Belated Thanksgiving...

A Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all of my readers! We had an enjoyable, quiet day with the three of us, Randy, Ryan, and me and Ryan's girlfriend Carissa and my mom. I cooked most of the meal, and we relaxed in our newly remodeled family room afterward. When the house is finished in another week or so, I hope to post a few pictures. Right now, I'm loving the warmth of the colors and the lack of clutter that had filled it up before. Now to decide what to do with half the clutter that I don't want to put back! Randy is spackling the dining room now, where one son accidentally put a hole in a drywall several years ago, while running on the treadmill that used to take up one wall. That room has never really been a dining room - well, maybe when we first moved in. It was a school room when we homeschooled and then a computer room with the treadmill thrown in there somewhere! My desire is to make it into a library - kind of an extension of the living room but a cozy place to read or write or chat. But that means getting rid of more clutter...

I'm packing up some of those extra things (clutter to me, treasure to someone else) to take to the Salvation Army. I've vacillated over the years between easily giving and reluctantly clinging to things that hold sentimental value. Clothes, for instance, are hard to part with. Maybe I attach too many memories to them, but it occurred to me this year that if I'm going to buy anything new, I ought to part with the old. My grandma used to say, if you have two coats, give one away because you can't wear more than one at a time. While I maintain there may be reasons to have more than one (for different seasons, for instance), I do think she is right. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive - or to cling to what we never use!

In our moving things around I also came upon several old photo albums (those are keepers!). I'm always amazed to see how much we all change over the years. Old friends we haven't seen in forever - I wonder how they are doing now. Some, I know have died, others have divorced, all have grown older. I found pictures of Shadow when we first got him and realized he is also older than we realized. Where does the time go?

I finished book one in my next series, The Wives of the Patriarchs, and sent it off to my editor yesterday. It was due Dec. 15, so I am relieved to be finished with it for now. Of course, she will read it and decide whether it is acceptable, so I could still have more work to do, but at least I can put it out of my mind while we finish up the painting and remodeling and get ready for Christmas!

Our boys will be home in three weeks! We had an after Thanksgiving treat Skyping with them for quite a while yesterday. I love those relaxed times of chatting together. I don't think I would have fared well in days gone by before technology allowed us to keep in touch with those so far away.

Today I'm planning to put a second coat of paint on the stairs and Ryan and Carissa are going to help me put up the Christmas tree. Little by little we'll get it done. As I found myself stressing out over too much to do in too little time, I realize that I need to keep fixing my eyes on Jesus rather than on what needs to be done. I am so grateful for all He has given to me. For life and breath and the ability to do the things that stress me out! For grace to live and grace to wait until we see Him in person, face to face. All glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him!

Selah~

PersonalJill Eileen Smith