Guess what? Noooo...Guess again! OK, I give! This is my 300th post! WOW!!! Can you believe that? I am in amazement! I don't think it could have come at a more exciting time either. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
As I have been thinking about Thanksgiving this year, I have been blown away by how much I have to be thankful for! God has poured the blessing all over my life and I take them for granted. It is so easy to find the things that annoy me and drive me bonkers rather than looking at all the blessings I have. Why is it so much easier to be negative? I am tired of being a negative. I am tired of reading all the negative blogs. I want to focus on the blessings that are too numerous to count! I know this isn't very original, but for my Thanksgiving post, I want to make a list of some of the things I am thankful for.
I am thankful for:
- God and the salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, that He has given me.
- my amazing, wonderful, funny, sweet husband.
- my first daughter who is talented, smart, and as funny as they come.
- my second daughter who couldn't be more shy but is the sweetest one in the world.
- my parents and brother who love and support me unconditionally.
- my extended family...grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws...who are so precious.
- my amazing friends who are always a phone call away.
- a roof over my head.
- the food on the table and in the fridge.
- reliable transportation.
- exercise and the stress relief it provides.
- the opportunity to serve God and help others.
- ice cream and magic shell.
- good books and warm blankets on a cold day.
- good movies and cuddles on a rainy day.
- the ability to walk, talk, hear, see, taste, and smell.
- the warm spring days after a long, cold winter.
- an education.
- a job that I love.
- the sound of my childrens laughter.
- long conversations with my husband.
- a mom who is becoming more of a friend every year.
- the doors that God opened allowing me to travel the world.
- the hard times that have made me stonger and wiser.
- the mistakes I made because I learned from them.
- a husband who cooks dinner because I don't enjoy it.
- a Dad who will always try to protect me, even though I am grown up now.
- butterfly kisses.
- God's Word that is my instruction book for life.
- warm chocolate chip cookies.
- Sunday afternoon naps.
- family evenings out.
- camping on the beach in Korea.
- sleeping under the stars ANYWHERE.
- photography and the memories it captures.
- the invention of the flat iron...frizzy hair be gone!
- pedicures when I can afford them.
- the imagination of children.
- cheerio kisses and sticky hugs.
- bed time stories and the cuddles that go with them.
- another day to live life to the fullest.
- hot showers after a hard workout.
- my church and Sunday school class.
- the Internet.
- contacts because glasses drive me bonkers and I can't see without them.
- gas prices lower than I thought we would ever see again.
- green tea.
- pizza night.
- vanilla candles.
- fresh linens.
- catching up with old friends.
- my iPod.
- Korean sticky rice.
- walking on the beach at night.
There are SO many more things than this that I am thankful for. The list could go on for days! God has given me so many gifts...small and large. I want to remember those and be thankful for what I have rather than focusing on what I don't have or like.
It was awesome to see my girls doing the Gator
Chomp and cheering our team on. :-) I was worried that they were going to complain about the cold, the noise, the crowd and not enjoy the game but I was WRONG! They did AWESOME and we had a blast! Here are few pics! :-)
Friday I took a shower around 1:30 in the afternoon. As I made my way to finish getting ready for work my nine year old looks at me with complete and totally miserable look on her face and says, "Mom, I have to confess to something. While you were in the shower I drank some pickle juice. Actually, I drank a cup of pickle juice. But don't worry because I am paying for it. My butt just exploded and I have diarrhea." Then she proceeded to RUN to the bathroom as fast as she could.
Once again, I moved up another notch in the running for mother of the year award. I was laughing so hard it brought me to my knees and the tears fell so hard my hubby heard me from outside and came in to ask what was wrong.
Last Friday, November 14, 2008, was a time of celebration. Clark graduated from Fire Academy! His Dad and stepmom, Carolyn, drove in from South Carolina. The girls, my Dad, Mom, stepdad, brother, SIL, and nephew all showed up. Clark had a fan club of 11 people cheering him on as he graduated!
Most of June and July Clark was in school every day from Mon. - Fri. while doing clinicals on the weekend to get his EMT certificate. He is currently a National Registered EMT and a FL State certified EMT. At the beginning of August he started fire academy. Since August he has gone to school Mon. - Thur. every week from 9 am to 6 pm. He has come home, cooked dinner for the family because I was at work and then studied until bed time. He has worked hard and it shows. He graduated with a 97 grade average! I couldn't be more proud of him!
Next Monday and Tuesday he will take the State Fire Standards Exam and in December he has one final 16 hour course to take (EVOC). I know he will pass those with flying colors. The job hunt officially began on Monday. He has been all over central FL picking up job applications and hoping to get hired on soon. I know this will be a new season of challenges, but for now, I am going to pause and celebrate the 6 months of hard work that we have just completed!! Enjoy the pictures! :-)
I had to get my fingerprints done before I could start teaching. The school gave me the form and a list of places I could go in town to get them done. There was one particular store that would take them for me that was fairly close to my house. I headed there.
As I walked in I was greeted by two friendly ladies and helped right away. They pulled out the fingerprinting box to get started. I got sent back through a maze of a back room to wash my hands thoroughly. When I found my way back to the desk the girl who ended up helping me asked me to fill out the form. She immediately signed her name and showed me where to sign mine. However, something didn't seem right. She had signed her name on the blank that said "Individual having fingerprints taken" and was having me sign my name under "Official taking fingerprints." She was also insisting that I place my name and address under the box that said "employer's name and address." I questioned her and she tried for 5 minutes to convince me that I was the "official" and the "employer." I finally asked her, "You work here, are you the employer or the employee?" I got a deer in the headlights stare from her. She actually called someone else over to answer the question! When the other EMPLOYEE agreed with me, she said, "OH, I guess we need a new form then, huh?" She proceeded to get out a new form and ask ME where she should sign!
As I left there was only one thing I could say, "Bless It's Heart!"
At 2:30, we met mom up there and couldn't believe the deals. Most of the jeans and cute little tops were buy 1 and get a second for 99 cents! The clothes couldn't be any cuter. The prices couldn't be any better! Each of the girls got 4 casual outfits and 2 church outfits! :-) They also had the same deal going on shoes...so the girls both walked out with 2 new pair of shoes!!
I had to show off the purchases...or maybe just show off the girls. Anyway, look at what we got!
A little over 2 weeks things were going rough at work. I realized that I really wasn't where I was supposed to be. I immediately starting praying for guidance about what to do next. After a few days of prayer, I got an unexpected phone call from a private school that I used to teach at. They asked if I might be looking for a part time position because they needed someone to work in their afterschool program. Seeing it as an answer to prayer, I resigned from my job as a trainer by giving a 2 week notice. Friday was my last official day at Curves and today I am starting at the school.
This was a hard decision to make because my former boss offered me better pay, my choice of hours, and a managers position. I still felt like God was calling me to leave, so I did. You have no idea how many times I asked myself if I was doing the right thing...how could I turn down that awesome counter offer. God kept telling me it was time though...so I was obedient!
On Friday I had a message to call the principal at the school. I was nervous, but called her first thing this morning. I was so afraid that they no longer needed me, or something had come up. I spent the weekend worrying myself sick over it all. However, it was better than I could ever imagine. She offered me a full time teaching position starting in January. I am still going to take time to pray about it, but it looks like I will be a middle school English teacher come January! :-) I didn't know why God told me to leave the better offer, but I knew it was His will. He is SO faithful to bless us when we are obedient. He knew all along what would happen if I obeyed...He was just waiting for me to do it! God is so faithful to his children.
Mom: What do you see out the window?
9 year old: Grass and Trees.
3 year old: HORSEYS!!!!
Mom: Who made the grass, trees, and horses?
both kids: GOD!
Mom: What else did God make
3 year old: Cows
9 year old: EVERYTHING!
3 year old: God made me cute and sweet. (Insert eyes cutting to the right) God not make her cute. God not make her sweet. She mean all the time!
Mom: (Couldn't say a thing because I trying so hard to fight the laughter that tears were flowing from my eyes...yes, I just won the mother of the year award).
Our family is used to change. We have moved more times than any family should move. In fact, when people hear about how many times we have moved and/or changed direction the first question we get is "Are you military?" LOL! No, we aren't military, but often say that we are God's tumbleweeds. We are open to go where the Lord leads and calls us. We have been blessed to have many once in a lifetime experiences because of this fact.
Once again, we find ourselves in a season of transition. We have officially been "IN" transition for 6 months now. I have had to daily choose to have a positive mindset to make it through this time. Some days I have done better than others. Some days my positive attitude went right out the window. Thankfully, I had friends who would snap me out of it remind me what was at the end of 6 long months. The end is finally in sight and it feels great!
Next Friday we will enter the last stage of this transition. My husband officially graduates and the job hunt begins. Is this last stage going to be any easier than the last 2 or 3 have been? NO!!!! But at least we can look back and see what we have made it through to help us keep our eyes on the goal ahead!
Change isn't easy. Change is actually REALLY hard, but very necessary! How you make it through is totally up to how you look at it. You can choose to fight it and resisit it or you can embrace it and find the positive side to it. Today, I am choosing to look at the positive side. I am choosing to see the hard times that may be ahead as a growing experience that will make me stronger. I am choosing to trust that the God who called us to make this change is going to be faithful to bring us through the fire refined!
What about you? Are you facing change? How are you going to look at it? Are you going to hide from it, fight it, and resist it? Are you going to face it head on, embrace it, and find the positive in it? It's your choice!