Joy and Thanksgiving for Daily Gifts and a Purple Lincoln by Jo Russell

Joy at Thanksgiving. Fat chance of that, thought third grade teacher Miss Becker. She was far from feeling it. She had to finish this lesson on money and the economy before the excited children sprinted off to enjoy the holiday break.

As she noticed the permanently scuffed wooden floors, desks leftover from days when students dipped pens and pigtails in ink, and the stubborn windows that refused to open properly during the summer or close completely during the winter, she sighed.

It would be nice to work in a better neighborhood and more modern school. Maybe next year.

But when her class wrote out their thanks, many wrote, “You are my favorite teacher, Miss. Becker. I love you!” and “Thanks for being our teacher. You are so nice!”

That’s music to a teacher’s ears. Miss Becker smiled and was thankful. I have a job. It wasn’t easy. But the children here are precious.

Another bonus of this old school was that the children all had jackets and sweaters. In poorer schools, the students had few. These children bundled in the warm garments during the winter from the time they left home until they stepped in the front door again. All had jackets and sweaters.

As Mrs. Becker scanned the notes of thanks on the bulletin board, she choked down tears. One wee girl had written, “I’m thankful for my Grandma and Grandpa. They love me.” That was from a child whose abusive parents abandoned her, leaving grandparents to raise her from the time she was two.

With blustery winds gusting outside, all the little ones in this class burst with smiles and joy. Thanksgiving break was here! The paper turkeys decorated the walls with red, yellow and orange tail feathers, a reminder of the food, family and fun ahead!

“I’m thankful for my mom and dad and sometimes my baby brother.” Another wrote.

Miss Becker continued to pull the children’s attention back to finish her lesson, “Most people are not rich and they are not poor. They are in the middle. I am guessing that most of your families have a Ford or a Chevy like I do. Does anyone here have a Cadillac or a Lincoln?

Penny’s hand went up. “It’s a Lincoln. A purple one.”

“Purple? Lincolns are usually black, beige or white. How did you get a purple one?”

“It was white and all scruffy and my dad fixed it up. It runs good. A couple of people gave Dad some paint, like grey and red, and he mixed it all together and got purple. It’s the only purple one I’ve ever seen! I’m thankful we get to ride to my grandparent’s house in the purple Lincoln for Thanksgiving!”

Mrs. Becker reflected on the leaky windows, cold and scuffed up classroom, and Penny’s purple Lincoln.

She realized as the children did that with love and gratitude, everything is colored in a spirit of joy and thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is an attitude that can infuse each day of the entire year. Beginning a day with gratitude and thanks to God is a healthy habit mentally and spiritually.

Jesus himself teaches the pattern of prayer of praise and thanksgiving with what is commonly called, “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:10 [NIV].

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

The prayer begins with praise, honor and thanksgiving for the King of Kings! Just as the children in this classroom experienced, God had provided them day by day with coats, food, care, and love, as he does us.

Life can be an adventure wrapped up in an attitude love and thanksgiving ~ even if you don’t drive a purple Lincoln. Give thanks each day!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and her recent Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now in print and e-book on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords. She is author of several other books, including award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Sauce and Thanks! by Jo Russell

“We’re going to smoke our turkey in the ground this Thanksgiving. It’s fabulous! We’ve never done it before,” Norman commented as he leaned over the fence to talk with his long-time neighbor, Gus.

“We’re not doing turkey.”

“What? Are you having ham instead?”

“Nope,” Gus quipped.  He didn’t offer any more information.

“You know, if you’re a little short,” Noman offered, “We’ve got an extra turkey in the deep freeze. Just pick me up one later and we’re square.”

“No need. Who says you have to have turkey as an excuse to give thanks? We’ve got a different menu. We’re doing something we’ve never done before either.”

“Oh?!”

“Yeah. A new way to give thanks. We’re taking the dog and the entire family out in God and Mother Nature’s Showcase. We’re having a picnic Thanksgiving dinner. The weather will be good.  So besides thanking God for a paid holiday off work, a great family outing in the outdoors, we’ll praise him for the grilled burgers with all the trimmings. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Anybody having withdrawal symptoms over traditional food—well, they can have cranberry sauce, too!”

