Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful Post

Yesterday we had a fieldtrip to Pioneer Day with CHEA. And on the way there, Samantha and I were feeling a little festive. Since I was feeling a little down that our "newest family member" has not yet made their appearance in our lives-yes, I know, still soon-I thought maybe we could concentrate on positives and play the Thankful Game. So we did. Samantha came up with some good ones and so did I. Some of them were funny. And some of them were sad to think that others do not have. Here goes:

I will begin with the standard and end with some of the things we do not think about day to day.

I am thankful for my family.

For my Husband, who is a pretty awesome guy, not always perfect, but a pretty awesome guy. He works hard for us. And he supports what I do. He lets me get away with acting like a complete and total hippy. And listens to me yap away about my crazy theories. Although he sometimes likes to act tough, he has so many soft spots inside that he might fall over if you touch him. Eight years together and it seems like the blink of an eye. And each and every day that I wake up next to him I KNOW that we are together for a reason, for something bigger than us.

I am Thankful for my Daughter who is the PERFECT match for me. God could not have matched me with a better buddy than her. (That's how I know my next will be the complete opposite-to challenge me. ;) I am Thankful she is here and she is alive. I am Thankful that I am the first one to see her face each morning and I am the last one to see her face at night. I am Thankful that I get to do her hair and dress her up in cute clothes. And that I get to do all the fun things that Mommies dream about doing with their daughters. I am Thankful that she loves to read together at night-and cuddle. (I love to cuddle.) I am thankful that she has such a big heart. And that she is so easy going, most of the time. I am Thankful for our quiet days at home together or playing games with her inside the car. I love her so much and I can't imagine life without my oldest and only living child.

I am Thankful for my extended family. We have so much family, so much family that we could probably spare some. Ha Ha. Not to mention they are pretty awesome too. There are so many of them I could not describe each one, but they know who they are.

I am Thankful to have friends, people I can turn to and talk to. People who tell me about their day too. What a lonely life it would be without friends. 

I am Thankful for mentors. Yes,  I still have mentors. I have some people I view as both a friend and a mentor, someone special that God sends you to show you what is next in Life or give you advice on how to deal with the Here and Now.

I am Thankful for our house. I am thankful that God has given us a place to live and to call ours. I am Thankful that is has 3 bedrooms. And heat and air. And I am doubly Thankful that it has emergency heat. Most of America may have central A/C, but many do not have a backup system, so we are very Blessed to have discovered that last winter when our unit kept freezing over. And I am thankful that this place still looks almost new-without costing us much more than our rent did!

I am Thankful we have a garage downstairs in which I park the car. And in that car is a full tank of gas so that I can go to the store to get groceries and take S downtown for special outings without it taking a whole day's work. And I am Thankful that it runs. I am Thankful that it has only had to be fixed a handful of times in the years we have owned it. And that, being it is my first car, I have not wrecked it. 

I am also Thankful for my kitchen. And Thankful for my food, that I can go to the grocery store when I need to grab something and not think twice. I am Thankful I can feed my family healthy, even if it means sacrificing in other areas such as snack foods. I am Thankful that sometimes we have leftovers and sometimes we have seconds. And even if we don't get either, we always get full. I am also Thankful that I have a sink that lets out drinkable water. And cups to put the water in. So that we will never be thirsty in this house.

I am Thankful that my Husband has a good job to pay for the things I listed above. And that (at least 75% of the time he enjoys what he does). I am Thankful that they treat them well. And they let him drive his van home. I am Thankful that he has a nice jacket they supplied him with to keep him warm and that we were able to buy him nice work gloves and a face mask to keep the wind from stinging him in the Winter.

I am Thankful that both financial and family situations allow for me to stay home. It is well worth the monetary sacrifice for us. I am Thankful I get to spend my time cooking, cleaning, teaching, and volunteering. I am Thankful we can schedule our days pretty much how we want them and that I have time to get things done. And even time to sit down and breath at night.

