Two Tiaras and a Sword

Monday, November 11, 2013

30 Days of Thankful (11)

Today I am thankful for freedom.

I am thankful that I was born in a country built on the principle of freedom.  I am thankful that there are men and women who are brave enough to train, and sacrifice even to the extent of their own life, in order for the rest of us to continue to enjoy that freedom.

I am thankful that I can worship as I choose.  I can read, watch and listen to what I want to read, watch or listen to.  I can come and go as I please.  I can write, or say what I want to write or say.  I can own property.  I can educate my children as I see fit.  I can choose my occupation.  All these things, that I often take for granted are things that I am thankful for today.  I know that these are freedoms that some people in other countries are not allowed.  I know that I take them for granted because I do not know life without them.  But I see the danger of losing some, maybe even all of them, and that frightens me.

Which brings me back around to being thankful for the people, both in the military, and in the government who continue to fight for freedom today.

30 Days of Thankful (10)

Today I am thankful for people who do the very important, behind the scenes stuff in life that usually goes unthanked and unrecognized.

I am thankful for nursery workers,

For children's choir teachers,

For children's church workers,

For Sunday School teachers,

For youth workers,

For sound people,

For pianists, and organists,

For choir members,

For music directors,

For secretaries,

For finance people,

For greeters,

For custodians,

For those who take care of the lights and the heat and air,

For those who decorate,

For those who cook,

For coaches,

For piano teachers,

For lunchroom workers,

For volunteers,

For those who simply think of others and show it by small gestures like a smile, a question, or a hug

Who can you think of today, that is faithful in doing something that they rarely get thanked for?  Take a moment, to share a smile with them, and genuinely thank them for the job they do.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

30 Days of Thankful (9)

I am thankful for a day with nowhere to go.

With a husband who is a pastor, two teenagers who are very busy, and a little princess who has activities to participate in, our lives are very busy.  So days with nothing on the schedule are about as rare as snow storms in the southern states.

Usually we work (go to school) every day, and between church activities, football (JV and Varsity practices plus games), volleyball, cheerleading, (during volleyball/football season) volunteer activies, basketball (girls, JV and Varsity practices and games), cheerleading (during basketball season), homework, projects, extra school activies, Girl Scouts, fundraisers, birthday parties, committee meetings, weddings and funerals, we rarely have breaks in our calendar.  There are days when we put in 13 to 15 hours.  So when we have a totally free day, I am extremely thankful for it.  I love having time to do more than one load of laundry.  I love down time with my husband and kids.  I love just relaxing as a family.  In a world where we are constantly busy, I treasure a day with nowhere to go.

30 Days of Thankful (8)

Today I am thankful for my class.

I love how each year each new class has a personality all it's own.  I love working with the kids in my class.  I love learning what they love.  I love finding out their strengths and weaknesses.  I love challenging their strengths and strengthening their weaknesses.  I love finding ways to make learning fun for them.  I love to see them achieve more than they ever thought that they could.  I love watching them learn without them even realize that they are learning.

I love making the Bible come to life for them.  I love making them think about what is going on in the world around them and see daily matters through a Biblical point of view.

Sometimes they frustrate me.  Sometimes I want to throw up my hands and throw in the towel.  But then one of them will say something sweet, or funny, and I know that tomorrow is a new day, and we can start all over again.

I love that we have classroom running jokes.  I love that we are small enough to be a family.  I love that I have watched most of them grow up, and will continue to get to watch them grow for years to come.

30 Days of Thankful (7)

Today I am thankful for my husband.

He is my best friend.  He is an awesome man who loves me even when I am unlovely.  He  works hard to provide for our family.  He is a man of integrity.  He loves the Lord, and lives to bring Him glory and to serve Him.  He is selfless, and is constantly doing things for others.

He loves life and has a great sense of humor.  He is a great father.  He is supportive, and would do anything for his children.  He loves to laugh and have fun.

He is kind and gentle.  He is strong.  He is everything I always wanted and prayed for.  He is perfect for me, and I am very thankful that he is my husband.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

30 Days of Thankful (6)

I am thankful for the youngest princess.

She is full of life and energy.  She is precociousness personified.  She sees the world through eyes wide with wonder.  She is innocent, and then at times, wise beyond her years.  She is extremely smart and quick to pick up on new concepts.  She is a little OCD.  She hates socks, and sneaks by without wearing them as often as possible.  She has her own unique sense of fashion.  She loves her family, her friends, her cats, and her teddy bears.  She is an awesome snuggle buddy.  She drinks chocolate milk and loves to eat anything chocolate as well.  Cereal ranks up there as one of her favorites too.  She loves to play the piano, and perform for anyone who will take the time to watch her.  (She is looking over my shoulder as I type this, and she just read that last sentence and said, "That's me.")
She loves to sing and learn Bible verses.  She loves to dance, do handstands, and cartwheels.  She has a love/hate relationship with her older brother and sister.  She loves to do backbends, and climb trees.
She is tenderhearted, and shows empathy freely.  She usually knows just what to say.  She is funny and can always make me laugh.  She is a problem solver.  She is a drama queen.

