View from Longings End 2013 in photos…a year of thankful moments

MELTING SUN

It’s the year that was and the year that will never again be.

And all that’s left and lasting of 2013 are the thankful moments stored in memory.

Because all the moments of all our days are but a wisp of Camelot soon to fade away. Fragile and passing. And that is why it’s important to stay fully present in each moment, grateful to God always, not overlooking any of His gifts.

And I counted 1000 gifts with Ann Voskamp and her community last year and in thanking her for consistently reminding us that it is indeed the will of God that we give Him thanks in all things, I penned these words:

When I began counting last January I wasn’t convinced it would make a difference. Was I wrong! Taking your dare to find the joy, along with several other wise choices, has changed the focus of my heart. It took months though before I could really feel the joy — regardless of circumstances — down deep in my bones. Late in the year as an afternoon was fading, I walked outside to see a huge, blood orange sun sinking…and my heart soared. And I knew. Counting the gifts not only counts for eternity, but is a priceless gift today.

SHEILA KIMBALL 1000 GIFTS 2013 - Copy

Gifts large and small were recorded in a humble little notebook, and the joy was double-fold. First in the moment of the particular joy and then again as I read through the journal at the end of 2013. If you haven’t started counting yet, hurry on over and check out Ann’s dare for 2014.

And now some snapshots of moments captured in 2013 with so much gratitude. And thanking you for grace in letting me share more than a few.

SUNRISE IN SNOW Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

God’s mercies are new every morning.

QUININE Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Ice and quinine for sore muscles from too many hours hunched over the keyboard.

JANUARY KIMMI VISIT

Visit from a sweet friend and her giving us private yoga lessons with stretches that helped.

BEAR Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And another sweet friend all cuddly and cute.

VALENTINES 2013

Romantic dinner — eaten in pajamas!! — complete with a pineapple upside down cake, my Valentine’s favorite.

GOLDEN SNOW Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Pristine snow all golden like the moments.

FEBRUARY NEMO SHOVELING Copyright 2013 SHeila Kimball

Except maybe when Nemo dumps more than a foot and you don’t own a snow blower. While hard on my husband’s back we reflect on that storm and are thankful for the closeness shared over bread warm from the oven, a snack in the wee hours once the driveway was cleared.

SUGAR FEST Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Maple sugaring in the woods on a frosty March morning brightens winter’s gloom.

MARCH MAPLE SUGARING

Where we sample spun maple syrup much less sweet than cotton candy, but just as much fun to eat.

MARCH ROSES

Harbinger of spring, a fragrant surprise.

HEARTLIGHT Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And dust dancing in sunbeams stretching late in the afternoon, vernal scent upon the breeze.

APRIL 60 ROCKS

My man rockin a milestone birthday with blessings too numerous to count.

POETS WALK Copyright 2013

And a stroll along Poet’s Walk to celebrate.

DEW Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

After April showers, beautiful May flowers.

MAY VISIT

And my son travels East, celebrating a May birthday together.

CICADAS Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

While making the best of an invasion, armies singing loudly long into the summer night.

US ON BRIDGE

Until we escape to our beloved Walkway Over the Hudson remembering the day we first met.

JET BLUE

Later in June Jet Blue brings babies grown from afar.

MATT TIFF JUNE 2013

My son and his bride. We brunch together on vintage plates and I hold every moment shared close in heart. Precious! And our hearts encircle other family members just met and still others reunited with in backyard brimming with babies and lots of hugs and laughter.

BOARDWALK BRIDGE Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And summer beckons us to where we began in July 2011.

SHEILA and SAILOR

Him asking me to pose just like I did on our honeymoon.

HAMMOND 4

Celebrating our special day in an enchanted castle by the sea.

MICHAEL SPLIT

And always sharing a banana split built for two.

READING SCRIPTURE

With hearts beating as one and ever grateful to God on a drippy Sunday worshipping riverside en plein air.

HOUSE FOR SALE

Yet the house still hasn’t sold, and we continue being grateful, trusting that God’s ways are higher than ours and His timing always perfect.

LAKE-TACONIC-Aug-21-2013

And with sand between our toes we warm in the sun during our annual day at the lake.

LE DANCE

And we keep counting the blessings of life together, dancing jazz late into a rainy August evening.

