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A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving EASY and Homemade Hostess Gifts

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A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

Are you look for some Thanksgiving EASY and Homemade Hostess Gifts to take during the holidays?

I believe that showing appreciation for someone who has taken the time to invite others over for a meal, pie, or simply to share company goes a long way; especially these days of such little face-to-face communication because of our amazing technology.

Expressing gratitude like these Thanksgiving EASY and Homemade Hostess Gifts can be inexpensive, quick, usable and very meaningful. 

Let me share with you some ideas and you can get your creative juices flowing from there:)

 

#1

This is SO quick, simply stop at your local candy store and Dollar Tree, or grocery store and pick up a plate and bowl (or just one) and fill it with seasonal candy.  Wrap it all up in the clear cellophane and tie it with a bow.

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#2

This is a terrific idea if you have been invited, but you cannot attend because of distance OR you want to send a Thanksgiving Thinking Of You to a family or college student.  Check out my post on sending THIS in the Mail

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#3

A nice candle with the Unique GRATEFUL Stenciled Towel HERE tucked in a nice gift bag or a basket would be a terrific gift. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#4

Or the Creative PUMPKIN Stenciled Towel HERE with a Pumpkin Scented or decorated candle in an orange gift sack, or in a pumpkin basket would be fabulous!

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

 bag or basket would be really appreciated

#5

In a clear cellophane bag or a fall themed bag, fill with any one of my popcorn recipes.  I have a link HERE with SIX of my most popular Popcorn Recipes that I think you’ll want to make one, or all six of them to take as a hostess/host gift, or to family and friends to let them know how grateful you are they are in your life. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#6

Or you can simply fill the bags with purchased candy.  If you can find fall colored candy, such as these here:  Hershey’s Kisses, Sixlets and M&M’s that makes it even more fun. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

 

#7

To finish the easy cellophane bags off with one of the BEST and favorite treats, these White Chocolate Covered Corn Pops are scrumptious.  Click HERE for the recipe

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#8

Simple is great!  A nice soap with a bow on it is usable and budget friendly.

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

Thank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

#9

Now if you want to thank YOUR guests for coming, or if you want to take a little gratitude treat to those who will be there, here is an idea. Something like these little triangle boxes hold about 1 full Tablespoon of Sixlet and M&M candies and 1 Hershey Kiss.  

These could also be NAME PLACE CARDS at the table, or put on a THANK YOU or THANKSGIVING sticker to personalize them. 

A thank you gift for Thanksgiving

hank you for dinner or Thanksgiving party

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




How to, who to and why write a thank you card

How, Why and When to Write Thank You Cards for All Ages

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How to, who to and why write a thank you card

How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card

he proper ay to write a thank you note.

How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card for All Ages

What do you think about a handwritten card?

Is it worth the time and effort in this day of texts, emails, face-time chats and all the other technology offerings today?

Just recently I received a card in the mail, and it was handwritten by my friend Melinda.

Not long after, I received a handwritten card that was also hand made by my friend Natalie.

Imagine my delight in opening those two cards.

One that was special in that it was created just for me.  And the other containing kind words of encouragement and appreciation.

Those cards are beyond anything that money can buy.

WHY is a handwritten card so remarkable today with all that can be ordered, downloaded and delivered almost immediately?

WHY is a handwritten card so special when we can also receive emails, texts and calls; that are good, well-meaning and inspiring.

BECAUSE when a person takes a few minutes to write something to YOU, that takes the small and simple effort of writing a card or letter, you KNOW they are truly thinking of YOU.

 

In this area, I need to readily confess, my sister-in-law Ruthann is my example and guide in this area of writing Thank You notes.  She and her family write them regularly and often.

When my kids were young and growing up, I did much better at helping them get theirs off in the mail when a gift would arrive, or after a birthday or holiday.  I even did alright some years later delivering them to neighbors for kindnesses done and help given.  But the last years have taken their toll on my energy, time and drained me of focus on some important details – this being one of them.

So how about if we learn how to write cards together?

We can practice them often by following the steps below.

Then become a better person as we show and express gratitude to others.  I put out the challenge to write a thank you note once a week, and not to the same person in a six month time.  Let’s see how we can do:) 

WHY IS A THANK YOU CARD IMPORTANT?  

