A week for my family. (22-29)

For the past few days–catching up again, but also going to post ahead, since it’s going to be a busy week 🙂

I’m thankful for parents who are still married after 26 (right?) years. Who love and serve each other faithfully. I’m thankful for my parents who love and serve their kids, who demonstrate God’s love in a multitude of ways. I’m thankful for my mom’s preserverence, frugality, and her sense of humor. I’m thankful for my dad’s love, his desire to grow up his daughters to know what it really looks like to be treated well and to challenge and encourage us to be bold and to use the gifts we are given. I’m thankful for the way they love my children.

I’m thankful for in-laws who encourage us to be great parents and spouses. I’m thankful for the grace they show one another and for the many conversations about life. I’m thankful for their appreciation of the uniqueness of each one of my kids. I’m thankful for their ministry in restoration of broken people.

I’m thankful for the Patton side of the family who lean on one another and value relationships. I’m thankful for their friendship and encouragement.

I’m thankful for Daniel, my brother in law, and my sister Mada who have been there for my family in the craziest of chaotic moments. Who “drop” in whenever they are needed. I’m thankful for their goofiness and the way my kids love them. I’m thankful for their extravagant giving and for their friendship.

I’m thankful for my sisser Juice. Her infectious laughter and hilarity. I’m thankful for her many really good impressions. I’m thankful that she loves being an “Auntie Jujy” more than anything in the world.

I’m thankful for Clint, my artist brother in law. Who genuinely cares about people and the injustices of the world. I’m thankful that he sees the world differently than the rest of us and creates art that captures just how beautiful seeing the world differently is.

I’m thankful for Caleb, my other brother in law and the attic-dweller in our home. I’m thankful for his servants heart. His encouragement. And his teachable spirit. I’m thankful that he loves my kids and doesn’t mind waking up with them in the middle of the night or watching them so Cole and I can have date nights.

I’m thankful for my baby sister Abby. I’m thankful that she is a great aunt at age 7. That she loves to play and “babysit”. I love that she is gregarious and intelligent.

I’m thankful for my sister cousin Cheyenne. I love her unique perspective and her love of people. I love that she befriends everyone she comes into contact with.

Yup, it’s true, I’ve a pretty amazing family!!

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I voted (17)

I voted and placed my ballot in the box. I’m not entirely excited about my vote, nor the candidates represented on the ticket this election year.

ImageToday, although I’m not original in saying this, I’m thankful for being able to take that pen and cross off a choice, my choice for who I believe will run the country the best. I’m thankful that in this nation, I personally get to do that not only as a citizen, but also as a woman. Both are absent still in many nations.

I’m thankful that regardless of my choice, or any other choice, that Jesus still wins. That he can use whomever He wants to accomplish His glory.

I’m thankful that whoever gets elected tomorrow political ads will stop and my mailbox will stop being a junk drop off for all these flyers!

I’ll end with this thankful: I’m thankful for little people and their “political” discussions.

Oren (my 5 yr old son), “I’m voting for the president, because he’s already president”.

Abby (my 7 yr old sister), “Well…Mitt Romney lowers taxes and Obama raises taxes, so I’m voting for Romney”.

Oren, “Well…its a good thing then that I don’t have to listen to you or Mitt Hominy because I don’t have to have taxes.”

Sleep, sanity, husbands, and daylight savings. (13-16)

James Bryan Smith in A Good and Beautiful God says that, “Sleep is an act of surrender. It is a declaration of trust. It is admitting that we are not God (who never sleeps), and that is good news”.

My late evenings are generally filled with the need to stay up longer to be more productive and do grown up tasks such as chores, and reading, and catching up on all the “grown up” shows. Most of my daylight hours are consumed with children, toys, stuffy noses, and dirty diapers–So this makes sense, but it ruins me having a normal bedtime. Sleep for me is both a best friend and a worst enemy. I need adequate sleep and yet, usually sleep is the first thing I give up to meet needs: my needs and my family’s needs.

Let’s be honest, this sleep deprived mom is usually slighty (And by slightly, I mean extremely) cranky. The sound of cranky kids to this sleep deprived mom is usually a panic invoking invitation into borderline insanity. (Can anyone relate?).

James Bryan Smith is right. Sleep is for me a need. A need that I had never placed in the context of trusting in God. As a mom, I need sleep to be my best friend because it shows my kids that I am surrendering my worry my cares and my anxieties and placing my complete trust that God has it under control. No amount of reading or chores will ever make me better; not a better mom, friend or a better wife. Usually, in fact, the opposite is true: sleep deprivation makes me worse at both.

