Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Thoughts

Is it me or was Blogdom especially quiet over the month of October? I know that there are always "things going on" in current affairs that weigh hearts down and I also know that many bloggers have a lot going on in their personal affairs that equally weigh them down. A number are in a grieving season; there are more than a handful of my blogging friends with health concerns (real life ones, too); and financial burdens are ever present for too many...

Sometimes I wonder if it is time to close up shop for a few weeks just to give readers a breather and to remind myself that there are probably more important ways to use my time. I have an addictive personality so must be wary and cautious; otherwise, I find myself reading blogs for hours on end. 

Pinterest started off that way for me and has eased up a bit. It may take off again as we head into the holiday season. 

Pardon my ramblings. You see, all this blog reading has me pondering. I am trying to decide what is most important. I could be so like Martha in the Luke 10: 38–42 story and miss out on the best while settling for the preparations. 

Fact is, I really must decide what Thanksgiving looks like this year; I must decide what Christmas will be this year. And, if it is not too much to ask, I'd like it to be meaningful for each and every one in the family. Is it too much to hope that it be focused on the best?

You can read the post that started my pondering at Brenda's Coffee Tea Books and Me where she brushes off what she calls her "new and improved" *Preparing for the Holidays.*  I guarantee that you'll be pondering, too!

Cheryl at Thinking About Home has just completed a 31-Day Series about Celebrations. I learned that celebrations are not just to party hearty. They are specifically designed for a great purpose. They are a way of saying that we have come this far thanks to God's help. And, by implication, that we will get all the way home by His good help. He is faithful! This does not work for those who do not put their trust in Him, but for those who do, they can count on Him. 

Cheryl's posts are *here.* She has them all nicely listed making it easy to pop in on the one that interests you. I highly recommend them all, but there's just something about Day 6.

So what does your Thanksgiving look like this year? What do you want it to be given the limitations of your current circumstances or the fact that the kids can't come home or whatever the case may be? (This year, it's my turn! Yippee!! ☺)

Christmas? It's not so far away.  This year, our Christmas must be a much simpler one where gifts are concerned. That doesn't mean that they should not be thoughtful, meaningful ones all the same. 

Today, I'm bringing out some November things...a cranberry wreath and a turkey. I've already decorated the top of the paper shredder. 

Well, it makes John happy!

A wonderful November and a meaningful holiday season to you...

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49 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, I was just thinking today as I was doing my post, that I've not thought of ONE thing that is in preparation for the holidays coming up...sigh...I need to start doing something, even if it's just thinking about it :0

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  2. I quickly threw up a post this morning feeling obligated since I've been away so long. Needing to spend more time painting and with my family and many things that need to be done around here has turned my blogging into just another chore it seems.
    Love the decoration!

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  3. Another great essay Vee. You could put them all in a little book. Wise Words by Vee. How right you are about things changing. Our one daughter has hosted Thanksgiving for several years, this year she is in financial trouble, lost her home and all due to an accident her daughter caused driving without a license. Always something, She has a place to live but no home of her own. So another daughter will pick up the cause this year. Christmas is about all Tom and I can manage anymore for such a large crowd. Life is good and we are so grateful.

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  4. Hi and thanks for that wonderful post. Wishing you a wonderful fall weekend.
    Julie at julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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  5. Addictive personality, you say? Didn't I say that I was taking a little blog break...and what am I doing here this morning?

    Well, I am so glad that I popped in after all. Thank you for directing readers to my series and for your kind words...but most of all, thank you for this encouragement to ponder what is important and to make "intentional" choices regarding our celebrations and the use of our time. Great post, Vee!

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  6. Hi Vee,
    I feel much like you do right now. I too wonder if I should just stop blogging for awhile but I think there is this underlying fear that if we don't stay connected, we'll lose the relationships that have developed. Blogging friendships are unique relationally aren't they?
    It's a rainy windy day here and I'm switching up the bedding here to flannel sheets and I'm sipping coffee on this last day of Day Lights Saving Time.

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  7. "Why you want to leave me" quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Oh I'm all into quotes and sayings today. Bottom line, I'd miss you if you disappear from Blogdom.
    We are having an early Thanksgiving celebration this year. I finally brought down bins but I'm only putting out a couple things, not the whole kit and caboodle. We are looking forward to meeting our middle son's girlfriend at our early Thanksgiving. He has to work on Thanksgiving. Christmas will be different this year with Andrew in Afghanistan and we're not sure about middle son being able to be here. Things are up in the air at Dear's company so we'll be scaling way back and giving that freedom to our kids, too.
    Love how you decorated the shredder!

