It’s a new day. Begin again. Appreciate what you have before it turns into what you had.


I am grateful for the hearing that I have left after last night. We went to my niece’s last home basketball game against their rival school. Two all-girls’ schools. Rivals. Broadcast live on local TV with cameras panning the student sections. Did I say two all girls’ schools?! I’ve not heard that much high-pitched screaming/yelling/squealing in…forever. Add the extremely loud music, and it was pure pain to the eardrums. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to see Rachel play. Next time, Formula 1 racing earplugs.

I am grateful for a long conversation with Karissa yesterday and LOTS of pictures of my beautiful grandchildren that she sent to me. It was so healing to hear her voice, and she sounded so good.

Image    Image


I am grateful for a surprise visit this morning in the office from Sam.

I am grateful for a really good haircut.

I am grateful for another weekend of snow to anticipate. All too soon, there will be complaints about the heat and the humidity, so I will choose to enjoy the cold and the snow and the opportunities for a roaring fire and soft blankets and sweaters to wear.

I am grateful for a portrait of THE honking tree on K-96 that Dwight took for us. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. This is not the picture he took – but it IS the honking tree.





And I am grateful for my devotion from Dad’s book this morning. One of my favorite scriptures is Lamentations 3:22-23: 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
     His mercies begin afresh each morning.

I love how this devotion weaves it into a lesson on my failures in this life:


Sir Winston Churchill, the legendary politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the second World War, once said, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” We can’t rest on our victories, neither can we wallow in our defeats. Everyone occasionally fails, and sometimes our failures can demoralize us. But even in failure there are benefits to be gained and progress to be made. Some lessons can only be learned in failure, and a day is never lost if a lesson is learned. 

God can do more with our failures than the world can do with our successes. Failure is often the back door to success if we persevere. Basketball great Michael Jordan understood this. He once said, “Failure always made me try harder next time.”

As we encounter our ups and downs, it’s helpful to remember that God never fails and that His mercy never ceases. His compassions fail not; they are new every morning. If you’re brooding over a failure today, place it in Christ’s hands. He can turn it for good.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill



If you don’t like where you are, then change it. You are not a tree.

I am grateful for my devotion this morning about change. I would share it, but I forgot my book at home.  But it was based on 2 Corinthians 3:18…and such a good message about how we should always be in the process of change, never satisfied to remain as we are.

I am grateful that my Mom taught me to clean house.

I love Staples Advantage. I just got a free flash drive, because they sent the wrong one in our order. When I spoke with my account rep, he told me to keep it and he would have the correct item delivered today.  I am grateful for Staples, and for Pernelius, my account rep. What a great name.

I am grateful for my counselor and her soft-spoken wisdom that hits the bullseye.

I am grateful for chips and salsa.

Today is my brother’s birthday. I am grateful for Ron. I always wanted to be just like him when I grew up. He was always the smartest person I knew, and after speaking with him, a person feels more intelligent, like you’ve just been to school. He is a great example of a servant, spending years in Africa with MCC, both he and Pam living on next-to-nothing and being happy about it, and pastoring churches here in the US — such a true example of the word “pastor.” Their family is their congregation, and they take such good care. Ron is a caretaker, not only of his congregation, but of the earth, and of his community.  He and Pam are responsible for a community food bank that has grown and is such a big part of their lives now, in addition to their many responsibilities at their church. Memories of Ron include the day he drove home in his “new” car, a Datsun 240Z. I was so impressed – my brother had a sports car; riding on the train to Dodge City in the night, all by myself, to spend a week with Ron and Pam in Fowler; and getting letters on that crinkly airmail paper all the way from Africa. We’d save those letters and collect the cool stamps. I’ve never known a man who wrote by hand all of his letters, LONG letters, but Ron always has. It’s a lost art.  Happy birthday, Ronald Jay. You deserve God’s blessings, over and over and over again.


Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. – John Wooden





I am grateful for the dogs that have been a part of my life over the years. Thanks for sending the picture to me, Lisa.

I am grateful for my boss today. Every day, but especially today.

Thinking about my boss… My bosses love dogs. Love dogs so much they had to breed one of their Samoyeds. Love dogs so much they had to keep one of the puppies. It is daily drama, this puppy and the raising of it. I am grateful that we do not have a puppy.

I am grateful for a desk calendar that Michelle gave to me.

I am grateful for an email from Karissa. A long-awaited wonderful answer to my prayer.

I am grateful for Avis. Last night, she was wearing a KU t-shirt during Bingo, and of course, we had to give her a hard time, since K State was playing. She left in a big hurry as soon as blackout was done. And when we were almost to the door, ready to leave, she came speed-walking down the hall to show us why she had left so suddenly:



Gotta love Avis.

I am grateful for the Cheezits that Rob and Shirley sent to me – they are a wonderful lunch today.

I am grateful that God can use all of my failures.

I am grateful that God doesn’t show me the whole trip, just one little step at a time. He doesn’t show me the whole picture, just one pixel at a time. He doesn’t serve the entire meal, just one course at a time. Makes life much more interesting, and it allows me to grow a little every day.

I am grateful that it was too cold to walk this morning.

I am grateful for the smell of walnut wood.

And I am grateful for the messages from two of my devotions this morning:

When we experience failure – or any kind of affliction – we focus on what is seen; we focus on the moment. But God is at work in us doing the unseen – shaping our character into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Only the Christian can be confident that God is going to use failure for a deep purpose in his life.

If you regret a failure in your life, thank God for the unseen work He is doing in you today.

Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.

