Wednesday, November 30, 2011

for children

I am so thankful for the children in my life!
It is the last day of November and the last day of the "Heart of Thanks" challenge.  
Thanks for following along friends!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

special surprises

Earnest rolled for the first time from tummy to back on November 5th.
Here's a little look at that experience:  
video
I love the ways he surprises me each day with all of the new things he is able to do!  
Lately he's been working at rolling over from his back to tummy :).

Thanks God for special surprises.

even the difficult days

We all have difficult days, or nights in my case.  I've been challenged this past week to be grateful even after sleepless nights.  I think Ernie is teething or hitting a growth spurt; he gets up several times a night (reminds me of when he was a newborn!).  Last night was one of those nights.  What added an extra challenge was the fact that I had a friend that was planning on meeting me at the YWCA at 6am this morning.  I went believe it or not.  As I drove to the Y all I could think about was how tired I was and how much longer I could keep this up.  It's about that time that I realized I needed God's help; to get through the workout, to get through the day, to get through this sweet but tiring season of life.  It felt good to call on a God who cares.  Now, when I got to the gym I honestly contemplated napping for an hour in the locker room instead of working out :).  Sanity won though and I hit the stairmaster.  

"cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you"
1 Peter 5:7

How are you thankful after a hard day?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

combined thankfulness


The long weekend is coming to a close.  
The laundry is tumbling in the dryer, 
the boy is asleep, 
and the husband is reading beside me.  
Such a good weekend.  Such a good God. 

God, you are so, so good.  
Thank you for your new mercies and grace each day.  
Thank you for your steadfast love.  
Thank you for being for me and not against me. 


"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."

-Psalm 136:1

Friday, November 25, 2011

each hour

I am so thankful for an extended weekend with family.  
I'm thankful for the leftover turkey sandwiches and assortment of pies.  
Thankful for late night shopping with the girls 
and the wonderful husband who watched Ernie while I was out.
Thankful for homemade sweet potato fries and burgers for dinner.
Thankful for an early bedtime for the little one.
Thankful for a relaxing evening of sweatpants and a movie.

But most of all I'm thankful for the 
grace, love, and hope of Jesus Christ filling each hour of each day. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thanksgiving grace

It was exactly one year ago today that we told our parents that we were expecting!  
You can read more about it here.
  
I'm thankful for the ways God has shown me grace upon grace.

"And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."
-John 1:16

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

His Power


"He is the radiance of the glory of God 
and the exact imprint of his nature, 
and he upholds the universe by the word of his power."
Hebrews 1:3a

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

refuge


Thank you God for being my refuge and strength.  
Thank you for helping me in times of need.  
Thank you for fighting for me always.
I am only safe in you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

rest

I am thankful for Sundays, aren't you?
Time to sit and drink coffee with my husband.
Time for afternoon naps.
Time to quiet my heart and hands.
Time to reflect on His glory.

This weekend was spent at our parents' home.  
We celebrated my sweet sister-in-law Britta's birthday.
  We played new games, watched old home videos, and ventured through the first snow 
for birthday coffee and dinner.
  Such a fun and restful time! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

His Creation


This afternoon we were surprised with the first snow of the season.
Fluffy white flakes fell softly from a gray sky.
It was perfect weather for taking a family Christmas photo.

Thanks God for the change of seasons and how your glory is proclaimed in them all.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of His hands"
-Psalm 19:1


for the entire "Heart of Thanks" challenge go here

Friday, November 18, 2011

marriage

I am thankful for marriage; for my husband Josh.
For the way he looks at me.  Still.  
For forgiving me when I don't deserve it.
For his thoughtfulness shown in notes, cleaning the kitchen, or special surprise dates. 
For being the best papa to our little Earnest.
And for displaying the splendor of Jesus in his servant-hearted ways.

