Thankful Thursday

A Christian home where grace lives is… a place where no simple abundance goes unnoticed.
Robert Wolgemuth

8. Siblings building a sandcastle together…

9. Discovering how things work…

10. The sudden quiet after a fussing toddler finally drifts off to sleep…

11. Grass and dirt stains on little legs, which means children are enjoying nature…

12. Does anyone else get excited by a box of new pencils?

13. The cries of “Naddy, Co-din, wait-a-me!”, as Elliot runs after his brother and sister…

14. Little legs to tickle during reading time on the couch…

More thankful posts here

The origin of the endless gifts list here

Thankful Thursday- The Silver Lining

This has been a week of sniffly misery, but even lousy circumstances aren’t without their silver lining! So a couple of the positives from this week:

  • Less laundry! Since we’ve all been in our pajamas most of the week, my pile has been diminishing with a load every day. I’m able to keep up for once!
  • More snuggle time…enough said.
  • Siblings caring for one another: getting each other water when fevers are high, kindnesses more frequent, forgiveness given more readily, the connectedness of all of us feeling the same way!
  • Jason taking time off work to take kids to the doctor and staying home a bit more to alleviate frayed nerves (mine) and rub feverish heads.
  • Less places to go…sometimes you just need a big, bad bug to keep you home!
  • Appreciation for the routine. Colin has said he’s looking forward to doing school again, Elliot keeps asking to go to church, I’m anxious to get back to getting up in the morning without a previous night of wakings!

I’m thankful for the bonding and caring that has gone on this week! I love my family and am looking forward to everyone getting back to good health!

Visit Iris for more thankfulness. Let’s let our cups overflow with the goodness of the Lord!


What can you say about your mother? What will your children say about you? As I age, I’ve come to recognize the sometimes harsh humanness of this thing called mothering. I can also, thankfully, sense the divine. Divinity and humanity are two sides to the same coin. Never do I sin so obviously as when I’m with my children and their little eyes and ears take in what I wish I could keep from them. And likewise, my greatest moments are shared between us in giggles and lessons learned through living life together.

I hear from time to time people nonchalantly making generalizations about their mothers, and I’m sure I do it too.

“My mom was such a neat freak!”

“My mom couldn’t stand to cook.”

“My mom never met a Hallmark commercial she didn’t like.”

And on and on and on…

We eventually come to a point of acceptance for their mistakes and look back with fondness, and sometimes resignation, at the things that made up the legacy they left us. Lately I’ve found myself wondering what things will be said about me? What will my children remember most? I’d be lying if I said that this time in our lives is easy and that I don’t often wish difficult moments away. Will they remember the stress and overwhelming nature of our home’s chaotic environment? Or will this time just be a little blip on our big screen of life?

Sally Clarkson expressed it in all of its glory,

Chronic exhaustion, a house that seemed perpetually messy, the inevitable stresses of moving so often, and days of “quality time” with little ones who were often fussy and demanding caused me to doubt my sanity!…What had I gotten myself into?…These precious little ones had endless needs. They were busy little sinful creatures who demanded all of my body, time, life, emotions, and attention! As much as I loved my children, I often felt like a failure. SUrely someone else could do a better job with these precious ones than I.

What mom hasn’t felt like that on occasion? But on the next page she says,

The real ability of a mother to secure…a spiritual legacy is based on the strength of her relationship with her child. As we tenderly care for our children, meeting their needs, teaching them and guiding them, praying for them and modeling our faith, we are also anchoring their hearts to our home, our values, and our beliefs. These ties are built over a period of many years, through the small ways we spend the minutes of our days and the large ways in which we celebrate the momentous events of our lives.

While each minute counts, the overall pattern of minutes counts more. I don’t remember the crazy chaotic times in our home growing up, though I know there were many. I remember the feeling of love and family that pervaded our lives and sank into our bones. It is freeing to think that God is in our home, using the daily moments to teach but not allowing any negative moment in particular to remain.

