Sunday, November 27, 2011


I am often (though not often enough) surprised to realize how a lack of gratitude in my heart robs me of peace and joy.  This season of thanksgiving is a good reminder.  I lack thanks because I am discontent, I think I am entitled to more, I have unrealistic expectations of others, I compare myself to others, I forget the goodness and grace of God toward me.

I have been reading a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss called Choosing Gratitude.  It is serving as a good reminder from the Lord of all for which I have to be thankful, and of all the wasted time I live in unthankfulness.

I am thankful for my beautiful family - a faithful husband who loves me and serves me selflessly, who makes daily living fun; an adorable little girl who showers me with kisses and is healthy and growing.  I am thankful to be a wife and a mother to these particular people.  I am thankful for a father, mother, brother, and sister who love me unconditionally. I am thankful for a church family and for dear friends near and far.  I am thankful for jobs that we love, good food to eat, cars to drive, clothes to wear, and a home in which to live.  I am thankful for God's provision of a new place for us to live for the rest of our time here in South Bend (more on that later).  I am thankful for health in body and mind. I am thankful for good books, music, coffee, and the internet.  Most of all I am thankful for my salvation - God saved me from my sin once and for all through the death and resurrection of Christ - he also saves me daily through the work of the Holy Spirit, and I have the assurance and hope that he will save me for an eternity with him.

I am thankful for the trials and the painful circumstances Billy and I have walked through in the last 3 years.  I am thankful that they have drawn us closer to God and to each other. I am thankful for the trust we can have in a loving Father, that one day we will see redemption and beauty from these difficulties.  I am thankful that in comparison to the suffering of others and the perspective of eternity, they are but light and momentary afflictions.  I am thankful that our daily lives are filled with goodness and laughter.

I am thankful.
O give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples. - Psalm 50:14
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanks goes to Kevin Estep for kindly taking our fall family pictures.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Festivities

The leaves and the temperatures are dropping, the air is crisp and smells like burning wood, and we have been enjoying lots of hot lattes and mochas!  Welcome Autumn, my favorite season!
So heavy!
We recently went to a pumpkin patch and corn maze with some friends from church.  We had lots of fun wandering through the maze - we did eventually find our way out!  It was huge.  There were fun little checkpoints with trivia questions which the older kiddos and the grown-ups enjoyed.  Maryn just liked opening the ears of corn along the way.  Afterward, we enjoyed warm soup and fellowship.  We had a great time.
Family pic!  Please ignore Billy's hat hair :)
Yay Fall!
Maryn with Olivia and Emma - she loves watching the big girls!
The next Monday was Halloween.  I'm not too crazy about Halloween, but I just can't resist dressing Maryn up in an adorable costume.  Last year she was a surgeon.  This year she was a very friendly, buzzing bumble bee.  She said "hi" to everyone she saw and I also taught her how to say "bzzz".  So cute!  The funny thing about her costume was that it pretty much took away her peripheral vision, so every time she turned her head she would lose her balance and fall over.  Made me laugh!  Her BFF Elliott was going to dress up as a ladybug, so they would be bugs together, but sadly, poor Elliott was sick with croup.  Maybe we can still dress them up together for fun sometime.  :)
Trick or treat!
Since Maryn can't eat candy yet, we actually gave candy away from her little trick or treat bucket.  Of course we had to stop by Brette and Adam's house and Maryn loved giving them lots of candy!  She thought it was a very fun game.  We did however, let her have chocolate Cheerios, which she thought were the best thing she had ever tasted!
Giving Miss Brette some love!
Me and my Honey Bee
Happy Fall, everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maryn's Got Wheels

Thanks Grandad and Gran!