Sunday, November 30, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 30

Today I'm thankful for good rehearsals, all the time we've got to spend at home this weekend, for shoes that won't cripple me, plenty of food, laughter and warmth. 

I give thanks that Jesus is our Hope and the reason why we can give thanks.  The reason why we celebrate this time of year and everyday.  

I'm thankful for fun times ahead this week, mild weather and hopefully a bit of sunshine.

I give thanks that the Lord has changed me so much over the years.  I know He's got so much work left to do, but I'm so thankful for the progress.  

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

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 29

I'm thankful: 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 40:5

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Isaiah 40:11
 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

Matthew 11:28-30

Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 28

I give thanks: 

  • for Christmas ornaments that remind me of wonderful years together and beautiful additions to our family

  • Christmas tree lights
  • working together to make crafts and cards for others

  • time spent together
  • being home again another whole day
  • kids that still ask for read-alouds
  • because God is truth and His Spirit leads us in truth
  • that God is always there with us through everyday life and trials that we face
  • that I get to review Karla Adolphe's new Christmas album (I'm really overjoyed about this!)
  • for good news that makes me happy
  • in advance that I will find a pair of good fitting shoes to wear with my awesome dress that I bought over a month ago.

The month is almost over, but thanksgiving should be a daily occurrence in our lives.  

Give thanks!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Days of Thanks- Day 27

I give thanks for my family, for a warm home, an abundant supply of food, clean clothes, friends, beautiful sunsets, laughs around the table, freedom to share our thoughts with each other, freedom to worship God, being together, cars that run, modern appliances, God's wonderful grace, His saving power through His Son, Jesus Christ, running water, computer and the internet, the excitement of Christmas, being at home without anywhere to go, fresh starts, and new mercies every morning. 

 Happy Thanksgiving! 

Give thanks to the LORD of hosts,
for the LORD is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Jeremiah 33:11

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Days of Thanks--Day 26

Today, I give thanks for/that: 

  • abundant laughter in my home today
  • being able to do special activities with the kids
Our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving lunch----

  • furry friends

  • brotherly and sisterly love

  • God's provision and protection
  • playing games
  • we are together
  • Christmas music

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness
and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Psalm 7:17

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 24 and 25

Whoops...I missed yesterday! 

We had such a long evening with two rehearsals that by the time I got home about 9:30 PM, my brain was shot.  I'm fighting those voices in my head that keep telling me that I'm a failure, that I'm going to mess up this concert royally, that I'm going to be horrible.  Last night's rehearsal (my part of it) didn't go that well from MY perspective.  

BUT...I'm thankful for multiple people who encouraged me last night and today.  

I'm thankful that I'm only one little part of this big picture and even if I mess up a little, it won't ruin the whole thing. (Now, I'm seriously praying that doesn't happen!)

I'm thankful for my husband's crazy sense of humor that reminded me to make sure my shoes fit properly.  Just so I won't trip and become a viral hit on YouTube.  He's so funny!

I'm thankful that my son plays the flute beautifully.

I'm thankful for my daughter's beautiful, natural voice and her desire to be apart of two choirs this semester.

I'm thankful for my littlest one and all his chatter.  His little hand that still fits in mine, but only for a little while longer.

I'm thankful for God's grace as JP and I parent these three awesome kids.

I'm thankful for the Muppets and a new generation that loves them, too.

I'm thankful for seeing Tera's first choir concert and having dinner out with my brood!  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 23

I wish I could say today was a stellar day. I've just felt "off" all day long.  I ate too much, thought too much and had a hard time staying focused during service. I took a long nap after church and felt so much more rested. Emotionally, I feel down and out of sorts.  But.... I still want to look past my "feelings" and give thanks. 