I personally believe that when we sit down to write, we are unimpeded by electronic devices to interrupt our thoughts, or to quickly pull up a meme to ‘speak’ for us.  As we sit with a pen and paper, we can reach deep down, think about what we want to say and how we feel, then put it on paper and feel the sentiment and thankfulness to that person as we write.

It’s a connecting and emotional bond between you and the person you are writing to. 

1-It is a way to strengthen relationships as you write to them about what they did for you.  It shows that you are deliberate in how you thanking them.  It means a lot to all of us in this busy world we live in.  

2- They can physically hold and re-read your thoughtful note. Feel the emotion that would be a hand-shake, an embrace or a genuine smile as you express your gratitude.

3- As we write more thank you notes, we feel more appreciative, more in-tune with our many blessings, and that makes us more joyful.  We are present and mindful of what we feel, what we are grateful for and the handwritten note is more meaningful because of this act. 

4- A big condition to writing a thank you note is not to expect anything in return.  Remember, this is about them, and helping them feel better about what they did.  You may never, ever hear from the person you thanked, and that’s OK!  Keep in mind this process is making us better and bringing us happiness to pass on to those around us – what could be a greater reward than that!?!

 

Are you ready?

The polite and proper EASY way to write a thank you note

How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card for All Ages

Card to write a note of thank you and gratitude

The Purpose of How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card for All Ages:

This is a really simple, but it’s important, it’s called KINDNESS.

We are going to write a THANK YOU CARD!

You know, to tell someone thanks for_______whatever________.

There are a billion reasons to say how grateful we are for a kindness and it’s never too late to express it!

Sometimes we may not always know what to say, or wonder where to start; so let’s get the how’s, why’s – and the WHEN is NOW.

How to easily serve others and show kindness

It’s So Simple with these 5 EASY Steps!

You only need TWO Supplies-

Paper and Pen, or whatever you prefer to write with.

  • I like a good pen that dries quickly, doesn’t skip and writes smooth.  THESE look to be a great fit. I like how many come in a package – mine always seem to ‘borrowed’ by my kids or grand kids. Having good pens set aside for this purpose is a really good idea so we don’t procrastinate.  
  • I have a free download Thank You card you can send HERE
  • A free download color-in Thank you card for your boys to send HERE
  • A free download color-in Thank you card for your girls to send HERE
  • My friend Natalie makes handmade cards that anyone would be proud to send and thrilled to receive.  You can find Natalie HERE 
  • Or if you’d prefer to order cards online, you might like THIS or THIS STYLE

 

To BEGIN

#1

WHO TO SEND A THANK YOU CARD TO:

  • Anyone of course!
  • Someone who helped you out
  • Anyone who could use cheering up
  • The mail carrier
  • A friend you haven’t seen in years
  • A neighbor who took in your garbage can for you
  • Someone who brought in a meal
  • Someone who shared a treat at work
  • Think of someone who made a difference in your life for good
  • Anyone who did anything positive!

 

#2

HOW TO START:

  • Make sure you have the spelling correct of the names.  It’s so easy with social media to look it up.  Call your mom or grandparents if you can’t find it. Also, use the proper title when appropriate such as –
  1. Hi Uncle______
  2. Hello Aunt______
  3. Dear Grandma______
  4. Etc.  It’s really nice to have some recognition, and a little formality in its proper place. 

 

#3

EXPRESS YOUR THANKS/GRATITUDE FOR WHAT THE CARD IS INTENDED:

Phrases like these are perfect, to make sure the person KNOWS what you are expressing gratitude or thanking them for in this note; that’s the point, right:) 

  • You really made my day when….
  • I want to say how much I appreciate…..
  • Thank you for…….
  • It meant so much to me……

 

#4

TARGET THE PERSON – BE SPECIFIC – MAKE IT PERSONAL:

  • Let the person know you miss them
  • Tell them what an inspiration they have been to you
  • Tell them what a difference _____ has made (for good here) in your life
  • Thank them for the time they took to teach you in school, to cook, to learn to change the oil in your car, to fix the chain on your bike, in a 4-H club or other youth organization.  Time is precious and that they gave it up for you is a treasure.
  • If they gave you a gift, let them know how you will use it
  • If you stayed with them, be sure to thank them for their hospitality 
  • Thank someone for listening to you, taking time from their day to be with you, for being a friend
  • This list could go on for pages, but this is a springboard to hopefully get you thinking

