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Good Reminder This Morning

But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction.

2 Chronicles 26:16

Life over the last 8 months has definitely humbled me.  The crazy part is I didn’t even know I needed to be humbled! But as I look back over the last few years, I realize that I really was getting “strong” and felt like I was in control of a lot of my life.  My kids were great, my marriage was great, I worked part time at my favorite job of all time, my students were fantastic, my neighbor constantly was there to encourage and point me to the Lord, we had plenty of friends, Brent and I were able to do Crossfit together,….the list could go on.

Overall, I definitely felt “in control” of life…and I liked it.

Since moving, all of that control has been stripped right out of my hands….and it hurt….a lot.

Then I read about King Uzziah this morning.  He served God wholeheartedly and completely devoted Himself to the Lord; Until he got strong and successful and began to reap the benefits of God blessing him.  Then he began to take control himself and became proud.  This led to him becoming angry at the priests who tried to point him back to God’s rules.  His anger in his heart resulted in God striking him with leprosy.  I’m pretty sure while he sat in isolation for the rest of his life, his pride was shattered, his strength was taken, and he was again able to be dependent on the Lord.

I’m grateful I don’t have to be struck with leprosy to be reminded that strength and control over life isn’t always a good thing.  I’m thankful that God loves me enough to humble me greatly and strip me of all things so that I can rely on Him completely.  I truly am  grateful for the 8 months of turmoil that has keep me dependent on the Lord.

Grateful list:

16.  Thankful for weakness

17. Thankful God is living and active and continually speaks to me and draws me near to Him

18. Thankful I can trust my kids to God and He will protect them and draw them to Himself

19. Thankful for the sun shining through the gym window yesterday

20. Thankful for our Y membership

21. Thankful to be healthy enough to start another Warriorfit session

22. Thankful for a gracious principal that desires for the teachers to succeed

23. Thankful for good students

24. Thankful for the teacher who introduced me to Socratic Seminars 10 years ago

25. Thankful for afternoons spent outside enjoying the fall weather

26. Thankful that God speaks through His Word

27.Thankful for good coffee

28. Thankful for a few minutes alone yesterday

29. Thankful for a husband who will help me fold all the laundry

30. Thankful for a family who is so grateful and appreciates meals I prepare

31. Thankful for Heavenly Homemakers recipies

32. Thankful for Brent making coffee every morning

33. Thankful for the quiet of the 5:00am hour

34. Thankful for random spottings and quick chats with friends

35. Thankful for my sister who will take time to encourage me, love me where I’m at, not try to change me, but simply remind me of truth.

Its Been Awhile

Its been awhile since I’ve written.  Mainly because there are so many changes and transitions that I haven’t been able to even wrap my mind around our life much less write about it.

But I have noticed that with all the transitions and change, my attitude has started to change a bit.  I’m working two jobs and have simply let my exhaustion dictate my mood.  This morning as I was reading Jonah, God pulled this quote out from the text:

“Do you do well to be angry?

I suddenly realized that I was a bit angry at what my daily life was looking like.  I was a bit angry I didn’t have as much time with my kids.  I was a bit angry that it feels like there isn’t much down time in life anymore.  I was a bit angry about how I have been treated by someone.  Overall, I was just a bit angry.

Its not a huge raging anger; it is more subtle.  The kind you don’t notice until it starts bubbling out of your mouth when exhaustion hits its highest point.

This morning God opened my eyes to my anger, and I’m left with a decision:  do I deal with it or ignore it?  I’m choosing to deal with it, confess it, repent of it, and shift my focus to what God HAS given me instead of where I’m disappointed.  So today begins again my journey of thankfulness.   Its hard to be angry when your heart is continually looking at life through grateful eyes.

