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 ūüôā

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!!


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?

The Praise Pact

I am re-reading a book called “A Good and Beautiful God” by James Bryan Smith with my small group. In the third chaper, he challenges readers to think about their life differently. He quotes author George Buttrick, where a lecturer held up a white piece of paper with a black dot in the middle and asked them what they saw. All the business men replied, “a black blot” and failed to see an expanse of white paper. He then reminds us that we see our lives similarly. Even while we have many blessings and things to be thankful for, sometimes all we focus on is the black blot and we fail to give thanks to God for our expanse of good things. His challenge for his readers is to live a life of thankfulness by creating a list of things big and small that we are thankful for.

I have previously listed a few “thankfuls, but really from that point on, I really failed to keep the praises flowing from my life. So this time, I’m challenging myself to a year long “praise pact”. I’m going to think of something daily whether its a complaint of my circumstances or just something small or large that I’m thankful for and I’m going to write it down, here, on the blog. One (at least) everyday.

I’d like to challenge you to do the same. Use your facebook status or the comment section under my daily thankful. And keep up with me. Let’s be thankful and praise God daily for the big, and the mundane in our lives.

To be honest, I’m on day 2. Here’s my first two praises:

Day 1:¬†I’m thankful for giggling. Oren and Judah are giggling underneath the table because judah is trying to suck a bottle and oren pulled it out and it makes a popping noise. Which judah finds hilarious. Oren keeps doing it and they are giggling hysterically.

Day 2:¬†I’m thankful for endless amounts of laundry, as weird as that is… Laundry means I am dressed with warm clothes and have running water and I’m not traveling miles a day to my water source. It means that on cold days, me and my kids are still warm. It means that we are blessed with the ability to choose what clothes to wear on any given day. It means that this “curse” is really just a responsibility for many blessings that I often overlook.

What are you thankful for today?