Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankfulness... It's Not a Season

I received a fantastic reminder at church this week.

I think it's pretty safe to say that most of us walk around everyday forgetting to be thankful for what we have... what surrounds us. I love the Thanksgiving holiday. I love the colors of Thanksgiving, I love the gorgeous fall weather and who DOESN'T love the yummy food that comes with the season? Is that what it is really about though? Of course not. Most of us started learning that at a very young age. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for our blessings.... EVERYDAY!

The message that I received at church this week reminded me that Thanksgiving is NOT a season. It should be a part of our hearts continuously. If we are thankful for what we have, instead of always wanting MORE, then we are content. Being content brings joy and ultimate happiness. Thankfulness is an attitude from the heart. It's NOT filling up a grocery cart with a turkey and all the trimmings and worrying about what your table centerpiece should look like this year. Being thankful means feeling gratitude for the family that shares life with you everyday, NOT worrying about who will be at the Thanksgiving table and who has chosen NOT to be this year. Giving thanks should be missional. It should be something that we wear so that others can actually notice a difference in our spirit, because the Holy Spirit lives in us.

It was a powerful reminder. One that I pray I can hold onto and put into some serious practice. I am thankful for so many things... too many to list. However, here are just a few that top my list:

1. My Savior. He brings me peace like no other person/thing can. His love is so unconditional and sweet. I'm so grateful for the fact that He is the Head of this house.

2. My husband and these three very spirited, beautiful boys. They bring an unmeasurable amount of joy and pleasure into my life EVERYDAY!

3. My home and the beauty that surrounds me here.

4. My extended family. Their support and genuine love mean the world to me.

Today and always ~ What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham

We are celebrating in our house tonight! I didn't know if it would EVER happen, but our sweet Caleb has finally decided that he WANTS to read, and tonight he read the whole book 'Green Eggs and Ham' ... BY HIMSELF!!! I wish that I would have had my camera right there and ready when he read that last word. The expression on his face was absolutely priceless and I will NEVER forget it. Caleb is my last one... The last in this house to learn to read. He was by far the most difficult, but miracles do happen... this is proof! I am so proud of him right now. He has worked long and hard on this, and I can see now that he has a genuine desire to read more. It doesn't get much more exciting than this.

Caleb... you hold the stars in your hands now. The world is out there for you to explore and discover in ways you never have before. I love you and I'm so very proud of you and this HUGE accomplishment!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall is My Favorite!

This time of year is so unbelievably GORGEOUS! It's like a canvas around here... One that's been fantastically painted by our Creator for us to marvel at. Every morning I do just that. I look out these windows and I'm so grateful for the beauty that I'm surrounded by. The trees are every color, there's new green moss growing on the trunks of the oak trees, and the sky even seems to have a golden tint to it. The air is crisp and it smells sooooo good!

The boys enjoy their time outside even more since it's no longer an oven out there. They build their forts, ride their bikes, play soccer and baseball and kneel at the creek in front searching for evidence of new water life. Soccer season is now over for us, so we have a break from organized sports until baseball starts again in February. My boys welcome this break. I'm glad that they aren't the kind that needs constant involvement. They enjoy their sports, but they also enjoy eachother and all the simplicity that life has to offer when you slow down.

I was doing my devotional last night and I came across this:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

I pray this morning that every thought that crosses my mind is one that makes my Father smile. I pray that the words that come from my mouth, as well as the words that appear here... in this journal of life... are ones that are pleasing to Him. I pray that God can view me, from the inside out, in the same way that I view this beautiful day that He has made...

A canvas made to behold.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Risky Business

I am about to take a very big risk. Those who know me know that I AM NOT a risk taker... so this is BIG for me. I'm also not one who enjoys talking politics. I remember witnessing family members getting into some pretty enormous political "debates" (more like borderline fist fights) at the dinner table when I was a child. I think partly because of this, I avoid talking politics most of the time. However... as many people do... I feel passionate about this year's election. Maybe not even because I love one candidate's ideas more than the other. I feel a need to share what's on my heart, politically speaking.

I just feel SO strongly that this man was chosen.

November 4th, 2008... a day that God has known about LONG before any of us did. He knew who our candidates would be and He knew who our next president would be. He knows the needs of our country. The biggest need cannot be met through ANY one person. The biggest need is JESUS. There are plenty of christian people out there right now who think our country is "going down" now because Barack Obama was elected our next president. I have listened to people speak to me about the results with a voice of panic. My question is... What happened to feeling confidence in the fact that God knows all of our days? He knows what lies before us and how every situation will be handled, right?

I am not feeling any panic over this. I have some conservative views, but I want to have MORE compassion because that's what WE ARE CALLED to have. I want to have compassion on my country and the many people out there who don't feel the blessings that I feel every day. I want to have compassion on this man who will be leading our country and his family. They have had to listen to christian people speak such ugliness about them... calling them things that they are not, accusing them of ideas that NONE of us can say are ABSOLUTELY true. We (as christians) are supposed to be the people who are the feet, hands, eyes and ears of Jesus. How does having such a poor attitude about one person (it really doesn't even matter WHO that person is, right?) exemplify this?

More than anything, I will be on my knees praying for our president and for our country. If anyone asks me what I think about the election, I will be brave and tell them my thoughts. I will tell them that this man was chosen. He was chosen by the highest authority and that authority has great things planned for the lives of the Obamas ... and even greater things for ALL OF US in this nation.

I love this song by Brandon Heath. It is my own personal anthem right now, and I pray that it becomes the anthem of many in the days, months and years to come.

"Give me YOUR heart, Jesus."

For clarification...

The reason I believe I'm taking a "risk" in this post is because as a christian, I have been made to feel/think that christian people ONLY think conservatively. I know that even some of my closest friends and family will be shocked to find out that that's not where my heart is. If you want to read more about this subject from an EXCELLENT christian author, I encourage you to visit Donald Miller's blog. Read his post that he wrote on the 4th. It's incredible reading!