Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks for Choices

"Boys, before we head home, we're going to thank Jesus for all this food. You know why? Because we have choices about what to eat! Many children won't get even one meal today. We have several kinds of cereals and soups. We have sandwiches and crackers. We even have some cookies and juice. Let's say thank you to Jesus."

-taken from Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson

Why is it so easy for me to focus on what I don't have? I look at my closet of clothes and feel I have nothing to wear. I look in our pantry of food and feel I have nothing to eat. I look at my furnished, roomy home and feel it is lacking. I look at my relationships and feel I/they fall short.

And yet, if I follow the promptings of His Spirit in me, and give thanks for the choice of what to wear and eat, for a warm, roomy home filled with people who love I am reminded of what I have. What He has given me to steward.

He has made me rich indeed.

Gratitude is a daily, minute-by-minute choice. One that leads to contentment and thanksgiving, and turns my focus back to the Gift-Giver. Away from my wants and myself.

It reminds me to give freely because I have been given much.

But oh how I struggle to stay grateful and content.

I love that we celebrate a holiday focused on thanksgiving. I need the reminder in a big way. This week many will be focusing on the gifts that have already been received and giving thanks.

Today I'm giving thanks for choices, what about you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shopping with Purpose

Wanted to let you know, I found one more "master list" to share...

Go here, shop and help families adopt!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Birthday Fun?

It is a well documented fact that birthdays become less "fun" the older you get.

I don't anticipate them like I used to, thinking about "the day" for weeks, even months before it actually arrives. Instead, they tend to sneak up on me making it hard for me to remember how old I actually am or will be.

I don't have trouble sleeping the night before my birthday anymore anticipating the day to come. The only sleep deprivation that occurs now-a-days comes with the normal nighttime "I have children" experience.

My kids look forward to cake on their birthday, discussing the color schemes and candles long before I begin to plan that birthday staple. And while I still love chocolate cake and birthday icing, it just isn't the same when I'm the one who has to make it.

(a quick shout out to two friends, you know who you are, who surprised me on different birthdays with birthday cake, a lovely, lovely surprise!)

I'm not saying there is no fun on birthdays as you grow old, just less or maybe different fun.

This year, I've been surprised by a different, unknowing, self-manufactured kind of fun...

I have been treated to a free coffee at Starbucks, a free stir-fry at Flattop Grill and best of all, a free entree at Moe's (translated, FREE NACHOS). All this for simply sharing my e-mail address with them.

Panera e-mailed me too, letting me know that I have a "surprise" waiting for me. I'm not sure when I'll make it in to discover what my surprise is... just knowing I have one is nice.

There will be other pieces of birthday fun too, a date-night with Kory, telling my kids the best present they can give me would be a clean room or getting along (if only it actually worked), having a reason to get out of making dinner or changing diapers or getting up in the middle of the night with a crying kid for the day(maybe we could celebrate my birthday week?), and receiving Facebook and blog birthday wishes (ahem... hint, hint).

Fun, sure, but more of a grown-up kind of fun.

After all, it is a well documented fact that birthdays become less "fun" the older you get.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When Gotcha Day Isn't a Dream Come True...

Last week I shared a little of our adoption story here at my sister's blog, today I am guest posting at MomLife Today, "when gotcha day isn't a dream come true..."

Go here to read (insert Paul Harvey voice over), "The rest of the story."

or at least another chapter :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Love This...

...on so many levels. The surprise factor, the music... so FUN!!!

It would be a blast to participate in something like this don't you think?

If you ever hear of something brewing, let me know. :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Following the Bread Crumbs...

My sister asked me to guest post on her blog today, to share part of my story in a Thursday feature she calls "Everyone has a Story." Head over here, to read a little bit of mine.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Get Shopping!

Christmas is around the corner. I've been at the job of Christmas shopping for several weeks now. Making my lists, checking them twice, and all that.

I love giving gifts, but sometimes I struggle with purchasing more-stuff-that-we-don't-really-need while lining the pockets of corporate America in the process. So this year I set a goal. It doesn't necessarily help the "more stuff" issue, but I have found a way to give twice as much with one gift.

I've challenged myself to buy all of my extended family (this includes anyone outside the 7 who live in my house) gifts that support other causes. There are hundreds of families creating and selling amazing products to raise funds for their adoptions. There are organizations who do amazing work to help alleviate poverty and the suffering of others who sell great items.

I have found some great gifts that I am really excited to give and knowing that my money is supporting adoption and other worthy causes makes me even more excited.

Just in case you'd like to do a little "shopping with a purpose," I thought I'd share some of the great sites I have found...

  • Kristen, at We Are That Family, and her family have recently been called to start The Mercy House in Kenya. Their etsy shop (go here) has a great selection of items that are constantly changing. Your money will support The Mercy House .
  • Mama Mimi, at The Domesticated Diva, has put together a large list of links to help you find adoptive families who are fundraising, she has even separated them by category! There is lots of shopping to be done here!
  • My Cup Overfloweth gave adoptive families the chance to link up and share their fundraisers. There are currently 42 links with a huge variety of products. Shop here to help a family bring their child home!
  • Linny, at A Place Called Simplicity, had the same idea. Go here, to find over 40 more sites where you can Shop with a Purpose!
If you have found other great places to "Shop with a Purpose", please share them in the comments.
Otherwise, happy shopping and Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Check this out!!!!

You have no idea how seeing my baby girl take 5 steps on her own thrills my momma heart.

I am SO PROUD of my little China doll!

Go Suhn Go!