Monday, November 30, 2009

daily blessings - Monday

- Turkey noodle soup with corn muffins

- My Mary jumping into my arms after I change her diaper

- Peter smiling so wide after grasping a difficult math concept

- My Beth waking and standing up in my bed every morning, always with an excited smile and a go-getter attitude

- My husband's spontaneous hugs

- The Al Anon website, for teaching me that a decades-long dysfunctional relationship in my life is not my fault, and that removing myself from the dysfunction is not selfish or ungrateful, but healthy.

- Baking cookies with children; eating cookie dough with children

- Staying caught up on laundry

- French vanilla cocoa; the fact that a box of this cocoa is only a dollar

- Diversity draws loved ones closer and reveals what's really important.

- I'm wiser today than I was yesterday.

- Hearing from a dear friend, who is on a short-term mission in Africa; her ministry is going well.

- My missionary friend writing about how imaginative the village children's playtime is; there's no TV to kill their imaginations

- playing Junior Scrabble with Paul, my all-things-game lover

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mary's lovey

I just spent the last twenty-five minutes looking for my two-year-old's lovey, which is a soft pink receiving blanket.  Each naptime and again at bedtime, we scramble around, scouring the house for it. Not so long ago, we spent countless minutes looking for Peter's lovey, too (a small, pastel green bunny).

Paul and Beth are different in this regard.  I was the only lovey they wanted (and nursing).

They're all so different, aren't they?

Sleep time is, of course, delayed by this daily hunting ritual, and I must confess that my eyes have rolled many a time.

But soon, lovies will be packed away, in keepsake boxes.  There are few things I'll miss as much.

I'm giving thanks for my little girl today, as she snuggles up to her lovey.  And for my boys, shouting and playing in the playroom.  They're especially active on Sunday afternoons--usually, it drives me crazy.  But today, I am thankful for the sounds.

They'll only call me Mommy but a few more years.  And they'll only climb into my arms but a few more years.

Short years.  Blessed years.  I am here, today, recording and savoring.

what's the cure?

What's the cure for discontent, discouragement, worry, frustration, and envy?  Thanksgiving.

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.  1 Chronicles 16:8

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.  Psalm 92:1

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:  be thankful unto his, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.  Colossians 4:2

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalm 95:2

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many rebound to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:15

Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 4:4

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:7

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cookies and blessings

I'm gearing up for major cookie baking with the kids.  Do you have any advice for me--those of you who bake varieties of cookies each year to give away as gifts?  Do you make the varieties of dough, and then freeze, and when you're ready to send them out, you start the actual baking?  Or do you do it all in the same couple of days?  I'm thinking it would be too time consuming to do it all at once, given my kids' ages.

Blessings for Saturday:

- I was single-minded yesterday and got caught up on laundry.

- I've been hanging our day-wear clothes straight from the dryer for some time, and now I've learned to fold all other things immediately too, instead of putting them in baskets to fold later (they rarely get folded if I wait).  We now live with less laundry clutter in the living room, and that's a real blessing!

-  My Beth is still nursing a lot.  She's too distracted to do it when it isn't nap or bedtime, but between her two naps, before bed, and during the night, she's still taking in quite a bit of milk.  I have no interest in weaning her.  When she weans herself, I know I'll experience a deep sadness.  I didn't want that vasectomy--it was more something I had to accept.  So, when Beth weans, the real mourning will start.  I am already praying that God softens it for me.  Babies are such a blessing to me!

-  Beth and Mary are currently very cuddly, sweet girls.  Mary often tells me she loves me.  What nourishment for the soul!

-  Beth says "Mama" now.  She lifts her arms to be picked up as she says it, so I'm pretty sure it's a meaningful word for her.

-  Thanksgiving leftovers--served last night--were delicious!

-  I correctly installed the Google Analytics tracking code into my new blog's html!  This time, it wasn't an angst-filled process.

-  Full sun has arrived and it's beautiful today.

-  We're out of a lot of things right now, and waiting on an unemployment disbursement so we can get to the store.  While it's difficult--especially being out of printer ink and needing to send resumes--we're surviving and the fact that God always provides is settling even deeper into our hearts and consciousness.  When the job loss first occurred, we could have hyperventilated--the fear was that strong!  Now, if it ever happens again, there would be dread, but not fear.

Friday, November 27, 2009

friday blessings

- Jesus is the head of our imperfect home.  He gives us grace to handle our imperfections.

- My husband is a man of faith, open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

- The turkey was delicious.

- The cranberries were delicious--despite my not having any orange juice to add to them.

- No one was sick on Thanksgiving--not always a given around here.

- My aunt invited us for desert.

- Beth, eleven months old, didn't get a second nap due to my rushing around to get dinner done.  I actually forgot her nap!  Nevertheless, she was happy as a lark at my aunt's house.

- Without any extended family around to play with kids while we cooked, I didn't have time to do my time-consuming stuffing recipe (whole wheat bread crumbs, lean Italian sausage, dried cranberries, diced apples, onions, celery).  We also didn't have enough extra bread to dry any bread crumbs.  But the Stove Top stuffing with cranberries the church gave us wasn't half bad.  Dinner was saved by their generosity.

- It snowed this morning.  Beautiful.  Didn't stick, but what a happy thing to wake up to.  (Okay, not if you're my husband.  He prefers visiting the snow in the High Sierras.)

-  I have two beautiful girls, Mary, almost three, and Beth, eleven months.  I didn't plan them--God did.  I can't imagine life without them.

-  There is a blessing in having boys first.  Peter, 7, and Paul, 6, my sweet sons, can help watch out for their sisters when the courtship years come.

-  Online friends--always a blessing.

-  Our church has a very sweet Children's Director, and a very nice Pastor.

-  Our church body is generous.

-  I'm trying to teach Peter to self-correct his glass-half-empty thought patterns.  I read that pessimistic people are not only less happy, but also less effective in their lives.  Anyhow, this morning, Peter rephrased a negative thought to make it a positive one--on his own.  Praise God!