Thank you LORD for him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

this home



Thank you Jesus for our sunny yellow kitchen
filled with laughter and the smells of good things baking.
Thank you for a warm living room with the floral sofa
and always enough seating for friends.
Thank you for the laundry room where
little clothes hang on the drying rack.
Thank you for the husband that remodeled
EVERYTHING.
Thank you for the love that overflows.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

His ways



"For consider your calling, brothers:
 not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,
 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
 God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
 God chose what is low and despised in the world, 
even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, 
who became to us wisdom from God,
righteousness and
 sanctification and redemption,"
-1 Corinthians 1:26-30

Father, thank you for your wise, upside-down ways.  Thank you that you use simple, small, weak people to accomplish your purposes.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

a friend

Meet Amber.  Wife, mama, and dear friend.  
Amber and I met in college while studying education.  
We hit it off instantly in Spanish class!  
I have fond memories of ice cream outings, 
double dates and watching football with our husbands.
She was one of my first friends to become a mom.
I loved dreaming with her about her little one.  
Amber and her family moved away a few years back 
but we still keep in touch.  
Amber is one of the most thoughtful people I know.  
She often sends cards, text messages, or voicemails 
"just because" and to let me know she cares 
and is thinking of me.  She's also very good
at remembering special occasions. 
  
I'm so thankful to God for this family.  

Amber has taught me about motherhood 
and about being a woman who trusts God 
with the big things and the little things. 

Thanks God for Amber.

P.s. Happy Birthday Amber!  
Wish I could be there to celebrate with you! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

this day

Today was spent at home...the first Sunday in awhile.  
It was lovely.  
We cleaned, we cooked, we finished projects. 

Here is one of my completed creations:
(my sister's Christmas gift...last year)

We went on a walk.  
A long, refreshing, 
leaves crunching beneath your feet, 
stopping for a coffee kind of walk.  
We listened to a sermon.  
We enjoyed each others company.  
We are thankful for this day.

Thanks Jesus for days like these.
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it"
-Psalm 118:24


click here for the entire "Heart of Thanks" challenge

Saturday, November 12, 2011

something simple

I'm thankful this evening for dinosaur footed pajamas.  Cozy pajamas after a bath, what could be better?  These soft sweet pjs remind me he isn't going to be little forever.  

Thanks God for everything little these days.  

I want to thank my mom for the cute pajamas too:).

Friday, November 11, 2011

oh what love


"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
-Romans 8:38-39

Thank you LORD that your love is stronger, higher, deeper, and better than anything else.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

the unexpected

Here's a look at my family on my 27th birthday.
 If you would have asked me at age 20 to predict what my life would be like at 27 I would have told you I was going to be a married fashion designer living in the suburbs with a few small kiddos.  
I love how God always has the best plans...and His plans always shake things up a bit, don't they?  

Here's how His plan unfolded these past 7 years:
1. I married a friend from high school.  (I always prayed to marry someone just like him...turns out I married him instead...even better!).
2. I dropped out of a fashion design program and pursued teaching after volunteering at an amazing Christian inner-city school.
3. I became a teacher at that same school three years later.
4. We moved into the heart of the city.
5. We met Jemimah through that school.  She's been a part of our family for 2.5 years now!  Love this girl.
6. I am mama to one small kiddo and a pseudo mama to a senior in high school (Jemimah).  I definitely would have never predicted this one :).

Thanks God for all things unexpected.  Your ways are better by far.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
-Isaiah 55:9


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

forgiveness


"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight"
-Ephesians 1:7-8

LORD, thank you for your grace upon grace lavished upon me.  Thank you that not only was I forgiven of past sin that day, 10 years ago, when I first believed in and treasured your Son, but that your grace is promised for my future as well.  Thank you that he died the death I should have died in order that I could have abundant and eternal life.  Amazing.  Help me to remember it's all okay because my biggest problem in the universe is solved.  I am forgiven.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the best book

Earnest is asleep in his bassinet breathing evenly in and out.  I love watching his small chest rise and fall.  The in-laws left a few hours ago after Ernie Boy's bath.  They spent the day here which was wonderful.  They watched Ernie while I worked my two hour shift (did you know I teach P.E. 7 hours a week? :) ).  I even got to bake pumpkin bars this afternoon (recipe soon to come).  It's these quiet times after my son is asleep that I have the opportunity to reach for my Bible.  The husband and I have been trying to make a habit of reading the Bible together in the evenings.  It's kind of funny, but we read by the faint glow of book-lights so we don't wake the babe.  


