Last year (2011), my theme was JOY. I wanted to seek out, look for, take note of, and increase joy in my life. (And did you see; I only have 110 gifts to list on the blog before I reach my own [published] 1000!) About midyear it also struck me that I was aiming to live a principled life. Joy, after all, is a choice and an attitude that can be cultivated. There are principles (that God put in place) in life that I want to follow so that we can maximize our life (and live life to the PLUS!).
This year my mantra may be "Unique!" It's not what I would consciously choose and yet I've caught the word flying from my lips over and over in the past week. It starts with that insidious little comparison; before I know it I'm thinking about how our family isn't as good as that other family in whatever respect or I'm not as organized, crafty, fun, etc. as the super-moms I know or I'm just so tired of being in debt (blah, blah blah). The principle is: you reap what you sow. And: what you send out you will receive. And: what you think about grows bigger. And: only you can change your thoughts.
So, I've caught upon this little phrase, "Our family is unique!" No other family has our size, our personalities, our challenges, our skills, our address. And we have a great life. And that is what I want to focus on.
I'm loving the freedom I feel in embracing this idea. God has given us what we need for this time. Things look different for our family than they may look for other families- because our unique people have been given a unique set of circumstances. Oh, that grace would fill the working out of this!
As I look at our family, I see these gifts in us and given to us:
872) The fun of having a 20 month old, with new words every day.
873) The happiness we all have in teaching M new words and hearing his new phrases.
874) Lots and lots of trips to the potty with M (who is in underwear).
875) Lots of sheets to wash after wet beds.
876) Daughter L (6) with blondest hair growing long.
877) She tells me that she heard the "bee" reminding her to be truthful.
878) She becomes a horse and trots M through the house.
879) T (4) and finally seeing skin through his rash! Praise to the Healer!
880) T, known as the cheerful one, fetching an apple each morning for The Lawyer.
881) T, always hungry.
882) R (8), infections smile, goofy laugh, such exuberance!
883) R, writing in his journal. Putting pen to paper.
884) Clothes all over the boy room. Every day. All times of day. Inexplicable.
885) Oldest son O (10), waving large from the highest branches of the pine at the park.
886) My heart so warmed at the sight of O writing Latin and bent over math.
887) Willingness to swallow capsules if it will save a few dollars.
888) Excitement over pretzels, pistachios, and Greek yogurt.
889) Reading all over the house; books scattered; children "missing," reading in closets.
890) Amazingly warm winter days when I rake the leaves in January.
891) A yard that lacks grass (but we don't own it) yet has moss.
892) M says "lean! lean!" and wants me to jump on the trampoline with him.
893) A fun night with friends and good food and conversations to think on.
894) Federal holidays when The Lawyer is home with us.
895) Early morning alarms and exercising.
896) Parsley. (yum!)
897) Listening to The Baby Conference audios.
898) Sipping hot water.
899) Delivering food to new/expecting moms.
900) Christmas cards and notes from loved ones far away.
901) Feeling poor in so many ways, and humbled to be part of this anyway.