Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends today. Yesterday was a baking day for me; we are going to my aunt's house this afternoon, and it's always fun when we all get together over there. Anyway, just thought today I would sit down and write down 27 things I'm thankful for on this, the 27th day of November, 2008, Thanksgiving Day.....
1. I'm so thankful to be saved through the blood of Jesus and know that some day, we will have an eternal celebration!
2. I'm so very thankful for my husband, Dan, and my 2 children, Jacob and Jaden; I love them more every day.
3. I'm thankful for my parents and family; I love you all very much.
4. I'm thankful for being able to stay at home right now with my kids and not have to leave them with someone else; I've done that before with Jacob, and it was one of the hardest things to do.
5. I'm thankful to be able to write and to be able to have the freedom to write whatever I believe.
6. I'm so thankful for freedom and for the sacrifice our troops have continually made down through history to keep our freedoms alive for us.
7. I'm thankful for education, for without it where would we be right now?
8. I'm thankful for all my friends and being able to stay in contact with all of you online too.
9. I'm thankful for the computer.
10. I'm thankful for chocolate!:)
11. I'm thankful for Christmas music and the Christmas tree, etc.:)
12. I'm thankful to be in a church that believes in doing as well as teaching.
13. I'm thankful for snow, but I really wish we could get some right now.:)
14. I'm thankful to have a car.
15. I'm so very thankful to have a house and a roof over our heads. I'm sad that our house burnt down, but I can see how God was working through all of that.
16. I'm thankful that I get to talk to Nancy and other friends every day; I'm so glad to have you all in my life.
17. I'm thankful that my kids are healthy and happy kids.
18. I'm thankful that Jacob is loving Tae Kwon Do.
19. I'm thankful for Christmas movies.:)
20. I'm thankful for something even as simple as a dvr, so we can watch favorite shows later when we have time.:)

21. I'm thankful for White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from Olive Garden, the best dessert in the world!:)
22. I'm thankful for being able to get to know people in NYC and so thankful for that city and all the people in it.

23. I'm thankful for being able to homeschool Jacob.
24. I'm thankful for holidays so Dan can stay home and not have to rush off to work.
25. I'm thankful for nursing and all my nursing friends; I miss you all.
26. I'm thankful for books!
27. I'm thankful for music, for without it, life would be pretty bland.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

True Gratitude (Pt 2 of Thanksgiving Posts)

As I write this post, I am contemplating the true meaning of thankfulness and gratitude. We are so, so blessed in this nation, but we have no idea how truly blessed we are. Most of us have beds to sleep in, food on our tables, good health, and a roof over our heads, not to mention the families and friends we love and are loved by. Even with the country and the economy in the shape that they are in, we are still truly blessed. My hope is that this post will reiterate to you how truly blessed you are and will help you to begin to readjust the way you think. Some parts of this post may be hard to hear, and some parts of the video clips may be hard to watch, but please don't turn your heads. The people in these clips are real human beings, created by God, just like you and me. You see, God created us in His image, and no matter where we are at, as human beings, and especially as children of God, we have a responsibility for each other that is so vital. So, please don't turn your heads. Yes, these things are so hard to think about, and it may cut you to the core, but we cannot and should not stop thinking and doing all we can just because it hurts. After all, Christ did not come down off of that cross, even though He had the power to do so; He stayed there and endured the pain and affliction because He loved us. Now, it's time for us to show Him how truly grateful we are. What will you do?

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer

“For each new morning with its light,For rest and shelter of the night,For health and food, for love and friends,For everything Thy goodness sends.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.” -G.B. Stern

"No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night." -Elie Wiesel

These first two videos remind me of how truly blessed I am to be born where I was and to have the parents that I had. It also makes me want to hug my children. As a nurse, the AIDS crisis is so real to me, and anything we can do to ease the suffering is sorely needed. Children are also being forced every day into the life of a rebel soldier. Where is our gratitude to God when we sit back and turn our heads, only to look away?

This next video, well, it just makes the tears flow, but to any of our troops out there, THANK YOU for everything you sacrifice and give for our freedom! And thank you to the families of the troops for all of the sacrifices you have made. When I think of a soldier over there fighting, as a wife and mother, I also think of their family back home. What are they feeling right now and going through? So, thank you. I am sorry for all of the times I have taken this freedom for granted. You are true heroes!

