Psalm 100:1-5 A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
~ Mommy, Peter, Paul, Mary, Beth
~ new used van
~ my jobs
~ good food
~ children with similar interests (that would be college football--they just froze through a game in light snow at the local university)
~ affectionate children
~ clean water
~ good preaching at our church
~ Jesus-following husband
~ four precious children who bless my socks off
~ warm blankets making for a cozy home
~ watching It's a Wonderful Life together on Thanksgiving, after the dishwasher was humming and the pans were washed
~ Christmas books, gathered Friday at the library. As I sat on the floor at the library, browsing the Christmas picture-book section, it was amazing the feeling I had that I had just done this yesterday--but it was last year! Twelve months gone in a blink. These last 12 were among the hardest months of my life, but sitting there looking at the books, the actual speed of life flabbergasted me. Grab the children close and savor the time with them. Cuddle with more books. Set aside the phones and tablets and perfection.
Look the one life we have in the face, and view it as an hour-glass gift. And it isn't just about enjoying the children, but impacting them for Christ too--about building the relationship facilitating that. Fathers may have the greatest impact on whether a child follows Christ, but a mother's love and devotion and daily discipleship probably speak more to how a child follows Christ. Mothers are a gift.
~ His mercies are new every morning; he gives courage enough, energy enough, wisdom enough for today, and asks us to give tomorrow to Him. He asks us to give sacrificially of our time, talents, money, growing us beyond who we in our flesh could become.
~ Ann Voskamp's Advent family devotional book coming in the mail: Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas (based on last year's The Greatest Gift devotional)
~ My son Paul writing his own Advent devotional. He's been busy with a clipboard, Bible, and various resources, and last night he led us in his first short devotion. He's a Bible scholar with an eye for writing curriculum--even homeschool curriculum. Maybe we'll be partners someday, and he can handle all the business stuff?
Lamentations 3:23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
~ tree lights (Peter put the tree up early, distracting sister Mary from a serious wind/rain storm the previous Monday by filling the house with Christmas tree and ornament mess. It sort of worked, but she still wanted her throw-up bowl part of the time. Her storm phobia is far from gone, but will hopefully be dormant, giving us all a break during the snow months. Anyway, the tree, for the first time ever, was up three days before Thanksgiving. We had everything cleaned by Thanksgiving, which was good.
~ babysitting my neighbor friend
~ good food to relax with
~ hot wheels
~ candy canes
~ Beth, that she always likes to play the games I make up
~ power of God to write Advent devotional
~ warm clothes
~ football tickets
~ pretty tree
~ playing piano, knitting
~ pretty ornaments
~ paper chain Paul made
~ paper star Paul made
~ my family
~ my sister, how she is so cute and she plays with me
~ nice comfy chairs and couch
~ working dishwasher, washer and dryer, heater
~ clean towels
~ my family
~ my ballet dancing (her own, not in lessons)
~ our home
~ my siblings
~ my toys
~ beautiful tree (actually, she's had her way with it, moving ornaments around, so it's pretty sorry looking right now. I let the tree be theirs and my notion of good-taste decorating go out the window, except when they try hanging lights everywhere to the point of madness. These are children who buy lights at garage sales and thrift stores, giddy for the day they can put them up. Mary's birthday is coming up and she wants a small fake tree for her bedroom, about up to her shoulder, which I will grant because it won't end up at Goodwill in less than a year like some toy will. My children's love for Christmas decor has endured year after year.
~ candy canes
~ Mommy and Daddy
~ my sister, that she plays with me