I am thankful today for the gift and challenge of being a mommy. I am thankful that I am the legs they cling to, the hand they hold, the shoulder that bears little sleepy heads, the lips that kiss away tears, and the voice that sings them to sleep.

Thankful Thursday

The fog has started to lift. Though not every day is good with little Zack, he is making his way out of his infant crabbiness and having more good days than bad. Let me tell you, having two parents who both dislike the baby stage anyway makes for some tough times when colic strikes!! Our family has weathered the storm and it looks like we’ll all survive!

I am so thankful for forgiveness, for new mercies, for the promises of God. I am thankful for my three older kids who have taken this whole thing in stride and know it won’t last forever. As I sat on the floor with Colin, Maddy and Elliot oohing and ahhing over the baby as he smiled this evening, I got a glimpse of our family’s dynamic when things settle down. I love to see the kids loving on each other. What a blessing!

I am thankful for Jason and his desire to see me happy and fulfilled. He supports my hobbies, he makes me laugh even in the midst of it all, and he understands that the crabby woman of the last couple of months is really not me!

I’m thankful that I decided to continue homeschooling. This was not an easy decision, since I couldn’t see past the colic some days. But tomorrow Colin will not be getting on the big yellow bus and I am grateful to have him home again this year. Maddy is starting to read and Elliot is a little ball of energy and creativity. Our school is full and rewarding.

Lastly, I’m thankful to my sister for this:

Sue said, “We’ve all had our trials in life, but not many are more painful or hard to live through as giving birth to a Micro-Preemie. My niece, Maddy was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1lb, 11oz. Christine and her family lived day-to-day not knowing if Maddy would survive and if she did survive, they did not know the extent of any problems she might encounter. My Sister spent 3 months splitting herself between my niece in the hospital and my 2 year old nephew at home, as well as the normal life things that won’t go away during a crisis. It takes a lot of courage to make it through a crisis, let alone a crisis that involves the your child’s life hanging in the balance. Thankfully Maddy is now an almost 5 year old Spitfire who is perfectly healthy.”

I never felt courageous at that time. I just did what I had to do. God gives us the strength each day to do what’s necessary. Like the manna, we don’t have anything left over for tomorrow, but in the morning new strength appears. Thanks Sue!!

I want to give this award to Laura who has moved halfway around the world and has been so positive even amidst all of the changes in her life! Laura, you’re inspiring!

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

  • Strawberry picking with the kids.
  • The wonderful cable guy who fixed my problem.
  • My art class in which I drew this:
  • My wonderful hubby who watched the kids so I could go.
  • All of you awesome bloggers out there keeping me company during the 30 Day Honor Your Husband Challenge. Our goals are all so similar and I am so encouraged by your excitement!!
  • The patience God has provided me this week after a couple of bad days last week.
  • Jason’s aunt and uncle visiting from out of town. They have been helping a ton with the house and the kids.

Visit Iris for more thankful lists and have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday- Colin

Seven years ago today, Lord, You made me a mother.

“I don’t even want to talk about having children for 5 years”, Jason said when we got married.

A month later we were pregnant. You had a good laugh at that one, Lord, I’m sure.

Colin changed everything. He forced me to be selfless as he cried night after night. He taught me the value of a toothless grin. He showed me the magic in leaves blowing in the wind and vertical blinds letting in the sun.

He was a crash course in humility, and a lesson in joy. I thrilled at his first steps, first words, and thought I must be a great mom since he did so well at everything and rarely misbehaved.

Again, Lord, You laughed. And gave us another one. And another. Each one completely different.

Colin is the big brother I wish I had had. He finds such joy in being someone his siblings can look up to. You made such a special child when You chose to form Colin for our family. He is kind, intelligent, loving, and loves a good joke.

He cried during “March of the Penguins” because the babies died.

He loves Alexander the Great because Alexander is his middle name and it means “ruler of men”.

He tells me it’s embarrassing to kiss me in front of his friends, but still insists on me singing our lullaby when he goes to bed.

