Day 6: Thankful to be an American and to live in a country where my voice counts!
When I wrote this status on FB a few days back, that Toby Keith song kept running through my head.
“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA!”
Day 7: Thankful for technology that allows me to stay in close contact with friends near and far.
All of our family lives in WI (well, *almost* all of them). We have some amazing friends in Texas and others across the US. One of my very best friends is living in South Africa right now….gmail, facebook, blogs, and skype are so essential to keeping in touch with the ones we love.
Day 8: Thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the country, for crisp clear mornings, for fall colors, winter snowflakes, spring flowers, and summer heat.
Today in particular I’m really thankful for the crisp morning air. It’s cold outside but cozy in here. I missed seasons SO much when we lived in Austin. I’m really glad to be back in a state that more resembles Wisconsin weather patterns. It will be so fun this winter to play with Pax in the snow. A few weeks back it DID snow~ here’s a cute shot of him stomping around in the dusting.
Books on volunteer firefighters.
A stack of thoughtful grad student reflections.
Writing from home a few days a week.
Engaging with students to learn.
Flexibility with work hours.
ps. Yes I am wearing leopard print PJs. Don’t judge.
So… this is what I posted on FB today: Day 4: thankful for delicious food (aka bananas foster french toast!) and the tools and (learned) skills to cook it 🙂
After posting it, I realized it may have come off a bit arrogant and that was totally not intended. What I really wanted to convey was that I am SO incredibly thankful that God 1). gives us our daily bread both in His Word and also in edible food 🙂 and 2). gave me the gift of hospitality.
Now, hospitality isn’t often one of the gifts people pray to receive. It’s not real fancy 🙂 But that’s what I love about it. I honestly can’t think of anything I love more… (well, aside from Jesus & my fam!) than having friends (or even strangers) over for a home cooked meal.
When we lived in Austin, we always fed the “grad student orphans” aka…those who didn’t have a place to eat on the holidays. We had Thanksgiving every year we were there and Easter brunch. OH EASTER brunch. Picture 27 people in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment. It was cramped, but the food was yummy and the company, well, they were amazing.
But I digress.
I am so SO thankful that Jesus blessed me with a Love for serving people with food, that He gave me the ability to do it well, AND that He blessed me by allowing me to enjoy doing it! 🙂
Steve works an odd schedule. He alternates between a 6 day and a 4 day work week. The six day weeks are no fun 😦 but the 4 day weeks are great! This week was one of those 4 day weeks. Today we had breakfast as a family, went to the store, played outside, Pax napped (and we cleaned out the basement) YAY for purging!, and then we had crockpot beef stew for dinner. It probably sounds lame & uneventful to y’all. But let me tell you, I loved every minute of it.
I’m so thankful for every moment I get to spend with my husband and with our son. I think God gave Steve those 6 day work weeks so that I would appreciate him more.
This verse doesn’t necessarily fit the theme of this post~ but it really spoke to me today. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me!
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
As I’ve mentioned before, we made some great friends while living in Austin. These friends are truly more like family than “just friends.” They are always there to listen when you need to talk… they know your sorted past, your current sins, your greatest joys; they know your fears. We now all geographically dispersed… several still in Austin, 1 in Amarillo, 1 in Fort Worth, 1 near Chicago, and 1 in Athens, OH (me!) ~ but it simply doesn’t matter.
I think one of the best parts of having these kinds of friends is that you can always pick up exactly where you left off. Perhaps it’s been months since you last talked. It doesn’t matter with these folks. I know I can always call one of these wonderful ladies, and we’ll pick up exactly where we left off.
The trip to NM was evidence of this. It had been a year since we’d all been together in one place, and yet, it felt like no time had passed. We sat, talked, and laughed for hours on end about the silly and the serious. We offered advice, counsel, and laughs. We pointed each other back to our husbands and most importantly, to Jesus.
Though miles separate us, the depth of our relationships continue to stand the test of time. I love these women and can’t imagine my life without them.
Photo from Amy’s shower… life before kiddos entered the picture for any of us.
Now we have 12 kiddos and one on the way between all of us! Crazy how a handful of years can make all the difference 🙂
This past year I read a book called One Thousand Gifts.
In it, the author decided to start a list of all of things she was thankful for. Throughout the process of writing and reflecting, Voskamp shares how her attitude, her perspective, and her focused shifted away from the negative and mundane to the positive and life giving and most importantly, back to the life-giver.
I hope this month of thanks will do the same. It’s easy in the midst of life… and in the disappointments… to loose your thankfulness. I certainly have lost mine over these last few months. November is a fresh start. A new beginning. A chance to reflect and remember all of the great gifts the Lord has given.
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Day 1: After days of rain from “frankenstorm” I am supremely grateful for the sunshine, for its warmth shining through the window on my skin, and for the beauty it brings as it sparkles on God’s creation.