Thursday, March 17, 2016

Counting My Blessings

We had a crazy thunderstorm yesterday evening which is not common for us at this time of year. Normally our thunderstorms are in late spring and summer. 

It all goes hand in hand with this bizarre weather we've been having.

 

I sat out on a chair by the kitchen door under the overhang as the storm rolled in.

And I was so overwhelmed by the beauty around me I was moved to prayer.


For me, prayer doesn't happen in a church. I was raised as a Catholic but became quite disenchanted with the Catholic Church as one after another of the Catholic priests were arrested for molestation. 

I found it extremely difficult to have a priest stand up on the altar and call me a sinner. It just didn't make sense. 


However, out in nature I talk to God. I feel the most connection when I am in the world He created, not when I am in a building created by man. 

Everyone has to find their own place to pray, find their own peace. 

This is mine. 


I am not an overly religious person by any stretch. I admire those who are, whose faith is so strong. I don't know if it's a difference in religious teachings, or in the person themselves. 

Either way, it's not me. 

But that doesn't mean I don't believe. 


I spent time in the storm last night thanking God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon me. 

My amazing family, whom I don't get to see often enough. My beautiful daughters....who, although they may drive me nuts at times, I love with all my heart. My sweetie....ditto. 


My little furbabies...my garden helpers. They helped Mommy clean the leaves and winter debris off the patio yesterday. 

Good little helpers they are. 


This amazing place that I am so blessed to call my home. 


The abundance of food that will be shared with good friends this evening. 

And all my new friends out in blogland who show up day after day to see what kind of silly drivel I'll be writing about today. 

I am so truly blessed. 


51 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you are OK and who ever said you have to only pray in church anyway? I think it's more normal to pray out in nature. My favorite thing about our farm is the sunsets. When we lived in the city you couldn't see them but at the farm they are amazing.

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    1. Valerie, you're so much like me it's amazing!! Aren't we so lucky to live in the country? I don't miss the city even the tiniest bit!!

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  2. Oh, glad the storm wasn't too bad. We had a thunder storm too! Loud claps and rain, rain, rain! Prayer is between you and God and it doesn't matter where it is. I can't think of a sweeter place to pray than right out in the world He's created! You have a thankful heart and give God the glory for what you have. He's very pleased with that too. Beautiful snaps!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. It was quite the storm, Shelia! Thanks for your sweet comments - you are always so upbeat and encouraging!

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  3. I love this post for so many reasons...such beautiful photos and sentiments. I am thankful for you and your many talents and the fact that you share them all with us. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Mimi - and I am thankful for you beautiful words and photos that you share with all your readers - right from your heart, I can tell - xo

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  4. Beautiful post of gratitude...I love to pray outdoors, too. Glad your storm wasn't too bad!

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    1. It was a pretty intense storm but I do enjoy a good storm, it reminds me that there's something so much bigger out there than my little world!

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  5. I feel very much the same. I am generally in a moment much like you describe when I feel closest to God. I really try to be aware of the beauty that surrounds us, especially when the world seems so chaotic and not a place I want to be out in sometimes. I am grounded in nature. I love storms that aren't too stormy. Lol. Glad yours didn't get ugly. I hope I'm living in the mountains in a few years. Beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you so much, Tina! I never for a moment regretted moving out of the city with the noise and pollution and crime - there's just something so magical about being one with nature!

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  6. We've been having storms here, too. The sun finally poked out today but it's still only in the 40's. And very windy the past couple of days, with garbage cans overturning and branches all over the place. So much for good hair days.
    I didn't grow up Catholic, but in another Christian religion. I carried on going to church as I was an adult and we always went to church every Sunday with the boys. However, for a lot of personal reasons, I haven't attended church in about 1-1/2 years. (Same with my husband.) Our oldest son dying 6-1/2 years ago has some to do with it, but it's not the complete reason. Anyhoo, like you, I still do pray - and actually, I pray quite a bit. I also feel closest to God when I'm out in nature. You definitely don't need to worship God or pray in a building. Even Jesus would go off by himself and pray.
    Have a wonderful week, my friend.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Melanie, and for being such a good friend - I"m so glad we connected through this wonderful world of blogging!

