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Rejoice and be Thankful always

Today I read from the devotional Jesus Calling, something my late grandmother encouraged everyone she knew to pick up a copy and if they didn’t she would give them one of hers. Someone said around the time of her funeral that she mentioned buying a copy everytime she saw one in the store.
In light of all that is going on in our world near and far it is hard to be thankful. We get caught up in injustice and fear, pain and heartache. This devotional is a good reminder of what we have to be thankful for.
This is the quoted passage for November 26; “This is the day that I have made! As you rejoice in this day of life, it will yeild up to you precious gifts and beneficial training. Walk with Me along the high road of thanksgiving, and you will find all the delights I have made ready for you.
To protect your thankfulness, you must remember that you reside in a fallen world, where blessings and sorrows intermingle freely. A constant focus on adversity defeats many Christians. (I would also add any human to this)
They walk through a day this is brimming with beauty and brightness, seeing only the grayness of their thoughts. Neglecting the practice of giving thanks has darkened their minds. How precious are My children who remember to thank Me at all times. They can walk through the darkest days with Joy in their hearts because they know that the Light of My Presence is still shining on them. Rejoice in this day that I have made, for I am your steadfast Companion.”
Also read Psalm 116:17, Psalm 118:24
I am thankful that God shows me grace every day. I am trying to show grace to everyone regardless of if I disagree with views or behaviors. I am human and need God’s grace to show forgiveness and love to others even if I am not receiving the same from them. I am thankful for my family, my parents that raised me in the Lord. My father who sacrificed time with his family to serve the public and risk his life day in and day out. I am thankful for a mother who taught me right from wrong and how to respect those in authority no matter if I agreed with them, I was to show respect. I am thankful that I am free to proclaim that I believe in Jesus and that He died for my sins. Sins that I unfortunately commit everyday, I am thankful that I have hope and a future. I am thankful that I serve the one true God and he is providing the way to care for the lives of those who need to see Grace played out before them. I am thankful that I can teach these kids that they can make good choices, that they can change their lives and can make a better nation. I am thankful for so many things, but most of all I am thankful that one day I will be able to leave this world behind and rejoice with my King in Heaven.
I pray that you too can find that peace and thanksgiving today. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Transition

As the holiday season approaches we had to start looking for a new home for our amazing dog, Hercules. Don’t let the name fool you he is a 12lb rat terrier that has been in our family for almost 4 years. Its always hard to find someone to take care of him when we travel and since our hope is to move soon to Uganda we decided now was the time. We posted on facebook that we were looking for a good home for him and narrowed it down to two great families. It was difficult to figure out a way to explain the transition we would be making to our 3 year old son. He took it well so far but I am anticipating some sadness ahead of us. The good thing is that he will have distractions for a good month and hopefully that will make it easier. The other good thing is that we know the family that we picked so visiting the dog is an option if we need to.IMAG0051

On another light subject of transition our 18 month old is transitioning on many levels. She is starting the potty training process per her own interest. We have discussed that after the holidays we transition her from her crib to a toddler bed and she is talking lots and becoming her own little version of who she wants to be.

Change can be hard for anyone, kids and adults alike. I am anticipating lots of adjustments as we continue on in the parenting stages. Also living with children in another country is also going to be a transition of great magnitude. I say all this to make the point that no matter the change it is necessary. Transitions are something that have to be learned by going through them. You can only prepare so much for change, and then when it happens you may have to adjust based on how you actually feel. Without change there is no room for growth and it shows me that my kids are doing just that growing.

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Mom code

I read a book awhile back that talked about how to find your identity after becoming a mom. I remember a section in there that talked about how you get into these conversations on the playground with other moms. It talked about trying to change up the way in which we have a conversation to try and have it not be all about our kids. At any rate the other day I went to the mall with the kids to look for a gift and decided it would be good to also let the kids play in the play area. I stood off to the side and just watched my kids play. I overheard a mom comment about her kids crazy hat head. She probably wasn’t meaning to be heard, but I chimed in and said something like its the season of static. Something so little turned into a comfortable conversation about our kids. We small talked about food, ages, behaviors all on a very surface level. Then it was time to go, as I herded my kids to the stroller we smiled at each other and said have a great day.

