Saturday, November 22, 2008

choose thankfulness

Three posts in one day!  It's feast or famine around here I guess.  This one's been brewing for about a week, but I wanted to wait until I had this banner finished and hung so I could include a photo.  At a time when there seem to be disappointments all around.. struggling economy, presidential elections that didn't go as we'd hoped (and what that means for 35 years of laws to protect not yet born babies), and things in our own life not going quite as we'd thought for the last few months... We choose thankfulness.  There is so much to be thankful for, in little and big things every single day.  The other night, we sat down as a family (after a few days of feeling really sad about missing home) and we decided to make a list of things that we're thankful for HERE.  And we decided that we're going to focus on these things and enjoy this place to the fullest for whatever time we have here.  We have no idea really if we'll be here for two years or twenty... only God knows for sure.  And while it's okay to miss family and friends (and weather and culture) where we came from, we're choosing to be thankful for what we have here.  Here's what we came up with... ideas submitted from all family members, well all but Judah, in no particular oder:
really nice sink water
extended family being here
playing with neighborhood kids
mornings together
being able to ride bikes and play outside more
new friends
corn field 
playing in the snow
wild rice
Old Creamery Cafe
Caribou Coffee 
Mall of America
opportunities to trust God
the Waters Church
great new church friends
the Christmas play (Brooklyn will be a narrator and Zeke will be "back stage" moving sets)
not having cable tv
fun parks
Mississippi River
less traffic
cheaper gas (down to 1.62 yesterday!)
renewed dreams
getting closer as a family
less busy-ness
doing more art/ crafts

all I have to give

Today is Saturday, usually cleaning day at our house.  I was listening to Christmas music via Pandora this morning as I swept and mopped the kitchen.  A song came on that I hadn't heard before.  Maybe you have.. it was "This is All I Have to Give" by Todd Agnew.  And it was a song from Joseph's perspective, about feeling unworthy of being the one to raise Jesus.  He wished he could have built Him a cradle, but instead He was laid in a manger.  He felt that Jesus deserved more than he could offer, but at the same time, Joseph was more than willing to give what he could.  I hadn't thought that much about Joseph feeling inadequate before.  I love the movie "The Nativity Story" and I remember one part, when Mary and Joseph were talking, and he said, "will I be able to teach him anything?".  And I think a lot of us can relate.  How often are we given tasks that we feel inadequate or unworthy of?  Maybe a job, a ministry, a situation, parenting, etc.  But just like we probably think that Joseph was more than the right man for the job and God's obvious choice... He also gives us the grace and strength for each task He calls us to (and thinks we're the perfect choice for).  How many times in Scripture did someone feel inadequate and God simply asked, "what's in your hand?"?  (I'm thinking that's not correct grammar there... where does the question mark go?)  Anyway, He never asks us to do more than He's already equipped us for.  Sure He stretches us, but He doesn't ask us to be someone we're not.  He just wants us to offer Him all that we have, all that we are.  And then He shows up and works in and through us to accomplish His plan.  A few years ago I was at a women's retreat and I drove home in awe of God and how He uses people in different ways.  I have been guilty of comparing talents and gifts, even personalities of others, feeling so blah and boring in the contrast.  But His gentle but firm voice spoke to my heart and asked, "Why do you despise who I made you to be?".  Ouch.  He makes each of us different, which is a good thing.  I love diversity and appreciate the personalities and skills of others.  We're not made to be like anyone else.  And who are we to wish we were something other than what He made us to be?  Like Joseph, let's offer all we have to give.  That's the best we can do, and all that He wants. 

flashback friday

Ok, so it's really Saturday morning.  I meant to do this yesterday.  There are so many weekly bloggy things people do (Memory verse Monday, Works for me Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, Flashback Friday, tons more... just not thinking of them right now).  I decided to do a Flashback Friday picture.  Because I love pictures and remembering.  This may or may not happen every Friday.  In fact, I can pretty much guarantee it won't.  And I may do some of the others now and then.  So here's my flashback for this week...  Sweet Mercy a few months before we moved.  I love this picture.  It reminds me that she had more hair then.. poor sweetie, still pulls at it, mainly when she's tired.  I should make her something with soft fringes or something that she could play with instead.  We'll see if I can come up with something!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

baby weight... wait... or not

As I struggled into my jeans this morning, I thought about something I once read.  It said that since it takes nine months to gain the weight when you're expecting a baby, you should give yourself nine months to lose the weight.  Well that would mean that I have until this Saturday to lose 12 pounds.  Not. going. to. happen.  So my first thought was that with the holidays coming and everything, I should just (continue to) forget about it for now and make it a New Years Resolution to lose it by his birthday in February.  But then I thought maybe I could still make that the deadline (goal) but to go ahead and start now.  That gives me three months.  12 pounds divided by three months is four pounds per month.  Or one pound per week.  I can do that.  I think.  If I really try.  I should probably cut back on the chocolate chip pancakes several mornings each week.  And it is getting ridiculously cold here (in the 20s lately).  So I'm going to make a real effort to eat better, and put Wii Fit... and my determination... to the test.  Really it's not even so much the number on the scale.. But I'm really sick of the limited wardrobe I have had since February.  I can't go out and buy new things so I'd really like to fit into my old things again.  Without bubbling out.  So I resolve now to start.. tomorrow.  Because I had a rather large chocolate chip pancake this morning and a tuxedo mocha freeze just a few minutes ago.  Not that I won't indulge now and then.  Because what fun is it to live if you can't indulge?  But in moderation and with a balance of better nutrition and regular exercise.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

hands that hold my heart

Made to freeze this moment in time.  I love the little hands.  And the ones not so little anymore.  All working and playing together.  I am thankful.

Idea came from a post on The Crafty Crow.. which, by the way, is a super fun blog with lots of great crafty ideas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So... I've been making things for quite a while and up until now, have only made things as gifts... baby blankets mostly, and recently coffee sleeves, with random things thrown in here and there.  A few friends in California encouraged me to sell my blankets, and one friend even offered to sell them in the gift shop she manages at a hospital in Napa.  I just never got around to it, or had the extra time to make things for selling.. I just made them as gifts.  Well, these days, I still don't have the time (maybe even less than before!), but I've been squeezing some crafting in here and there when I can, and am giving the selling thing a go.  I started an etsy site, and posted some things today.  I have more to post, but my photos were too large, so I'll have to take more pics tomorrow and try uploading again so I can finish listing the things I've made so far.  I may even contact that friend back in Napa about making some blankets and coffee sleeves (I'm calling them "green sleeves") to sell there.  Not sure what will come of it, but money is super tight right now, so I figured I'd give it a try.  Every little bit helps!  If you're interested, you can check out my etsy site.  Here are a few picures of some of the things I've listed there...

first thought

First thought of the morning:  "YAY!!!  My baby is back!!!"

I heard him crying, and looked at the clock.  5:49am!  He did not wake up once during the night!  I was so spoiled, as he'd slept from about 9:00pm until 5:30am since he was about a month old.  The last several weeks have been an entirely different story.  He has been waking up several times a night and I've been exhausted.  Each night as I lay him down and pray for him, I also pray that he'll sleep through the night.  I'm confident that God has heard my prayers each night, but last night, He answered the way I've been waiting for!  Now let's hope we're back to normal!  I'm so thankful!!!