Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year!

As you read this, I would imagine the new year of 2022 has already been dismissed and 2023 has been welcomed.  So I'm simply stopping by to wish you and yours great blessings for the year ahead.

We had one especially amazing event that marked 2022 for us - Olivia Rae McGhee made her debut in July.  We are grateful for God's protection over baby Olivia and Mama Kristin.  While she started with a troublesome breathing issue, that seems to have gotten much better.  We seldom hear the gasping sound she used to make and trust me, we mark it with gratitude.

Thanks be to God, Joy's cancer surgery went well.  She had sixteen malignant lymph nodes out of the nineteen they removed so there will be follow up this spring to assure no additional growth of malignant cells.  And while she suffered several months with shoulder and neck pain post-surgery, she is now working with a pain management specialist at Moffitt.  One more point of gratitude.

Our Smith tribe is celebrating a recent job change for Nathan.  After seven years with the Publix corporation, he has transitioned into working as an independent contractor serving Duke energy.  This was also the launching of a home school program for the Smith children.  They are loving the freedom and creativity.

We've had several surgical procedures.  Processed a serious hospitalization of my dad; a heart issue with Mom Hawley; numerous health trials for our church members; and the unexpected passing of two members.  Truthfully, it began to feel like each month brought its own trouble.  But we made it to December 31 and we continue to whisper, "Thank You, Lord."

I certainly didn't want to miss the opportunity to also say Thank You for faithfully stopping by for little visits with Embrace the Grace.  You have kept me writing this year although in a more limited way.  I pray each of you has someone who periodically stops by to encourage your dreams, too.

Today, I read of a great plan you might like, as well.  One of my friends has identified an empty mason jar as her Gratitude Jar.  She cut strips of colorful paper and secured a special pen.  Her plan involves a quiet moment at the end of each week during this coming year.  She plans to record a highlight, blessing or miracle from that week on one of the slips of paper then add it to the Gratitude Jar.  Next New Year's Eve, she will spend time reading back over the 52 miracles she may have otherwise forgotten.   

I'm looking for a suitable jar, how about you?

One thing I know of life - Grateful people are Happier people.  We don't have to be overly optimistic and we don't have to ignore reality.  But choosing to turn the diamond and see the blessing even in the difficulty is a worthwhile choice.  

Let me stop with my rambling.  I thank you for reading.  I pray blessings for your coming year.  I am grateful to be a small part of your life.  

Happy New Year, Friends!  Happy New Year!


  1. Hi friend! This really has been quite the year for you guys with changes and challenges all around.

    A gratitude jar sounds like just the ticket; love that idea.

    Thanks for continuing to post. I never read what you write without being challenged, amused, inspired, or changed. Love you.

    1. Thanks, Becky. I feel the same way about Smithellaneous. You are a blessing! (Exclamation point required. :-) )

  2. Happy New Year to you and your family, dear Sheri!
    Wow, you guys came through a lot of challenges in 2022. It was encouraging to read of God's faithfulness and of your decision to trust Him and remain grateful. You all are truly an inspiration.
    Thank you as always for your writing throughout the year.

    Love, Deb Mantik

    1. Deb, you are a generous friend and I appreciate your words of encouragement. Blessings to you all for 2023!