Category archives: Gratitude

Lessons in the Night

Last night, Hopey woke up in the wee, dark hours, woke me up out of cozy deep sleep and yelled that she needed her "other" blankey. She didn't exactly say it kind. She never does in the middle of the night. More like a demanding, belligerent tone. She needed her blankey, and she needed her "chocky" milk, and she needed to go potty. I just needed to sleep. So, I got up and huffed and puffed to her room and scratched around in the dark for her other blankey and told her to be quiet, in a not-so-sweet tone of voice and took her potty and angrily told her to stop crying. After all, I was helping her, wasn't I? Sheesh. Can't a mama get some gratefulness at three in the morning?As I bent down on the bathroom floor, pulling up her britches, frustrated that I had to lose some precious sleep, I fel[...]


I can't really let a day all about being thankful go by without telling you some things I'm really thankful for. So, here goes.Firstly, Brent and I are part of this non-profit Christian ministry. (Most of you know that already.) And we live kind of like missionaries, in that we're responsible to raise our own financial support. It's kind of hard to explain, but our supporters send money to the ministry and then the ministry writes us a check each month. And just this last week, someone anonymously gave us a bunch of money. And I don't usually like to talk about money, but this was so out of the blue, and Brent and I had been praying because we want to refinance our house so we can pay for it in 15 years instead of 30. And now, we have more than enough to refinance. So, God, thank You. Than[...]

All These Little Things

Some days I'm plumb full of thankfulness, for all these little things. Like how I've got all this blue right above my head and that the yard is full of leaves and the day is still warm. And how there's this big field just across from where I live, and that my two little ones still take a nap so I can rest, or write, or pray, or just think.And I'm thankful I can breathe, in and out, deep breaths and there's no pain. And my legs are strong and sturdy and I can run if I want, or skip or twirl. And that I've got all this freedom and the loud noise outside my window isn't a sound of war or something scary, just my neighbor Doug, off to work on his motorcycle.And I've got these eyes to see. To take in all the light and to marvel at the last blazing shades of yellow or bright crimson red, still c[...]

When You Decide To Enjoy Your Life

Today I walked out in the yard in the rain just to feel alive. Sometimes I do that. Stop everything I'm doing for a few moments just to be. It does occur to me every once in a while that I've been given this gift of life and that God wants me to enjoy it. Seriously enjoy it. And I don't know why, but I've felt bad about enjoying life. For one thing, there's terrible things happening to people on the earth and it does seem strange to me that I'm sitting in my quiet, peaceful yard, admiring a sunflower. I confess, I have trouble knowing what to make of that.But, I know God made me and He made this sunflower and He gave me this yard and this beautiful life, and so I thank Him. And when I don't know what else to do, I thank Him for what's right in front of me. And I tell God, sometimes I just [...]

While They're Sleeping

Sometimes it takes these quiet moments of them falling fast asleep before it occurs to me, and I have to catch my breath, just how head-over-heels madly in love I am with them. These children of mine--God's little masterpieces. Growing so big already and I've only had them for a little while. When I was three and a half, I don't know where I was. At times I was with relatives and sometimes living with complete strangers because my mom would walk into a house and drop me off. Often I was in and out of foster homes, always at the mercy of whatever grown-ups my birth parents or the social workers left me with. So, I gaze at him and marvel how I ever got to grow up and have him at all. When Gideon was just a baby, I remember how I couldn't stop staring at him. Couldn't believe how beautiful he[...]

Letters from Prison

Last weekend, Brent and I had the chance to get-away for the night, so we went up to Wheaton, IL to see a group of our favorite artists perform.  While we were there, we stopped in an old bookstore, owned by a sweet couple that we admire, and we browsed through their old, old books.I don't care how sophisticated and high-tech our society becomes, there's just no replacing old, old books. I wanted to buy something as a kind gesture, and though I'm a lover of old books, I'm not really a collector, so I happily picked this one--a book by one of my heroes in this life--Corrie ten Boom.Are you familiar with her? Oh, please, let me introduce you to her. She's a woman who changed the world--ever so courageously, in profound and quiet ways.During the last world war, as the brutal German army [...]

Because My Heart is Full

 Today my heart is full and spilling out. So, I'll spill it on this page and tell you what I'm thankful for.I'm thankful for all this snow falling. And the way it bends limbs low and makes me feel like I'm hemmed in somewhere deep in quiet woods. And I'm glad I have eyes that see. Eyes that work when I look up and out. So much of my enjoyment in this life comes from seeing.I'm thankful for little people that take naps. So, I can think or read or sit and stare at all the quiet. So I can pray and talk to God and ask Him things like, "How should I live this one life You gave me?" Or, "Could You open my heart even wider and fill it up with love?" Because with all these days, I just mostly want to love.And I'm thankful for these two candles that flicker warmth and light on my coffee table.[...]

His Gifts

Counting again today, His gifts...A ridiculous burst of color all in one spot. (And eyes to see.)A grandpa, and a little boy with his daddy all out there in that yonder tractor. Walking through shafts of light...and the way I feel the light of my Maker's face upon mine in a dusty world.  Long walks down an old lane and us both admiring the aged things. Two years that have gotten increasingly louder, a little busier and way more fun. Packages in the mail! And the reminder that every good and perfect gift comes from the One who can't stop giving--this God who doesn't change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)Lord, you are my Constant One. Please hold our feet firm by Your grace this week.

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