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Sunday, November 26, 2006

thanksgiving bouquet closeup

Sunday Post ~ "Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving." -- W. T. Purkiser

Psalm 118:1

I love this quote. I think I could use a daily reminder, not so much to count my blessings -- that, I do -- but to use them well. Sometimes I do OK. I was blessed to feel well enough to go to my niece's wedding, at which she blessed me with the bouquet pictured here (and on Thanksgiving), one of her centerpieces. I enjoyed it so much, and was so thankful for the circumstances surrounding it, that I thought it the perfect symbol to use in my Thanksgiving "thank you" to all of you.

Yesterday I was blessed to feel well enough, for long enough, to enjoy a delightful afternoon with the beautiful mrtl and her has-to-be-beautiful-'cause-she-looks-just-like-mama daughter, Bug, who are visiting family here from Alaska. A movie, a couple of spins on a carousel, coffee, ice cream, a little conversation, a little kid-watching, a trip to Build-a-Bear, a lot of hugs (thanks to all who sent proxy hugs via mrtl, she did deliver). And Bug gifted me with, shall we say, a rodent's derriere, attached to a smartly dressed rest-of-a-rodent. Truly a blessed day, for which I am thankful. Using the memories of that blessing to inspire much thankfulness today.

All this blessing-talk and mrtl-talk calls to mind a little thing that mrtl and I have had going. mrtl has opined, a time or two, about religious types telling people "have a blessed day." Not one of her favorite things to hear. So I say it to her when the spirit moves me, just to be ornery. It's not something I say to anyone but mrtl. Some time ago, conversation about that expression prompted me to tell mrtl about a woman I know on whose answering machine is the greeting, "The Jesus in me loves the Jesus in you." I think I know what she means by that. But what if the caller has no Jesus in them? Indeed, doesn't want any Jesus in them? And do those of us who claim Jesus-in-residence only love others who claim the same? I thought a more fitting, indeed, more Christ-like greeting would be, "The Jesus in me loves the hell outta you." mrtl liked that one better, too. So that's what's on my answering machine (OK, now I'm just messing with you).

40 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger Ortizzle said...

Great answering machine line! You could do a revised version for telemarketers: I don't wanna buy anything, but the Jesus in me loves the hell outta you anyway!

Thanks, as usual, for the Sunday cheer.

 
Blogger Nina said...

Okay I’m so jealous that you all got together and I wasn’t there too. But I am also so thankful that you felt well enough and got together. Thanks Mrtl for giving Susie hugs from the rest of us. I am soooo thankful you all had a wonderful time!

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

*thinks it might be fun to reply to these greetings with slightly inappropriate sounding song lyrics. "Have a blessed day" might get "ok, but I thank the Lord for the nighttime." And maybe "The Jesus in me loves the Jesus in you" might get “Devil inside, devil inside, every single one of us the devil insi-ide” *


*ducks*

 
Blogger Squirl said...

The "have a blessed day" gets on my nerves, too, sometimes. I know I shouldn't feel that way, it just seems that the people who say it act kinda holier than thou.

I'm glad you got to see mrtl, while I'm jealous, too. One of these days we are going to get together, darnit!

Love and hugs!

 
Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

That's funny, my answering machine just says "I'm naked right now - even Jesus doesn't love that."

Glad you and mrtl had a groovy time...Squirl and I are gonna have to come over there and kidnap you one of these days. We are together and conspiring this weekend...you should be frightened.

 
Blogger eclectic said...

Lucky you, lucky Mrtl! That Miss Bug is beyond beautiful! So glad you had that opportunity and were able to enjoy it.

The "blessed day" just amuses me, because most people I know who use it -- or similar expressions -- seem to have a narrow view of what constitutes a "blessing." Onetime I responded (situationally specific) with, "Why thank you, but I've already had a beer today!" This was not well received, and I felt a little bad about it later...

 
Blogger Momentarily_Distracted said...

*LOL @ Mr. Bloggerific himself and Eclectic*
Reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker...

In large print:
JESUS LOVES YOU
in small print underneath:
(everyone else thinks you're an a**hole)

Seriously though, I'm glad you had a wonderful day. You are pretty darn awesome, if you don't mind me saying so.
Now, is there any way we can see a photo of your new rodent? Inquiring minds need to know...
;o)

 
Blogger Lynn said...

Susie, I am thrilled that you felt well and enjoyed your time with mrtl. I, too, would love to see the rat! What a cool gift!

 
Blogger The other me said...

