Category archives: Gratitude

When My Children Tell Me, "That's Not Fair!"

Sometimes my kids, they yell at me and furrow their brow and cry. You know, because it's not fair. It's not fair that they have to clean their whole entire room before they watch a movie. Or that they have to eat every last green pea on their plate before they get dessert. And sometimes, I look them in their sparkly blue eyes and I say, "Yes. You're right. It's not fair. It's not fair that you get a whole big plate of food while some other kid today is looking for some scraps in the trash. It's not fair that you get some warm covers and another kid gets a piece of pavement. It's not fair that you get a momma and a daddy to take care of you and some kids don't get anyone. It's terribly unfair." Then they get all quiet and just stare at me and I [...]

At the Farm

At the farm, we hunt for kitties. And scoop them up any ole way we like. Some kitties are a little more tolerant of our lovins than others. At the farm, we pick peas with Grandma. We walk barefoot through the dirt. We just calm down our hearts a little. And listen to the horse and buggies trotting by. We catch fireflies and wave to the fellas on the tractors. Some of us are a little envious that the Mennonite neighbors get to mow their own lawns at the ripe old age of five. At the farm, we pick blackberries by the fence. Well, some of us pick blackberries. Some of us wait till there's a little bucket full and then we gobble them up when no one's paying us any mind. Then we climb on the fence and let the juice dribble down our chin. Because it's fun to climb [...]

Random Thoughts from a Thankful Heart

Yesterday I noticed for the first time that my yellow crocus' are bloomin'! I noticed them right after Samuel stepped on them and crunched half of them to the ground. That's okay. He's too little to appreciate the delicate glory of the first crocus blooming. The way they holler out, "SPRING! I'm serious! It's coming! For REAL!" I praise the Creator of those crocus. And the Maker of that boy with his flower trampling feet. Last night I didn't sleep well. I've got these allergies that I've had for like, oh, the last six years of my life and I finally broke down and made myself an appointment with one of those allergy doctor persons. It's pretty tolerable except for when I can't breathe. Breathing is just so important. But, I'm thankful that suffering, even suffering from all[...]

For All the Mommas of the House Wreckers (How to Keep Going, and Keep Loving)

I’ve got this one kid in particular who just happens to be a real house-wrecker. (Well, they’re all house wreckers but this one…he’s just the worst.) He doesn’t mean to be, I don’t think. It’s just they all seem to go through this exploratory stage right about the time they’re two whole feet tall, and they really do need to examine every single content in the Tupperware drawer. And this kid, he gets a strange compulsion to pull every article of clothing out of the chest of drawers, say oh, five times a day to see if that one pair of underwear will fit around his scrawny little head. And then he notices the strangest things. Like that one pile of laundry in the bathroom, that looks an awful lot like that other pile of clothes over there by Daddy’s closet. So I suppose he de[...]

The Reason I Cry At Least Once a Day

Today I walked across the yard and cried. Not because I was sad, but because I was heart-achingly happy. Happy because my yard is full of a thousand leaves that crunched beneath my moccasin feet. Happy because I felt the wind again across my face. Intensely happy because even though Gideon had crushed his finger in the door, he’d ran, fast as those legs of his could carry him across the yard, and I had the incredible privilege of opening my arms up so big and wide and pulling him into my comforting embrace. I was happy because he got to have a Lightening McQueen band-aid and it immediately made him smile again. A few minutes later, he came tromping in, requesting a band-aid for his sister and there he tore out across the yard again, just to tape a little bit of happiness on[...]

Dear Hope-love

Dear Hope-love, Thank you for bringing me a mud-pie today. As you brought it, I paused there in the kitchen and just watched you from the window. I loved how you carried it so carefully,  gracefully stepping over the sticks in the yard, wind whipping through your delicate strands of hair. I remembered when I was a little girl like you. I had my play kitchen and my dirt and I can recall spending afternoons baking up a muddy feast. I didn't know when I became a momma  how much joy would well up inside my chest as I relived those childhood memories through you. And thank you, Hopey, for bringing your momma some spring. Thank you being the first to notice the crocus' blooming this year and for running as fast as you could to tell me and then insisting that I follow you until I[...]

Seeing Good in the Mess

Some days I wake up with a big ole' mess on my hands. Like, a big ole' kid mess. And sometimes that frustrates me. Because it feels like 90% of my life is cleaning up all the messes. Or desperately trying to teach my kids to clean up their messes. Which means suddenly their toys become a lot more interesting. Or their legs hurt and they just need to sit a spell. Or their exhausted, so bizarrely enough, they need a nap. Yes, those mess-makers of mine get good and tired of making messes and they crawl up in their beds and drift off to sleep and I've got time to think and pray and reflect on all the things I care the most about in life. And so I find myself tiptoeing back into their wrecky rooms and just gazing at all the messes. All the beautiful messes. And in those moment[...]

On Liking Yourself (In Case You Don't)

Samuel found his feet the other day. He was pretty impressed. I loved that I got to witness it--the first time he reached out to grab hold of his little toes. And once he figured out that they were there, and that they weren't going away, his toes became his new favorite toy. All day long, he'd kick his feet up and just stare at them in wonder and I was tickled that he could be so easily amused. And a couple weeks before he found his feet, he had discovered his hands. I had left the room to go grab something and when I came back, there he was with his little fist curled in front of his face and he was just staring so intently. I tried not to make much noise because I just loved watching him watch his own movements. He's still in utter amazement over his appendages. It's the coolest [...]

How Being A Mama Has Changed Me

I didn't know how being a mama would change me. When I quit the work at the office and wondered if I'd miss all the grown-ups, I didn't know how much I'd really be okay. I'd be just fine teaching a little boy his letters and how to make friends and a little girl how to nurture life and run fast and wild and free.My email box got a lot thinner, after the walls of my belly grew out and people weren't writing, needing me to do all these "important" things, but somehow I found all this delight in scrubbing mac-n-cheese off plastic Thomas the train plates and changing little people's britches for the umpteenth time.I really, really like being a mama.I like the part where you cuddle up next to the little boy who grew big inside of you and gave you your first stretch marks, and continues to stret[...]

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