He made me a mother- the best job in the world.

Thank You, God.

Happy Birthday, Colin!

Thankful Thursday

While this week has brought its challenges, it has also seen many joys.

  • It has been a blessing this week to see my children enjoying each other’s company. So often we are running from place to place, they are begging to play with the neighbors instead of each other, or they are bickering and I separate them out of sheer necessity. This week, due to illness, we have stayed home. The kids have been kind to each other, more forgiving of each other, and more creative about playing together. Maybe being so sick they had to lie on the couch for a couple of days made them appreciate each other that much more!
  • Elliot has finally been responding to my attempts at teaching him to ask instead of screech. When he wants to be picked up, he now comes to my legs and looks up at me saying, “Teeeeeeee”, which means “Please”. It’s so cute that even if I really can’t pick him up at the moment, I do anyway!
  • Zachary has figured out his days and nights and has not been up for an extended period of time in the middle of the night for a week now. Yay!!
  • Jason and I have been surviving for the past 6 weeks instead of connecting. It was wonderful to go out with him on a date last weekend.
  • I am so thankful for parents who are absolutely wonderful to my children. Seeing them take such joy in spending time with the kids makes me so happy.

Visit Iris for more thankful lists today!

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for:

  • Maddy’s success in potty training, finally!! She has struggled with severe constipation since birth (she was a micropreemie) and has recently begun having bowel movements on the potty. Maybe TMI, but this has been a major stress for over a year!
  • A high tolerance for pain. I have been a human pincushion as of late with the bedrest, birth and the necessary shots I’ve been giving myself daily. Today I got a steroid shot for a bad case of poison ivy (which I am not thankful for) and I hope it kicks in soon!!
  • Little Zachary, though I’m up at this crazy hour because he won’t sleep. He’s incredibly cute, so I don’t mind…
  • My bloggy friends, old and new, who encourage me on a daily basis.
  • This verse: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8

Visit Iris for more thankful lists!

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m especially thankful for:

  • A better night’s sleep. Zachary only woke up to nurse 2 times and went right back to sleep.
  • Toddler jargon. Elliot talks a blue streak, though no one knows what he’s saying…
  • Jason’s work schedule. He works at a college and is off for the summer so he can spend more time with us. Yay!
  • Studying ancient Rome with Colin. History is so much more fun at home than when I was in school!
  • A God that understands my frustrations and forgives my failures.
  • My parents coming to visit next weekend which means date night for me and my hubby!

Visit Iris for more thankful lists to bless your day!

Thankful for the last…

My Little Zachary,

I guess in the back of my mind I knew the day would someday come. The day we welcomed our last child. Our blessed caboose. The flesh and blood end of this season in my life. I never thought it would come at the suggestion of someone else, even my doctors; I never thought it would be because my body couldn’t handle another pregnancy. And yet, knowing gives me the opportunity to cherish even more fully every moment with you. All of the moments, 9 days of which are already gone, will be treasured gifts in my life, times to remember and be thankful.

…your brown sugar hair brushing against my cheek…

…your pursed lips, forming a tiny ‘o’…

…soft breath on my shoulder…

And as you grow, precious one, I pray that our loving God will give me the power to pause time, to pay attention even in the midst of our busy life, and to celebrate each of the stages of your life. There will be some events I’ll be happy to say goodbye to (I’ve never been fond of potty training, I find potty training for girls more difficult and frustrating too), but for the others, I’ll let go only at time’s insistence.

I have enjoyed my growth into motherhood. I am more relaxed, more accepting of myself and less likely to wish away the little moments of each day. Knowing the fatigue will soon pass, I cherish the middle-of-the-night feedings and soothe you without thought of the next day’s activities. I will only have you little for so long. In the blink of an eye, this season will be over.

I am so thankful for you. Your life, God’s gift to our family, brings completion to mine.

Song for a Fifth [Last] Child
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
and out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
but I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton