Sunday, January 12, 2014

In a blink

So it looks like I inadvertently took the month of December off from blogging.  So I enter back to the blogging world with my daughter's 6th birthday!  Six years old...I can hardly believe it.  It really does seem like they grow in a blink of an eye.  I wasn't there at her birth - I didn't even know she was born - but God knew.  And as much as I miss those precious newborn months with her,  I know God's timing is perfect.
She is growing in a beautiful young lady and words on a blog couldn't express my love for her sweet little face and her sweet heart.  So today we celebrate Tess and her 6 years!

Joah's reluctant, "Tess is 6" message

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Challenge Complete! Days 28 - 30

Well here we are on the last day of November and I have completed my self-imposed 30 day Thankful challenge.  Although not executed to perfection it was completed and that was my goal.  To stop and think about 30 things, big and small that I am truly grateful for.  They have ranged from candles to sweet friendship and back to smaller less "significant" things such a glue sticks.  But that was my point,  life if full of things that should make us pause, if only for the time it takes to write a blog post, and say "thank you Father!"

So we are down to the last 3 days.  My previous post was my thankfulness for all things family, so continuing with that theme let me finish well.

Day 28 - My Groom
This December we will have been married 19 years.  When I think back over those years I think I could use one word to describe our relationship.  Steadfast -  Firmly loyal or constant; unswerving.   
I know it's not a very romantic or sappy word to describe our marriage but it fits us.  And because this is a post about Brent I think it also fits him well.   Today, more than ever, I appreciate and admire this quality in my husband.  Through many days, good and bad, Brent has been constant and loyal.  He fights the fight of faith with an unswerving allegiance to Father...even when he doesn't not understand his path at times.   He is fiercely loyal to me and his children.  He would defend, protect and provide  for us even if it means he goes without or it puts him in a tough situation - without hesitation.   He is strong and dependable.  If Brent tells you he will do something, he will do it.  He is generous.  He is an introvert and thinks before he speaks.  He writes well and is one of my favorite teachers.   He is disciplined and determined.   Many words to describe him and in all these things, he is constant.  I love him and am full of thankfulness that God gifted me with him.  

For Brent's family I am also thankful.  Just like on my side I also have oodles of nephews and one sweet little niece whom I love.  I love my sis-in-laws and brother in laws and wish we got to spend more time together. Every time I am with Tami or Cara I tend to laugh... ALOT.  They are fun, beautiful and good mamas.   I'm thankful for Brent's mom and dad.  For without them, I would have no Brent.  I don't ever have to worry about leaving Brent on his own for awhile - his mama taught him how to care for himself, wash clothes, do dishes, cook.  They steered in him in the right direction and for that I'm thankful.  

Day 29 - My new heart
God saved me when I was younger.  He found me, rescued & adopted me and gave me a new heart.  He made me alive by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is the reason I can be thankful.  His son took the brunt of my sin and now when God looks at me he sees his son's righteousness.  What a gift to truly be thankful for.  

Day 30 - The Rescuer 
So this is how I will close my thankful challenge.  By remembering that a rescuer came for me - a rescuer clothed in human flesh come to earth as a tiny baby.  How fitting to begin the month of December.  By remembering and being thankful for "God With Us".  Words often fail me so I will leave you with this from The Storybook Bible.

Because God loves us with a Never Stopping, 
Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, 
Always and Forever Love - 
Heaven is breaking through!
He is sending us Light from Heaven
To shine on us like the sun
To shine on those who live in darkness
And in the shadow of death
To guide our feet into the way of peace. 

And that, my friends, is by far the greatest thing to be thankful for! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Days 25-27 Some of my BIG Thankfuls

So I was purposely saving my BIG thankfuls until the end of this challenge.  And the end is upon us, well the end to my 30 day thanksgiving challenge that is so here goes.

Day 25 - My siblings 
As much as we are different, we are the same.  We all are believers - we all value family - we all know that mom & dad instilled valuable lessons and taught us to love God above all - we all enjoy steamed crabs and a good spread on the table and we all, despite our differences, love one another.  I am thankful for each one of them for I have learned something different from each.

My sister Suzanne -  has shown me how to work hard and teach your children how to be independent and grateful.

Davey has shown me that through deep hardships and struggles that Jesus still holds us in the palm of his hand.  And that you're never to old to be a little goofy.

John has shown me how to care for and love those that can't care for themselves - adult and child alike. And that you're never to old to be a little goofy.  ;)

Danny has shown me that whatever "plow" you put your hand on to work, you do it well and with all your might.  And that you're never to old to be a little goofy!

