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"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


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Friday’s Five

I miss writing in this space daily, but I’m glad I still manage to get here on Fridays to share a few of the week’s gifts.
I’ve returned to teaching now, and it was hard. I think back to other “hard start” years…the September I was getting married, the fall I was pregnant, the year Mama was in and out of the hospital a lot. This goes on that list: leaving my husband at home with cancer while I teach.
Still, here I am, doing the best I can. And in the midst of the doing, there are moments of grace. I decided to share five of this week’s blessings in photo form:

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Each picture, a story. Visits and gifts from friends, anonymous tokens of prayer, the butterfly that accompanied Sara and me on our evening walk…
gifts.
There are everyday moments of grace that matter greatly. Some we receive, some we give. As long as we notice,
we are doing okay.

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Friday’s Five

So many more than five blessings this week…

a 1988 quarter, courtesy of Dee Ann, along with an hour or so of raucous laughter as well as a few tears…

a surprise visit from an old colleague, Mary; her message rings true as ever: Family first and trust in God.

a gift of poetry from Angela minutes before what could be my last Meet the Teacher night for awhile… Mary Oliver’s poem Hurricane touched my soul…

a huge basket of thoughtful and fun gifts plus weeks of “teacher copying” from my friend Alicia…godsend…

an impromptu lunch with Carolyn, where I also saw another dear praying friend, Char…compassion and understanding are their constant gifts…

Randomness I guess is this week’s word. Acts of kindness during a difficult journey. I will never discount the gift of another’s time, effort, presence.

How we act and what we do matters. Greatly. In good times and bad ones, we have a choice to make. Follow the ways of these folks who keep getting it right.

Ok…I’m adding an extra one this week:
a beautiful hand knit prayer shawl, sent to Sam from my sister. We share it often and are thankful for the love and prayers behind it.

Time. Effort. Presence.
Such incredible gifts…


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Friday’s Five

It’s Friday again, the last one of my “free days” of summer. This summer has been anything but free, that’s for sure.
Still, in the midst of this journey, I see so much good. I’m glad I can share some of it here.
The biggest blessing this week was receiving a message from a church member. She wrote, “Some of us want to pray over Sam, but only if it is okay with him.”
It was.
We arranged to meet after mass yesterday, on the Feast of the Assumption. It was a beautiful, spiritual moment in time to witness.
I share it here for many reasons, but one in particular: Listen for your gifts.
This lady felt compelled to contact me. She does not know Sam well at all.
It was a blessing to her and to us. We must give as well as receive the gifts that come to us. Listen for your gifts.

The rest of my “Friday’s Five”… gifts that came my way this week:

A walk down to the pond with my husband, hand in hand as always. We stood on the bank and watched the catfish and turtles vie for feed.

Unseasonably cool temperatures for us here in Texas…60s for lows, 80s for highs. We’ll take it. It’s made evening walks lovely.

Visits from good friends filled our home with laughter and stories and sweet memories this week: thank you to Sommer and Calvin and Cindy and Dwight.

Finally, I’ll add the blessing of safe travel. We’re burning up the roads these days. It’s always nice to return safe and sound.

Have a good week, dear readers.


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Friday’s Five

What a week…
I no longer even try to predict what might happen. In the midst of uncertain times, though, blessings keep coming
because I am determined to find them:

…a new custodian tracks me down to tell me he’s heard what my family and I are going through and he wants me to know he’s thinking of us and praying for us. He’s walked the cancer path with loved ones and he wanted me to know
I’m not alone. He didn’t even know me…but he knows the pain. That’s all he needed to know to act…

…bible verse (Isaiah 49:16), prayers, and song lyrics coming to me from family and friends…and even an illustrated letter my son wrote an elementary teacher many summers ago. She sent it to me now, knowing I needed that smile.

…generosity of family and friends: this week’s surprise lasagna dinner, payments for gas and lodging and food.
These are people who don’t ask What can I do? They just do…and in their doing, teach me how to “do” when I’m in their place…

…plans in progress for a December retirement…it isn’t happening the way I planned, but God willing, it will happen this year…

…children: the ones who will fill the classrooms soon, the one on a texted sonogram that I get to be an Aunt Fairy Godmother to, and Cecilia, who ran to me today with a watercolor in hand…thank you God for the children.

Five of the many blessings this week…
He will not forsake His own.


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Friday’s Five

Five unexpected places for gifts of blessing this week:

Disappointments–
I wanted to sit in Sacred Heart church today, prayer journal in hand, writing out my prayers, concerns, praises during First Friday adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I’ve kept a prayer journal for a few years now, and I’ve seen miracles come to pass, problems resolved, insights known.
Not getting to be there showed me how valuable that part of my prayer life is. I’ll be there again, God willing… just not today.

Emergencies–
We’re back in Little Rock tonight, making a two hour plus trip again last night. How can this be a blessing?
The doctor here made a correct diagnosis and fast, one that would have likely been missed at home. Treatment is in progress.
Another doctor recognized our name on an ER report and came by to visit my husband tonight: to reassure him, to lift his spirits. Wow. Great example of what to do as a human.

Transitions–
I met a lady in the elevator tonight. She and a transport person were moving out a huge cart filled with remnants from a hospital stay: flowers, clothing, medicines, papers, snacks.Getting to go home? I asked. Yes, but he’s going by ambulance. But yes, going home. How often do we get to see the value of home? Or know another’s pain in so short an exchange? And care? A gift.

Miscommunications–
I’m a pro at this lately. Whether it’s a lack of clarity within a professional email or missed chances to clarify details with an extended family member, there’s certainly room for improvement in the exchange of information. How can that be a good thing? Well, it points me in a direction to try harder in some cases. In others, it shows me that everything doesn’t carry the same weight of importance. To let some things go. To learn. To understand that everyone is not going to like you at work or even within your own family on some days. Or most days! In some cases, that’s good. Some people, you do not need to be around. Then again, some people need more benefit of the doubt. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of the power of words.

Waiting–
We wait together to see how the chemo will work, how the latest infection will be treated, how work issues will play out, how insurance companies will react. But in that waiting, we learn to trust more than ever. We wait together, praying. We place our hope in God and trust Him to guide us through each trial.

So, there are this week’s five– five places that aren’t much fun to walk through…but five places that teach and remind. Five places of blessing.