It was good to talk to another adult, someone who was relate able. However I left that conversation and that area feeling weird. I felt ok we talked and she seems great, but I never got her name, and know nothing else about her except that she has two kids. I will probably never see her again, bummer. All this made me think of how many times I have done this and as great as it was to chat, I wonder if there is something else I could be doing. Should I be reaching out more or would that be weird. I don’t know the answer, but all too often I run into this problem; I have the kids and so I am distracted and hold a conversation that is frequently interrupted by kids needing help or other distractions. The other problem is that if I don’t have the kids then I tend to not talk to strangers, I may smile but usually I avoid.

This results in very few new relationships or opportunities to share in life with others. Sure I have a great group of friends but I am thinking about the future. In Uganda I am going to be faced with needing to connect to others and I will need to figure out how I can build relationships and resources by meeting people in strange places, like the grocery store or playground. I wonder if anyone ever has also wanted the same type of interaction with people when they go to the local playground…why do we not swap information and follow up for another play date? When I figure it out then I will share it with all that want help decoding the mom code. And just to be clear I don’t use my kids to try and meet people, I just want someone to talk to that doesn’t need me to get them a fruit snack or help them use the bathroom. 🙂

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Helpfullness

If you have kids you long for the day when they can help you. When I say help I mean actually help. It’s so cute at first when they try to help by picking up and the lovely sweeping and dusting. But really it can become twice the work and it takes every ounce of me to be patient and okay with the added stress. It’s so cool that they are wanting to help, they are mimicking what they see us doing and they genuinely want to be useful. Recently Jacob wanted to help with washing the dishes…I paused and thought okay let’s try this. I pulled up a chair which made it impossible to move in a productive way…he put on matching rubber gloves. I prayed that nothing would break and we cleaned a few dishes. I later had to re-clean them but I did it when he wasn’t around, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I have learned to be flexible as a parent to be patient and to not get upset over temporary inconveniences. The only way that our kids will learn is if we let them try and do things. Think about how great it is that they desire to help, if we don’t let them then I feel it could discourage them from helping in the future. If they don’t try and fail then they may also not ask for help or keep trying to succeed. So as I am learning we need to take a deep breathe and think is it really something to stress over? I think we should be getting the kids more involved, don’t worry about the mess or extra work instead enjoy the moments. Make a memory! Good luck 🙂

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27 days of Thankfulness

The other day I was trying to think of fun crafts to do with the kids revolving around Thanksgiving. I had a moment where I was compelled to try and get Jacob to think of what he was thankful for…so I reviewed the last few days and thought of what I was thankful for. We made a fun poster to track each day and think of one thing we are thankful for. I am hopeful that it will encourage everyone in our family to be thankful each day.

Its really easy to get caught up in the day to day trials and forget to stop and be thankful. Thankful for the little things, big things and even for the hard things we go through. I hope that during this season of my life that despite disappointments that arise that I keep a good perspective. One of thankfulness, kindness and generosity. To not think of myself but of others and to try and get others to think of others too.

Today we are resting as a family, we all are feeling a bit under the weather, fitting as the temperature is about to drop about 20 degrees this week. I was wanting to use the quiet time to finally blog and I had writers block. I decided maybe then it was time to read my Bible, what a concept, right. I read Galatians 1,2 and gained some insight into what Paul had to say. So with that passage today I took this from it…I am thankful that there were people who were willing to share the Good News to all different types of people. I was taught about Jesus and his love for me and that is what I am trying to do also. I am trying to share the news of Jesus of his Hope and his promises. I am trying to reach out to those who are forgotten and neglected in Uganda, as well as my family, my kids and to anyone who comes my way. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am THANKFUL FOR JESUS, every moment of every day, I am thankful for the salvation that I chose to receive. I am also thankful that I am able to freely share the good news to others. As much as I don’t enjoy the cooler weather, I love this time of year, the time of year where the focus is brought back to Jesus and to family. Try to think about others and not in the form of material things but in gifts of the heart, see a need fill a need.

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