As for this last video, I had actually seen it on Oprah a couple weeks ago, and it truly touched my heart. Grab the tissues, if you haven't already because you will need them, but please don't let the sadness let stop you from watching this video. Be grateful for your kids and the many blessings they have brought into your life. Give them hugs, and tell them you love them.

So, now it's your turn. Are you truly grateful, or are you just skating through life, taking everything you have been given for granted? What will you do?

"Gloria" by BTC! Awesome Song!

Thanksgiving Day Laugh!

It's Tuesday, and there are only 2 more days until Thanksgiving!:) I thought in the spirit of the holiday, I would start a 3 part Thanksgiving Day special edition of HeartPrints. Today, I found something that should give you a good laugh. We can all use a good laugh now and then. So, click on the links below, sit back, and let the laughing begin. Oh, and have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Motivation on a Crazy Monday!

Sometimes we need a little shove to get going on Mondays; I know I do. It's the beginning of a whole new week, and an exciting week at that with Thanksgiving and all. If you're feeling overwhelmed this Monday morning with everything there is to do after the long, messy weekend, then just sit back, grab a coffee (or whatever you like), and take a few minutes to refresh yourself before getting started. Read a devotional, or even connect with other women/mothers just like yourself through their blogs. Just take a few minutes for you before you start. Then make a list of what needs done TODAY; focus on today. Be sure that you take those babysteps (aka: to get everything done, or you will feel very overwhelmed. Put on some good music to get you moving. Just remember, you are not alone; there is probably another mother just down the road who feels the exact same way you do. So, don't go crazy Rambo Mom trying to get everything done at once; just take it one step at a time, and as you start marking your to do list off, you'll be amazed at how good it will feel knowing that you're accomplishing what you set out to do, only in a more relaxed way. Have a great day!:)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

3 Decades and 1 Year

Wow! Time flies, doesn't it? Today marks 31 years for me. I can't believe I'm already 31! Everyone says how as we get older, we women take it harder every year. Even Dan doesn't seem to believe that I am happy about this. But in all honesty, the last year of my life has been so enlightening for me, and I couldn't be happier to be in my 30's. I feel like I'm finally getting to know myself and really starting to buckle down and just enjoy the ride. Yeah, life gets stressful, and sometimes I have the fleeting thought that with current life expectancies, I am almost halfway there. But it doesn't bother me like I thought it would. It's actually exciting to me to turn a year older because who knows what this new year will bring? What new leaf or "leaves" will we turn over this year? So, yeah, I can't believe 31 is already here, but it's a new year and a fresh start with something new to learn not just about our world, but about myself. They say that every year and every gray hair you add grants you more wisdom. So, today, I pray that I can be granted that wisdom as well. After all, what else are gray hairs good for?:) Now, on to getting through this day so I can have a taste of that raspberry cheesecake from Olive Garden tonight!:)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Tuesday Morning

As I sit here this morning, I'm thinking about how our day will go and what we need to accomplish today before we lay our heads down on our pillows again tonight. With school and household chores, it can seem overwhelming at times, but I wouldn't trade a second of it. I've just been feeling so blessed to be able to be at home with my kids. Today started a new sort of schedule for me; getting out of bed at 5:30 wasn't easy; that extra hour of sleep until 6:30 every day has spoiled me, but if I get up earlier, so much can be accomplished just in that first hour. Half of my story for my assignment is done, and here I sit posting. Our minds can just race with everything that needs done, but for today, just enjoy your day, no matter where you are at or what you are doing. Stop and actually look around at either the fall leaves still dropping from the trees one by one or at the snowflakes coming down on your nose, depending where you are at.:) Next week is Thanksgiving, and it's exciting to know that we'll get together with family and have lots of good things to eat. But for now, enjoy this moment, because this moment, you will never get back; it will be gone for eternity. In this moment, either you can do something that will count for that eternity, or you can waste it and let it just slip into eternal nothingness. So, live in this moment, and enjoy it!
Here is something I read last night that really is very powerful; I know not everyone homeschools, but for us mothers, education is what we do when you think about it. No matter if you homeschool or not, we are in the business of educating and training up our children, so here's a very powerful quote:
Education is not filling a pail, but the lighting of a fire. ~William Butler Yeats
Have a wonderful, enjoyable day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Do You Struggle With?

Here is a thought for today. I'm reading Fresh Faith by Pastor Jim Cymbala, and he was talking about David's prayer in Psalms 51 today. But there are 3 points to this prayer that we can really apply to our own lives.

