Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gratitude

The laundry will always be waiting, the dishes always dirty. Those grocery trips are too close together and the paydays too far apart. There is forever something to be frazzled by or stressed out with, a mother's work is never done. One thing I love about motherhood though, it there is always opportunity for gratitude. Gratitude is something that cost nothing.Gratitude heaps my heart high with joy, higher than the piles of laundry, and makes the mundane disappear.
Here are a few of the things that I have been thankful for these past couple of weeks. We've had 2 weekends in a row of canceled plans due to stomach virus, but even in the midst of sickness, I've found so much to be grateful for and enjoy.
 It was a cloudy morning, we were having a productive morning of school and it started pouring rain. I opened a window so we could hear it falling steadily. One of the kids asked if they could go out and play in it, I usually-almost-always say no to these kinds of questions, but that day I said yes. I'm so glad I did, what a needed reminder to say yes more often. 15 minutes in the rain changes everything. It made a memory and an extra load of laundry, totally worth it.
In the midst of stomach virus coming to visit our house, Joe picked me these flowers and put them in my Grandma's glass. He picked up Gaterade from the gas station before going to work at 6am and had it waiting in the fridge. I woke up from a sleepless night of sick kids, to flowers and Gaterade. Such a sweet symbol of the love and care he has for me and all of us. There are not enough words to say how much I love him or how much it means to be loved like this.
I'm grateful for this glorious weather that has lifted my spirits and our windows. It's allowed Brady and Anne to play outside every morning this week while we work on school. They played in a blanket fort built on the deck. Anne is learning to swing herself. They dug in dirt, colored with markers at their table, Anne even colored her face.
Today, I took field marking paint and sprayed boundaries for them to play inside. Brady said this was perfect because he would just mow inside the lines and wouldn't get in the "neighbors" yard. They asked me to write their names and I said yes.
Brady has always been self motivated, from eating any kind of food without a single tooth, to climbing ontop of the piano before he could walk, he is a go getter. It's really no surprise that he is pushing me to teach him, asking and begging for me to help him learn. He looked at the magnets on the fridge this week and said, "Hmm, how do I spell my name?" and set right to work finding his letters and demanding someone stop what they were doing to help him.
Joseph loved his Thomas and Brady loves his cars. There is just something so sweet about boys and their toys, none of my girls have toys they play with as much as the boys played with their trains and cars.
We have been focused on schoolwork and I'm confident that the learning is happening. It's so rewarding. I'm especially proud of Jenna, beyond proud. She and I have been on a journey, me teaching and her learning to read and we still are getting a good foundation under us. It can be difficult when a child has such a hard time reading. I was a struggling reader myself and still it's been very frustrating for us both. These past few weeks she has rocked my socks off with how awesome she is doing in all her schoolwork and I just can't stop telling her. She needed this, she needed to know she could do it. I am so, so grateful for this new school year and excited to see how far Jenna will go.
Laynee is one happy girl and makes us all happy. I know I say it all the time, but a better baby we couldn't ask for. We went to the zoo last week and she rode in the stroller for hours and never made a peep. We just can't get enough of her. She is like a sugar with honey and ice cream and chocolate, just loads of sweetness. Her only fault is climbing the stairs. :)
I could post a picture after picture to my instagram, almost do, of Joseph with Laynee on his shoulders. He recites his multiplication tables with her on his shoulders, reads his science book with her on his shoulders, walks around the yard with her on his shoulders and she is either smiling from ear to ear or just calmly taking in the view.
I just love my boy and his nurturing way. He definitely has a special place in Laynee's heart, well, all our hearts.
One of the neatest things I've been grateful for is Bethany playing piano. She had been wanting to learn for some time but I've struggled to make the time to teach her. We've started lessons a couple of times in past years but we never made it further than a lesson or three and then we stopped. I took 10 years of lessons and can't find time to play, let alone the patience and time to teach.
Last week, Bethany decided she was waiting no more and sat down to pick up where she left off, knowing like 3 notes. She worked her way through the book, self teaching herself and asking me an occasional question. By the end of that day she had really progressed and caught on, but more than anything she found herself unable to stay away. For almost two weeks now, she can't walk by the piano without stopping to practice, over and over. It's incredible to me!
I wake up in the morning to her practicing piano, I have to call her away to start school, give her a time to practice at lunch and she rushes to finish school so she can practice and learn more. I can't believe it, she reminds me so much of myself. Her motivation to learn and keep playing without me reminding or asking is amazing.
She has progressed very quickly. From time to time I'll stop to go watch her play and she is doing awesome, already in book 2. It's like a piece of me is alive again because I hear piano music in the house. I told her today, the house sounds happy.
 
I am a really grateful mom. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
 The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
 He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.
 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children's children,
 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

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