Gratitude With Grace

Did you know that the word gratitude comes from the word ‘gratus’ which also gives us the word grace?  I didn’t know this until recently but I know that they sure do go hand in hand. It is hard to have one without the other.

I know life can get you down. We can fall into a pit of despair and have pity party after pity party when we think of all the bad things that have happened to us. It is OK to be upset or feel sad when something bad happens. We need to feel it and get over it. We have to make the conscious choice to get over it.

If we don’t then we get stuck in the negativity of everyday life. We will start to look for things to be upset with or to complain about. Complaining to everyone who will listen helps us to feel justified in feeling the way we feel. But it also keeps us from seeing the blessings that are all around us.

So your car broke down and you were late for work because you had to wait for a tow truck. Instead of looking at it in a negative way try to be thankful, the tow truck driver is. He needed that call to pay for his daughter’s dental appointment. It is also possible that delay  could’ve saved you from an accident down the road.

When we dwell on the negatives it is sinful. It is something that Satan wants to keep us from experiencing the grace of God. The bible tells us to give thanks for everything. It doesn’t say to give thanks for the things we perceive as good, or just when we get what we want. We need to give thanks even when it’s hard to understand why something has happened.

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am constantly reminding myself that I am only seeing a small part of the big plan that God has in mind for my life. Maybe, just maybe, He needs to use these inconveniences to help me change my course or to keep me from tripping and falling into sin. I always try to remember that when He says ‘No’ to something that I’ve asked for it is usually because He has something much better in store for me down the road.

Just thinking about that gets me excited! I mean most of the times I am asking for something that seems really wonderful at the moment. Yes, I feel a little disappointment when it doesn’t happen but then curiosity takes hold. I have to wonder what could possibly be better than what I had in mind? I get a little anxious but I know that God only wants the best for me and He will reveal His plan in His time. He feels the same about each of His children.

I know how hard it is to feel grateful when you are sitting on the side of the road in a car that just won’t go but try to give thanks in every situation and every circumstance that you find yourself in. So the next time you find yourself complaining or throwing a pity party try to think of something to be thankful for. It will get easier the more you do it and before you know it your whole attitude will turn around and you will be so much happier. Your eyes will be opened to the blessings of God’s grace that surround you each and every day.

When we obey our Lord then we are showing Him our gratitude for the grace He has shown to us. Just think about how you feel when someone thanks you for something that you’ve done. It pleases God the same way when we thank Him for the many ways He has blessed our lives.

December 12, 2016

Good morning! I had intended to write this post about the peaceful mornings but plans changed. I started my day as usual and the kids actually slept in a bit so I was not being hurried to get breakfast ready and on the table.

I sat down with my coffee and reflected on a few things. One of which was yesterday’s sermon about clinging to grace. We need to remember that when times are hard and nothing seems to be going right that we still have grace to carry us through. We need to keep holding fast to the promises that God has given us. He has a plan for us and He knows what we need even we don’t really have a clue.

I have had many a day when I have felt so discouraged and sad. Part of this is due to the fact that I don’t have someone to walk alongside of. Someone to share my little joys with or someone to hold me when I am down. I do miss having someone to hold my hand or the feeling of someone coming up behind me and wrapping their arms around me and holding me tight. I sometimes long to have someone to talk to about my day or being able to listen to someone tell me about their day. I miss having someone to snuggle close to when the nights are cold or when I don’t want to get up in the morning.

I try my best not to dwell on these feelings as I know that God is in control. I know that right now my focus needs to be on Him and the rest will fall into place. He is always there and will never leave me. He knows the innermost thoughts of my heart and all of my desires. He will comfort me like no one else can. I know that if it is in His will for me to have someone beside me He will allow our paths to cross.

So for now I will continue to pray for His wisdom and guidance, not only for myself, but for the one He has chosen for me. I pray that God will bless Him beyond measure and supply all his needs. I pray that  He will guide him and protect him and that He will surround Him with people who will encourage him. I pray that God will continue to mold him and shape him into the man God intends him to be.

I don’t know God’s will or His plans for my life but I know that He loves me and only wants the best for me. I also know that a lot of my problems have been because I wasn’t patient enough and didn’t wait for Him to reveal His plan to me. I tried to do things my own way and they didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I’ve made so many mistakes and suffered so many failures.

I pray that God will continue to work in my life and mold me and shape me into the person He wants me to be. I know that He can turn mistakes into miracles and that God has not forgotten about me. I pray that if it is not His will for me to have someone to walk with that He will fill my heart with joy and help me to be content where I am right now.

