November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

It is a blessed day today here in sunny and mild, Phoenix. The sun is shining, and the sky is clear. It is Thanksgiving Day, 2016, and I am feeling well, really well. I woke up refreshed, and I feel ready to tackle my ever-long to-do list today. Yes, it is a National Holiday, but since my family is not cooking today, I am using this day for catch up on my school work and my dissertation project. I have no time to spare these days, so every free day, is a work day for me.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have to spend the day with friends and family. I have had a blessed week already. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of helping my cousin, a professor on the East Coast, with a student paper. I was so happy to be asked to help her with some APA style questions. I am starting to really see my life come into focus these days. The work load is a challenge for me, but God has made a way for me, and He is blessing me with blessings beyond blessings. I cannot even describe the way I feel today, just in knowing that I am doing the very thing I have wanted to do, desired to do, and waited so long to do. God has honored my prayer to become a professor, and now after so many years, I am able to do this amazing and wonderful work. He is amazingly good to me. He is so very, very good!

Moreover, as I think about all that I have to be thankful this good day, I must remember to say that I am thankful for His gracious provision. He has made a way for me to work almost full-time and still complete my research. Yes, I am pushed, pulled, and poured out most days, but God be praised, I am content to be where I am. He has made a way for me, and that way is not easy, for sure. It is difficult. It is a challenge. But, through it all, it is His desire for me, and I can sense it. I can feel His good pleasure when I do it. I know that I am where I belong, right here and now, and while I may grumble a bit about being in Phoenix and not someplace else, in truth, I am very happy to be in the palm of my Lord’s hand, and to know that He has me so well-covered this good, good day.

A Fresh Look for Me

Work aside, I am playing some (as in kicking back and enjoying the blessed rest). Yesterday, I spent the afternoon shelling out another $100 for Lenny (my goldfish). I have been vacillating over a tank upgrade for six months now, and finally was pushed to do something about it. Since Saturday, he has been bottom sitting (the term used when a goldfish spends most of its time laying on the gravel at the bottom of the tank). Bottom sitting is often the result of overfeeding, an imbalance in the water’s PH or illness, among other things. Lenny appears fine. He swims and then sits for a time. I have followed the Goldfish Guide to the tee, and the only thing left to do is to give him more swim room. He is stressed and not ill (as far as I can tell).

So in between my grading yesterday, and my grocery shopping, I managed to squeeze in a trip to PetsMart. Thankfully, I found a 20-gallon tank on sale. I also stopped at Walmart, and I picked up a small unit for the new tank to sit on. A 20-gallon tank with water will weigh about 200 pounds. I needed something sturdy, but also useful to me, since I am living in about 110 square feet of space. I found this nifty shelf/cube storage unit at Walmart on sale (oh, how I love pre-Black Friday sales). I’ve been thinking about making some changes to my room lately, and I couldn’t make my mind up whether I needed a new dresser or another bookcase. This unit is very sturdy, and thanks to my Dad, it is almost assembled and ready to be put into place. I will either use it for books or I will purchase some baskets and use it for extra storage. Either way, it should support the new tank well. I laugh when I think of the money I have spent on this little fish! I mean, he is not even “my fish,” but he belongs to my nephew. He has made his home in my room for the past three years, so I guess, he is now my “adopted fish.”

This morning, after waking up and feeling better, I enjoyed our family’s tradition of cinnamon rolls and coffee while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After a little while, I ended up in my room, on Pinterest no less, and then found my way to Kohls where I did some more shopping. I rarely do this, but lately, I have felt that my room needed some spiffying up. I am, after all, almost a full-time professor, and as such, I often have to make video presentations for my students. My fluffy and floral-ly quilt screams “bedroom” to me, so I decided to invest in some new bed linens in the hope that the backdrop will look more “guestroom/office” than sleeping space. When all is said and done, I hope to create a really formal space like this picture I pinned on Pinterest.

I was able to make the most of the Black Friday sales at Kohls, all without leaving my home, today. I saved over $350 while I purchased some long-wanted and needed items. I found a really nice down-alternative comforter for 60% off. I bought some white sheets, camel colored pillow shams, and a white coverlet that were marked down 75% off. Then with my Kohl’s cash and the special Black Friday discount, I saved an additional $50 at the checkout. I still have a few extra items to order from Ikea, but for now, my bed is almost complete. I plan to redecorate with new pictures and a freshly painted headboard (it is currently a sage green, but will be sprayed black this weekend). In all, my room should look more “designer fashion,” and less smashed together, like it has been. 

I am really pleased to be able to buy some things for my room. I so miss decorating my own space, and for the past three years, my focus has been on school, school, and more school. In this way, I am finally able to spend a little bit of money on “me” and that makes me feel good. I am still thinking about a new desk, but for now, I am okay with getting Lenny settled in a new tank and changing the look of my bed. At some point, I think I will buy a desk that matches the “look of the room.” My design style is Pottery Barn, but of course, I cannot afford their furniture. Ikea makes some really good items that are similar, so I am thinking of replicating this look, but using far less expensive items. My goal is to create a more transitional space with less of a “bedroom” feel to it. Unfortunately, with an 11x11 room, I have little space to really develop my own style. I will do my best, but for now, I think adding in some elements to “grow” up the space will do just fine.

I rarely invest in myself. I mostly spend money on other people, and it is not as if I have a lot of money to spend, but there are just times when one has to make decisions, and sometimes those decisions, come at a cost.

In Closing

It is a great day to give thanks to the Lord. I am blessed, favored, and safely living under His banner of sufficiency and provision. I give all thanks to my God and my King this good, good day. Everything I have is because of His grace, thus, I can take no credit in anything I have done. This is a good day to bring the Lord of the Harvest all our first-fruits, all our bounty. I rejoice with the family of God as we celebrate His blessed provision, and as we remember His goodness toward us, His grace and His mercy, and His constant friendship and love. He is good, so very good. All the time, He is good. He is good — all the time!

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