Grateful List:

1. A job where I pour into teenagers every day

2. A team of people willing to help me plan the women’s retreat

3. Furniture to sit on

4. A puppy who likes to cuddle and is relatively calm

5. A patient husband who serves me and waits calmly for me to adjust to all the changes in life

6. Kids who are resiliant

7. God pulling Justus’ heart toward Him

8. An electric blanket (it was freezing last night!)

9. A fireplace that works

10. Our own house with plenty of space

11. A fence in the backyard

12. Beautiful sunsets over the bean field at the end of the street

13. Great neighbors

14. Most of the boxes being unpacked

15. A rainy day to get schoolwork done

A Week of Vacation

My parents don’t come to visit very often, but when they are here, life is just about perfect. My dad had some business down here, so we got lucky and got my parents in town for a whole week! We had a blast pretending we were all on vacation.

We spent time at the zoo

 

We also visiting the jump house

And no visit is complete without a stop at Babes to dance the hokey pokey and to eat some good fried chicken.

Dad’s birthday was a few days later, so we celebrated his birthday with some yummy chocolate cake!

Then the kids took turn saying why they loved Grandpa

Avery: “Because he tries to get my sugar”

Elliana: “Because he loves me and is so kind”

Justus: “Because he wrestles me and plays with me”

They stayed a little late on Saturday so they could see Avery doing her cheerleading thing.  She was so happy they were there!

Justus had the hardest time saying good bye. I think he chased after their car 3 different times to get more hugs. After we said a final last sad good bye to them in the parking lot, we got into the car and felt like this

 

We LOVED spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa! Thanks for coming and playing and just loving on us. We all feel so incredibly blessed to have had you here!

Gratefulness

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6

171:  Strong medicine

172: Being able to eat

173: A little boy who thinks its funny to sing me to sleep at various time throughout the day

174:  Freshly cut grass

175: Excitement for a new school year

176: Catching up with old friends

177:  Spending the day with friends at a pool…no naps and lots of sun = an incredible day

178: Kids who love to have fun

179: Grocery shopping with my husband

180:  Watching the kids snuggle up to a friend’s dog

181: Pictures made for a friend starting chemo today

182: Bedtime prayers that remind me of the girls’ sweet spirit and love for others.

183: A dear friend watching my kids while I work

184: A new nametag that signifies a new job that is just beginning

185: A husband who loves me, provides for me, supports me, encourages me, and who I have been married to for 8 years!  Wedding Anniversaries are so special to me.

 

 

Gratefulness

Its been a while since I’ve added to my list on here.  In fact, I haven’t posted a whole lot the last few weeks.  Constant sickness and traveling have taken its toll.  As my emotions threaten to overtake my joy, I realized my public list must begin again. For truly living out and speaking thanksgiving is the beginning of all true joy.

151: Air conditioning.  Ours broke last week, and it is amazing how grouchy one can get when the house is in the 90’s!  So thankful it was easily fixed, and we can afford to run our air conditioning!

152: Helpful friends who have walked before me on this whole homeschool journey.

153: The Center for Home Education who supported me, showed me all the various curriculum I would need, and enabled me to buy most of the stuff I needed for Avery for under $40!

154: A clean shower

155: A fixed hole in the drywall

156: The ability to call a doctor and see one when I get sick

157: Good probiotics

158: Sweet kisses and hugs from my kids

159: Living within walking distance of the store

160: Finished laundry

161: A great friend that I can cry with, laugh with, pray with, rejoice with, and mourn with.  These friendships are hard to find.

162: A God who is trustworthy

163: The truth spoken through the scripture that can penetrate my heart and change me

164: Worshiping under my husband’s leadership on Sunday mornings.  I feel incredible lucky to worship under such a gifted man.

165: The joy that a simple fort in the family room can bring.  The hours of uninterrupted play have been much needed as I battle some stomach issues.

166: Writing out goals for next school year

167:  Grocery shopping as a family

168: Making cookies with the kids

169: Swimming in the heat

170:  My family

 

 

Pure Joy

The kids first time to an amusement park was such a picture of pure joy.

At the end of the ride, I asked, “J did you like the ride?”  He shook his head yes.   I then asked, “Do you want to go on it again?”  He burst into tears and said “no pease” over and over again.  Maybe a roller coaster in the dark is a bit much for a two year old!

Lesson learned.  Just because Adventureland does not enforce height limits does not mean that a responsible parent should not enforce the height limit.  I forgot that small little bodies jerk quite a bit while going upside down on roller coasters.   The girls only response at the end of the ride,  “that really hurt my neck mommy!”   Oops!