FERRIS PIZZA

We dance some more at the county fair as September shines down. Him taking me in his arms as we walk back to our car, day spent, and us twirling while a  Texas two-step sounds loud from the bandstand.

IN HIS HAND

Life, this precious, blessed, fleeting gift, is glorious whether old or new.

SEPTEMBER HFF

And brothers by blood and the blood of Jesus bond with Dad, hearts entwined.

SHENENDOAH 1

Then a sweet ride home along Skyline Drive.

SHENENDOAH 4

With God’s beauty breathtaking.

TOWER

And a new year beginning in October with a beautiful day in Bolten for my birthday.

BL DIAMONDS

Sonlight dancing like diamonds on the lake.

1 CORINTHIANS 13

And a special gift found in a quaint and charming shop.

CHIPSTER OCTOBER 2013 - Copy

While Chipster waits for our return on the front steps at home.

SANCTUARY 1

Another sunny morning in my prayer closet, a BREAKOUT from a remnant of unforgiveness in our year of that one word.

LOVEBIRDS

We live, laugh and love with special friends one November weekend.

The CALVINATOR

And their sweet pup Calvin, aka The Calvinator, guards the door. It’s no wonder they always leave their’s unlocked!

EASTON AT BIRTH

And our biggest Thanksgiving blessing arrives early, a tiny new bundle of boy, my first great nephew and the first great grandchild!

DECEMBER MICHAEL & BEN

My son comes home for the holidays one week before Christmas.

DECEMBER BENS CAKE

And bakes my Michael a cake to “ease the pain” of long awaited sinus surgery the next morning. Thank you, Lord, that all went well and Michael is breathing freely!

BEN AND GRAM DEC 2013

When we surprise Gram on Christmas Eve morning she starts to cry. It’s been a long two years.

POLKA DOT SNOW

Polka dot snow leaves a sugar coating.

KYLEs TREE 2013

Creating a magical winter wonderland.

DEVOTIONS

And Christmas dawns dear with thanks to our Father for so many good gifts.

HEART CRY BOX

A few days later Heart Cry arrives. My very first book for sale at Longings End. A 2013 goal accomplished!

SNOW BRIGHT NEW YEAR 14

And 2014 begins all snow white bright.

So we lift up hearts gladly heavy with the fullness of gratitude for gifts and grace and moments that were gifts disguised as stretching.  And may our gratitude go beyond just counting to the doing of good for goodness sake to please the One who is truly good.

Asking Father for continued mercy for us and all those we love in the coming year and beyond, keeping us close in heart no matter the miles.

And praying for you, dear reader, who follows us here at our earthly Longings End. May our words of healing love and hope and faith bless your heart in these coming twelve months.

God bless us, everyone and God willing…

BEST IS YET TO BE

Thank you, precious Lord. Let the counting continue.

~sheila

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6 thoughts on “View from Longings End 2013 in photos…a year of thankful moments

  1. What an absolutely beautiful post! Wow, your family is so blessed that you collect and preserve these photos and memories, sheila! What a year! I do remember some of these photos from following you through the year…some are new, but all are wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing! Love the look back at 2013 and your words as well!
    Peace

  2. Thanks so much, Chris. I am glad you enjoyed it. Michael and I were just talking about how much we enjoyed this post — a recap of our year. So we are going to go back and create a post (probably private since it will be “old news”) for 2012 and July through December 2011. And then do this annually — a journal of sorts of our years together. God is good and we are so very grateful for all His blessings, thanking Him for His mercy and kindness towards us. Blessings to you and yours for the New Year, too, Chris. PS I LOVED the shots of your boys with the bears!! 🙂

  3. Dear Sheila
    I am back in the land of blog after a 2 week break when my Hubbie was on leave. I want to wish Michael and you the best for 2014, dear friend. Thank you for taking us on this great photo journey. It was a real treat. Sheila, I am so proud of you for having your book published. Yes, our Pappa surely took all your suffering and worked it out for your good. I also had a great Christmas gift last year; my oldest son got engaged. Of course, I can already see the grandchildren running around in my mind’s eye!
    Blessings and love XX
    Mia

  4. Such a sweet post and pictures.

    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays, Sheila.

    Blessings

    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions