Intentional Praise

I’ve been planning to write a post about my praise jar for about a week, but I just haven’t. I’ve been super-overwhelmed with a lot of things, (mostly Bennett and his notsleeping), and so I’ve put it off. Today, however, is so full of praises that I figured it was the very best day to write this post!

My neighbor, Rebecca, posted a very Pinterest-y idea the other day on Facebook:

I thought it was brilliant! I decided to make my own, with the specific intention of its being for praises. So here’s mine:


No, I don’t dot my “i”s. In print. I do dot them in cursive. And yes, my jar is small. That’s what I had on hand. I’m hoping to upgrade when it gets full! Anyway, I wanted to make sure that my jar was prominently displayed in order to remind me of it, and I wanted to make sure that it was clear that this is all about making note of everyday praises. At the end of the year, I can look back and praise God very specifically for all the ways He blessed me during 2013! Awesome! I’m so excited, and I’m extra excited today, which is why I’m posting this particular post at this particular time.

I put several praise post-its in my jar today.

  1. I am exactly at my pre-pregnancy weight! Five months and three days after having my stomach sliced open and being handed a baby, and then curiously still being left with a giant belly and lots of pounds to lose! This is a great day. I celebrated by eating, and I’m going to celebrate again tonight by eating. 🙂
  2. Bennett’s notsleeping, as mentioned above, has been a huge issue. Huge. I’ve done everything I felt like I could do based on his age and my related discomfort with cry-it-out sleep training at his age. Anyway, my friend Alison gave me the courage to try something that she told me to wait until bedtime to try, so that I’d have my husband for reinforcement, but I tried it anyway at both naps today. BENNETT HAS TAKEN TWO NAPS TODAY WITH MINIMAL PROTEST! AND HE’S BEEN ASLEEP FOR AN UNINTERRUPTED ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES ON THIS SECOND NAP, AS I TYPE VERY EXCITEDLY IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MUCH TO YOUR ANNOYANCE!
  3. I have an amazing husband who is a great encouragement and help to me every day.
  4. I have an amazing friend, Andrea. (I have lots of other amazing people in my life, too, but she was most recently amazing.)
  5. I have an amazing God, who has been preparing me extremely specifically through Scripture (the book of Titus) for a spiritual battle. He is sustaining me, comforting me, and encouraging me spiritually as this is happening during a season of both physical and emotional exhaustion (see #2 above).

Amen, and amen.

(You should make a praise jar, too. It’s too easy to forget or ignore the good things when there’s so much crumminess around that’s too easy to dwell upon.)

TDOT: Days Seventeen, Eighteen, and Nineteen

Hi! I didn’t get posts written this weekend because I was in a cabin in the woods! I’m back now with lots of thanksgiving. 🙂

I’m thankful for:

Benjamin is blowing Bennett a kiss, but he saw the cameras and looked at us instead! Bennett loves his Aunt Dana and his cousin!

  1. Cousins! Bennett and his one-year-older cousin, Benjamin, were so cute this weekend! They’re starting to notice each other, and I think my little Bubs thinks his buddy is hilarious. (You know, between love-slaps in the face!) I hope they’re best friends when they’re older.
  2. Duck Dynasty! Okay seriously, I love this show. You should, too. In fact, you will, if you watch it. It’s on A&E, it’s hilarious, and you can even watch it on Hulu if you don’t have cable. Besides its obvious hilarity, one of the things I absolutely love is how it’s a family show with a Christian message. They end every show with a big family dinner and a prayer to Jesus, and you always get a dose of Pop-Pop wisdom somewhere in the episode: “Don’t marry some yuppie girl. Find you a meek, gentle, kind-spirited country girl. If she knows how to cook, and she carries her Bible and lives by it, and she loooves to eat bullfrogs, now there’s a woman… She doesn’t have to be a pretty girl. It’s hard to get a pretty one to cook and carry a Bible anymore.” Here are a couple of clips to whet your appetite!
  3. In-laws! I know a lot of people really struggle with their in-laws, but that’s not me! This past weekend, they made it possible for their three kids and their families to retreat to Beaver’s Bend in Oklahoma! They even brought yummy food! All we had to do was print out directions and drive up there. (Great practice traveling with Bubs, by the way. Sheesh! That kid does not travel light!) We had such a great time, made possible by Grammie and Pop-Pop.
  4. Horses! Mine was named Mex, Justin’s was Frosty, and my horse was better than his! Finally! Last time we went horseback riding was nearly ten years ago, and everyone in our group got these gorgeous Clydesdales. The stable boy took one look at me and gave me this scrawny, nearly-dead, old, spotty horse named Lucy. I felt so lame! But this time, I got a big-kid horse. Fun!!!!
  5. Pine cones! I forgot about them! It was so neat to see pine cones all over the ground among the leaves. I even picked up a little baby one for my little baby. It was his first pine cone, and he loved it!
  6. Hiking! Justin and I love to go hiking, but we haven’t in a really long time. It was so great to be out in the woods next to a trout-filled stream feeling normal and healthy again! Pregnancy and early post-partum days sure make one feel like a slug. I felt 100% normal, and I had a great time!
  7. My car! I got a CR-V while I was pregnant, so that we would have plenty of room for our new little family. I’m so glad! I love my car soooooooo much, and it was the perfect size for all our junk! (It may be a tight squeeze once we have two kids, though, and we’re traveling to Alabama for Christmas…)
  8. Not having to have another job outside the home! Bennett had a rough sleeping week last week, which totally put me out of sorts. It was terrible, and I can’t imagine having to get up and teach children all day long after one, and then two, and then three, and then FOUR nights of staying up with my kid past 2:00 a.m. I struggled to get through those days, but I was able to veg and just cuddle my baby. No way I could have dealt with teenagers on top of it.
  9. Peaceful sleep Saturday night! After the terrible week of no sleep and screaming all night, I was really worried about having Bubs in a cabin with ten other people. To everyone’s surprise and delight, Bennett slept in complete peace from 12:30 a.m. until around 8:30 a.m.! I was so happy to get sleep, number one, and to not be a bother to everyone else!
  10. Huggies! We had three blow-outs Saturday alone (two happened while traveling!) because of those loserface Pampers. NO MORE! Mine is a Huggies baby for life. (Oh wait. Well, I hope not. Ew. You know what I mean.)

What are you thanking the Lord for today? 

TDOT: Day Seven

Today I’m extra thankful: 

  1. For P90x again! Long after I posted yesterday, I had my husband help me with measurements to track my progress after 30 days. I have lost 3 pounds, one dress size, and 5.5 inches overall! Wow! That’s definitely a motivator; I’m glad the program suggested that I do my measurements every 30 days!
  2. That my hope was and is in Christ, and not in Romney or Obama. There were some awfully heated status updates on Facebook last night, many of which I understand. The presidency is an important and powerful office, and the decisions made under each administration can and do directly affect us as citizens. This can be good or bad, depending on who you are and what you believe in, I suppose. But even if we do, as some people are saying, become a socialist country, I know that ultimately I will die and be free with Christ. My life in the U.S.A. will be but a blip in eternity. This is only for a season.
  3. That I have a godly, wise, and responsible husband. This is another reason that I’m not so emotionally affected by the election results. We are disappointed, to be sure. Although we did personally experience a lot of “change” under Obama’s leadership, it was all for the worse.  The bottom line, however, is that we were not caught off-guard or unprepared by the outcome of the election. I am infinitely grateful that I married a smart man who leads this family in fiscal responsibility, and that we’ve been living below our means since we got married. He’s been planning for the future, and he’s been planning to have much more of his earnings taken away from him. My husband, who has a wise father, who has a wise Father, was discerning enough to look at his contract, see the dollar amount, and only bank on about half of it, refusing also to incur debt simply to keep up appearances. I am blessed to know that as long as he is working, we should be able to put food on our table.
  4. For freedom of speech. I’m so glad that we can all voice our opinions — liberal, conservative, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice, Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, Rastafari — without fear of government officials knocking down our door and dragging us to jail or worse. Now that is definitely something to be thankful for.

What are you thanking the Lord for today? 

TDOT: Day Six


Today, I’m thankful for:

  1. P90x! I’m on day 30, and I’m seeing results! I was in my pre-pregnancy jeans over two weeks ago, at just 2½ months post-partum! I have literally worked my butt off. 😉 Thanks Chantel and Alison for letting me borrow the DVDs and workout paraphernalia!
  2. The right to vote. I will not forget how much of a sacrifice it was, and continues to be, for me to be able to make my voice heard where it counts. (Although it would count more in another state, but that’s neither here nor there.)
  3. Central heating in my house! (It got chilly.)
  4. Lunch with my momma at my favorite restaurant today! Yummy.


What are you thanking the Lord for today?