Wednesday, April 30, 2014

- Easter: His Ultimate Gift -

Easter was two weeks ago and we are still unwrapping His gifts. 

In those truly present moments of parenting, when our hearts feel like they could burst with joy as we just "be" with our girls...

In the hard moments, when patience is depleted and we just don't know what to do or say...  

In the ordinary moments when time seems to be standing still but also fleeting by....

We are just so in awe.  In awe of the ultimate gift that God gave us.  His son, our savior.  Forgiveness for our sins.  Because He died we can live!

In preparation for Easter we hung some plastic eggs from our mantle with activities tucked inside...
- Our little decorator! -
- Glow in the dark egg hunt in our basement.  Lesson: Jesus is the light of the world! -

- Making Resurrection Rolls.  Lesson: Jesus has Risen! -
- Washing of the feet. from the Bible, then mommy and daddy washed the girls feet, put on lotion and polished nails.  Then the girls washed and lotioned mommy and daddy's feet.  Daddy passed on getting his nails polished ;) -

- Silly String!  Each family member was assigned their own color to spray at each other.  When our bottles were empty we sat in a circle and told everyone that had our color silly string on them something that we love about them. Lesson: shower each other in love! -

- Resurrection Basket goodies...all of these books are sooo good! -
- Thank you Lord for this precious gift!  Big Miss' 4 year old art - unprompted she drew "Adam and Eve and them have a sun and one tree them can't eat from." -
- Thank you Lord for working in Big Miss' heart!   "Jesus died for our sins so we can go to Heaben"- age 4 unprompted- a precious gift from our girl who usually only draws butterfly's, rainbows, people, and letters" -

Our life on earth is but a breath.  We need to remind ourselves of this often; especially when life feels heavy.  We need to focus on eternal glory rather than earthly gains. God is with us...He is kind and good.  He is our strength. God is leading our family.  He is showing us grace, he is showing us the way. So many surprising and life changing gifts recently!

Friday, April 25, 2014

- Haircut a la Toddler -

I was sick with the stomach bug and the girls were home with me.  I had a feeling, that instead of making my way back to the couch after "being ill" I'd better go check on the two who were supposed to be napping.  It's a good thing for that feeling or I may have had a bald 3 year old on my hands!

Giving thanks is hard sometimes.  Very hard!  In the very moment when I walked in to see that little Miss had unlocked my childproofed drawer, found my makeup bag and grabbed out the scissors to preform her own little "style"....I lost it.  I completely bawled.  And then of course I grabbed my camera!  Not only was I overcome with emotion that my little girl's hair was completely chopped on one side and bangs so so short; but I was sick.  My initial thought was that she was going to need a pixie cut.  Then I was flooded with emotion as I remembered how much I disliked my "boy" haircut; which was the only option after I gave my 4 year old self a haircut.  I also thought of how much older Big Miss looked when she had to have the gum cut out of her hair.  I didn't want my Little Miss, possibly our last baby, to look any older any sooner.  I gave thanks anyways.  Thank you Lord that she only cut her hair and didn't hurt herself in the process.  Thank you that I arrived when I did and she didn't have a chance to cut anymore.  Thank you that we are able to make a comb over work wonders. Thank you for teaching me to be more aware of where sharp objects are stored.  Thank you for a fairly decent story to share.  Thank you for a chance to relate to what my mom must of went through when I did the same thing.  Thank you for a memory we now laugh about. 

- Oh Little Miss, you are a spunky one!  We will keep you for sure! -

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

- Unwrapping HIS Gifts -

We desire a life of contentment right here, right now.  We desire to see our own grass in the truest shade of green; not the best and brightest shade, but a true and humble shade.  We desire to believe that we can do hard things.

A couple of years ago The Mrs. read a book that changed us, challenged us, bettered us.  One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  She could share over a dozen quotes from the book that moved her, but nothing changed us more that this...

"God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy."

This practice is incredibly simple and the results for our family astounding!  Step one: Give thanks!  Give thanks for everything, for anything, for everything-even the hard things because they change us, stretch us, mature us, and draw us nearer to God.  Step two: Unwrap the Gift Given.  Unwrap HIS gifts.  When we take time each day to notice that we have something, even tiny moments to be thankful for, we start to experience joy and contentment.  Additionally, the more we practice gratitude the more joy we experience and naturally contentment follows.

Jesus wants us to live life joyfully.  Shortly before he was crucified, Jesus spoke to His disciples  saying, " These things I have spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" ~John 15:11  That Jesus' very own joy might remain in us, that our own joy might be full!  It seems like a dream, right, to live a life that is full of joy!  It certainly doesn't come easy for us; resisting the temptation to complain, to judge, to want what we don't have, but with prayer and practice and a whole lotta' Jesus in our hearts it's getting easier day by day!

This blog is a journal of sorts; a practice of gratitude and authentic reflection of our family's continued journey to contentment and joy.  Our journey is a work in progress.  It is certainly not all glitter and sparkles nor is it picture perfect.  We seek to give thanks and experience joy not only in the beautiful heart filled moments of life, but in the hard times as well. 

- Mr. and Mrs. and two of our greatest gifts!-