Day 117

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Is there any more magnificent of a story than the one about the night Jesus was born.  It’s so simple with very few details, yet it’s completely awe inspiring.

I was driving around this afternoon and thinking about how there was no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph to deliver Jesus.    Not one spare room, every room was occupied.  I find it interesting that God didn’t slow down Mary’s labor until a room did open up for her and Joseph, or have them squeeze into a tight space and try to make it work, He sent them to a place where they had plenty of room.  It wasn’t the most ideal place to give birth to the Son of God, but it was plenty roomy.

Jesus likes room!  He wants room to live and work in our lives, but too often all the space in our lives is occupied with other guests.  We think we are living a full life, and it is full, but it’s not full of the right stuff.  It’s full of things like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, T.V., keeping up with the Joneses, video games, driving our kids from activity to activity, working, spending time with family, and on and on.  When Jesus shows up looking for a place in our lives we have to say, “sorry there’s no room for you here.”  Jesus will politely move on.  He will go where He is welcome.  He will stay where there is room for Him.

I’m sure that the people who had no room for Mary and Joseph that night in Bethlehem were really kicking themselves 33 years later when Jesus was gloriously raised from the dead.  I can hear them saying, “We should have made room that couple that night.  We could have witnessed the birth of the Messiah.  We totally blew it!”

Maybe it’s time to have a garage sale, clean out some of the stuff that’s filling up our lives, and make room for the King of Kings.  He doesn’t like to be crowded.

  1. The amazing story of the birth of Jesus.
  2. Jesus wants room to live and work in our lives… we should feel so honored!
  3. I did not have to have my children in a cave surrounded by animals.
  4. Beau has really been enjoying learning about baby Jesus.
  5. Great 18 month check up for Beau… even though we were 3 months late.
  6. Beau only had to get one shot and only cried for a few seconds.
  7. Suckers and stickers!  Hit the spot for Beau on the way home from the doctor’s visit.
  8. I really like our Pediatrician.  She is so good with the kids.
  9. Chic Fil A lunch!
  10. Figured out which Fridge we are going to buy!
  11. The ease in which you can read reviews and check prices on the iPhone.  So helpful when appliance shopping.
  12. Had a great consult appointment with a new OB/GYN.  I am so glad someone mentioned him to Josh.
  13. Have been asking God for direction on picking a new OB or staying with the one I have now and He made it so clear that the Doctor I met today should be the one.
  14. A friend messaged me to let me know she miscarried this week and that my blog had helped her through it.
  15. Liberty Burgers.  Voted best burger in Dallas… it was very good!
  16. The beautiful Christmas tree at The Galleria.
  17. The Galleria always reminds me of getting engaged to Josh.  It’s fun being there with him now and our sweet little kids.
  18. Got to go to the American Girl store with Beau and oh my, I can’t wait til Christmas.  She loved it!
  19. Got to hang out with The Halls tonight.
  20. Beau can now name every member of the Hall family.
  21. Got a beautiful locket to keep Felix’s foot prints in.
  22. Kleenex with cooling sensations.
  23. No one was hurt when the car we were in started going in reverse when we were unloading the kids.
  24. We got our Jawbone Jambox and it sounds awesome.  We don’t have to listen to Christmas music through my computer speakers anymore and I can now play my iPhone in the car!
  25. Josh folded laundry for me while I was at my doctor’s appointment.
  26. I got a $20 gift card to Macy’s tonight.
  27. We have some very understanding friends.
  28. In bed before 10.

Day 116

Colossians 3:16 (NLT) Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives…

The past five months I have realized more than ever before just how rich the word of God really is.  I have always read my Bible like a good Christian girl should, but I don’t think it has ever filled my life with it’s richness like it is now.

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade I was in Missionettes, a sunday school group for girls.  They gave us a binder with lessons and things to study and there was also a bible reading chart.  Every time you read a chapter in your Bible you could fill in the corresponding square and if you colored in all of the squares you could be crowned an Honor Star!  I had seen some of the older girls at church get their honor star crowns and it looked pretty awesome.  You got to wear a pretty dress, maybe some makeup, and be in a fancy ceremony with other girls from all over the state.  I wanted to be an Honor Star so I started to read my Bible and color in all of my spaces, but after a few days of reading I realized it was going to take forever at the pace I was going, so I started speed reading.  I was coloring in my squares much faster, but I wasn’t retaining a single thing.

I think everyone is guilty of reading their Bibles that way.  I’ll just read this chapter real fast so I can color in my square for the day and get my crown!  The Bible is not meant to be read that way.  It’s richness is supposed to fill your life, but that can’t happen if you just read it so you can check something off of your Christian to do list each day.

