Thursday, March 17, 2011

Praises!

So much to be thankful for!

Wednesday Gratitude

- Praises for the Word of God!  Several in the dentist office were intrigued by the book I had in my hand--Ann Voskamp's.  So powerful, so personal and beautiful.  I'm simply amazed that Ann found the time to create such wonder, while still mothering and teaching her brood of six, and caring for her home and living off the land.  I don't have that many hours in my day! God surely wrote that book through her.  He wanted it written.  I suspect Ann is getting her share of persecution, as is often the case when so powerful a God-themed book hits the bestseller list.  About 2 weeks ago a Google search hit my blog, with the words "Ann Voskamp dangerous".  I found that chilling.  I've no idea why my blog would come up in such a search.  I'm certain I've never used Ann's name along with the word dangerous.  Anyhow, praise God for the impact Ann's words have made.  Everywhere I take that book, people stare.

- Praises that Miss Beth also uses /f/.  I had forgotten until tonight that when we count in the bathtub, she says, "un, two, fe, fo, fi, eigh, te (one, two, three, four, five, eight, ten).  Did you get that?  :)  Thank you for my little girl--so full of life and joy, Dear God!

- The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare.  This book has me on the edge of my seat.  It's fabulous! Very action packed, and for the first time I really understand why the disciples and the Jews wanted Jesus to defeat the Roman rule and establish a free Israel.  This book helps you understand--as though you were there--the politics of Jesus' day.  I find this author amazing.

- Praise God that Peter's leadership skills are becoming more mature.  He leads Paul and Mary as they clean the playroom--demonstrating organizational skills as well.  Being paid a little for the job really helps him apply himself.  He keeps coming up with better ways to organize their things, so that clean up is faster.  And no more shoddy work, such as things crammed in the corners.  He really cares.

- I still have to sit with Peter while he does math with the new program, Teaching Textbooks.  However, I don't have to prepare anything.  Praise God that something has gotten easier!  I just observe and have him stop when he needs more explanation.  I take out paper and pencil and manipulatives, if necessary, and teach a little here and there. Paul does it independently and loves it.

- Praise God for preschool songs and rhymes.  Miss Beth loves any song or rhyme that involves hand motions.  She gets so involved and is just as happy as a lark when we're doing the motions together.  Thank you, Father, for her exuberance!  She doesn't have much patience for playing on the floor, which, come to think of it, is probably why we haven't done it much in the past.  She is still so active, flitting here and there, just exploring and enjoying life.  She can say more than she lets on.  For example, today we were playing with the Barney stuffed animal, and I noticed she said "Bar" instead of "Bar-ney".  I clapped the syllables and was able to get her to add the second syllable.  Could she just be lazy, verbally speaking?  No incentive?  I need to require more of her, while still being cheerful and light about it.

- Praise God for new perspective on my sons.  Paul is very bright and struggles with pride; everything is very easy for him, compared to his siblings.  I noticed that he gloats a lot, though very subtlely, about having better scores on spelling, etc., than Peter.  They use the same materials.  I took Paul aside and explained that we must give God the glory for everything--even our spelling--rather than taking that glory for ourselves.  Every single thing is a gift.  He took this hard, as he does any correction.  I really appreciate the contrast this week, in ways I couldn't before.  Those given much struggle with pride--thinking they've made themselves.  Those with nothing remarkable, in terms of talents, cling to God out of necessity. Who has the better hand in life? The one who is first or the one who is last?  I have both in this house.  The one side has more earthly comfort, the other more passionate faith.  How can those who rarely fail, like my Paul, not believe in themselves so strongly?  The temptation to do so is great.  I see my mission as Paul's mother more clearly now.  He needs me to be proud of him, yes, but at the same time, I need to set his gaze toward his Gifter, and encourage a humble heart of thanksgiving.

- Peter said while they were cleaning their playroom, "Praise God that we have so many toys.  Others have none!"  I said that I loved his attitude of gratitude!  He was very happy to hear me say this, after hearing plenty from me about his complaining ways.  Has a seed been planted?  May it sprout and flourish, Dear God!

- My husband's steadfast love

- My Mary suddenly getting all the words exactly right for every song we've ever sung together.  She belts them out now, whereas even last fall she left out words, phrases, and lines, from various songs.  She reminds me more and more of a sweet little kinderg√§rtner, with her precious paintings, her rhymes, her songs, her letter sounds.  It's so fun!

- Giggling at the dinner table with my four kids, over a squirrel's frantic antics and amazing tail talk.

- More fun at the dinner table tonight.  I identified a bird for Paul--a mourning dove, far away in a neighbour's tree.

Mary says, incredulous, "You know what a mourning dove looks like?"

Daddy is usually the walking bird book around here, not Mommy.  Although, being married to my husband has made a bird lover out of me.  I can identify my fair share now.

I said to Mary, in a kidding voice "Why, yes!  Can you even believe how smart I am?  It's amazing the things that come out of my mouth, isn't it?" I'm no comedian, but Paul laughed hard at this, shooting his milk across the table.  Fun times, minus the mess!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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