Tuesday, April 2, 2013

a confession + regaining perspective

confession: yesterday was really rough around here- I think we were all coming down from the sugar highs and activity of the weekend. Homeschooling was hard- one had lots of extra work to do, the house was a mess, and attitudes were bad all around {including mine}. It was one of those days where you only see the bad things, you know what I mean? And then after lunch it was all downhill. :(

Forget that I have an awesome blessing of house- I'd much rather focus on how many projects still need to be finished before the baby comes or how many things I have to pick up over and over again.


I'm praying for God to help me because I so desperately need it today- my eyes have been focused on what I don't have instead of who and what I do. 

So today, I want to share what I'm thankful for right now. :D

1. This man.

rob holding ava this weekend
When I was a teenager I used to dream of a man who loved me and I pictured him holding our babies and being strong and sweet to them. I was given the most amazing man on the planet {and I even found him when I was a teenager! ;)}. 

I don't deserve him, even a little bit. He never complains, and last night he worked through dinner until 9 so that he could finish painting our fence, then after hours of painting, he went to the gas station to fill up my Tahoe so I could use it today. 

He reads to the kids, washes and combs hair, and does the dishes for me all the time. But more than all of that- when he looks in my eyes, I see such love. He loves me with everything- and he loves me more than he loves himself, which he proves ALL the time. I have no idea why God gave me this man. He is amazing.

2. These munchkins.
right before our ultrasound last week :)
They might have driven me crazy yesterday, but I do love them so much. It's so easy for me to get lost in the small stuff- how badly they're behaving or how much work they make for me, but I know I'm not seeing the big picture. They are only here for a season- and neither I nor they are guaranteed this time together. A crazy, unexpected death of a local mom my own age with 4 kids last week reminded me of that.

I want to say it wasn't fair for her to die when she has only lived 31 years and has little kids who need her, but I think the truth is that those 31 years of her life were a gift from God. I don't deserve to have 30 years of life- or 9.5 years of having these children, but God has given them to me. And I shouldn't take them for granted like I so easily do.

Every moment- even the hard ones- are a mercy from the Lord Himself to be given a chance to see His handiwork and experience His glory. Nothing in this place is guaranteed.

3. Getting to see Jesus in little things.

The kids did lego scenes of the cross and resurrection this weekend. This was Isabella's {5}:

I am so amazed at how differently each of my children think. I gave them ideas of what to make, but they all created their own versions of it. I love her pink lamb and yellow donkey and the guards by the crosses and tomb. :)

Noah {7} is our funny kid- he is such a ham and makes us all laugh. 

He made his lamb, and when we talked about the lamb being the perfect sacrifice, he said "wait, mommy" ran into the other room, then came back, turned the lamb on it's side and added red legos {blood} to the top and bottom. Oh, it made me laugh. Yes, very good, Noah, very good. The blood was poured out! :)

Elijah {9} is our serious guy- and just like his dad. He notices the details. All of his crosses matched, of course. :) He opens my car door- every single day, and he wants to do it! He gets upset if someone else does it before he gets there.

If you tell him to do something, he is diligent to keep working until you say it's okay to stop, when the other {and most} kids will get distracted in 5 minutes. He loves deeply, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He takes care of things just like his dad- like charging batteries, putting his shoes up in his drawer {every single day}, and making sure everyone has what they need.
He's going to make the most excellent husband someday. I just know it. :)

Ava {3} keeps us on our toes. She is my little shadow all day long- especially when the kids go to school mid-week. I love how cuddly she is- sometimes with the business of taking care of the older kids, I forget just how small she really is. She still loves to sit in my lap, and I love that. :) She's quite the actress- she can play the role of baby, puppy, baby horse and more...and she is very good at it! :D

We even foam rolled together last week:

We have lots of fun together. :D

And this little munchkin hasn't made his appearance yet of course, but he's pretty good at kicking his siblings and dad:

I have been so blessed to have a healthy, easy pregnancy. I can pretty much go about life as normal, just a little more tired/hormonal. Sometimes I forget what a blessing that is in itself.

I'm also reminded of his presence on a daily basis now. :) Besides the kicks and the tiny bowling ball feeling in my belly, thanks to his growing little body, I'm now sporting the latest accessories: stains on my shirts that I have no idea where they came from...  :D It's cute, right? LOL! 

{How do stains get under your belly, anyway?? :P If you see me in public, please ignore the food or random stain on my shirt. I never saw it and will be blissfully ignorant until later that night. ;)}. Pregnancy is such a weird and cool thing. I still can't believe I can grow a child in my body! :)

4. Getting to make food and treats for my family.
Though I tend to think it's a chore most of the time, I really am blessed to have enough food to cook, a place to cook it in, electricity for a stove, a family to enjoy it with, and running water to wash the dishes with. I'm incredibly spoiled, and I don't even enjoy what I've been given because I'm too busy focusing on the negatives.

lentil chicken pot pie that most of the children ate on Saturday! whoop!
 We get to enjoy special desserts that make life even more fun...
triple berry dump cake + vanilla ice cream on friday night

strawberries and angel food cake with vanilla icing on Sunday
Really and truly, I love making treats for my little ones- they get so excited when we have dessert. It is honestly one of my favorite mom things I get to do. :D They are always so thankful for them.

5. A yard {and house} to care for.
We spent a few hours outside on Saturday enjoying the lovely weather and doing yard work.

I tend to get overwhelmed by just how much yard work there is to do. We have a big yard that needs a major redo, just like our house. I know how far away it is from where it "should" be, and I let it get to me sometimes. But I forget, again, that I have massive trees and azaleas and gardenias, and roses, and dogwoods... things someone planted for me to enjoy 50-115 years ago! I get to see the beauty in it's full maturity that they hoped for when they planted tiny bushes and trees.

If I had a new house, I would probably never have a massive magnolia tree right in my front yard, or azalea bushes that are taller than me. And they are so beautiful!

I wish I could say I always set my eyes on Jesus, and what He has done in and for me, but so many times even though I know the truth, I lose sight of Him and start to dwell on my situation- and the negative parts of it to boot.

But God is so merciful to me, and when I cry out for his help {like this morning}, He gently nudges me to see Him- and what He has given me because of His grace. I want to stay there. I want to be thankful and content for what I do have- not upset because of what I don't.

If you're feeling like I did/do- overwhelmed and/or dissatisfied, maybe it's because we're focusing on the small rather than the big? The now rather than the eternity?

Oh, if you are feeling overwhelmed, leave a comment or email me or facebook me, and we can pray for each other! I know that the Holy Spirit can overcome our weakness- because the work was done on the cross. I don't have to rely on myself to get it together- He gives me the strength and changes my focus when I ask Him to. It's incredible, and such a testament to the love of this God we serve. He redeems the broken, and the sinner, and makes us new again. And thankful too.

Thank you, sweet Father, for all the gifts you have given us. Please forgive my ungratefulness and help me to walk in the light with my eyes on you.

Have you felt God turn your discouragement into thanksgiving when you cried out for help?

What do you notice about yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed?
I know I'm neglecting to see the good, and it's usually when I'm extra tired or have a lot on my plate.

Psalm 118:28 
You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Psalm 75:1 
We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.

1 Chronicles 16:8 
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

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