Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Grats

Yesterday morning on the way to work I was completely awed by the moon - it was SO bright... I did some reflecting (no pun intended) on it as I was driving - and a blog post on my other blog will follow later. But, for now I wanted to share this picture - my phone doesn't do it near the justice it deserves, but it was all I had. It truly lit up the sky and was amazing - it was the morning before the full moon so it wasn't quite full but it was AMAZING!

Today I am thankful for:

  • the beauty of God's creation and how He speaks Truth through it.
  • a nice afternoon yesterday hanging out with a teenage girl from church who has had her fair share of "suck" in life. I love blogging and writing, but sharing one on one with someone is amazing and I thank God for the opportunity to be in this girl's life and pray that He can use me in her life.
  • a relaxing evening of doing nothing - just relaxing and NOT thinking!
  • being able to get some things done today even though my brain is feeling disjointed and discombobulated.
  • that even though I am not walking/jogging/running in the Marathon or Half Marathon tomorrow, God has given me grace in dealing with myself through the process. I wrote more about that in my other blog.
  • a three day weekend... I have some stuff I really want to get caught up on and am looking forward to some extra time to get things done. I am grateful for a boss who believes a football game is a completely legitimate reason for taking a day off of work!
  • my church family... I am reminded every day for the many reasons I have to be grateful for them. They are such a blessing.
  • a good time visiting with a friend today while she was out doing some "retail therapy." I always enjoy talking to her and she helped me so much by just listening as I was dealing with an awkward situation with a friend. It helped just being able to talk out loud about it, and even though I felt a little bad because she probably wanted to talk through some of "her" stuff, she willingly listened. Good friends are such a blessing and I am indeed blessed.
  • not having anything planned tonight. I am planning on enjoying a nice relaxing evening at home and getting to bed early so I don't mess up my sleep schedule too badly!
With gratitude,


Friday, October 18, 2013

Wrapping up the Week - Continuing in Gratitude

Yesterday's "Grat Post" can be found on my other blog where I have devoted Thursdays to be "Thankful Thursdays".

This morning I am grateful....

  • I am thankful for an evening of rest last night. I really didn't do anything that required too much thinking. I played with the kitties, hung out on Facebook, watched some TV and just chilled. It was a nice change of pace.
  • I am thankful that I was able to get up this morning at my scheduled time and work on my "hustle" and my dream. I have committed to this new schedule, and while I know there are days it just might not happen (I am a perfectionist and like to thing that isn't true) but I'm also a realist and I know there is going to come that day when I decide to get some extra sleep or that I just NEED some extra sleep. This morning I wasn't excited about getting up like I have been all week, but I was disciplined and just got up and I am glad I did. 
  • I am thankful for a good week of work. I HAVE found myself looking forward to the weekend a bit more this week than I had been... perhaps because I have a THREE DAY WEEKEND to look forward to. I am looking forward to getting some things done this weekend.
  • I am thankful for my tendency to "stock up" on groceries. Because of this, I only need to buy a few things to get by for next week and can use the "extra" money toward other things.
  • I am thankful for my health. I haven't been taking the GREATEST care of myself and yet I am doing well health wise. I am trying to do better - I'm walking on my breaks at work, but it feels so much like I am starting from scratch. I get winded so easily and I want so badly to get back into better cardiovascular health. I would love to get off some of the medication I had to go on last year because of my health issues. I have my physical in May and maybe by then I can shed some much unneeded weight and be in better health enough to go off some of the medication.
  • I am grateful for an e-mail response I got from someone yesterday. I didn't really expect to get a response but felt so honored that he took the time to respond to my message. I feel so blessed!
  • I am thankful for opportunities God is opening up before me - how His hand is blessing my life and things I am striving to do. It's been a long time since I've "felt" so connected to God in every area of my life.
  • I am ever thankful for you... those who have been here since the "beginning." This blog has been such a journal of my life... I didn't start out intending it to become what it did. I am so grateful to have had a place to write, to pour out my heart... and to you... who read or read and respond... you are listening. Growing up I just wanted to be heard... I wanted to be listened to when I was hurting, and I wasn't. I was turned off and shut down and turned away. I guess I should thank Google for giving me a platform to speak from. :-)
Ever thankful,


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Busy Grats!

