Tuesday, November 1, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 1

It is really hard to start out twenty four days of Thanksgiving.  I mean, I do have a lot to be thankful for, but deciding on what to write about first isn't easy.  The first thing that comes to mind today is my children.  I have to be honest.  This morning started out pretty rocky for them.  For the most part, they slept in, which was a direct result of last night's Reformation Night Event that Troy and I put on at church.  They had so much fun and were out late (due to cleaning up after the event), that despite the efforts of two exhausted parents, they got to bed around 11pm last night.  This morning, the candy won at last night's event was on the kitchen table.  In hindsight, I should have put that away before they got up.  So much for hindsight.  Also on the kitchen table was their breakfast.  I requested that they eat their breakfast before eating any treat.  Normally, I wait until after lunch for all things sugar, but, I thought I would make an exception today.  I left the room for a minute to check on Owen and before I knew it, Jackson and Madelyn both had Tootsie Roll Pops in their mouths and their breakfast still on their plates.  I proceeded to take the suckers away, which was followed by a tantrum from Madelyn and a request by Jackson to go to his room.  Yes.  You read that right.  He asked to be sent to his room.  I had to nurse Owen, so, Madelyn went on crying and Jackson was sent to his room.  Breakfast is still on the table.  And, the candy is now hidden---probably won't reappear for quite some time.

It is a morning like this that I need to remind myself how much these children mean to me.  God has blessed me with them and given me the responsibility to raise them up in a way that glorifies Him.      I am very thankful for that opportunity.  As Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  I am so very thankful that God has given me these three precious creations of His.  And it is with that thankful heart that I am reminded that I need to give these children grace, just as Christ has given me grace.  As it says in Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  This doesn't always come easy on mornings like these.  However, when I think of Christ forgiving me, and all the silly, stupid things that I may do, and how He constantly shows me His grace and mercy, it does come a bit easier.  I pray for patience in dealing with these kids that I love so much.  I know that it is primarily by example that they will learn what grace is.

And with that, I am so very thankful for all the little things that they do to bring joy to my heart.  I'm thankful for the witty and insightful view Jackson gives me on the world.  I'm thankful that, even at just barely four years old, he shows an interest in Christ.  I'm thankful for Madelyn's spunky personality, and the silly smile she gives me when she is pleased with something.  I'm thankful that she is so very loyal to her siblings---the love and adoration she shows for Jackson is pretty priceless.  I'm thankful for Owen's sweet and happy spirit.  No matter how tired or hungry he may be, he always has a smile to give.  I marvel at these precious gifts God has given me!  I pray that I remember how thankful I am for these children no matter the occasion---when Madelyn puts crayons in her pajama feet and they are melted all over several loads of clothes in the dryer---when Jackson refuses to eat his breakfast, lunch, or dinner (that happens often)--- or when Owen is wide awake at 11...1...3...5...  You get the idea!

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