Thursday, November 22, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 22}

Day 22 | Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving was destined to be different, but I had no idea when I woke up this morning how different it would be. Caitlin and Carson were going to be with Carson's family in Rocky Mount, so it was just going to be Josh and Hannah with me at home. So, we accepted an invitation to the Guys' home and planned to join them today. I baked pies yesterday in preparation for the big day.

Little did I know that Joshua would wake up with a stomach virus. This meant Joshua and I would be staying home. I realized as Hannah drove away to celebrate in Rocky Mount with our new extended family, that I have NEVER missed Thanksgiving! We've always been at family's home or our own, so if someone is sick, you just put them in a bedroom and check on them, but you still GO and enjoy the family time.

It was a quiet, reflective day---not a bad way to celebrate Thanksgiving---I really had some time to thank the Lord for our beautiful life---it's not perfect, but it IS beautiful. We are so blessed to be able to share our lives with sweet family and good friends. I am not feeling great myself, so this has taken me MUCH longer than it should have. I will close now---but just know that I count  you among those many blessings in my life. Thank you for loving me and my family and walking through life with us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 21}

Day 21 |time with the kids~

I was so thankful today to have some time to hang out with Hannah and Joshua. I baked quite a bit of the day, so Hannah and Joshua had a Doctor Who-fest in the den---with fish sticks and custard....I think you have to be a Whovian to get that.....I'm just figuring this out, but yes, they dipped their fish sticks in the custard......ummmm, no.

When I finally finished making my pies, I went out and picked up Brave from Redbox and a pizza from Amante pizza. It's right up the street from us and one of our favorite places to get pizza. Anyway, sometimes it's just nice to do nothing together--I'm so grateful for some down time with my kids!

We are spending the day with Carson's family tomorrow in Rocky Mount. I'm grateful for the opportunity to join them for this special day of Thanksgiving. I'll load some pictures tomorrow, I hope!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 20}

                                                                          photo credit

Day 20 | God's Provision

I ran into Harris Teeter today for a few things I'll need to let the bake-fest begin tomorrow in preparation for Thursday. Thursday---Thanksgiving Day. A day that most of us will have much more than we could ever need---and we'll likely throw part of it out before we can eat it. As I was there, I kept passing a mom and her two preschool children. As I went from aisle to aisle walking by them, I couldn't help but overhear her telling the children, "no, you can't have this, no you can't have that." Now, I've done the same things with my toddler children---toddlers and grocery stores can be a mother's worst nightmare! But I couldn't help but wonder if they "couldn't" have these things because she just couldn't afford it.  I pondered this as I shopped the rest of the store and wondered what she ended up buying.

I left the store with 8 grocery bags and a more grateful heart. Even as my family has walked through various changes in the past 18 months, we have always had far more than we've ever needed. I don't have to worry if I can feed my family. I don't have to decide between paying a bill and buying groceries.  I know that many Americans live this struggle each and every month. I am SO BLESSED to NOT have to worry about this. I could talk about this for a long time---but I think we all know how blessed we are---sometimes we just forget to say it out loud---and acknowledge the ONE who gives us all that we have. So, I'm saying it---Thank you Father, Holy God, for your gracious provision in my life. Thank you for sustaining me and giving me all I need and much, much more. May I NEVER take for granted your good gifts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 19}

This picture is about six months old---I love it though. Today I was SO thrilled to have all of my "babies" in my house at the same time! That doesn't happen often enough for me (yes, I'm spoiled---it DOES happen more often than in some families, but I'd love it every week if I could work that out!) One of the things I love about having them all in the house is that they are STILL just siblings--even with the age differences...they pick at each other, laugh hysterically at each other, constantly tell me, "I was NEVER allowed to do that"---you parents know what I'm talking about. There's a lot of eye rolling and sighing----and I just LOVE it! I love to just observe them together---it's so funny!

