Why do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Back in 1621, the pilgrims had a bountiful harvest in the new world and so they created a feast with the Native Americans.  According to Wikipedia, 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims partied for 3 days!  They were THANKFUL!

first-thanksgiving-painting-why-we-celebrate-thanksgiving-1565369087

But how about you?  Why do you celebrate?  Why do you drive hours in the snow or fly thousands of miles across the US or spend hours in the kitchen or overindulge or whatever it is that you do…why?  Why do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

To give thanks is a long standing practice in MANY cultures.  imagesGiving thanks takes your focus off of the struggle, it acknowledges the good and it directs your spirit to rest.

For me Thanksgiving is about family and food and stopping the normal activity to trade it for festivity. Over the years the gathering has looked different but every year I take a moment to breath in the satisfaction that life has offered, the trust I have in the Creator who offers it and the hope of a world to come where there is no more suffering.  I remember the Savior and I am thankful.

download

Then, I knead the bread, whip the potatoes, pour the festive drink, play the cards and watch the football.  Sometimes with LOTS of people and sometimes with few.  No matter the gather my heart is full and my focus is in the right place.

This year we gather with my sweet daughter who is back from college for the week and my rowdy brother who is a good friend to our family!  Oh and of course the dogs, Buddy, Dungee and Piper.  I anticipate laughs, I anticipate DIP, I anticipate full bellies and I hope for thankfulness.

As you gather, would you take a moment to take an accounting of what you can be thankful for?  I know some of you are dealing with some real deep, discouraging things. Chronic Pain, Financial hardship, broken relationship, loneliness, despair…you name it I know someone who is in it! But did you know that it is not the happy and content people that are Thankful?  It is truly the Thankful that are Happy.

images (1)So, take a deep breath, account for that which you are thankful, dig deep to find the things with which you can rejoice and then find contentment and embrace happy.

download (1)

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS…Dad, the neck is simmering on the stove, wish you were here.  Love you!

A Star is Born

A young woman sat on the edge of the pool as her husband asked her if she wanted more of the pool or more of the sky in the picture. I looked around to see her posing next to me, head back, legs lifted to look like they were floating on the water, as she directed him to the perfect frame for her picture.  All around me there are selfies going on!  When you don’t have your phone you sure do realize the world around you sucked into theirs.

I’ve let my phone go for the week. I’ve promised to check in once a day with the important people…children, parents, bro, employees…but I’m depending upon my girlfriends to snap the right pictures and capture the best moments for me. It’s been an amazing journey away from social media and addiction to my phone. Yep, I said it …phone addiction. It’s partly because I’m a business owner and I’ve given of my self to many others that are in need of more then one hour a week of support and guidance. As I said the other day about Gaga, I really mean about women that God brings into my life! I’m available and I’m for them! But to be without the phone this week has been beautiful and very telling.

On my way to the loo, I passed by a seemingly well to do individual, covered in a towel to shade the sun from his phone so he could “surf”, while completely avoiding the beauty of the true surf! One pair of ladies sat on the pool wall with their derrieres hanging over the edge, hiking their suits up to kingdom come and turning to look over their shoulder while another scantly clothed girl snapped a pick.  For the Love….🤦‍♀️

We use the phone to fill a gap, to create an alter universe that feeds our idols and complete our poor attempts at contentment. I’m not all to sure as to what these devices do to fulfill what we want or distract from what we know to be so desperately true, but what ever it is we are sucked into an abyss that will not bring contentment and will lead you to a desperate existence that ends in empty disappointment.

Everywhere I look a star is being born. Mostly, ladies, although there was a group of Italian men, that are creating and snapping pics of the stars they bore out of their phones. Through imagination and pomp and circumstance they shine bright in the lenses of there devices. Creating the perfect frame, the best pose, and then photo shopping the rest.

Ya know what I think, all of this leads to death. Dramatic, I know, but indeed you are headed there and so am I…whether you snap the pic with your phone or make an idol of your hopes…you will find your self wanting and headed toward an end that doesn’t last. How about you follow me to the King, the ONE who wrote your story, the ONE who named you and called you? How about you let Him be your audience and let your own self-centered view go to the wayside?

