Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 30

Day 30: I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for. It may sound a little silly, but this month I have been intentional about counting my blessings, and I have not once found it difficult to be grateful. What I have, who I'm with, where I live...these are the blessings that God has poured out on me. My life is a testament to His goodness. I don't deserve anything at all, but He is the giver of all good things.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Days 27-29

Day 27: I am thankful for good food. I like to spend time in my kitchen, perusing my collection of cookbooks and planning meals for my family. I am grateful that I enjoy cooking and that every resource I need is readily available to me. So many people in so many places could only dream about the food that I consume every single day.

Day 28: I am thankful simply that the five people that live in this house are a family. We are not perfect by any means, but we love each other and we are intact. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. So we work to take care of each other. We fight for what really matters. We say "I love you." My whole world is wrapped up under this roof.

Day 29: I am thankful for my bed. It is the most comfy, cozy place in the world! Once the boys are in bed, I retreat to our bedroom for some "me" time. Some nights I read, some nights I watch TV. I have a safe, warm place to relax and sleep every night. People in my own community don't have what I have.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 26

Day 26: I am thankful for the joy I feel as the holiday season begins. Last year, I asked God desperately for a glimmer of hope, a restoration of joy. My body was weary and my spirit depleted. What a difference a year makes! I felt it as I decorated my in-laws' Christmas tree with Baby last night, and I feel it as I am looking forward to decorating my own home this weekend. I have always loved this time of year; I hated it so much last year that happiness felt just beyond my grasp. I am blessed beyond measure, and thankful.

Friday, November 25, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 25

Day 25: I am thankful for AbbyDog. I will never ever forget when Abby came into my life. She was a tiny puppy whose ears were bigger than the rest of her body. We lived in a loft apartment (we were carefree newlyweds) and Abby couldn't climb the stairs because she would trip on her ears! She has been through five moves and three babies with us and never complained. When I was sick, she would lay in bed with me. On my darkest, most scary days, when I wanted to cover my head and never come out, my princess puppy was there loving me. She follows me everywhere I go, and she always is glad to see me when I come home. I love my dog!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Days 19-24

Day 19: I am thankful for my grandparents. I have been blessed with amazing relationships with them that a lot of people never get to have. I count the four of them among my very favorite people, and many of my happiest memories involve them. I like to imagine that my Grandad is spending his time in eternity building beautiful things to put in the family mansions so he can show off to the rest of us when we get there. I still miss him every day. Gran, Buck, Grandmama~I love you so much!

Day 20: I am thankful for my "Tuesday Sisters" Bible study group. We have met, in some form, for more than 10 years. This is a core group of friends and sisters in Christ who I am privileged to do life with. They have prayed for me, laid hands on me, pushed me to be better, let me complain and/or cry when I needed to. We eat, we shop, we study, and we laugh. We laugh a LOT. They are faithful friends, and I wouldn't be the woman I am without them.

Day 21: I am thankful for Caroline. Caroline has been my friend for as long as I can remember. She knows things about me that no one else knows. She was my first sleepover buddy, it was her fault that I got my name written on the board in 3rd grade, and she was the one who shared my excitement when that special boy finally kissed me as a teenager (turns out he wasn't really that special after all). She was my maid of honor and I was hers. We have shared joys and heartaches. A friendship like ours is something that not everyone gets to have. She is my lifelong fortunate am I?

Day 22: I am thankful for my brother. He was kind of a pest when we were kids, but he turned out to be a pretty cool guy. His quick wit and unique perspective on life make me think and often make me laugh. He loves music, people, and animals. Most of all, he loves God and seeks to walk with Him hand in hand.

Day 23: I am thankful for my sister. Despite our age difference, we have always had a close relationship, but the older we get, the better friends we become. I count her among my closest friends. She is funny, she is stylish, she is sweet, and sometimes she is righteously indignant. She "gets" me, and I adore her.

Day 24: I am thankful for my parents. If you have never met my mom and dad, you are missing out! Today is their 38th wedding anniversary. They love each other, and together they taught us what love is. I am so grateful for their example of commitment and loyalty to each other and to family. They way they live has helped shape me as a wife and a mother, and set the standard for what I want for my children.

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Days 17-18

Day 17: I am thankful for my job. I love love LOVE the opportunity I have to "set the stage" for little ones to begin a lifetime of learning. We have so much fun together! ABCs and 123s are never boring with a bunch of 4-year-olds...and this particular group of littles is amazing. I love to watch them create, count, reason, play, and interact. God's goodness is evident in my classroom every week.

Day 18: I am thankful for my boys' school and their teachers. I absolutely believe that God has his hand over my children each year when they start school, and maybe never more so than now. My sons are blessed with amazing, dedicated professionals who want them to succeed academically, but also care for their spirits. Goliath, Little Middle, and Baby love school! God did that, and I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Days 15-16

Day 15: I am thankful for phenergren. Seriously.

