A Thankful November - 2012

Dear ones,

For the last few years, as November rolls around I take some time every day to pick a few things to be thankful for. Some days it's a whole mess of things. Some days, it's one overarching theme.

I do it because the Lord reminds me throughout Scripture to be thankful. To cultivate a heart of gratitude. Toward Him, because He 'has dealt bountifully with my soul' [Psalm 13]!! There is no area of my life where I cannot find something to praise God for!!

I invite you, friend, to join me on this month-long exercise in thankfulness. Whether or not you worship God - there is still much to be thankful for. However, if you do worship the Lord, you have an infinite amount of good things to offer back to Him in praise.

Here's my running list. What's on yours?

for His glory!

November 1: the Lord of hosts, who only does marvelous things. my husband, who is a gift from God to help me learn to be more like Jesus. three lovely daughters who forgive me readily and repeatedly. friends who love me enough to call me out when i've done something wrong. prayer. a new pastor for our church. a new month feeling like a fresh start...

November 2: for Beautiful You. for the young ladies i've mentored and the young-at-heart ladies who have mentored me. for God's constant provision and His guidance. for my mom and dad and 'little' brother ♥ for my "-in-love" family - the hunters & the hustons. that Jesus came to give abundant life, not just squeaking-by life!

November 3: for chilly mornings under warm blankets. for a big mug of warm tea. for early morning snuggles with hannahbear. for the anticipation of spending the day with friends. for all the ways God provides for our family. for the opportunity to have a home-based business. for the smells and sounds and sights of the holiday season. and that my memories of holidays past are rich with love and joy.

November 4: for communion. for the sun greeting me when i woke up this morning (thanks, DST)! for waking up to a bunch of clean dishes that were not clean when i went to bed last night (thanks, will!). for our church family (local and worldwide). that my girls share a room and i get to overhear some of the giggles, whispers, jokes, friendship, and playtime that happens when they're together there.

November 5: for a working heater in the car. indoor plumbing. strangers at the grocery store who stop to speak a word of encouragement to a hurried homeschooling momma, that this path is hard but worth it. coffee. that i live in a country where i'm allowed to vote, no matter how tarnished the system is. for the ladies (& men) who worked hard and sacrificed much to give me that privilege & responsiblity. daughters who will one day be managers of their own homes. for gracious landlords. for the God of wonders, who is holy and merciful beyond my imagination.

November 6: for washers and dryers and all kinds of modern-day appliances that making managing a home easier. for the next President, whoever it is, per Romans 13 and 1 Thess 5:18. for toddler words that are so cute, like "ebef" and "abbeeeee!" (h's names for her sisters). for the heartfelt prayers of little ones who trust God in a way that i don't yet. for conversations that happen between two people who completely disagree and yet still can love & respect each other. for getting darker earlier = girls ready for bed earlier. for the freedom to vote, and the richer freedom in Christ.

November 7: hoodie sweatshirts and fleecey pajama pants. generous offers of lots of boxes. mary poppins. prayer, and when God answers it in a big way. my neighbor, Merri (I'm going to miss you when we move!!!). a quiet phone, because no political calls are coming in. my SAHMmie moms (remember we're not meeting today, though!). that through this season i'm learning what it means that God's grace is sufficient for me. and that no matter who is Commander-in-Chief, Jesus is the Lord of the heavenly hosts!

November 8: the first snow of the year always reminding me of Isaiah 1:18. 11 hours of sleep. toast and tea being a perfect remedy for a yucky tummy. the conviction of the Word. will, my best friend. family photos, old & new. an extra productive day yesterday on the packing front.

November 9: friends who come to help clean & bring coffee. my brother-in-law Ben, who i've known since he was 10 and now he's...much older (happy birthday!). long fb chats with kimm. that nostalgic feeling that happens when digging through years of pictures, letters, cards, & child artwork. my husband's hard work that allows me to stay home & educate the girls - what an honor & privilege! indoor plumbing which allows for hot showers. that God has revealed what He wants a virtuous woman to be & do, and that He gives me grace upon grace to strive for that. 3 weeks till E's surgery!