Right now, I will keep my focus on Him and on the job He has blessed me with as a mother and a keeper of my home. This is an important job that He has placed on me and it is full of responsibilities. My attitude and behavior will influence everyone around me especially my children. God calls us to show His love to all of those around us and I pray that everyone I meet can see how His love overflows from my heart. I pray that everyone around me will always feel loved, welcomed, safe, and comforted when they enter into our home.

Yes, it would be so much easier if I had someone to help me shoulder the many burdens of raising a family and keeping a home but God will give me the strength I need. I don’t really look at my role as a burden as I try to do everything with a servant’s heart because I love my family. So I will try not to be discouraged and I will keep singing His praises because God is so good to me! He has blessed me, an unworthy sinner, and He has loved me and shown me His grace and mercy. So for now I will indeed continue to cling to that grace and allow it to carry me through this difficult part of my journey.

December 3, 2016

Good morning everyone! It is such a beautiful day, isn’t it? I hope you all answered a big ‘Yes’.God is so good to us each and everyday. My cup is truly overflowing this morning. He has blessed us so richly and many times we just take those blessings for granted.

I am thanking him today for my family, for our health, for a roof over our heads, for food on the table, for the clothes on our backs, and the shoes on our feet. He supplies us with all of our needs and so many of our wants. Thank you Lord for being so good to me, my family, my friends, and the one who is reading this right now!

Yesterday I finally managed to get all of the Fall decor down and out to the building. DD17 helped me to carry out the totes. While we were in the building, which is a big mess, we dug out the Christmas totes and carried them to the house as well. I also restacked some of the other totes to make it easier when we need to retrieve them in the future. I am in the process of color coding our holiday decor so we can immediately tell by looking at a tote what is in it. This will help when I assign future tasks for the kids to help me with.

I am sitting at the island right now drinking my cup of coffee, typing this post, and working on my To-Do list. ( I am also messaging my friend and listening to some Christmas music as well.) The kids are finishing up their breakfast, Dutch Puff, and discussing their plans for the day which makes me smile.We do have one case of the grumpies, DS3, who kept insisting that he ‘needed’ brownies for breakfast.

They made brownies last night with DS17. Then while the brownies were baking we worked on our Advent Study, which I still need to pull out the nativity scene, and then enjoyed some warm brownies. I am really thankful that I did manage to get some of it together as the kids are enjoying it. I know when I get the nativity set out and they actually get to do the activities suggested they will enjoy this study even more.

So now we have a mountain of green totes in the Living room. This makes DS14 crazy but I have assured him that they will be out of the way soon. My kitchen island looks so bare right now, actually the whole kitchen does as it held the majority of the Fall decor, but I will use this as a chance to give it a good cleaning.

My To-Do list for the day also includes getting my stack of Christmas card addressed and ready to mail. I really hope that I can get them in the mail but that will be a bonus if it happens. I have the cards, the stamps, and the addresses on my desk so it probably won’t take too awful long to get them finished up. It is just finding a moment to actually sit down and work on it that my prove difficult.

We also plan to put up a few of our holiday decorations today. Yesterday the kids did stick Santa in the yard but someone had pulled him off his stake before we managed to get all the totes in the house. So that probably needs some attention too. We decided to wait until St. Nicholas day (December 6th) to put up our tree and the anticipation is driving the littles crazy! I don’t really know if there is a ‘right’ time to put up the tree. I figured we would do a lesson on St. Nicholas and try to incorporate the tree decorating into the lesson.

I’ve also noticed that something got into the trash bin during the night. So that will be on the top of my list to take care before the wind blows it all over the yard. It is an unpleasant task but needs to be done. Sometimes taking care of the not so fun things first will motivate me to take care of the other things on my list.

For now though I am going to enjoy a few minutes with the littles. DS3 has brought his plate to the island and is sitting beside me. DS4 is dragging sheets and blankets to the laundry room and just informed me that he had wet the bed last night. That doesn’t happen often and I know that accidents will happen from time to time.

It makes my heart happy to see that he is attempting to help with the clean up and that he is admitting what he did and accepting responsibility for it. He knows that it does affect the way I feel about him. He knows that he is loved and accepted and that we will not belittle him or make him feel bad about what happened. He also knows that we will help him clean up whatever he needs help with. He just told me that he will try harder to remember to use the potty before he goes to bed. So he is attempting to learn from the situation and prevent it from happening again.

We can learn so much from this. Life happens, accidents happen, mistakes happen. When they do happen we need to remember that God still loves us and that He is there for us. When we come to Him and tell Him what we have done, when we repent and ask for His help He will forgive us. We can use our mistakes as learning tools and try not to make them again.

As a parent we can also use these accidents and mistakes as a model of God’s love. We can listen to our children and remind them that we still love them. We can show them the same mercy and grace that God has shown to us so many times. We can show them the power of forgiveness and not make them feel guilty about things.

