Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Gratitude: In Every Situation (Featuring: Right to Sight)

Dear friends,
I've been looking forward to this weekend ever since I found out my second cousin Jean would be coming for a visit.  Jean is one of my very best friends and we talk frequently on the phone.  She and her mother, sister, and brother have been amazingly kind to my family with encouragement, prayers, care packages, hospitality, teaching me to make scrapple, and blessing us in many quiet ways over the past several years.  Jean's son Alex is starting medical school at UCF here in Orlando, so she flew down yesterday for the White Coat ceremony this morning.  I'm so honored that she chose to hang out with me while she was here.

But before Jean arrived, I had a lot of other "stuff" to do! 

One son's school supplies 
For starters, five of my kids return to either home school co-op or public school next Monday, and I had to buy school supplies and clothes (during the tax-free weekend on these items in Florida) and order the rest of our curriculum from Christian Book Distributors.

Our main supply shelf, after organizing
I checked all of the markers and
threw away the ones that had dried out.
I also sharpened dozens of dull pencils.
I also needed to organize the books, papers, and supplies in our dining room, which doubles as our school storage area. It took hours to weed out old papers, sort through through the bins to make sure colored pencils, crayons and other supplies were in their correct bins, and put books away.

On Saturday afternoon, I had to run some errands, and on the way back, I stopped at some yard sales.  I found this pretty recipe box for 25 cents!  I love cherries, one of my favorite fruits.  We've been eating them a lot this summer since they've been on sale a few times at Aldi.

Unfortunately, my left hand got injured that day!  One of my kids was being rowdy, grabbed my hand, and accidentally pulled my pinky finger back.  Ouch!  You can see how swollen it is.  I had a thumb brace that I twisted around to use as a pinky brace instead.  Works for me!  I'm glad I keep a bin of splints, braces, Ace bandages, and other medical supplies in our storage room.  Unfortunately, I am left handed, so it's been hard to do so many basic things around the house.   Another disappointment: finding out that the warranty on my eyeglasses expired several days ago -- just when I was about to bring them in to get a scratched lens replaced.

Fortunately, due to my sore hand, my husband took over the cooking for the entire weekend.  When he made spaghetti for Saturday dinner, he also made burritos for Sunday.  On Sunday morning, he made eggs for breakfast and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
Before church on Sunday, I flipped open my Bible and landed on Isaiah 45.  Verse 3 jumped out at me: "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name."

I thought of my cousin Jean.  She and I have comforted and prayed for each other through so many difficult times, trying to discover the riches of the secret places.  She is always encouraging me to read my Bible, so I decided to make a Scripture encouragement box for her, writing some of my favorite verses and putting them into the pretty recipe card box I had bought at the yard sale.  I couldn't write out many cards because of my hand, but I already had a whole bunch of them that I had copied out many years ago.  I also tucked in a small New Testament, some blank cards and a pen so she could copy more of her own.  (Want to see what verses I included? Click here: Words of Promise, Comfort and Encouragement)

Jean's gift to me: chocolate mints!
I shared with my husband and kids...

I also gave Jean two bags of nice clothes a neighbor had passed along to me, and she said whatever she can't use she will give to Afghan refugees that she serves up in NC.  She has such a heart of kindness.

Jean took me out for dinner at Peking Buffet in Casselberry.  The buffet was around $10 per person, and they had a huge selection of entrees and sides, as well as several desserts.  Yummy!  

I did not have any frogs legs!

After dinner, we went to Big Lots to pick up a pot and pan for her son, and then stopped in to see my daughter's family for a little bit.

We finally made it to her son's apartment and met his roommates.  I really enjoyed our time with them.  They are all really nice guys and I know they'll go far in life and make this world a better place with their talents.  After a late night run with the boys to Walmart for more apartment supplies, Jean and I finally made it bed just after 1 AM, tired but very happy.  We got a whole lot of chatting done in the car!

I am thankful for my weekend, even if it didn't always go as I planned.  My hand is still pretty swollen and sore, and I've still got a ton to do before school starts (can we spell o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m-e-d?) but my week is already off to a bang with a really good planning meeting for our home school co-op moms this morning.  I can't wait to get back into the classroom next Monday!  

I also took one of my sons to the eye doctor this afternoon.  Coincidentally, the optometry referral I got from his doctor was for the same place (Optical Outlets) where I bought my glasses last year.  When we went in, I asked them if they would please still cover my glasses under the expired warranty.  The manager said he would be glad to do that, so I just had to pay the deductible on the warranty.  I'm really thankful for that.  I have progressive lenses, which I absolutely love, but they can be really expensive to replace, especially with anti-glare and everything that I need to see well.  I am grateful for the gift of sight, and so thankful for eyeglasses.  Yet I realize for every blessing I have, there are some people who have to go without.  I asked the manager, Johnathan, if there is an eye care charity he recommends.  He enthusiastically told me that he has been working with the Lion's Club Project Right to Sight program that gives eye exams and glasses to the homeless here in Orlando.  He has seen lives transformed and made productive with the gift of good eyesight.  If you have eye glasses you aren't using anymore, Optical Outlets has donation bins in every store so that the frames can be fitted with new lenses for someone in need. So that's my entry for the Worthy Cause series this time!

(Another worthy cause is donating clothing and household goods to refugee immigrants, migrant workers, or recently arrived international students.  You can find charitable organizations who offer these services in your area on Google.)

Philippians 4:11b-12a
Sunday School project

I am trying to learn to be thankful and content "in every situation" like in this verse my daughter worked on in Sunday school yesterday. I can't control everything, but I can try to make the best of it.

What are you thankful for this weekend?

Leave a comment!

Virginia Knowles

This post will be linked at the following blogs:

Food on Fridays on August 10 


 P52 Photo Project Week #32 on August 11, theme "Summer Favorites"

P52 with Kent Weakley

Raising Homemakers on August 8


Simple Design's Share Your Thrift Haul on August 13


  1. Hey, you have two food elements in there: the Chinese buffet ( yummmy) and your amazing husband who made dinners when your pinky was bent out of shape!

    So sorry about that injury messing up your otherwise lovely weekend--and may your school year prep come along smoothly.

    Thanks for linking to Food on Fridays!

  2. Don't forget the chocolate mints, Ann. Never forget chocolate. I guess I went for the triple this time. I'm still having a bad time with the hand unfortunately, and I think it's going to be a while. Meanwhile, it is hunt and peck on the keyboard. I did get an x-ray to make sure it isn't broken or dislocated, though.

  3. What a busy and joyful family life!

    Cheers ... visiting from Project 52.

    Tito Eric

  4. What a great gift for your friend! The thoughtful ones are always the best plus its in a super cute box! Hope your hand is feeling better soon.

  5. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!mawaddainternationalaid


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