Ten Thankful Thoughts

Difficulty opens our eyes to pleasures we had taken for granted.
~Elisabeth Elliot

So, yes, I’m a leetle early with a thanksgiving post, but it is sorely needed. I find myself in yet another funk. While I have many things and people I could nurse my wounds by blaming it on, I am choosing this time to turn my thoughts in a different direction: counting my blessings.

1. Aldi. This is a store where I can find most everything I need to keep food on the table and toiletries in the bathroom. For less than anyone else. Lately I have become tired of the effort coupons take; it is so nice to know that just walking into Aldi saves me moolah.

2. My husband has a job.

3. We have a nice, warm place to live. IF I can only keep the kids from destroying it…

4. We have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, and none of them have broken down from my constant use.

5. I have wonderful family and friends who surround me with love in good times and bad.

6. I get to teach my children at home.

7. I get to worship God openly, and don’t get killed for my faith.

8. I get to have eight hugs from eight different people on any given day. And no, I wouldn’t want a hug from the cat (that’d make nine), even if she were willing.

9. There is a cat in the house, so hopefully there will not be a mouse in the house.

10. It is likely I will have a chance to wake up tomorrow and do better than I did today.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Make It! Monday

…or don’t. In this case, buying slipper socks on Saturday at Dollar Tree for, ahem, a dollar, has already enriched my life in more ways than (yes, I’m still working on) knitting socks myself. I do want to finish my socks, and these pumpkin pretties will give me something to look at while I do.

2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus…

Whenever I am witness to a death of someone I know, my thoughts often turn to the afterlife. I am forced to reevaluate whether I believe what God has said in the Bible about there truly being life after death. Right here in Second Timothy we get a little reminder: “the promise of life in Christ Jesus”. This means to me that eternal life is a promise to believers, and it will become a reality because I’ve accepted the gift of what Jesus did for me on the cross.
Promises fly this way and that in our society- “Buy this now, and you won’t have to pay for it until 2010!” “You’re in good hands, that’s Allstate’s stand” “I will balance the budget, cut crime in half and solve the problem of illegal immigration, all while saving the environment!”
It is hard to believe that all the promises made to us in this life will actually be kept. But when God makes a promise, it is completely a different deal. When He promises to give us eternal life, He will make that happen. He cannot lie. God put it best when He said,
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…” Hebrews 6:11-19

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
even after my skin is destroyed,
yet from my flesh I shall see God;
whom I myself shall behold,
and whom my eyes will see and not another.

Job 19:25-27

All Is Safely Gathered In

The rain falling outside is rather fitting- our beloved Grandma Jean passed away this morning. She fell ill, for what she believed to be the last time, only two weeks ago, so this was not unexpected. Still, a hush and a sadness have settled over the day. It stinks that it has to be my brother’s birthday.
I’ve had the hymn ‘Come Ye Thankful People Come’ in my head for some days now. The line all is safely gathered in, in particular, stands out to me, as that describes perfectly the readiness of Grandma Jean to meet her Lord. A perfect hymn for this harvest season, when Grandma Jean went Home:

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
give his angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
to thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
Words: Henry Alford, 1844

Even so come, Lord Jesus.

Finally!

A-Major’s American Girl doll came today! She chose Josefina, because that is her favorite character in the books. So begins a new chapter in our lives: tea parties at Barnes & Noble, making matching dresses for her and her doll (~gulp~), and just plain fun with a new little friend.
Bienvenidos a mi familia, Josefina.

Make It! Monday

How to make Mommy laugh:Assume tantrum position!

But seriously, dough, here is a recipe I use for homemade play dough, by Leigh Ann:
1 cup white flour
1/4 cup salt
2 T cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 T oil
2 t food coloring (optional)

Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium pot. Add water and oil. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Mixture will form a ball in the center of pot when done. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, let cool slightly, then knead in food coloring if desired. Store in airtight container.

Roar!

Weekend Thoughts

An email from a friend this week included an exerpt from one her relative wrote to her, praising the love he sees in her family:

I’m forwarding this email to everyone in your and my immediate family because I want them all to reflect on this observation:

You are among the luckiest families in the world. The love, friendship
and caring that exists between you, your brothers and sister, and your
mom and dad is flat out spectacular, and apparently contagious as well, since
each of your respective “significant others” seem to fit the same mold. Your
mom and dad are to be congratulated for raising a set of kids that are true successes. I do NOT mean in a monetary sense; I DO mean in a HUMAN sense, and from one who’s had the former, let me assure you that the latter is far, far more important.

Come to think of it, there’s a pretty decent relationship between [other family members and] me and OUR mother too, not to mention my relationship with
OUR kids. Hmm, maybe it’s genetic? No matter, whatever it is, keep up the
good work. NOTHING in this world is as important as loving and being loved in
return.

I hope others can see the love in my family- it starts with me.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

Still At The Museum…

After finishing up at the Monet Exhibit, I considered going round to other exhibits…NOT! It was time to call it a day. We headed downstairs, and saw these neato cylindrical blocks painted green on the bottoms and pastels on the tops, and kids were supposed to build their own garden with them. Did my kids build a lovely landscape? Noooo. While I sat in a Smith & Hawken rocker, my angels built a prison, complete with a locked gate. Nice. A lady came along and asked me if she could take their picture with her digital camera- I said, sure. Wish I would have given her my email address- she got some good ones.
We moved on into the museum’s gift shop. Can I just say how much I love gift shops? I mean, nobody ever buys anything in them; it is a wonder they stay in business. But I love looking around and discovering, or rediscovering things that well, you know- would make a great gift for someone. Someone like me.
First I spied UglyDolls in the corner- can I just say how much I love UglyDolls? We have pretty much sworn off buying the kids stuffed animals, but if we did, our house would be filled with UglyDolls. My favorite is Wedgehead.
Little-S came running a little too quickly around a glass shelf at this point, wearing what looked like a rubber dog puppet. I then realized that it probably was an oven mitt. Can I just say how clever that is? They are called Hotheads, and I want one. No, two. One for each hand. A frog and a dog should be able to coexist in my kitchen drawer, don’t you think? Not that they’ll stay there- Sam’ll be putting on puppet shows and I will never have them when I need them.
We bought a gift for Grandma Carol’s birthday (shh- don’t tell!), and A-Major spent the rest of her UCDF money on a cute notepad, so I guess people actually do buy stuff in gift shops. You wouldn’t think the cashier had too much to do, though- He sat by the cash register munching on a gift shop chocolate bar and joking with two other museum employees not working. It would be so boring to work in the museum. While in high school, I volunteered there, working with a lady who organized exhibit openings, and that was not as fun as I thought it would be. The highlight was lunch at the cafe- they had a delicious tomato basil soup. I know now that it could have been Campbell’s with dried basil from a jar. I didn’t know this at 16, so I sat all pretty, sipping my soup like a real live docent.
Well, our trip to the art museum went well. I don’t know if I would ever go back with the kids. If I want to pay that much money for a good time, I would rather be at COSI down the street.