Thursday, November 22, 2012

thankfulness from a to z


This is the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever spent away from home. It’s a weird feeling to know that my family will be all gathered together at my house in Washington tomorrow afternoon—aunts, uncles, cousins, and all—eating and laughing and catching up, and I won’t be there. I visualize Thanksgivings past, of the table spread with the special blue china, of all my male relatives sprawled on the floor from so much good food, of forbearing gray November skies, of my horse caked head to toe in mud, and I just want to be there.

But the truth is, I lack nothing. I’m healthy, I’m safe, I have a place to live, I have friends, and I have a church full of some of the most welcoming and generous people I’ve ever met. (I was invited to at least half a dozen Thanksgiving dinners here in Sebring!) And I have the constant presence of my Provider. All it takes is a moment of reflection, and I feel completely ashamed of every negative thought and every trivial complaint in my head.

So without further ado, a brief alphabetical anthology of a few things I’m thankful for. :)

Awe-inspiring creation.

I’m so glad our God is an artist!

july 31 112


I have the sweetest one ever.



God’s gift to mankind. (But, like most of God’s gifts, only a small percentage of the population has proper appreciation for it.)

Lenny (4)

David, king of Israel and Judah.

I’ve learned so, so, so much about my walk with God from studying King David’s life in 1 & 2 Samuel recently!



Poetry in motion.



I really miss them.



Quirky, tiny, boring… but I love it. :)

Calves! 071


My favorite place… ever.

zfarm 269

Ideas and inspiration.

I find them all over the place. In beautiful sunsets, in slow music, in riveting stories. Oh…and Pinterest helps too. ;)

beach57 (2)

Jesus, my Savior and King.

Maybe that sounds like a Sunday school answer, but it’s true. I can’t imagine life without Him. (I’m not a big fan of human renditions of Jesus, so no picture for this one.)

Keeping traditions.

I’m a little on the sentimental side. I love traditions… I love things that stay the same year by year, even as people change. Food is always a big part of tradition in my house. :)



From the Hebrew word chesed.



All kinds!


New experiences.

Adventures are some of my favorite things! New food, new places, new activities… I love them.


Ordinary days.

Days when there’s time to simply appreciate the everyday.






The kind of quietness you find in wide-open spaces or winter snowstorms.



I love them. Hannah from Pennsylvania is my current roommate, and my sisters Hannah and Amy have been my roomies for years. :)


Sense of smell.

Scents give me sweet flashbacks to other times and other places and other experiences. Every time I peel a green apple, I smell the apple harvest of September 2011 at home.



I’m so thankful for the ease of communication I have with my family 3,000 miles away!

Communication technology

United States of America.

In God we trust.


Varying seasons.

I love to see the world change month by month.


Word of God.

These last three months of studying the Bible have given me a completely new appreciation for the Word that God has left for us. I am so, so, so thankful for it and the way it applies to my life even now, thousands of years after it was written.



Yes, the letter x—because of the way it stumps all of us when we do lists like this. Gotta love it. (Okay, there might be some sarcasm here.)


I have a weakness for the past—long-term history or even just yesterday. I like to think about the way things were and the different seasons of my life. (This picture seems like an eternity ago…)


Zest and energy.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough of it... But I have physical health and strength as well as mental energy, and I don’t want to take that for granted!


What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 16, 2012




I’ve learned something about photography since I moved to Florida. Now that my subject matter is Spanish moss and streetside scenes instead of volcanic peaks and rolling farmland, I’ve learned that carrying a camera really does alter my perspective. Back home, where bold statements of beauty surrounded me wherever I went, taking pictures felt natural and easy—but here, carrying my camera is less instinct than conscious decision. I have to decide to go picture-taking in this place, a place where beauty is equally as present but much less obvious. It is a greater challenge here—to know where to search and what to find, to know how to frame the shot so that it doesn’t look like you had to look for it. I find my photos and my appreciation shifting from broad scenery to tiny detail. I am seeing more in less. I like it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

anna maria island

I got to visit the Gulf this last weekend.

The temperature was perfect. The skies were perfect. The water felt perfect. It was probably the best time I’ve had at a beach since I was twelve (barring this trip, of course!).
There is something awe-inspiring to a Pacific Northwest girl about swimming for three hours in a body of saltwater… in November.
It was a beautiful day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

florida in the fall


Today I smelled fall.


It almost smelled like a mid-September day at home, but with an ever-so-slight difference in flavor. Distinctly fall but distinctly Florida, with enough similarities to a Goldendale autumn to give me flashbacks, but enough differences to make me appreciate a new kind of November.


Mild temperatures… clear skies… a glowing sunset. Squirrels playing tag in the trees; grackles bickering over scavenged food in the park. The subtle scent of moist Florida air. The sound of ripples on the lake lapping at the shore.


This was one of those nights that I want to remember.



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