November 10: my brother Jerel, who turns not-quite-30 today (happy birthday!). my Nana & Grampy and Grammy & Papa, and will's Grandma & Grandad and Gram & Grampy - for their examples & how they raised our parents. finding my glasses after losing them shortly after abby was born (i can see so much better this morning! woo!). cold but brilliantly sunny fall mornings. not having
too much money - it moves me to be a better steward of what we've got. not having too little money - it reminds me that God always provides for each and every need. how creative the girls are during playtime after i've packed up most of their toys. hazelnut flavored coffee, mint tea, and hot cocoa with those little marshmallows. getting cards in the mail. and lastly, that today is a new day with new mercies & sufficient grace. :)

November 11: the 'Romans road' (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, & Romans 10:9). that my gaining heaven is not contingent upon what I've done / haven't done / am doing / am not doing / will do / will not do - it is solely because i've trusted in Jesus & what He accomplished at Calvary. for the men who have filled the pulpit at JBC while we haven't had a full-time pastor. for the men and women among us who have served their country well and sacrificed much for it. and for new friends and warm hospitality.

November 12: for finding gift cards while packing - that still have the full amount on them! for an impromptu dunkin donuts breakfast date with my girls (thanks to the gift card). for the long list of things to be done and things we need in the next three weeks, because prayer works and i can't wait to see how He'll do it all. for grace even after a crummy start to monday morning. energizing/encouraging music. that i am not, but that He is.

November 13: for the truth of the Scriptures and that it never changes, ever. that my heart is deceitfully and continually wicked above all else when left to my own devices. that the justice due me is an eternity of God's wrath. that God intervened in the person of Jesus. that Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin on my behalf, that the justice of God would be satisfied at Calvary. that Christ's death and resurrection won not only forgiveness of my sins but an eternal home in heaven, if i'm willing to accept & believe it. that i can stare hardship and death in the face and say "O where is thy sting? Where is thy victory?!" that God works all things together for good for those who love Him. that God keeps all of His promises and that He loves me fiercely & created me with a unique purpose that no one else could ever fill.

November 14: honey nut cheerios. chamomile tea. photos of will & i, that tell quite a story of the past 12 years. the tradition of Christmas cards. God's lovingkindness, which leads me to repentence & godly sorrow. this season of life with my littles (who are growing into bigs! stop!). the book of Proverbs. texts like "i was thinking of you today, how are you?" from faraway cousins, after a rough day ♥ cardboard boxes being a reminder that God is doing big things here.

November 15: for sore muscles, which mean that things are getting moved around & packed :) for the promise of a day spent with my girls and good friends in keene. for george winston and his music. for God's absolute sovereignty, so that i don't need to worry about anything at all - local or global. for all of the parents of my friends through the years who have loved me as pretty much their own. for the china tea set i found in the back of the closet and its memories of aunt bonnie's house. that the girls have been (mostly) good while their life is getting packed up around them, and patient with me when i am less than patient with them.

November 16: the inventors of the Keurig, modern washer & dryer, and electric stove. that Will gets the girls up and fed in the mornings so i can sleep in just a little longer. Oswald Chambers and all of the other men & women God has used through history to encourage and strengthen my beliefs & my faith. E&A being able to read. the freedom to homeschool my children.

November 17: for warm blankets. a night out at the opera. that like ancient israel, i often forget my God as i wander in a wilderness, but each time He forgives & provides. joy! a sink full of dirty dishes, because it means that we have enough food to eat. stickers & beads - two things that keep little girls entertained for a long time while mom is packing up a box or two. friday night being 'date night in' with take out and a fun tv show. honey vanilla chamomile tea, which sounds gross but is actually quite good. :)

November 18: that my mother in law is driving from NY today to surprise the girls. that my parents are on their way home from a visit to ME. for E's first loose tooth. for not having hot water this morning- it's a reminder that we are SO blessed to have the ability to even have hot water indoors. for our new pastor! for e being thankful for her "animal friends" (stuffed animals); a being thankful for her blanky; and h being thankful for bunnies.

November 19: Merri, aka the world's best neighbor. my SAHMmie friends and their willingness to be crafty & creative with my kids because it's not a strength of mine. and that they let me impose my math geekiness on their kids every now and again. a quick but dear visit with my mom-in-love, and for the little people singing disney princess castle thing she brought that has all of the girls occupied happily for hours. two weeks till moving day. davidcrowder*band. the awesome coziness of handmade quilts & afghans. people who can speak the truth in love.

November 20: for God and how He supplies strength when i have none. for waking up sick which reminds me to s l o w d o w n once in a while. for tea, and lots of it. for motrin and vitamin c tablets. for all the dust kickin' up around here which means stuff is getting cleaning and tossed. for friends who are willing to rearrange their schedules to watch my girls for a little while. for unexpected orders & show bookings. for will - oh, infinitely for will!