And I would be amiss if I did not mention that I am also thankful for those that each one of my siblings is married to.  They do not complete them, for they are complete in Christ, but they do compliment them.  Strong to gentle - a little more vocal to quiet - outspoken to reserved and so on.  And don't try and figure out whose qualities the above refer to...I just wanted to keep my siblings guessing. (if any of them read this. ;)  )  I don't consider my in-laws my in-laws.  I love them like my brother and sisters.  :) 

And for all those umpteen nieces and nephews they produced - I am thankful.  There are a bunch of them and each one as different and unique as their folks.  They are fun, bright, smart, determined and I love them oodles!!! 

Day 26 - My folks
Well I could write pages and pages about how thankful I am for my parents.  The list is extensive so I will try to summarize.   I learned how to be thankful by watching thankfulness expressed by my parents. 
 For my parents I thankful for:  
  •            showing me what sacrifice should look like                     
  •            their support and steadfast love
  •            teaching me how to adjust to change well 
  •            how they regard people not according to the worlds standards but by God's standard                            
  •            showing me how to love the "unlovables" 
  •            teaching me that doing "hard" things is doable only by God's grace
  •            them sending me money...hey it's a reality!
  •            their constant encouragement and prayers 
  •            how they love my husband and children well
  •            how they love God above all - in word and in deed!

And I could go on.  They brought me into the world - the baby of five - and have loved me well for 41 years.  Now, unlike my siblings, I know that my mama & daddy read this so I simply say this to you both.  
I am thankful for you mom and dad.  For all those things I listed above and for many more that oftentimes go unspoken.  I am proud to be called your daughter and I pray that you are proud of the woman I am, due in large part to your guidance and prayers.  But if I have learned one thing from you it is this, that you are who you are by the power of Jesus Christ!  So I praise the God of my father and mother, my God!  Thank you for living out...
 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

Day 27 -  My sweet little ones 
Once again words cannot begin to express my thankfulness for these two little lives.   They invaded our hearts and since January 2008 we have never been the same.  They are energy, joy, love and laughter!  I love their sweet faces and their sweet smiles.  They are loud, can make me so frustrated at times, and melt my heart, all in the same day.  I love these two and for them I am beyond grateful to Father for gifting me with these tiny treasures. 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Days 23 & 24 - Shoeboxes and Songs

Day 23 - Thankful for ministries like Operation Christmas Child  who spread the love of Jesus to little hearts by packing a simple shoebox.    Since 1993 they have delivered over 100 million shoe box gifts to needy children around the world!  That is something to be thankful for!

Day 24 - Thankful for little voices that sing loudly and boldly - well most of them sang loudly and boldly - Joah just stood there holding his sign as still as he could because his teacher had told them to hold their signs high and don't wiggle.  He was simply following direction.
"For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me!"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Days 21 & 22 - Encouraging Notes and Flexibility

Day 21 - My husband and I just finished a 3 day detox - it was my idea because I was just feeling blah.  I found Dr. Oz's site and just took the plunge. It's basically 3 days of very healthy, but at times hard to get down, shakes.  You know like yummy kale and yummy coconut oil and yummy celery & spinach...mmm mmm good.  (insert gag face here)  I had no doubt that my husband could do it - he's determined and self disciplined like that.  Me, not so much.  It was a battle of my buds - taste buds that is - and not to mention a battle of my self discipline.  But I'm happy to say I did it!!!!  I finished!!!  And this morning I woke up to this note.... and bacon and a cup of coffee! ;)  For encouraging notes and bodies that know what to do with blended kale, blueberries & flax seed - I am thankful!

Day 22 - I had my day planned - well sort of.  I did have a list and an idea of how I wanted it to all play out.  But alas plans changed and I only got to one thing on my list.  I'm thankful for parents who taught me how to be flexible, how to go with the flow and rearrange schedules if need be.  So instead of crossing off my list, I met sweet friends at the park, stayed a little longer than planned, and watched my kids run and play and enjoy this beautiful indian summer day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful catch up

Well I'm officially a week behind in this challenge of mine.  So without further is my catch up with days 14-20 - alot I know but I'm going to go easy on myself and just write a few words.  Simple thanksgiving and gratitude.  These past week has definitely been a challenge for me to stop and savor.  To see the "good" in things, especially the good in hard things.  But they are there...they are always there.

Day 14 - Curiosity

Day 15 - The ability to give back through World Vision Gift Catalog   (which is a great way to include your children.  Tess picked to send soccer balls to a school in a third world country because she loves soccer and she saw a picture in the catalog of what the children often play with..."soccer balls" made of banana leaves or rolled up trash.)

Day 16 - small gifts

Day 17 - Ok...this might be a stretch for a thankful challenge but man I love and am thankful for whoever invited glue sticks!

Day 18 - Wall art from my little people 

Day 19 - Well need I even post this?  Thankful for my camera.

Day 20 - Thankful for the approaching Advent season