Tuesday, May 31, 2022

On Becoming Like Nancy Drew

The minute we walked into this house I knew it had our name on it.

The living room ceiling was two stories high, there were skylights and tons of windows all over the place.  It was smaller, lighter, and brighter than where we were coming from.  It was a bit like walking into a fishbowl.  I could see us living here.  The place had the bones.  It was us.

I was enchanted.

The minimalist-collector in me decided early on that we'd only hang stuff that I absolutely couldn't live without.  An print of an early Cape Cod map.  The 'formal' photo of six little grandkids in bare feet.  A few vintage needlework samplers.  A beachscape or three.  A hooked rug created by a dear friend.  And a portrait of my great-grandparents, Henrietta and Luigi.

Pretty much everything else was given away ... or languishes in the basement seven years later.

 

Fast forward a few years.  I came across this sign in a little shop down in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  And I couldn't grab it fast enough 'cause I knew I wanted it hanging in our home.  

I'd been convicted of my tendency to whine.  Complain.  Grumble.  I'm sure it was tiring for those who happened to be in the vicinity.  The Spirit was definitely nudging me to acknowledge my attitude problem and choose to purposefully respond to life in ways that were Christ-honoring instead of reacting like a two year old to whatever didn't suit my fancy.   

To become like a spiritual Nancy Drew, looking intently for every small clue, each hidden treasure, holding every discovery up to the light, and rejoicing right out loud at yet another found gem.  

Purposefully cultivating a grateful heart hasn't been as hard as I thought.  To notice all the simple gifts God sprinkles through each hour and to name them one by one.  Sometimes I sound like Pollyanna, I suppose.  But truly, my heart fills easily these days with gratitude and praise.  Because there's always some kind of 'God-wink' waiting around the next corner as I live with expectancy that He will make His lovingkindness known to His children.

And as I focus on purposely noting and naming those blessings, my propensity to be a whiny-pants fades a bit more.

I pray myself to sleep each night, reciting every good thing that God has sent my way and offering it right back to Him.  Therein is peace.  Calm.  Hope.  

Linda 🔎

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things ... and the God of peace will be with you.
- Philippians 4:8-9

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52 comments:

  1. Hi Linda, I'm visiting from "tell His stroy" linky. I loved your post. I think I might need a little focusing on thankfulness and counting my many blessings. It is so easy to fall into the whiny ways right?! Great encouragement
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Tracy, welcome. I'm so glad you're here today. It's always such a relief to know we're not alone as we grow up ...

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  2. Oh, you had me at "Nancy Drew!" What a fabulous comparison for all of us who wanted to be like her when we read our first "Nancy Drew and the..." Thank you so much for this post. You made my day. Blessings to you!

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    1. And I think this conversation is going to make my day!

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    1. I think my Mom's childhood copy is in a bookcase ... maybe I'll pull it out for a re-read.

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  4. The God-wink you mentioned gave me a smile. There is an episode in The Chosen where that exact God-wink happens. Your mention of it gave me that visual. LOVE IT!

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    1. Oh, that's cool! I've heard such good things about The Chosen.

      Thanks for mentioning it, whoever you are!

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    2. Sorry I commented from my phone so came thru anonymous. Just little ol’ me, your Buds. If you haven’t see The Chosen, you are missing out, girlfriend

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    3. I was thinking about you when I replied to Anonymous, Buds! I know you've been so enthusiastic about the series. Wish you lived nearby so we could watch it together. It would make it all the more significant.

      Miss you.
      xo

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  5. Being thankful in all things certainly does decrease any inclinations to whine, Linda. I love that sign you found, too.
    Blessings, and hang in there!

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    1. Isn't it perfect?! It said it all. And it was enamelware and looked old. I couldn't say no.

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  6. It's so easy to focus on the one thing that seem wrong rather than the multitudes of undeserved blessings we're surrounded with. But if we open our eyes to see, we'll find evidence of His hand everywhere.

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    1. Barbara, yes ... we have the choice to open our eyes and in doing so, we experience the goodness of God.

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  7. Your first picture says it all Linda. I am an optimist and I choose to see God's hand in things. Good or bad. I always want to find something to be thankful for.

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    1. I was born seeing life as a glass half empty. Only through Christ can I see how full that glass really is. I'm so grateful ...

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  8. This post brings to mind my "Why Wait?" post I did last week, sharing the wonderful philosophy of my friend who is dying. Indeed, gratitude makes a huge difference in how we look at life. And that includes gratitude for all the very small things -- that really aren't so small at all.

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    1. Jeanie, yes, yes --> 'gratitude for all the very small things -- that really aren't so small at all.'

      Beautifully spoken.

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  9. I started a journal in 2017, "A Celebration of Small Things." Among the blessings listed: steam curls from my coffee mug; a house wren outside the window, cheering me on as I exercised, an unprompted "thank you" from our two-year old granddaughter. It's wonderfully uplifting to review the day and decide what one or two events to record!

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    1. Oh I love your list, Nancy. These are truly life's joys. It reminds me of Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts ... maybe that's where this gratitude life kicked into higher gear for me.

