Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Counting Blessings

Linking with Ann's community over at "A Holy Experience" to list again those things for which I've been especially thankful these last two weeks.  Got a little behind last week - sometimes life is like that, you know?

This week included a number of sweet and poignant moments of grace, each of which served to remind me of how truly blessed my life is, how marvelously I have experienced the faithful presence and guidance of God over the course of these years.  Using my camera to help me catalog and remember these gifts has been a meaningful and moving way to learn more and more about rejoicing, even in the middle of painful times.  So, here is the next set of images and words on my way to 1000!

42.  For the opportunity to write words of tribute to my dad (which I've posted here) in a comment on one of Sarah's posts over at SHE magazine.

43. Sharing in the celebration of my husband's spectacular fathering and grandfathering gifts with these gorgeous covered strawberries.
44. Finding scarlet amidst the growing green in our veggie garden.
45. Sitting in the warm sunlight, staring out the window at these beautiful heart-shaped red leaves.
46 -49.  Laughter because of this small sparkplug's amazingly plastic face - such a joy to us!
Yes, there are teeth lurking behind the famous curling tongue!
Now the tongue is curled the other way, creating a particularly fierce and serious look.
Oh my, terrible twos, here we come!  (She just turned 16 months)
Or maybe, she's actually right on the brink of becoming a particularly petulant 14 year old boy, who knows way so much more than his parents, don't you know!
50-53. The sweet pleasure of watching the evening fog roll softly inland, coming on 'little cat feet' to cover the foothills.
From this clear view at 5:30 p.m...
...to tiny patches of cloudy gray at about 5:50 or so...
...to fuller and fuller cloud cover by 6:05...
...to just the tiniest bit of mountaintop still visible by 6:15.  Lovely to watch and savor.
54. Finding a home for this tile and metal cross, purchased originally to mark my youngest brother's gravesite (read more about that story last year.)
It was too big for that location and didn't have a 'leg' of it's own, 
so we hung it on the fence just opposite where my brother rests.
 55. Standing in front of the sweet metal angel which does mark his grave, remembering him and offering thanks for his life...and for his death.
56. This tall king palm, one of my favorite trees on our whole property, a reminder of majesty and shouting throngs, and the King who was honored with its branches.
57. The bright, shimmering green of the gingko tree in full flush of spring/summer.
58. This lovely resting place at the end of the day, rhythmically saying thank-you for all of the gifts found therein.
59. These vibrant hydrangea, finally blooming richly 9 years after transplanting them following some construction work on our home.
60-62. Taking a trip down memory lane.
Our first home, bought in 1970, sold in 1975, to which we brought our 2 daughters, 
ages 2 and six months, and from which we moved with the addition of a son to...
...the second home we owned and where we spent our primary child-rearing years, 
from 1975-1988 - how we loved this place.
The third and last home we owned in Altadena CA before moving to Santa Barbara for me to begin my pastoring life here.  The house from which our son graduated from high school and college, I began and finished seminary, our middle daughter came back to live (and our son, too) after college, where our future in-laws lived for a few months as relationships developed in the crucible of shared living space (thank goodness for guest rooms!), and the home to which our eldest girl brought our first two grandsons to visit for the first time.  
We lived here from 1988-1997.
63.  For the long-remembered deliciousness of Chinese food from one of our favorite Pasadena eateries - still fabulous and we still ate too much of it!