I had no idea how much energy she would bring to our family.  Nor, how that much personality could be packed into such a small person, but I wouldn't have her any other way!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness (5)

I am thankful for the young prince.

He has a love for life, and a great sense of humor.  He has a tender heart and an adventuresome spirit. He is great at inventing things.  He is an awesome athlete.  He is half-boy-half-man.  He can act like a little boy one minute, all impulsive, and act like a man the next, making mature decisions.  Buth sides of him make my heart smile with joy.

He grows daily in the Lord, and I know that the Lord has great plans for him.  He is my baby that God protected from being born three months early.  He is my baby that God helped survive "failure to thrive".  If only that doctor could see him now...taller than me!

He is my only son.  The one to carry on the Hodges name.  I have no doubt that he will carry on the Godly heritage that has been passed down to him, and do it well.  I love him dearly, and am very thankful for my "Fred".

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness (4)

I am thankful for my beautiful oldest princess.  She is the sweetest, kindest, young lady I could have ever asked for.  She works very hard to please those around her.  She would never intentionally hurt anyone's feelings.  She loves to play sports: volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and even some powder puff football from time to time.  She works hard at things that don't come easy to her.  She is great with kids.  She is creative and organized.  She has a great fashion sense (that she definitely did not get from her momma).  She loves The Lord, and lives her life to please Him.  She respects her father and I, and is helpful whenever we need her.

She is not perfect, but I think she comes about as close as a teenage  girl can come to perfection.  Our lives have been blessed and enriched by her.  There are days when I don't know what I would do without her.  I am very thankful that God in His wisdom gave her to us to love and raise.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Youngest Princess Says

"Mommy, back then, did people believe in Jesus?"
"Back when, sweetheart?"
"You know, back in the 60's.  Or like in Joseph's time..."
"Yes, honey, people believed in Jesus 'back then'."

Asking her Daddy if he was going to be able to be at her Brownie induction ceremony:
"Daddy are you going to be there for my enter-duction?"

"Mommy, today when I fell off the scooter, my whole body was on the concreek."

We were driving facing the sun.  My husband was talking about how beautiful the sunset was.  Then he said that it was nothing compared to my beauty.  To which the youngest princess quipped, "Hello! Kids in the back seat!  We don't want to hear your love talk!"

One morning she made me laugh and I said, "Wow!  You really are something else!"  To which she replied, "Well, I try."

Walking out one morning after it had rained all night, and everything was all wet and humid, she said, "I hate it when it rains and everything is all sweaty!"

One Saturday around noon, the oldest princess asked her, "Why are you STILL in your pajamas?"
She answered, "'Cause I'm a pajamaholic.  But, I know.  It's really supposed to be chocoholic."  ;-).  That's right baby!  I love the innocence of childhood!

Thirty Days of Thankfulness (3)

I  am thankful for my church family.  Almost two years ago, our lives were changed when my wonderful husband was called to be a pastor.  We never dreamed it would happen in the way that it did.  But we saw God's hand in every step of the process.  The last two years have been wonderful as we have come to know/love the wonderful people of our congregation.  We have been through births, deaths, and many things in between.  We have laughed together, worked together, studied together, served together, worshipped together, and cried together.

They have been wonderful to our family.  They have been patient, loving, and accepting to all of us as we have "learned the ropes" of being a pastor, a pastor's wife, and pastor's children.  They have accepted us with open arms, and loved us despite our deficiencies.  They have never put undo pressures on myself or my children.  They go above and beyond to be a blessing to us all, and we love and appreciate them for it.  I am very thankful for each and every member of our church family.  Knowing them, and serving alongside of them has greatly enriched our lives.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness (2)

     Today I am thankful for my salvation.
     I have no idea how people live, especially in today's scary, sad world, without the hope of God living in them, and the promise of eternal life.  He is the sustaining source of strength that gets me through each and every day.  He is always enough.  He is powerful, holy, and majestic.  I am thankful beyond words that He provided a way for an unrighteous, proud, sinner like me to come to Him, and find salvation.

30 Days of Thankfulness (1)

     I am thankful for my family.
     My heart nearly bursts as I sit and think about each of the wonderful people that God has placed in my life, to walk through this crazy adventure with me.  
     I love taking note of the little things, like how the young prince likes to give his sister advice when it comes to boys.  Or how he goes to his sister for advice when it comes to girls.  I love his zeal and passion for God's Word.  I love that the oldest princess has just gotten her license, and is willing to drive to the ends of the earth, if we need her to, but is always very responsible and careful.  I also love that she is working to become her own independent person, but does it in a mostly respectful way...and on the rare occasion that she doesn't, she usually come back with a repentant heart and apologizes.  I love that the youngest princess is full of energy and life, and sometimes silliness that makes us all smile.
     I love how my wonderful husband cares deeply for our congregation, yet still has the time and energy to care deeply for us.
     I love it that as my kids get older, they need me less, but they still do need me.
     As we prayed for our dinner yesterday, the little princess tightly gripped my hand, and as I peeked at her little strong, healthy hand holding mine, my heart swelled with thankfulness for my precious family.