Because DP is teaching summer school, our "free days" have been cut to eight at the beginning of the summer and a few sprinkled at the end of the summer.
So, we are making the most of it!
Here are the ways I've been thankful this week, relating mostly to DP being home:
1. Shopping By Myself: I bought these and a whole host of other cute things while I was able to shop all alone for several uninterrupted hours the other day. All you mommies of many children can feel my joy exploding through the monitor at this treat : )
2. Unexpected Finds: My DP is always willing to set out on an "expotition" ala Pooh -style. Tuesday we went on a jaunt that led us to a lovely strawberry patch. Though it was the middle of the afternoon when we arrived, we decided to take 30 minutes and see how many berries we could gather.
Well, thirty minutes later we had 10+ lbs. of succulent, delicious berries. After sampling some of their homemade strawberry ice cream, we pronounced our venture a hearty success!
3. Freezer Jam: This was a given, considering our haul of the day before. My sweet girls and I spent yesterday morning cleaning, pulsing, and stirring to make a number of pints of fabulous freezer jam.
Then we capped off the day with a movie at home and the most decadent homemade strawberry shortcake you've ever tasted. No offense, but none of those sponge cakes ala cardboard will ever touch the lips of my family. This shortcake was met with "holy cow" and "wow" from all the recipients. Even DP was suitably impressed, and he dislikes strawberries. Paula Deen, eat your heart out!!
4. Family Reading: I mentioned last week that we've gotten rid of our TV reception. Well, that has exponentially increased our reading time as a family. Our kids are all enthralled as we take "trips" together via a good book. We are currently reading about "Darien's Rise", a book written by one of the main producers of "Adventures in Odyssey" from Focus on the Family, Paul McCusker.
5. Summer Reading Program: Our local library is incredible when it comes to the summer reading program it hosts. Prizes abound. Programs to meet the interests of all my children, and an encouragement to read with fun incentives. This library just didn't count on my children joining . . . no TV = lots of reading in a short period of time. My girls have already surpassed the first level, and it's only been three days!
6. Connecting: This week has been full with DP at home, but my favorite part is the time we've had to chat and just spend time unlike during the busyness of a regular work week. He is fresher after not being at work, and I am fresher without the pressures that surround my regular schedule. Though we've not actually left town, the vacation has come to us -- just via our perspective.
7. Disconnecting: I know that seems odd considering #6, but it has been essential to our relaxed mode of the week. We have let the answering machine pick up calls, and we've pretty much disconnected from anything that would interrupt our time with our family. Sometimes that is more valuable than we can measure.
8. God's Provision: I am so incredibly grateful to my Heavenly Father for His continued provision, even of time to be with my family. So many I know are not in my position, and I am all the more thankful for what I have. My life is good. No, my life is great!!
9. Perspective: I was having an emotional pity party yesterday, but as I take the time to be grateful on purpose -- how my little piddly sorrows diminish. God has blessed me abundantly, just as He promised in John 10:10, one of the verses we've memorized this month. His truth abounds . . . as I focus on it.
10. Tender Moments: This photo was captured during a impromptu trip I made to Ohio at the end of last month. My children got to spend some time with their cousin (my brother's son), whom they see quite infrequently. I was touched by how precious my Sweetcheeks was in her interaction with MD or "Doc", as my DP likes to call him. Though they don't see one another very often, there is still a special bond of family that transcends the miles.
My prayer for y'all is that you will take time to be thankful "on purpose" today. Search your heart and see where God has put His fingerprints. If you'd like to share a way you've seen God's indelible mark this week, leave it in the comments. I'd love to hear it. Now, I'm off to spend more time with my family.
Hugs to all!
Labels: thanks tank
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” Fulton Oursler
According to this guy I have spent lots of time "crucifying" myself. I never thought of it that way, but it all begins to make sense as I ponder.
