Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 Welcome back for week two of my personal project: 30 days of thanks in pictures. You can go back and read a bit about this project and see week one here.
Moving back home to Florida has brought many joys, but there are many things I do truly miss. I miss the change of seasons. I especially miss the fall leaves so full of color and the magical feeling of a first snow each year. But, the other night while down by the lake I couldn't help but think of how lovely the weather really is right now. My son was playing in the water and the sun was just setting over the horizon. While I do miss the seasons, I am so grateful for the weather we have in Florida during the fall and winter. It is pretty beautiful most days. And once in a while we get a snap of cool air, but then you know the warm mild days will be back.
It doesn't matter if Daddy is gone 9 months, 9 weeks, or 9 days...the excitement seeing his car coming home is always the same. I am grateful to share life with a man that brings us so much love and joy, that sacrifices so much for our family and country, and that makes the most of every day together. No, every day is not bliss in 14 years of marriage; but each day spent living and learning together is something to be so thankful for.
"Most of our days are filled with routine duties required for life to continue with any sort of sanity. But if we take the time look closely, we might discover that God is using these normal activities to prepare us for future tasks, each duty pointing to His blessing in our lives." -Priscilla Shirer
Any day of the week you will find me in my home. No make up. Shorts and a t-shirt. Hair on top of my head. Dishes in the sink. Laundry to be done. Teaching my children. This is my ordinary. I am grateful today for my ordinary. For the gift I have been given with such a beautiful purpose to teach, love and guide my children daily. For the right now in my life. I am thankful that God has shown me more blessings than I ever dreamed in these ordinary moments.
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it." ― Art Williams
When we started homeschooling many people asked me what I was going to do to "entertain" our youngest child while schooling the other children. Some even suggested that I send her to pre-school to make things easier. My husband and I decided that we would have her stay home with our other children. Three years later, I am so grateful for this decision. We have so many memories of us all together during our days. Yes, sometimes, it is a challenge. She is at a busy age, but an age that is so fun to watch and nurture. I love getting to see the older children work with her on skills. I love being able to watch her love of art and learning grow. I love having her with us throughout our days. She learns so much by being around her older siblings....and honestly they even learn quite a bit by having her around too
Our home is usually a pretty noisy place. One that is filled with laughter and learning at most times during the day. (And yes, there are bound to be times I hear arguing as well). With three children home there isn't a lot of quiet. But I wouldn't trade our life for any other way. I love the noise and I love having our house filled with children. I love when the cousins and neighbors are in our home. BUT to be honest, by the end of the day, I crave quiet. I love order and I am ready to relax. Some nights, I don't ever find this because I fall asleep getting the kids all to bed. But when I do, it is something I am very grateful for.
Sometimes, I feel and look just like this when life doesn't seem to go my way. I want to cry, kick and scream, and just ask why? Today I am thankful to know that even though I may not understand God's plan always, I do know He loves me and His plan is always best.
"God's purposes are not for me to understand His plans: His plan is for me to understand Who He is." -AnnVoskamp.com
"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." -Kahlil Gibran
Even as we teach our children that their beauty is found inside of them, there is something beautiful to me about the magical world of dress up. Our youngest sits fascinated by make up, dresses, and tiaras. She twirls and sings and acts out various roles as she plays. I am grateful for these moments and the beautiful girl I see before me. No, not beautiful because of her dress or her makeup, but because of that shining light in her heart. That light, that is what I am grateful for.
"gratitude changes everything" -unknown
What are you grateful for today?