I didn't get this done last night, but it's only 4:30 a.m. so that counts, right? "Night-owl" Sherri would have still been up at this time sometimes in the past! ;-)

  • I am grateful for the cooler weather. I am a little sad we haven't had any consistent days with highs in the 60's, but I don't like the HOT and am glad to be done with it. (I'm NOT ready for Winter, but am enjoying Fall!)
  • I am thankful for such a great week at work. I continue to thank the Lord for the attitude shift He's done in me!
  • I am grateful for a 3-day weekend coming up. Yes, I took Monday off because the Colts and Broncos are playing Sunday night. I am still rather torn about who I'm rooting for, but am leaning toward the Broncos (does that make me a bad Colts fan... yeah, I think it does) But, I am a Peyton Manning fan more than anything! He is an amazing player and person and I have the utmost respect for him. I'm kinda still ticked at the Colts for letting him go, so I will be sporting my Manning jersey Sunday!
    • I am grateful for the extra day to get caught up on some cleaning, some reading, and some writing.... I know the day will go too fast, but I am thankful to have it!
  • I am grateful I have been able to get up early every day this week to work on my writing and blogging and doing things I love. It's amazing what a difference it makes in my day!

I continue to be ever grateful for you!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tired Grats

Day four of #OperationNightOwlTransformation is coming to a close and I am tired. But I am also very, very grateful.
  • I am grateful for the Truth of God's Word which penetrates my heart. I posted this Facebook status this morning after I got busy working on my blog because I was so excited about a "famous" person submitting a guest post on my other blog... "I was reminded this morning to make sure to keep my number one goal serving the Living and True GOD! I got so excited about Pete Wilson agreeing to guest post for me that I got busy on that BEFORE spending time in God's Word. I was very convicted when I read this from 1 Thessalonians 1:9: " turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God..." Yes, even our dreams can become idols if we are not careful. I am thankful for God's grace this morning... that He is not surprised at my poor decision to put my dream before Him this morning and that His mercy is new every morning... and every moment we come to Him!"
  • I am so thankful for the doors God is opening and the obvious fingerprints of God all over things taking place in my life.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to have Pete Wilson guest post on my blog this morning.
  • I am thankful God has given me so much energy to do what I need to do to get up in the morning and "hustle." I have been amazed at how He has helped me get up and get going and all He is doing in my life and through me... a simple, ordinary girl who is still quite broken, but God is using me in the midst of it all.
  • I am thankful for an opportunity to have my new blog promoted for free.
  • I am grateful for an opportunity to use my organizational (OCD'ish) skills for good with a group I am involved in.
  • I am so grateful to have a wonderful boss at work and that work has been going so well since my attitude has shifted... my job hasn't changed, people haven't changed, "stupid" things that happen haven't changed - my attitude changed and it has made all the difference!
  • I am thankful that I had an awesome session with my counselor and we are going to really start unpacking some issues in our upcoming sessions and doing some serious work on working toward healing and shutting up all those lies that have filled my head for so many years and affect me in my life even when things are going well.
  • I am thankful for sleep... and that I get to go to bed in 5 minutes... I am tired... I have been going all day....
  • I am ever thankful for all of you... this blog is what jump started my new blog and my working on a book. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

EARLY Morning Grats

I've always written my “Grat List” at the end of the day. But as I sit here this morning, in my “time to dream” in my new schedule, I'm kind of stuck...
I've gotten some stuff done, finished some “work” there was to do in the book Quitter which I just finished reading, sent a few e-mails about some possible speaking opportunities to share my story with some youth. But, I looked at the clock and still had plenty of time and needed to write... I spent a lot of time working on some writing on stuff possibly for my book this weekend and was kind of at a standstill. My goal is to write 500 words a day, in some manner – whether it's blogging or on my book. That goal may need to increase to 1,000 words a day as I can easily put out 500 in a blog of “grats” and then I wouldn't get any work done on my other blog or my book.