I give thanks :

  • for a long nap
  • that my husband fed the kids dinner, had them watch a movie and ready for an early bedtime and just let me sleep until I woke up.
  • things that make me laugh
  • that our schedule is very low-key this week
  • for no-school until January
  • for Christmas crafts 
  • for convenience food---sometimes you just don't feel like cooking from scratch
  • that tomorrow is a new day with tons of possibilities

Give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Saturday, November 22, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 22

Today I give thanks:

  • that I can still do minor Christmas shopping with my 5 year old present.
  • for Tera and Daniel's great chess tournament.  Daniel came in 1st place with 3.5 wins and Tera tied for 2nd with 3.0 wins.  Tera's best showing at a tournament!  I am so proud of both of them.
  • that my husband likes to plan little surprises for the kids
  • for celebrating successes together as a family
  • for a beautiful walk outside
  • for sore muscles 
  • that after helping some friends move and watching a movie until late that MAYBE my kids will sleep in
  • for God's infinite wisdom
  • that He knows my kids better than me and wants to help me as I parent them
It's been another long day, but I give thanks for all the blessings this day had for us!

Friday, November 21, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 21--Relaxing Day

If you've talked to me at all lately, I've probably been tired, talking about being tired and busy, or looking stressed out. I apologize for that! 

But if you talked to me today, you'd be talking to a different woman. This has been the most relaxing day I've had in weeks. It's been one of the few days we've been home. 

I let the laundry go, most of the cleaning and cooked only what was necessary.  I sat in front of the fireplace with a book I checked out from the library.  I fielded questions about schoolwork, read to Michael, checked math all at my own relaxed pace.

I went outside and ran around with Michael while soaking in fresh air and the beautiful sunshine.  

I read more, did my devotions and walked to the post office.  I ate healthy foods and drank tons of water.

Oh my, I feel so much better!

I give thanks for days like this.  Days where I soak in all the goodness right here in my own little corner of Small Town, USA.  I give thanks for days of rest!

Thank you, Lord!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 20

Today I'm thankful that God reminds me: 

  • that He's in charge of the future.
  • He answers my prayers
  • He knows my name
  • He is sovereign
  • He gave me my children and knows better than me what they need
  • He wants me to turn my panic into praise
  • He is my rock and my fortress
  • He is extending grace and mercy to me
  • He forgives me
  • He sent His son, Jesus to die for me; so that I could live with Him one day.
  • He is my comfort
  • He is my strength

I will always thank the Lord;
    I will never stop praising him.
I will praise him for what he has done;
    may all who are oppressed listen and be glad! 
 Proclaim with me the Lord's greatness;
    let us praise his name together!
 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me;
    he freed me from all my fears.
The oppressed look to him and are glad;
    they will never be disappointed.
The helpless call to him, and he answers;
    he saves them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:1-6

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 19--Thanksgiving Party

We invited some friends over today for a Thanksgiving party: 

I'm thankful for fun and laughter!

We played Thanksgiving Pictionary with words like: Green Bean Casserole, Wishbone, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and others.  We did Thanksgiving MadLibs, jokes and conversation starters. 

We made Thanksgiving Day cards for our grandparents.

Thankful Pumpkins

And everyone took home the makings of their own Thankful Tree

I'm thankful for God's daily provision!

Each family brought food for our combined feast!  It was awesomely delicious! 

I'm thankful for good friends! 

(Proof that home schoolers do know how to stand in line like rock stars!)  

I'm thankful for my friend, Sarah!  I thought of her today because the last time I hosted a home school Thanksgiving party, she was there.  I miss her living nearby, but I'm so glad that we get to keep in touch on facebook! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 18

I'm thankful:

  • this was my last late night out this week.
  • for my electric blanket.  (I think I've said that before, but it's so cold here today that I think it's worth repeating.)
  • for being able to keep up with friends on facebook.  
  • that I finally joined a community choir.  It's hard work, but it's so rewarding!
  • for online shopping
  • that God still answers prayers 
  • that God is so good!
  • for music that reminds me of how God is at work in our lives
  • for good conversations and belly laughs
  • that my husband washed all the dirty pots and pans
  • that my mom has figured out how to chat with me on facebook and even send me little "I love you" memes.  
  • for our wood stove that has made this bitterly cold day bearable. 
  • that my kids are polite to others (maybe not to each other sometimes, but most of the time to others)
  • for medicine when I need it 

Monday, November 17, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 17

Today has been a long day.  I'm up way past my bedtime and that will happen more than once this week.  Swim lessons this morning and late rehearsal tonight.