Day 16: I am thankful for all things fall. Cool temperatures, colored leaves, wind, overcast skies, pumpkin bread (and pie...and candles...). Fall is the long-awaited end of the dreadful summer season, but a breather before the rush of the holiday craze begins. To me, it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 14

Day 14: I am thankful for good neighbors. We have never known our neighbors (much) until we moved into this house. I didn't really know what I was missing! I love having people close by who will help out in a childcare pinch, who will loan me pots and pans for a lasagna-making extravaganza, and who do not mind if I leave their phone number for the babysitter to use in case of an emergency. I don't have to look too far to find big blessings!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 13

Day 13: I am thankful for my Goliath. He can be stubborn and sloppy, but his heart is tender and he loves with no limit. He is growing up SO fast! Right before my eyes, my little boy is being transformed into a young man who protects his brothers, cheers for the underdog, and loves his mom and dad. He is learning what it means to truly be a Christ-follower and how to make the right choices to walk with Jesus. He makes life an adventure--I can't wait to see what's next!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 12

Day 12: I am thankful for mornings. I make it a point to get up early so I can have some quiet time before the craziness of the day begins. I love my first cup of coffee, the opportunity to spend time with God, gather my thoughts and get my bearings for the day. Every morning is a small fresh start. I am undeserving, but He is faithful.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Dear Baby,
Today you turned six. Six! You told me a few nights ago that after your birthday, you would need two hands to show people how old you are. The tiny hurt in my heart grew just a little bit more when you said that. You probably don't know it, but every new experience you have makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy because you are a perfectly delightful little person who loves life. Sad, because you are proof that my babies are growing up faster than I care to admit.
But I can't stay sad for too long. You don't allow that! You are way too busy growing and learning and performing and smiling. This year you have had a long list of "firsts." You rode your first real roller coaster. You moved in to your first room all of your own. You jumped off the diving board for the first time. You had your first day of kindergarten. You read your first words.
You are amazingly wonderful. You also do things that make me shake my head and ask "Why?". Like when you colored the bottoms of your feet completely red with a marker. And like how you continue to throw your backpack over the top of your head backwards so that the weight throws you off balance and you topple over onto the sidewalk. And when you lay down on your stomach by the pond at the park so you could try to catch fish with your hands. You are silly, and so very fun.
You like cereal. You are happy in the mornings. Your favorite thing is to ride scooters with your brothers out in the cul-de-sac. You insist that both Daddy and I tuck you in every single night. You always want to be the one to say the blessing before dinner. You have new friends at school, but you still want to hang out with your old buddies. You love school, and your brothers think you're weird because you get excited when you have homework. You want to go to big church with us instead of children's church. You like Legos and knock-knock jokes.
As I write this, you are laying in my big bed snuggled up to me. We are watching some of our favorite Phineas and Ferb episodes. You have your blue blanket tucked under one arm, and I have to smile. It reminds me of the night of November 11, 2005 when we were alone in a hospital room together. You were snuggled up to me with a blue blanket tucked around you that night, too. You are growing up, but you are still--and always will be--my Baby.
Happy two-handed birthday, darling boy. I love you with all my heart.

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 11

Day 11: I am thankful for my Baby. His infectious smile and random hugs make my world go round. He loves school, he loves his friends, he loves his brothers, he loves his blue scooter and his stuffed raccoon. Being his mom has made me a better person.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Day 10

Day 10: I am thankful for my country and the privilege I have to be an American citizen. I know that the freedoms I enjoy came at a price, and I am thankful for those brave men and women who sacrificed so that I can live in the greatest country in the world. One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Days 8-9

Day 8: I am thankful for the darling lady who cleans my house (no, it's not me). For a minimal wage, she comes faithfully every single Tuesday to sweep, mop, scrub, and dust all the things that I don't have time/enthusiasm for. Our agreement does not include her cleaning the little cowboys' bedrooms or their upstairs game room, but occasionally, I come home to find that she has done those rooms anyway. She is a blessing in my life.

Day 9: I am thankful for music. I often say that music is my love language. I love that when words fail me, I can find a song that expresses exactly what I feel. Back in the day, I was a diligent piano player (although my talent was debatable) and I have a history in high school marching band. I didn't grow up to be a musician, but ask my kids someday about how we blare "Sweet Caroline" in the car with the windows rolled down, or check with my friends about my "song for every occasion" quirk. Music makes memories for me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness--Days 1-7

The first week of November has vanished into thin air. It's time to get caught up on my 30 days of thankfulness!

Day 1--I am thankful for the gifts of forgiveness and salvation that my Lord has given to me. I am undeserving, but He loves me so much!

Day 2--I am thankful for my Little Middle. His life and his heart are pure and simple. He loves openly and freely and doesn't expect much in return except that I love him. And I do.

Day 3--I am thankful for our house. It is cozy and roomy and...homey!

Day 4--I am thankful for my husband. We have been through so much together, but his love for me is stronger than the day we were married. I am blessed.

Day 5--I am thankful for my church. It is a place where I learn and grow, serve and give, worship and love, and receive from others. I really am glad when I go into the house of the Lord!

Day 6--I am thankful for my Bible. Hubby gave it to me for a Christmas gift the week before our first son was born. Nearly ten years later, it is worn and more than a little marked up. I don't know how I could ever replace it, though. Precious, precious book.

Day 7--I am thankful for my washing machine and dryer. I complain a lot about my laundry duties, but the reality is that every time I start a new load, I should take a minute and remember that we have SO MUCH MORE than so many people.