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  7. I grew up in the Catholic church as was sure I was going to Hell as some point. I was the kid in CCD to always ask the "why and how do you know" questions. I spent most of my time in the hallway waiting for my Mother to show up. It wasn't until I became an adult and left the church that I really realized who God was. I have him more in my heart than I did all those years down on my knees. I loved that you shared this, I don't feel like the odd man out!

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    1. Sounds like we are kindred spirits, Patti, for sure!

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  8. I like to talk to God in my own little places. Like you , I can just sometimes feel his presence and have to talk to him. I go to church regularly (Baptist). While I enjoy the teachings and preaching, I mostly just listen and not participate. Alone is when I feel the closest to God. My faith is not as strong as it should be though.
    Lisa

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    1. You can't compare your faith to others, though, really - I think we all express it differently. Some people are very vocal about it and others go about it quietly. Neither is wrong....just different strokes for different folks!

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  9. Its all about a relationship with God...not rules and buildings etc. Just my opinion

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    1. You're so right....at the end of the day it's only you who knows what's in your heart.

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  10. Wonderful post! I laughingly refer to myself as "a recovering Catholic". I have always asked too many questions, and when I can't get answers, I tend to wander. I struggled since I was very young with how that "man" could forgive my sins, or dole out penance for what he thought they deserved. I do enjoy the new Pope, but still struggle with way too many questions and no answers. However, last week my husband and son decided to take a tree down in our yard, and I locked myself in the bedroom and prayed the Rosary!! All is well, and I was not struck down for picking up my Rosary after decades, nor were they & the tree landed well. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I think God listens to us no matter where we are when we pray.
    Great post and beautiful pictures. Hope your dinner was much fun.

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    1. I'm glad that the tree landed well - that's always a fright, isn't it? And there's nothing wrong with picking up a rosary when you feel the urge - I think it means far more than when you are doing it just because you're told it's time! For me, when I pray, I talk to God just like I would talk to anyone - I don't recite prayers, I just talk to Him. It means more to me than saying a Hail Mary or Our Father. Being raised Irish Catholic, however, I do still hold on to my rosary beads....I feel they keep my house safe.

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  11. What a great post! I pray anytime I feel like it, anywhere I am. It's like carrying on a conversation with our dearest friend, and like others have said, we do NOT have to be in a church building to pray to God. He loves us and wants a relationship with each one of us.

    Glad you survived your stormy weather.

    Happy Spring and Happy Easter ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Same to you, Lorraine! Enjoy your lovely fresh plum cottage - love it!!

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  12. crazy weather is right! It was 82 degrees in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday and they are predicting snow tomorrow night. My poor little plants are so confused! Glad you weathered the storm. Your birthday is tomorrow, right? Happiest Birthday! Hope its the best yet!

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    1. Diane you are so sweet - thank you so much!!!!

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  13. What a great post! I think of my self as a disillusioned Catholic...and while I like the new Pope, it's not enough to bring me back to buildings, and ceremonies, when I have too many unanswered questions. Praying, talking to God often happens to me especially when I'm gardening! It's been so interesting to read the comments today! Enjoy your day! ;)

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    1. Digging in the earth definitely makes me think of God's blessings, too!

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  14. I'm so glad you did not have any damage from that storm. The sky sure looked "angry" in your pictures. I don't attend a formal church on a regular basis anymore, but my faith in God is still strong. I too find myself thinking more deeply and sending up prayers more often when I am out in nature soaking in all the beauty that God has created.

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    1. It's surprising we didn't because the winds were ferocious!

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  15. I'm so glad you did not have any damage from that storm. The sky sure looked "angry" in your pictures. I don't attend a formal church on a regular basis anymore, but my faith in God is still strong. I too find myself thinking more deeply and sending up prayers more often when I am out in nature soaking in all the beauty that God has created.

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  16. Hi!!! So nice to meet you and thank you for your visit to my blog! I am SO glad I found you, this post sounds like I could have written it. I, too, was raised Catholic (12 years of nuns!), but the priest molestation thing just made me so crazy. Truth be told I was questioning things about the church since HS. Anyway, I, too, pray all the time: in the car, out in nature, all over the place. Where do you live? We are in southeast Pa. I will start following you now. Have a great weekend. XO, Pinky

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    1. I am in the Catskill Mountains in upstate NY. Thanks for your visit, Pinky, and your feedback! I love meeting new blog friends!!

