Happy Thanksgiving!

FreedomFromWant

Painting by Norman Rockwell

Psalm 111

Praise the Lord!

I will praise the Lord with my whole heart,
In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

The works of the Lord are great,
Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
His work is honorable and glorious,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered;
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will ever be mindful of His covenant.
He has declared to His people the power of His works,
In giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of His hands are verity and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
They stand fast forever and ever,
And are done in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has commanded His covenant forever:
Holy and awesome is His name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

 

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Wherever you are and whatever you might be doing, I hope you have a wonderful day and see God’s hand in even the ordinary.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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To my Second-Born

You’re special, my dear.

We were thrilled when we found out you existed, a brilliantly bright spot in the midst of a yucky stomach bug.  I worried my inability or drink to eat would affect you, but you’ve proven that worry to be a silly one.

You’ve grown; my, how you’ve grown.  You stretch and wiggle and remind me all day that you’re there.  Someday you’ll laugh at how you kicked my ribs and stuck your little booty out my side.  I’ll laugh too.

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Soon your daddy and I will have a name for you… we have a couple floating around but can’t seem to settle on one.  We may end up naming you right there in the hospital — but don’t worry, it’ll be the name God already knew would be yours.  And it will fit.

I can’t wait to learn you.  There are only so many things I can guess as you show me bits of your personality from my belly; it’ll take me seeing you and watching you grow in this world to know exactly what you’re like.  I want to learn all about you, sweetheart.  And I want to help nurture all that you were created to be.  You already have purpose, you know.

Soon you’ll meet your brother, the one who likes to sit on your head.  He doesn’t know you’re there yet.  He is pretty fun and witty; I think you’ll like him a lot.  I pray you two become the best of friends.

Daddy and I can’t wait to meet you.  We can’t wait to hold you and kiss you and watch you.  You’re a treasure and we’re so grateful for you.  You can make your appearance anytime you want — whenever you’re good and ready, we’ll be ready too.

I love you, little one.

Mom

Dear Diary

Have you ever said hi to people at the store?  I do it all the time and it’s a lot of fun.  When Mommy and I were at the grocery store today I said hi to everybody — well, then we got to a part where there were too many people so I couldn’t talk to them all.  But I said hi to a whole bunch of them and then told them stories.

Sometimes people just kept walking and maybe they just didn’t hear me.  Some people said hi back to me and some people stopped and let me tell them things.  I liked those people especially.

I got really bored though, and the isles where there were no people weren’t fun.  So I tried to get food off the shelves (you know, to help Mommy); Mommy didn’t think it was funny.  I didn’t think it was funny to have to sit in the cart the whole time either.

She didn’t buckle me in though so when I got really, really bored I tried to stand up.  And I took my shoe off a few times.

We had to wait in line for a long time and then finally Mommy paid for all the food and we got to leave.  Then there was a nice old guy who took Mommy’s cart for her and put it away, he said cuz she had more important things in her arms.  And we walked over to the next store quick and the old guy was leaving in his car, and he stopped and told Mommy that Jesus loves her.  She smiled at him and said thank you and something else and I actually didn’t say anything that time.

When we got in the other store Mommy let me walk around and look at things, and I found a little fridge but I couldn’t open it.  We left there pretty quick cuz Mommy was in a hurry and I guess she got what she needed when we came in.

I fell asleep on the way home but Mommy cried a little bit.  She said the old guy was just like her grandpa and she missed him.  I don’t like it much when Mommy cries, it makes me sad.  And I really don’t like it when I’m in my carseat because I can’t give her a hug.

Well, then we were home and Mommy was waking me up and there was a lady at our house.  It’s been a busy morning and I’m tired.

Sincerely,

Me

Happy Saturday!

Ahh, Saturday.  We finally have some time at home to relax and take the day slow, and I’m looking forward to it.  We’ll probably have some Christmas lights and decorations around the house by the end of the day!  I’m refraining from putting up a tree till after Thanksgiving (I think), but I love the coziness of this season.  We have one string of lights up already, and Levi is thrilled.

Speaking of Christmas, it might be a little early to be thinking about sending cards — but for those who have thought about it, let me offer you an option!  Throughout this month and the month of December I’m running a sale on my cards.  You can see them here; I’ve added a couple bundles in addition to the individuals.  They’re nice for unique notes, and once they’ve been read they can be framed and enjoyed for the rest of the season.