It’s true ‘A Star Is Born’ but that star is only valuable because of His sacrifice for you. You will only be worth anything because of Him. So give up the selfies and stop grasping for the limelight, turn off your phones and allow yourself to be real. You are enough and you are beautiful, because HE made you so , not because of your filter or the frame you choose.

Be born a star because of HIM.

Things I learned from guacamole and Gaga

Night one! Straight to a bowl of guacamole and a tall glass of berry mojito!

Thank you very much!night in cabo

Guacamole has always been a symbol of friendship and community! Dating back to my younger years, when we went camping, mom and Cathy Landles would begin making the guacamole around 3 in the afternoon. They’d both sit around the table, listening to Kenny Rogers (🎵Islands in the stream…🎵) and make up a batch of GUAC! Then we (well they) would sit and play cards and laugh and tell stories and I remember everything being right with the world.guac

Now as we sat around that table and shared guacamole with 4 dear friends, I was struck with the blessings we’ve been given in these people. Sharing stories, laughing until our sides hurt and reveling in the friendship God has given us. I know its not the magic in the ‘GUAC’ but the design in our hearts that causes these moments to somehow make all things right in the world! However, I do believe that guacamole is the conduit of Gods goodness in these moments. Community, fellowship and GUAC, that’s what makes the world go round:)

After the guacamole fest we took a stroll on the beach because…FIREWORKS!fireworks We had to go find out what was happening. Rumors of Lady Gaga being here for her make-up artists friends wedding so we started walking toward the bright lights and loud music. Of course we found nothing! But the sand felt good and back home we went….to run into Gaga!! Seriously, she was sitting around the fire pit, security wouldn’t let us linger and we couldn’t join the “private party”. The wedding was at our resort!

dinosaur

Fast forward to DAY 2 of our trip, it’s POURING down rain. 100% chance of 2-4 inches expected this day. We made the best of it, had more guacamole, more mojitos, the best lobster tacos and then the boys went to the pool in the RAIN! Girls went back to the room to read…UNTIL…..we heard the party below and saw the dinosaur at the swim up bar……HAHAHA. True story.

We got our suits on and in the pouring rain made our way to the men. There was Gaga sitting on the “dry side” of the swim up bar having a smoke. T-Rex was on the bar, dancing, wrecking havoc and gathering laughs. We weren’t allowed at the swim up bar because of the “private party” and RAIN. So, picture this…..6 middle age couples, floating around the pool in the torrential downpour trying to get a look at Lady Gaga! Can you just picture it! HAHA. Gaga jumped up on the bar and started twerking with the dinosaur in her red thong, strappy little swim suit and black boots. WHAT IN THE WORLD. Nothing our eyes needed to see, but intriguing and just crazy!

Shortly after she climbed down off the bar, we headed to the hot tub. Cause, well its freezing in the pool in the rain. About 5 minutes into our soak, here comes Gaga into our tub! HAHAHA, you guys this is REAL. She sat for a bit, danced around the pool, told me how she was feeling (which I didn’t really need the description because I knew she had been at the bar for HOURS). Then after about 10 minutes of us silently watching, she and her friends get up to go “sober-up” in the pool….Gaga was gone.

Ok, long post here but you needed the details to know the punch line! Some people you see on social media or on TV or in the lime light are GORGEOUS. They look fit and trim, they are airbrushed and posed. They have lots of money and seem to be dominating this world. But the truth is some of those people are LOST. They really don’t have it together. They really aren’t living their best life now. They are sad and deprived and they need Jesus. Without Jesus they just have airbrushed existences without true guacamole moments.

I immediately started plotting how I would witness to Gaga next time she swam up to me at the tub, haha, but that opportunity never happened. When women come into my life whether they be Miss Betty in the chair next to me at church or Miss Gaga at the hot tub in Mexico, they are forever imprinted upon my heart. I am now charged to pray, be open to and love the dear souls that God brings into my circle. I may not see Miss Gaga ever again but I’m praying for her, I’m contending for her at the foot of Jesus. May she be added to the list of lovers of Jesus and may God use her and Kanye to draw the world to Himself.

AMEN!

Don’t worry the sun came back…..

sun cabo