Saturday, December 1, 2007

Giving Thanks

This is one of the many posts I've been meaning to write about - and just haven't found the time.  I'm not sure if I'm not managing my time as well or if I'm just going in so many different directions.  I find myself wanting schedules and routine - and at the same wanting flexibility and freedom.  I've learned a lot this year about letting go of my expectations and trying to make better choices.  So, even though I want more order, maybe I'll tackle this one later.  :-) 

Giving thanks ... it's something I need to practice more often.  It's a great way to exercise my mind, my heart and my attitude.  When I focus on things that I'm thankful for, then I have far less room to be grumpy or discontent.  You'd think I could have mastered this lesson, but I'm pretty sure it's one that I'll have to keep working on my whole life.  I'm so glad that God is patient with me - and I'm trying to learn to be more patient with my children! 

I have much to be thankful for and wanted to list some of them.  We spent more time on Thanksgiving activites this year than we typically do.  We did some craft projects and activities that my children really enjoyed.  I'm glad I took time off of "serious school" to have this fun with them.  We painted with popcorn, read stories about the Pilgrims, make turkey crafts and more.  Here are a few pictures.


We spent Thanksgiving in the mountains of NC with my parents and my sister's family.  This is our typical tradition, though we missed it last year as we waited on the birth of our newest little blessing.  It was fun playing with the cousins and just having time to talk.  I love being able to be with my family and make memories together.  I'm thankful that we are able to do this - and thankful that we all enjoy being together!

I'm thankful for laughter.  My children are often the source of moments of joy!  Our little Daniel is such a funny guy.  He spent much of this holiday week-end wearing this hat and being a little "Uncle Sam" and just being silly.  He enjoys laughter - and being the cause of it. 

I am thankful for the freedoms we have - one of them being able to share our faith, our values and our heritage.  It's hard to know sometimes what is sinking in - or even if anything is on those days when everyone is acting in ways that are anything but godly.  (Me included.) 

One of the conversations my Mom had with Isaiah was so sweet and I thought I'd share it.

My Mom:  Isaiah, what do you want to get for Christmas?

Isaiah:  Nana, don't you know that Christmas isn't about getting - it's about giving.

(Me thinking - wow!  He really does get it!)

This was especially touching to me as my Isaiah does LOVE gifts.  He loves to give and receive them.  It definitely speaks to his heart.  I love knowing that it isn't just greed behind the enjoyment - he understands.  My Mom went on to explain that in order for her to enjoy giving - that someone has to be the one that gets something.  ;-)

I am thankful that my husband likes to play with our children.  He doesn't mind looking or acting silly (sword-fighting outside in his jammies) in order to laugh and have fun!  I'm thankful that he values this time and doesn't mind letting go of some projects in order to spend time  with our children.  (BTW, he is alright with this picture being posted.)

 I am thankful that my children adore their little sister.  Sometimes I hear people wondering how siblings accept a sister/brother with disabilities.  I think for our children they don't see her limitations - they only see their sister who is loved very deeply.  It's one of the many times that I think we have a lot we can learn from children!

I am thankful for friends and family.  I have truly been blessed over and over again by them this year.  I have always known I was blessed, but this year has shown me a depth I have not experienced in the past.

Mostly, I am thankful for a God who knows me - and loves me so deeply in spite of all of my flaws.  I am thankful for One who was willing to give up His son so that I might have a life with him forever.  I'm thankful for a Father who is patient, loving and filled with joy and laughter.  I'm thankful to serve a God who is good - all the time.  I am thankful that this blessing is not just for me - but for all of us.  He wants us each to know Him and to know His love.  I'm thankful for God!

With a thankful  heart,