Archive of ‘Inspiration’ category

Thanksgiving Blessings

I love Thanksgiving. The tradition we have of gathering as a family, enjoying a wonderful meal together, and celebrating the blessings we have, truly makes it one of my favorite holidays!Thanksgiving Blessings / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Let's give thanks... with grateful hearts!

It seems like Thanksgiving is one of the last truly non-commercialized holidays left on the books, which is why I love it so much.  The “things” that are most important in life are celebrated. This year my kitchen is completely torn apart (down to floor and wall studs) as we are in the middle of a complete remodel.  I usually host Thanksgiving dinner in our home, so this year we will go to a relative’s home, instead. We will celebrate this holiday sharing a meal, swapping stories, playing games, eating pie, laughing a lot, and saying THANK YOU to God for our blessings, big and small!

I’m so grateful to have such good childhood memories of Thanksgiving.  My memories include getting up to watch the big parade on TV, Mom and Dad in the kitchen taste testing the Southern cornbread dressing until they got the seasoning “just right”, smelling the turkey roasting in the oven, nibbling on snacks, then sitting down to dinner in the afternoon with all the traditional “fixins’. It was really fun just being together with Dad, Mom, and my two younger sisters!

Thanksgiving Blessings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We knew that even though we didn’t have a lot of money or live in a fancy house… that we were BLESSED in so many other ways… good friends, clothes to wear, food to eat, our health, etc.  We grew up loving God and so it was very natural to give our thanks to HIM for our blessings, for truly they were just that. BLESSINGS.  We knew that others may not have homes to stay warm in, family to share the day with, or even food to eat… so that alone was a huge blessing to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Blessings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Every Thanksgiving I’m reminded of a story from the Bible, in the book written by Luke (the physician). In Chapter 17, he wrote about a time when Jesus was about to enter a village and was met by 10 men who had leprosy. They BEGGED Jesus to take pity on them and heal them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the village priests, so they could be considered “clean” again (since people with that disease were considered “outcasts”).  The men did what he said, “and as they went, they were healed”, BUT ONE and ONLY ONE of them upon seeing he was healed made a point to go back to Jesus and say THANK YOU. That gets me every time.  Ten men had their lives changed forever through the miraculous gift of healing, and yet ONLY ONE of them took time to offer their thanks to the gift-giver. Whoa.

Thanksgiving Blessings / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Let's give thanks... with grateful hearts!

I want to be like that one man… one who acknowledges the GIVER of all good things at all times.  I want to be the woman who is grateful for what I DO have, rather than someone who sits around grumbling about what I DON’T have. The holiday of Thanksgiving merely fine tunes our attention toward giving thanks in a simple way.  So, this year, when you sit down to your Thanksgiving table and meal, be it elaborate or simple… whether you consider your blessings many or few, be the one who remembers to say “thank you” to the gift-giver!

From our home in Oregon to yours… May your blessings be many, and your sorrows be few. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving Blessings / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Let's give thanks... with grateful hearts!

Thanksgiving Blessings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

We’re Celebrating!

We're Celebrating! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I am so grateful for the way this little ol’ blog has slowly grown over the past 3 years. It has been a labor of LOVE.  Thank you for reading, trying and sharing my recipes, and letting me know how they turned out, etc.  I couldn’t do this without you!

Have a fantastic day, friends!

We're Celebrating! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We really do have so much to be thankful for, if you think about it.  Enjoy this holiday; hopefully you will be able to carve out some quiet time of reflection, and give thanks for God’s many blessings, large or small in your life.Happy Thanksgiving / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

One of the quotes I LOVE is this “There is ALWAY something to be thankful for”.  My hope is that your day is filled with laughter, love, fantastic food, and the gift of family and friends. May your celebration be sweet!

From our home to yours… Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Happy Thanksgiving / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Memorial Day – A Day To Remember…

Today we remember… the brave men and women who have served our country in the armed forces, and lost their lives in the process. Throughout the history of our country, these everyday heroes have fallen in the line of duty. They have protected and served our country, largely been under-appreciated, yet have helped keep our nation strong and secure.Memorial Day - A Day To Remember(photo credit: studentnewsdaily.com)

Today we pause… and remember. Thank You to those who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom throughout the years.  We DO remember and honor you today, and remain humbly grateful for your sacrifice on behalf of our nation.  We will not forget.

Memorial Day - A Day To RememberPhoto credit: unknown (Pinterest)

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country earned them our lasting gratitude”. (J. Miller)

Memorial Day - A Day To Remember

What’s “Good” about Good Friday?

What’s so “good” about Good Friday?  EVERYTHING. It is a moment in history that changed the world FOREVER.What's "good" about Good Friday? / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Because Jesus Christ took my sins and my guilt onto Himself on the cross, He paid the penalty that I deserved.  Because of His sacrifice, I can now stand fully forgiven and pardoned before God. My debt has been marked “PAID IN FULL”.  I believe… and am forever grateful.  Yes… that horrible day in history was a very GOOD day.

