Thankful - Day Thirty

Monday, November 30, 2009

30.) I am so very thankful for all the blessings God has given me. I admit when I started this project, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to find 30 things to be thankful for, but now I'm overwhelmed with just how blessed I truly am and how much I have to rely on God to provide for us. How'd you do? Did you find 30 things to be thankful for? My further challenge for you is to find at least one thing to be thankful for every day of the year and not just when the calendar forces us to think about those things by which God has provided and blessed us with. Rejoice in both the good and bad things that your loving Creator has given to you in your life!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

Thankful - Day Twenty-Nine

Sunday, November 29, 2009

29.) I'm thankful to have a fully-stocked, cram-packed kitchen full of food, thanks to God's good grace and mercy.

Thankful - Day Twenty-Eight

Saturday, November 28, 2009

28.) I'm thankful for time spent with sweet friends. And homemade cheesecake. Definitely thankful for that!


A Parent's Prayer

"O Heavenly Father, I commend the souls of my children to thee. Be thou their God and Father; and mercifully supply whatever is wanting in me through frailty or negligence. Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world, to resist all solicitations to evil, whether from within or without; and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour thy grace into their hearts, and confirm and multiply in them the gifts of thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so faithfully serving thee here, may come to rejoice in thy presence hereafter. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen." - St. Augustine's Prayer Book

Thankful - Day Twenty-Seven

27.) I'm thankful I'm not dealing with the Black Friday foolishness. Grabbing that fantastic deal on that perfect gift is NOT worth getting up way too early, freezing your tush off, getting trampled to death, and possibly ending the morning with a black eye...because you both lunged for that last remaining super-deluxe, limited edition, once-in-a-lifetime Elmo doll your kid just HAS to have, ending in a knock-down, drag-out between you and some other caffeine-induced mother in the middle of a swarm of other crazed, sleep-deprived mothers in the middle of Wal-Mart...I'm just sayin'.

Thankful - Day Twenty-Six

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26.) I am thankful to have so much to be thankful for all year long! Happy Thanksgiving! May your conversation be blessed and glorifying to the Lord and your hearts and tummies be warmed!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" Psalm 107:1

I Asked God

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Asked God
-Author Unknown

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own! But I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Thankful - Day Twenty-Four & Twenty-Five

24.) I am thankful for the bad days. When put in the correct perspective, they really aren't that bad.

25.) I am thankful that my son is growing, developing, learning, thriving, and laughing - especially when there was a time we didn't think he ever would.

For All Moms

Monday, November 23, 2009

I stumbled across this story today. The author is unknown, but I agree with her whole-heartedly.

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."

"We're taking a survey," she says, half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. "I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations...."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.

That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.

She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years -- not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter's hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God . . . that of being a Mother.

Funny Sign

Thankful - Day Twenty-Three

23.) I am thankful for the baby squirms and kicks going on inside of me. What a beautiful, comforting feeling.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139-13-14

Thankful - Day Twenty-Two

Sunday, November 22, 2009

22.) I am thankful I get to spend eternity in Heaven with such a wonderful group of believers. We'll be the noisiest group by far!

Thankful - Day Twenty-One

Saturday, November 21, 2009

21.) I'm thankful for my husband's genuine kindness, gentleness, love, guidance, and care for me and our family. I am such a blessed woman to have him as my husband and partner.

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." Ephesians 5:25-32

Thankful - Day Twenty

Friday, November 20, 2009

20.) I am thankful for my bible study group, who were nice enough to bring the study to my house so I could participate while Robby naps.

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." Matthew 18:20

Advent Conspiracy

Thankful - Day Nineteen

19.) I am thankful to be 20 weeks pregnant, today! Halfway there, baby!!

No verse for this one, either.

Thankful - Day Eighteen

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

18.) I am thankful for my little boy, who fills my days with laughter and never ceases to make my life interesting.

"You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound." Psalm 4:7

Thankful - Day Seventeen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

17.) I am thankful for God's constant provision. Although we don't have much, we have never gone without the necessities and are blessed to have some luxuries. Only by God's good grace and mercy are we able to have the things we do have.

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:31-33

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Monday, November 16, 2009

This is the best pie you'll ever eat. Matt and I had a piece of raspberry cream cheese pie when he took me out for my birthday and since then I've been scouring the internet trying to find a similar recipe. I think I may have found it. I must say, for only being the second pie I've ever made and by far the most complicated, I'm quite proud of my results (see photo)!

The recipe calls for fresh raspberries, but I had to use frozen, since they're out of season. I'm sure you could experiment with whatever berry you wanted or whatever happens to be in season. I plan on trying other berries in the future. Also, if you know how to make pie crust, I suggest you use it instead of the store bought ones. I used Wal-Mart brand crusts and I regretted it. They were crumbly and thin. Pillsbury makes a decent premade crust, however.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

9 inches pie shells, baked & cooled
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks are formed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice (typically from one lemon)
4 cups fresh raspberries

1. In a small mixing bowl, beat soft cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in half of whipped cream until thoroughly combined, then fold in remaining cream very gently. Spread evenly into pie shell. (You may refrigerate while cooking berries.)
2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice with a whisk until smooth. Stir in raspberries.
3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook and stir berries for 2 minutes or until thickened. Then, in a mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, press berries into strainer, separating seeds from filling. (If you'd like, keep about a tablespoon of seeds in the filling for texture/appearance.) Cool to room temperature, then spread over cream cheese layer.
4. Refrigerate until serving for at least 3-4 hours. Filling will thicken as it sets. Don't try to cut into it without letting it completely cool! Serve with whipped topping.

Thankful - Day Sixteen

16.) I am thankful for memories, like when I first fell in love with my husband. He had my heart since day one. I didn't even stand a chance. =)

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Thankful - Day Fifteen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

15.) I am thankful to be the Lord's hands and feet when He chooses me to be, knowing that this broken, wretched sinner can take no credit for the deed - ALL the glory and honor goes to Him and Him alone.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Also, a prayer request. Please be praying for my brother and future sister-in-law. They want to get married, for the sake of themselves and their baby, but her family is being a huge hinderance with their selfishness. Pray for salvation for both of them and for the family. Pray that Matt and I be His hands and feet in this situation - our hearts ache for them and we want to help where we can.

Thankful - Day Fourteen

Saturday, November 14, 2009

14.) I am thankful for cold, lazy Saturdays spent enjoying time with the ones I love.

I don't have a bible verse for this, without completely butchering context.

Thankful - Day Thirteen

Friday, November 13, 2009

13.) In honor of my grandma's birthday today, I'm thankful for my grandparents, who were willing to take me in when I was three and raise me as their own. Without them, there would have been a good chance I would have been stuck in the foster care system, at best.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Thankful - Day Twelve

Thursday, November 12, 2009

12.) I am thankful to be under fire for Christ's sake, knowing that His Truth will be my armor.

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

If you aren't making Satan take notice, you're not doing it right.

Thankful - Day Eleven

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11.) I am thankful for the good days...and coffee. Lots of coffee.

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Thankful - Day Ten

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10.) I am thankful that I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom. Although it is challenging and stressful at times,  I realize just how blessed I truly am to be able to stay home and raise my children.

"He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!" Psalm 113:9

Comic Relief

Monday, November 9, 2009

The future of diapers - the Smart Diaper. Click to enlarge.

Thankful - Day Nine

9.) I am thankful God closed and opened my womb, so I could truly appreciate the children He has blessed me with.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

Thankful - Day Eight

Sunday, November 8, 2009

8.) I am thankful that although I complain of aches, pains, and tiredness, my supposed suffering doesn't even come close to those of others in this world - especially those who are enduring it without the hope of the Gospel.

Warning: This photo is very graphic in nature, but will change your perspective on what suffering is in an instant. Click here to view.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

Thankful - Day Seven

Saturday, November 7, 2009

7.) I am thankful for Matt's God-given strength and ability to be able to work hard for his family day in and day out, with little to no complaint.

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8

Thankful - Day Six

Friday, November 6, 2009

6.) I am thankful for the reformers' diligence and sacrifice, making it possible for me to freely study the bible in my own language.

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Thankful - Day Five & Update

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5.) I am thankful for Jesus' selfless sacrifice upon the cross; making me sinless and righteous before a Holy God on Judgement Day.

"He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

Also, just a quick update: Had a quick and easy prenatal checkup this morning. My blood pressure was lower than last visit and they found the baby's heartrate right away with the doppler - 155 BPM! My next checkup and ultrasound is scheduled for December 3rd. I don't want to wait that long!

Just for fun, I used these Chinese gender predictors to see what it would come up with. Supposedly, we're having a girl. Interestingly enough, it predicted correctly on Robby, so perhaps there's a little girl in our near future? That should make a few of you very happy, I'm sure. We'll just have to wait and find out!

30 Days of Thankfulness

I was inspired by something a friend of mine posted on Facebook today and I wanted to start a similar project here on Chronicles. Since November brings Thanksgiving, we find ourselves reflecting upon what we are truly thankful for. Usually, this only lasts the day of, as the comforting effects of the Thanksgiving turkey warms our tummies, only to quickly fade away as we are faced with a sink full of dishes, pans, etc. As believers, of course, we should be thankful all year long for God's provision, grace, and blessing, but how often do we actually thank God daily for those things? I challenge both my readers and myself to write down, blog about, or just pray upon one thing a day that you are thankful for until November 30th. I chose to blog mine, of course, and just for a bit of study, I've included bible verses for a reference of sorts.

I realize that I'm four days late on this. I wish I would have thought of it sooner, but if you know me, you know I'm not on time unless I'm late. To start things off, here are four things I'm thankful for:

Days One Through Four

1.) I am thankful for trials and tribulations, as they stretch me and grow me more into Christ's likeness

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." Romans 6:22

2.) I am thankful that I live in a country that doesn't persecute me to the extent that I'm not allowed to worship freely.

"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God." 1 Peter 2:16

3.) I am thankful for our loving church family, who have become just that - family.

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12

4.) I am thankful to be redeemed by God's good grace and that I am forever His servant.

"But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation." Psalm 13:5

What are YOU thankful for?

Eager Reader & The Holidays

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rob finally likes books! He'll sit in the middle of the living room and "read" a book out loud (in Robby language, of course), pointing at the pictures and narrating each page. He'll also bring you a book to read to him and sit through the whole thing, so we've started reading a book to him before every night. I'm so excited he finally will sit still long enough for a whole book and he really seems to enjoy it. Now I have another gift idea for Christmas!

Speaking of the holidays, it looks like we'll be doing both Thanksgiving and Christmas on our own this year. My grandparents have decided to become snow birds and head to the desert for the winter. I'm always slightly uneasy about change, but I'm excited to think that we finally get to start our own traditions with our little family. I think Robby will be very excited about Christmas especially. Him and I went to Target today for a few things and I took him over to see the Christmas (yes, Christmas!) decorations. He got very excited over the trees, the garland, and the lights. I wonder what he'll think when he sees his own tree in his own living room? I'm so excited that he's old enough to somewhat appreciate the holidays, now. Should make Christmas morning fun!