Last week I intended to post on Monday, but plans changed when I woke up that morning feeling much less that 100%. Not what I had planned for. Of course sickness never is a planned thing. It comes up and interrupts your life, unwelcome and unwanted.
I was frustrated to be sick! Again, I didn't have time! It was one of my busiest weeks, I had several things planned and slowing down was not on my agenda.
However, even in the midst of all that I had much to be grateful for.
This word comes up a lot these days, especially since it's November. A time when all sorts of great ideas pop up on Pinterest of daily things you can do to remember what you are grateful for. They are a little overwhelming, so for my own sake (sanity) I avoid Pinterest these days.
I want to cultivate grateful hearts in our children. I really do. But I have found it stresses me out when I'm rigid with implementing something that is just too time intensive with little ones. I am doing well to stick to the basics these days. Meeting the needs of my family, praying with them and for them, tending to the house, finishing our homeschool work and then just having fun! Those seem like pretty quiet, ordinary days, but the lessons learned and taught in between the hours of morning and night in our home are so full. I love this season and I realized today that I have been most ungrateful for it.
The Lord is gentle to bring reminders that need to be big and BOLD in my life. But He's not big and bold to me. He's loving, kind, gentle, and quiet.
I journaled a note to myself recently that said, "He speaks the loudest when I'm quiet."
Knowing His voice has been something that He's been teaching me.
It's beautiful. It's loving and it's kind. It's a voice that knows my name, that calls to me to come and worship, to lay down my burdens and to praise Him.
I was going to share some photos from the past couple weeks, but I opted instead to share this photo. Because it reminds me of what I'm grateful for. (read below for more of the story)
My friend Andrea came over this past weekend to teach me how to make a very special swiss bread that she makes every Christmas. It was something her mom showed her, and something she has enjoyed for years. Teaching me a baking skill and sharing the afternoon and evening together on a rainy Saturday was the best way to spend a day. We mixed, kneaded, drank hot beverages, sketched, talked and talked, and shared what the Lord was doing in our own lives. It was wonderful.
I was planning to share the bread-making process, but as I sat and looked at this photo I was reminded of how grateful I am. There are things in this photo that remind me that I am loved and I am thought of. The pumpkin on the sill is from my mother-in-law, the plant from a dear friend, the rose from my sweet family, the washcloth (barely seen) is from another dear friend who made them for me, and my friend Andrea in the center of it all. Blessing me with her time, her friendship, and her encouraging heart and spirit.
I don't take the time to sit and look at photos with a grateful heart, taking time for the details. I often just look for the main thing and move on. But God is so detailed in our lives, caring for us in all the little places we don't let everyone see. Kind of like this picture. He's tending to my heart. He's working, and I forget that until I look back and look over what He has done.
I hope you find time to just sit and thank Him. To praise Him for what He is doing, for what He has done. And to ask Him to change you to have a heart of gratitude, not just for November, but for life.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:1-4
And just in case you wanted to see the finished bread, here you go.
P.S. It was amazing!