Thursday Thirteen


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Thirteen things I appreciate about my family

My husband truly seeks to shoulder the responsibility to lead us in godly ways. Rather than being self-indulgent, he focuses on what is most beneficial for our family. This doesn’t mean that he is a stick-in-the-mud, by any means. Any nuttiness in this family comes from him, I do believe.

We know how to make our own fun. Tonight, for example, Kayla, Rebecca and Lydia are each writing stories in cute journals they bought for one another. This is a real stretch for them, creatively, since they are more used to composing their stories on the computer, where it is easier to quickly edit what they are writing.

We are honest with one another. When a conflict arises, we acknowledge it, and seek to communicate fairly about the misunderstanding or misbehavior or whatever, in order to resolve it. No conversational terrorism is allowed.

I think the children genuinely love and enjoy one another. Training the children to be kind to one another was a higher priority to me as a young mother than almost anything else. Now, it gives me so much joy to see our young people choosing to socialize with one another, and doing thoughtful things for one another.

I am pleased that, as the children grow up, they each recognize their particular talents, and pursue the training and/or education required to refine and develop those talents. I don’t see the biting, competitive, boastfulness that is all too common in our society, but rather a quiet pursuit of excellence.

We all love to read, and constantly recommend books to one another. When our family was younger, I would read aloud to the children, sometimes for hours, because they would beg me to keep reading. Not having a television was a good thing, as far as developing a love for reading was concerned.

I love hearing the girls play their violins, though this happens less frequently now that they attend school rather than being home schooled. There simply is not enough time left over for hours of music practice now that the girls are involved in track, soccer and basketball, as well as spending hours at school.

I’m pleased that the children know how to help around the house and yard, and DO help. They are valuable members of this family, and contribute to our well-being. Admittedly, procrastination does strike occasionally, but the grumble-bug generally stays away.

I like that Rick is involved in Seth’s extracurricular sports life. This extra time that Rick spends with our youngest son yields a closer bond for them. Also, Seth is learning so much about maintaining a cheerful, winning attitude when the going gets tough, and working as a member of a team.

Sometimes Rick will get out his guitar and we’ll all start singing old folksongs or songs remembered from childhood together. He and Debra love to sing the psalms together. Sometimes they will sing together for hours on Sunday.

I’m thankful that we have daily family worship in our home, when we sing a psalm together, work on memorizing the Heidelberg Catechism, read a chapter from the Bible, and pray. Seeking God first keeps us on track, as far as believing and doing what is right, and in being reminded to love one another.

I’m thankful we go to church together, and that the children go to church JOYFULLY. They appreciate the faithful preaching of God’s Word, too.

We all enjoy showing hospitality to others. It is a joy to share our home and our food with friends, old and new. The children help in all the preparations (especially in neatening the house) so that showing hospitality doesn’t become burdensome to the mama.

7 Responses to “Thursday Thirteen”

  1. Deb says:

    Great list, I enjoyed it very much! Come take a look at the most popular resolutions of the New year!


  2. Marmee says:

    You said: “I don’t see the biting, competitive, boastfulness that is all too common in our society, but rather a quiet pursuit of excellence. ” I couldn’t agree more!

  3. Joyce says:

    Thank you, Deb and Marmee, for your comments. 🙂

    I wonder what the children will comment? Probably they will reprove me for “boasting.”

    Rick will tell me his comments. 😛

  4. Joyce, there is nothing more that I’d rather do than to be able to sit with you and have a cup of coffee. I think we would be the best of friends, that way! I do treasure getting to know you in the blogosphere. Maybe someday we’ll sit somewhere quiet, and chat, across from one another. ((hugs)) Great list!

  5. Joyce says:

    I’ve got an idea, Mishelle! Maybe there will a Blog 365 party at the end of next year, or maybe you and your family want to travel to the Pacific Northwest (We could show you hospitality.). We’ll have fun online, at any rate. I’m so glad that you commented on my haiku once upon a time, so that we could meet. 🙂

  6. This is a wonderful list! You’re family is truly inspirational.

  7. Joyce says:

    Thank you, Sarah. 🙂 And thank you for adding me as a friend on Blog 365. Talk to you later!