Giving thanks. It wasn’t just for the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1621. It wasn’t just the soldiers and the nation in 1863 during the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln declared the special day to give thanks.  He had asked all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

Thanks and praise can become an everyday part of our lives, through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Circumstances do not dictate whether to be thankful or not. But our attitude does.

Paul, like the new believers he addressed, was being persecuted for following Christ. He advises, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” [1 Thessalonians 5:16]

Much earlier, David, anointed King of Israel, wrote words of thanks in poetry often set to music.

“God deserves thanks and praise.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords…

His love endures forever.

To the one who remembered us in our low estate

His love endures forever.

And freed us from our enemies

His love endures forever.

And who gives food to every creature

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.

His love endures forever.   [Psalm 136:1-3; 23-26]

Give thanks to the God of heaven, who gives us food, protection and love each day. And for those who may have Thanksgiving withdrawal, he gives us cranberry sauce!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]

 

 

Thankful Through the Tough Times by Jo Russell

“I thought you were going out of town on a mini-vacation this month,” Carlie mentioned to her best friend, Rachel.

“That we were, but I think Larry, Don, and Dave are going in our place.”

“Who are they?”

“The plumber, heater repairman and the electrician. We know each other well enough now they’re on our Christmas card list,” Rachel responded. “Larry even brought us some of his wife’s holiday bread the second time he came this month.”

“So now we have sinks that drain, toilets that flush, and a warm glow when we unlock the door that isn’t because something shorted out and is smoldering. Praise God! That counts for a blessing.”

A few weeks later, Carlie asked, “Am I supposed to watch your pets this weekend? I saw on my calendar your family is going to Sea World for a few days.”

“I think that Jerry is going in our place.”

“Oh, no! Who’s that?”

“He’s the appliance repairman. Now he’s on our Christmas card list, too. But the stove cooked the Thanksgiving turkey nicely and dishwasher handled most of the kitchen mess. We don’t have to go to the laundromat to wash mountains of clothes. I sent Jerry off with a card and a plate of chocolate chip cookies for his family.”

“So what are you going to do for vacation?”

“We’re going to vacation in front of the fireplace roasting chestnuts and marshmallows. The house is warm with baking. You should come and smell! Plus Rick and the kids promised to wash all the dishes during the holidays! What a gift!”

Rachel has the right attitude.

With the full-color hype of the holidays advertising the perfect Thanksgiving, the vacation of a lifetime, the greatest Christmas, and astonishing gifts for everyone on your list, it may be hard conceive being happy with anything else.

Forfeiting vacation plans in lieu of emergency expenses? Bummer. But an attitude of gratitude can make all the difference.

These words from the Bible provide just the right encouragement to change worry to prayer: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:6-7]

Rachel counts each experience and day as a gift because it is founded in Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. He provides the foundation and security of a place in his kingdom, even after an “emergency fund” on earth is exhausted.

As she observed, “When you’re the cook, you always get to lick the bowl!”

That’s a perc that even Sea World doesn’t offer.

Life is a blessing. Give God thanks today!

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]

 

 

And the best thing about that is the cook—that’s me—always gets to lick the bowl!”

Seize an Attitude of Gratitute By Jo Russell

Beginning early, filled with the aroma and sounds of a crowd stirring, the American holiday of Thanksgiving  is a worthy celebration to honor God.

One can smell the gravy as Grandma browns the flour, adds butter, and cooking juices, and declares “This gravy is downright tender! Just taste it!”

More than just Thanksgiving Thursday and the taste of the feast are the memories of people like Grandma,  whose holiday cooking started at 3:30 a.m. Grandma and Mom began the baking and basting the all-important browned, juicy, main dish. Centered on a platter set on a lace tablecloth nobody remembered they had, the turkey heralded the gathering of family and much thanks for the year.

Family members swarmed into the house: a colorful collection of people whose blood and marriage ties bound them together with shared histories, experiences, and laughter.

Little George, whose talent– fueled with broccoli and cauliflower–could blow more fish out of the water with his emissions than with a stick of dynamite. He grew up to be a contractor, built houses, and worked outdoors, much to everyone’s relief.

