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Beginning with my doorbell ringing on Saturday morning, June 12th, and going through hugging goodby to a bunch of family folks on Friday, June 18th, my whole week was just packed with wonderful blessings.

When I opened the door to see who had rung the bell, there stood our oldest granddaughter Allie and her sister Penelope. Allie, as you may recall, just finished her sophomore year at Lipscomb University in Nashville. She had a terrible fall in early March and broke her back in several places, narrowly escaping paralysis. Because of a number of unfortunate circumstances, we had not seen her since her accident. It was the most amazing blessing to see her standing there, to be able to hug her, and to determine IN PERSON that she was healing and apparently going to be okay. What an answer to many, many prayers! The girls were having some sister time and decided to stop by for a visit.

I had a couple of good writing days, making progress on my upcoming book "100 Things to Do in Huntsville and North Alabama Before You Die," AND my latest article about Sanibel Island was published in The Alabama Baptist, a state newspaper with the 2nd largest circulation in the state. Woohoo!

On Wednesday, my hairdresser worked her magic in attempting to conceal ever-increasing gray, and I had a long, leisurely lunch with Janet, a wonderful friend, which ended with us sharing this lovely dessert -- Pineapple Upside Down Carrot Cake. Yummo!!

I went to the post office to mail a package and was delighted to see the person who came in and stood behind me in line. It was Bro. A. Ray Lee, long-time pastor in Morgan County who performed mine and Steve's wedding ceremony 50 years and 3 months ago. He looks GREAT! Still serving God and appears to be in good health. What a blessing for so many people.

Our son called on Thursday wanting to make plans for himself and 2 of his kids to spend Friday with Steve and me. A special Father's Day weekend serendipity to be sure.

The boys fished, while Birti and I baked a cake, did some prep for Cousins Camp, and shopped on Main Street in Hartselle. No doubt the absolute BEST part of the week was learning that Birti had given her heart to Jesus at a camp last week. The church sponsoring the camp was going to have a baptism celebration, but Birti said, "No, I want my daddy to baptize me at our church." Can you see my eyes glistening as I type those words? God orchestrated every step of bringing Birti from Ethiopia to the U.S. . . . and to our family . . . and to Himself. Thank you, God.

When they returned (fishless, I'm afraid), we headed out to Somerville where daughter Julie and her husband live with their 9 children to celebrate grandson Sam's 10th birthday. They were an excited group. Wow!!! We ate cake, watched Sam open his presents, and laughed uproariously. So many hugs and smiles.

Not all weeks are like that.

Some weeks go by when the list of blessings looks a little slim -- at least in comparison to the week I've just described.

During that same week, I had friends and loved ones who had sadness, fears, uncertainties, and pain. I've had weeks like that myself. Maybe that's why I want to acknowledge and be extra grateful when a string of very good things happen in my life.

What about you? What kind of week have you had? Was yours filled with good things, or was it one where the good things were a little hard to come by? I believe in being honest and transparent with you and with God. He, after all, knows what's in our hearts anyway, right? I thank God for these blessings, and I ask Him to make me grateful at ALL times.

Psalm 107:1 -- "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."

Psalm 34:8 -- "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."

Ecclesiastes 8:15 -- "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun."

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 -- "A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?"

Just a quick note. Sunday, June 27th, begins the 14th Annual Pearson Cousins Camp. We'll have 11 campers (grandchildren ages 6-16) with us for a week. We would very much appreciate your prayers for health, safety, and a great week of bonding and memory-making. Stay tuned for photos and results.

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