Monday, January 28, 2013

International Book Giving Day--February 14, 2013

So Valentines is RIGHT around the corner...and you've "pinned" some fun ideas on Pinterest but are looking for a way to celebrate in a way with a little more "meat" to about celebrating International Book Giving Day?!?!

Back story: Finn's best friend in D-town came up with this neat idea of having friends and family share books on Feb. 14th. (Smart kid, no?) AND his great idea has blossomed into a real thing...INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY!!! What a neat initiative to share books with kids who may not have access. PLEASE check out their website to find out more about how you and your little readers can share the love on Feb. 14th. :)

Leave a comment and share some ideas!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another Year Older...

So, it was my Birthday yesterday...34 years...

It was a good kids brought me breakfast in bed. My husband made me a fruit breakfast and juice in my favorite cup. Anne and her family sent me beautiful flowers. Lots of people wished me well on Facebook. I got several cards in the mail. Some sweet texts. A few emails. My Mom called. We had supper out as a family. Otherwise, it was a normal day filled with changing diapers, school, naps, making lunch, running kids to activities, etc.  A good, happy day.

I did note however, that my girls were kinda bummed with it. They wanted MORE...a fun activity, a cake, something SPECIAL. I, suppose, something closer to what they are accustomed to for their Birthdays. I assured them that I was okay.

Because, really, it WAS okay. I don't know how you handle Birthdays...maybe you love them? Maybe not? Maybe it bums you out to be a year older? In the past I've always wanted to make a big deal of my Birthday. I liked the big fuss because it made me focus more on my friends and family that were near me instead of having to deal with the fact that I am another year older. This year was different.

We were in D-town. It was the middle of the week. No friends were near. This year I faced the fact that I had grown a year older head on. No games. No distractions. I'm 34 and what do I have to show?I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I let myself get a little negative....there's a lot I THOUGHT I'd have done by now.

In the afternoon I drove the kids over to swim team practice...and the song "Blessings" by Laura Story came on...and I REALLY listened. And pulled the car over. And bawled. It's not the first time that song has reduced me to tears. But on the day of my birth, I heard it in a different way.

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

What if your blessings fall through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? **

Some areas where I feel discouraged or disappointed:

We have had to leave communities we've loved; friends who had become our family.
    We've also been brought to new communities with new individuals to love and serve. We've been blessed to maintain many of those important relationships.

I have not made any huge contributions to those in need. I have not started a non-profit or adopted any children. I have not eradicated a disease or abuse.
   I do the best I can to help those around me when I see a need.

I don't have a Masters in Education.
    I DO have a business that I am proud of and that allows me to be home and raise my children.

My business is not as large or successful as I would like it to be.
   I am blessed to be able to homeschool my children and focus on their growth for now. All things in their season.

I not received any sort of award or honor for my career.
    I have been blessed to be Mom of the Year to 4 really amazing kiddos...and my husband thinks I'm pretty cool too. :)

I am not as thin or fit as I wish I were.
    I have birthed four children. I have enjoyed my meals and have been blessed with adequate food. I have also found a path for my eating and health that steadily is giving me results and making me feel healthier and stronger than I have ever been.

My home is not as clean or organized as I would like it to be.
   I enjoy my days within my home. I create, play, and relax with my family. We work together to make it a comfortable place to live. I have learned that keeping the sort of house I desire comes at a price and the person I become is not kind, patient, or grace-filled. I have let it go.

I have not done as much with my photography, crafting, writing, other creative pursuits as I would like to.
   I HAVE had opportunities to be creative and as I still breath on this earth I have future possibilities. All things in their season.

I am sad beyond words at so many things that have happened in my life and in the lives of those I care about.
  I am beyond thrilled to know that this is not it. There IS another place where contentment, happiness, and joy will be the only emotions we know. My task until then it to be faithful, steadfast, and love those around me.

You see, it WAS a good birthday...even with the weird hairs I found that I am told WILL be turning gray soon.
Bring. It. On.
Because this isn't ALL there is....if I never cross things off my 'bucket list', if I never do all the neat things I thought I would...God has a plan for me...and ultimately only when I am with Him will I ever be truly satisfied. Thank you, Jesus!!!

**Please understand that I recognize that my trials are MUCH less serious than others around me and I do not even pretend to compare my situation to those facing much more serious situations. Please respect, however, that my situation is mine to work through and to me it does seem like a trial at times.