Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

This has been quite a year ... lots of challenges, some really joyful times, many really painful moments. But today, I know how blessed I am, and I'm filled with gratitude.

I'm thankful for ...

... grace
... Russ and a healthy marriage in a society where "'til death us do part" has morphed into "while love lasts"
... waking up knowing that "His mercies are new every morning"
... family so far away in body but close in heart
... dear friends who pray for me and love me in spite of myself
... my bed (!)
... my dogs with their unconditional love
... a great job at a Christian company
... dark chocolate (!!)
... dark times that draw me closer to God
... a church home where I can serve God and others
... a ministry about which I'm passionate
... gluten- and lactose-free products that actually taste good (!!!)

So many blessings. So many reasons to give thanks.

May your Thanksgiving be one of blessing, love, and gratitude.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home Improvement

We've been doing a bit of home improvement the last few days. A tile floor is being laid in our master bath (after seven years of carpet--yuck!). We'll be painting this weekend, changing out the lights and mirrors, and then hanging new window treatments. It'll be just like having a brand new bathroom! And it's going to be gorgeous . . . so excited!!

There's something almost cathartic about doing even the simplest upgrades or changes to our homes, isn't there?

I don't know about you, but sometimes I think I'm due for a little "home improvement" in me. Definitely, I need a bit of an upgrade to my physical self (can anyone say, "Get off your duff and exercise!"?).

The last few weeks, I've felt the need for some improvement to my heart. It's been rough for a lot of different reasons, and a couple of weeks ago, I felt pretty much at the end of my rope (thus no blogs since late October). If you've been keeping up with my blog over the last year or so, you know it's been quite a year in the Rinehart home, and it just got to the point where I was done . . .

Fortunately, God isn't done with me yet! I mentioned in my last blog how much I love the book of Philippians. And again, verse 1:6 was a great comfort to me as I remember that I'm a work in progress. I may not understand everything that happens, but when I ask myself if I trust God, I have to say yes. And when I ask myself if I believe He's lovingly in control of everything, I have to say yes again.

And so, I continue to (I pray) "improve" my heart and soul . . . now if I could just get moving on that "strength" part of me!