I'm thankful that friends we've been praying for to find a new house to live in, found one TODAY!!!!  Praise the Lord for answered prayers!

I'm thankful today for a friend that is teaching me how to swim and doesn't give up on me even when my mental self tells me that I cannot do this.  She's on the sideline saying..."You CAN do this!"  She refuses to give up on me. 

I'm thankful that God is like that.  There are situations that I don't handle correctly.  My mental self sends me the wrong messages.  And I mess up.  God is on the sidelines saying..."You can do this!"  Don't look at the past, push forward to the next time and handle it better.  Let Me show you what grace and forgiveness looks like.  

Then I read this today and got choked up:  

"I am not in love with just another man. I am in love with the father of my babies. The one who called me beautiful through nights of ugly, called me strong through days of weak, called me valuable through days of uncertainty. The one who waited patiently for me. Who washed the sheets of vomit as I bathed the fever infested child. 

This is love dear girl. This is passion. It is being one with he who is going to be there for you, till death do you part, regardless. It is something mystical and unexplainable. It is something crazy." 

To read more:  Crazy Hot Sex

So, thankful for my sweet husband! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 16

I give thanks: 

  • that God reigns

  • that Jesus gave His life as a ransom for mine

  • that God has supreme authority

  • for God's provision

  • that He still speaks to our hearts

  • for God's grace and mercy extended to me on a daily basis

  • that God has given us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Guide

  • for God's imagination seen in all His creation

  • that we were formed in our mother's womb by our loving Creator

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

Saturday, November 15, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 15

I give thanks for: 

  • time alone with my daughter this morning while shopping

  • finding most of the clothing items we needed for upcoming concerts

  • time together with our girls' game group and the fact that we enjoy each other so much that we talk and never quite get around to the games.

  • having enough time to do the things that needed to be done.

  • my sneakers that make my feet feel comfortable  (After trying on some really uncomfortable dress shoes, I appreciate it all the more.)

  • my wonderful life

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

Psalm 95:1-6

Friday, November 14, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 14

Today, I'm thankful for programs like Teen Challenge that help people recover from drug and alcohol abuse. I met two precious women in that program today and I was just so overwhelmed with love and compassion for them. Our interactions left me in tears and I'm just so thankful to have crossed their path! 

I'm thankful for a whole day at home.  It was nice to get housework, cooking and school work done at a laid back pace.   I was able to get some Christmas shopping done from the warmth of the dining room and I feel so much more relaxed about the upcoming holiday season.

I give thanks for the power of God to change lives!  

I'm giving thanks for a warm house, warm clothes and my electric blanket that I put on the bed for tonight.  

I'm thankful JP is done with his 2 week class at work and that he'll be home earlier everyday.  Thankful that he's off this weekend.

I give thanks for waking up this morning and for each breath I'm granted! 