 

#5

CLOSE WITH:

These closings are generally acceptable in most situations –

  • Sincerely 
  • Many thanks 
  • Kind Regards
  • Friends

Other closings to consider as appropriate –

  • Yours truly
  • Warmly
  • Love
  • Affectionately 
  • Friends Forever
How to easily serve others and show kindness

Card to write a note of thank you and gratitude

That’s it, 5 easy steps to make a huge impact on someone else’s life, and you will be amazed at the enjoyment it brings to yours along the way.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

 

gratitude tree

Ever giving Gratitude Tree

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gratitude tree

Ever Giving Gratitude Tree

Isn’t this time of year crazy?

It’s hard to find ways sometimes to get our family to think outside of themselves – or an activity that’s affordable, easy, quick, worthwhile, have positive results and will engage everyone.

After some brainstorming this idea came to me –  a Gratitude Tree!   

With this little tree, teaching gratitude will come naturally to your family.

The concept is so simple.  See each leaf will have a word on it that can be chosen as a family or by a parent, depending on the age, or your situation.

For example, if the leaf  has the word neighbor written on it, then the leaf could not be hung on the tree until a service is done by the entire group for the neighbor of choice by the family – or at least by the majority 😉 

Now the fun begins as  everyone puts in their suggestions, which could include: anonymously raking leaves, making and taking cookies or spending a little time visiting an elderly neighbor.  

More than just reporting or saying what family members are thankful for, this little activity will motiviate and involve everyone into ACTION to fill the tree! 

Effortlessly on your part, everyone will want to help and bless others, and leave the entitlement attitude behind Service naturally brings out the best in everyone.

I have everything easily ready for you to start and have FUN together!


EVER GIVING GRATITUDE TREE

Supplies:

Tree,  is one to check out

Pre-cut leaf shapes, THESE are perfect

Assorted Sharpie Markers 

Twine, is a nice fit

Directions:gratitude tree1Trace desired shape onto paper and cut out OR use pre-cut shapes I suggested above.

Punch a small hole at the top of the leaf.gratitude tree 2Tie a square knot with the string through the hole in the leaf.gratitude tree 3Here are some ideas for ‘words’ your family might want to include for people to serve: gratitude tree

Neighbor(s) Grandparent(s) Teacher(s) Mail person Family – think extended; aunt, uncle, cousin, etc. Veterinarian Doctor Dentist Church leader(s) Military Foster Parents/kids Animal Shelter Brainstorm with your family, the list will amaze you and the results will bless you.  

This Gratitude Tree can be easily adapted for the Christmas season also.

Click HERE for the ornaments

gratitude tree 4Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2016


The Envy Monster

MonsterOk, so do you ever hear good news that happened for someone else and instead of thinking, ‘That’s so AWESOME for them’ think, ‘Geez I wish that would happen for me’. Do you know what that is?  It’s the Envy Monster rearing its ugly, nasty, dreadful, terrible head… 

Why, oh why do we do that!?!  We want, want, want.  We might not be lying on the floor and kicking our feet like a little kid anymore, but inside that’s exactly what we are doing.

  • We want to have the body like so and so.
  • We want a house decorated like that one.
  • We want a larger house like theirs.
  • We want kids that behave like those.
  • So-and-so’s family goes here, or does that.
  • We want a pay raise (stay-at-home-mom’s want someone to say they like how their socks were folded or something – any recognition would do).
  • We want to be married if we aren’t. Or if only our spouse would be like so-and-so if we are married.

We want , want, want – see what I mean.  The bar rises higher.  Nothing is ever enough. Regrettably, it’s natural, it just comes with being human; however, it can and should be overcome.   Why is envy a bad thing anyway?  Because it is a pathetic and formed from destructive emotions such as resentment and inadequacy. Nothing is ever gained from envy; however, a great deal can be lost.   It set’s us up for failure on numerous levels. Let’s list a few: Our family or loved ones can never, ever compete with ‘so-and-so’, which means they know from the start they have failed. Why should they try?  They may exert all their time trying to make you happy and gain your admiration, but it’s only shallow affection on those terms.  Generally, they will not even try because there is no chance to come in as a placed winner. In the family, envy can divide and even break family relations to the point of not being able to be together as grown adults.  This is tragic for all involved.

