I don't know about you, but I have found that my answer to "How are you?" seems to quite frequently be followed up with-"BUSY." But more than I would like, it comes across as something negative, but in reality, it is not! Maybe I need to be a bit more colorful in my responses, a response that conveys how blessed and full my life is.
The weeks leading up to Easter weekend were "busy", Matt's schedule was busier than normal with trips and meetings, our bathroom was being repaired in the free moments, I had been buzzing with letters and phone calls to old friends I had been able to finally find thanks to facebook, and we were getting the house ready for family to stay with us for Easter. But as the Easter weekend arrived, a sense of calm arrived as well despite all the happenings going on. It was a blessing to "prepare" for the remembering of all the Lord has done for us!
I have been thinking about the weekend and wanted to reflect on all the things to be thankful for, great and small. So here they are....
1.Good Friday-thankful for my husband and kiddos forgiving me-I woke up in a "mood" overwhelmed with all that needed to be accomplished before our company arrived. They know me so well, and allowed me to work it out knowing I would need to apologize sheepishly.
2. Thankful for lists and senses of humor. I made a list and every time we accomplished one thing I ended up adding another( my kids laughed instead of grumbling-that is what I am really thankful for!)
3. A smooth last minute Easter outfit hunt for those of us who needed something new. Only one of us needed new shoes-that has got to be a first!
4.A fun first haircut for Noah-and Bell even forgave me for cutting off his curls.
5. A mad dash to get ready for Good Friday service turned out to be one of those times you realize just how cool a big family is! With seven of us working together, mighty things can happen in a half hour!
6. An absolutely beautiful Good Friday service to set our hearts on the incredible sacrifice Jesus God made for us.
7. Coloring books and crayons for Bell and Joslyn that tell about Jesus. They helped keep them focused during church.
8. A treat of Starbucks mocha on the way home.
9. The 3 little ones drifting off to sleep quickly.
10. This is one of my most favorites. All day long I had a bit of a nagging ache in my stomach about our late night plans with our older two. I have been praying for a few years about when it would be appropriate to let our kids see The Passion. And this year I felt a peace about it, but I still was not anxious. I finally realized that that feeling made perfect sense, it is incrediably difficult to watch and be reminded of the torment Jesus went through because of us! But watching it with Cole and Madi and Matt was a very precious and memorable event. So I am thankful for that horribly beautiful movie. I am thankful that it is not just a movie, but a reminder of the TRUTH.
11. I am thankful for waking up with the "right" attitude Sat morning!
12. I am thankful for my zune! I wasn;t really to thrilled with the idea of grocery shopping amidst the last minute chaos for Easter, and wanted to spend the day reflecting and talking with Jesus instead, but, I did have to feed my family, so I decided to take my zune and listen to worship music as I shopped. It was the best grocery shopping ever! I did have to work a bit at not busting out into song though(HAHA). I may have scared the other shoppers.
14. Thankful for Joslyn openly sharing her struggle with faith because she cannot see or hear Jesus. Thankful for the quiet time in the car while running my errands to cry out to the Lord for her. It is so good to give your children to Him who created and loves them so deeply. And it is so good to weep sometimes.
15. Thankful for my Mom and Dad in law arriving safely late Saturday evening. And thankful for the first late night talk of the weekend.
16. Thankful for in-laws who I consider to be Mom and Dad, loving me like their own daugther. Thankful for a "Daughter" birthday card and letter as evidence for this amazing gift!
17. Thankful for arriving at church on time even though we left later than we should have-don't you ever wonder if the Lord slows the clock just for you!
18. I love holidays like Easter and Christmas when all the students come home to spend it with their family! It is so neat to worship with them! Lots of hugs and smiles. Thankful for the fellowship the Lord gives us.
19. Thankful for time in the kitchen cooking with Mom. I have learned so much of my cooking from her!
20. Thankful for a pretty day in which I could watch Grandma and Grandpa playing with the kids in the back yard! And yes, Grandpa even climbed up on the roof of the playhouse to get Madi in a game of tag. Grandma painted a birdhouse with Bell and it hangs in the apple tree now. I believe the kids mentioned that birds have begun to move in already.
21. Thankful for Matt also cooking for our meal and for shuffling all the furniture around in our living room to fit everyone for dinner!
22. Thankful for a yummy meal! And leftovers!
23.Thankful for Angie my sister in law arriving safe on her flight. Thankful that Madi and Joslyn had fun going with to pick her up.
24. Thankful for a sister in law who sacrificed time with family to share the Gospel with all the little kiddos she works with each week.
25. Thankful for time to play video games with family-doesn;t happen too often-but it is pretty fun!
26. Thankful for my kids and husband helping me to get the dishes done quickly after the big meal! I even got to sing a little.
27. Thankful for LONG talks with MOM at the kitchen table. She clings to Jesus and it is always wonderful fellowship in the sharing. Lots of tears and lots of laughing.
28. Thankful for my brother in-law, Ben, arriving safely on his flight and for a safe drive for matt and Cole to pick him up at 12:30 am! Thankful for a long talk with Angie while they were gone. Thankful for the first 2:30 am conversation between us kids.
29. Thankful for a lazy morning. A quiet run(drive) to the store in the rain (almost snow)for flour(how did I manage to forget that!). Thankful for home made coffee cake.
30. Thankful for our adventure to the antique store(all 11 of us)! Sorry Ang that we did not stay longer-you and I will have to spend a day there some other time!:)
31. Thankful for a late lunch at Olive Garden! YUMMY! Thankful for the little girl who sat behind Noah and kept him amused! Another meal full of laughs! Thanks Mom and Dad for the treat!
32. Thankful for a quick run to the store with matt while the kids stayed home with the rest of the fam! Thankful to Matt for running in and letting me take a little nap in the car-holy cow-I needed it!
33. Thankful for pizza and a movie(Prince Caspian). Gave me a chance to get the dishes done and kitchen cleaned up!
34. Thankful for another conversation till 2:30 am with Matt, Ben and Ang. But this one I paid for:)
35. Thankful for the safe return home of my family. Thankful for a good day back to school for the kids even though a sense of sadness loomed in the house after everyone left.
36. Thankful for God's creation-signs of spring are appearing. We have a bird's nest in our welcome wreath outside with 4 tiny little eggs waiting to hatch. This is the second time this has happened to us. Afew years ago a morning dove laid her eggs in our flower put on the front porch and we got to see the babies hatch. She got used to me enough that I was able to water the plant she was sitting in even. So it will be fun to see this happen again!
There really are countless things to be thankful for and reflecting on them and thanking the Lord for them brings great hope. So busy-oh yes! But life is "FULL OF HIS RICHES" WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER WAY TO DESCRIBE IT!