I love how this verse says Let the word of God fill your life and then it instructs us to teach and counsel others with the wisdom we get from the word.

If you are just speed reading through your Bible or reading it to help you fall asleep at night you won’t get anything out of it to teach and counsel others with.  Be intentional when you read your Bible.  Dig into it and find some treasure that you can share with someone else.  You may not be a pastor, a small group leader, a writer, or anyone that HAS to study to teach others, but you are a spouse, a friend, or a parent, and you should study the word so you can teach your family and friends with the wisdom He gives you.  If a scripture or verse stands out to you study it.  Look it up in different translations, look up commentaries on it, find it in a concordance, look up other scriptures that relate to it, take notes on what you learned and then share it with someone else.  Teaching others, teaches you.  So dig in to the richness and let if fill you up!

  1. God’s word is so rich!
  2. God’s word fills my life!
  3. Writing this blog has changed the way I study and read God’s word.  I retain so much more after writing it out like this.
  4. 17 years ago today my sweet and beautiful niece Emma was born!
  5. Beautiful sunrise.
  6. Josh took Gus to school and let Beau ride along so I could have some time to myself to get ready.
  7. Beau is already a little mother.  She loves taking care of her babies and puppies.  I love watching her feed them, sing to them, nurture them.
  8. I went to the dentist thinking I might have an impacted wisdom tooth and it was only a big canker sore.  Phew!
  9. Found some very soothing sore throat spray at the Family Health Market.
  10. Dentist appointment was free!
  11. Josh’s day off!
  12. Refrigerator shopping!
  13. I just learned how to spell refrigerator… always thought there was a D in it.  Thanks spell check.
  14.  Housing allowance.
  15. Found some Wreck It Ralph toys for Gus’ Christmas.
  16. Gus had a great day at school and was so excited about the countdown to Christmas Santa he made.
  17. Gateway Pastor’s Wives Christmas party tonight.
  18. I dropped and shattered the candle I was going to bring for a gift right before I left, but I had another one that I had not burned  yet to replace it with.
  19. No one was near me when the glass went flying everywhere.
  20. Cherri drove all of us to the party… Driving at night in Southlake is not one of my strengths.
  21. Great time visiting with the Frisco wives on the drive up and back.
  22. Delicious dinner!
  23. Josh had a fun night hanging out with Gus and Beau.
  24. Gus got to have a movie night with Josh and was sound asleep in our room on the floor in his Darth Vader sleeping bag when I got home.
  25. Pretty trinket holder from Pastor Debbie.
  26. Gus told Josh to make sure he saved me a spot in bed so I would have a place to sleep when I got home.
  27. Found a Christmas dress my mom made me when I was Beau’s age and got to put it on her and take her picture in it today.  So sweet.
  28. My friend Tracy delivered a healthy baby boy today and everything went great!

Day 115

I have been stuck on Daniel 6 for the past few days.  It’s the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.  A story I have heard a hundred times and told a hundred times, but this week I’ve seen some things about Daniel I’ve never noticed before.

Daniel was not in sin or disobedience to God when he was thrown into the den of hungry lions, he was doing what was right.  He was a man devoted to His relationship with God.  He spent time praising God and talking to God everyday.  His devotion to God was actually why he ended up in the den.

There are so many stories in the Bible that have a similar theme, a child of God is right in the middle of His will and then the next thing you know that child finds himself in a huge battle, a fierce storm, or a deep pit.

Every one, no matter how deeply devoted to God is going to have battles, storms, and pits of their own.  I love the example Daniel gave us of how to get out of those situations alive.

I always thought that God sent an angel to protect Daniel from the lions because Daniel was unjustly accused and because He was in right standing with God, but that’s not what did it.  Daniel’s last moments alive were not spent being eaten alive, because Daniel had great faith in God.

Hebrews 11:33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

“The power of God sent an angel to protect Daniel, in response to a prayer of faith…” (Guzik)

If you ever find yourself in a pit don’t expect to get out of it just because you are not in sin or just because it’s unfair that you ended up there.  If you want out, you have to have faith in the power of God.

Previous to the lion ordeal Daniel had been exercising his faith by praying and praising God everyday at least 3 times a day.  When the time came and he was tossed into the den, he knew what to do… Pray to the God who he had seen work before and trust that he would work again.  He knew the drill.

Think of a fire drill.  You practice the drill when there is no fire, so if a real fire were to happen you would know what to do.  Daniel did two things to drill his faith everyday.  He prayed and he gave thanks to God.  I love how these two things work together to strengthen faith.  Prayer strengthens faith because when we pray and ask God  for help, provision or for an answer and He gives it to us, our faith grows.  Praise strengths faith because when we begin to thank God for who He is and all of the amazing things He has done for us it reminds us of how faithful He is and that causes our faith grows.