Funny, we grew up with 'blessed' being a sort of curse word, "Blessed thing!" ( pronounced bless-said" ) so if you put it like that....well thanks a lot matey, same to you! I always think of myself as being quite spiritual but somehow keep it to myself, it sounds so holier than thou and self righteous to think you have the right to bless others ..and on an answering machine? No, let's not!!

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know from some very wise people,
being thankful sometimes is hard. But
if we all look really hard we do have something to be thankful for.

I always thought the "blessing thing",
was a "Southern thing".

May we all find something in life to
be thankful about.

 
Blogger Susie said...

First, why is Toby Keith in my google ads?

ortizzle, I'll have to try that one ;)

nina, I'm very thankful, too. That is my second internet date with mrtl. She's the only online person I've met so far, and she's really an excellent specimen for me to say to Jif, "See, people online aren't wackos." He and LG and our nieces got to meet her and Bug, and it was a very nice afternoon.

mrB, hopefully if you said those things to a "blesser," they'd just pray for you ;)

squirl, truth be told, I find it a little annoying, too. I always wonder just what they mean by that. And anyhow, more often than not, I've already informed myself that my day IS blessed, regardless of circumstances, so I'm already good in the blessed day department. I'm sure we'll meet someday.

bucky, Jesus loves the little
Buckies of the world . . . I'm working on lyrics, but so far, they're not ones that would make both Jesus and you happy -- there's a challenge, don't you think? ;)
I am a little frightened. I'll get my affairs in order.

eclectic, yea, I know. I HAVE said -- and this isn't entirely nice -- "I hope your day gets better..." after someone has been unnecessarily rude/lazy/unpleasant to me, usually in a service situation. Sometimes when I have to say something, it beats, "Why are you so horrid?!"

MoDis, ask, and ye shall receive. See flickr for the rodent's derriere. mrtl helped Bug get it at the mall. She couldn't find a rat, except that someone suggested she go to the pet store, get a real one, and have it taxidermied up for me! I thanked her for going with the rat's relative instead :)
And that is MY favorite bumper sticker, too :)

t.o.m., I have relatives who use "bless-ed" that way, too, now that you mention it. Your spirit comes through without blessing anyone electronically :)

anonymous, I agree, there's always SOMETHING for which to be thankful. I know "bless your heart" is a Southern thing. I think plain ol' blessings are pretty universal.

 
Blogger Platypus said...

Have a blessed day? I haven't come across that here - I think it would cause mass faintings and general consternation. We're far to reserved for that. Even in church when we say 'peace be with you' you usually get a polite little handshake rather than anything else. The other week at the school it was mass huggings galore - the husbands looked amused/excited/scared all at the same time!

Lovely Sunday post as usual though. I should count my blessings. I'll try harder. :0)

 
Anonymous Undercover Mutha said...

Well, if it's not on your answering machine, then I'm going to go put it on mine. Hug, hug, hugs to you. I'm trying to catch up on my reading since starting the new job.

 
Anonymous ~Kabe said...

From being part of the puddle-jumping joys and the bouquet to hearing that you're feeling up to movies and carousels and outings with Miss mrtl and the Sweetie Bug?

Happy, happy, happy!

And mrtl's hugs? They're the REAL thing! None of that tap-tap on the back, air-kiss kinda junk. I'm sure hers were filled with extra-special blove-ly goodness, too!

 
Blogger Amy said...

Oh! So cool that you got to meet Miss Mrtl herself and Bug! So glad for you!

Honestly Susie, If I won the lottery (and it could still happen) I would pay for ALL your blogger kin to come one at a time to spend an afternoon with you. I would even pay for different outfits from every single person for your rat. Even the leather and studded one that Bucky would pick out.

 
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

The Purkiser quotation is excellent.

I find the words “blessed” and “blessing” worthy of note. Several years ago I connected “blessing” with the Navajo ceremony, The Blessing Way, which used to restore equilibrium to the cosmos. So I perceive a “blessing” to be the desire for one to be in harmony with the universe. One is “blessed” when he/she realized that all is in balance.

 
Blogger Susie said...

platypus, I think "have a blessed day" is what happened when the evangelicals commandeered the ubiquitous "have a nice day." A lot of people at my church hug when we "pass the peace." I think husbands getting amused/excited/scared is a very good thing ;)

mutha, put it on yours, then gimme your number :) I hope the job is going well. I haven't seen the little star showing you've updated, but I'll come see anyway. xxx

~kabe, mrtl's hugs are indeed first-class :) You know this from IRL experience?

amy, I do so hope you win the lottery! Spending time with mrtl and Bug was very good medicine.

ssnick, equilibrium would be most welcome around here right now. I did a little workshop on blessing some years back. One definition that has stuck with me is "set apart by God as especially favored." This conversation makes me want to revisit the research I did at that time. Thanks for that. Better than most of the research I've been doing lately. And more productive, too, I'm sure.