We also need to remember to be quick to admit our faults and mistakes. We need to apologize to them and ask for forgiveness if we have done them wrong in one way or another. This sets a good example for them. They will see that we are not perfect and that we make mistakes too.

I pray everyone has a blessed day!

December 1, 2016

Well, today started early, like 1:30 am early. I went to bed last night with a headache and woke up sick. No fun at all. I turned my phone on and had all kinds of messages that I had missed during the night. (I almost never turn my phone off but my headache was really bad.) I did feel better after I took a shower though.

After my shower I did have almost a whole hour of ‘quiet time’. I spent that time going through my prayer journal and thanking God for the answered prayers. I also added a few new ones. I read my devotional and worked on a study that I had out. I also let my Bible fall open and read out of Psalms. It was just what I needed to help calm my soul and renew my strength this morning.

After messaging my best friend I had a long talk with God and had to hand something over to Him, something I should’ve immediately handed over last night, but stubbornly thought I could handle it on my own. (Which is how I ended up with a headache.) I felt such a relief and got the answer I needed once I let go. God is so good!

I am so thankful to have friends who can make me feel better when I’m down and who remind me that I don’t need to stress over things.

The kids were up super early and started tattling right away. My one son was in a grumpy kind of mood which did improve a little but not much. In fact, he is grumpier right now than he was this morning  He is currently voicing his opinion about bedtime through his bedroom door.

Then I remembered it was December 1st which meant that I needed to change out our school calendar. This lead to me realizing that I had forgot to print out the new calendar stuff for December (I admit I forgot last year too). So I grabbed the laminator and the paper cutter. I printed off the pages I needed and got to work laminating them.

My 3 year old loves to watch the laminator. He gets so excited to see what we are making. He was also my little helper and helped me to carry everything over to the playroom and get it all set up. We had a card left over, St. Nicholas day, and I didn’t know what day it was for sure.

So we went to the laptop and asked my dear friend, Google, for the answer. My son was very curious as to who ‘Doogle’ was and where he lived. He wanted to see a picture but forgot about that when I offered to let him put the final card in place. (December 6th in case you were wondering.)

We did manage to get our school work finished by 12. The girls have really been dragging their feet this week. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday! I tried to get my daily chores finished and pay bills while they were working but that was pretty impossible today.

I did my laundry, as my laundry day is on Thursday, and then I carried my hang-dry items to my room. My oldest daughter was in there working out so I set them on the dresser with the intentions of going back to finish them shortly. The other clothes got dried and I left the ones that needed pressed on the dryer until I could get them. Well, I didn’t remember the wet ones until after lunch and they left a wet mark on my dresser. I just finished pressing the others after dinner. Now though I can say that task is completed for this week. Yay!

I did manage to finish my grocery list this morning, print my sales lists, and clip coupons. I pulled out my big coupon binder and started to get it set up again.One of my goals for 2017 is to be a better steward of what God has blessed me with. I think couponing will help me with this goal. At one time I was doing extremely well but I kinda fell off track with all of the different things I’ve been taking care of this past year.

I set out with $200 and my first stop was to put gas in my truck. Then to make a few more stops. I managed to find a few books to go under the tree and a few for stockings at Dollar Tree. I also picked up a few things to go along with our Advent study which I also confess has not began like I thought it would.  Being sick with the flu last week really did a number on me and I’m still not feeling quite 100%.

At another store I found a great deal on some meat. There was a BOGO sale on ground pork and ground pork patties. Well, I happened to find 4 packs of patties on sale that had been marked down $2 on top of the BOGO making them almost free! Then even better I found some stew beef also marked down $2. I know some people don’t like these sales but I grab them whenever I can unless the meat looks questionable. I have a big freezer and I know that even cheap cuts of meat will become tender in the crock pot or pressure cooker.

After two more stops and saving over $100 in sales and coupons I still had a little cash in my pocket. I stopped by the ‘relaxation station’ aka Island Shack Tanning Salon. I know, tanning isn’t really healthy, but the warm beds really do help my sore muscles a lot. Plus I usually sneak in a little nap in too.

After my quick nap I stopped to put air in my tire as I had found a note on my windshield informing me of a low tire. So sweet of someone to let me know, I really did appreciate that. Then back home to unload my grocery haul.

Upon exiting my vehicle the geese and the cat promptly notified me that I had forgotten to feed them earlier so groceries had to wait. Big sister heard me pull in and came to help. She had unloaded most of them by the time I had finished feeding which was a great help.

The kids all helped me to put away the groceries. They like to help because they can see what goodies and treats I might’ve gotten. They also enjoy trying to guess what Momma is going to make by looking at the groceries that I brought home. After everything was put away I sat down for a moment to try to decide what I needed to do and what was just gonna have to wait until tomorrow.