My sweet JD and I have been discussing what it means to live in the past, present, or future. See, the word "future" was in his verses to memorize this week:
How I love this passage and the following verses, which we'll be memorizing next week! I love that my Father in heaven, my Daddy has plans for me. His plans are not to harm me. His plans give me hope. His plans give me a future, whether that is one day or a 100, or more than I can count! Yet, I love what begins to take shape in verse 12, if I call upon Him, come and pray to Him . . . He LISTENS to me. He doesn't just hear me. He doesn't just let my words echo on the line. He really listens to me.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12
I'm just beginning to realize what God has had for me this past month, but much of it is about listening, not just hearing. I hear my children all day, but how often do I take time to listen to the cries of their hearts.
Back to my chat with JD . . . I told him in the simplest of terms about the past, present, and future -- the past is yesterday (which Libbyline called "the day before this day" until she was almost 5), the present is today, and the future is tomorrow.
Ever since my biopsy in February, I have been projecting way too far out there in the future, worrying and fearing what I cannot possibly control. I have been silently suffering with the reality of my own mortality. I've awakened frightened. I have been stopped cold in my car with the panic of what comes after I no longer take breath from this earth.
It's no wonder our precious Father in Heaven wants us to come to Him as little children. The simplicity of childlike explanation is all we need. The past is yesterday. The present is today. The future is tomorrow -- nothing more, nothing less. God has it all in His hands.
So, in a very verbose fashion I am confirming what I know to be truth at the header of this blog site. I have no reason to fear, for He is with me . . . in every facet of my life.
I can honestly say today, after much prayer and soul-searching I am taking that next step "Without Fear." What a pleasure and what a burden lifted! May God release you to walk "without fear" today as well.
Labels: fearless friday
1. Freedom: Both that of being an American and that of being a believer. I am so thankful for those who stand on the front lines daily and allow me the peace to go to sleep at night.
I am also ultimately grateful to my Lord Jesus who made it possible for me to live each and every moment I'm alive free from eternal separation from Him.
2. Breaks: How I needed this one, and I'll try to explain all I learned about myself in my time away . . . at some point. That would fill a pretty long post, so I'll save it for another day.
3. Change: Never did I ever think I'd put this in a list of thankfulness, but I am truly thankful for the changes in my life. At the same time I quit blogging, we also gave up our direcTV. Auggh! Talk about major changes in the house. We no longer get any reception whatsoever. We knew it was the right thing for our family, and we're not turning back. We have moved on "without fear", but at times the DP has not moved on without "regret." Prayers for the upcoming college football season would be most appreciated : )
4. Reading: I have read more than a dozen books in the past month, logging more than 5,000 pages. I have loved every minute of it!! That doesn't even count the children's books I've been reading each and every day as well. Amazing what you can accomplish without blogging and without TV. Interestingly enough tho', none of the books I finished were on my Spring reading list.
5. Scripture Memory: How this has changed our homeschooling this past month!! I decided we were in a slump, so I dropped just about every subject except Bible. My children are all eagerly hiding God's Word in their hearts and can now recite all four passages we've memorized in the past four weeks without more than one prompt ( and that is for my 7 yr. old alone.) My girls are doing them all cold without prompting at all.
6. Scripture Memory: Yes. Again. As the children memorize, so does the mama. That's great for everybody!!
7. Being Missed: Barb's comment the other day floored me and touched my heart. I'd been planning to rejoin the blogosphere sometime soon anyway, but her comment spurred me on to come back a little more quickly.
8. McDonald's Asian Salad: I think I am thankful for it because it gives me the chance to say edamame, and I totally love saying that word. It's really yummy, too.
9. Aha Moments: I've discovered wheat is an enemy in my diet. I gave up wheat about 10 days or so ago, and I am feeling SO much better. My pain has decreased some, which is a huge blessing. I'd appreciate anyone's input on wheat-free recipes or alternatives to using wheat.
10. My Family: God nudged me to quit blogging. Then He basically hit me over the head with His desire for me to stop. My family benefitted greatly from my time away more than I did.
I come back with the complete support of my DP. I am assured if this place begins taking up too much of my time again, he and the Holy Spirit will both be on my case to shine the light of truth on my errant ways.
So, I leave you with my tank brimming full of times of laughter, times of family togetherness that can't even begin to be explained, and with a heart that knows how this place needs to fit into the fabric of my life as a whole.
Have a great day looking for ways God is filling your tank. I'd love to hear how He's creatively putting things in your path to make His presence felt and known.
Labels: thanks tank