Lately, my husband and I, have challenged ourselves to get more sleep. That means that we give up grown up tasks have a dirtier house, and are calling ourselves “old” because bedtime is now strictly 10 pm.

Sometimes though despite my best efforts sleeping does not work. This weekend was one of those times, sleep was my enemy. No matter how much I tried tossing and turning, my husband was still snoring and talking in his sleep, my 11 mo old thought 3 am was a good time to be awake, and no amount of trying to fall asleep was working. I found myself frustrated and very awake until approximately 4 am.

You know what was amazing? Even though my sleep deprivation was out of my control, I was able to gain an hour because of daylight savings, my hubby woke up with our kids and let me sleep til I naturally woke up.

Today I’m just thankful for sleep, husbands, and daylight savings. And that I get to keep my sanity for one more day. 🙂

Psalm 4:7b-8 “At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep, For you, God, have put my life back together.”

My littles (praise pact day 9, 10, 11)

I’m a little behind on my praise pact. The past few days my kids have not been sleeping well. So, I have been slurring words and drinking gallons of coffee and have been in no way capable of holding a conversation let alone type anything read-able.

But here are my praises for the past two days and one for today.

ImageI’m thankful for my son Oren and his gentle heart towards others. I love that he cries when others are hurt because he empathizes so deeply for them. I love that when someone is our house is upset or a small war has been waged over who is playing with what baby, he comforts. He tells them, “I know you were arguing and she hurt you, but you have a baby now. Go ahead and give your sissy a hug and a kiss.” I am thankful for his gentle encouragement and I love the gentle leadership he offers his younger brother and sisters.

My oldest daughter (by 30 sec), Cadence, is a joy to my soul. I’m thankful for her big partially swallowed smile and her big blue eyes. I’m thankful for her caring spirit and her to keep her siblings in line and for graciously sharing how they should best do that. I’m thankful that she by nature is a caregiver to her Imagesiblings and will make sure everyone has a blanket, a sippy cup, new clothes, etc before she will have hers. I’m thankful for her sweet snuggles and her silly sense of humor.

My heart is full of thanks for my youngest daughter, Addilynn and her infectious giggle. I’m thankful for her artistic expressions of her “art” along my walls, her wardrobe choices, and her crazy dances. I love that she loves to be different and find her own way Imageto do things. I love that she is not afraid to laugh over the silly and bring an element of silly to the serious moments. I’m thankful for her ability to express her feelings and wear her heart on her sleeve.

He fills my life with good things. Psalm 103:5

 

Can you guess who will be featured tomorrow?

Sunny Days…sweeping the clouds away! (Day 7)

My Day 7 praise is this:

No matter where my kids are in the house, as soon as “Sunny Days…Sweeping the Clouds away” begins an opening ballad, there will soon be the thud, thud, thud resounding through our 3 story house.

Within minutes, 2 little one and a half year old girls will be yelling, “Melmo!” “Abby Cabbabby!” “COOOOKIE!” and will frantically seat themselves excited bottoms down on the couch cushions. My five year old, although he claims he is too old for Sesame Street, normally finds himself meandering into the living room and enjoying the hour long broadcast. They’ve all heard the song enough to know that soon their favorite characters will be parading across the screen.

This little game has become kind of fun for me as a mom. I love to hear their excitement over something so silly. I love to see the joy across their faces as they see and experience the joys of interacting with their favorite characters of Sesame Street.

“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.”-Psalm 147:7

Like the Psalm says, my praises for the past seven days are music to God’s ears, but I’m also noticing they are creating music in my life. And like my kids with the “Sunny Days” theme song, I’ve been sharing “songs of praise” so much lately, that I’m becoming more and more excited to hear them. In fact, sometimes, my “thankfuls” are so many that I’ve had to decide which ones to share. I’m noticing that even on the worst of days a there’s still an exciting theme song constantly playing. There is always something that I can be thankful for.

What I can’t believe is that honestly after only seven days, I’m noticing my attitude and my days changing. Things that I usually loathe like dirty toilets, dishes, and never-ending piles of laundry are actually just beautiful reminders of simple things like indoor plumbing, a full tummy and warm things to wear.  Work is easier when I’m counting it as a blessing.

I’ve also realized that I have the ability to tune the song out or turn it off by my complaints or inability to be grateful for them.  The “clouds” or complaints in my life kind of drown out the excitement of all the good things God is doing.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord, I say it again-Rejoice” Philippians 4:4

So, will you join me on this praise pact?

What are your praises this week?