In-laws who showed up only to borrow money or to eat – disappeared from the table as soon as the words “Wash the dishes!” came into the conversation. They were grateful for the free food they didn’t have to cook.

Holidays converted the house from quiet to chaos, with the thundering of little feet and “Petey, stop that right now!  Don’t give your gum to the dog!”

Family gatherings showed hands-on love. Into the messy kitchen came the devoted husband whose pledge was that whenever his wife cooked, he would clean the kitchen and the dishes. He saved her from the task that was to her as fun as tax day.

Thanksgiving continued with the sign on the USPO from the rural post mistress that announced, “We will be closed Thanksgiving. Enjoy your pumpkin pie!”

Giving thanks past and present to God is a good fit every day. He deserves our praise and a big “Thank you!”  Not just the happy times, but all times. For everything comes from God. Each of our days is a gift from him.

Tuck these words into your heart: “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Seize an attitude of gratitude – for each day brings blessings. God loves you.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]

 

 

 

Grounded? Be Thankful! By Jo Russell

“You know that when all of us and the relatives sit down at the table, Mom and Dad are going to ask us what we’re thankful for,” Maggie reminded her siblings as they searched for the stash of cookies. Their mom had made the treats for holidays and the Christmas programs.  She started every October.

Now that the three of them had found the treat stash–which was moved every year—the children were planning the best strategy for getting to the cookies.

This year, while Mom was at the grocery store, they found the sweets in tins on the very top shelf of the hall closet.

“I’m thankful Mom always makes extra cookies so we can sample them.” Even though the children were bigger and hungrier than years past, they felt entitled. Their mom wouldn’t notice a few less cookies.

“I’m grateful Mom is such a good cooker,” Robbie volunteered. “But the cookie stash is up two chairs high this year,” Robbie observed.

“I’ll get a ladder,” suggested his older brother, Ralphie.

When the three worked together, they each enjoyed a fistful.

“How many did you get?” Robbie, the ladder holder, wanted to know.

“I think about six,” Ralphie responded.  “But I had to get the ladder and climb it! That’s worth something.”

“No fair!” cried Maggie. “I only got four. I need some more.”

“Then I’ll make sure we each have had six,” Ralphie promised as he climbed the ladder and opened a tin.

After that, each was able to satisfy their sweet tooth on their own.

Thanksgiving dinner came and Mom smiled around the crowded table at family, relatives and friends crowded together, and offered, “We have delicious cookies for desert along with homemade ice cream. Give me just a minute and I’ll bring them out!”

But when she got on the ladder and brought down tin after tin, she found just three cookies total.

Strange that her children didn’t raise their eyes from their plates of turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce. “I don’t suppose you know what happened to all the cookies?” she ventured.

All three answered, “Dunno, Mom.”

Later, she informed each that they were grounded until Christmas. Their punishment was to help make more cookies—as well as wash every messy dish and clean the kitchen, too.  But again, the three had the opportunity to be thankful. For the advantage of their punishment was that they got to lick the bowls!

Far from any cookie stash, Paul wrote these words, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” [Philippians 4:12.]

An attitude of gratitude is a deliberate choice, for there is much to thank God for each day—even for the last three cookies and the children who enjoyed the rest.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]

 

 

Freedom Isn’t Free By Jo Russell

People say it so often and without expecting a response, they could be saying, “Have a good day” or “Thanks for shopping at Wal Mart.”

The phrase, “Freedom isn’t free” shouldn’t have the ho-hum meaning and flavor of already been chewed gum. Such a mindset has to change. Apathy destroys all relationships, including one with God. Let’s also remember and honor our Armed Forces.   

With a war currently in progress and my being in Washington, D.C. for Independence Day, I decided to trade that worn-out sentiment for the power of proof.

Every generation since the Revolutionary War has been touched by the commitment it takes to buy freedom. Just establishing the United States as a separate country cost over 25,000 lives. But think beyond statistics. They had been husbands, fathers, farmers, ancestors, business owners, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, builders, and men with a dream. Other wars have followed, touching every generation

How many of the 58,000 names listed on The Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall were men of dreams under 30?  Check the numbers yourself. [http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32492.pdf]  No monuments, medals, plaques or awards will ever bring back to life those who died or those, like my father, who returned from serving in war and was never the same again.

