Monday, May 27, 2013

A Thousand, A Thousand Thanksgivings

well, I am only a tenth of the way there BUT, counting my blessings and giving thanks daily for my overflowing cup.

101. 18 years with my beloved - where did the time go?
102. the failure of the propane which led to the discovery of the delight of smoked chicken breast.
103. BD's Mongolian Grill - I love the food and the atmosphere
104. a visit with my niece, brat-girl, and her new husband in their cozy home.
105. a new photography backdrop system from this company
106. amazing border crossing guards in both directions.
107. homeschool co-op and all of the parents that take time to invest in others's children
108. weekly all-in-one night of soccer for all four soccer-playing kids.
109. weed-free flower beds thanks to my amazing perfectionist husband
110. sitting in Sunday morning service while the baby played the whole hour in the nursery.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Realist?

I am admittedly, an optimist. My dear husband and eldest son are not. In fact, though they argue against it, they are indeed pessimists.

Why is it that pessimists cannot abide to be called pessimists - but rather claim to be "realists"? I realize I am generalizing but this type of "realism" sucks the life and joy out of me. If I am not careful, I can be pulled into the dramatic negativity all too quickly. (for those that know me I have resigned myself to the reality that I am dramatic - but it is a positive dramatic!)

Here is a Facebook chat that I had with my eldest last week (spelling and grammatical errors left in purposely):

Me - "hello boy of mine. how is your day going?"
Drew - "meh"
Me - "why?"
Drew - "thre is no why."
Me - "? you can't claim a "meh" day without a reason"
Drew - "You of all people shuld know by now that I m not one for reason."
Me - "*sigh* well Mister pessimist then you can't claim to be a "realist" The reality is your day is average ie "fine" - if there is nothing identifiable that causes your day to be below average then it cannot be defined as 'meh' "
Drew - "thats very optimistic reasoning and therefore not real."
Me - "not optimistic at all. Optimism would say without an identifiable cause for a below average day you must define your day as "wonderful", "great", "over-flowing with possibilities"! All spoken with great enthusiasm and even bigger smiles."
Drew - "spoken by an optimist. even worse an optimists view on on a pesimist. it just doesn't work."

Me - "Indeed it does work. You just don't like the fact that my neutrality - ie your day is fine - is realistic."
Drew - "If your nuetral why aren't I?"
Me - "because "meh" isn't neutral it's negative. "woohoo" would be positive (though extremely so). fine is neutral. regardless of your pessimistic outlook I still love you more than life!"

What I found even more interesting, is that moments after this conversation I went on to read this blog post by Ann Voskamp. As I pondered her thoughts, I read this quote and it spoke to me.

"When we fixate on the worst in something, we render ourselves incapable of fixing anything.
But attend to the good in something — and we act towards the best in everything."

This is it - when we focus on the adverse- when our immediate reaction is the extreme negative response to any circumstance, then the situation seems hopeless... too much to bear let alone overcome. The influence on those around can be depressing, suffocating desperation. But this isn't TRUTH.

Romans 15:4-6 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Romasn 15:13 " May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Psalm 18:1-2 "I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


If I have this hope, how can I choose to react in the negative? to focus on the worst scenario as one without hope?

Even more than this

Romans 8:37 " No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
I am not left to my own devices to just "get by" or survive.

and then I read these words:

"You may not be able to picture what you can’t see but only real things fill up space. And the real reality is that your glass is really right full."

and they ring so true the glass is indeed ALWAYS "really right full".

THAT is realism!

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    Sisters in Christ

    I had opportunity to meet with an amazing group of women this evening. My Bible study group. Five homeschooling moms who love the Lord and desire to be the wives and mothers God calls us to be. We are working through The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. I have found the book, for the most part, thought provoking and challenging.

    I love our discussion time. The laughter and sarcasm. The honesty and openness. The woundedness and the healing. The safe place to be real and transparent. To learn and grow and change. No judgement. Encouragement and love and prayer.

    With these women I have learned that I am dramatic. ME! DRAMATIC! Now, I know this comes as a shock to those of you who know me well, but I have learned to accept the truth. When I said to Mc that I "don't do drama well" that was a misrepresentation. Apparently I do it SO well that I had convinced myself that I had outgrown the drama of my youth. (I admit that as I think back on some key dramatic moments in my life, I am truly embarrassed and wish I could take back the ridiculousness. I do hope that any witness of my antics has graciously forgotten my foolishness and only remember my more sane and lovely moments)

    With these women I have laughed and cried. Rejoiced and mourned. We have walked some difficult roads together but I am ever so thankful for this group of women - these friends. sisters in Christ. ♥

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Week 8 - Still

    If you have ever seen the most beautiful sunset and been without a camera, and tried to rush home to get the camera and get back out to capture it, you know that sunsets are fleeting. They change in a moment. Sunsets make me feel peaceful and since I am not a morning person, I definately prefer them over the sunrise - though I have heard it is as beautiful. To sit and drink in the dancing colours as the light plays on the horizon. This was a moment on the road - out of a series of attempts to capture the gorgeous sunset, through the open driver's window across my husband and attempting to avoid other cars- it was anything but still.....



    ...but when I look at this image, I breathe deep and drink in the beauty of the moment.
     
     
     
    Next weeks challenge - Contrast

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    A Thankful Heart

    91. the testimony of this beautiful young woman
    92. my eldest - who still gives me hugs and occasionally lets me tuck him in.
    93. A dear friend - with a listening ear. A wise word spoken in love and encouragement
    94. children who sit quietly and thoughtfully during church
    95. Breaking of Bread Service
    96. Baby smiles that light up the room
    97. Baby giggles are music to my ears
    98. scrapbooking weekend with the girls.
    99. the successful surprise visit of our daughter's best friend
    100. rhubarb custard pie

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Week 7 - Sweet

    There are so many SWEET things in my life - my husband, each of my children, friendships, my faith. It was hard to just pull one of these "most importants" out and distinguish it as "sweet", so I went typical with this week's challenge.


    Who can resist home-made waffles with chocolate chips, fresh strawberries and whipped cream?
     
     

    Wednesday, May 08, 2013

    Week 6 - Joy


    Surprise! Kayla stopped by and asked if she could take the kids out for ice cream. What a treat for a Wednesday evening! Drew had a prior commitment, telephone date but the middle three were beyond thrilled for a date with their cousin. There was much jumping and cheering, at least from Colby. The girls played it a bit cool but you can see the joy in their beautiful smiles. I absolutely love this picture of them!!!! ♥

    Monday, May 06, 2013

    gratitude

    So much for which to be thankful!

    77. a husband who cleans the kitchen after I make it a mess
    78. little boy snuggles every morning he is able to get up before me. :-)
    79. sweet baby kisses - even if they are through the phone
    80. the sunlight shining through my new bathroom skylight into a beautiful, bright, clean haven
    81. homemade chocolate chip bran muffins. This recipe from a friend makes me happy.
    82. so many encouraging words from friends and family.
    83. finding deals to expand girly wardrobes all within our budget
    84. a new shirt in my favorite colour - red!
    85. deep purple lilac buds almost ready to burst open
    86. a girl too excited to share next years co-op class choices that she stole the phone from her dad
    87. sunshine, blue skies and warm weather.
    88. watching my eldest come down the hall with his Bible - not well enough to go to church but spending time in God's Word anyways.
    89. our Sunday lunch tradition - sharing what God showed us that morning.
    90. cleaning out the wardrobe of clothes that no longer fit!

    Sunday, May 05, 2013

    Week 5 - Hands

    I had lots of ideas for hands in previous challenges. To be honest, I hadn't really thought of what to do this time around until I saw Christine's picture of her daughter's hand ready to pick up a worm. ew!

    Then my boys arrived with dandelions for me -




    - but since I posted those on my facebook status and took the pictures without the intention of the photo challenge, I thought it would be cheating.

    Good thing my sons see me as "flower-worthy" on a regular basis!

     
    though, periwinkle, like dandelions, do not make a long lasting cut flower.
     
    And who can resist the boys that make drums out of everything....
     

    three sets of hands flying. well, at least there were three until the camera came out and one decided not to participate. Even still, I love the movement in this picture and the three distinct personalities that define my sons.

    Lastly, a little boy who has clearly seen this so often that he is quite confident in how a camera works!

     
    Next weeks challenge : JOY



     
     
     

    Sunday, May 05, 2013

    Memorizing God's Word

    Like many kids the motivation of stickers or candy was enough to send me into a panic Sunday mornings. On the short drive from our door to the church parking lot, I crammed for the “test” – did you or did you not know your Bible verse this week? Of course the incentive was not enough to hook me into a weeks’ worth of work that would really cement the verse in my memory. After all, I only really needed to know the verse long enough to get credit. To be honest, aside from the standard John 3:16 type verses, I don’t remember much of my early memorization attempts.

    One day all that changed.
     
    To read the rest of the post please, join me here.
     
     
     

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    I am the very blessed wife of my best friend. The humble mother of five precious children. Walking a life-road that is more amazing than I could ever imagine.
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