"1. 'Create in me a pure heart.' He has already asked for cleansing. Now he is going deeper. He wants God to start all over, to create a brand-new heart that is pure to the core. He wants to see everything in his world with pure eyes, to hear with holy ears, and to act with godly responses.
2. 'Renew a Steadfast Spirit Within Me.' What David is asking God for is a work of grace within him that will keep him from the kind of rise-and-fall, mountain-and-valley pattern that characterizes far too many of our lives....with God, all things are possible....We must not be content just to hope, or to lament our weak spiritual condition. Instead, we must approach the throne of grace with a bold confidence that what God promised, he will do....Let us ask him for this steadfast spirit that will hold us through the changing situations of life.
3. 'Grant Me a Willing Spirit, To Sustain Me.' Beyond being steadfast, he wants to be willing to do whatever God asks....David has recognized that his heart can betray him. His will can consent to the appeals of the world and the flesh, so he cries out for God to give him a willing spirit. This again flies in the face of much of today's Christianity, which bites its lip and tries harder to do what only the Spirit of God can accomplish. In fact, God had to make us willing."

This last part is what really got me. So many times, I fail in my Christian walk, but I think I just try too hard and don't let God do His perfect work in me. I try to do everything myself, and that just isn't gonna work. I have one thing that I really struggle with daily, and that is letting certain words slip out of my mouth that shouldn't. I hope I don't lose any followers by admitting this, but in order to be a living testimony, I also need to be real, and I hope that maybe this will help some of my readers to become more real also. After all, nobody is perfect. It's something that I think I've tried on my own to stop, but my problem is that I'm not letting God do the purifying work in me; I'm just trying too hard. Instead, I need to let it go, surrender it, and let Him work. It's going to be a daily surrender, but if I believe, then all things are possible with God. Just a tidbit for this rainy Friday!
P.s. Would love any feedback on anything that you struggle with too. I firmly believe that in order to be effective, we need to get REAL and honest!!!! We can also encourage each other in knowing that we are not alone in our daily struggles.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New Look!

I've decided that it's time for a change. It's time that I put more meaning behind this blog. My dream is to just be a Christian voice for other women out there and connect with others of a like mind and a like faith. I just want God to use me. So, I'm giving my blog a makeover. There are so many ideas running through my head on topics to discuss on here and different things I can do. So, just to let you know that the new look is giving way to a whole new blog!:) I'm so excited and can't wait to see where this leads. Stay tuned because there will be more to come......:)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A New Week and A Fresh Start

This week was kind of a rough week; it started out great, and we were accomplishing lots of things, including getting a lot done with school. Wednesday night, we were sitting around the supper table, when the phone rang. It was my mom, and she had some really bad news. My neighbor, who I had grown up with and spent so many of my days with, had been killed that day. He was taking his usual nap in the basement, and somehow his shotgun that was in the corner, got knocked over, and it shot him through the heart and killed him instantly as he was laying there sleeping. He never knew what hit him, which we can be thankful for, and he was a Christian. The first thought I had was that I hadn't gone to see him; he had asked my dad to tell me to come see him, and I hadn't done it. His name was Leonard, and he was like a grandpa to me. His wife, Cleo, is still living, and my heart just breaks for her. It was a huge shock, and it brought many tears. I just kept thinking how I would never feel that hug around my neck again from him. I kept thinking about his family that he left behind. I remember so many summer days spent at their house, just hanging out. Leonard was a beautiful, wonderful person. We went to the viewing, and as I went up to look at his body, it just washed over me how much he was going to be missed. The funeral the next day, though, was thought provoking for me. The pastor talked about how if we were saved, we would see Leonard again. And it hit me that Leonard is in Heaven with my own grandma and grandpa. He is rejoicing with them. When I die, he is going to greet me at the gates with that old, familiar, loving hug around my neck that he gave me every time we saw each other. And we'll never have to part. Yes, there are so many regrets; I just wish that I would have taken the time out of my day to just go and see them. Maybe it takes these things to wake us up, though, to what is really important in life. Maybe it takes losing someone you really love and care about to just wake up and smell the roses as they say. Leonard was 84 years old, and as the pastor at the funeral said, "If only there were more Leonards in the world, the world would be a much better place." That is so true; I can only hope my life has as much meaning as his life did to so many people who mourn his loss, but rejoice that someday we will see him again.

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