On a memorial in a small Arizona town is the name of a woman who died in the Persian Gulf War. With less than 400 dead, and just a few names on that marble slab, one might speculate, “Big deal.” But the reality struck me in my classroom where I taught the two motherless girls.  

Another for-instance. No post-war picture of my father ever reflected the same spark in his eye or smile as in the pre-war photographs taken before he left his fiancé for a battlefield an ocean away. Sacrificing the precious time when his children were young, my father experienced the consequence – not knowing his children.

When a tall, gaunt man in a pressed green uniform had stepped in the door of our house, my mom exclaimed, “Your dad is home from the war, at last!”  I was about five. When he had held out his arms to me, I did not run into them. Instead, I held tightly to my mother’s legs and wondered who the stranger was – and why he was moving in with us.

As a military professional, Dad’s being home for a long period of time only happened toward the end of his career. He balanced two demanding worlds: a commitment to defend the United States and a desire to protect, guide, and provide for his family – often long distance. My father had proved his bravery in two wars and a full military career, receiving Silver and Bronze Star as well as many other campaign medals. 

Many have made the same promises to the Armed Forces as well as to their families. Consider that freedom isn’t free and think of the other effects for service men and women away from safety, a familiar culture, old friends, home, families, spouses, and children.

All serving or at home can invest and believe this promise: “I call on you, God, for you will answer me…Show me the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.” Psalm 17:6-7.

Truly freedom isn’t free. God bless our Armed Forces. Pray for them. God guide them safe and bring them home — forever and always.   

 [Jo Russell is a Christian author, speaker, contributor to antholgies, articles, and author of award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. Available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com, check her website options to enjoy chuckles, tips, excerpts and speeches.]   

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers Change the World with Love, God and Cookies By Jo Russell

From the baking smells that flowed into the chapel, there was no guesswork in why the visitors dreamed of chocolate chip cookies instead of listening to the clergyman at the podium. The children’s class, headed up by teacher and mom Jan, had baked dozens of cookies for Mother’s Day. Jan stood guard over the warm sweets.

One deacon complained, “I tried to sneak some cookies, but Jan stood at the kitchen door with a knife in her hand!”

When it comes to influencing children and plying them with food, mothers have the market cornered. Grandma Brenda showed up to be construction supervisor over her grandsons, who had staged a sit-down strike. Work started up again as soon as the teens saw the praline-filled cookies tucked under her arm. She needed no other tools.

When Rene and her sons returned home from a three-day camp-out, one teen announced, “I don’t need a shower and you can’t make me take one.”
“That’s too bad,” she countered, “Because there are fifteen pieces of hot French toast and you won’t be eating any of them.” She heard him running the shower right away.

Food and moms are blended together like bread and butter. In Proverbs 31: “She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family….” [Proverbs 31: 14-15] NIV. She may also be up late making lunches or prepping a meal for the next day.

But Moms do much more than ply the generations with food. They teach. They model. They shape the future. Paul writes of Timothy, chosen as a pastor, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” [2 Timothy 1:15] NIV. From wise King Solomon, “Listen my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” [Proverbs 1:8] NIV.

Mothers that you and I know have altered the future with love, God, and cookies. That’s just the way God planned it should be.

Honor the women in your life with words and actions that give them a high-five of appreciation. Each deserves it.

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website and Amazon. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog. Remember the free e-book download of Which Button on Amazon today for Mother’s Day!]

No Fair! By Jo Russell

The boy had opened his conversation with his mom on a summer trip to the grocery. “NO FAIR! These round things without seeds aren’t watermelons! What happened to the other kind with a zillion black seeds? That’s the only kind I want!” the eight-year-old protested.

At the start of the season, Mike realized he had been robbed of his championship status in an event important to him as Olympic competition. Watermelons had changed forever! New and improved? Not to him! No longer could Mike and his brother compete and set a seasonal record for long-distance watermelon seed-spitting from the porch. What was Fourth of July without it? Or the start of the school year?

Appreciating his new interest in ethics and issues his mother asked, “So what are you saying about seedless watermelons?”

“They’re un-American!”