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The sale is listed on my site; 10% off any order of $10 or more.  (This goes for cards as well as home decor. :))  Go check it out and see if you can check any gifts off your list!

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday doing whatever you may be doing.  Even if you’re stuck in the car for a while, like my parents are today.  I’m tempted to decorate their house too before they get home — but Mom likes to wait till after Thanksgiving.  ;)

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday Thoughts

 

When I came home from Belize I thought I’d never again be one for New England winters.  It did take a couple years, but here I am… wishing for snow.  (Maybe that’s in part due to the little baby heater I’m carrying right now in my belly? :) )

Levi and I ran some errands this morning and like usual, he made me laugh.  One of his recent developments is the word “baby” when he sees a baby’s face.  He also really likes to say hi to everyone.  There was a little girl (4-5 years old) in the shoe isle, and he enthusiastically yelled, “Hi baby!” to her as we were walking by — to her horror.  She gave him a big frown and yelled back, “I’m NOT a baby!”

He was indifferent and I kept walking, somewhat mortified while stifling a giggle.  She ran to her mom; “Mom!  That baby just called me a baby!”  Oops.

What I’m really thankful for, however, is that he said “baby” and not “babe”… he’s picked up on that one too and uses it frequently!

I love the little things he does each day, the ways he learns and the pieces he puts together.  It’s amazing to watch.  God reminded me of something this morning — there are moments I get annoyed with how many times I have to redirect Levi, or tell him no.  Over and over and over again, why doesn’t he get it after the first few times?  God reminded me that it takes time to learn something new.  When I had to learn how my camera worked, it was all new to me and it took a while.  The same goes for my little guy; he’s only been experiencing this world for 18 months!  He’s capable of learning so much, but I have to give him time to do it.

So for you too, give yourself time and give your kids time.  It’s okay and it’s worthwhile.  :)

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Dear Diary

There’s a doggy next door.  He’s a doggy that looks like Shelby (Shelby is Grammie and Grampa’s doggy) and he looks really nice.  I want to pet him and sit on him but he always stays on the other side of the fence.  But Mommy talked with his owner and maybe I can pet him sometime.  Mommy says I have to be careful when I pet new doggies.  Well, I have to be careful when I pet new anythings.

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This is a picture of Shelby from a little time ago, but she still looks the same.  And the other doggy has more black on him’s fur.

Yesterday I got to talk with my grammie who lives far away.  I poked Daddy’s iPad a lot and he got frustrated because I turned it off on Grammie a few times.  Did you know Grammie has a doggy too?  She’s a little doggy and she’s got even more black than the other doggy here.  She likes to chase her ball and growl.  And Grammie can throw the ball from the thingy she sits in — Daddy said it was a hammick I think — and then the doggy brings the ball back.  Sometimes I try to do that with Shelby but the ball is really big.

Grammie said she’s coming to visit us soon!  Mommy and Daddy are excited.  I am too because I haven’t seen her in a long, long, long time.  And they all keep telling me that I’m going to have a baby brother even sooner than when Grammie comes, but I don’t know what they’re talking about.  What is a brother anyways?

Well it’s time for nap and my eyes feel funny so I need to close them.  Night night everybody.

Sincerely,

Me

Slow it Down

Hi friends —

It’s been so busy around here lately, and I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and get a handle on household things; I hope to write more soon!  There’s a big project I’ve been working on that’s taking a good chunk of my free time… and it involves writing, so lots of days I’m kinda “written-out”.  (More on the project later, promise!)

As we get into the holidays it seems schedules get busier and more hectic.  Often filled with good things!  But it can be crazy.  So in case you also have had a busy last couple of weeks, I thought I’d share something that helps me take a quick breather: some photos of nature and its beauty.  And if you haven’t been super busy — yay!  Enjoy the photos as well.  :)

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Have a great rest of your day!

 

P.S.  All photos taken by me; Amy Originals.

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“If you believe in a God that controls the big things,

you must believe in a God that controls the small things.

It is we, of course, to whom things seem big or small.”

