Friday, August 17, 2012

Having a Heart of Thanksgiving

"Worship or Whine
The importance of this matter of gratitude can hardly be overstated. I've come to believe that few things are more becoming in a child of God than a grateful spirit.  By the same token, there is probably nothing that makes a person more unattractive than the absence of a grateful spirit.

I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways:
And I can't worship without giving thanks.  It just isn't possible. When we choose the pathway of worship and giving thanks, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances, there is a fragrance, a radiance, that issues forth out of our lives to bless the Lord and others.

On the other hand, when we give in to whining, murmuring, and complaining, we end upon a destructive slide that ultimately leads to bitterness and broken relationships."

Excerpt from Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

My thoughts:
I have to tell you, the first time I read this I felt as if I had been hit square between the eyes.  This summer has been especially hard for me, coming off of a wild and crazy year that really changed the dynamics of our family's life.  I was weary, very weary.  I was whiny, very whiny.  I couldn't focus and it was all I could do to survive the day.

It all came to a head at our Ladies Retreat at church in mid-July.  So many things hit home with me that day.  My heart was heavy.  I bought this book with a plan to add it to my "to read" pile.  Who knows in what year it would have actually made it to the top.  The next evening I found myself crumbling down and completely falling apart as i was sharing with Christine and our pastor's wife.  My pastor's wife strongly encouraged me to immediately start writing down anything I could think of to which I am thankful.

I went home and took a pretty blank journal that I actually got at the retreat and ...nothing.  This wasn't going to be easy.  I was going to have to purpose myself to do this.  A whining spirit doesn't just turn itself off.  My spirit of worship had to over power it.  And how did that happen?  One thanks to God at a time.

There is power in Eucharistia, the giving of thanks.(pg 32). With each thanks to the Lord I wrote, I was sowing a seed of thanksgiving, which allowed the Lord to begin cultivating my heart into a heart of gratitude and worship.

These lines of thanks aren't all thought provoking (# 4 left overs), some are (#18 for reminding me Your love for me does not stop just because I sin, just like my love for my children doesn't stop when they sin.). These thanks are not all scripturally based (#85 mobile electronic devices that add to our convenience), but many are (#174 for being slow to anger with me and your continued lovingkindness no matter how many times I fail you- Psalm 103:8). Regardless, they are all heartfelt thanks to my Lord and Savior.

It has been just over a month since this started and I feel like a renewed woman.  Things aren't perfect and I still find some things challenging.  But I am learning I can always find something in which to give thanks to the Lord no matter what else is going on in my life.

Christine, this one is especially for you ;)
# 177 for giving me the courage to remove the new speech therapist from our family's life.

I hope you all have a bless day.

Monday, August 06, 2012

I won a giveaway!

Create your own banner at!

A sweet IRL and blogging friend was hosting a giveaway and rafflecopter picked me!

I got the cutest little anklet and it came all the way from Greece!

 It is the perfect summer anklet and I look forward to wearing it.  Be sure and check out other giveaways going on over at Jewelry Making Crazy. and tell her Brandi sent ya. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Drawing out our Children's God Given Potential

The Pelsers 7 Tools Book Club

What an amazing first chapter.  I love this reminder as to why and how I home school.  This is about more than education.  At the end of this 18 year journey, what sort of child do I want to turn out?  Am I looking to turn out a child that is full of book smarts and no character or would I rather have a child who is fully of Godly characteristics and average book smarts?  Personally, I am way more concerned about my child's salvation than the grade he/she receives on a particular paper.  

To me, this is a journey.  Our children learn and grow through our tender cultivation.  They learn and grow from both our mistakes and their own.  This journey is an opportunity to explore and learn  what it is they are truly passionate about.  We are to educate them, "to draw out of" them, their best. 

We can do none of this without the Lord.  After all, "As parent, we haven't had any loving thoughts for our children that did not originate with God."  He taught us how to love.  "Parental love originated in the heart of God before earthly parents were ever created.  We know how to love our children because He first loved His children.  We know how to do good things for our children because our heavenly Father does good things for us.  God the heavenly Father teaches us how to be parents through His Word and by His example."

We have to remember our calling and our purpose.  "If we imitate God's behavior toward us, our children will have a much easier time believing in a God who loves them and has sacrificed Himself for them." And in Chapter 2 we will begin learning about the tools needed to achieve our goals. Until then...

"Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."- Psalm 37:3 (NASB)