finished the race with gratitude

My father taught me how to make crepes, only he called them “French pancakes.” I was in my twenties before I realized what I had been making every Saturday morning.

My father’s birthday was 2 days ago. I sang him Happy Birthday this year on August 28th, his day of birth into eternal life. Grief work continues. Love never ends. Cor. 13 I am grateful for his unconditional love, his unbiased teaching in all things, his goofy sense of humor, his strength as an unapologetic maverick and visionary, his frugality and practicality, his deep love of family, and making memories.

With both my parents now living their eternal lives with My Father in heaven, my heart feels both softer and stronger. The glow from the fire of their love will warm me all the days of my life. All relationships have taken on a new meaning.

Cooking still matters a great deal to me, now more than ever, filled with wonderful memories from two parents who loved to cook and my pampered buddies as well. Last night was a mid-week feast for no reason other than I was dying to try a potato-leek gratin recipe I cut out from Better Homes & Gardens (love that magazine!) They graced a maple-glazed spiral-cut ham, with side dishes of green beans with caramelized onions and mushrooms, cinnamon applesauce, and Sister Schubert rolls, followed by warm just-out-of-the-oven chocolate cake. Frosted the latter while it was still warm (not hot) and we all agreed it’s now the only way we’ll eat chocolate cake! 🙂

We lit the Advent Wreath before eating and said many prayers of thanksgiving. I’m worried about the first candle on my Advent wreath. It’s almost half gone and we haven’t even finished the first week of Advent yet! I may have to swap it for the week 4 candle which we’ll only burn twice before flying to Michigan for Christmas with our children.

I’ll be following the Gratitude Principles below for the rest of this month as much as I can publicly.

Gratitude Principles

1. Take time each day to appreciate that you are alive. Start with just a minute and extend it until you can do fifteen.
2. What I am grateful about and why…
3. How to express my gratitude…
4. First action to take…
5. Each day, appreciate that you are only a short-term visitor on the planet. Be the best possible guest while you are here.
6. Each day, appreciate one opportunity that you have to make progress. Take advantage of it immediately.
7. Appreciate one teacher in your life and learn a new lesson. Today’s teacher to appreciate…
8. Each day appreciates something that is a central value for your entire life. Today’s central value:
9. Appreciate one thing that represents who you want to become. I want to become:
10. Appreciate and acknowledge in someone else one specific quality that you yourself want to be appreciated for. Who:
The specific quality they have that I want to be appreciated for: