Friday, February 21, 2014

Discipline of Thanks • Round 4

This will probably be my final round of this. It was good while it lasted! I started the year out with a thankful heart and hope I can keep up the habit. It's wonderful to look back on these and see little details of normal days.

FEB1 - 3 Gifts Red

  • Oliver's favorite color
  • Mirabelle's kisses ;)
  • The natural tints in my hair. The fact that I'm a pseudo ginger keeps me from dying my hair.
FEB2 - 3 Gifts on Paper
  • The notes I took on the church bulletin. We’re very encouraged and feel that God hand-picked this church for us for this time.
  • All the napkins with hot wings sauce on them.
  • All those Sunday School crafts our kids take home after church and end up decorating the inside of our van for months. :)
FEB3 - 3 Gifts Found in Writing
  • Writing out my sadness about being a full-time working mom and seeing things more clearly. I’m so thankful.
  • Mary Oliver’s poem - The First Time Percy Came Back
  • Oliver did six pages of writing in his workbook today when I only scheduled for him to do two. Hard worker.
FEB4 - 3 Gifts Found When Bent Down
  • A kiss and hug from Benjamin as I grab my shoes to head out for work.
  • Goofy play time
  • Remnants of the day’s meals and snack times on the kitchen floor. I find pleasure in sweeping up all those crumbs in one enormous pile.
FEB5 - A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven
  • I "stitched" together a fun post card design for the UGM Thrift Stores
  • I "hammered” down my tendency to be defensive or offended TWICE today. God helped me see my husband instead of just react to him.
  • "Let my life be for Your glory 'woven' in Your threads of grace” - my greatest longing
FEB6 - A Gifts Found Outside
  • My nose hairs froze within seconds of going out the door this morning. That was fun.
  • These drastically cold temperatures are a novelty for this Midwest girl. Also, the sunshine is a nice winter mood boost. Everyone else seems to be dreaming of Spring, but I’m happy.
  • The mailbox. I wonder when they will be only a thing of the past.
FEB7 - A Gift at 11:30, 2:30, 6:30
  • 11:30 - Delicious goulash by our new cook at UGM. The homeless and hungry will be blessed today.
  • 2:30 - This time of day is usually when I start to feel pretty drained and am less optimistic. I’m thankful for the lows in the day though. They provide perspective and make me crave God’s presence a little more. I see this dull, depressing time of day as an opportunity to be thankful and let God’s strength carry me.
  • 6:30 - My turn to make dinner. It’s the only day of the week it was on me. So thankful for that.
FEB8 - A Gift Broken, Fixed, Thrifted
  • Broken - My energy, attitude and creativity after a long week of work.
  • Fixed - Benjamin's model airplane I knocked off the shelf. Thank goodness for Gorilla Glue.
  • Thrifted - The box of stuff in the back seat of my car that needs to go to the Thrift Store. I just love getting rid of things!
FEB9 - 3 Surprise Gifts - Unexpected Grace!
  • A unanimous family vote to take the morning off and stay home from church.
  • The joy and peace that followed me around the house as I cleaned and cleaned some more!
  • We had a very full house for small group, but it was somehow quite orderly.

FEB10 - 3 Times You Heard Laughter Today
  • My children dancing in the living room and just cracking each other up as I got ready for work. Best sounds to start a Monday!
  • Barb and I laughing as we sang "Happy Birthday" to one of the guys staying at the Men's Shelter who very much wanted to stay “incognito” his whole birthday. We even had a bunch of other guys around us singing too! #sorrynotsorry
  • Mirabelle, who is irresistible to tickle. A chin in the armpit, ribs or neck will do it!
FEB11 - 3 Gifts in Working
  • Work provides the opportunity to stretch my mind to places it has never been, and a reason to sharpen myself in every sense.
  • Teamwork. It’s a privilege to have a shared purpose, a variety of skilled people working simultaneously, and the simple enjoyment of one another!
  • Money is a plus. Very thankful for a steady income this season in our life, as small as it is.
FEB12 - 3 Hard Eucharisteos
  • Caring for the drug addict. Barb’s blog 5 Reasons You Should Care About that Hopeless Drug Addict hits it square on the nose.
  • I’m struggling with laziness this week and I'm guilty of judging others in this. Better look harder at this tendency in myself and extend grace and encouragement to others. Ann Voskamp’s blog today on the verse, John 2:5, “Do whatever he tells you,” is the Hard Eucharisteo. Obedience conquers laziness.
  • Mirabelle is completely weaned as of last Friday when she suddenly refused to nurse. I’m denying that it’s hard, mostly because I’m so thankful to be done. But seeing that she’s probably our last child, then nursing is a thing of the past now. Yeah. The hard part is knowing that we’re already past the baby stage of life and I’m not even 30. Wow.
FEB13 - 3 Gifts Behind a Door
  • An office as opposed to a cubicle. I’m quite thankful that I can close that door and shut out distractions and commotion.
  • Coming home to the back door I know I can expect a warm home, 3 anticipating little faces and one tired fellow who gives and gives of himself each day.
  • 2 little boys snug in their beds, falling asleep before Daddy even has a chance to say goodnight.
FEB14 - 3 Ways You Feel the Love of God

  • Music that carries me through the day!
  • Getting glimpses of myself through eyes that aren’t critical and I can see that God is happy with me. Not because of anything I’ve done, but because He created me and loves to watch me grow.
  • This verse sent out in UGM's weekly "Friday Flash" to all the staff. 1 John 3:1-2 (PHILLIPS NT) “Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called 'children of God' — and that is not just what we are called, but what we are.” 
FEB15 - A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something

  • Losing the chance to spend time with friends but gaining slow, normal time with my family
  • Finding Valentine cards and drawings for the kids in the mailbox.
  • Making soup for my little boy with a fever. The blessing of serving my family.