Here are a few reasons I want to read this book more:
1. These words create faith.
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."
-Romans 10:17

2. The God of the universe spoke it into existence. 
3. It teaches me God's ways and trains me to abide by them.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
-2 Timothy 3:16-17

4. God's word is alive and active.
5. God uses his word to help me know my own heart and to know His.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
-Hebrews 4:12

6. God's word is eternal and holds eternal significance.
7. God's word gives me life.
8. God's word is light in darkness.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
-John 1:1-5

9. God's word is embodied in the person of Jesus Christ.
10. These words invite me to know Jesus and His grace and truth.
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." 
-John 1:14-16

Thanks LORD for your matchless word that brings faith, love, hope, and life.  
How are you thankful for His Word?

*For the entire "Heart of Thanks" challenge click here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

more than bread

It's 9:52pm and I'm typing this post from my warm cozy bed.  Thanks LORD for warm beds.  Thanks for a refrigerator full of good food to eat.  Thanks for a home where our little family can live. Thanks for thick winter coats, a furnace that works, and new windows that keep the cold air out.  Thanks for sustaining my life and going abundantly beyond what I could ask or imagine.  And help me God to be mindful that all of these daily comforts are undeserved blessings from you.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

his kindness


LORD, thanks for all of your kind ways.  It is your kindness that led me to repentance and faith.  
It is your kindness that leads me still.     

*click here for the entire Heart of Thanks challenge

Saturday, November 5, 2011

he provides

So, here we are again...spending another delightful weekend at our parents' home.  Laundry is fresh and folded, the aroma of apple crisp is in the air and Earnest is asleep after a full day at grandpa and grandma's.  As I ponder God's provision in my life I can't help but thank Him for our parents.  God has used both Josh's parents and my own to really provide above and beyond our needs in this season of life.  They have cared for us in so many ways!  From cooking and cleaning to waking up extra early to hold the little guy while we catch a few more z's; they have blessed us incredibly.  

Thanks LORD for all you provide.  You know all of our needs and meet them always.   
We love you grandparents!

Friday, November 4, 2011

someone special


Happy Friday Friends!  
One of the reasons I love Fridays is because I get to spend most of them with my lovely mama.  Some days we go grocery shopping, others we just enjoy the day together at home.  Whatever we end up doing there is always a lot of laughter involved.  I have so many special people in my life to be thankful for.  My mother is one of them.  Isn't she beautiful?  She shines radiantly with the love of Jesus. 
   
Who is someone special you are thankful for?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

hello again!




 I love playing on my activity mat (thanks grandpa and grandma for the fun gift!).  I bat at the toys and I can even grasp the rings now! 

trials


Life is filled with trials of various kinds, some great, some small, all change us.  Jesus says to expect them (John 16:33).  The question is: How will we respond?  I know it's easy for me to retreat to comfort, complain, feel hopeless, or wish my circumstance away.  However in the second part of John 16:33 Jesus tells us to "be of good cheer" because He has overcome the world.  
That is good news for my soul.
In this new season of motherhood I find myself facing new and different trials.  Some days these questions creep into my mind: am I being a good enough mom for my boy?  a good enough wife for my husband?  a good enough friend?  Being a new mom has pushed me a little past capacity (or more) at times.  I kind of had this idea while pregnant that when I became a mama I would have the tidiest home, delicious home cooked meals waiting for my husband when he came home, and smiling children to greet him (funny, huh?).  Well, my house has baby stuff lying all around and hasn't been deep cleaned since who knows how long, I never have a meal ready by the time Josh gets home, and Ernie's mood is constantly fluctuating.  I've had to ask God for His help a whole lot more; I think that's what He intended.  I've also had to seek Him in reminding me where my identity lies.  
I am His; and He loves me...(deep breath out).  
I am also not on trial to be "good enough"; I have complete freedom to be a mom and wife who doesn't always know what she's doing and who fails because there is forgiveness.  He also promises to be my help throughout the whole journey.  

Thanks God for trials; they make me reach out for your hand 
and call on your name.  They also make me stronger and bring joy.  

" Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
-James 1:2-4

How are you thankful for trials?