Thursday, January 6, 2011

Signs of hope + Little Gifts = a heart filled with gratitude and joy!

Do you ever have 'those days'?  You know the ones, the days that no matter how hard you try to get down in the dumps, God just blows your socks off of you with his little gifts that fill you with joy and before you know it you are just 'whistling a happy tune'???

As I've told you before, times are tough around here, and today we had a little 'burp' in our attempts to make things better.  Nothing major, just a little blip that will eventually be worked out and we'll move on!  Well, this morning (late morning) I was on the phone with my aunt - my daddy's youngest sister who is only a few years older than I am - and we were catching up on what had been going on since we last chatted, and I turned to look out the window and there on the deck rail, not 3 feet from the window, was a gorgeous male Eastern Bluebird!!! 

Now bluebirds rarely visit my feeders, but this one was perfect and absolutely beautiful and he just sat there on the deck rail looking in the window at me for . . . ummmmm . . . probably a good 1 1/2 to 2 minutes!  And yes, he could have been seeing his own reflection in the window, but I choose to believe he was looking at me!  And seeing that little fellow, looking so healthy and happy and sitting there for so long just made me feel happier and more hopeful!  His short visit was a gift to me, and how could that NOT make you happy!  He reminded me that it's going to be okay!  We will survive and we will carry on and we WILL be just fine!

Then I noticed several pine warblers out there, fighting over my one suet cake (Reminder to self:  add suet cakes to the grocery list!)  They would fight over the 1 cake, and then one of the warblers would come over to the empty suet cake holder and look confused as to why there was no suet in there!  They are such pretty birds!  They are kind of an olive/yellow/green, and small and feisty - and I like feisty!

Watching them just made me plain happy!!!  Have I told you lately how much I enjoy 'my' birds?  They really are so much fun to watch!

Anyway, just a little while later I was on the phone with hubby and we were talking about the 'little burp' and what we were going to do about it and I looked out the window again and there was a goldfinch on the 'regular' feeder! 

(Note:  I have been trying for MONTHS to get the goldfinches to come back to my feeders, but they have been avoiding me like the plague!  I knew they were out there, because they have a unique 'chatter' and I could even talk to them in their language and they would talk back, but wouldn't come to my feeders!) 

Well, the other day the squirrels destroyed another one of my feeders - a small one that I had hanging on a hook with suction cups attached to my office window, so I brought the little finch feeder from the front yard, dumped out 'yet another' pile of un-eaten thistle seed and refilled the feeder, and hung it on the hook on the window.  That was about 4 days ago. 

But this afternoon, as I sat in here talking to hubby, I watched that little booger just land on the finch feeder and eat away!  And he came back later and brought a friend with him!  And that made me VERY happy!

So I got to thinking about all the 'little gifts' that we receive each day that we don't even acknowledge as gifts!  I mean think about it:
  • a day when the sun shines
  • a day when rain soaks the earth in a soft gentle rain
  • a day when there's not ONE bill in the mailbox
  • a day when a friend you haven't heard from in a long time calls out of the blue
  • a moment when the sunset (or sunrise) is so gorgeous that you get a lump in your throat
  • a child who out of the blue looks up and says "I love you, Mommy" (or grandma, etc.)
  • a complete stranger who holds the door for you and smiles as he/she does it
  • a complete stranger who motions for you to go ahead of him at the stop sign
and on and on and on!  There are SO VERY MANY little gifts that we don't acknowledge and accept and feel gratitude for that it makes me almost sick just thinking about it!  And I'm talking about myself here, folks!

So here's what I'm going to do!  I'm going to give a 'little gift' to one of you!  And it's really little, but I think for someone it will bring a smile to their face and maybe they can pass that smile on to someone else and who knows how far that one smile could go!

The giveaway is a set of four of my sweet valentines tags made from images of vintage valentine cards, with envelopes . . .

 . . . this cute Valentines heart pin that I made from felt, embroidery floss and a few beads . . .

. . . and a dozen #5 manilla tags for you to use in making your own projects . . .

But there is a catch!  You have to pay it forward!  That little smile you'll get as you open the envelope, you have to give that smile to someone else!  Now, you can do that by sending one of the Valentines on to a friend or relative.  Or you can do it by picking up the phone and calling a friend you haven't talked to in a while, or you can do it by making cookies and taking a plate full to a neighbor you haven't seen in or a while, or haven't even met yet!!!  It doesn't matter WHAT you do, as long as you give a 'little gift' to someone else that makes them smile!

Now, how do you win???
  1. leave me a comment  here telling me what your favorite 'little gift' has been so far this year!  (Make sure you leave me an email address or way to contact you if you win!!!)
  2. post this on your blog and then leave me another comment.  I'm going to post a button in a few minutes, so you can use that if you'd like, but you MUST leave me another comment.
  3. for my facebook friends (and no, I'm not giving the blogoverse my Facebook ID!!!) you can leave me a comment on the post about this blog post, answering this question "what has your favorite 'little gift' been so far this year?' and I'll put you in the pot of names to be drawn from.
And that is it!!!  And I will pick a winner on Saturday 1/8 and get the goodies into the mail on Monday!

So let's get going, trying to make someone smile!  It really is the little gifts that make us smile, now isn't it!!!

Be Joyful!  Becky

*  this is part of my focus for 2011 - to live life to it's fullest, be more grateful, and have a joyful heart.  Give it a try!!!


Val said...

Oh my goodness! Do you even know how much I want to win this!!!!???? You are too sweet! But if I don't win you will still be tooooo sweeeeeet!!!

K-Sue said...

I just realized I didn't ever go back and comment - and saw that Val won - congrats, Val! The little vallies were cute. I like your new focus for the year, Becky

aimee said...

happy new year! what a sweet giveaway! congrats to the winners :) have a great week.