But, I decided this morning to start my morning with my “Grat List.” I don't know that I will do this every morning, but THIS morning... this Monday where I am starting with my new schedule of getting up at what I sometimes refer to as “stupid o'clock” in the morning... I thought I needed to focus on gratitude.
  • I am grateful this morning that although I woke up a couple of times in the night, I fell asleep early and slept well. I was able to fall back to sleep when I did wake up and woke up actually feeling refreshed and ready for the day (although more coffee may be required)
  • Which reminds me... I am thankful for coffee... ahh... and for a coffee pot with a timer so I can wake up to that wonderful smell!
  • I am grateful for an awesome day yesterday and that God literally held me up as I got up and spoke at Gabe and Matt's farewell lunch. I was able to share my heart and gratitude to them and their amazing wives for all the ways God has used them in my life.
  • I am grateful that I was reminded yesterday that NOTHING ever takes God by surprise. God knew when I came to Grace 3 years ago that at this time Gabe and Matt would be leaving. When this happened, God didn't think, “OH NO! What will I do now? How will Sherri get by without them? How will the church get by? How will the youth survive without Gabe?” NO! God knew this day would come and He will provide for all of our needs! God never has “OH NO what will I do now?” moments. God knows. God is in control. I can trust Him and have complete faith in His provision for all of my needs, the church's needs, and the needs of our youth. God's got this!
  • I am thankful for a possible opportunity for some free promotion of my blog. A friend from HS who does that for a living has offered me some free services. We still need to talk details, but I am excited and SO grateful for this friend.
  • I am thankful this morning for friends. I have the best friends and am so blessed.
  • I am thankful for a brother who isn't going to toss me aside because he's moving away, but that will be my brother even if he moves to another state or country, because family is family PERIOD. I thought I had that once and was hurt so badly and I am so grateful to God for giving me the best brother a girl could ask for.
As always... I am grateful for you... my readers,


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Grats for a Final Sunday with Two Amazing Familes

I spent all day yesterday with 2 cards to write out to our youth pastor and his wife and my small group leader and his wife as today is their last Sunday at our church. God has called them to plant a church and they will be working with an existing church and core group to start a new church. I am super excited for them. I have no doubt that God will use them in this new opportunity He has brought to them to further His Kingdom and that it is a good GREAT thing that they are following the Holy Spirit's leading.