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  10. "The minute we walked into this house I knew it had our name on it." Linda, your home sounds lovely. I am praying that we will find a place that evokes that kind of reaction for us when the time is right. 🙂 I love the idea of applying Nancy Drew's clue-hunting ways to cultivating thankfulness. Even in the darkest of times, God's blessings abound if we just take time to look for them, don't they? Hugs, friend.

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    1. Yes, the blessings are indeed abounding, even as we speak. And these graces are what God uses to get us through these dark nights of the soul ...

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  11. God-winks are a blessing and may we never miss them. I'm sure there are many that I've missed, and also not been thankful for. What treasures God led you to to help remember His gracious presence.

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    1. I'm betting I missed more along the way than you, friend ...

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  12. Thanks for the uplift, Linda!
    Are those your Nancy Drews? Jealous Christian here!
    Prayers continue for you and your mom.

    * subscriber email response

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    1. Yes, my Nancy Drew collection has continued to grow, a book here and a book there. They make me smile. Did we share them along the way?

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  13. It makes a big difference when we look for reasons to be thankful. For about the last five years I have been taking a few minutes last thing at night to note down things I'm thankful for from the day. It's true that there are always reasons to find and it really helps to focus on them. I like the link with Nancy Drew too - I don't think the books were such a big thing over here but I remember reading a few of them.

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    1. There's something about putting pen to paper that really hits home for us. What a wise way to wrap up every day, Lesley. Written down somehow seems to make what's true visible and lasting. You're creating a book of praise with every line.

      Love this.

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  14. A heart filled with gratitude changes everything. I have often shared with those in hard places to make a gratitude list. When we start writing that list, we see God’s Hand in the small and big things of our life.

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    1. Yep. All us list lovers heartedly agree, Pam. And those who aren't list lovers might like to give this a try. It truly recalibrates our minds and souls.

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  15. I loved Nancy Drew as a child and a series called Trixie somebody. I can't remember the last name. Anyway, I'm also learning to stop searching for "cheese with my whine". God has been good to me and my family and sometimes I forget to than Him for all He has done. Like sending His Son to die for our sins. Hallelujah for the Blood!

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    1. Oh yes, I remember Trixie Belden, too, Regina! But Nancy Drew was always my favorite. It's interesting the memories that come flooding back when we re-visit our childhood bookish friends ...

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  16. Linda, I love this posting on learning to have a positive mindset. The Spirit has been working with me on the same issue. Two big things I've learned are: Pause before speaking and allow the Spirit to discipline my mind to focus mainly on the current 24 hours.

    Psalm 118:24
    "THIS is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."

    Continuing to pray for you and your family.

    * subscriber text response

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    1. That Psalm 118 verse is perfect guidance as we focus on today. If our focus is on rejoicing, maybe we won't be so sidetracked into wondering about tomorrow and the hand-wringing that often accompanies that mindset.

      Thanks so much for sharing that Scripture. God certainly has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Now, to be faithful in living out what we know to be true.

      I'm so glad you're here. You bring so much to the table, friend.

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  17. This is so me too. I love how you expressed yourself here and shared what many of us also go through. Thank you for being you!! Loved this post!

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    1. Don't you just love when you encounter a 'so me too' person, place, or thing?! Such serendipity.

      Happy weekend, Jean.

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  18. I read the Bobbsey Twins and I don’t think they were mysteries…. can’t remember. Gratitude is a truly big part of my day cause I guess “accepting hardship as a pathway to peace” is ingrained in me. I too was born seeing the glass half empty but I am thankful the half glass of whatever is available to me..

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    1. You've been so instrumental along the way in re-calibrating my heart toward gratitude.
      xo

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  19. I loved Nancy Drew and kept a collection for many years. Yes, we need to keep our eyes open. God's goodness is all around us.

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    1. 'God's goodness is all around us.' Amen! And thankfully He doesn't change like shifting shadows ...

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  20. I have been working on some of the same things, Linda, like focusing on thankfulness. It's all too easy to fall into whining and complaining. Our endless roadwork sometimes seems to be my biggest temptation. :(

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  21. This letter has been cooling off in my inbox--glad I found it this morning! I do appreciate your insights and now I want to go excavate my box of Nancy Drew books from the attic along with the sleuthing for goodness!

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    1. Nancy's a true attic treasure. For some reason, I have more of those yellow-spined books than when I was a girl. Go figure ...

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  22. Linda, I love your message today.
    Thank you for linking up with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.

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    1. Congrats on your new feature. Once a month can be a very good thing!

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  23. I enjoy your blog. This Nancy Drew post about gratitude and praying gratitude as I fall to sleep really spoke to me. I have read it several times. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Gail

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    1. Gail, good morning! It's always an encouragement to hear that something might be worth a re-read. Thank you, friend. And have a lovely weekend ...

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  24. You had me at Nancy Drew. :) I read SO many Nancy Drew books as a young girl. Being a sleuth for more gratitude is a wonderful attitude to cultivate!

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    1. Sure beats being a sleuth for trouble, digging up dirt, and stuff like that. Enjoy your weekend, sweet friend ...

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  25. Love this! I loved reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books when I was a girl, so this post resonates with me. . . but I especially like the thought of noticing every detail of what I have to be thankful for. A great way to end the day!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!

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