Daniel showed me how important it is to have a faith drill everyday by praying and praising, so no matter what I come up against I will know what to do… I’ll make it through in one piece.

  1. Daniel 6.
  2. David Guzik’s commentary on Daniel 6.
  3. When we have faith in God we can make it through anything.
  4. Prayer & Praise builds faith.
  5. Small group brunch and fellowship today.
  6. The envelope of nice things my small group wrote about me.
  7. Learning about the strengths of my friends and sharing my strengths with them.
  8. Kristen sent me home with some delicious coffee cake.
  9. Josh took the kids to child care for me this morning so I had an hour all to myself.
  10. Josh helped me clean up after breakfast and helped Gus pick out his clothes for the day.
  11. Kids were happy, fed, and smarter when I picked them up from child care today.
  12. Lunchables.  Fast, easy and Gus thinks they are delicious.  Perfect for a peanut free zone.
  13. Beau set up little chairs for her Cinderella baby and Piglet and she told me they were at church.
  14. Gus got really into decorating the playroom window with Christmas window clings.  He was so proud of how he set it all up.
  15. Fake snow.  I said I wasn’t going to do it this year, but it’s so fun.  The playroom window looks very wintery!
  16. Beautiful weather.
  17. Really enjoyed being outside at the park playing Jake & The Neverland Pirates with Gus & Beau.
  18. Gus asked me to get a mistletoe so he can kiss me under it… guess what I’ll be shopping for tomorrow.
  19. Playing “guess what Christmas picture I drew” with Gus & Josh.
  20. Leftovers for dinner night.
  21. 20 something years ago today my sister in law Tosha was born!!
  22. Tosha makes my brother happy!  She has always been the one for him!
  23. Before I walked out of Gus’ room after tucking him in he told me I was the best mom ever.
  24. He also told me not to dream about toot buckets or poop soup… such a boy and I love it.
  25. I got to read my nephew Justin’s essay on finding Jesus in the Old Testament.  It was so good!
  26. Justin is writing essays on Jesus!  I love that He’s learning so much at ORU.
  27. Very relaxing, sleepy night watching Food Network with my favorite person.
  28. Gus is really into the advent calendar this year.  Wakes up and asks about it first thing every morning.

Day 114

When I was three Mattel came out with a light up  doll named PJ Sparkles and I really wanted one, but they were hard to find.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only little girl Mattel had gotten to, I mean after all, she was the doll that loved you back!  My mom finally ended up getting her hands on the last one they had at Toys R Us after waiting in line on her lunch break one day.  It’s funny what parents will do to be able to give their children good gifts.

Matthew 7:11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask.  

This is one of those verses that takes on a whole new meaning after you have children of your own.  Even sinful people, meaning people who sin, like you and me, know how to give good gifts to their children.

I know my kids.  I know exactly what my four year old wants for Christmas.  In fact, I know what he wants better than he knows what he wants.  I can look at a toy and within a few minutes know if it’s something he will get a lot of play time out of or if it’s something that will bore him after only a few days.

I know how to give good gifts to my kids, but I’m not perfect, God on the other hand is!  God is not only perfect but He knows us better than we know our kids, and he love us more than we love our kids.

Today as I was Christmas shopping I could not help smiling to myself as I thought about how excited my kids were going to be on Christmas morning when they were opening all of the presents that they have been dreaming of the last few weeks.  God is the same way with us.  He wants us to have that Christmas morning excited feeling every day.  He wants us to open up presents from Him and say “it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted!” or “it’s even better than what I could have imagined!”

God has gifts of peace, joy, health, prosperity, and everything else you desire that are wrapped up and waiting for you, if you want them, just ask, and don’t feel bad about it.  Jesus said to!

Ask God for the good gifts He has for you, I promise these are gifts you won’t want to return… even better than PJ Sparkles.

How much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask? 

