Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cool Quote & Thankfuls

"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." - Elizabeth Elliott

I came across this quote in an article I was reading in Leslie Ludy's Online Living Room, set apart girl at http://www.setapartgirl.com/home.html , it's an online magazine published by Leslie Ludy and her Ellserlie team. The article was entitled, "A Steadfast Soul" by Tessa Thompson and it ended beautifully when she said, "We may be women with a great capacity to feel, but when we look to our Father to be our rock and fortress, a shelter to whom we continually resort, the One who is mighty and victorious in and through us, we are also women with a great capacity to go throughout each day with steadfast joy, unwavering peace, and a gentle calm that truly makes us different - and yet beautifully dignified - women of the Almighty God." How profound? So thankful that I not only have a great capacity to feel, but also that I am beautifully dignified because of who He is and nothing that I have done or will ever accomplish. There's hope for me yet!

As I was thinking about this and the many things we have to be thankful for this holiday season, I remembered that I was supposed to be creating my list of 1000 things of thanks from Ann Voskamp's message at Women of Faith and as you can tell I had already forgotten, so here we go...

6. Sunrises that light up the entire sky in several different hues of color
7. White Chocolate Mocha's and Peppermint Hot Chocolate
8. Good books and a cup of hot tea
9. Fresh biscuits with melted butter and honey
10. Snuggling with my boys before bed

So now that I am doing 5/week you may be blessed with things I'm thankful for for the next 3.84 years, have fun with that.

Laughing & Loving,

It's been another week, such a slacker I am

Wow, things are sure going crazy here and the stress of everything we have coming up is starting to get to me. I wish that I was more organized and I feel like if I were I am sure I would be a better wife and mom. So in my anal-ness (not sure that's really a word) I had some free time yesterday afternoon after a meeting before my graduate class began and worked through a google calendar for our family. I put everything I had written in my antiquated paper and pencil planner which I love because I can hold onto and really feel it. I do however, never seem to have it with me when I need it, nor do I remember to write things down later. So with the google calendar I have set it up where anytime Travis or I add something to the calendars on our phones or to the calendar online they will sync with one another. This was a great idea in theory however, as I started actually building the calendar, rather than alleviating my concerns and helping me feel more organized, I honestly just felt more overwhelmed with all the things we have going on before the end of the year.

That's not even the half of it however, because after seeing all these cute things on Pinterest and other blogs that people are doing with their children, I am pinning or saving them, etc. and feeling overwhelmed about all the memories that my children are missing out on because I am not making time to do all these activities and then there's my five year old who will be in Kindergarten next year and I didn't put him in preschool this first semester though he's enrolled at The Crossing in Quincy after we move there. Is he behind? Why am I not spending time developing his skills homeschooling him per say in the evenings...because I'm at ballgames three or four nights a week, but that shouldn't make a difference my children should take precedence.

I keep seeing all these great things people have going on, how organized they seem to be and how much of a slacker I am, and let me just tell you it's really doing wonders for my self-confidence. All that to say, I have decided that though there are fantastic opportunities for memories to be made with my children, we won't be able to do them all, maybe next year right...I am just going to focus on each day, one at a time and trying to make a memory with them both, one day at a time. At the end of everyday, if when I lay down with my boys, we can giggle and cuddle and love each other, I guess we had a pretty good day, we are still a family, we still love each other and though we may have missed a chance to do something really creative, we made memories of our own.

Lord, today I turn over my need to be the "perfect" mom and wife. I ask Lord that more than finding perfection in my parenting and my marriage, I find more of you. Lord help our eyes to be fixed upon you in all things, our hearts to be overflowing with your love, and the words of our mouths to overflow with the abundance of your grace for one another.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Getting Started...

It has been such a long time since I have taken the time to really sit down and spend some time writing. I loved doing it when Tennyson was so little and I would find time to pray and write over him while we were experiencing the NICU in Joplin (for more on this visit www.thankfulfortennyson.blogspot.com to view our journey), but in the past five years since those days I have filled my life beyond full to overflowing. I don't know why I have done this to myself and my family, but I just tend to jump in headfirst and grab all the opportunities that present themselves.

So I am resolving to start some things anew, and get more focused on our family and decluttering our lives and just slowing down because too often I am sure when the Lord is speaking to me as I know He is, I am too busy to be bothered with slowing down enough to hear him.

As many of you may, or may not know, our family will be relocating in late December to the Quincy, IL area. I have accepted a position there in the student ministries department at Madison Park Christian Church. While I know that this may be a surprise to many of you as I have spent the past five years loving on the kids at Union Star School, it was time for us to find something else to invest in. Some other students to love on and to just slow down and really revel in who our Creator is.

I heard Ann Voskamp speak this weekend at a Women of Faith Conference in Kansas City, MO and she talked in depth about being grateful and how thanksgiving shouldn't just be one day a year, but should be a Christian's state of mind. She challenged us to get out some paper and a pencil and to start writing down all the things we were thankful for, to create a list of 1000 items of thanksgiving. If you're anything like me, that number is so overwhelming, not that I couldn't count to 1000 but I can't imagine really trying. I can't even imagine numbering my pages to 1000 let alone wrap my head around actually writing out 1000 things to be thankful for. While there are many, I know I am truly very blessed, I have decided to make this more manageable I will start by trying to write down five everyday.

Here goes...
1. Our Lord and Savior who is the only reason I live
2. My husband who was so perfectly created for me and puts up with my constant failure
3. Our wonderful boys, Tennyson and Titus, who are in essence the very best of both of us
4. Families, and the way that regardless of what has happened in life or how far we have gone, they are there.
5. Friendships, there are so many wonderful people that we work with on both regular and irregular basis that Travis and I will miss greatly after we move, but know that we will forever be joined, even if only for this season.

I have so much more that I want to say but of course, two ballgames are calling for my time and attention, right after I pick up those beautiful faces.

Resting in His Arms,