It's been a month that's felt cold and hard pressed in. January started with our unexpected sickness and two trips to the doctor (for ears and nursemaid's elbow). There have been two snows and the kids here have missed a lot of school (the public school kids, not our kids!). We've had unexpected expenses that have kept us from paying off the last little bit of a debt (so discouraging!) and our work has felt harder than normal. The baby has been fussy and when he isn't, he is very good at making messes all over the house (toilet paper, garlic, pencils, paper, soot from the fireplace...). There are piles of boots on the floor and lists of things to be fixed: broken lamp, broken goggles, broken sled. And, I admit, I have sometimes found it hard to look past all of this- or through it- and see the GRACE and GIFT that it is.
Today, I was reading Psalm 16, looking for those reminders that THIS IS GOOD. That I'll make it through. That this life, this crazy life of mine was actually chosen for me. God said I was cut out for this. He thinks this is the right house and the right husband and the right kids and the right time for me. That's amazing. And I want to give thanks and lift my hard, cold heart to be warmed in the light of His love. Believing He loves me and that He's chosen ALL of this for me. . . well, it makes everything special and worth noting.
1252) A Tuesday plan that seems to work really well during piano lessons
1253) Sweet church lady who enjoys watching our children a few hours/week
1254) A science kit! SO much easier than waiting on me to collect items for experiments.
1255) Extra large pans of chicken and biscuits. . . devoured.
1256) Kids begging for salted caramel brownies for sweet treat. (And they help make it!)
1257) Little hooded heads.
1258) Big brothers sledding with little brothers.
1259) First signs (thank you!) and first words.
1260) Little text messages from friends to let me know I'm not alone when I'm here by myself.