December Gratitude

IMG_0748It was a week of recovery from some sort of illness for the kids, working, and tech week for the Mini-Nutcracker. The dippity-do has been put away until next year and I am happy to say we have one Mini-Nutcracker under our belt. Here’s my gratitude list of the week:

  • Laura and Leigh for showing me the ropes
  • little angels making friends
  • piles of snowflake sugar cookies
  • quiet times of reflection by the Christmas tree with Ann’s Christmas devotional
  • finding this treasure
  • a new recipe four out of six of us really enjoy
  • long, healing conversations
  • patient mamas driving big and little ballerinas in the pouring rain, making cookies and costumes, and watching five performances, and enjoying each other’s company
  • seeing the sun after a dreary, dark weather week

 

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Thanksgiving Gratitude

A week of birthday celebrations, Thanksgiving, sick kids, and work. Here’s my list in pictures this week:

Birthday sunset

Birthday sunset

Thanksgiving baking

Thanksgiving baking

Cousins

Cousins

More cousins

More cousins

Outside cousins

Outside cousins

Sick kids resting together

Sick kids resting together

 

 

 

 

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Advent: an Invitation

Setting up the Advent wreath

Setting up the Advent wreath

It is one of my favorite times of year. I love Advent. Love. It. I love the oldness and the newness of it. The five candles in church. The ring of 24 candles at home. The Jesse Tree of printed ornaments that became the tree of homemade ornaments. The devotionals. The quiet time. The hymns. The Advent Book. All of it. Even the wiggly children, the songs sung off-key or with a nose flute or djembe, the arguments about who gets to light the candles and snuff them out. The dripped wax, smoky snuffer, candles burning out before the 24 days are over and having to be replaced. (Just keeping it real, people.)

The year the candles had a mind of their own...

The year the candles had a mind of their own…

This is an invitation to Advent. Make it look like you want. Go on Pinterest. Go to Michael’s. Go to the Catholic Bookstore. Make your own wreath or candle set. Or buy them. Find an online free download. Buy a book. Just read the Bible. But this year…between the parties and the presents, the family get togethers, the caroling, the trimming, the baking, the shopping…come and and be quiet and “Be still and know I AM.” There’s no better time to get to know Him.DSCN6431

Here is, really, one of my very favorite songs for Advent. I wish I could link it better, but click and listen to Jennifer Martin’s “O Come Be Born Again.” You can even download a free mp3. Here are the lyrics:

O COME BE BORN AGAIN
Baby born in Bethlehem
Come be born in me again
Since You don’t mind dirty stables
Here’s my heart not fit or able
To receive such majesty
Still, You humbly come to me

O come, O come
O come, O come, be born again

Chosen One who chose to be
Suff’ring Savior, Servant King
Since You don’t despise the broken
Here’s my life laid bare and open
To receive Your mercy
As Your Spirit calls to me

And all who struggle, all who sin
Come and become born again
Come and lay your heavy burdens
At the cross where alls forgiven
At His feet new life begins
Come, O sinner and enter in

O come, O come
O come, O come, be born again

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Birthday Gratitude

It started before church, with our own unscheduled personal version of Festivus “Airing of the Grievances” that included a dropped glass jar of cereal that was crushed to dust, two children crying and one mama left to vacuum up the floor while decorating two birthday cakes and getting the house ready for 18 24. After that beginning, I was wondering what on earth could happen next. What a beautiful day it turned out to be! A worship service that just got better and better, then part of our tribe over for lunch. We ate chips and queso, made corn bread and laughed over soup and sang happy birthday to two of us. Here’s my list for the week, with a heart overflowing:

  • warm soup and cornbread shared on a rainy day
  • brunch with Beth
  • kids everywhere!IMG_5094
  • boys jumping on the trampoline in the rain
  • girls talking about boys
  • adults sitting around the table, talking and laughing
  • a surprise from my husband in my worship playlist :)
  • taking the time to talk it out
  • girls in tights and ballet shoesIMG_5026
  • a hug and encouragement from a friend, who can’t know how much her words meant
  • taking a bit of time to paint
  • coming home to freshly cleaned bathroom and folded laundry
  • dinner with my parents-in-law
  • my dad surprising me by taking my daughter to rehearsal

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Week of hard gratitude

DSCN6156A week of hard, a week of gratitude…here’s my list for the week:

  • Days to recover from my gluten exposure and the patience of my family
  • Scrambled eggs and pineapple-mango smoothies for my confused tummy
  • The beauty of this art in remembrance of those who didn’t make it home to England
  • A morning with Valeria and her kids–thank you friend!
  • Husband knowing how to pack for my son’s overnight polar backpacking experience with the Scouts
  • The nurses and care partners I am so privileged to work with–truly, truly don’t know how I would make it through my work days without that beautiful community of caring for each other in the middle of the storm…
  • Sleepover for daughter with giggles and hot chocolate–thanks again and again, Valeria!
  • A rare Saturday off. Now I remember why people enjoy Saturdays so much!
  • An amazing church, St. George’s, that truly appreciates its musicians and their contribution to The Table.
  • Phone calls from friends when I needed them the most
  • Son home, safe, sound, and a bit soggy. With lots of laundry. :)
  • This. Just this song. Over and over. “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal…”

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Beautiful Fall Gratitude

I like to post these early Monday morning, but it just didn’t happen this week. I inadvertently ate gluten Saturday at work and am still living with the consequences. I will spare you the details, but I will say that joint pain, headache, fatigue and brain fog are not conducive to writing. Here is my list for the week:

  • Red leaves against blue skies
  • Foggy, rainy fall days spent inside cozy having school in our pajamas on the couch
  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Pumpkin scones
  • Midday bike ride/walk with the family
  • Cousin time
  • Sleepovers and Sound of Music
  • In-laws taking kids to see Wizard of Oz
  • Recovery time on the couch

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October-November Gratitude

  • Two different families loading up me and the kids in their vehicles to get us to church Wednesday night
  • hugs and conversations around the bonfire
  • flannel sheets
  • getting the garden “put to bed” for winter
  • working with the most amazing group of staff that are always there to help you out when things get rough, as they often do
  • the change of seasons–so, so happy I get to live in a place that experiences all four seasons
  • a crock pot of soup on a chilly day
  • a game of Clue around the table
  • a week of quiet routine at home–hmmm…so this is what normal feels like :)
  • a job my daughter really enjoys
  • a report from the harvest-fields that has my heart singing!
  • pumpkin scones, hot from the oven

IMG_2308

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