I just couldn’t let this important day pass without sharing from my heart. My hope is that if you’re still reading this, you might consider for a moment what Good Friday is REALLY about… the ransom that was paid on our behalf, (that was far more costly than we will ever fully comprehend), to bring us “Prodigals” back into the loving arms of a holy God.  It still gets to me every time I think about it.

May we never forget the extremely brutal, sacrificial price Jesus paid to save us, for all eternity.  I’m profoundly amazed at the price He paid, and the unconditional love, mercy and grace He has poured so freely into my life. It has changed me for the better. And… I’m so glad he didn’t stay dead in the tomb.  As Tony Campolo says, “It’s Friday… but Sunday’s coming!”

What's "good" about Good Friday? / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Looking Ahead To 2016

I am looking forward to a new year… 2015 was a good year in many ways, but it also had a fair share of heartache. My husband and I were saddened to have several friends pass away (including my husband’s best friend), as well as having several friends be diagnosed with life-changing illnesses, and others that dealt with (and still are dealing with) great personal hardship.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions”?  I  don’t call them die-hard “resolutions”, but I do try to set some personal goals each year, as I seek to better myself.  I am so very grateful God’s plans are so much better than any of my goals (which I fail at meeting so often).  As I look ahead to 2016, I am encouraged by one of my very favorite verses in the Bible, which reminds me of God’s good plans for me this year. We have a framed piece of art with this verse hanging in our living room, and I wear a bracelet with this verse on my wrist each day. I love it!

Looking Ahead To 2016 / The Grateful Girl Cooks!In the midst of an ever-changing (and a bit scary) world, I am going to intentionally choose to trust the very God who created me, to help me face life’s daily challenges and victories. I look forward to this New Year… with HIM.

I sincerely hope you will be able to look ahead to 2016 with faith, hope, love and encouragement. See you in 2016 with more family-friendly recipes from our home to yours!

Looking Ahead To 2016 / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Merry Christmas 2015!

Just a quick note to say thank you to all who have visited this blog in 2015. I am taking a two week break over the holidays to narrow my focus onto the TRUE meaning of this blessed season… the birth of Jesus. My life has been forever changed because of His mercy, grace and unconditional love for me. I am so very GRATEFUL.  My hope and prayer is that this Christmas season holds special meaning for you, as well.

I love this quote from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”, by Dr. Seuss:

 “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

I look forward to a new year and sharing many delicious recipes in 2016 with you. God Bless!

Merry Christmas 2015 / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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It Is GOOD To Give Thanks!

Growing up, my Mom and Dad instilled in me the importance of saying “thank you” to others…to express appreciation for acts of kindness, gifts given, an encouraging word, time spent with me, etc. They taught me it is GOOD to give thanks!It Is GOOD To Give Thanks! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Being grateful is one of the character traits I value and aspire to most, which is ONE of the reasons for the name I chose for my blog when I started it. GRATEFUL.  GRATEFUL… I want that spirit of gratitude to envelop every part of me. And just as important, I desire more than anything to acknowledge the GIVER.  When I sharply focus the lens through which I look at life, I can clearly recognize and acknowledge that behind every blessing (big or small) is the God I love, who loves me in spite of myself…because HE IS GOOD.

I have a sweet friend named Fran who calls this holiday “ThanksLIVING”… I love this concept. May we live a life of gratitude every day of the year, not just the one day “officially” set aside to “Give Thanks”. We are so blessed… infinitely more than we deserve!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends. Look around… there is always something to be grateful for.

It Is GOOD To Give Thanks! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Celebrating…

HappEaster1y Easter… Happy Resurrection Day! Today I join millions upon millions of people across the world, from every walk of life, who are celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead!

Last evening I watched a TV show called “In An Instant”. It showed the true story of a young man who became buried alive in a huge metal grain mill, full of corn. The first responders and rescue crew absolutely thought he was dead, and went in on a recovery mission to retrieve his body. When interviewing the young man’s father, the father said “the day he went in to that darkness, was absolutely the worst day of my life”. However, when they found the young man alive, but completely submerged trapped in the corn, after several hours they were able to extract him safely. He survived, unbelievably due to a series of “coincidences”. The father then said, “the day he came out of that was the absolute best day of my life!” Hearing the Dad say those words instantly made me think of Easter.

On Good Friday we remember the price Jesus paid as he was horribly beaten, falsely judged, brutally crucified, and died. He entered the darkness of death to pay the price for my sins. The worst day ever. But the good news is HE DIDN’T REMAIN DEAD. Three days later HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE. Light pierced the darkness, the huge stone rolled away, and  He came out into light… ALIVE. The BEST day ever, because IT CHANGED EVERYTHING. I am forever grateful that God “pursued” me… and because I have trusted in His son, I will spend eternity with Him… Because of Jesus!

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