a full heart to begin again ~ #1000Gifts

In my cup::
This morning it is overflowing with a peaceful spirit and a joy filled heart. I spent the weekend visiting and chatting with so many different friends, both young and old. I was able to get away form the house and leave Jerry to keep everything moving smoothly with Courtney. I really needed that time to get away and recharge. I had forgotten how lovely it is to go into a quilt shop and just look, spending hours being inspired by all that beauty. I love color and pattern so this was such a tremendous treat. 

It was followed by lunch with my oldest friend Marjanna and our mutual friend Yvonne and her almost four year old granddaughter. I had forgotten how entertaining little people are. The questions, the stories, the need to "cheer" and tap each other glasses with every sip of milk. So.much.fun. Age 2-6 are my favorite years of littledom. I do miss it. 

When I got home late Saturday night after finishing the day having dinner with my mother, I realized that even though things are extremely challenging right now with o many aspects of my life, my story is still unfolding. God is still writing on my heart and He needs me to be ready to do as He wills it to be done. He asks that I surrender my will and meet Him, just as I am, so he can propel me forward as His plans unfold. 

My goal this week is to hold onto that. His plans always yield such fruit. Mine usually turn into an internal war, leaving me exhausted and weary. Not to say that His plan will not require an extreme soul makeover, but it's better than the alternative of misery and depression. 

My story is gloriously unfolding and I can't wait to read the next chapter...

Sitting in::
...the living room, sipping hot coffee, enjoying the smell of the jam bars baking in the oven. The sun is up and it's already steamy outside. I worked out with a nice brisk 2.5 mile walk, sit ups and push ups. Their is a load of laundry in and Miss Courtney has had her first G-tube feeding and is still asleep. Not bad for a Monday morning. 

Listening to the sounds of::
...silence. Beautiful lovely silence. I know I only have about an hour before Courtney will wake and demand to start her day. Until then, I write, pray and sip my coffee. 

The sun is::
...shining and it is going to be a steamy one today. Supposedly there is cooler weather in the way for later this week. I will believe it when I see it. Until then it's humidity 101. 

Courtney is currently::
...sleeping with a smile on her face. I love that she does that. It makes me think that she is having a great conversation with God or her Guardian Angel. The thought makes me smile. 

The good news is she had her weigh in yesterday and she has gained THREE pounds!! I am so incredibly relieved! She had gotten down to 87 pounds which is just so dangerously low. It seems the every two hour feedings are paying off. So not matter how challenging that can be, we will keep doing it. I need this kid back up in the 100 pound range before I will feel a little more peace about her weight. 

So we have a ways to go, but at least she is able to gain. Thank you Lord!

Something beautiful::
I took a photo of the homemade strawberry rhubarb pie we had for dessert last night. It was thing of culinary beauty isn't it? Pie is my husbands favorite dessert. He loves lemon meringue, blueberry, apple, strawberry rhubarb, etc. You name the pie he is all in. I used like cake more but as I age I am finding my tastes changing. I am beginning to see his attraction. For me it's all about the crust. The light, flaky crust. A love affair for sure.

Something Stylish:
I wore a new to me dress yesterday. My Mom had seen it on sale and thought I would like it. She was right. I did. It's quite comfy and easy to wear on a hot summer day. I will try and take more picks of my outfits this week. I am not in love with the selfie so it's challenging to me some days. 

What's on my mind::
...the questions should be what isn't on my mind? So much swirling around up there about so many different things.I am still learning how to handle the stress and expectations of being a full time caregiver. Even though it's my child and I have been her mother for almost 22 years, this changing role is hard to navigate at times. 

I am advocate and chief nurse. I am housekeeper and chief cook. I am PT, PT and feeding specialist. I am tired and worried that I am not doing ALL I need to do to make this work. 

The financial burden is increasing as insurance changes and inflation continues to rise.I know I am not alone in this by any way shape or form, but it's still worrisome for me. SO each day it's a battle with my heart and mind to let go and let God in to win. Life is full of surprises and Miss Courtney is one of them. An amazing example of Our Lords faithfulness. That is where I wish to keep my mind today and always.    

