Monthly Archives: November 2016

11/25/16

A Thank-Full List

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A friend of mine has been making a Thank-Full list every November for as long as I can remember, and I find it to be a wonderful tradition. She probably has no less than 2-3 notebooks full of nothing but Thank-Full lists from year to year.

And, she challenged others to do the same.

I wrote mine out last year- anything and everything that I could think of in the month of November that I was grateful for all the year long. It’s a count of blessings, so to speak, and it is a great practice of gratefulness and of a contented heart. So, this year, I am sharing part of my Thank-Full List here, publicly on my blog in the hopes that you too will share in this precious tradition!

Mine is half Thank-Full list and half prayers and thoughts I have. It can be whatever flows from your heart. As it should be…

Jamie’s Thank-Full List 

  1. Salvation. That You continue to extend grace when my faith is weak and forgiveness when I do not walk uprightly. Thank you for loving me when I am unlovable.
  2. Scripture. Oh God, forgive us when we take this precious treasure for granted when so many people around the world are dying to hold a copy of this in their own 2 hands. The days are getting darker Father, please help us to feel the urgency so that we may be proactive about hiding your words away in our hearts.
  3. Family. Because how did I ever get so lucky??wedding14
  4. Friends. Again, another group of people that have been placed in my path that reveal more and more the character and nature of God to me. Blessed by them.
  5. Health. Such a journey throughout this year to understanding more of my health challenges and what steps can be taken to help me be at my absolute best. Grateful for health care, answers, and treatment plans that have brought such knowledge and understanding.
  6. Employment. 
  7. Home. Father… I love this little house that you have blessed me with and feel like it is the culmination of years of dreaming. I do not take home-ownership lightly and I pray that it always be a place of hospitality, warmth, and where the gatherings, first and foremost, honor You.
  8. Safety. 
  9. Heirlooms. Tucked into corners of this sweet house are heirlooms and treasures that have belonged to other members of my family and bring such precious memories and reminders to my heart and mind. Thank you for physical reminders of those that we have lost and loved well in this life.
  10. My Football Team. Win, lose, or draw (and goodness knows we have done our fair share of both in this tumultuous season), it’s always great to be a Georgia Bulldawg. 169_570948078360_4924765_39936456_3617_n[1]369_680718991570_4920554_45333340_3912_n[1]
  11. Luxury of a personal Car. Something I far too often take for granted.
  12. Community. I have it all around me! At work, at home with neighbors, in Bible studies. Thank you for accountability and those that continuously want to pour into me and walk this path along with me, and I with them.
  13. Laughter. Thank you for the sounds of other’s laughter. And for the funny things that cause me to laugh right along with them! engagement2
  14. Meaningful Conversations. 
  15. Opportunities. 2017 going to be a year of great opportunity and growth for me in my career. Continue to give me a willing and learning spirit of giving and service.
  16. Pets. Mia is a gift! Thankful for bringing her through her most recent health scare.
  17. Travel. 
  18. Nature. Even the rocks cry out and declare you Lord! Thank you for the bits of creation I have gotten to see this year. blooms 3
  19. Music & Worship. 
  20. Abundance. Art to hang on my walls, food in my refrigerator, DVDs and books on my shelves, pillows and blankets on my beds. You give good gifts Father! But, out of this abundance of blessings, would you give us giving spirits and hearts that practice sacrificial giving that furthers your kingdom? Prod our hearts when there is opportunity and we may turn a blind eye. Open our Spiritual eyes wider to where we can join You in and around us.
  21. New Beginnings. Life often affords us this grand opportunity to turn over a new leaf and reinvent ourselves. Be brave and re-pot yourself. And often.
  22. Babies. 
  23. Sunrises and Sunsets. Feel like such a personal message straight to my heart, but you place them in the sky to remind us of Your sovereignty and provision.
  24. Rainbows. A physical reminder of your promises. And that you keep them.
  25. Candlelight.  
  26. Mom’s White Chicken Chili. It’s simmering on the stove right now and it’s literally all I can think about. Thankful for delicious food that nourishes and sustains us.
  27. Books. Written Word. 
  28. Notes & Letters. Especially those that we saved from months or years ago that are precious and have signatures from those no longer with us. I love remembering what their signatures looked like and I trace it with my fingers every time I get the change.
  29. Plants. Indoor ones that I can keep alive, of course. 🙂
  30. Hot Coffee on early mornings. Deeply refreshing to this parched soul.coffeemug
  31. Sounds of boots crunching on dried leaves. I absolutely heart fall & winter.
  32. Smell of fires burning nearby. 
  33. Hugs. Oh, the feel of them… there is nothing like it.
  34. Cheesy Christmas movies watched as a family. 
  35. Technology. The very world at our fingertips. Grateful for a society of connectedness. May we realized that we are far more alike than we are different and come together as one.
  36. O Christmas Tree. My favorite tradition is decorating the family tree with Mom each Thanksgiving week. I wish you could hear the sounds that we emit when we unwrap an ornament that carries special or sentimental meaning with it. Too funny! And now, this year, I get to decorate my first tree in my new home. I am unnaturally excited about it!
  37. Weekends. 
  38. Recipes. Especially those handed down to us- one generation to another.