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  8. I loved your post, dear Vee! I have a friend that is trying "to be more like Mary in a Martha world". I am attempting to remember that myself. Happy weekend to you. xo

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  9. I hope we don't lose you from Blogdom.

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  10. I know what you mean I sometimes get lost in here , but it is enjoyable .
    There is content meaningful interaction , better than TV ! :)
    But yes ~ all things in moderation.
    I too can get carried away into Blogville, and sometimes need to ration my time allotment.

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  11. I do my fair share of pondering, especially about blogging, and I, too, have that 'addictive' personality. But it does really come down to balance. I did enjoy Cheryl's 31 days of Celebrations. There was lots of positive reinforcement for me. I am going to visit Brenda's blog right now. xo

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  12. OMG Vee!! All that seriousness and then a zinger at the end. I'm laughing my butt off!!
    I can't think of a better way to decorate a shredder.
    On the serious side, I wish I had more time to read blogs. I don't I work too many hours. Our holidays will be less this year as well. I really think the gift giving gets out of hand. I am the maker of the stuffing. No one else has been able to duplicate moms glorious stuffing but me. One for my hat. Have a good weekend dear!

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  13. Thanksgiving will be celebrated here if and when my son is able to come home. I have already purchased a spiral slide ham so I am good there.

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  14. Thank you for this post, Vee; I needed to read this today. I just read Brenda's post about preparations, and it really rang true with me. I'll have to check out Cheryl's posts now. :)

    I also share that addictive personality (unfortunately), and I agree with Barbara F. that finding balance is SO important. I also think this is a difficult time for folks in our nation right now -- too many worrisome things happening. I've been taking a bit of a blog break myself -- still reading others' blogs and leaving some comments, but not posting much on my blog. I just needed a break to re-group.

    Your blog posts are so REAL, Vee. I always get something out of reading them, and I love your dry sense of humor. :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Many hugs to you,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  15. Hi Vee,

    I forgot to mention that I LOVE, LOVE your new header!

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  16. For me, Fall is my *busy* season -- I can finally get out and about -- enjoy the outdoors without melting! Lots of fall baseball practice, trips to the zoo and the Japanese garden, walk, walk walk. This month, not only Thanksgiving (all my decorations are out and Halloween put back up), but a couple of arty things going on and lots of crochet ... busy fingers. So nice to drop by for a short visit. Love the header!

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  17. I empathise with your words today, sorry I have not commented much recently but I know you understand why. It is important to get the balance right, :)

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    1. Thanks for calling by my other blogs, I am sorry I thought you knew what happened. I am so pleased you are going to be following Travel Tales, thankyou, have added you to blogroll there.

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  18. That's why in my next life I am going to be a man. Holidays are a lot of work for women, mostly. I am not going to stop blogging, now that I have started...gaaa where could I pour my soul out and get hugs in return. I love you bloggers. xoxo,Susie

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  19. I don't know...October seemed pretty busy blogwise to me. I think it depends on your "niche".

    I'm bringing out a few November/Thanksgiving things today too!

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  20. I like the decoration on the shredder, too....a promise of a special meal soon. I actually enjoy blogging more once it gets colder outside and I am crafting, sewing and decorating for the holidays. I like seeing what everyone is making and what holiday activities they are enjoying....and how my blog buddies are decorating their homes. I do like to take a few days from time to time to concentrate on things that need extra attention though. And now, I think I need to read the links you suggested. Sweet hugs, Diane

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  21. Vee...I fully understand where your coming from. I can sit here for hours and read blogs..and post..and reply..anyways..Thanksgiving..since my husbands family all is here (except his mother)-I have told everyone it is here. Whether they come or not..that is another story. I have already gotten 2 "count me in's" (which is 5 people). Sharing dishes, I have the turkey and some other things..but all in all..I don't mind. The motto is here..if you go home or away from the table hungry, then it's your own fault, lol. I don't fret over Thanksgiving or Christmas. We would be happy if just family and friends showed up to eat or visit. Everyone knows we don't travel during the holidays..longgggggggggggg story on why.

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  22. It's just going to be just the two of us for both holidays and we do keep things simple. We like it that way. I really feel that each day is a day to celebrate and the holidays are just another day. : )

    It's been a year this month that Debbi hasn't spoken to us. That is sad but there is just nothing we can do about it except keep on praying.