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  17. God hears every single prayer...no matter when or where :)

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  18. First of all I had to laugh. I do believe I drove the Sunday School teachers and my mother crazy with all of my questions starting with Where Did Cain Get His Wife, ha ha! I still love the Bible but I enjoy the deeper meanings of many of those old stories, many drawn from older myths.

    The cloud formations were so glorious on St. Pat's day afternoon that I had to grab the camera and will post them eventually but Nature reveals our Creator, I know what you mean by 'moved to prayer'. There's the shock and awe of the skies or a storm, and then there's the little birds and squirrels or finding the first violet...there is religion and then there is WHO / WHAT all religions point to :)

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    1. I love that last line, Deb, that's exactly what is in my heart!!

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  19. Oh yea- I, too, talk to God all day long- just kind of winging up prayers here and there as I think of things. I don't think God has any 'religion'. He is not Catholic, or Baptist, or Lutheran, or Evangelical--although I think sometimes each sect believes it is the only one going to Heaven..AND guess what? We will never know if they are right until it is our turn to find out! lol

    God bless you-these are wonderful pictures and those sky shots are beautiful!!! xo Diana

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    1. I feel exactly the same way, Diana - one God, and people just choose thier own 'way' to worship Him...or talk to Him!

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  20. Talking to God and praising Him for his creation of nature is the best kind of prayer. I don't go for that flowery goings on of some people...I like to talk to God like He is my friend sitting next to me. You do have much to be thankful for and you are blessed!

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    1. I do the very same thing, AnnMarie, I talk to him just like I'd talk to you!

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  21. I was raised in many religions growing up and chose to be a Catholic when I was 15. I was very happy until I was 25 and than left the church. Now I am like you. I pray every day in my own way and give blessings to God for what he has given me. You really don't need a building with other people to praise God and honor him. You just have to do it in your own way every day.

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    1. So true, Betty - that's all we need. A little Chat with God and wherever we do it, what difference does it make?

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  22. I love coming here to hear you share what is going on in your life - it is almost as good as the neighbor's fence :) We don't get storms much here either until later in spring or summer, so I can understand the strangeness of it, and yet the wild raw beauty of it all! I loved your pictures of the storm, and indeed... my favorite place to talk with the Lord is outside in the midst of His creation... man has a way of messing everything up, but with God... He does all things well, and perfection, hope, peace, truth, it can all be found in Him. I'm glad that you have seen that man holds no answers, the only thing a man can do is point the way to God, but never ever, should a man place himself as the answer or the solution to any problem. Only GOD! I was blessed by your post today! :)

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    1. I'm so glad my post didn't offend people...I was a bit worried but I tend to write what's in my head and my heart, so I just went with it. You know how they say never talk about religion or politics? I guess it can be done if it's done delicately! Thanks for your sweet words and your feedback - I always love reading what you have to share with me - and you're right, it is like we are neighbors having a visit!

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  23. I loved reading this post, which was written with kindness and transparency.

    If only other subjects could be spoken of so delicately, maybe everyone could sit down and talk about politics with respect and understanding of each others' views. Then again, maybe that will never happen!

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    1. I don't know if that will ever happen, Dewena....and thank you so much for your heartfelt comment!

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  24. Thank you for sharing these tender and beautiful thoughts and feelings with us today.
    You know some of my own personal moments of closeness to God are when I am in my garden.
    My faith is deep too.
    Happy Easter sweet lady,
    Jemma

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    1. There's just something about being surrounded by nature, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and the smell of the earth is in the air....it's ethereal for sure. xoxo

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  25. Dear MM:
    Yes - tonight we go to bed with a full tummy, warm and safe. That's huge 3 times! I am very thankful for so many things. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. The simple things are often the most wonderful, Bernideen.

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  26. I became disillusioned with my church many years ago by the in-fighting and hypocrisy of the pastors, but I talk to God each day and give thanks for my life and for my family.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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    1. I think that's all we need to do....connect in our own way!

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