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!

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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 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!

Remembering Our Thankfulness

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Psalm 69:30 (NAS) I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving

Psalm 100:4 (RSV) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name!

Colossians 3:15 (NAS) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NAS) For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NAS) in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(copied from Yahoo Voices)

I love Christmas!  I love the food, music, excitement, busyness, shopping, traditions, and movies.  I even love the crowds!  I am so excited about it this year because Darling Daughter is old enough to be excited with the rest of us. We will have two kids to enjoy all of the magic with this year!

Having said that, I am not ready to begin the craziness just quite yet!  I love Thanksgiving, too.  

I heard that some local towns are already putting up their Christmas decorations.  I know some friends who are doing the same.  I even know a few, a very select few, who are finished with all of their Christmas shopping.  

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to gather as a family, focus on our blessings, and not worry about giving or getting more.  It is a time to concentrate on all that we already have.  

Don’t rush this month of November.  Talk to your families about your blessings and having an attitude of gratitude.

Blessings,

Jessica

Thanksgiving in May!

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I am sure you have heard of Christmas in July, right?  I have decided to have Thanksgiving in May.

Last May I left school early for maternity leave.  May is a beautiful month in central Virginia!  Unfortunately, I see very little of it as a fifth grade teacher.  My month is consumed by testing, end of year fun days, and graduation.  On top of that I have thrown in our housing situation, trying to sell this one so we can renovate another!  There are also those two little people who live with me and call me “Mommy!”

I have focused a lot lately on my busyness!  I choose today to focus on my thankfulness!

1.  I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy!  My pastor defined grace as the blessings you don’t deserve and mercy as the lack of punishment you do deserve. My life is what it is because of these two gifts from God.

2.  I am thankful for my husband.  I have not yet driven him crazy with painting, cleaning, and packing our home.  He is patient and kind always!  I wish he would share his ability to display patience and kindness at all times!

3.  I am thankful that my family is thriving!  We have doubled the size of our family in five years.  These two kids add a lot of stress, but far more joy to our lives.

4. I am thankful that my greatest worries in life are managing these blessings.  I am not worried or afraid for our future.  God holds that in his hands.

5. Beyond all else, I am thankful that God is in charge instead of me!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving in May?

Blessings!