  1. I got my PJ Sparkles.
  2. Being a parent gives you a brand new perspective on God as our father.
  3. God is a good gift giver.
  4. Jesus gave us permission to ask God for gifts.
  5. Fun morning shopping for the kids.
  6. Cold weather makes Christmas shopping even more fun.
  7. Gus was occupied with preschool so I could shop without having to hide stuff from him.
  8. I got my car cleaned today.  Outside and inside!  Feels so nice to have a clean car… it happens about twice a year for me.
  9. Gus had a great day at school.
  10. I got Gus’ Thanksgiving papers from school and a note from his teachers saying they were thankful for him because “he gets so excited about things.”  That is so true!  He is one passionate and excitable little guy.
  11. Beau was so sweet this morning while we shopped and ran tons of errands.
  12. Hobby Lobby!  Christmas crafts to last the kids all month.
  13. Found a Christmas sing-a-long for Beau with all of the songs from the claymation movies.
  14. Our Christmas book order from Scholastic came in.  Lots of fun reading new Christmas books with the kids this afternoon.
  15. Josh had each person at the dinner table list 5 things about the other people at the table that they were thankful for.  I loved that game and so did Gus.
  16. Gus was thankful that Beau has a smile on her face all of the time.
  17. Josh was thankful that I married him.
  18. Gus was thankful I make good food for him to eat.
  19. Gus was thankful that he got to take Josh to dads and donuts.
  20. Yummy dinner!
  21. Josh brought home a big pile of fire wood for us.
  22. Gus had the best time getting bundled up and helping his dad haul the firewood to the back yard.
  23. Gus in his stocking cap.  So unbelievably cute.
  24. Beau had to have a stocking cap too, even though the girls stayed inside.  She found Josh’s Dallas Cowboys hat from when he was a baby and modeled it for me.
  25. Josh doesn’t mind when I blow dry my hair in the living room.
  26. Cozy night on my cozy couch watching Revolution… plus a nap before bed.
  27. The blue baby quilt someone sent to Gus when he was a baby.  I use it to cover Beau every night since she’s always sleeping on top of her covers when I go to check on her.
  28. Josh helped me fold all the laundry tonight.

Day 113

Every night before I put my daughter Beau in her crib I sing a song with her called “Song For You.”  It starts out, “Jesus this is a song for you, to tell you I love you.”  After I finished singing it the other night she lifted her head off of my shoulder and looked at me and said “more Jesus.”  She wanted me to sing it again.

As I started in on it a second time her little words kept ringing in my ears… more Jesus.

The Christmas season has officially begun and many of us are in “more mode.”

We need more time to shop, more time to decorate, more time to get cards sent out, more money to spend, more space on our calendars, and more egg nog to drink.

When in “more mode” it’s common to neglect our relationship with Jesus, which is not smart, because Jesus is the only one who can give us more.

He wants to give us ideas on how to manage our day better, so we have more time.  He wants to help us find great deals, so we have more money.  He wants us to ask Him which parties to turn down this year, so we’ll have more space on our calendar.  He wants to carry our stress, so we can relax more… and drink more egg nog… with Coke.

It’s okay to be in “more mode” as long as it’s “more Jesus mode.”  This Christmas season make it your goal to have “more Jesus” in your life and you will have the best Christmas you’ve ever had.

Chris Tomlin captures this idea beautifully in his song “Enough.”

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

Jesus is MORE than enough, so set your heart on “more Jesus!”

  1. Beau wants “more Jesus.”
  2. Song For You.”  Love this sweet song written by Beau’s sweet dad.
  3. Beau tries to sing with me.
  4. Jesus is more than enough for all of me.
  5. “Enough” by Chris Tomlin
  6. When we seek more Jesus, the other mores follow.
  7. Gus asked me to play “Mary’s Boy Child” this morning so he could dance.  I did and he and Beau did some serious dancing.
  8. Got out the Isaiah 9:6 memory verse cards and started teaching Beau about baby Jesus.
  9. Went back and watched the videos of Gus reciting Christmas verses the past three years.  It brought so much joy to my heart seeing him change from year to year and hearing him speak God’s word.
  10. I did not leave the house today and it ruled!
  11. 50% off and free shipping at J Crew factory today!
  12. Got Beau’s Christmas outfit.  Cuteness at it’s cutest.
  13. Found a shirt for Gus to match Beau’s skirt.
  14. Saved $80 on a Jawbone Jambox we’ve been wanting to get.  Cyber Monday treated us nicely.
  15. Balanced the check book and it balanced the first time!
  16. Found a “Wreck It Ralph” computer game for Gus.  He was shaking with excitement the whole time he played it.
  17. Very competitive games of R2-D2 Trouble with Gus with afternoon.
  18. My vintage looking star tree topper.  Another find I got the Christmas before we were married.
  19. The little snow house tea light holder Trudi gave me while Josh and I were dating.
  20. Beau asked for thirds tonight and it was a healthy dish!
  21. Josh picked out our Christmas cards and customized our pictures to fit just right.
  22. We got our card for 55% off today… another Cyber Monday deal!
  23. Josh was soaked tonight due to all of the fun Gus & Beau had at bath time.
  24. Gus’ hair is getting long again!  I love how it looks all combed after a bath.
  25. Andy Andrews “A Dozen Way To Make Christmas With Your Family Special” list.
  26. Fun night planning out the next 25 days of Christmas.  I love having an advent calendar.
  27. Beau did not mess with the Christmas trees today.
  28. Gateway Scottsdale has a podcast!