I do love that siblings can say things to each other that the child would NEVER hear from their parents. I love that my children (and Carson when he's here) get along and for the most part, really enjoy being together. This is what I love about the holidays---and I'm so grateful for a few days with them in my home!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 18}

 Day 18 | Serving at Church

I woke up this morning and realized that I hadn't posted yesterday....I let it go! Yea for me! I stayed up super late trying to get some more Advent gifts wrapped and ready for all my children & grandchild & nephews....yeah, that's a lot of wrapping! I really enjoy it---but it's nearly 170 little packages to get together by December 1st!!! That's a lot! Anyway, I was busy doing that and didn't get my post up.

Today, I went to church where I have the privilege of serving in a one year old Sunday School class. We have the "oldest ones"---many of them have turned two in the past quarter or are about to. What a fun age! Our class is really happy most of the time---which is so nice. There are a few classes on the hall that have so many sad babies as I walk by each Sunday...I'm so grateful ours are a little more comfortable. We have a lot of consistency with the workers and I know that helps children this age.

As I was serving today I was reminded of all the years I was dropping off babies and preschoolers for someone to keep so I could just sit through the worship service in peace! Do you remember those days? It was an hour or two of adult interaction and I was SO grateful to have it! The children are so precious! I enjoy spending time with them and the people I work with each Sunday. Let's just face it---babies make you smile. They are always good for a hug or a giggle. I wanted to take a picture of my class, but I don't have permission to use their faces on my blog, so I decided I wouldn't.

Why am I teaching in the Preschool area? If any of you know me, you know that I really LOVE working with older children. How did I end up in a "ones" class? I needed a job that didn't require any preparation each week---I just don't have time during the school year. I knew I'd leave it until the last minute and that wouldn't serve the students best. I knew I needed to get back into a Sunday School class, but I really wasn't ready for an adult class---so I decided to serve some parents of preschoolers. I'm grateful the Lord showed me the need and I was able to say yes. I don't know if I'll serve in here forever---but it's been a nice transition for me.

Joshua and Hannah are here with me for the week and I'm really looking forward to some sweet time with them. They are downstairs watching a Doctor Who episode now---I'm not watching because I'm only in Season 3 and that would be WRONG to watch something from a later season until I'm caught least according to Hannah Nelson. This is her latest obsession and I don't want to upset the rules of the obsession.

So, today I'm grateful for an opportunity to serve the young families of Providence Baptist Church. AND I'm grateful to begin a week at home with my kiddos! I hope you are able to gather with your family this week and enjoy each other. Have a great week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 16}

Day 16 | Prayer warriors

I'm so grateful for godly women in my life who support me. There's a group of women in my life who are my prayer warriors--and I am theirs. We text or email each other regularly with prayer requests----and we KNOW that these requests will constantly be lifted to our loving Heavenly Father. What a treasure it is to have someone to stand in the gap for me. I have texted these women in all sorts of situations---from the craziest of places to say---PRAY FOR ME----NOTHING else could knit our hearts together like prayer does. I am SO grateful for them~

Thursday, November 15, 2012

{Thirty Days of Thanks~2012; Day 15}

Day 15 | Warmth

Today I'm so grateful for my warm home. For my gloves for the drive home. For my umbrella and good shoes. Things I take for granted everyday.

Joshua and a friend play football most days after school while I and the friend's mom finish up our work at school. Today they went outside in that cold rain and played football for an hour and 15 minutes. Then, they came in to warm up and went out again for about 20 minutes more. I began to think that they could go out and get so cold (which I thought was crazy---but I'm not the mom who says, "it's too cold to play outside") because they had a warm place to come to when they got too miserable!

As I walked into my house after work---the programmed thermostat had done its job and my house was toasty warm. I had to pause and say thank you to a gracious God who is the giver of all gifts. Joshua was able to go upstairs and take a long, hot shower. I was able to prepare a hot meal for us and we were comfortable in spite of the wet, cold conditions right outside our windows.

I don't want to take these gifts for granted---praying I'll remember to be thankful throughout this cold winter.