 
Blogger WILLIAM said...

I wonder if Jesus' answering machine just says, "I love you. Leave a message. BEEEEEEP."

 
Blogger Traci said...

Susie, I am so happy to hear about your lovely gift! I went to mrtl's site last night for the first time and you are right...those babies are adorable! What a cool present they brought you too! I wanna see a pic...just like everyone else here! I'm glad you felt well enough to be out and about my friend. Peace.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Susie, Jesus loves you, but I'm his favorite. ;)

And Jesus' answering machine says "I'm sorry, I'm busy with another sinner right now... please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can..."

 
Anonymous LadyBug said...

I'm totally and completely jealous that you and mrtl got to meet face-to-face. But I'm also thrilled for you both. Sounds like a wonderful afternoon. Did LG go with you?

Love, hugs, and prayers to you, Miss Susie.

 
Blogger WILLIAM said...

Actuall CK, Jesus' probably has the whole voice mail option thing going.

"If you are a sinner Press 1. If you are calling for grace press 2. Miracles press 3. Holy spirit press 4. If you are a bill collector forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors. If you would like to leave a message in the genral delivery mailbox please press #0."

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

William - You're good...

 
Blogger Susie said...

william, I think that's it, but something other than beeeeep, because that could be taken the wrong way :)

traci, I just got to meet Bug. Jem was with Grandmom. There's a pic of the rodent's derriere in flickr. I have a few pix from the carousel ride, but Jif was the photog, and although I love him dearly, the pix suck, with only one or two exceptions.

ck, heh, I like that. But the answering machine says, "I'm busy right now with Circus Kelli..."

ladybug, thanks, honey. I was so happy to get to do it, and to make it through the afternoon. I lost my voice on the way home in the car, but that was fine by me. It was me, Jif, LG and our two nieces, Miss Beautiful and Cindy Lou Who, and mrtl and Bug :) I had had dinner with mrtl about a year and a half (GAH!) ago, so we each knew the other wasn't an axe murderer and were willing to risk our families' lives to meet again :)

william, that kinda talk will get you detention in your theology Ph.D. program! Ain't no way Jesus is annoying like that!

ck! No, he's BAD!

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

(Psst - William -- "If you were born with original sin, press #1. If you've just acquired sin over the years, press #2. If you're sure you're going to hell, press #3. If you'd like to check your "going to hell status, press #4...")

 
Blogger dashababy said...

CK, that was funny, good one.

Susie, I love your commenters.

 
Blogger WILLIAM said...

...."If you are Circus Kelli press 666."...

 
Blogger Susie said...

ck, "if you think you are acquiring sin in these comments, press #5..."

dashababymama, I love them, too, including you :)

william, better press #4, just to be sure...

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Nah... I'm more like "333". I'm only half evil. ;)

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

*thinks being on hold when calling Heaven might be a little like purgatory*

*wonders about the TV commercial scenerio where your cell phone looses it's connection and God thinks you hung up on him*

*wonders if it's a sin to txt in your requests*

*wonders if you can upgrade your plan to cover your friends and family*

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

*thinks it's probably a sin to cover thy neighbor's camera phone*

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Cover, covet... *rolls eyes*

 
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

*thinks the hold music for Heaven must sound like Barry Mannilow*

*thinks the hold music for Hell must sound like Barry Mannilow*

 
Blogger Squirl said...

Mr B, I think you have a Barry good point.

 
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Wait a minute.....How about: "If there's Jesus in you there's chocolate chips in me." I guess you could claim Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, too.

 
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Good one, Squirl! :D

 
Blogger Lynn said...

If you believe you are destined for purgatory, please hold and the next available operator will assist you...

 
Blogger Susie said...

ck, keep working on it, though, you'll get your score up :)

mrB, you're just covered in covetousness, aren't you? I wish for a camera phone, too.

squirl, Barry punny :)

hoss, that's very sweet. And nutty.

ck, um, HI!

lynn, those voicemail quagmires feel like purgatory, or worse. I especially enjoy them when I'm calling a doctor's office :(

 
Blogger Mainline Mom said...

Oh another great post! Very lucky of you and mrtl to get to spend some time together :)

 
Blogger mrtl said...

I love that I struck on the blessing thing in the post I'm writing and here you are with it, too.

You're such a tease with the answering machine line. I was about to grab the phone.

p.s. Kabe, Jem and I had a lovely lunch one day last May when she was in town.

 


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