I love it when I start noticing a pattern or consistent behavioral practice in one of my children. It may be something I see, comments made by others who've observed my child, notes on a report card or awards received at an assembly... I particularly love it when it is obvious that a particular pattern is evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in a young life.
This year, I've noticed in one of our children a growing spirit of thankfulness, an unprompted gratefulness to the Lord for the many graces He extends to us each day. This past Thanksgiving, Rebekah introduced to us a new Thanksgiving tradition... one I'd never heard of before, but one that I think we will continue to incorporate as a part of our family's Thanksgiving rituals.
You always hear that expression - "Out of the mouth of babes..." when children express a truth we should all readily acknowledge... or speak words that pierce and convict deeply... I should have recognized this thankfulness trait in my daughter long before. After all, she was the 4 year old who smiled through tears when she showed me her sore and red finger while softly saying, "Mama, I think God gave me this thorn to hold my papercut together."
Well, she's not such a "babe" any more... she is, in fact, all too rapidly turning into a beautiful young woman...and God recently used her to speak to me about an aspect of gratitude on which I need to work: not only do I need to consciously rehearse those things for which I'm thankful, but sometimes, I need to immediately and vocally (and sometimes that means publically) express that thanks in sweet and heartfelt prayer ~ instead of my typical practice... tucking thoughts away to ponder privately.
...this week's list of God's infinite graciousness...
#193 watching foals race around a field on the top of a mountain while the sun sets behind them
#194 Elsie Mae chasing tiny kittens so that she can cuddle them
#195 Mary Michelle chasing those same tiny kittens while squealing with ABSOLUTE delight
#196 a soft "Shouldn't we pray and thank God that He protected us?" said from the backseat when a bolt, tire, jack-less van full of sleeping or sleepy kids, tired plus road-weary parents AND a rural highway in mountainous upstate New York all collided way too late one Sunday night
#197 my pillow... my bed... home sweet home after several days on the road
#198 photos to remember such wonderful times
#199 unexpected and beautiful flowers in the back yard after many days on the road
#200 girls making banana bread
#201 her unexpected excitement and delight when she entered the church nursery at our midweek service
#202 puzzled faces as she tries to figure out pjs all by herself
#203 starting to learn to like bass guitar practice because it is important to him
#204 "I Have Decided," done African-style by an African MK
#205 marshmallow smeared fingers and faces after roasting them (the marshmallows) over a backyard fire
#206 meditating (or "cud-munching") these words: "Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..."
#207 little arms reaching up, big and bright blue eyes with mischievious smile asking so sweetly for a snuggle and reminding me that the computer needs to be closed for the evening
Original photo of foal "Up in the Air," @ Lynn's quarterhorses.