Thursday, November 26, 2009

Outside my window...I see the streetlight illuminating the foggy darkness.
I am thinking...that the Lord has given me so many things to be thankful for!
I am thankful husband and children, my family and friends, the basics and the faculties to live a productive and happy life.
I am wearing...jeans and a dressy black shirt -- but getting ready to go to bed shortly!
I am babies, my grandmother and grandfather, and my mother-in-law who are waiting for me in Heaven.
I am rest before I have to get up and cook!
I am reading..."Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations" by Alex and Brett Harris.
I am hoping...that it will be a white Christmas!
On my mind...I am praying for those who are in need, are alone, or feel they have nothing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
From the learning rooms...we had a light week this week, although we talked about thankfulness and tried some craft projects.
Noticing that...I can't sleep tonight for some reason.
Pondering these words..."God has a lot to say on the subject of how women are to view and relate to those in authority over them..." (From "So Much More" by Anna Sofia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin)
From the kitchen...Smells wonderful -- I made homemade applesauce for our Thanksgiving meal.
Around the house...I am trying to keep things neat and tidy, and am enjoying the last few days of my fall decor.
One of my favorite to hear what my children have to say about being thankful and praising God for our blessings!!!
From my picture journal...nothing today...

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something Worth Celebrating...

Forty-two years ago today, two people were joined together in holy matrimony -- and are still married! That may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but in the current climate so prevalent in today's culture, it is something certainly worthy of notice and celebration. However, I am very thankful for my parents, and for the love and morals and values that were practiced in our home and served as examples...Sure, there were times when the example was more of what not to do....but the joys I recall from my childhood centered on the practice of faith, the model of love and the immersion of living out values like trust, honesty, hard work, courage, and commitment...

For thousands of years couples have joined together and created the core of society -- the family. However, these days families are so -- dare I say it? -- disjointed, immoral...just plain wrong. And often they certainly do not always model what the Almighty set in place. I don't want to criticize anyone's circumstances, but I do want to point out that the key to staying together for 42 years -- or more, God willing -- is commitment. That seems to be lacking in many "try it on first" relationships, that often end up being temporary. In fact, I know many people who signed mortgage papers with a partner before they walked down the aisle, and even with the poor excuse of finances and economy, it is just unthinkable to me. I am not discounting faith in this equation -- commitment is easier when God is in the midst and the couple in question have a solid foundation in faith.

My parents have shared many joys, many sorrows. I have witnessed their arguments, their apologies, their love and their thoughtfulness in so many ways...Little things, done or said, a tender look or touch. I am thankful for that.

A committed spouse will be there "...for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, etc...." The Lord knows I have been blessed with a husband who has stood by me through illnesses, two miscarriages and the depression that went along with it, and who has always been a steady rock by my side, giving support and holding my hand whenever I needed it. We've gone through many financial ups and downs, have supported one another when in pursuit of various goals and dreams, and have cried to one another when things went sour. My husband has been -- and remains -- a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board for my thoughts, dreams and ideas, and sometimes the one I vent to when I am frustrated, angry or sad. I cannot imagine that someone with a less-than-stellar level of commitment would still be here, day in, day out, experiencing and sharing the drudgery of life (at times) with me. It's not that there are not sunny days -- there are many. But someone without commitment may feel the need to pursue the sun and leave the dark days behind them., whether many or few in number.

And so it's appropriate to take the time to celebrate a marriage that has succeeded where many have not, to thank God for His joining of the couple and for His blessing on their relationship. I know that I am thankful for the model I had growing up and pray that my husband and I can model the best qualities for our children too.

Happy Anniversary, Mommy & Daddy!!! I love you both so much!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thankful Heart

This Thanksgiving season I have been taking time to contemplate about the things that the Lord God has done for our family, rather than focus on the negative and distressing things that have occurred over the last year or so...

First, and most importantly, I am thankful to Almighty God for His love, grace and mercy. His amazing gift in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ guarantees those who call upon His Name a place in heaven, free from the eternal damnation in hell -- which is sadly these days a message oft overlooked in the effort to allow everyone to "feel good". However, without such a precious and wonderful gift, there would be no hope of anything after death. But through Christ's sacrifice, we have hope, and we can cling to that hope whether times are easy or hard to bear, knowing that we have the victory at the end through Christ.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful loving and hard-working husband, who has a job (another thing to be thankful for in this difficult and trying economy!). I enjoy his friendship, the conversations we have, the fun activities we engage in and just his presence overall. I am thankful for the children the Lord has loaned to me and pray that I do them justice in raising them to know Him and honor Him. I am thankful for my parents and my in-laws, who raised both my husband and myself with a sense of morals and values that have withstood the tests placed upon us by time and a culture that seems to have turned away from things worthy and of value to embrace the fleeting pursuits of life that bring only temporary pleasure. I am thankful for the confidences I have shared with my beloved sister, the joy I have had in spending time with her and with my nieces and nephew, and the good-natured pranks and teasing that are part of our relationship.

I am thankful for my health, which although not perfect, allows me to experience life using all my senses and faculties...and I don't know that I always remember to thank Him just because of that reason alone. I would not be able to pursue my favorite activities - reading, writing, crafting singing, and baking to name a few - if it were not for the abilities that the Lord has granted me with in His mercy and love, and it is some of these things that distinguish me as unique and individual from among the other amazing creations He has wrought with His mighty hands!

Despite the current discouraging climate in this political arena of late, I am so blessed to live in a country where I can read God's Word without fear of arrest or torture, that I can instruct my children in His ways, that I can praise Him anywhere and everywhere I go, and that I have the freedom to worship in those ways. I am so thankful for the men and women who have fought and are fighting to protect our freedoms, from those who journeyed here before the Europeans did, for those who braved the seas and came, and for those who melded together for the common goal of creating a nation where freedom and liberty were paramount and thus secured...I am thankful for those who rose up in courage to speak out against dictators, heresies and the like to grant us all the opportunity to pursue freedom and happiness and who joined together to create the republic form of government which allows each of us to be part of the political system and elect leaders we believe will be trustworthy to bear the burdens of governing over the small towns, rural areas, cities, counties, states and nation we hold dear.

I praise God for all of these gifts and more -- family and friends, neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ here and around the world, food, clothing, shelter -- there are abundant blessings to count and we should all take time more than once each year to offer praise and thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for His mercy and grace.

May you all experience a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!!!