thankfulness and joy.

One of my favorite parts about fall and November is the reminder of all that I have to be thankful for.  Every year, the kids and I enjoy different activities and crafts to celebrate this season of giving thanks and while I am grateful for the extra emphasis on thanksgiving this time of the year, my desire is that we learn to be a family who gives thanks every moment of every day.  I was also once again reminded how easy it is for me to complain and grumble about the very things that I am most grateful for. 

I’m thankful for a large, warm home – but do I really need to clean the bathrooms again, sweep, and mop the kitchen floors again.

I’m thankful that our kiddos have been blessed with many books, toys, crafts and dress-up – but really, when will they learn to pick up after themselves so that I don’t have to be the one picking up their messes, again.

I’m thankful that we are able to eat 3 meals every day (plus snacks) – but finding the time to make all of the meals, snacks and also clean up from breakfast, lunch and dinner; well, I’m not always so thankful for that part … and then there is the dishes.

I’m thankful that we all have clothes to wear – but seriously, wasn’t I just caught up with the laundry yesterday and yet somehow there are 2 more loads today.

I’m thankful that God has provided my husband with a wonderful job so that I can stay at home – but another late night or another business trip … not always so thankful.

I’m thankful for my 5 wonderful kiddos – but could they maybe fight less, stop whining/crying, lower the noise level just a little, and maybe, just once allow me to use the bathroom alone.

I’m thankful that my baby girl loves me and loves to snuggle – but could she maybe be just a little less attached to my hip.

I could keep on going, but you get the idea.  Oh, how I desire to grow in being filled with joy, every moment of every day amidst the mundane, tedious moments.  I’m well aware that part of being a mom is having everything you do get un-done and I pray that in those moments my joy would increase. 

My prayer is that I would grow in giving thanks, especially in those moments when I am tempted to grumble, complain and become exasperated.  I pray that peace and thankfulness would reign over our home.

And now … time to get back to our Thankful Turkey Craft!

>baby update 2.

>I’m sure most of you who read this blog already know this, but I thought I’d actually take time to give an update since things changed after my last post! Last Wednesday (a week ago) early in the morning, I started having contractions again … after a few hours of having them every 5-6 minutes we called and of course they wanted me to come in. They monitored me and the baby for an hour, then decided to give me something to stop the contractions since I had only dilated about a cm since my appt. 2 days prior. Thankfully, the contractions stopped and they allowed us to come home … as long as I promised to do pretty much nothing (the “try to take it easy plan” went out the window).

So, for the past week my Mom and Mother-in-law have been serving us by being here on weekdays while Brian is at work. They cook, clean, do laundry, help with the kiddos school, entertain Callie and constantly make sure I’m not doing anything! So, in the mean time I spend a lot of time sitting on the sofa with my feet up drinking ridiculous amounts of my pregnancy tea and water … and eating ice! I’ve had lots of time for projects that can be done while sitting doing absolutely nothing (which kinda limits which projects I can actually accomplish), so I’ve been spending time entering my recipes online as it’s a project I’ve been wanting to get done for awhile now. And of course I’m still able to do school with Hailey and Justin while I rest so that takes up a decent amount of time during the day as well.

Thanks to all who participated in the baby guessing game … and anyone who hasn’t given a guess about what gender/what date/how big #5 is going to be, feel free to leave a comment! It appears from the poll on the sidebar that many are convinced we’re having a boy … I think some have been swayed since my early labor hit because of Justin coming early. Me though … I still think it’s a girl (I’ve been wrong plenty though so this doesn’t mean much)!

I’m grateful that my contractions have slowed, but I’m still looking forward to hitting 37 weeks next week so I can resume normal activity! At this point, we’re hoping baby comes by August 1st, or decides to wait until after August 7th (the big wedding day)! Just to humor me I wouldn’t be shocked if the baby decides to wait until closer to my due date (or come on August 7th …. ha)!

Thanks for your prayers and care, we greatly appreciate it!

>baby update.

>Early Monday morning I woke up having some contractions, and eventually they started coming regularly every 5-6 minutes for over an hour. I knew I had a baby appt. later on Monday morning, so I told my doc what was going on and then discovered that I’m 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. So now I’ve been told to “take it easy.” Which for the record is easier said than done. I also seem to have dropped … which means lots of pressure when standing, and even more pressure when lifting, doing stairs, etc. As my doc said, “wow, the head is right there.” I could’ve told you that!

Since we don’t know what we’re having and boys mature slower in the womb, they’d really like me to make it to 37-38 weeks before delivering … and I’m completely on board with that as we know all about what happens when you deliver 5 weeks early! So now I just plan to sit around and do nothing all day … ok, so not really (somehow, with 4 kids that just doesn’t seem too ideal) … but, I do plan to try and take it nice and easy!

I started school last week with Hailey and Justin, so there is plenty of time for me to sit and relax while I help them, listen to them read to me and read to them. It’s really just Callie girl who throws in an interesting twist as she has been a bit grouchy (maybe due to cutting 6 new teeth in less than 3 weeks … now she has 12 teeth)!

So we’d appreciate any prayers on behalf of our growing family …. for baby #5 … particularly that he/she would stay put for at least another couple of weeks. Also, David and Krista’s (Brian’s little sister) wedding is on Aug. 7th, and we’d really like to be in attendence (and be a part of it!) … so that’s another prayer request. You could also pray that the older would kiddos continue to be big helpers and servants to me, peacemakers with each other and that Callie would understand my limitations and be joyful!

And last but not least, I thought I’d end with a little contest. I’m not making any promises as to how great the prize will be for the winner, but it will still be fun! Leave a comment answering the following questions:
1. Are we having a boy or girl
2. What date will he/she be born on
3. How big will he/she be
4. How long will he/she be

I have a feeling these answers could be all over the place … happy guessing!

>Prayer Request

>Our good friends, Jon and Alana had their baby this week … 5 weeks early just like our buddy boy was. Austin was born on Tuesday, after Alana’s water broke late Monday evening. He weighed in at 5 lbs. 8 oz. and is 18″ long which is great. He is currently in the NICU, and is on a ventilator due to some breathing difficulty. We’d appreciate your prayers for our friends as they would love to have him come home soon.
Here are a couple pics of their little guy …

>Prayer

>Your Soul has never grown rich in itself;
it has always been dependent upon the daily provision of God.
Your wants were innumerable,
and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great,
and your prayers have been as varried
as the mercies have been countless.
For as your prayers have been many,
So also have God’s answers been.
Remember this,
And let it fill your heart with gratitude to God,
who has graciously heard your poor, weak prayers.
CHS|Morning & Evening|2/6 a.m.

Be encouraged to cheerfully offer intercessory prayer,
by remembering that such prayer is the sweetest God ever hears.
The prayer of Christ is of this character.
The more our prayer is like Christ’s,
the sweeter it will be.
Remember, again,
that intercessory prayer is exceedingly prevalent [powerful].
What wonders it has accomplished!
Believer, you have a mighty engine in your hand;
use it well, use it constantly, use it with faith,
and you will surely be a blessing to others.

CHS|Morning & Evening|2/6 p.m.

I can infer that prayer is not simply something I am allowed to do as a Christian; prayer is actually one of the great purposes for which God chose to save me.
As a chosen one of God, I was saved to pray; and whenever I come into God’s presence to behold Him, worship Him, or make request of Him, I am arriving at the pinnacle of God’s saving purposes for me.
God is radically committed to my life of prayer.
He shed the blood of His Son so that I might be cleansed and rendered fit to stand before Him in love. He also permitted the brutal rending of His Son so that I might now have a way into the Holy Place through the torn flesh of Jesus.
Indeed, the gospel itself serves as the sweetest of invitations to pray; and preaching it to myself each day nurtures within me a mighty impulse to come “before [God] in love” and do the praying that I was elected to do.
M. Vincent|A Gospel Primer – Chosen for Prayer

To hear a great sermon on Prayer, you can go here to listen to a sermon my brother gave recently, titled (Lord, We Need Your Power and Your Presence – Jan. 4).