Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Lesson in Gratitude

I had the worst nightmare last night that involved my oldest daughter. I woke up and tried to get back to sleep but I was feeling too upset.
I was thinking to myself, do I thank the lord enough for the blessings he has given me? The answer is no, It isn’t near enough that I thank him for all he has blessed me with; My two precious daughters, my wonderful husband that provides for us no matter what, my very close and supportive family?
I said a prayer right then and there for all the many blessings in my life and I prayed for my loved ones good health, protection and strength.

After I awoke this morning it was as if all that insight I had gained last night had flown out the window. Bethany was in a cranky and whining mood, Audra had a friend spend the night that was allergic to milk so I had to fix her a special breakfast, I had laundry to put in, dishes to do, and I was trying to figure out how to afford a gift for a friend who’s having a surprise shower today and still be able to pay the mortgage next week.

It’s funny how the pressures of everyday life could make me forget so easily all in this world that’s really important.
So what if I have to make a special breakfast for Audra’s friend? I am thankful for Audra being in my life and that she has such a good friend that lives close and she gets along with so well.
So what if Bethany is cranky? There are many days I wake up feeling the same way, I am grateful that Bethany is in my life, she is by far not always the easiest child with her strong will and her ability to completely demolish any room in under 60 seconds, but I couldn’t imagine my life without her, it wouldn’t be the same. Bethany has this uncanny ability to lighten up any mood, she can charm the socks off anyone, and she has brought so much joy and laughter to our lives, and for her I am thankful.
So what if I have another load of dishes and laundry to do? I am thankful for having running water, a roof over my head, food in our tummy’s, and clothes on our backs. If this is part of the responsibility the lord has given to me for these gifts than I am grateful for it.
I am grateful for my friends and thankful of the time I get to spend with them and having them as part of my life; If one small gift breaks the bank than I will have faith and be grateful to the lord that he is the master of this world, of my life not I, and I know he will get us through it.
In the daily muck of things there is still so much to be grateful for if we only look for it.
I remember the story of the 10 lepers Luke 17:12-19. Jesus heals all 10 lepers and only one comes back to thank him. I have been like the other 9 lepers that did not return to thank Jesus. I get too busy and I can see all that is gong wrong and ask the lord for help in fixing it, but very seldom do I stop to thank the lord for all that is good and all the blessings he has poured out unto our lives………..I am sure this must sadden him as it does me.
Today I make a vow that when I am going through life trying to get the to do list done and I can only see the hardships, I am going to take a moment to reflect and thank god for all that he has done in my life that is good.

What are your thoughts on Gratitude and Thankfulness?

Luke 17:12-19
12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

Friday, September 26, 2008

A little girls birthday and a lesson in the price we pay for beauty!

Yesterday was Audra’s seventh birthday. She has been talking about having her ears pierced for almost a year now so we made an agreement on her seventh birthday we would take her to get her ears pierced.
We decided to take her to the pediatrics office because they offer a special type of earring that is plastic and is not suppose to get infected, does not have to be turned, you never need to use alcohol, and only have to leave in for 6 weeks.
We showed up at 9:30AM and Audra sat on the Doctors table full of anticipation and excitement. The Doctor came in and explained to Audra how to care for her earrings once they are in. Still excited and full of anticipation Audra asks the Doctor “Does it hurt.” Of course the doctor could have chosen a number of ways to answer this question for example; no, just a little pinch or just for a quick second you will barely notice, any of these would have sufficed but instead the doctor responds with “Yes it hurts it’s like getting a shot it will hurt for just a short period of time”.
I could not believe my ears; a pediatrician surely knows that children are terrified of shots and yet she still chose to use a shot as an anology to describe the pain!
Audra was now less than excited she was crunching up both shoulders against her ears and had her head tucked as far down as possible. I went over to her and tried to relax her with some reassuring words, I said “don’t worry most people I’ve spoken with say it doesn’t hurt, it feels like a quick pinch and then its over”.
No sooner had I gotten these words out of my mouth and had she started to relax a bit when the doctor piped in “Yes mom it does hurt it is more like a shot and may hurt for a while after ward”. WAS THIS WOMAN TRYING TO SCARE HER?!
Audra was now confused and rethinking the whole ear piercing thing, her shoulders nudged tightly against her ears. The doctor asks her “do we need to rethink this?” I pipe in “We are here to get your ears pierced and we aren’t going to get them done anywhere else so its now or not at all” Audra slowly put her shoulders down, the doctor holds the gun up to her ear and says “I’m just going to put this up to your ear to make sure its in a good position” (the doctor was concerned about how the piercing would turn out because Audra has such tiny ear lobes) Audra got very brave for such a terrified little girl and held on to me with all her might closing her eyes as tight as she could, the doctor says “okay take a deep breath” and shot the gun. Audra jumps from the sound and the earring is in….. but wait the back didn’t go on the stud. The doctor fidgets with her tiny ear lobes to get the back on the stud and finally one ear down one more to go.
The next ear went much smoother; Audra still clutched to both my arms and buried her head into my chest. POP! The gun went off and WALLA, it was done! A beautiful little girl now with two beautiful diamond looking plastic stud earrings.

We left the office and went home deciding the science museum we had planned for today was not within reasonable driving distance.
When we got home Audra was eager to open her presents, but she knew she had to wait until her dad got home. Audra is in a stage right now where she is into all things science and she was just praying and hoping that she got something science. All I heard for the next few hours was “when is daddy going to be home” “I wish daddy would hurry up and get home” “can I call daddy”.
I was reaching my wits end, It was 90 degrees outside on this beautiful Fall day and was starting to bake inside the house, I had a seven year old that was growing more impatient by the minute, and we where all hungry, so we decided to get out for a while to get our minds off things. We went to daddys work to pick up his check and then I took the girls to grab a bite of their favorite food in the world….pizza.
When we got home time had flown by and daddy arrived soon after. Before he could walk in the door Audra realized he was home and stood at the top of the stairs holding a present in her hands, ready to open it. She got to open all her presents and they were all science projects, she was thrilled!
We went to see Igor at the movie theater and when we got home Daddy, Audra, and Bethany made the Carnivorous Green house she received as a present, it then went into the fridge where it will stay for 8 weeks so it can germinate…see you in November!
All in all it was a good day. I can’t believe how fast Audra is growing up; she is already seven years old! She is doing great in school; she has lots of friends, and cares so deeply for her family. She knows Christ and sometimes I find her reminding me of how god wishes us to live our lives. She is very responsible and well beyond her years. It is such a gift watching her grow into a beautiful, well rounded, young lady!