However, in the past 3 years these people have grown very dear to me and I am going to miss them something fierce! I'm a writer... words of affirmation is even my primary love language, yet when it comes to saying thanks to people who have meant so much I feel like words are so inadequate. But, it's all I've got and it's my prayer that they will truly hear the heart behind these words and know how precious each of them are to me in their own way. It may seem weird to be doing this in a "public" forum, but I've been publishing my "Grat" list here lately and today my heart is overflowing with gratitude for these four people and all they have meant in my life.
  • I am thankful for Gabe - he has been my pastor (even though I'm not a youth... although I may act like one sometimes), he has counseled me, he has been my friend, he has been a co-worker in ministry as I worked briefly on the Jr. High Staff, he has become my younger "big" brother who I desperately needed after being basically tossed aside by my former "adopted brothers." He was there for me when I was at one of the lowest points of my life and helped to push me back to professional counseling where I needed to be to get the help I needed. He unknowingly recommended a counselor who previously attended the church I used to go to that hurt me so badly so he gets the dynamics and who also knew my Daddy before I was even born. Talk about a "God-thing." He relentlessly picks on me and teases me just like any good brother should do... but at the heart of it all I know he cares and that he has my back.
    That is priceless and words are inadequate to thank him for being the friend and brother that God knew I needed. Thank you, Gabe for being my "big" brother. Thank you for your words of wisdom when I was faced with some people from my past who hurt me deeply... your quotes were sometimes even good enough to turn into "art."
  • I am thankful for Wendy - her smile and sweet spirit are so very cherished. She has always made me feel so welcomed and loved. She has been an encouragement to me just by the life she lives. She has been an example to me of how a woman after God's heart lives her life. Watching her interact with her kids: the way she loves, cares for, encourages, and even corrects her children are an example to me of a mother's love the way it should be. It blesses my heart to just watch her be a wife and Mom. She is an example to me and I look up to her greatly and thank God for the time I had to spend together. I'm also thankful for the time we got to spend teaching her kids that cats are wonderful pets despite anything their Dad might say about cats! ;-) I'm glad the kids got time to play with Buddy - he enjoyed it... and hopefully they can come to meet Molly sometime before they move (or after... at least they aren't going too far!) Thank you, Wendy, for being a friend, an encourager, and a shining example to me of a godly woman.
  • I am thankful for Matt - it started out as just some counseling... I needed it, couldn't afford professional counseling and he needed the experience for his seminary degree. He really has a gift for counseling... asking the right questions, helping to challenge you to think about things in light of God's Truth. I'm thankful for the time Matt spent counseling me and helping me deal with some hard things. I'm also grateful that he was there with Gabe when I was at that low point in my life and needed that push to go back to professional counseling. He and Gabe were instrumental in helping me to see what I needed even though I didn't want to see it. I'm thankful for the time I had as a member of his small group - I thoroughly enjoyed studying books and Scripture with our group and appreciate the leadership he gave in that group. I'm thankful that they welcomed me into their group and loved me right where I was, which was a huge mess. Toward the end I withdrew a lot from the group because of my own issues. I felt bad for that but Matt, as well as everyone else in the group understood and didn't pressure me to do more than I could do. That was such a different experience than what I had when I withdrew from some people in my previous church... rather than being understanding, they were demanding and unloving. Matt and my whole small group were part of what helped to renew my faith in the Church... and for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you, Matt, for your words of wisdom, patience, and friendship.
  • I am thankful for Marisa - she played a big part in welcoming me to the small group and feeling like I actually belonged. After the hurt I had previously experienced, this was needed in a big way. She opened her home to me week after week. I loved watching her with her kids... she is another awesome example to me of a wife and mother. I didn't have a good example of that growing up and I am so grateful to her and Wendy as well as so many in our church who are amazing examples of godly women. Her and Matt invited me to spend one Easter with them with Matt's parents and I appreciated so much the thoughtfulness of the invitation to spend the holiday with them. I am also grateful for Marisa teaching me that it is OK to not always wear matching socks. This picture was from when I was doing laundry one time and was missing two socks, but was left with this "pair." I actually learned to purposely wear non-matching socks and it didn't even kill me. Thank you, Marisa, for being so welcoming, for being understanding in times of my butt-headedness, for being an example to me by the life you lead.

A couple of additional notes: Both Gabe and Matt were greatly used by God during times they preached and taught (Gabe in Jr. High Youth Group and Matt in Sunday School) God has gifted you both in bringing God's Word to life and in teaching in a way that engages those you are teaching. Also, I regret not spending more time with Wendy and Marisa and getting to know them better than I did. Life being crazy as it was for me the past few years, and them being the wife to men in ministry and moms to their awesome kids make it hard to spend the time together I wish we had.

On a not so serious note: Matt: never forget that white chocolate is NOT chocolate. Gabe: no matter what you say MY FAVORITE COLOR IS GREEN! I know you like to believe you are always right, but in this case you are very, very wrong!

Phil 4:6-7 is my prayer for you all in this transition time to your next chapter in the journey. I pray that God's peace will surround you and that you would not be anxious or worried but fully trust in our God Who will provide and care for you.

I really wanted to write out a card for each of you, but every time I sat down to write them I just stared blankly at the paper and then God gave me this idea. 

I hope that through the years I have been at least half the friend that you have all been to me.

I thank God every time I remember each of you and am so grateful for your friendship. This isn't "Good-bye" - it's "See you later" 

With gratitude and love,