Archive for October, 2011

Thankfulness, again. For grace.


This post has been in “draft” status for a long time.  You can squint and see the date on the picture.  My commitment to intentional thankfulness – a bit off the track.  Funny that as I sat in church on Sunday, our pastor quoted the exact Scripture that got me started on this in the first place – Psalm 13.

I will tell you I have still been more mindful of all of his gifts.  But as I sat in church, I knew that God had specifically told me that this journey was about expressing my gratitude, not just being grateful.  For whatever reason, I’m supposed to write during this journey, not just think.

An interesting thing happened last week – very related.  I got an email from a MOPS staff member, asking if I wanted to write an article for an email going out to leaders in November.  They wanted something on gratitude, thankfulness, etc.  And my first reaction?  “I’m too busy to to do that.”  HELLO??? I’m in the middle of a season of writing about thankfulness, and I’m “too busy” to do it for someone else?  I quickly reconsidered. 🙂

It seems everyone I turn these last few days, I’m confronted with something I’m not doing well, and then I’m just as quickly brought a reminder of His beautiful grace.  The grace that loves me even when I’m wrong.  Grace that rejoices with the tiniest of victories He sees in me – not just the big stuff.  Grace that is there waiting for me if I’ll just notice.

And so as many of my friends begin their “month of thankfulness” on Facebook, I am back to my writing journey.  Random lists for a few days here, because I’ve got lots of catching up to do.

I’m thankful for…

68. the delight of my children in trick-or-treating

69. a husband who delights to be part of his children’s fun

70. good friends and traditions

71. a friend who just feels “like home” for my daughter, even as life circumstances take them apart on a daily basis

72. cozy blankets as the weather turns cool

73. the delighted shrieks of children echoing through the hills during a beautiful fall hike

74. the splendor of fall

75. the warm crackle of an outdoor fire

76. health

77. God’s sense of humor

78. His grace

79. His patience with me

80. friends who need nothing but some simple food and conversation


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Weekends are for…

Apparently anything but writing. I can’t seem to find the time to fit it in. I’ll blame it on our schedule this fall – weekends are also for anything but relaxing.

This weekend was for family. Cousins on my mom’s side to be specific. One of my favorite cousins was married yesterday. I remember playing Candyland with Kevin and his older brother Alan in my grandparents’ living room. I remember feeling left out when they got to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I wasn’t old enough yet.  They were the boys I always looked up to and adored.

It was a joy this weekend to see Kevin and all of his brothers in one place. It happens rarely, and so I think it made us all a bit teary (in a good way) to see them all up at the altar together looking very handsome in their tuxes! I can’t imagine how my aunt felt to see them!

So, this weekend was about hugging cousins not seen in a long time, celebrating love and marriage and family.

I’m thankful for…

62. Family.  Just that simple – near or far, it’s just lovely to have those you “belong to.”

63. the joy of watching my girl wanting to get out and boogie on the dance floor.

64. Kevin & Suzette and their obvious joy.

65. the beauty of fall

66. Caramel apple cupcakes.  To die for.

67. a husband who will just jump in and talk and have fun.

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For friends…near and far


I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends today.  We’ve lived a lot of places – and people in those places have moved a lot of places.  So I have friends in a LOT of places.

From a picture of my college friend’s beautiful baby boy to the friend who “Hooray-ed” me for showing up to work out this morning to the friend I’d feel weird if I didn’t talk to every day to the friend I’d give anything to find a weekend to get away with to friends across the country just because we share a love for MOPS, I’m blessed beyond measure.

Which is a bit humbling because I am NOT the best friend ever.  That same overwhelm that prompted this thankfulness journey steals a lot from my friendships because I start to hole up.  And not call to keep in touch. And not send gifts/cards – my best intentions stop at just that – intentions.

So today I’m thankful for…

53. Friends who “hooray” for me

54. Friends’ dreams who come true

55. Friends who are friends even when you don’t talk for a long while

56. Friends who share a calling to serve other moms

57. Friends who care about the details of life – even when they are boring. 🙂

58. Friends who challenge me in a loving way because they make me THINK.

59. Friends who challenge me simply because they are great at reaching out to others

60. Mostly for friends who give me grace and mercy even when I’m really bad at this friendship thing.

61. a loving God that knows women need other women to be the best women, wives, moms, leaders, and Christ-followers we can be and is gracious to provide them in many forms and many places.