What I am praying for:
++ Amanda finished her chemo and is finally home. I pray her recovery form brain cancer continues and she will be back to her her old new self soon. 
++ Elizabeth is on a new chemo plan. I pray for comfort, good pain management, and that she has time with her kids to make memories to sustain them.
++ for my husbands job and all government contractors. It's a tough world these days and it looks like it's going to get even more dicey. God is in control.
++ in thanksgiving for Courtney's weight gain and also to pray for her future good health. I know it's possible but I would love the support.
++ for wisdom and guidance as we work with our marriage mentor couple this evening That the Holy Spirit's presence is felt keenly by all of us.
++ for the church triumphant and God's grace and mercy upon it's members. 
++ for several several special intentions given to me by you sweet readers. I know that God's got this. Do Not Be Afraid!
++ that we are able to raise enough money to pay for Miss Courtney's adaptive equipment. Jesus I Trust In YOU! 

Adventuring in the kitchen::
We have company coming for dinner tonight. I am working my way through the deep freeze over the course of the next month, to make sure we fully utilize ALL our resources in order to save where we can. This means sometimes you need to get creative at times for meals. Tonight we are having broccoli salad, sour cream and dill potato salad, BBQ Chicken and Ribs. I had everything on hand and made most of it yesterday so I didn't feel pressured today. It will be yummy for sure. 

Sewing with my Bernina::
I am currently hand quilting a baby quilt for another blogger  to use in a raffle she is hosting. I hope to have that sone by Friday to ship to the winner. I want to finish a dress for Miss Courtney but we shall see how much time I have left this week. 
This week will bring::
...Company for dinner tonight and PT on Wednesday morning. Jerry is in conference this week which means I am pretty much on my own for the next few days. He will be working late nights with early mornings. Just the luck of the draw I guess. I am just so grateful he is working when so many are not. 

:: giving thanks for
#2157 ~ #2195 
** a beautiful weekend spent visiting wonderful friends, both old and new.
** in thanksgiving for my Courtney finally gaining some weight. Three pounds down and twelve more to go.
** my sons patience with his sister and her great desire to make us all deaf with her "happy singing". J-man just laughed and sang back. It was quite the racket. 
** the Eucharist...it sustains me...always
** being able to serve my fellow parishioners in some small way. We are so blessed by our church home St. Mary of Sorrows. 
** my mothers safe return from her trip abroad to Russia. 
** my mothers love for her eight children and her commitment to pray for each of us everyday. She amazes me. 
** snuggling on the sofa with my daughter and she hums quietly.
** time spent in quiet, thanking God for my many blessings
** a gentle breeze blowing in the middle of my run
** homemade strawberry rhubarb pie and ice cream
** holding my husbands hand while we sit together watching the sunset
** a peaceful nights rest without any seizures for my daughter
** a smile from Miss Courtney to greet the day
** an open door to my home and company for dinner
** a visit with a dear friend while sipping cold iced tea on a hot summer afternoon
** celebrating someone else's hard earned achievements
** lifting up and encouraging my reader with word and prayer
** homemade jam bars in the oven
** barbecue chicken and ribs, so juicy they require extra napkins
** music playing in the background as I clean, scrub and sing along. 
** letters in the mail filled with smiley faces, crayon colored pages and beautiful greetings. 
** beautiful stationary to write a return letter
** a challenging homily from the Deacon that makes me stop and ponder in prayer "what kind of soil am I? rocky or fruitful?"
** a cool shower after a hard workout
** cotton spandex that breathes
** wearing a pretty summer dress that makes my guy smile at me across the room
** blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches...summer bounty so sweet. 
** a table set to greet company to share a meal
** the beautiful power of NFP and the continuing witness of St. John Paul II through his Theology of the Body
** quilting needle in hand, pulling thread in and out. So soothing
** nights spent watching yet another John Wayne movie with my beloved. 
** singing in the rain - live and in person - not the movie :)
** a home that is well worn and welcoming. No room for perfectionism. 
** new pillow covers made with the hands of a talented sewist. 
** tracing my daughter sweet fingers as they curl around mine. 
** a family that works together to provide for each others needs.
** for my husband and sons employment. May God continue to protect it. 
** a loving God who allows me to come broken, discouraged and hurting and begs me to lay it all down so HE can carry it for me. 

If you are struggling today with heavy burdens, let them go. Come to the foot of the Cross and give them to Our Lord to carry. He is willing and able, for all things are possible through Him!

Happy Monday Y'all, 

What’s in your cup? 
What’s sweetening your life?
Tell me all about it, I’d love to hear and join in the conversation.

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