November 21: for a couple of hours without kids in the house to get about half of the living room cleaned & packed up (thanks, Rebeccah!). when a friend knows you well enough to not have to ask how you take your coffee (thanks, Elysia!). for the best PT in the world (H's, from Rise...) - Miss Becky :D for the blog. and the prayers & thoughts from friends & family. and that God is sovereign over every detail ever. the verse 'o wretched man that i am!! who will deliver me from this body of death?! i thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!!!' summing up my existence. lemon-poppyseed bread, and looking forward to mom's amazing dinner tomorrow. for a good, long cry being the best remedy once in a while - and for a husband who just knows that and lets it happen. 

November 22: for God. and all of His mighty deeds. like...
speaking the earth into existence.
speaking the heavens into existence.
breathing life into a man, whom he formed from the dust.
calling forth the waters to cover the the dry land.
withholding the waters from ever covering the dry land again. daily.
ten judgments on a hard-hearted pharoah and releasing His children from bondage.
stopping the earth to keep the sun in the sky, that israel might be victorious [joshua 10].
prolonging a king's life by fifteen years.
choosing to dwell in the form of man and live among His creation.
healing the blind, mute, lame, diseased, & tormented by speaking a word.
raising the dead to life. including Himself.
transforming a religious zealot into a passionate sinner-saved-by-grace.
and His mightiest deed: He, who knew no sin, becoming sin on our behalf, and bearing the outpouring of wrath that was due us...that we might be restored & reconciled to Him. ♥
what a God. what a Savior.

November 23: for family traditions. for ornaments that have survived the last 25 years and still go up every Christmas. for the santa candy holders, the snowglobes, the same 6 Christmas CDs we've been listening to for yearsandyears. for the mantle and the stockings. for my nana's handiwork. for the 'kid's tree' and for the santa hats. and that my girls get to be part of the lane family Christmas. and for my mom and dad who pull it all together every year.

November 24: that in a little over a week, E will be healing and we can begin unpacking. for paul's letter to the romans. for shortbread cookies. that will is artistic and spontaneous, to counter my practical and type-a personality. for finding 'the sandlot' and watching it last night. for aunts & uncles and the oodles of cousins. that God loves me where i am at but is not content to leave me there - He guides, teaches, rebukes, & encourages me till my character reflects Jesus.

November 25: for abbyisms. and elizabethisms. and the up-and-coming hannahisms. for church. for finally being done going through everything and now it's just packing up a few boxes here and there and cleaning. that God is the lifter of my countenance, my portion, my shield & defender, my teacher, & my King. for e telling me that her belly hurts - a reminder that in God's great faithfulness, the healing surgery is only days away.

November 26: for innocent and thoughtful questions from the hearts of my littles. for God's provision in ways i could not have ever expected. for this being the start of The Week When It All Happens. that my girls have learned to be content with simple meals and only one or two toys to keep them occupied. for older people at the grocery store who take the time to talk with (not at, or down to) my children and share a laugh or two. that nothing in allllllllllllll the world or universe can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus - nothing!!

November 27: so grateful today...for God's grace. that i don't deserve and never will earn. a gift - and oh, a marvelous gift.

amazing grace!! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!! i once was lost, but now am found! was blind - but now, i see! 'twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace, my fears relieved!! how precious did that grace appear, the hour i first believed!!! ♥ [john newton]

November 28: for the wednesday morning mom's Bible study/SAHMs group. for friends who are willing to spend an evening packing up my kitchen. for my mom helping me out by doing our laundry so it's one less thing to think about. for will working hard in the midst of things that do not seem to be going 'our way'. for hugs when words don't really cut it. for the reminder to do everything i do to the glory of God - even packing boxes or wiping runny noses or breaking up a sibling argument. for octopotamuses. for tears of exhaustion that remind me to take Jesus up on His offer to come to Him when i labor and am heavy-laden, for He alone gives my soul rest.

November 29: for turkey soup & pumpkin bread for lunch (thanks rachel!). for finding e's first set of braces and recalling just how good God has been to us here in this home. for the anticipation of just how God is going to be to us in our new home. for everyone i've talked to at dartmouth this week, because they've been pleasant and patient and compassionate. for bartering. and finding new homes for some of our things. for a (relatively) quiet lunch time with will. ♥

November 30: I am thankful today for modern medicines & techniques that allow E a chance to heal and be healthier. for the surgeon who will be operating on her this morning and the nurses & doctors that will be taking care of her. that of all of the health issues I could have to walk through as a mom, that this is really not that bad. that I do not need to worry about any of the details, great or small, because God is not only going with us moment by moment but He already knows the outcome. that E knows that Jesus and His angels will be encamped around her in the OR. that there is not one single cell in E's body that God did not create, and that every moment of her life thus far has gone the way it has for a specific reason. ♥

giving thanks in November...and always,
for His glory!

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