I am grateful for anti-itch creme. No, I’m not. It doesn’t work. I’m grateful for Benadryl.

My devotion this morning:

Rest in my Presence, allowing Me to take charge of this day. Do not bolt into the day like a racehorse suddenly released. Instead, walk purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one step at a time. Thank Me for each blessing along the way; this brings joy to both you and Me. A grateful heart protects you from negative thinking. Thankfulness enables you to see the abundance I shower upon you daily. Your prayers and petitions are winged into heaven’s throne room when they are permeated with thanksgiving. In everything give thanks, for this is My will for you.

I am grateful for pretty little toes that should put a smile on everyone’s face.


I am grateful that The Voice and The Blacklist are back on – the only “shows” I make a point to watch these days.

I am grateful that tonight is Bingo.

I am grateful that I can begin praying for my “child” that will soon be mine for whom to advocate in the Johnson County court system.

I am grateful for a roaring fire.

I am grateful for a happy boss after a KU win, even if he is a little obnoxious and sends me KU propaganda emails.

I am grateful for an email from Danny.

I am grateful that God gives talent out so freely. This guy can SING. My favorite so far:

TJ Wilkins – Bennie and the Jets

And I am grateful for very witty judges who make the show so much fun to watch.

I am grateful for a pillow to sleep on every night.

I am grateful that my shoes do not have holes in them.

I am grateful that the grocery store is open when I need or want something.

I am grateful for people who do their jobs well and really know how to serve and treat their customers.

Which makes me grateful for people who treat those in the service industries with much respect.

And I am grateful for memories of singing in the car with Anissa.


Scenario: You have fifteen minutes to fill your “suitcase” with everything you want to keep. What would you pack?


I am grateful a busy Sunday: for our church service and choir rehearsal that followed, for Fabien who makes me laugh every Sunday during his piano lesson, for clean laundry and a clean kitchen floor, for time to take in a movie yesterday afternoon, for a “new” pickup for a guy who needed a work truck and for memories made in that “new” pickup, for a waitress who is one of the best I’ve ever seen who makes our experience(s) so very enjoyable, for a young lady named Karina from the grocery store who will very possibly become a new friend soon, for a brisk walk, for a delicious steak and salad to end the day yesterday, and for the fact that I was able to finish my homework in the silence of the night.

I am grateful for all of those squirrels that have taken over the back yard, because I’m pretty sure we now have a regular owl visitor now because of them. What a beautiful sound as we walk…

I am grateful to have been able to borrow Katherine’s bird book this past week so that I could identify what I’m pretty sure is not a wren but a brown creeper.


I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend Vangie’s baby shower on Saturday and see Roman and Nancy and Leona, too. It was so good to hug those two kids again and catch up on their busy and soon-to-be busier lives. I am so proud of them…

I am grateful for the news Dad received about his car. Someone ran into the back end during the big snow but didn’t let him know it. He got it repaired this last week but of course, had to pay that fairly expensive bill. All the while, he was sarcastically telling people that he was sure the person was just busy and would stop by and share their insurance information soon. His car was all repaired on Friday evening, and on Saturday, he got a letter in the mail from the City of Hutchinson, apologizing for their snow plow’s damage to his vehicle and offering to take care of the repairs. Thank you, God.

I am grateful for the two hours I was able to spend in Michelle’s chair on Saturday morning.

I am grateful for another CASA training class today. One more training class before graduation and my first case. Today, we had to handle a mock SIJS case, Angela. I felt so smart.

And I am grateful for a suitcase. This is what most children use for a suitcase when removed from their home and subsequent foster homes. (I feel a new idea forming for ministry):

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.



I am grateful for John Denver’s sweet song:

Sunshine on My Shoulders

I am grateful for the feeling of warm sunshine on a cold morning.

I am grateful for pretty Easter dresses for little girls.



I am grateful for emails from Mandrae and Katrina.

I am grateful that as far as I know, my grandchildren are safe.


I am grateful that nothing can separate me from the love of God.


I am grateful that my aunt and uncle are now in a nice assisted living facility and my aunt has immediate help at the push of a button.

And I am grateful for Max and the beautiful family he and June raised. He is a handsome 94 today, and still sharp as a tack, living on his own and making us all laugh with his wit and charm. Happy birthday, Max.




A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results.


I am grateful for the smell of rain. Rain puddles are a gift from God.


I am grateful for the sound of thunder.

I am grateful for the sound of sizzling fajitas. I remember sitting in restaurants watching the next table receive their hot plates of sizzling fajitas, and we could never have it – too expensive. Now, to share a plate, especially on Fajita Wednesdays, is such a treat.

I am grateful that I am able to fall asleep and stay asleep.

I am grateful for sore legs that remind me I am exercising again.

I am grateful for my new counselor group.

I am grateful for lots of work to be done at the office.

I am grateful for lessons and activities on the dangers of stereotyping in my CASA training.

I am grateful for the anticipation I am feeling about seeing my Dad, Michelle, Roman and Vangie this weekend.

I am grateful that I have enough money in my account to get some long overdue shopping done tonight.

I am grateful that Sam will be able to spend the day with Max tomorrow for his 94th birthday.

I am grateful for Delores’ reminder that God sees the big picture, the finished tapestry, even though we only have the limited view, the side with all the threads and ugliness. Every stitch, every step, even though difficult, is part of the design of our finished product. Thank you, Delores. What a great story and lesson for me – you must be so proud of that grandson.

And I am grateful for “pats on the back” from my bosses and co-workers.  My goal is to give some today. Everyone needs an “Attaboy!” at least a couple of times a week.