*Olivia's desire to reach out to others, to help out, and her flexibility/understanding
*Ezra's strength and "long arms" (coined by his sister)
*a walk to the park
*exploring the backyard
*watching Ezra touch and feel everything with curiosity and joy. hanging on tight to those sticker balls/gumballs.
*birthday banners, special meals
*Olivia and Gabe able to take on more responsibility
*extra little voices playing in our house, good conversation with friends
*interesting people connections
*running out to browse at the used book store with company
*perservering and finishing
*learning lessons of compassion and flexibility over "book" learning
*a cow hunt
*smiling and greeting strangers
*the big dogwood blooms in my backyard. the other colors and blooms. the little sprouts in our seed starters.
*friends kept safe
*a cancelled doctor's appt because of a clear eye
*three little girls hugging one another
*in the school room
*holding my daughter. looking her in the eye.
*the way the boys hate to be told no and lessons learned
*hugs after discipline
*carrying them in from the car, heads on my chest
*the clouds like a blanket of covers to keep me "warm" and secure
Last week, I read these words. Ann says, "Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan's way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus' way? Why else get angry? Isn't it because I think complaining, exasperation, resentment will pound me up into the full life I really want? When I choose--and it is a choice--to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective--more expedient--than giving thanks?" I need to stop and thank God. Focus on God. My children and my home are gifts from God. In that moment. No matter how unlovely and messy the moment is, the surroundings are, or the individuals are. It is in giving thanks that the ugly turns beautiful. This coming week I will audibly give thanks in the moment. I will feel thanks so that it is impossible to feel angry, as she says. I will wrestle with God and beg to see the blessings. I will practice. I will see God.