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  23. I'm just plain lucky, and pleased that Canada celebrates our Thanksgiving well in advance of Christmas. It must be hard to organize family events that are this close together.
    Balance for blogging is what it's all about - posting, and reading what others have to share. What you're posting, or why you're blogging in the first place is part of the equation. I could never do it every day but there are a couple of blogs (and you're one) I like to read every day because you stimulate thought and response.
    If you blogged less, you know your followers would still be there and it would free up more time, if that is something you want.
    That isn't canned cranberries on the shredder is it? Speak to one of my daughters about that to know where I stand on canned vs fresh! LOL
    Judith

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  24. I just read all of the comments and enjoyed them so much, it was like siting in a room with friends and each sharing their heart, Since I post so seldom, I am probably not a good one to weigh in on this. I know this one thing for sure, you are such a delight here in blogland, and loved so much. I think Lovella said it best, when she talked about losing the relationships with our blogging friends. I also understand the pressure we perfectionist place on ourselves of disappointing our friends if we don't post. I for one have wriitten many posts just for that reason and would ask myself, "why did you do that, Sue." And like another commenter, I too love seeing how my friends decorate their homes, and of how they live their lives from day to day, You always have a way of inviting us into your home, making us feel so loved and welcomed! That is almost a lost art, as you know a real home is built on love and devotion, and sharing this causes us who see it, especially in some of our darkest hours, to keep pushing forward. I also know blogging takes a lot of time, and it just might be one of the reasons, I am a sporadic blogger, goodness knows I have thousands of photos with post inside my head. ~smile~ I am so thankful for your friendship and what ever you decide will be after much thought and prayers.
    Did I say i would not be one to weigh in?
    Much love,
    I have enjoyed Cheryl's Celebrate series so much, and like visiting here this month have had to read several post to catch up. Having said that ... enjoyed your post on finding bittersweet, your collage was beautiful and last but not least your header is one of the best ever, now i must go and change mine.
    Sue

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  25. Vee,
    You are such a joy to know and you are always so nice to comment..but having said that, I have noticed that a LOT of bloggers seem to be blogging less and not really having much inspiration in doing it. I have even seen several disappear or quit. I have wondered what can be done as a lot of women our age seem to be losing hope ..I know I have found a community in blogland.I am relatively new to all of you but I like the connection of knowing there are a few who read and enjoy what I post..even if it is only a handful of comments....helps me know that there is a reason I do this...staying connected and not surrendering to isolation are some of the reasons...sorry to ramble here...I used to write much more involved posts and more in depth but have mostly been doing tablescapes to force myself to keep on doing this and not throw in the towel. An empty nest and busy children can be lonely at times I stay at home and do not have an outside job.....some days, the computer is the only outside contact I have until my husband comes home from work...thanks for posting this..and for commenting and visiting me..it means a lot to me ..and to others..
    Love, Mona

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  26. October did seem quiet to me, I appreciate the suggestions for the articles on preparing for the holidays and I'll be heading over to look as soon as I finish my comment here:>) Thanksgiving is traditionally at our house so we have the whole thing down pretty pat. Everyone picks a dish to bring and shares in the cooking and it's always wonderful. This year will be especially grand because our daughter and son-in-love will be joining us while he is on leave for three weeks. They usually reside in New Jersey and the whole family is just so happy to have them here! It's going to be a wonderful month!

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  27. Every morning with breakfast I read my blog for about two hours, I don't have a lot of followers but still miss some but if I don't limit it I would sit here till lunchtime.
    Merle........

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  28. I'm sitting here in a crowded ferry terminal while the wind and rain pound outside. I thought I'd read some blogs using my phone and free wifi here. Yours is one of the few addresses I know by heart. I could go out and get my computer from the car but did I mention the wind and rain?

    I'm behind on reading blogs so haven't gotten to either Brenda's or Cheryl's posts yet. But I will. From my experience a simple Christmas can be just as merry and meaningful as a more elaborate one. Heart preparation is key. You know how I feel about your blog - one of my favorites. You would be very much missed. But life has times and seasons that ebb and flow differently for each of us.

    I've always been thankful that Canada celebrates thanksgiving in October. It makes the holidays seem much less compressed. But you do what you can with what is set in stone.

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  29. You are among many that are pondering the same thing....is it time to put blogging to bed for a nice, long rest. I, too, am finding it hard to blog right now. Losing my blog, moving, holidays approaching like roaring trains....