Just a few musings and overflowings of this heart…

I hope and pray that you and yours had a blessed Thanksgiving and that you treasure these days leading to Christmas… it truly is, the “most wonderful time of the year!” 

xoxo

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11/23/16

Asheville Adventuring

There are few places in this wide, wonderful world that hold my heart quite like Asheville, NC.

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In fact, Mom and I have been making annual trips there since I was quite young and I feel like I know parts of the city as well as I know my own hometown and can even navigate them like a local. When someone stops me on the city street and asks for directions or where a certain landmark or restaurant is located, I get a thrill that I am mistaken as a local!

We have been all times of year, but I have to say that late fall and early winter is my favorite! And we just returned from our most recent Asheville adventure this week. And, oh what an adventure it was!

We took a long weekend and drove into town late Thursday evening after work. On Friday, we arose early and hit our favorite local, breakfast hang-out, The Early Girl Eatery downtown on Wall Street.

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It’s this perfectly eclectic breakfast and lunch spot that specializing in farm to table fare, and their breakfast is not to be missed!

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We toured the Biltmore Estate because that too is a tradition we hold near and there are always new rooms that are open in the house and more historical information the guides will share that they have unearthed from the archives.

But, this visit, we walked through the house because it was decorated for Christmas! And a Biltmore Christmas shouldn’t be missed!

Seriously, does anyone do it better than that?

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Wow!

And my personal favorite is the Conservatory, or the Winter Garden… love all the greenery, garland, and poinsettias!

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After a little sightseeing, we got the hankering for a little adventure. So, we did something we have never done before… We segwayed!

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And we absolutely loved it! Off-roading on trails snaking around the Biltmore Estate was the absolute best!

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The scenery was just breathtaking as we raced on trails parallel to the French Broad River.

The following day, we again rose early (how do I always manage to do this on vacations?!?) and went to a new little cafe we had read about on the VisitAsheville Instagram account, Hole Doughnuts Shop. They specialize in delicious hot, made to order, gourmet Mennonite-style, yeast doughnuts and hot coffee.

Now, that is speaking our love language. Hot, fresh doughnuts and hot coffee.

And the doughnuts? They didn’t disappoint.

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We tried one of each that they had! (From Top Left to Bottom Right: Chai Spice, French Vanilla Glazed, Toasted Almond & Sesame, and Cocoa Rubbed)

They are truly unique doughnuts that are rolled and shaped by hand, so no 2 doughnuts are perfectly uniformed. The baker in me absolutely loved that!

Read even more about Hole here.

The remainder of the day, we shopped, explored, relaxed, and wandered. We even ventured to the Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market where we perused local produce (and come home with some insanely delicious Pink Lady mountain apples), handmade products, and fresh greenery just in time for the holiday season!

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I love local Farmer’s Markets and farm stands. It’s agribusiness at its finest. Whenever I see local farm stands, I just have to pull over!

Most of all, I just love adventuring with this one…

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She makes everything fun! So grateful for her.

We hiked, segwayed, shopped, sight-seed, ate, and laughed our way through Asheville! Can’t wait for our next adventure.

So, I hoped you enjoyed living vicariously through our meanderings. Maybe you too will take in Asheville for a long weekend sometime soon?

xoxo….

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