Saturday, December 29, 2018


Today I am 42.
I chose this picture,
from the last weeks, for this post as it seems to sum up
what my life is about now and what I am able to do.
And that is feed my Husband, sometimes others as well, 
set a nice table and try to make a peaceful home.
I remember when I turned 40 and how in many ways I was thankful and 
excited.  Though we were also reeling a bit from some unbloggable worries 
at the time.... and after I turned 40 we both got sick, then +Patrick died
and we have had a lot of hard times since.
Our own hard times, not others and many would not understand them
but for us, it was, at times very difficult. 
So I am approaching 42 with a lot of mixed feelings I guess.
I have felt and still feel like so many of my dreams died.
 I am still young, so everyone who is older
says of me.  
But I don't know what it means of my dreams for what my life would be like
or what I would be able to do.
I do know that, by God's mercy, I am able to bless others, I am told so.
I know that I wrote my Christmas blog post because I need the message I wrote in it.
Some people have said that their 40s were the best yet but I am still waiting,
but waiting with hope.  
I really want a few things to get back to what I wish they were.

1. I really want to read and write again like I used to.  Esp. as I was reading 
Elder Sophrony and others.  If I had not read and remembered Fr Thomas Hopko's
and that a priest told me that not being able to pray a lot but to dedicate what one does
to God is a kind of prayer in action,
I think I would be a lot more discouraged than I am, at times.

2. I would like to get a better routine, something that has eluded me my whole married life.
But this may not happen.  In the last 2 years esp it has proven utterly impossible
as life has thrown so many curve balls my way that I have had to be very 
flexible in my schedule and let a lot of my dreams (writing, sewing, crafting, hospitality) 
on hold to deal with the tasks at hand.  

3. Be more organized in my Christmas and St Nicholas baking so that it is not so last minute. I think I told myself 'never again' last year and somehow it happened again. I really hope
to get better. That said, I got some great tips lately to help with cleanup, when in a real pinch:

1. bake cookies on parchment paper

2. Bake bars with aluminum foil with a bit of a 'lip' over it 
and then lift the entire sheet of bars out
and cut them up on the foil once they are out of the 9x13 pan.  
I asked my Grandma's advice
on that one (she's doing pretty good with her knee surgery, thank God)
 and I am so doing this.  
I already have a plan in place for the baking I hope to do next week,
before January 7 Christmas. 

4. I also wish our unbloggable worries would resolve. They will, and probably in the 
next half year, but we are not sure yet how they will.  There has been progress
but no progress, yet, in the part that will help making us feel any resolution. 
Soon, maybe

Well, the first 3 are really all I can try to work for myself and we will see.
Meanwhile, today is my birthday and I hope and pray that I will seek Christ,
God's will and to love God more and to learn to love more in general, as 
God teaches and shows me.

I am really grateful to God for how He HAS blessed me with a 
good, perfect-for-me Husband, a loving family and family-in-laws, 
good friends, burgeoning friendships, and a wonderful home, pantry, Cleo Cat,
and so many dishes that I cannot help but be happy that I have so much
to put forward to do hospitality with.

Also, I am dreaming of doing a high tea this summer, if our life situation allows.
I have the dishes (my Grandma's), 3 separate 3 tiered plates, lots of goblets, silver-plate
silverware, even white gloves + a silver-plate tea set + many other tea pots.
Wouldn't that be fun!?! 

So, while I struggle with the dreams and wishes I don't have yet,
I have SO MUCH to be thankful for and SO MUCH to count as BLESSINGS
including that I have many blog friends who read, comment, email and pray for me.
So THANK YOU for being here.
I've been writing this blog since I was 28 and here I am just 42 today!

When I remember all my blessings, including the Miss Read books I have
yet to read, then I am very glad indeed and, while I have wishes, hopes and dreams,
I have, when I look at my blessings, so much to look forward to
and be thankful for!

So here's to 42 and dreams of tea, reading, goals to reach and things to ponder.
And soon, for us, at long last CHRISTMAS I can't tell you how much
I am ready!


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Happy Birthday to you!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Birthday Blessings, dear, dear friend!
My prayers for you both, for your unbloggable issues and for your Grandma's continued recovery xxx

Elizabethd said...

Praying and wishing you the happiest of birthdays Elizabeth. 42 is a lovely age, make the most of every minute!

Juliana said...

Happy Birthday dear friend! I think these are all natural feelings to have at times of transition. I think the best thing you can do to reach the goals you want to have is to examine what is keeping you from starting or maintaining these things, and consider whether they can be curtailed or cut out. I know that is hard for me to do--I don't always form the habits that will support my endeavors, but when I do, I'm always glad.

Peace and grace to you for this 42nd year!

Lisa Richards said...

Happy birthday, Elizabeth! I think what you are describing is very normal in this earthly life. I think C.S. Lewis said something about those interruptions being our real life. That's where we grow and find out that our plans many times have to be set aside for something better. It's a lifetime work, learning to lay it all at His feet and seek out His plans. Preaching to myself here!

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, Happy Birthday! I have found that each decade gets better and better. Next year, I will turn 60 and I'm hoping things will settle down and we can enjoy all things ordinary.

Nancy said...

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!! Blessings, peace, and wisdom for you in the year to come.

GretchenJoanna said...

Happy Birthday, Dear! Many years!! What a special season to be born in. I know, it means your birthday gets kind of forgotten... but there is a lot of grace to be had in joining with the celebration of God With Us. Glory to His Name! May His peace and joy grow and grow in your soul day by day, to overflowing.

Granny Marigold said...

Birthday wishes from another Miss Read fan!!

Lisa said...

Oh, a very happy birthday to you, Elizabeth! Well, I hope it was a good day for you.