I *LOVE* having a time of year where everyone focuses on the things for which they’re thankful. I love feasts and family and gathering and traditions. I love that until just the last couple of years, Thanksgiving was just Thanksgiving and nothing commercial or corporate. I love that there are people who seek out ways to serve today, at soup kitchens and missions around the country. I love that the roads were full of travelers yesterday heading to homes and families.
I get so much feedback from people who read my books. I get such incredible letters, reviews, and messages that there are days that I’m almost afraid to keep writing because I might not be able to maintain the same standard, and there are days when I want to just shut the door and write as fast as I can to give them some more.
I now live in Kentucky. Kentucky has the most picture-perfect four seasons for which you can hope. Leaves turn brilliant colors in autumn and fall from the trees as the weather cools and nights become crisp; winter snow and ice cover the landscape during the winter months and the temperatures are take-your-breath-away cold; daffodils and tulips break through the frozen ground, fruit trees bloom in a beautiful array, and days begin to warm in the spring; fireflies light up the evening skies, everything is green, fruit trees bring forth their abundance, and the days are oh-my-goodness-hot in the summer.
On the heels of Day 23 and of being thankful for blogging as Hallee the Homemaker for the last four years, doing so, living my life so openly before the world has made me a target. I deal with a string of emails, comments that never get published, Facebook or Twitter messages, and even blog posts that ridicule my ideas, tear down my faith, or outright insult and threaten me. Gregg, in his creation ministry, has especially been a target.
I started this blog on a whim. I woke up one morning having no idea what a homemaking blog even was, and went to bed that night having written my first post. It has been an incredible 4-year journey. Through this blog I’ve learned, I’ve opened up, I’ve searched inside of myself, and I’ve made many friends. More so, I’ve grown closer daily to God by having a ministry so focused on Him that when I sit down at my computer, He is sitting right next to me.
I am so thankful that I live in a place where I have access to a Whole Foods, a Trader Joes, a Good Foods Co-Op, and innumerable farmers markets. I have an Arab grocery store where I can purchase products made without pork and local meats raised in good environments, and I have friends who give me farm fresh eggs. I have access to local grass-fed beef and local grass-fed lambs. I also have access to the organic bulk grains and dried legumes that I purchase and store because they don’t go bad.
I LOVE mindless entertainment. It relaxes me and frees my mind from the constant thinking, planning, creating. It gives me a bit of a break, sometimes an hour, sometimes two — the more thrilling, the better. A good movie preview will even give me chills. Date nights revolve around movie releases. It’s silly, but I am completely okay with that.
I posted a Facebook and Twitter status yesterday and asked, “How can I pray for you today?”
It is amazing the responses I got, publicly and privately. I was blessed all day long with the ability and freedom to pray for my friends and their friends. My asking and people responding blessed others as well, and they were open in sharing how much they appreciated it.
A good book can be broken by a bad cover. I am not an artist and I don’t pretend to have an artist’s eye. That’s why I’m so thankful for my cover artist, Debi Warford. She has tirelessly worked to present my ideas created with the best possible artistic look. Because I’m not an artist, it’s not exactly easy to work with me. She makes it seem effortless.