Nov 30, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 30: What are you MOST thankful for?

The 30 Days of Thankfulness has come to an end, but my attitude of gratitude will continue throughout this holiday season and beyond.

I am most thankful for my family. My husband is a saint for putting up with me, and my kids are the most precious gifts in the world.

Nov 29, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 29: Something at Home

Home is where the heart is. In other words, whoever you love or wherever you love to be, that is where your home is.

What if your heart is broken? Where are you supposed to be then? Who are you supposed to love? Can anywhere feel like home when your world is in pieces?

I am thankful for those around me at home who still love me. Maybe someday, I'll feel at home again.

Nov 28, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 28: Gift

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

I remember the first time I had a job--other than babysitting. I was 14, and the job (if you can call it that) was scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins in the mall. It was only part-time work, but when I opened that first paycheck for over $80, I was giddy, and began planning how I would spend it.

Surprisingly, the thing I wanted to do most was buy gifts for my family. I was so proud that I could take my own money and pick out Christmas presents that I would wrap myself and watch excitedly on Christmas morning as my mom, dad, and sister opened them. It definitely was just as good if not better than opening my own gifts that morning.

I always enjoyed watching my mom open gifts as her reaction was just so great. Whether she needed, wanted, or already had three of the same item, she would oooh and aaawww over the gift as if it was the best present in the world. My daughter has picked up the same lovely characteristic. I have tried to be that enthusiastic when opening gifts, but the level of enthusiasm is definitely forced on that third pair of slipper socks--"one size fits all."

I am thankful for gift-giving opportunities at Christmas and all year long.

Nov 27, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 27: Song

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:18-20 NIV

I am thankful for the gift of song. Singing can turn the darkest of moods into a brighter day.

Photo by Deb Rohne. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Deb Rohne. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Nov 26, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 26: Charity

Opportunities for giving are all around us. Giving and charity are not just limited to financial gifts. Our time and talents can be gifted as well.

A local service my mom benefited from was the Meals-on-Wheels program through our senior community center. Not only does this non-profit organization need financial support, but it also functions virtually solely on its volunteers.

My daughter and I are quite frequently called upon to take a route to deliver meals for the week, and whenever our schedule allows, we say, "YES!"

I know how much the hot, nutritious meals meant to Mom, so it does my heart good to help with this service. I am very thankful so many communities provide for those that can't get out to get a meal or prepare food on their own.

On this day of Thanksgiving, may we all be thankful for charity whether giving or receiving.

Photo by Deb Rohne. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Nov 25, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 25: Luxury

"I am thankful for my state of great comfort."

That is a statement having a multitude of meanings depending on a person's station in life.

The simple fact that I have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, and food on my table are luxuries so many today do not have.

Do I live in a 21-room mansion with a pool and servants? No. But I am thankful for the luxury of my modest living.

Photo by Deb Rohne. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Nov 24, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 24: Photo

I am thankful for the photo--not any photo in particular--just the technological marvel that is the recording of still life. 

Whether on paper or as a digital file, the photo stands for all time as a moment frozen in time. A moment, that like a snowflake or a fingerprint, happens only once and is unrepeatable. 

We can look back at these moments and our memory fills in the gaps. I look at a picture of me in my high school band uniform from 35 years ago, and suddenly I'm marching on the bright football field at half time. The blinding lights and adrenaline of performing keep me warm against the crisp fall air. I can feel the weight and the itchiness of the heavy wool uniform. The soft, grassy turf squishes under my spats-covered shoes as I count "1...2...3...4...5...6...7...hit it." The strap of the hat constricts under my chin, and I still wonder all these years later why I thought that perm was a good idea. Did anyone really fall for the joke that the plume in their hat was backwards? Lamentably, I never did figure out how to play the clarinet and march at the same time.

The fact that one photo can evoke such vivid images and feelings is incredible and a true testament to how much our brains really absorb and retain. 

Thankful isn't a powerful enough word for how I feel about the fact that my mom was an avid photographer of any and every moment. The tubs, boxes, and myriad of photo albums contain enough evidence of my life that there are actually very few gaps that need filling.

Looking at photos of mom now that she's gone is bittersweet. I am so thankful I have pictures of her to look at and help me remember days gone by, but it also makes me sad that she is no longer here. Unfortunately, there are many unlabeled pictures that only she would be able to identify.

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."