I am Thankful that I have the wonderful opportunity to Homeschool my child-and any future children, to teach her and be taught BY her. To be able to drag through the mornings with her and spend the afternoons either lounging in our night clothes reading books until it is time to start dinner, going outside to study the bugs on the ground, following the ants back to their hill, or going on a special outing like our recent trip downtown to the art district. I feel so Blessed to have those extra hours with her in the day. And so very happy that I discovered this amazing form of "school" so early on, when she was still just a baby.

I am Thankful for our Homeschool Support Group and the friends we have made through it. I am Thankful that my Baby, in her loneliest time, of feeling like she was the ONLY Homeschooler in the  WHOLE world, was able to turn to the group, do some fun things she wouldn't have the chance to otherwise (field day, holiday parties, Geography Fairs), and make some friends at the same time. Now she never feels alone.

I am Thankful that I have the time and ability to help out where I can. I am Thankful that God showed me my callings and purposes early on. I am thankful that He uses me for something greater than just Me.

I am Thankful I can do many things that sometimes people can't do, like walk, and talk, and see, and hear without struggling to. And I am very Thankful for my health.

I am Thankful for camping with my family-that we all really enjoy being outdoors. I am thankful for Reading and for Writing-Blogging. I am thankful to have things that I am good at and I truly enjoy doing.

I am Thankful for many random, recent things. I am Thankful that we were able to buy S a new bed. I am Thankful that my A/C is not broken like we thought it might be. I am Thankful that Southern Adventist University offers so many affordable classes. And that next semester S is going to learn how to swim and continue her gymnastics. I am Thankful that S is reading so much, so fast! I am Thankful that we were able to buy Christmas gifts. I am Thankful that on Thanksgiving I will get to see some of my family. And Friday I will get to wonder the malls in Atlanta just for the fun of it. And that the Sunday after Thanksgiving I will be getting a Christmas tree, decorating it with my family, and making homemade hot chocolate to drink while we do it. So many small things, that make me think in the back of my head, "Wow. I am Greatful."

These are the things that God has not chosen for me to struggle with (yet), but maybe one day he will. Among these things that I am Thankful for there are other things that I have had to learn to see the good in and be Thankful for. "And we know for those who Love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 Like my Lucy, whom I am thankful for. She really changed my life, but sometimes I feel unthankful that she never saw this Earth. Or like our inability to have another Baby thus far. Sometimes I feel unthankful, but I know, one day, I will see the good in it all.

Call to Action: I feel like if we are thankful, and I mean truly Thankful for the things we have, we will do something about the ones who don't have it. How can we not? If we feel passionate about our food. If we really think, "I love eating. I literally can't live without it. I am SO Thankful to have food, good food." How can we sit back and let somebody else starve? It can be as simple as bringing some canned foods to a pantry somewhere or as complicated as starting up a new charity that takes up food donations and ships them across the World. If we are passionate about being warm, we can hand out blankets to those who need them. If we are passionate that we have Life, then help to save a life. I love the song, "Jesus, Friend of Sinners," because in it he says, "Break our hearts for what breaks yours." And I think that is what He does. He breaks our hearts for what breaks his, from abuse to poverty. I am Thankful for that too, for Him Breaking our Hearts. I used to think that God only sent us down her to have one Passion to focus on and the rest was left to someone else who has a passion for it. But I realize that, while we may have one passion that we really focus on, we can STILL do other things. We can spend one evening a year cooking meals for others if we feel that is what we need to do. We can keep a pack of waters in the back of our car to give to the guy at the exit with the sign in his hand or to the family who is waiting outside for their car to be towed. We can pick someone up when their car breaks down. After all, aren't we Thankful our car isn't broken down?...Something to think about.

I told S to think about what makes her the most sad and decide what she can do about it. I want her to start taking action instead of dawdling beside me as I do what I am passionate about. She is 6 years old. She can do more than pray beside me now. She is going to give it some thought and we will see.

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