iris Frances Johnson was born on 11/27/15 to the proud parents of Rachael and Joseph Johnson, and I have been blessed to be the Great, Great, Aunt to my "Little Iris"! 

This is a funny story, because when I was a little girl, my big sister Iris, took care of me. When I did something she didn't like, as little girls will sometimes do; I would say to her, "Wait 'til I'm BIG and you're LITTLE" (or) "Wait 'til I'm the MOMMY and you're the BABY! It makes me laugh, every time I think of those memories I had with my sister.  I really believed that, and she would just look at me and smile.  There will always be a "void" in our lives with my sister gone, but we know and feel she is always with us in our hearts, minds and spirit. We thank God for His "special" gift this year.

May God Bless you and your families now and always!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When You Can't Do it All Yourself!

I don't know about you, but I find myself in this position all the time!  You try to make everyone happy, be everyone's 'rock' and support, get everything done so you can sit back and rest, but then something else pops up and you find yourself in the middle of doing everything yourself again.....sometimes it's so much easier just to get it done, right?  Well, I'm starting to realize that I can't do it all myself.  There just aren't enough hours in a day.  No matter how much I try, I'm only human and yes, I do have to take time for ME!

There is really only one person we need to answer to and that one person is who can do so much more for us, if we just ask!  That's right.....God!  Give Him our burdens, give Him praise for what He has given us and don't be afraid to ask what you really need.  Have faith that He will make it happen for us.  It may take longer than we anticipate, and it may come in a different manner than you envisioned, but in His timing and His way, He can make it happen!

Just to show you how this has worked in my life recently, I thank Him every night for what He has given me and the blessings He continues to bring my way.  I ask for His direction and support because I can't do this all by myself, and typically every night I fall asleep talking to him before I ever get to 'Amen'.  He helps me get the rest I need, and I wake up refreshed.  Then, throughout the day I am provided with the signs I need, and am led to what it is I am seeking.

For me this week, I was able to hire someone at work to help support my team.  Even though business is booming in the office and things are going in so many different directions, I have still be able to find time in the evening to connect with some marketing resources that are going to help promote our book. Marketing takes so much time, and having someone else to help support that effort is key.  I wasn't able to break away for a lunch meeting with Mom today, but she filled both of our shoes and got the job done!  Tomorrow she is going to hit up the Senior Center and look into a book signing.  Between her and my husband, Tom, they've been a huge help around the house.  So things are getting done, and I don't have to do it all myself!  And neither do you!

It's a great feeling when you can come to terms with that realization - like a weight is lifted from your shoulders.  So, look to God, reach out to your loved ones for support, and know that everyone needs someone and together you can accomplish so much more!  It doesn't have to be perfect, but when it's done with love, nothing can be done better!