Wednesday, November 23, 2011


If you know me well, you’ve probably heard me ramble on about “an attitude of thanksgiving” more than once. It has been my “theme,” if you will, for the past year, and I have loved seeing the Lord work on the hardened parts of my heart through simple lessons of thankfulness.

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving, but this year I am loving it even more as we seek to see all the little blessings of the Lord in our daily lives. We’ve been filling up our "thankfulness jar" with scraps of paper bearing the written names of gifts from the Lord, from large to small. Eli dictates his thankfulness to me daily, and I write them all down… candy, airplanes, bicycle, Daddy, stickers, red leaves,… We add all of our thankfulness daily to this jar, and we’ll read through our writings on Thanksgiving morning.

And the image of an empty glass jar slowly, over the course of the month, being filled up with scraps of yellow and orange paper? It’s a perfect analogy for how thankfulness can fill up our hearts, leaving little room for complaining.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a whole jar-ful of little gifts, from chilly, rainy mornings to candles flickering to a bouquet of fresh flowers. I am thankful for our cozy little home and daily provision and my family close by. I am thankful for my husband who loves me and my son who is healthy and my God who gave me all of this.

But more than that? I am thankful for the cross of Christ, His blood spilled on my behalf, the peace I have, eternally, with the God of the universe, because Jesus paid for my sins. All other gifts pale in comparison to this one. But I believe that as we thank God for all His many blessings in every day, we are brought into deeper communion with our Savior who died for us.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving! May we rejoice today in the abundant gifts of our Father.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Raising a child has taught me so much about my own sin and shortcomings. I sometimes watch Eli get worked into a frenzy about some minor issue and think, "Geez! Get a better attitude!" And then I remember that I oftentimes am guilty of doing the very same thing!

This year we have been working hard to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness in our home. Part of this includes listing, at various times, what we're thankful for in any given moment. I've been learning that turning my thoughts from complaining to thanking really does work to change my whole attitude!

I've loved observing this in Eli as well. When he gets frustrated about something or is upset, I try to, instead of just silently brooding over how much I dislike his bad mood, start listing things that I'm thankful for. It takes a minute or so, but Eli will eventually chime in. Before we know it, we're both coming up with a long list of things we can be thankful for in the moment, and both of our attitudes are totally turned around!

I'm thankful for how the Lord uses my three-year-old to teach me how childish I sometimes act! And I'm thankful that He has compassion on me just as a "father has compassion on his children" and remembers that I am "but dust" (Psalm 103).

And I am thankful for all the things that Eli says he is thankful for! I love them all! Rainbows, candy, cousins, paint, red leaves, his bicycle, a car to drive, a Daddy who works hard, his friends, rain,... I can almost picture God in heaven just smiling as He hears the thanks of little children as they take joy in all His bountiful gifts.

We pray that the lesson of thanksgiving continues to change our attitudes and our hearts. Because, truly, God's gifts are abundant.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


For people who aren't too big on Halloween, we sure did a lot of Halloween-related events this year! :)

We started with costume night at Awana. Here are the three of us in our costumes- doctor, dinosaur, and detective (minus the giant magnifying glass that was later added to the costume). The suit was Phil's dad's years and years ago, and Eric is the only one skinny enough to fit into it! :)

We went to a couple church "festivals" too in the past week. Eli loved it all. Here a couple shots from the fall festival at Mimosa Lane...

Pony rides:

Giant slide:

Playing games:

Eli, Timothy, and CJ:

Yesterday afternoon we carved a pumpkin, and then we joined some friends for trick-or-treating. This was Eli's first time, and he absolutely loved it!

Eli with Eric's "Japanese warrior" pumpkin: :)

All the kiddos- this picture cracks me up! :)

Our trick-or-treat-er!