Saturday, November 30, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 30

[Day 30] As I sit here thinking of all the things that I am thankful for, trying to pick just one to complete my "month of Thanksgiving", I am realizing that I am so incredibly blessed. This brings me to a conclusion, I am thankful for life. This life. The one that God has given me. Period.

My life is not what I dreamed it would be when I was a little girl, a teenager, or even as a freshman in college. I never would have imagined this life for me, and I'm sure that most of my family and friends probably wouldn't have pictured me here either 11 years ago. But, you know what. This life is so much better than what I ever could have imagined. I'll be the first to admit that there are rough times but God never promised ease. He only promised that He'd remain faithful, good, true, and unchanging. His grace and mercy do not fail. He is the definition of love. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and always-present. He is my rock and my salvation. He is the giver of life, of this life, and I am thankful.

Friday, November 29, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 29

[Day 29]  I am thankful for friends who taught me how to coupon and get the best prices for things. I was able to replace the lower quality cookware that we got when we were first married with a higher quality set for less money than the original set cost. :)

$36.80 (after all discounts, rebates, etc.) for this 15 pc Farberware Stainless Steel Set (78% off retail)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 28

[Day 28]  I am thankful for morning snuggles with 5 of my favorite people - Jared, Mr. R, Miss E, Miss A, and Miss S.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 27

[Day 27]  "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5

I am truly thankful for the "older women" who I have had the privilege to learn from - grandmothers, mothers (mine and other people's), aunts, pastor's wives, teachers, and friends. I appreciate their godly examples and their patience in teaching me. I wouldn't be where I am today without you, and someday I hope to be an "older woman" like you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 26

[Day 26] I am thankful for my in-laws. They have always made me feel welcomed and loved, just as if I'd been born into the family and not joined by marriage.

Monday, November 25, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 22-25

[Day 22] Today I am thankful for moments of quiet in a busy world. We got to spend the evening (and tomorrow) at a hotel with an indoor water park. I so enjoyed having nowhere that I had to be and nothing that I had to do except enjoy the squeals of delight as my children enjoyed swimming and going down water slides.

[Day 23] Today I am thankful for God's provision. He has provided for our family in innumerable ways this year, but I am especially thankful that He provided the 2 deer that my hubby got today. It was the only day that Jared was going to be able to hunt and I had prayed that God would provide A deer. God blessed doubly and I am excited to have meat in the freezer!

[Day 24] On a day when all six us are feeling under the weather, I am thankful for Sunday afternoon naps and leftovers.

[Day 25] We are all still under the weather today, which makes me thankful that I have the option to be a stay-at-home-mom. It takes sacrifice (and some of my sanity) but it is worth it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 21

[Day 21] Today I am thankful for my sisters. I don't know what I'd do without them! They provide a shoulder to cry on or a slap upside the head when needed. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 20

[Day 20] I am thankful for my church family, they are such a wonderful encouragement to me!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 19

[Day 19] Today I am thankful for the right (and, yes, privilege) to vote. It is a right that should not be taken lightly as many brave soldiers have died to give and keep that right in our country.

Monday, November 18, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 18

[Day 18]  Three years ago I was already 8 weeks along with our little Miss S and right from the get-go she has kept us on our toes. She is very much her own person. She is silly, mischievous, sweet & cuddly, stubborn (unfortunately she gets that from me), happy-go-lucky, imaginative, and a bit OCD (I know, odd for a 2 year old). She likes to clean up spills, worries about dirty hands, freaks out if things are not even, and in general is our little "Monk". We are so thankful for her and couldn't imagine life without her.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 17

[Day 17] "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I am a perfectionist. I don't like to even try to do things if I know that can't do a "perfect" job on them. But today, I am reminded to be thankful for my struggles and failures. For it is through those struggles and failures that I learn to lean on Christ more fully for His strength. When I do things through Christ's strength I am given opportunities to bring Him glory.

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11

Saturday, November 16, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 16

[Day 16]  Five years ago, Mr. R was a few months away from 2 and Miss E was 6 months old. We'd been on the path to financial freedom for two months and Jared was in his 2nd year of Bible Institute. I was struggling with balancing life and staying within our budget with two babies in diapers. We'd "planned" to wait a minimum of 2 years before even considering adding another kid to our family, little did I know that very soon I'd be expecting Miss A. When I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test the day after Christmas, I was seven weeks along and I was mad, mad that God would add another burden to my already heavy load.

Very soon after she arrived, I realized that God didn't add a burden but a blessing. I am so thankful for my quirky little Miss A. She is such a silly, sweet kid and I love having her in our family.

Friday, November 15, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 15

[Day 15]  I am thankful for Miss S. She is my domestic, girlie girl. She can be super sweet most of the time and actually enjoys washing the dishes, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, and, of course, anything that involves cooking or event planning.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 14

[Day 14] "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  Jeremiah 29:11

I am thankful for how God prepares us now for things in the future, even when we don't realize it. If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would be a pastor's wife and mother of 4, I wouldn't have believed you. But it has been a blessing to look back and see how God has used different circumstances and experiences to teach and train me for this position. God used parents who believed that if they trained us to serve God they could multiply their efforts. I learned to sing, play piano, cook, plan events, etc. working with my parents. One of my first jobs was managing data and being a receptionist, which has helped to prepare me for secretarial side of being a pastor's wife. Then I started out studying education in college, preparing me for homeschooling, before feeling God lead me to study church ministries. God has used all of these things to prepare me for His service now and I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

[A Months of Thanksgiving] Day 13

[Day 13] Today I am thankful for Mr. R. He is our miracle. At 6 weeks gestation, we thought I had miscarried, at 7 weeks our doctor was concerned that it was an ectopic pregnancy, and finally at 2 days old he wouldn't stop bleeding after his circ. He was transferred to a NICU an hour from our hospital. After 5 days in NICU (and much prayer), we were able to take him home at a week old. The doctors were all baffled at his speedy recovery, and to this day no one knows why he wouldn't stop bleeding in the first place because he got better before they could figure it out.