-Elisabeth Elliot

 

Happy Monday, friends.  :)

Dear Diary

We have a new trash can.  It’s big and it opens and closes and it’s really fun.  I like to play with it but I have to do it when Mommy’s not looking because she says no.  She says it’s really yucky and I shouldn’t touch it.  So I just give her a funny face and say “bleh” and then she nods and looks away and I play with it again.

There’s another trash bucket next to it and Mommy puts all the paper and cereal boxes and jars in it, and I reeeeeally like to play with all of those.  And Mommy says that’s not a good idea either, so I can’t get into it much.  This morning she put it on the counter where I couldn’t even reach it.  I just pulled out the big trash can and pushed it around the kitchen until she made me stop and do something else.

Most of the time the big one is closed and I can’t open it; I don’t know how Mommy and Daddy keep it closed without touching it — I need to figure that out.  Sometimes it opens when I try and sometimes it won’t.  But nothing looks different so I don’t know.  But I’ll figure it out.

Oh, and today is Wednesday and I usually write on Monday because everybody needs to smile on a Monday…  I think I can give you a smile today too though, right?

Sincerely,

Me

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Mommy’s note:  If you’re new here, welcome!  Let me explain these “Dear Diary” posts.  I started them back in August 2016 from the perspective of my then-infant son, Levi.  He “writes” them almost every week as a way to give all of us a little smile and something lighthearted as we start another week.  Enjoy!  :)

An Unforeseen Lesson

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10

 

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My house is kept fairly orderly.  I like a place for everything and everything in it’s place.  Day in and day out I work to keep it clean; I do the dishes, put away the folded laundry, sweep the floors, scrub the toilets.

I go grocery shopping and make sure we have food (though meal planning is yet to be perfected).  It all goes to its rightful spot when it gets home from the store, and the bags are saved for later use.

When diapers or paper towels or dish soap or whatever else runs low, I make a list and bring it and Levi to Walmart to replenish our supplies.  The changing table and bathrooms get stocked, the dispensers refilled.

In my bathroom cleaning this morning I couldn’t help thinking — I do all of these things to maintain the household, and yet when Josh comes home he doesn’t see it.  Of course, he does see it; he sees the order or lack thereof, he sees that he doesn’t need to think about whether or not there’s enough toilet paper or soap.  And I know he’s genuinely grateful for all that I do each day.  But it doesn’t seem to make the impact I expect it to make.

He doesn’t see all these efforts as ways to his heart; they don’t seem to make a difference in how loved and respected he feels.  Rather, he lights up when I spend time with him.  He deeply appreciates my home- and family-keeping, but it makes him even happier when I put those things aside to focus on him.  To talk with him about what he’s been reading, to hold hands and walk through town, to get to know him better.

There are so many lessons in marriage, and this is one that I hadn’t been expecting or looking for… but as I thought more, there in the bathroom this morning — I heard that verse over and over.

Be still.

Be still and know that I am God.

The context of this verse is God’s power, Him being the Refuge for His people and the Conqueror of nations.  And in the midst of wars and the struggles of nations at that time, He tells His people to be still.  To rest in Him, to know that He is God and He is their refuge — He is powerful to break bows and cut spears in two, to bring about the outcome He wills despite how it looks to those in battle.

It fits with the rest of the Bible; there’s a theme God shows us of resting in Him.  Allowing Him to be enough, because He is.

Our salvation doesn’t come by works, nor do we keep it by works.  It’s a gift that we receive freely.  He desires our relationship and our knowledge of who He is and how He loves more than all the things we can do for Him.

Though it’s not an exact comparison, as Josh can’t be my everything — my relationship with my husband isn’t based on what I do any more than my relationship with God is.  The works are still important, both for my relationship with Josh and with God; but they aren’t what define the relationships or keep them together.

It’s so sweet, isn’t it?  To be loved not based on what you do, but for who you are and who you’re becoming.  What a picture God gives us through marriage!

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I realize not everyone reading this has the same picture in their marriage.  If that’s you, pray you’re still able to see today that your relationship with Christ isn’t dependent on your works, that you’re deeply loved because He bought you for a high price and He calls you His child.  He desires for you to rest in Him and find Him to be your Refuge.

And if you don’t believe in God, if you don’t have a relationship with Him — I pray you grapple today with the fact that He is a just God who is all-powerful.  He is also a God of mercy, and He delights in taking sinners and making them whole.