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  30. I think we are always in transition of one sort or another. That's just the way LIFE is......ever changing. Blogs should never become a heavy burden to be borne - by the writer or the reader. We are who we are and it is what it is. I plan on going over to visit the posts you suggested later this evening. I visit blogs when I take a few minutes to rest from whatever work I'm doing. Not sure if I could sit for very long at a time anyway.
    I have totally enjoyed being HOME this fall. I truly meant to host a Ladies Tea for my friends and family but I can see that's not going to happen. Perhaps next year. Thanksgiving this year will be spent in the camper out on Louis Dean's son's place. We have invested so much time and energy in MY family in recent years it is time to enjoy HIS! His son and daughter in law and a grandson deserve LD's time and attention....and MINE as well! Amber will host a Thanksgiving meal on the Sunday before for our family. Sister, aunts, Grandmother, uncles, the whole shebang! I suppose in looking back over the last dozen years or so - every holiday is always a bit different from the year before just by virtue of all the changes in life.
    Everyone loves you so - me included!! I think you underestimate what an influence you have on so many. What an amazing opportunity the world of Blog gives us - to voice our thoughts, hopes, prayers. I love this scripture..... Acts 4:20 "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." Isn't that what we do?

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  31. Vee, you have been doing some serious thinking but I think you should keep on blogging. Unless you're really really busy of course. You know I always read your blog and always comment, so I would really miss you if you took a break. I realize the holiday season coming up is a busy one for my American friends. Having two major holidays back to back is stressful. I like the idea of keeping it simpler and easy on the budget. So, I hope you stay with us. You will be dearly missed should you take a break. Perhaps just blog when you can, once or twice a week. Try it. We'll all be here waiting. Hugs. Pam

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  32. It seems that in bog land things ebb and flow. Busy some time and quiet others. I myself am in the midst of rearranging, thinking about life in general. I do appreciate visiting you and listening to your perspective of things.

    Thanksgiving for me will be a party of 3. Christmas very quiet. Something that I am actually looking forward too.

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  33. Sigh, I too have been thinking a lot about blogging. Every so often I'm ready to wrap up almost 8 years of blogging. It truly has become a nice hobby, a part of me, but how long can it last? On the other hand I always seem to come up with something to say, and just when I get ready to quit someone writes and says what an encouragement my blog is to them. That encourages me to keep on, though I am blogging a lot less and letting be like that even though I used to blog almost every day. I appreciate you sharing the link on Christmas thoughts -- very challenging and where I'm thinking these days. I think you would be greatly missed for your matter of facts thoughts on life and your humor and your encouragement. We are a community of sorts and it was interesting to read one of your commenters call different blog "sets" niches.
    Before you quit, try posting less. Maybe that would be better. My number of comments has dropped--I am missing some who used to read regularly, but that's OK because I need to feel it's more to express myself and read what others are thinking than to get people talking to me (though it's nice when it happens.) I have the grandies here this weekend and we are having such fun!

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  34. Hello Vee, I really do understand about the blogging situation! I sometimes will say to myself I need to get off this computer and get on with my real life. This world and our lifestyle's has gotten so TXT and virtual. It is our only form of communication, we are really starving for fellowship.
    Also,by being on the computer you really get nothing done...
    I have been trying to limit my time and to stay off completly a couple days a week.
    Go over to my blog later and read the comment from a 12year old girl responding to the apron giveaway!!
    I wanted to cry my eyes out...
    Ask the Lord to only allow you to post when you feel His leading, because most the time it is a habit to turn it on and get lost from what is really happening around me.
    Okay see I can ramble too :)
    Blessings, Roxy and a Hug too!

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  35. Seeing your Jellied Cranberry Sauce box made me remember a statistic I just read--51% prefer Whole Berry and 49% Jellied. It's pretty much a split nation for the holidays...which are coming up way too quickly, XOXO

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  36. I will be back later when I have time to read what everyone else has had to say on this subject. I think at one time or another all of us bloggers have asked ourselves this question. For me I continue on as I print my blogs into books, and keep them as a journal of our lives. All ~ or most anyway ~ of my favorite pictures are in there as well. I try as hard as I can to stick to my time of blogging as best as I can. I follow my favorites religiously as I have not only found myself encouraged, entertained, inspired, and educated onj subjects I have find highly interesting, but feel as if the gals are some of my close personal friends. I am soo attached. It is always hard when one of these decides to hang up her blogging shoes and she fades into the background and is lost from my life. Some I have kept up with for a while through email, but eventually that too comes to an end, and that's the end of it. So for our season of time we were involved in each others daily lives, and then we are not. I do understand of course that each must follow what their heart is telling them to do. Soo having said all that YOU have definitely become one of my favorite spots to visit and look forward to your little inputs every morning ~ usually when I read you ~ even my hubby has heard many of your posts. Soo would I ever miss you should you decide to lay this aside!! But!! again, I do get it. Enjoy your Sunday Vee!
    I am off to check out your recommended reads....