He is a very special young man. He is very sharp and is a big helper. He has such a heart for the lost and wants everyone to know about His Savior, Jesus Christ. I look forward to seeing how God will use him.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 12

[Day 12]  After waking with two of my kiddos last night, I am VERY thankful for coffee and sunshine. They do much to help my disposition. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 11

[Day 11] On this Veterans Day, I am thankful for those who have fought for our freedom, for their willingness to serve, and the sacrifice that they and their families have made.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Days 7-10

I was without internet for a couple of days and then just too busy to do more than post on Facebook.

[Day 7]  I am thankful for my parents. They taught me so much but most of all they taught me that there is GREAT joy in serving Jesus.

[Day 8] Today I am thankful for prayer and a heavenly Father who wants us to talk with him, to share our burdens and blessings. He is never too busy for us. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philipians 4:6

[Day 9] I am thankful for godly friends who encourage me when I am struggling and lovingly speak the truth to me when I need to change my behavior, thinking, etc. "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17

[Day 10]  While sitting in church this morning I was reminded how thankful I am for the gift of music. There are many times that words alone cannot reach a person in their time of need but music will. We've had some setbacks with selling our house, we discovered that the basement is leaking again and now there is a leak in the roof going into the bathroom (which we just remodeled last fall). I was really discouraged but God brought the song "Burdens are Lifted at Calvary" to mind and then this morning we sang "You can have a song in the night" as a congregation and the men's quintet sang "It is Well with my Soul". 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 6

[Day 6]  After doing what seemed like mountains of laundry yesterday and today, I am thankful for the modern conveniences of a washer and dryer. I don't even want to think about how much time and energy washing my clothes by hand and drying them on the line. I do dry laundry on the clothesline in the summer but with all the rain yesterday and today it wouldn't have been much help to me. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 5

[Day 5]  Today I am so incredibly thankful for my husband. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have him. He is such a blessing to me. He encourages me when I am down. He challenges me to be better and to expand my horizons. He loves me unconditionally. He is the best teammate I could have in this game of life. Thank you, Jared, for giving me the best 9 years of my life!

Monday, November 4, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 4

[Day 4]  I am thankful for trials. Trials in life help us remember where our priorities need to be. They help us to grow, to mature mentally, emotionally, physically, and most of all spiritually. I have come to the conclusion that trials in my life help to strengthen my faith and my relationship with God. Often it takes a trial in my life for me to see my weakness and seek to lean more fully on Christ.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Menu 2013: November 4-December 1

It has not slowed down even one little bit since our move back in March! Don't get me wrong, I am having a blast. :) At the moment, I am working on plans for our annual church Christmas banquet and I thoroughly enjoy event planning. I also get to start doing some part-time secretarial work. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and then Black Friday shopping since I have a bunch of gift cards that I've been saving. What are some traditions/recipes that your family has at Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday? Free Printable Menu available here.

Menu Format for the Month
Spicy (Tex-Mex, Cajun, etc.)
Duo Night ("Sandwich" & Soup or Salad)

Week 1 - November 4-10
Week 2 - November 11-17 (Happy Birthday to my wonderful hubby)
  1. Mexican Gumbo 
  2. Rotisserie Chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted butternut squash, and glazed carrots
  3. Quesadillas and 10 bean soup
  4. Baked spaghetti, brussell sprouts, sauteed green beans, and breadsticks
  5. Asian chicken, stir fry veggies, and rice
Week 3 - November 18-24
  • Texas Caviar Casserole
  • Biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs
  • White Chicken Chili and cornbread
  • Meatball subs with side salad
  • Sausage mushroom ravioli ( in garlic cream sauce with steamed broccoli and cheesy garlic bread
Week 4 - November 25-December 1 (Happy Thanksgiving)
One final thought, shop responsibly! Don't get in over your head financially, if you don't have the cash for it don't buy it. :)

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 3

[Day 3] Today I am thankful for the Bible. It showed me my lost estate. It showed me my the way of salvation. It provides comfort in time of sorrow. I find encouragement and hope among its pages.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 2

[Day 2]  Today, I am thankful for God's mercy and compassion.

I fail on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis but God's mercy and compassion do not. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Lamentations 3:21-26 

Friday, November 1, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 1

I love Thanksgiving. It is a simple holiday dedicated to being thankful for what we have. And I, for one, have so much to be thankful for in life. With that in mind, I am challenging everyone to join me for "A Month of Thanksgiving". Post something that you're thankful for each day for the month of November.

[Day 1] 
On this first day of November, I am reminded of many firsts, fresh starts, new beginnings, etc. But most of all, I am reminded of THE first, "In the beginning God..." (Genesis 1:1)

Today, I am thankful for my God and His love. He created the world and mankind knowing that man would rebel and sin against Him. He knew from the foundation of the world that because of man's sin, it would be necessary to send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth where He would die to pay the penalty for my sin (and yours).
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:4-9