Friday, September 28, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 9.28.12

I acknowledge that with my assortment of inadequacies, I fulfill my high calling as a witness for Christ not by trying to be what I'm not but by realizing who I am in Christ, then depending on You to let my true inner self shine forth. 
- A Treasury of Praise

Heavenly Father, these words are especially meaningful to me this week. What a relief that Your ideal is for me to just be myself, not some unattainable image. While I am continually striving to live healthier, more disciplined, more grateful, live life at a slower pace, etc,  I'm reminded that even while You are shaping me, You desire for me to be me.

 Thank You, Lord...

- Uncle Richard's life, and the celebration with dear family in Somerset. A step back into James history for all of us being together. What a sweet weekend, so grateful for the time especially with Bran and him getting to experience that dynamic of our family.
Dad & Aunt Francine. Took about 2 seconds for Bran to notice the resemblance
Bran, me, Cassidy (expecting her little one any day!)
Aunt Mary, me, Daboo
Cappy with Rusty, Bran and Luke

- These precious ones in our home (not long enough)

- Melts my heart
Bran got a kick out of Essie drawing herself bigger than him

- Melinda and her workouts. I am just beginning to like them.

- Celebrating 50 years with Erma

- Poor thing, hated that she was sick, but loved having her home and all to myself (and grateful it only lasted one day!)

- Essie's badge she stuck on Daboo
"I like you"

- That I can trust you'll pull my thoughts together for the 12th!

- Es' "All About Me" project ~ we really had fun doing this (as much as I hate projects), she loved making up clothes for herself

- 1st Panther game of the season - Hud #12 on the field, Esther and Basden's first game to be cheerleaders on the sidelines!

Had to include this pic, she & Lily are having so much fun
- Game day means not only shirt and tie, but also sleeping in!

 - 2nd game, team seemed much more fluid this time around

Still getting used to seeing him in football pads
All of us moms were cracking up at the row of arms-crossed dads
- Her solution to broiled brussel sprouts
Yes, that's a chip clip on her nose

- Ranger game tickets to the Cliftons, that we got to be a part of connecting the dots (happy birthday, sweet Emma!)

- Tara has more energy to play than Mommy does! Kids love, love having her here

- See you at the Pole 2012
Tanglewood, Corbin starting us with a brief devo
Basden asked at the end, "Mommy, why are the adults crying?" Hard to hear children petition the Lord for the school without tearing up.

McLean Middle. I forgot to tell Bran ahead of time, but the Lord told him!

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 9.18.12

Pass me not, O gentle Savior
Hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art smiling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at a throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief
Kneeling there in deep contrition
Help my unbelief

Savior, Savior,
hear my humble cry
While on others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by.

This is my prayer this morning. That even with my sin, my busyness, my distractions, my anger or frustrations with others... even when my spirit feels anything but rested and refreshed... please, Savior, do not pass me by. I cry out for your presence today, asking humbly that you will be WITH me, near to me.

- My spirit when it's unyielding, prideful, wanting my own way, stubborn. That you care enough to continue challenging me to lay it all down.

- That you are the repairer of the breech, the rebuilder of walls, maker of beauty from ashes. Beauty from what was dead.

- Dad getting to go to the writer's conference, his love (and gift) for writing

- Uncle Richard and the laughter and fullness he has brought our family over the years. That you will protect him and be with him

- Bran's first football game tonight, 7th grade "school" football.

- Brett and his commitment to CCBC 5th grade boys. Demonstrated here by bringing a chilck-fil-a tray of nuggets for school lunch

- Jeff's reminder in our kitchen the other night - grounding.

- Another year with Krista (happy birthday, dear friend!)

- Esther's pretty handwriting

- Your inexhaustible care and concern, and for the security and stability they give me.

- 5th grade friends to head to a church events

- Our 2nd weekly Moms in Prayer meeting, rests my heart and refocuses my vision for school and our teachers. A gift to share that time with other school moms.

- Lori's leadership and commitment to Moms in Prayer and Bible study all these years

- Hudson, always at work with his hands (hard to see the little oragami bird he's holding - he made a whole swan family that evening in the time it took me to prepare dinner)

- Corbin packing school lunches

- Good grades (and the not-so-good ones ~ praising you for it all)

- Corri coming to my rescue in the Tom Thumb parking lot last week with all six of our kids in the car, and then later not thinking I am crazy (or at least not telling me)

- Her fav way to practice spelling words

- Seeing so many women at both our elementary and middle school, volunteering their time and resources and energy, many of whom work outside of their home as well. Amazing to see the generosity and creativity they freely give.

- Getting to host a middle school church swim party

- Read to Win. Brilliant initiative, precious volunteer coaches.

-  That You are my Strength, my Champion, my Defender. You promise to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Friday, September 14, 2012

Practicing Gratitude 9.14.12

He tends his flock like a shepherd, He gathers his lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; 
he gently leads those that have young.  Is 40:11

Father, I cannot tell you the comfort it brings me that you gather my children in your arms, carrying them close to your heart. They hear your heartbeat, feel your presence, sense your nearness. When I am away from them, you are not only with them, but carrying them.

On the playground, you gather Basden in your arms, where she hears your heartbeat.
In the halls of a large middle school with large classes, you carry Branson, you whisper your thoughts into his ear, his mind.
With a busy week of football and baseball and tests, you carry Hud close to your heart.
And with Esther away all day, learning in a first grade classroom, you gather her into your arms and remind her of your presence.

And THEN - in this passage I've either never read before or at least not noticed, you gently lead ME with my young.
I could not ask for more. What a comfort, what confidence you've given me through this verse.

Thank you, Lord...

- Our first Moms In Prayer meeting, so touched by the women here, their prayers, their hearts for their kiddos and our school

- Emails from teachers

 - That this is her favorite book

- Hitting a wall (full schedules, too much homework, etc), which brings dependence on You

- Your new mercies every morning. That when I go to bed not able to do/organize/ plan/ think through even one more detail, you wake me with a new morning, a new perspective, new energy

- Big brother watching little brother

- First Bible study of the year: Nancy Leigh deMoss' Seeking Him study; Lori's leadership;  friends willing to share

- All things middle school, including the girls' volleyball games

 - Both Mr. E's, Laura Stegall ~ amazing principals in our pyramid

- Our backyard, seeing lots and lots of kids in it

- Watching Hud's football scrimmage - Dana keeping me straight

- "Organizing" ~ one of her favorite pastimes

- Mrs. Nadar, and her 25 years in our library. What a gift.

- Middle school dance. Yes, thankful in all things. But actually, pretty much exactly like I remember mine. 
Before the dance (thx, Tami, for snapping pics!)
They arrived late that night on a party-bus-limo to TP our yard - thankful Bran is old enough now to clean all this up!

- Shopping with these two characters makes it a lot more fun!

- Your Word, the comfort and promises it provides.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...   1 Chronicles 16:11-12