  • When we constantly want newer and better, we are never satisfied.  Consequently the demands we put on our-self and others is unobtainable = persistent unhappiness.
  • If we complain and focus on our body not being perfect, what society deems attractive, or what we envision, how can our children ever see themselves as beautiful!  Their role model has missed the boat completely, is unhappy and setting the example of a life time of misery.
  • To get ahead of others in the workplace, or in society, we insult and are rude, which actually makes others dislike us.
  • Envy clouds your thinking because you start to see only the negative, pessimistic, fearful side of life. The joy is gone and no room for love.  It will almost always affect your health too with anxiety, depression and other issues.
  • Your sweetheart can only take so much of a jealous honey.  Trust is a prime foundation that a relationship is based on and if one person is envious, of everything and everyone, it will eventually be a deal breaker.  A control nut is not a beneficial and contributing partner, but a weight to carry.
  • When acting jealous or envious it can lead to criminal and illegal acts.  That is NO way to live.

The ultimate tragedy stemming from envy is the effect it has on our relationship with God. Why? I believe one of the greatest sins we can commit by commission (on purpose) and omission (accidentally/oversight) is ingratitude.  Gratitude is the antithesis to envy.  How?

  • What we have, we consider enough, so we are satisfied and pleasant to be around. 
  • It is a remarkable change that happens to us when we desire to be sincerely grateful.  Our countenance changes.  We look better, different and nicer to be with.
  • Family and friends want to talk to us because they know they will be appreciated for even a small good or improvement.
  • Our home will be a wonderful place to be because of the feeling there. 
  • Our marriage, our family life, our circle of friends will feel of our affection and sincere concern for their behalf and communication will open and receptive as never before.
  • When we are grateful, we look at the things and blessing we HAVE, not at what we do not have. Then our view, our world – our heart begins to change for the better.
  • We will be grateful for small miracles and blessings to recognizing the angels in our life.
  •  The love in our heart will overflow with peace and joy that we may not have ever felt before.

 The greatest blessing from battling the ENVY MONSTER, and WINNING, is that we have room in our life for God to work His marvelous planHis design, which is far more than we can ever do on our own, is filled with satisfaction, contentment, helping others along the way and pure joy This is my goal.  To LEARN this principle.  To PRACTICE it consciously.  To BECOME a much better person.  I hope you will join me! 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More On This Topic:

 A Mother’s Shadow‘ a novel by Carrie Groneman

 AMS Cover Small

Gratitude Journal

All Gloves ARE Beautiful

It’s All Good

You ARE Beautiful

 

What to do with Empty Jars

Empty Jars

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What to do with Empty Jars

Empty Jars

Do you ever feel empty? 

Do you long for true joy and happiness?

Do you feel like you are sitting on a shelf and not as ‘full’ as you could be?

Do you want to know how to love and appreciate others more deeply?

Then come read about my Grandma’s jars and the difference they made.


 

FILLING The Empty Jars

My wonderful Grandma collected little jars, small bottles, glass containers and cute bowls that sauces, jellies, condiments and the like they came in.  She was very frugal and did not want to waste them, so they were washed, dried and put in the basement on a shelf – to sit, and wait.

After she and grandpa passed away, as a family we were getting the house ready to sell.  I saw the rows of bottles, containers and bowls, and asked if I may have them.  My mom and aunt were very generous and let me take all I wanted.

Now on my shelf they sat. However, they seemed to call out, almost shouting to be filled, to be used, to be a part of something larger than them-self, useful and beneficial.

So what could I do? It was then I decided to give away the precious and long kept pieces. 

I would pray every day to receive inspiration of who needed needed a little pick-me-up, treat or gift, whether I knew them well or not.  Sometimes a name came quickly, other times I had to listen very intently and the name would come later in the day, or days later, of who needed the very special present from me, and Grandma.  I would then fill one of the jars, bowls or bottles with a homemade treat, or something purchased and leave it on the doorstep along a little note that I was thinking of them.  It took over a  year to pass out all those containers .



Some might ask: what was the point of all that extra work and the resources to leave something for someone who might not even care, or appreciate the gesture?  I cannot give hard facts, or even life-changing experiences stemming from the  filled jars to support why it was worthwhile.

Nor can I produce evidence of why it was better than throwing them away, giving them to a charity or even leaving them on the shelf ‘for someday’.  Yet I can attest to what it did to me.

Every time I prayed to know who needed something; whether a treat, a call, a note, I looked beyond myself. Blessing ONE

Something extraordinary happened inside of me as I passed out the jars, bottles and dishes:  The containers were all unique, none the same, each exceptional in its own way; whether ornamental or simple in design, the beauty was undeniable in every single piece.  It became quite evident and obvious, that when choosing the piece to give, as I looked to appreciate the exquisiteness the containers, I also saw in each person I was looking to serve a bit of glory. I was able to see the magnificence that is in every person, as we are a child of God – distinctive, remarkable and magnificent. I could see a sign of Him, of unparalleled greatness not even found in the most glorious beauty of nature. I could love people that I knew, and those I did not more fully just because of who they were, a part of heaven! Blessing TWO

We are all so very busy, with heavy demands and pressures from so many angles coming at us.  So for me to sincerely want to know who I could reach out to and serve by giving of my time, takes the focus off of myself and my own family for a bit, and is a way for me to be more like Christ.  He always looked to do what His Father wanted, and was consequently perfect. I will never be completely ‘perfect’, but I can try my very best to be better. I will certainly fall short, but can keep trying, and that’s what counts. Blessing THREE

When we put our self ‘on a shelf’, though attractive, we are empty. There is nothing of worth or value to offer out of an empty container. Conversely, when we search, ask and quickly respond to an impression, a thought, to do good to help someone else even when it is awkward or tiresome, we are filled.  These acts of selfless service and generosity, combine to make us much more valuable to our family, others and God.  Blessing FOUR



Serving is never, ever convenient or easy.  It does not need to be something spectacular such as traveling to a foreign country to give aid – though that is very commendable, but not available to most of us.  However, a note, a smile, a kindness is always doable and works miracles in our own life. 

  • Interestingly, as we serve, we become filled with goodness and true joy which cannot be bought, nor obtained in any other way. 
  • As we relieve another persons burdens, our own trials and cares are eased. 
  • As we reach out, our level of happiness is deepened and our souls are much more content. 
  • Pain, suffering and loss we often feel, are lessened, making way for an exhilaration for living, regardless of our circumstances. 

I know from personal experience, this is factual, and will be true for you also.

As we are looking to the Thanksgiving holiday, and the miracles and blessings surrounding the events that give us cause to celebrate, let us look for ways to reach out; which in actually demonstrates our gratitude to God for all we have.

  • Do you have ‘jars’ to fill? They may not be actual jars, but a note to send, a smile to share, an apology to give, anything to relieve anothers burdens
  • Could your attitude and outlook benefit from a surge of gladness and appreciation for what you have? 

I challenge you to reach out and serve someone who is not expecting it.  When you hear the quiet whispering of who needs you, do not ignore it.  As you act on this feeling or thought, your life will be even more blessed than the person you are serving – this I know.  Blessings imagined and IMMEASURABLE

Recognize a blessing and Be a Blessing today 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, revised 2015

More Posts On This Topic

Gratitude Tree

DSC_2003 - gratitude tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude Journal

ID-10022750

 

 

 

 

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman

AMS Cover Small




Grits

Southern Grits & Germany

Grits

Grits

 At times it is difficult to count blessings and serve others, especially when they are not your friend. Can you forgive someone who has wronged you or your family? Can you love an enemy?  I have an experience to share that will encourage gratitude and extending a helping hand. 


 Southern Grits & Germany

I heard a story years ago about an incredible situation that tested forgiveness, charity and the true meaning of unconditional love. It all took place while the nations of the world were at war with one another.  It seemed all humanity would be undone; even that the horrendous devastation would go on, possibly until there was not one soul left to shed a tear.

Here in the United States of America, wife’s sent their husbands to far off lands. Mothers shed tears as their sons marched off, realizing they might maybe never see, nor hold their precious child again. Sisters bid their brother’s farewell wondering why all the boys must abandon the laughter and joy of their youth, to suddenly grow to men – or die as seemingly boys.   So many were leaving.  Some signed up by choice. Some were called as duty to their nation. Regardless the reason, they left everything dear and familiar to go to a far off land, knowing they may not see loved ones again.

It wasn’t just men and boys that went away, it was women also who left to fight for the protection of people they did not know, nor would never meet, but were being oppressed and persecuted.  Also, to ensure the liberties at home was the mantra and prayer from every lip to keep the throws of bullets and bombs from coming to the homeland of America. The battle cry was for basic human freedom and individual rights, freedom to worship as one desired, to speak freely, to work and better our life, to not be a slave to another person or government. These and more were the reason for the risk of limb, life and all that could be given by a soul, a son and daughter of deity. Only the will can be freely given, and to fight for a righteous purpose is a form of love returned to God when it is to help a brother or a sister;  whether a blood relation, or even the same race, is truly an act of loving as Christ loved.  So, those who left to free the tyrannized and under threat of extermination were truly angels in military clothing.


As the war went on, far too many stars hung from windows of homes.  The stars were sore indicators of soldiers who lost their life, or went missing, due to the battles fought in far away lands, their bodies often never to come home for a proper burial. A  disquiet cloud laced with anxiety hung heavily over communities as families waited day to day, hoping to receive a letter from loved ones.  Pleadings to God in daily prayers by mothers, fathers, wife’s, families, that they would not receive the dreaded visit from a military officer, which meant that their husband, father, son or brother, or sister was dead, or worse an unknown disappearance. War brought many other sacrifices by those living in the United States. Rations of gasoline for cars, sugar and other goods were commonplace. Life was strained on many levels. It seemed that all held their breath to see what family would be affected next.  Sorrow was a far too familiar companion to every citizen in every community as none had escaped death and suffering due to the war.

Extreme difficulties were experienced by all as the country adjusted to the ‘new normal’. When the war finally took a turn and Germany began to lose significant battles, the German people began to be ravaged by their own countrymen, in a desperate attempt to turn the tide back to their advantage militarily. The very scarce food and heating sources that could be found were now being directed to the wealthy and high military personnel.  It was very rare now for most German people to find any food, oil, wood and coal; leaving scores cold, hungry and struggling to out-run death. News of this tragedy of what was happening to the mostly women and children in Germany reached the government officials in the United States of America, who then passed the message onto the clergy in the various churches.  They in turn asked their congregations to send life-saving food and blankets to those suffering in Germany.


Now, for a moment, step back and think.  Place yourself in their situation. The German’s were considered your enemy. Family, friends and loved ones had been killed, maimed or had now been away for years fighting these same people you are now being asked to sacrifice your own dwindling supplies.   Your own country has been soliciting, then demanding that you forfeit a seemingly unending list of comforts and basic necessities to help support the war effort, besides your own flesh and blood – and here you were asked to send even more?! I am positive many heartfelt and sincere prayers were sent up to heaven, asking, pleading, begging for the ability to love unconditionally To somehow overcome the human nature we all have in order to help God’s children, brothers and sisters who live in another place of the globe.  Those souls who were in a more dire situation then themselves, and forgive atrocities done in the name of war, to reach out a helping hand. Charity prevailed, the greatest gift of all! Women rallied and made hundreds of blankets. Tons of pounds of non-perishable food were all gathered.  Other supplies were collected.  All were sent to the far away land of Germany.

Meanwhile, in the country of Germany, to the victims of the circumstances brought on by their leaders, and they were also suffering great losses. The story I read of these people, told of many women who had no more food due to their very young sons being forced to serve in the military, as well as their husbands and even the old men. They had been forced out of their homes and to live in the bombed out ruins at times, or to flee continually to keep their children safe. They and their children were sick due to the cold winter and no way to heat their home or the shelter they had found.  This particular account I read, these women had accepted the fact that they and their children would soon die. They told of praying fervently for food, or that they would all die in their sleep that night if He would be so merciful to give them that compassionate blessing.  They asked please let them die as would be worse than death to wake in the morning and to again, hear the pitiful cries of their hungry children.  Even more tragic though, would be to watch them slowly starve to death right before their eyes and not be able to help. Meanwhile, the supplies from the United States of America had been transported.  However, it would take a miracle to get the provisions through the military lines to those who needed it the most and be stolen by the military or the wealthy.