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Just the list.

Short and simple since it’s after midnight.  I’m thankful…

44. for those universal topics that you can laugh with or commiserate about with any woman/mom – even if you just met her.

45. that I don’t have to have cortisone shots every day.  Ouch!

46. that I don’t have to have knee surgery.  But I may need another reason to lay around for a few days and let my family take care of me.

47. for godly men and women and time spent with them

48. for  a dog that just makes me lol sometimes

49. that my boy won’t leave for school in the morning without a hug from his mom

50. for friends that don’t think I’m totally wacky for selling apples out of the back of my van in the church parking lot

51. for Megan having a friend that makes her shriek in sheer delight when she sees her

52. that the health department doesn’t visit private kitchens.  I might get shut down this week.


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Sweet silence.

I crammed a lot into today – including an unexpected nap. 🙂  What I loved most about it is that I woke up naturally.  With the arguing around here lately, it surprises me that I wasn’t awakened by squabbling children.  The silence was a sweet sound to my ears.

I wonder if that same kind of silence would be pleasing to God if I ever gave him the chance.  I think I spend more time jabbering, and sometimes squabbling, than being silent with Him.  Of course I’m ever grateful that He neither sleeps nor slumbers.  Because I wasn’t really all that available for my kiddos this afternoon. 🙂

I’m thankful …

38. for an unexpected nap

39. that I’m not claustrophobic – MRI’s are a bit creepy!

40. for the many many volunteers that show up to make apple pies

41. for sweet conversation with some apple pie volunteers

42. for a God who never sleeps nor slumbers.  He is always watching over me.

43. for librarians who have more patience than mom with a boy who “can’t find anything to read”

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Cut to the chase…covering a lot of ground


Wow. I intentionally took Sunday off, and Monday got away from me. And now it’s 1AM and I’m going to spend all day tomorrow making apple pies. So I’m cutting to the chase…

I’m thankful…

27. that though we all fall short, the story doesn’t end there.

28.  that God delights in not just forgiving, but restoring and bringing something beautiful from the ashes.

29. that I don’t have it to do it all on my own…in fact He likes it much better when I let him have control.

30. for homemade applesauce

31. that my kids think it’s a huge treat to have it in their lunches

32. that my daughter is excited about glasses…even though I know she’ll hate them at some point

33.  for seeing God’s work and timing come together in a friend.  totally brought tears to my eyes.

34. for driveway conversations – covering a LOT of ground. 🙂

35. for the unexpected grace of seeing a friend for a few moments in the optometrist’s waiting room

36. that something we’ve been waiting for is finally starting to move.

37. that we can trust that whatever it moves toward is right where God wants us, even if it turns out to be something different than what we think we want

I could go on for a while, but my bed is calling my name.

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Fall beauty


I’m just thankful for the beauty of this day.  We took a drive to get some apples out at Skiles Farm Market.  The trees along 26 were gorgeous!

I needed the beauty of the day, because it turned into a bit of a challenge in the parenting department.  And yet with the visible reminder (above) to find something to be thankful for – I looked for the good.  And I’m easily reminded that I’m not alone in raising my kids.  Not sure what I’d do without my heavenly Father to guide me.  Or to bring grace when I screw it up.



I’m thankful for…

21. The incredible beauty of an Indian summer day.

22. Farmers.  Their endless hard work enables us to enjoy such bounty!

23. Particularly Farmer Nate.  Each week I love seeing the face of the man who works so hard to provide us with fabulous vegetables all summer long!  I appreciate the chance to show my kids a bit about how food shows up on their table, too.

24. Soccer coaches who show up every week and work to educate  and lead our kids, even when they’re frustrated.

25. That I’m not in this parenting thing alone, even when I’m alone for the weekend.

26.  I thank God that He knows my children way better than I do, and that He’s willing to listen and to provide guidance – if I remember to ask.

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