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  37. So interesting to read this post. I'm having to provide the program at a meeting on Nov 26th. I've decided that it will be about Thanksgiving. I've been reading a book this morning about Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law wrote an article about Thanksgiving that was published in a magazine many years ago. I still have it (somewhere in the storage unit). I need to ask her for a copy of it.

    Gifts are meant to be meaningful...from your heart as the giver to the heart of the recipient. I agree completely with you about remembering our Heavenly Father in these celebrations. That alone provides so much meaning to the holidays.

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  38. Love your decoration!!!! I did visit your friends blog and agree it was just what I need to do too. Thank you for your sweet comments about our Midnight. There is this big hole in my heart right now but I will fill it with fond memories.

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  39. I find it ironic that I blogged today about wanting to blog more often, and so many here expressed wanting to blog less! I think that is how life is in general--often we want what we don't have. I have been fortunate to get one blog post up every week, but I think I put a lot of time and effort into each post which I'd never be able to do if I tried to blog more frequently. I begin to work on post and then it takes days to finish. I always envy those that can pop up a post a day with apparent ease. I'm trying to learn how to write less and post less photos and do less research. I can get lost online doing research --one thig leads to another interesting thing! lol! It's very enjoyable to me, however, but I think my posts are too long for many. I guess over the years we evolve withwhat is going on in our lives. As a care giving grandma my days are so busy, and then weekends are full of family functions or exploring our new state, that blogging has become less of a priority than it used to be. However, I'd miss it too much to give it up! My mind is always thinking "Oh! I can blog about this!" :) I think you enjoy it too much, too, Vee!

    As far as holidays, I am doing Thanksgiving for all, but Christmas each of my children want to remain in their own homes with their children to celebrate, so V and I will be visiting elves that day... lol! I am going to make a Christmas Eve dinner for my family so we will celebrate that day together :)

    Off to visit the blogs/posts you recommended!

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  40. The only thought I've given to Thanksgiving is which restaurant we'll go to. :) You probably remember that we celebrate both US & Canadian Thanksgiving but I just can't, absolutely can't, do another big meal before Christmas. I'm struggling with Christmas this year. I know I should be thinking about it but part of me just wants to let it go. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way facing the first Christmas without a loved one.

    I'm always in awe of you and others who can post daily. I don't know how you do it! A little break now and again definitely helps. It should be fun and not a chore.

    Enjoy your week! xoxo

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  41. Just wanted you to know that I borrowed the book "Only Fifty Years Ago" by your recommendation (couldn't believe our library system had it in eastern PA). I have just found you from "coffeeteabooksandme". I enjoy your sense of humor, decorating with the cranberry sauce cans! Thanks so much for sharing a part of another side of the country.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Melissa. It's a gentle read.

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  42. Vee
    Thank you for your thoughtful post. It's so easy to get off track with our priorities.
    Your words certainly make me want to give more thought to how I spend my time.
    And also how I can make this Christmas special for my family, although we are apart.
    Blessings, my friend-Kimberly

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  43. I'd be content to shut myself in the house and string cranberries and popcorn. I actually did that one year. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas to spend time with my family, to fellowship with my church family, and reflect on God's bountiful blessings. God is good, all the time. ~ Abby

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  44. The lovely things you provide for our nurture and nourishment of soul is, in my view, one of those important things you do. Blogging adds something to our lives and connects us to others that would be deeply felt if it were no longer available to us.

    Stop blogging for your own sake, yes, and re-establish what is important for you in your own heart and world...

    But I want you to know that your blog is an oasis in my day. Even if I don't come every day or leave a comment every day, I just love knowing you are there somewhere being a blessing... and that goes for many other kindred hearts out there.

    Just so you know...I do find it a wee bit frustrating when you shut off the comments hoping it frees the reader from obligation. I don't leave comments out of obligation... I comment as my heart connects...it dictates the ebb and flow of conversation. But when something stirs, I'm always grateful for the ability to click on the comment and leave a wee note.

    Wishing you a beautiful time away.... and we'll be loving you knowing you are somewhere.

    Hugs,
    Brenda

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  45. My sister's death really made me wonder if I could (or should) keep blogging. At her funeral, her children had all of the oil paintings on display that she had done over the years. I felt I could do so much more with my time and make something lasting for my children and get back to painting myself rather than playing on the computer. We'll see. I don't want to give up on blogging totally and I do enjoy visiting my blog buddies but may just try to cut back a little.

    Thanks again for your support and wonderful comments.

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  46. I had been thinking that Blogdom had slowed down recently. I know for me that there has been so much going on in life in this new season that is has been difficult keeping up.

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