Monday, November 26, 2012

Let's just wrap this Thankful Thing up already...

Don't get me wrong. I have many, many things to be thankful for. And I do give thanks on a daily basis. I'm just not good about writing them down and sharing them in a timely manner. When I forget, I feel like a failure and I beat myself up, which doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the season. So, I'm going to go on and just list the rest of the things I wanted to give thanks for, in no particular order.
  • Healthy, happy children
  • Wonderful friends, new and old
  • My extended family, made up of blood relatives, those who got stuck with me through marriage, and those who just love me
  • A beautiful, safe, welcoming home
  • All the material possessions I could possibly ask for
  • My grandmother's longevity. I wish she could be like her old self again, but I'm glad she's here anyway.
  • Time to craft
  • Good books to read
  • Wonderful colleagues, parents, and students at TFCA
  • All the experiences- good, bad, and ugly- that have made me who I am today
  • The great gift of salvation
I think that wraps it up. And look at me, I've finished up before the end of the month. I'm not catching up, I'm working ahead.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quick Thankful Things Catch Up

I think I left off on November 15, which means I am only four days off kilter. That is an improvement!

11/16- Thankful for my mom, who sometimes drives me crazy, but is my biggest cheerleader and truest friend.
11/17- Thankful for my mini-me, Audrey. She's so much fun and an absolute joy.
11/18- Thankful for Jackson, my happy-go-lucky, freckled bundle of cuddles. Some girl will be super lucky to land him someday. You know, when he decides that I'm not the only girl for him.
11/19-Thankful for short work weeks. Really, seriously thankful for a time to catch up and rest.

Whew. Much more to say, but lunch time is over. I'm thankful for you, my readers, who tolerate my inconsistency and love me anyway. Does that count for tomorrow?????

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The world's worst blogger catches up on her Thankful Things, at long last!

I am the world's worst blogger. I stink at this- and pretty much anything other than my job (though sometimes that, too) that requires me to do anything with a degree of continuity. I have been thankful for stuff every day since Nov. 1, but I stopped posting on Nov. 2. It shouldn't really surprise my faithful readers, as my blogging tends to be spotty at best. Nonetheless, I'm back in the Thankful Things saddle.

A quick recap:
I am thankful for....
11/3- Lasting friendships
11/4- A bonus hour of sleep
11/5- A gospel centered church home
11/6- A job I LOVE
11/8-Fun with my students.
11/9- Fridays and yoga pants (I know, that's shallow...but don't judge. You love them, too.)
11/10-A great nurse practitioner who takes care of my family
11/12-My daddy
11/13-My sister-in-law setting me up with her brother on a blind date 14 years ago
11/14-Date night with Sam (McDonald's and hot chocolate with a good looking brown eyed boy!)

Which brings me to today...
11/15-I'm thankful for grace. I am not perfect. I can't be, no matter how hard I try! I could fill up post after post with my shortcomings, and those of you who know and love me anyway could comment at length about even more of them! I come up short day in and day out. That makes the mercy and grace of God even sweeter. That He could love a sinner like me boggles my little human brain! And yet, He does love me, and He does provide atonement for my multitude of flaws.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankful Thoughts #2- Family Worship Times

Today, I am thankful for family worship times. I haven't always been grateful for these experiences. In fact, they used to be a source of stress and discontent for me. I used to get so jealous of the bloggy moms that would post these beautiful family devotional ideas, especially around the holidays. I would aim to replicate those plans, only to find that my children were too squirmy to follow through with them. All that time wasted- no one wanted to color the reproducibles or answer the questions or anything! I’d get frustrated and tired and cranky and feel anything but worshipful. I felt like I was checking off a box on the list of “Things Good Moms Do” and, if I was honest, I shouldn’t even get to check the box because I had failed so miserably.

So, I quit. I stopped trying. I gave up on lighting the advent wreath and reading the scriptures. I waited a year or two, until my kids grew up a little. And then, when I did begin again, I didn’t try to follow some super mom’s plan. I let my kids dictate what we would do. We started small- taking turns around the dinner table saying the grace. Audrey and I began reading a few verses before bed. We got a subscription to Pockets magazine and started reading the stories together. We choose one thing per week to focus on in our prayers. Slowly, without any cute worksheets or prescribed readings, we’re starting to have those family worship times that I so desperately wanted us to have.

I began to focus less on being THE perfect mom, and more on being a better shepherd. When I began to see that this wasn’t about doing what awesome moms do, but about leading my children into their own relationships with Christ, things began to click. Instead of wanting others to see us as a perfect model of a Christian family, I wanted my children to see Jesus as a perfect model of love and holiness. The de-emphasis on me and the emphasis on Jesus made a huge difference in the success of our family worship times.

I am thankful for the change God brought about in me and the growth He is bringing in the spiritual lives of my children. I am thankful to be able to bond with them over the Word. I am thankful that they hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things I'm thankful for, #1

Things I’m Thankful for…

Us in 2009, in the middle of a tough battle with Crohn's disease.
November 1: My husband, John

November is a special month for my husband and me. We met on November 13, 1998 on a blind date. We’ve been going strong ever since. I considered waiting until November 13 to make him my “thankful thing,” but I figured that he should probably top my list, not fall somewhere in the middle.

I’m really not sure where to begin with John. He’s the most patient and loving person I know. He gives and gives and never expects anything in return. He has tolerated me- no, he has abided with me- through some difficult physical and emotional times related to my Crohn’s disease.

He is my number one fan and encourages me to do things that I am too afraid to try on my own. When I began considering a new job, he assured me that the changes in our income mattered far less than my health, wellbeing, and happiness.

He is a phenomenal father to our children. He loves to play and cuddle with them, and he leads them on righteous paths through his Godly example.

Our marriage may not be perfect, but it is solid and strong, built on love and friendship, and rooted in our faith. We complement one another well. I’m the one who finds fault, and John always has a positive word. I cook, he eats-and cleans up! I get bent out of shape, and John is able to make sense out of chaos.

I’m awfully glad he’s mine!