Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I've come to grips with the fact that life is full of hum-drums and emotional lows, work and more work. At this moment, the laundry folding is about the height of my 4 year old, the floor needs mopped again, the rooms need sorted out for guests and my eyelids tell me I've been up since the wee hours. Aye-yai-yai. It's never ending.  But in this never ending cycle of work, there are gifts that I'm taking the time to be thankful for. And in this moment, I give thanks to The Giver. Here are a few gifts my heart celebrates today (ok, it might be more then a few).
All that hard work, paid off in little moments like this. Precious, aren't they? Each one. Elisha, straight shooter of truth. Noah, tender boy-man. Isaiah, joyous energy. Elliana, feminine little mama. Malakai, energetic and animated. Best. Gifts. Ever.  I never want to regret these seasons or labors of love. It's worth it folks. Don't let the world tell you otherwise.

Little Mama loves her little bro

Marriage. Almost 13 years. It's a gift that I sometimes take for granted. I forget to breathe prayers of thanks for the unity and intimacy we have in our relationship. For the few arguments. For the groundwork we laid in the early years. Learned lessons of lifestyle repentance that continue to bring forth a harvest of shalom.  I adore this man.
A couch-full of Ugandan missionary kids. We love our friends and partners, the Vogt's. Thankful for their lives, the word of His testimony in them, and the opportunity to "do life" on both sides of the globe, even when Isaiah falls out of a tree and breaks his collar-bone.

Kai-guy's little snuggles.

Boy-man #1 still snuggles too. ;)

Blessed by extended-Florida-family with a day at Disney World!

Sunrise on the beach with precious Aunt Audree (one of my heroes)- though her eyes are failing her, she sees things more clearly than most.

Pictures don't even do this justice!

Yes, they got in, even in the early morning hours. It was a moment that will be forever etched into my memory.

Ok, I'll stop with the beach pics there. They're just too precious.

Ellie and her cousin, Ruby. In Uganda, cousins are called cousin-brother or cousin-sister.  I love that. This is one of those sweet bonds, forged in love.
                    Easter Egg fun -thankful for family to make it a special time of the year!

Celebrating Laura (Renfro) Barr and her journey into motherhood. She's a mama of 2 now. I love this woman of God and where God's taken her! She went through the Institute in 2007. What a gift.

This baby man #4 made his 1 year mark.  He is such a delight to our entire family, bringing us joy and delight with each passing day.  We can't imagine life without you, little buddy. Thank you Jesus.
They don't come much cuter

He knows how this goes
Thankful. Overflowing with thanks. This is where my heart is at the end of this reflection. It's powerful how the act of giving thanks actually fills us with joy and appreciation for all He has surrounded us with.  Eucharisteo truly precedes the miracle.