Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Feeling Full (and Thanksgiving is tomorrow!)

This may be the longest hiatus I've ever taken from the blog. Let me assure you, it's not because our life has become dull and slow and nothing is happening around here. Just one little mama can't quite keep up with it all and also find time to write about it.

YET.. I'm awfully full these days, and I thought I should share.

I've been taking a "Joy Challenge" that Tommy Newberry offers. It's 40 days of focusing on JOY and adding joy-producing habits so that you can live more fully the joyful life you were intended to live. I needed this focus. I've grown complacent, lazy in my thinking, and let go of counting gifts (like blogging) as life has felt plenty full. Seems that giving up some of these good little things has had a pretty significant impact on my attitude. The good news is that it's never too late to give thanks and live a joy FILLED life!

What we focus on expands. As I focus on the good gifts God has given, on the blessings and happy things and lovely things in my life, I'm finding more and more of them! Just this week, I've noticed the amazing gifts of being given a deer (FREE meat?!) and having our particularly amazing landlord teach the boys how to process the deer. Not only that, but my absolutely amazing husband has put in extra time after dinner to clean, cut, and grind the venison.

Also this week, aforementioned landlord began replacing the (low grade, four-year old, white!) carpet in our rental house with Pergo flooring. Amazing and generous. The big boys have been helping him, learning how to put in floors, etc. I love the skills for them just as much as I love having the nasty carpet out and the shiny, slippery, lovely floors in!

O at special 14th birthday dinner
There's much more, but the two things that really stand out to me are related to O (now 14). Earlier this week, an older man in our community called to ask if the big boys would rake leaves in their lawn. O and R have also helped this couple spread mulch and done other odd jobs for them in the past. They were able to finish their school work and spend a few hours raking leaves before they started in on the floors here on Monday. That evening, Mr. T called (the older gentleman). After talking to O briefly, he asked to talk with me. For several minutes he explained to me that the boys had done a great job with the lawn, doing everything he asked (and then some!). He said "they worked their butts off" and earned every dollar he paid them. His wife is a teacher and so he clarified with me that our boys were, indeed, home schooled. I told him that was true. He then told me that The Lawyer and I were doing a great job as parents, that we have great boys, and that we are doing things right. After thanking him for the unexpected compliments, he reiterated what a pleasure it was having our boys over and that they would like to call them again for other jobs because O and R were so polite and hard working. Well! What an unexpected gift to have a total stranger affirm the character of our children.

Finally, my mother heart was touched by O's thoughtfulness this week. He took on the project of adding the tomato cage and Grow Lights to our TowerGarden- just to bless me. (And the effect was stunning AND productive!) While I was out with four of the children for piano today, O managed to install Pergo in our bedroom (with awesome landlord) and was working to clean and put things back in order to surprise me. Again... just trying to bless me. I was so encouraged by this! I'm not sure that these thoughtful acts have happened before. Maybe now that I'm looking for them, I see them?

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