Day 112

I recently heard one of my favorite pastors tell an incredibly awkward story about some people who overstayed their welcome in his home.  He and his wife were hosting a few couples who were new to the church in their home.  They shared the vision of the church with them, had a few snacks and then all of the couples thanked the pastor and his wife for having them and they left.  Well almost all of the couples.  One of them decided to stay.  The pastor tried signaling in as many nonchalant ways as possible that it was time for them to leave, but they weren’t getting it, so after a while he excused himself and his wife and they went to “check on the baby”.  They retreated to a private room and the pastor proceeded to ask his wife, “What is wrong with these people?  Don’t they get it?  It’s time for them to leave!  What do we gotta do to get them out of here?”  Then he noticed the baby monitor that was next to him.  The baby monitor that was on and monitoring their whole conversation.  Then he remembered where the other part of the monitor was.  The couple who could not pick up on the subtle cues that it was time to leave were now very aware that it was time for them to go.  They heard every word he said thanks to the monitor.

I just learned (thanks to Pastor Jelani) about a tradition they used to have in the middle east that really would have come in handy for this pastor.  It’s a sure fire way to let your guests know if you want them to stay longer or when you are ready for them to get going.  Whenever a guest arrived they would first be offered a cup.  The guest would drink what was in the cup and if the host refilled it that meant they could stay.  As long as the refills kept coming, the guest was welcome to keep staying.  But if the cup was emptied and stayed empty, it was time to leave.  If a host wanted their guest to know they were welcome to stay for as long as they wanted he would fill their cup until it overflowed, until it poured over the rim of the glass.  An overflowing cup meant you were a special guest, a loved guest, a liked guest, a guest whose company was so greatly enjoyed.

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Isn’t that so incredibly sweet?  God sets a table for us and fills our cup until it runs over, letting us know we can not wear out our welcome.  God doesn’t do the big yawn to let you know he’s ready for you to leave, or the look at his watch, or the scoot towards the door, or the clean up the veggie tray, or the “whelp, it’s getting pretty late”  because He’s not trying to get rid of us.  He enjoys our company.  He fills our cup until it overflows because to Him, we are special.  When you take your seat at the table God has prepared for you, don’t feel rushed, sit down and stay as long as you’d like… He prefers forever.

  1. My cup runs over!
  2. I can’t wear out my welcome at God’s table.
  3. I have gotten so much out of Psalm 23:5 the past few days.  What an amazing verse.
  4. Slept like a rock.  A full 8 hours!
  5. Had time to make it to the grocery store before church today.
  6. We have food again!  Fridge is full, pantry is full.
  7. Gus & Beau played and laughed and were so ornery riding in the grocery cart together.
  8. Beau kept asking Gus for hugs and kisses.  Hearing her say “kiss me” and “hug me” is so cute!
  9. Got out all of our Christmas movies today!  Time to start planning Christmas movie nights.
  10. Got to teach the five year olds at church about Daniel and the lions den today.
  11. Gus’ teacher told me he requested prayer for his little sister’s knees.  So sweet he remembered she fell and hurt her knee yesterday.
  12. Josh’s allergies were not bothering him this morning.
  13. Josh thanked me for going to the grocery store.
  14. Healthy lunch.  Time to get back on track… at least for 3 more weeks.
  15. Gus’ little sound effects were the soundtrack to my afternoon.  He’s so good at gun sounds, robot sounds, and all the necessary boy sounds.
  16. Found Gus a “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” ornament for the playroom tree.
  17. Beau wanted a gingerbread man cookie for her new ornament… of course she picked something to do with cookies.
  18. Bought our Christmas tree today.  I love going to search for the perfect tree every year.
  19. House smells amazing.
  20. My Pottery Barn Christmas ornaments that I bought with my Christmas bonus a few months before Josh & I got married.  They are still my favorite.
  21. The vintage nativity scene my mom gave me.  She used to decorate with it when I lived at home.
  22. Gus & Beau’s little people nativity scene.  Gus used to love carrying around Baby Jesus.
  23. The fun of buying Christmas decorations after Christmas and forgetting what you bought until you get to get them out the next Christmas.  It’s like an early Christmas present.
  24. Stockings have been hung by the chimney with care.
  25.  Pictures from last year to help me remember where all of the decorations go.
  26. Josh was a HUGE help to me today getting all of the Christmas stuff down from the attic, helping me put it all out, taking boxes back up to attic, making trips to wal-mart for lights, etc!
  27. Gus’ Christmas spirit!  I love that little boy so much and I love that he loves all things Christmas like his dad.
  28. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss.  That is one fun book to read out loud.

Day 111

I love children’s books.  My kids both have book shelves in their rooms that are holding as many books as possible, they have overflow baskets of books in their closets, we take biweekly trips to the library, and we always stop by Barnes and Noble at the end of a trip to the mall to look for new books.

When I was pregnant with Gus I joined a children’s book club and the first two books I ordered for him were from the Elephant and Piggie series by an author I had never heard of, Mo Willems.  I read them to him while he was in my womb,  I read them to him when he was just two weeks old and I still read them to him now… or he reads them to me.  That author I had never heard of is now my favorite children’s author.  We have almost every single one of his books.  We are fans of his work!

Psalm 111:2 (NIV) Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.

I’m also a fan of the Lord’s works!  “The works of the Lord are great – They are great in number; great in magnitude; great in wisdom; great in goodness.” (Barnes)

Have you taken time to ponder the work of the Lord today?  The word ponder in this verse means to seek out, investigate, and carefully examine.  In the same way that I seek out music by my favorite bands or books my favorite author or if I was really sophisticated, art by my favorite artists, I seek out the great works of God.

I love to watch the sky change colors as the sun rises and sets and ponder the works of God.  I love to watch my daughter’s extra long eye lashes bat up and down and ponder the works of God.  I love to watch a fire burning in the fireplace and ponder the works of God.  I love watching the leaves fall from trees and ponder the works of God.  I love watching a pregnant ladies tummy grow and ponder the works of God.

Every where you look there is an amazing work of God to be pondered, sought out, investigated, or examined.  Take to time to stop and smell the roses today.  Appreciate the works of the greatest artist of all time!

  1. God’s works are great!
  2. The reminder to stop and ponder the great works of the Lord.
  3. Mo Willems.  We love elephant and piggie, the pigeon, edwina, amanada and her alligator, naked mole rat… etc!
  4. It was freezing this morning in Tulsa… literally!  I love the cold weather.
  5. Safe trip home.
  6. I came home to a very clean house.
  7. I love my home.  I feel so blessed to have such a cozy place to call home.
  8. Seat heaters.
  9. Heaters to heat our home.
  10. Enjoying the last day of my fall candle.
  11. Got two new wonderful smelling Christmas candles.
  12. Josh looked so handsome and smelled so good this afternoon before heading to church.
  13. Suitcases unpacked and settled in to stay for a while!
  14. The sweet pregnancy announcement from my niece and nephew.
  15. Gus’ Grammy & Nana got all of their Christmas shopping for him done today.  He is going to hit the jackpot this year… as always.
  16. Shopping at American Girl for my little girl!!  I have been looking forward to this for a long time.  Can’t wait to be able to play babies with her in style.
  17. My friend J.J. and her family are enjoying Disney World this week. That makes me happy!
  18. Site to store shipping from Wal Mart.
  19. Awesome praise and worship at church tonight.
  20. Great message from Pastor Josh Morris.
  21. Sweet picture of a friend’s ultrasound.  Made me ponder the works of God.  Congratulations Amber!
  22. Pastor Jelani’s teaching on my cups runs over… I may have to blog about that soon.  I loved it.
  23. Josh brought home some left over vegetables from church.  It was nice to eat something alive!
  24. I asked Beau what she learned about at church and she shouted, “Jesus!”
  25. My dad made me a copy of the Phil Phillips CD.
  26. I love my church and all the sweet people there.
  27. Got to get out the Christmas books tonight!
  28. Grammy got to read to Gus and Beau tonight even thought she was in Tulsa.  Love those recordable story books.

Day 110

I loved seeing all of the Thanksgiving posts on Facebook and Twitter yesterday, but this one was my favorite.

“It is not happy people who are thankful; It is thankful people who are happy.”

So often people think in order to be thankful, you have to wait until you feel happy, but instead of waiting around for that happy feeling to come if you start thanking God in whatever state you might be in, the happiness will follow.

That’s why I so enjoy listing my 28 reasons each day.  I can honestly say that I haven’t had a bad day in the last 110 days.  Every day has been full of joy!  I have been less stressed, more patient, slow to anger, and more content than ever before.

Psalm 147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

It is good to praise God.  It is good for Him but it is also good for us!  It’s good for our health, good for our minds, good for our relationships, in fact I can’t think of any area of life that won’t benefit from a lifestyle of gratitude.  It’s also contagious.  If you want your spouse to be more thankful then be more thankful.  If you want your kids to be more thankful then be more thankful.  Your gratitude will rub off on those around you.

Maybe you don’t have time to list out 28 things each day that you are thankful for, but I bet you have time to list 5.  If you have had more bad days than good days lately, try this gratitude thing and watch what happens.  For it is good to praise our God!

  1. The way my life has improved just by being more thankful.
  2. Being thankful is good for us, and good for God.
  3. Slept in this morning.
  4. Hot cocoa.
  5. Starbucks has kid temperature cocoa, so Gus could enjoy his right away without burning his tongue.
  6. Had a fun morning shopping with the family.
  7. The beautiful trees at Utica Square.
  8. Bought our Christmas present today at Pottery Barn.  Got a chair that was marked down more than 50%!  Incredible deal.
  9. Pottery Barn’s bounce back Black Friday deals.  I made $130 bucks to spend there in January!
  10. Found an owl apron, owl tea set, and owl pajamas for my little girl who loves owls.
  11. Papa helped us pick up our new chair with his truck.
  12. Got to visit with my parents more today.
  13. My parents took us out and treated us to lunch .
  14. Got some great deals on toys for Gus’ Christmas.
  15. Nana got me a really pretty Christmas tree candle holder.
  16. All of the grandkids had so much fun decorating their playroom Christmas tree at nana & papa’s.
  17. The Holy Spirit helped me remember that I left my purse in Target before I got home.
  18. Angels protected my purse and all of the cash and reward points that were in it!
  19. Thanksgiving leftovers.
  20. Josh called me in the bathroom to see Gus singing into the removable shower head like it was microphone and dancing to his new favorite song.  So Kevin McCallister like.
  21. Gus got out of bed tonight because he forgot to give me a kiss and told me  he didn’t want to go to sleep without a kiss from me.
  22. Watching Sherlock in bed with my favorite person.
  23. Early to bed night!
  24. Gus and Beau had a fun night playing with their cousins Ryan & Olivia.
  25. I feel like I’ve had free babysitters the last couple of days.
  26. Got Beau’s Little People Princess castle for $15 off!
  27. Washed all of our clothes so I won’t have any laundry to do tomorrow when we get home.
  28. I feel very vacationed!

Day 109

Today I woke up thinking about this scripture.

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

I like how the message says it, You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a six-course dinner, but it sounds impressive.  Today families all over America gathered around tables to feast!  I helped my mom prepare a few tables for 22 of my family members today and when I was setting out dishes and forks and napkins that scripture came back to me again.

Can you imagine God setting a big beautiful table for you?  Everything would be perfect.  Beautiful candles, stunning centerpieces, the best china, fanciest sliver ware, and a spread that would make every episode of the Food Networks, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”  What an amazing thought, the God of the universe playing host to us!  But that’s not the best part.  The best part is that He does it right in front of our enemies.

God has not only the bounty to feed me, but power to protect me; and, though surrounded by enemies, I sit down to this table with confidence, knowing that I shall feast in perfect security. – Clarke

When you feel you are surrounded by your enemies remember that God is not just standing around waiting for them to leave.  He’s preparing a beautiful table and a wonderful feast that will provide you with all that you need.  God wants your enemies to know how He cares for you and defends you and He will make sure that they see Him hosting you by setting the table right in front of them.  Your enemies will be left salivating and wishing they wouldn’t have messed with the one that God loves so dearly.  Sit down at the perfect table and feast with the perfect host!

  1. Psalm 23:5 – what a great scripture God brought to my mind this Thanksgiving day.
  2. God plays host to me!
  3. He prepares a table and a feast and I can sit down knowing He’s protecting me, while my enemies have to watch and see how much God loves me.
  4. I got to help my mom set the table today for Thanksgiving lunch.
  5. Watching the parades this morning while cooking.
  6. I got to see a lot of my family today.
  7. Going to my mom’s for lunch.  It’s nice to be at the house I grew up in for the holidays.
  8. Turkey!
  9. Stuffing.
  10. Green Bean Casserole.
  11. Orange Carrot Jello.
  12. Pumpkin Pie.
  13. Cool Whip.
  14. Naps.
  15. Football.
  16. Round 2 of Thanksgiving with the Blount’s & Sparkmans.
  17. My sister in law Brooke was at Thanksgiving this year.  She was sick last year and it wasn’t the same without her.
  18. Trudi’s mashed potatoes.
  19. Hash brown casserole.
  20. Josh’s sage stuffing.
  21. Blueberry Jello.
  22. Papa’s stuffed celery.
  23. Beau totally enjoyed her Thanksgiving dinner tonight.
  24. Took time to go around the table after dinner and talk about what we were thankful for.  My favorite part of Thanksgiving every year.
  25. God gave me the idea to be thankful blogger this year.
  26. The last 109 days have been like Thanksgiving for me, minus the turkey.
  27. Fun family time after our kids went to bed talking about all kinds of things and laughing and laughing and laughing.
  28. We are so blessed to have 2 families that we actually enjoy spending time with.

Day 108

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  When I was younger I loved waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of turkey cooking and pies baking and watching the parades on T.V.  Now I love doing some cooking of my own and being able to celebrate with my family for lunch and Josh’s family for dinner.  This year more than ever the holiday means more to me than turkey, more than football, more than parades and pumpkin pie, more than the kick off to the Christmas season, it’s about what God has used to heal my heart… thankfulness.

The story of the Mayflower voyagers is fascinating to me.  I try to put myself in the shoes of some of the passengers and imagine what it must have been like to get on board a ship, a cargo ship, not a nice passenger ship and leave behind family and friends in search of a new land, a  new life, a new everything.  I’m sure there were some realist on board that realized how difficult the journey would be, but I know not all of the passengers realized how many hardships they were going to face or else they wouldn’t have set foot on that ship.

66 days at sea.  No bathrooms.  No proper living spaces.  Sleeping next to strangers on beds made of hay.  Eating the same food all of the time.  Giving birth (yes, one lady did have a baby aboard the Mayflower!)  Sickness, all kinds of awful sickness.  Ship troubles.  Whiny kids.  Thoughts of fear.  Boredom.  That had to be a really rough 66 days, but they made it!  The hard part was over, right?  Wrong!

And in three months past, die Half our Company. The greatest part in the depth of winter, wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvy and other diseases which their long voyage and unaccommodate condition bring upon them. So as there die sometimes two or three a day. Of one hundred persons, scarce 50 remain. The living scarce able to bury the dead; the well not sufficient to tend the sick: there being in their time of greatest distress but six or seven who spare no pains to help them. – William Bradford

These people left England so they could worship God freely and now they could, but would they?  Would they be able to praise God after going through so many hardships and such great loss?

They were alive.  They made it through the winter.  Squanto taught them how to grow food and how to survive.  Some of the food they planted had returned a harvest.  So yes, even though they had a lot to complain about, they gathered together and gave thanks to God!

I like what Edward Winslow, one of the Mayflower passengers wrote when he was talking about the first thanksgiving… yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want…

We all, because of the goodness of God, are so far from want.  All of our needs are met according to His riches and glory, and even if you’ve had a rough week or a rough year, or a rough couple of years, if your heart is beating you have reason to give thanks.

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures FOREVER.

  1. The 102 passengers who were brave enough to board that ship.
  2. The way God used Squanto to teach them how to survive.
  3. That the survivors were not mad or bitter at God, but still believed He was good and worthy to be praised.
  4. God is good and His mercy endures forever.
  5. We are so far from want.
  6. Sarah Josepha Hale – Thanksgiving was not always a national holiday, but after 17 years of Sarah writing letters she helped make it one!
  7. In 1863 Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday.
  8. Two sweet notes from two sweet girls about my blog.
  9. Slept great last night.  I LOVE the pillow top mattress at nana & papa’s house.
  10. Got to see “Wreck It Ralph” with Gus, Josh, & Papa today.  What a great movie.
  11. Gus has a really sweet and sensitive heart.
  12. Nana kept Beau so we could go to the movie.
  13. “The Paper Man” one of the sweetest shorts I’ve ever seen.  I found myself smiling the whole way through.
  14. The St. Jude “give thanks” ad.  I am SO thankful my kids are both healthy.
  15. Beau was adorable in her little Christmas apron and oven mitt pretending to bake cookies this afternoon.
  16. Beau’s cousin Olivia gave Beau her pottery barn kids kitchen for the playroom at nana & papa’s and Beau is really enjoying it this trip.
  17. Enjoyed going on a shopping trip alone to buy all of my ingredients for the Thanksgiving dishes we are making.
  18. Nana and papa watched the kids tonight so we could go out.
  19. Triple date with my brother and his wife and my nephew and his wife.  Some of my favorite people.
  20. Ron’s Hamburgers.  A good greasy burger really hit the spot tonight.
  21. Josh saved his popcorn bucket from “Wreck it Ralph” and got a free refill tonight when we went to see “Lincoln”
  22. Got to see some of pictures from yesterday’s photo shoot.  They turned out great.  My sister is super talented!
  23. My mother in law wrote the sweetest post in my honor today.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.
  24. Enjoyed being lazy today.
  25. I asked Beau, “Who does mommy love?” Thinking she would say Beau, but instead she said “God!”  I like that she knows that about her mom.
  26. Beau got to go on her first ride in Papa’s black truck today.
  27. Gus got to play with his cousin Ryan this afternoon.  He loves having cousins around to play with.
  28. Josh gave the kids a bath for me this morning.