The clergy and church leaders worked desperately, prayed continuously and God graciously parted the red sea in a way.   The diaries and journals of the despairing women record that it truly was a miracle like those in the holy scriptures as the food, blankets and other supplies made it all the way through to them in the black of night.  Prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude abounded. One of the supplies that the German women were given in the boxes were grits. Grits are ground hominy and are cooked with water or milk.  When prepared they expand into a porridge type consistency. Well, these women had not seen or used grits before, and of course there was not an internet, nor pinterest to help them figure out what to do with this strange new cousin.  So they started to try them in all kinds of foods from cookies to breads to soups and anything else they could think of. As the women exchanged recipes using the grits, it became known as the miracle ‘manna’ of sorts. They marveled at the fact that when making up a pot of soup, they could add water and in the morning the grits had swelled up to fill the pot again, providing another meal and a reprieve from death’s grasp one more day.

The people in the United States of America, and in Germany were now united as brothers and sisters in a bond and relationship to enable the healing touch of God’s hand, despite the brutal and atrocious affairs of war. I pray we can each look past any evil, or wrong done to us, whether it was intended, or accidental.  It is only by forgiving ALL others that we can be forgiven and be more like our Savior Jesus Christ.  As we forgive unconditionally, it heals us in ways that we cannot imagine, as well as bringing blessings on our loved ones and our posterity. Then, by asking, and this is sincerely pleading for forgiveness of any we have offended,  God can and will, work miracles for us and through us.  By releasing hate and hurt, it allows Christ’s atonement to take place in our life by bringing peace, healing, and complete joy. This is how we can be filled with His love.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today. 

For More Posts On This Topic:

The Candy Bomber

         

 

 

 

A Pinch of Salt – Are You Enough?

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A Mother’s Shadow a novel by Carrie Groneman click HERE

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It's All GOOD

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How is Your Life Going?
Are you happy with where you’re at?
Is all a huge thumbs up?
It’s All GOOD
Have you heard that little sentence before? It seems to be permeating our culture, and now even common place for about any situation. For example I accidentally bumped into a lady at the grocery store and her response to my apology was, “It’s all good”. I gave the wrong change to the clerk and his response was, “It’s all good”.
I’ve thought about this statement quite a bit this week. Do you ever have those times when you feel ‘not enough’? Not enough as a parent, as a son or daughter, as a spouse, as a ______, the list could go on forever.
My mind went to a conversation I had with an acquaintance some years back when he was talking about taking his family to Disneyland. I said that would be a terrific family time and thrilled for them; I sincerely meant it too. He said it was their sixth or twentieth time there and I mentioned that we had never taken our family, but hoped that someday we could take the kids and grand kids. He looked at me and with real concern said, “You have never taken your kids to Disneyland?” I was a bit embarrassed, not sure why I was, but I was nevertheless, and replied, that no we hadn’t been there as a family. He then asked (and he was not joking), “Don’t you love your kids?” I sputtered out that of course I do, but the means and circumstances were just not available to us when the kids were growing up.
I mulled the conversation over and though, no, we did not have the means to go to Disneyland (and yes would have been awesome); however, we camped and had other fun adventures that were bonding times and wonderful memories for our family that I am sincerely grateful for.
MUCH too often we compare ourselves to others situations, talents, opportunities and even trials. But, when we get right down to it, there IS good in our life. There are positives and blessings to be genuinely appreciative of.
The world we live in moves so fast, with access to immediate information – and what others are doing/accomplishing, and so on, yet, what about our life? Isn’t grand to be here! What if we took a deep breath, put things in perspective, smiled a full toothy grin and said aloud, no yelled, at the top of our lungs: It’s all GOOD!
It seems that sometimes we put the GOOD in our life on the back burner, or even fail to recognize it, all because we compare and maybe even envy a little. 
So, instead of feeling inadequate, how about if we find out advantages?  I challenge each of us to find THREE wonderful things in our life, every single day, THIS WEEK, then say loud enough for all to hear:  IT’S ALL GOOD!
Copyright A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.