I still need to dig out our Christmas stuff. Who am I kidding? I still need to put away the Fall decor! (Speaking of which, I did find the cutest little pilgrim salt and pepper shakers today, on clearance!) Christmas is all packed neatly in some large green totes so I know where it is, I just haven’t brought it in.

I did bring in a tote and some boxes with the intentions of packing away the Fall decor but dinner had to be made. Then the clothes were calling me from the top of the dryer. I still haven’t vacuumed the floors either, but I won’t tell anyone if you don’t.

Today was visitation and Daddy had already promised to help them with a craft today. They made some paper Christmas trees. I even broke out the art supplies which included sequins and pom-poms. I wasn’t brave enough to bring out the glitter though. They turned out really well even thought some kids really didn’t want to follow along with the video.

christmas-trees

I love it when he does things like that with them. It helps them to strengthen their bond and also creates memories that will last for a long time. He also made his own tree, that they helped to decorate, to take home with him. The boys made him some ‘presents’ to go under his tree too.

Dinner consisted of Sloppy Joes, seasoned fries, and some homemade coleslaw (1 bag of slaw, a bit of mayo, a little sugar, and a splash of white vinegar. I’ll have to work on that recipe as I just kinda dump and taste as I go.) One of the little boys got excited when he saw the buns and the cheese. He had been asking for hamburgers but he thought Sloppy Joes were close enough and he actually asked for seconds.

After baths big sister wanted to try her hand at some No Bake Cookies. (Last night she made Easy Sugar Cookies.) She involved everyone in the process and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They enjoyed measuring, stirring, and of course the taste testing! I’m not so sure that chocolate right before bedtime was a such a good idea though as little man is refusing to go to bed now.

So all in all we had a great day. Lots of memories were made too. That’s what life is about. We have to do the best we can with what we have. Each and everyday is a new day with a fresh start.

I think my kids will remember these days when they get older. They won’t be worrying about whether or not I vacuumed the floor. They also probably won’t be traumatized by not having a Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. (We’ve agreed that we will set it up on St. Nicholas Day and I drew a picture of a Christmas tree on my desk calendar for them to look at.)

They will also look back on the pictures and hopefully remember how much fun they had making crafts with their dad. We may have our differences but I am so thankful that we have been able to work through them and/or put them aside for the sake of our kids. Even though our relationship as husband and wife is over we are still connected through our kids and will always have that bond. It is important for us to continue to work together to be the best parents we can be for our children.

I am off to bed but first I need to walk little man to his bed. Then I have a few things that I need to add to my prayer list. Have a blessed night!

 

 

 

God is EVERYWHERE, even at McDonalds

I just read a post on Facebook that really touched me. It was originally posted on January 20, 2015, by Gerrard B. Laidler. This is a very moving testimony and reveals how great and awesome our God truly is. Continue reading “God is EVERYWHERE, even at McDonalds”

November 26, 2016: Keeping the Spirit of Thanksgiving Alive

Today is another great and wonderful day! I want to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive in my heart and in the hearts of everyone around me. Sometimes it is so much easier to find things to complain about than to be thankful for what we have in front of us. Continue reading “November 26, 2016: Keeping the Spirit of Thanksgiving Alive”

It’s true, I went to a bar!

I’m not perfect. And who knows how many times I’ve fallen short. We all fall short. That’s the amazing thing about the grace of God.’- Tim Tebow

Dealing with gossip and rumors…

Continue reading “It’s true, I went to a bar!”

Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

As I stand at the kitchen island I have a million thoughts going through my head. I’m sipping my hot coffee while waiting for the muffins to finish and watching the kids play patiently. This post came to my mind and it was originally meant to give ways to encourage your children to do things when they feel that they can’t do things. Continue reading “Turning I Can’ts into I Cans”

God uses cracked pots

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  -Jeremiah 18:4

I know that often times we get caught up in things we believe we ought to be doing, the way we should look, or where we should be in life. Sometimes we wonder if we are too damaged or flawed to be of use anymore or to be able to do what we need to do. Maybe we have things in our past that we are not proud of, things that have chipped away at our self confidence, esteem and maybe even our reputation. Continue reading “God uses cracked pots”

It’s hard being a peacemaker

Matthew 5:9  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

What is a peacemaker?

I’m sure you’ve probably read this verse before as I know I have read it. I came across again it a few days ago and began to wonder ‘What exactly is a peacemaker?’ I looked up the definition and this is what I found: Continue reading “It’s hard being a peacemaker”

Enjoy your season

Four seasons to a year

We all know that there are four seasons in every year. We have Spring which brings new life and lots of energy. Everything is young and vibrant and ready to explore the world around them. Continue reading “Enjoy your season”

Don’t feed the lizards!

Continue reading “Don’t feed the lizards!”