I absolutely love watching my kids experience things for the first time.  No expectations of what the experience should look like; it is just pure joy.


Our Little Gift from God

 

A week a half ago we received a call from Pine Cove.  They told us a family had just canceled for week 1 of family camp, the spot was already paid for, and if we could get to camp in 48 hours, we could have their spot.

Excited is a little bit of an understatement.

I ran the washer/dryer for a day, threw some stuff into some suitcases, and we were off for another great year of Pine Cove family camp!

Let me just say, year 1 was pretty crazy, year 2 was a lot of fun, but year 3 at Pine Cove was by far the best year yet.

Two things contributed to the greatness of this vacation.

  • We didn’t have a baby who needed to go to bed early! And when you don’t have a baby dictating your schedule, lots of fun can be had!  For 5 years, I have been stuck get to be in a room with a sleeping baby or a nursing baby or a grouchy baby while the world around me plays.    I was almost giddy with excitement that we weren’t bound to a bedtime this year and I got to play too!=)  Which meant the kids got to see 10pm every night.  I realized that Justus had never seen it get dark outside before and none of the kids had ever seen a lightening bug before.  The things they miss out on when they go to bed at 7pm =)  They were definitely tired, but we had a blast playing and fully enjoying all that camp has to offer.

  • We also went at the beginning of June instead of at the end of August.  Let me remind you that Pine Cove is in East Texas.   The weather is fabulous in June and more than hot in August!  Which meant this year we all truly enjoyed just being outside fishing, or boating, or just having fun.  I do believe we will continue to go back in June instead of in August!

 

Its hard to describe what an incredible experience Pine Cove is.  Throughout the week, you connect and have fun as a family, as a married couple, and with God all while relaxing and having more fun than I’ve ever had anywhere else.  A post doesn’t do family camp justice, so we’ll just say WE. LOVE. PINE.COVE and we feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to go this year!

Here is our video of the week =)  My favorite part is a toss up between my two year old crying and begging to go to bed and Elliana singing her first solo.  Hope you enjoy!

 

 

And here is a little slideshow of some pics from the week. I figured all grandparents would be interested!

10 More Things

Give thanks, with a grateful heart.  Give thanks, to the Holy One.  Give thanks, because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.

141: Thunderstorms that make Sunday evenings just feel cozy.

142: Enjoying a fun evening with friends

 

143: Ice cream on a very humid night

144: Kids who remind me to smile and laugh

145: Watching my oldest graduate from preschool

146: Belly laughs with my husband

147: Finishing week 2 of our workout, Insanity. Six more weeks to go!

148: Canceled swimming lessons which gave us some down time which the kids desperately needed

149: Anticipating a night out with a friend

150: Watching friends begin to heal after a long year.

 

 

 

10 More

Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I Thessalonians 5:16-17

130:  A chill in the air

131: Hiking through new trails

132: Wearing long sleeves and shorts in May

133: Completed yard work


134: Watching a little boy fight back tears as I praise God the burn was not more serious

135:  Seeing a little boy discover how brave he really can be


136: Finishing week 1 of Insanity and beginning week 2

137:  A husband who will sacrifice and jump onto the Insanity train with me simply because he knows its important to me

138: Watching the two girls take care of their brother


139: Family time

140: New books brought home from a conference

The Next Ten Things

“The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible.  And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible.  Isn’t joy the art of God?”

-Ann Voskamp

121: Finding a new park on a beautiful morning

122: Watching my child conquer her fear of falling.  Her courage and determination are inspiring to me.

123: Getting to know my adorable niece

124:  Being reminded daily by my children that life is fun.  Enjoy it.

125: The sparkles in my kids eyes when daddy cuddles with them

126:  My mom who isn’t scared to hand her grand kids sprinkles

127:  My son’s mischievous look that always keeps me on my toes.

128: My camera started working just long enough to snap this photo of my parents with my kids.  It stopped working again shortly after this was taken.  SOOOO thankful it was able to capture this!

129: My dad’s love for me and for my kids

130: A reminder to quit worrying about what might happen and just enjoy life.

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