Gratitude Journal

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GRATITUDE JOURNAL

Even in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, awful, rotten day – there is always something to be grateful for.  Here are few highlights of a couple of my ‘one-of-those-kinds of day’s.

 *When one of my sons was about 4 years old, he figured out that he  could spin the roll of toilet paper from the tp holder attached to the wall, put the end into the toilet and…..flush….it would keep the roll going and going and going….yes, it happened more than once, so I was grateful for a kind plumber who gave me a family discount!

*One evening after dinner, the kids were supposed to do their part in cleaning up the dishes and food.  For some reason two of them decided they both wanted the plastic wrap box. My daughter took off running with it, and in the scramble with her brother over the box, her knee was cut by the sharp edge. Now I have two upset kids, one with blood and one denying any responsibility. My oldest son had just attended a first aid class in his boy scout troop, and took off running to his room to get his brand new first aid kit.  He was ‘prepared’ to stitch up his sisters knee with his newly acquired training, which of course made her holler all the louder. I was grateful for neighbors who cared enough to came over to see what the ruckus was all about.

*Recently I chipped my front tooth, and I dislike going to the dentist quite a bit. My dentist is one of the very best, and a good man, but I really don’t like slobber, the suction tube, the sound of that awful drill, and all the stuff involved with dental work (yes I do take care of my dental hygiene). Another bill is not what I need either.  But, I decided to find some good in the situation.  So, I am grateful that I was able to get right in to get it fixed and I didn’t need a numbing shot.

 These are everyday difficult/annoying situations, but as a family we have had our share of serious issues to deal with also.  Whether its the daily challenges or life-threatening situations, I know from personal experience, that when I decided to look for something, anything, to be grateful for, it was easier to bear and to go through.  If I acknowledged them aloud in my prayers, those hardships were relieved incredibly; in fact, I could feel pure joy and calm, though the circumstance had not changed.

I would like to challenge all of us to keep a little notebook or journal, to record, even one sentence a night, of something to be grateful for day. 

Here are a few ways to approach this attitude of gratitude

A few things to consider thanking God for:

  • Maybe it’s the beauty of a sunrise to remind of a new start to come
  • Possibly it is the glory of a sunset, mercifully ending a difficult day
  • Perhaps the exquisiteness of butterfly wings, or the splendor of the flight of a bird, awakens a hope for better times
  • The smile of a stranger, the innocent laugh of a child, the beauty of nature; all brings a breath of joy

Also, there is gratitude to be found in the ordinary, such as:

  • The life we have, find something good
  • Name a trait or attribute about yourself  that you are making better and can see even a small amount of progress
  • Family, whether large or small
  • Food to eat
  • A house or place to live
  • Freedom!
  • Ability to read
  • Use of our body – that anything works properly is a wonder
  • Appreciate your body!  It is really a miracle and when we are sincerely thankful for it – even with our few flaws, we become much better, more confident and more able to see others needs, and how we can be a blessing in their life.
  • Friends
  • A kindness performed for us or our loved ones
  • Ability to serve another person

The list would go on for pages of the large and small things we have to be thankful for. 

Why are we better for recognizing our blessings?

  • When we acknowledge blessings in our life, we are naturally happier. It is a simple fact
  • We make better decisions, because recognizing the good, makes us want more good in our life
  • Focusing on giving credit to God, and people, changes us for the better
  • Giving credit to God and people helps us prioritize what is right and best
  • Expressing gratitude helps us avoid the ‘I wish I had…. and I want….’ bringing the enormous blessing of contentment
  • Thanking regularly helps to chase away the blues and sad days
  • Gratitude expressed daily, truly does make what we have, be enough and that in itself is a blessing
  • When we are looking daily for miracles and received assistance from God and others, it is almost impossible to be critical, cynical, bitter,mean or unkind.
  • More able to see the needs and ways we can serve to be a blessing in another persons life

 I’ll bet you can come up with a huge list of why, and what, to write down of things to be grateful for.

Grab a simple notebook, a blank journal, or even have a specific document in your computer to daily record, even one sentence, of a blessing you can recognize that day. 

I will guarantee, that if you do this, your attitude will change dramatically for the better, and so will that of your family.   And Your life will overflow with happiness and peace.  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Image courtesy of tigger11th at FreeDigitalPhotos.net , adapted 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.