Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving thanks, and not just on Thanksgiving...

Life is fast and furious with four small children. In our house, over the past several months we've conquered these milestones: 2 boys no longer napping, a new baby coming home, and beginning homeschooling. 

So, the norm is giving, giving, giving...getting lessons ready, making meals and snacks, nursing, sweeping up piles, teaching lessons, cleaning up messes, laundry (and more laundry...is there ever an end to it??), baths, wiping bottoms, reading books, tucking in little tired bodies....whew! After everyone is in bed, regardless of the fact that it may only be 8 pm, I'm not useful in the least. 

Oh but, I'm learning more and more to love the journey. Truly. It may sound like drudgery to look at all the task of a stay at home, homeschooling mom. 

Much more than the lists of to-dos for my days, are the moments I get as I stay home with my children. 

I've committed this year to being a year of focusing on giving thanks. Looking, searching anywhere in my days to see how God has given me a moment of grace, a sweet gift, anything that allows me to see His fingerprints in my days. I started in January making my list. I'm on gift #809 now.

And you know what largely fills the pages of my journal? Moments with these 4 little ones. 






Times of deep laughter, tenderness, milestones witnessed, my perspective changed through their eyes...I love these kids. Though I've never been so tired in my life, and I've never felt so stretched on such a consistent basis, I am so honored and grateful that this is my life.

"Mom, you're cute," coming from a sure little boy.

Little hands tenderly touching my face as I read a book.

Hearing "Your sins are forgiven!" belted out as a parade is started in the living room.

Watching the excitement coming when their first sentence is read! And knowing it was because I taught them those skills!

Seeing cards penned by my boys for one another, reading: "I like playing outside with you. happy. laugh. Thank you Levi. Love Judah."

Belly laughter from a 4 month old.

This year of thanks has helped me see how blessed my life is. It's a discipline to see the good, but oh so worth it.

So, as Kid President said in his Top 20 Things We Should Say More Often, "say thanks, and not just on Thanksgiving." He is so right.

Start now. Begin a list. Read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and be inspired. 

Some of you may have days that are very similar to mine. Others of you may have days that contrast greatly. Whatever it is you give yourself to, there will be hard times in the investment. Yet there are always gifts, waiting to be seen, acknowledged, received with gratitude.

Search them out.

See the beauty. 

Build your faith in our good Giver.

Be happier.

Happy Thanksgiving :)