I give thanks! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 13

This is one of those weeks that has just been crazy busy everyday.   I'm thankful for all the interactions I had with people this week.  Thankful to speak words that someone else felt encouraged by.  I'm thankful that tomorrow we can be home all day.  Thankful that my husband's class is almost over and he's off this weekend.  Thankful that my kids feel like they can talk to us about all kinds of stuff.  I'm thankful for God's grace that covers my multitude of sins.  Thankful that HE never gives up on me.  I'm thankful for being able to exercise.  Thankful that I could help Daniel figure out his math today.  Thankful for the freedom to do less and not feel guilty about it. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 12

I give thanks for:

  • opportunities to get together with other moms for talking, play dates, art classes or writing.  
  • the polite children my kids have as friends
  • kids sharing their poetry and writing with each other
  • dinner out after a busy first half of the week
  • being able to finally sing in a choir again
  • someone providing lunch for us today while we were decorating the town for Christmas
  • people watching Michael while I was outside working on the town tree
  • offering what you have and it being enough
  • rest when we need it
  • snuggles and kisses
  • the wisdom to know when to speak and when to be quiet
  • freedom from overachieving

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 11

When my brother passed away, we had a funeral bill we didn't know how we were going to pay. I had been up for over 36 hours straight and frankly, signed my name on the paper without thinking about where that $9000+ amount was going to come from. As I was going to bed, JP said something to the effect of "Honey, we signed that paper, where are we going to get that kind of money?" I looked back at him and said, "I don't know, there is nothing I can do! God is just going to have to take care of it!" I fell asleep.

The next morning a friend of the family was asking if my brother had life insurance and offered to call his place of employment. She talked to the owner there and he said my brother had taken the paper work but never turned it in. He also said his brother and co-owner was out of town and he wanted to call him to talk over the situation. 

Soon after, he called back and told our friend to tell us to have the funeral home to send them the entire bill. I couldn't believe it! In my hours of desperation, when faith was my only hope-- God came through.  He provided!  He used this man and his brother to meet our need.  

For the past several years, my mom has been taking food to their business for their workers as a thank you to the owners.  She went today.  They told her how much they appreciated it and how thankful they were for her lunch.  They just don't realize how much God used them to bless our family on one of the darkest days of our lives.  

I tell this story again and again.  A story of thanks to God for His provision.  A story of thanks to two men who let God use them to bless others.  A story of mustard seed faith that I didn't produce on my own. 

Thanks be to the Lord in heaven for His merciful provision when our faith is so small!

Monday, November 10, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 10

I give thanks:

  • for food on the table and dirty dishes in the sink
  • clean clothes that needed to be put away
  • a roof over our head
  • for the internet and all the free resources available
  • rehearsals, play dates and swim lessons
  • leftovers, so that I didn't have to cook today
  • that Tera's allergies are starting to get better
  • for God's presence in our lives
  • for grace and forgiveness

Sunday, November 9, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 9

Today I give thanks for: 

  • being able to meet with fellow believers for fellowship, worship and discussion of the Scriptures.
  • sharing our burdens with other
  • honesty
  • my children and their interest in spiritual things
  • my husband and his commitment to God, me and our family
  • more blessings than I can count
  • answered prayers and those I'm still waiting to find out the answers

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Saturday, November 8, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 8

Wow, today was a long day! We left home a little after 7 AM and got home a little before 7 PM. The kids played in a chess tournament in Oak Ridge.

 Here are our praises for the day: 

  • Michael won a game in a chess tournament.  He played five games to the end.  Overall, he had a great day with behavior, especially for such a long day.  

    •  for friends to share the day with

  • That Tera and Daniel each won at least one game against some great competition.  And that their 7-9th grade homeschool team won 2nd place in the team competition.  It really made up for their lack of placing in the individual awards. They are already looking forward to the next tournament. 
We are so thankful for all the coaches and tournament directors that spent their day (and so much time before) preparing/helping/teaching the kids and the work they put into the tournament itself. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 7

Whew...this has been a challenging day, but I will remember....

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I give thanks for:

  • sunny skies
  • an able body that can do the work that needs to be done
  • good books
  • children who are wanting to serve others
  • answers to prayers
  • being able to stop and pray about a situation
  • having access to fresh fruits and vegetables
  • our garden

On the good days and the not-so good days, it's important for us to stop and thank the Lord for every good thing we have.  Even when everything seems like it's going wrong, we still have so many blessings.  We have to be willing to open our eyes, recognize them and give thanks.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 6

It's been a pretty long day, but it was a good day. 