By Halloween, I wonder if scientists’ enthusiasm for genetically-altered fruit means that “grapples” (grapes + apples) take over the floating fruit for “apple bobbing” and pluots (plums + apricots) crowd out grapes and peaches. Whatever happened to God’s originals? And what was wrong with them anyway?

God, the Creator, called plant life “good.” For the Bible reads, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their kinds…And God saw that it was good.” [Genesis 1:11] God, Mike, and I would agree.

Though scientists have played around with DNA on veggies, fruits, and even livestock, in the name of improving the product or the genetics, changing them forever, God doesn’t change.

Need proof?

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27 ~written nearly 3,500 years ago.

“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3: 6 ~ penned nearly 2500 years ago.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 ~ recorded over 2,000 years ago.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 70 A.D. ~ written also over 2,000 years ago.

God is a stable foundation in our lives as he had been since the beginning of creation of the earth, of man, of apples and watermelons.

As for Mike and me, we’re hooked on watermelons with big, black seeds – and the contests that go right along with them!

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, www.button-to-god.com. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]

Meeting God in the Morning by Jo Russell

Camping had spanned more than two-thirds of my life, bringing with it bears, foil dinners and campsites rated on a scale of one to ten, sleeping bags rated by odor from “seasoned” to “ready for burial.” A mountain of mismatched socks survived more adventure than the Lewis and Clark expedition. They never looked the same again.

A  fringe benefit for all campers is memories to last for a lifetime.
Camping had always been my time to meet God in the morning – even before I knew him very well. Over a steaming hot mug and with the smell of hash brown potatoes sizzling in a skillet, I find quiet time with God. Over time, I learned that I don’t have to be camping to meet him in the morning.

Nor do you. Whether at home, a hotel, a friend’s, or on a break at work, through all of your mornings and experiences, you will find God is ready to share time with you.

It’s easy to visualize his creation when observing it around a fire. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? Psalm 8:3-4 [NIV] Mindful of us? Yes. He keeps us in his thouhts.

God showed his care for me when danger was so real I could touch it, when an angel in a hard hat helped our family travel home, and when a Canadian camper showed hospitality to our wet Arizona family. When a raft trip in wild Alaska went awry with a disabled raft, three of us had a choice: to row to the take-out point on a watercraft as flat as a pancake or walk on the water. Psalm 22:4-5 records the promise: In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. [NIV] God’s answer for our group was in sending the ranger with his gas-powered boat to rescue us.

When preparing to pack for a camping trip, I searched until I found the dusty “kitchen box.” I expected scratched pans and dishes, only to discover I had forgotten about buying new speckled enamelware and pans. They had been waiting for my attention.

This is just like God waiting patiently as we turn off all technical do-dads to focus just on him. God is waiting for our attention.  Where will you meet him in the morning?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking  her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]

Grief and Potatoes By Jo Russell

“While the organ peeled potatoes…” the blend of voices included my mom and school-aged twin sons. “Lard was rendered by the choir. As the sexton rang the dish rag, someone set the church on fire!”

My young sons rolled in their beds with laughter. ‘“Holy smokes!’ the preacher cried,” they all continued singing, “in the rain he lost his hair.” More chuckling.

You would never have guessed her age because Jeane, rejuvenated by a purpose, had became the auxiliary parent helping me to raise her twin grandsons. They had been born not long after she had been widowed.

Jeane lived with a sense of humor and advised all to “Exit laughing.” In spite of the grief of losing a husband, grown son and young-adult grandson, she looked for ways to laugh.

In her cookbook for one, for example, Jeane added her quips under the “Empty Nest Advantage:”
“Nobody starves when you skip a meal.”
“Cobwebs no longer make you feel guilty.”
“It is easier to live with muddy footprints on the clean kitchen floor if they are your own.”
“No kayak paddles clobber you whenever you open the closet door.”

She focused on the very things that Paul advised in Philippians 4:8: “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.” [NIV] Jeane would have added, “Whatever is funny….”

My mom counted her blessings, savoring quality time and memories with her grandsons as their three voices bidding good night finished the silly song, “Now his head resembles heaven, for there is no parting there.”

Jeane had modeled the peace that comes from God. She deliberately chose laughter and a good attitude through life’s journey.

What is the best kind of attitude adjustment you can make today?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]