Day 5

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Anticipation!  Excitement! The joys in our life keep us interested, looking forward, and motivated.

This time of year is so much fun in the life of a child. Superhero Son is excited about Thanksgiving, snowy weather, and all things Christmas. He looks forward to everything from hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, and sugar cookies to snowmen and Christmas lights.

As adults, do we focus on those things that cause anticipation? Do we allow ourselves to enjoy the wonder around us?

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the upcoming events, fun, and excitement of family gatherings and winter wonder.

Blessings!

Day 4

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Alarm clocks! Yes, those obnoxious alarms that snap us from our dreams back into reality are among my greatest blessings.

What would life be like without alarm clocks? Let’s do a bit of pretending, It’s a Wonderful Life style.

My husband and I would not have jobs. In fact, we would have been late to high school so much that neither of us would have made it into college. Therefore, we never would have met. We would not have the amazing life we have.

What about those wake up calls from God? Ever get one of those? You know, that smack upside the head when you tried to ignore God! Be thankful it was a smack instead of getting swallowed by a giant fish.

What would life be like without God redirecting when I misstep? Who knows where I would out God’s alarms in my life!

I am so thankful for alarm clocks and staying on track!

Blessings!

Day 3

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Middle schoolers! Yep. You read that right. I love the group of curious 5-8 graders I teach at church. I am thankful for their inquisitive nature, their curiosity, and their awe for the Bible. They remind me that seeking knowledge is greater than already knowing the answers. They amaze me with their faith. They are a gift of which I am thankful week after week.

Day 2

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Today I am thankful that we receive unique and separate gifts from God. I so often hear my students complain that something isn’t fair. They get upset if one kid gets a box of crayons and they dont. They do not have the ability to comprehend that the receiver of those crayons lives in a household that cannot afford school supplies.

As adults, we understand it, but we still show jealousy toward those who seem to get everything handed to them. We forget that God has given us exactly what we need to carry out His plan for our lives.

My gifts are different from my husbands. I plan. He wrecks plans. I worry. He laughs when I worry. Our personalities are nearly opposites. Therefore,  our Godly gifts must differ. We compliment each other well. He can fill in gaps my shortcomings leave in our household. He steps in when I am weak.

Today I am thankful that God celebrates diversity. I am thankful that He provided a husband for me to work as a teammate through this life.
Blessings!

Seven Days of Blessings

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1 week! Thanksgiving is around the corner. This year I decided to do something a bit different to focus on my thankfulness. I love the Facebook comments and posts by friends, but I decided to concentrate mine here. Each day I will write about one of the greatest gifts I have been given.

1) I am thankful that God watches and protects my children.

There is a moment when you hold a tiny baby and realize you have to protect and care for that kid. It is your responsibility now! This realization is met with overwhelming fear and a sense of inadequacy. Will I be good enough? Will I be able to raise him right? Will I be able to stop evil from hurting him?

My children are amazing gifts from God. When I remember that they belong to God first, I don’t feel so overwhelmed. He loves them more than I possibly can. I am in charge of their care, upbringing, education, and, of course, loving them. However, God is always there to help. He has a plan for my kids. He doesn’t want me to fail. He will protect them when I cannot.

Stormie Omartian writes books on this subject. I am currently rereading one about being a praying parent. She reminds me that God is the greatest parent of all. His advice is better than any website or friend. He will guide me as I raise my kids.

Blessings!  

Clap Your Hands With Joy

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I love sitting back and watching my kids. Usually, I am up cleaning or doing school work while they play freely, but occasionally I just sit back and watch. Last night they were playing with Halloween candy. Yep, we still have a bunch left. Superhero Son wanted to eat it. Darling Daughter just wanted to move little pieces from one bucket to another, then back again. She loves sorting.

Like usual, they began to argue. I told Superhero Son to let her sort. He could eat some later. She sorted, and sorted, and sorted some more. Finally, she squealed, clapped her hands, and said, “Yay!”  I guess she finally fixed them just right. Then she carried two pieces to her brother.

Upon receiving his anticipated gift, he clapped and shouted. He ripped open a piece for himself and a piece for his sister.

They both displayed great joy by clapping their hands and shouting. Was there a moment in your day yesterday when you did that?

As a teacher, I get to say things and do things that make my students clap and shout for joy all the time. Of course, it doesn’t take much. Five extra minutes of recess on a pretty day will do the trick.

We are 1 week from Thanksgiving now. Today, be thankful for those that bring you joy. Praise God for the ones in your life who make you clap your hands and shout for joy.

Then try to come up with a way to be the joy in someone else’s life. For my husband, all I need is a good home cooked meal. For my teammates, a quick, funny video from YouTube about the stresses of teaching.

Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

This isn’t just a nice verse in the Bible. It is a command for our lives. We were not created to stumble miserably through this life. We were made for joy!

Blessings!

Seeking Encouragement

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Where do you turn when the frustrations of life overwhelm you? Who do you talk to when feeling discouraged? After a long day of “to do” lists, work, parenting, dealing with the anger and frustrations of others, and trials of life, who are your steadfast rocks?

I am lucky enough to still turn to my parents. They don’t live close by,  but they are only a phone call away.

I also work with amazing ladies who put people above the stresses of work.

The person who listens to sob stories the most, however, is my husband. Many of our nights are filled with long talks after the kids go to bed.

I was thinking about these encouragers in my life and realized a few traits they have in common.

First of all, they are positive, happy people. When I need a boost, I don’t want someone negative trying to bring me down. The ones I turn to are those that choose happiness each day, even when worry, pain, or stress try to creep in.

Secondly, these rocks in my life fully stand on faith in God. They know that we are here to do be the hands and feet of Christ, not live an easy, carefree life. They can offer Christian perspective.

Finally, none of them let me whine too much. All of my encouragers are quick to tell me to shake off the frustrations and move forward. They help me see the big picture of life and stop focusing on small problems. My husband is the best at telling me that worry is a waste of time.

Clearly, these are all earthly. If I need encouragement beyond the help of my rocks, I have to turn to THE Rock.  When I pray, read my Bible, and listen for God’s response, peace comes pouring in.

Who are your rocks? During this season of thankfulness, which people have been placed in your life as encouragers? Who can you thank for lifting up your spirit?

Finally, who can you encourage? Who needs a positive word from you today?

Blessings!