Today, I'm thankful for:

  • spending the day with this little fellow and his pal, Skippy.

  • the wonderful teachers the Lord has brought into our lives.

  • beautiful colors

  • the majestic mountains that remind me just how little I am and just how big God is.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 5

Someone posed a question on facebook concerning what your kids enjoy about homeschooling. So, I asked my own kids what they thought.

Daniel had a huge list:

"I don't have to wait at a freezing, cold bus stop."
"If I know something, I can skip it.  I don't have to re-learn it because someone else in the class doesn't get it."
"I can study things from a Christian perspective."

There might have been another comment in there about getting to wear sweatpants a lot, but I'm not sure.  

Tera said to her the most important thing was being able to have input into her curriculum or what she studied.  I think tailoring  history and science to her interests this year has meant more to her than I thought.  

Michael is just happy to play with Legos.  

Today (and really every day), I'm thankful for being able to home school these three kids.  

To be the one who taught them to read...and write...and add...
That they have time to learn about the things that interest them...
That I get to spend time with them....
That Michael can dress like a Ninja Turtle while doing his math...
To lead them into a deeper relationship with Jesus...
To learn right alongside them.

Now, I won't say that the days aren't long sometimes and my patience is short.  But I wouldn't trade doing this for any other career in the world.  

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 4

This is one of those days that I'm extremely thankful for being a two car family. It wasn't always that way and we coordinated all our activities around JP's work schedule. With flute this morning, voting, CCI meeting, 2 choir practices later this evening and JP working late, it's nice to have two cars. 

I'm truly thankful for the right to vote.  

I'm so overwhelmed at the thought that our prayers matter to God.  He cares about the things that worry us, and every little thing that concerns us.  He wants us to bring not only our lives but all those worries we have to HIM!

"Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you!"  
1 Peter 5:7 

I'm thankful for medicine when I need it, a dishwasher, a working washer and dryer and a refrigerator that keeps my food edible.  

I give thanks for rest when I need it and a home filled with my "brood" that I love so much!

I'm thankful that my mom finally made it on facebook and can keep up with her Tennessee children.  It makes me so happy to see her auto-corrected comments on my posts.  


Monday, November 3, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

I give thanks for: 

friends that keep encouraging me to do the hard stuff.

the privilege to stay at home with my kids.

dinners in the crock pot.

being able to have some time to do things for me:  swim lessons, exercise, and being a part of a choir.

knowing that no matter what happens, God is taking care of all those things that I worry so much about.  He's working things out even when I cannot see.  

renewed perspective.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Sunday, November 2, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 2

Today I give thanks for: 

  • an extra hour of sleep
  • patience when I need it
  • the saving power of Jesus Christ that has changed my life and so many others
  • decaf coffee
  • the freedom to meet with other believers, to own a Bible, to speak freely about Jesus
  • wonderful cinnamon bread made by my lovely daughter
  • sibling arguments (It could be worse!)
  • time spent with family
  • warm blankets and a wood stove
  • beautiful sunshine beaming in through the windows

Praise the LORD. O give thanks to the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever. 
Psalm 106:1

Saturday, November 1, 2014

30 Days of Thanks

Every other year, I'd already be a few days into my annual 30 Days of Thanks project. I even contemplated not doing it this year at all. If you read my last post, (Burnout) you'd understand my frame of mind right now.  I do know there is something that happens to us, when we take the focus off ourselves/our issues/our problems and direct our praise and thanks to the "Giver of all good gifts".  I may be getting a reluctant start this year, but I know that the process will all be worthwhile.  

I give thanks:
  • for forgiveness

  • for second chances

  • for this promise:  "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."  Isaiah 43:2

  • for my husband's employment

  • for these kids, and their simple enjoyment of fun times spent together

  • for a home with art
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17


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