Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It 'tis the season to be thankful. We had our Thanksgiving service on Sunday where the congregation was encouraged to give thanks unto the Lord. I was convicted to stop and count my blessings more often. In response to that conviction, here is a sampling of things I'm thankful for, in no particular order:

I am thankful for the folks who have come into town for Thanksgiving this year and that we get to have an unexpected mini-reunion.

I am thankful for my health and the health of my family.

I am thankful for kindred spirits.

I am thankful to have been there for a loving vigil and for all the people there: my family, his family, and their friends that are now like family. (You'll need to read this and this to catch a tidbit of understanding.)

I am thankful for the firstborn's baptism in early March.

I am thankful for friends who have come to visit us in Tennessee this year.

I am thankful that I met my husband in college and that we have 21 years of memories -- 17 of which have been married years, and 12 of those as parents.

I am thankful our house stayed on dry ground during the Historic Flooding.

I am thankful for the Teacher's Lounge.

I am thankful for my in-laws (and that they relocated to a warm place such as Tennessee since I followed hubby here (before he was hubby) who had moved "home." I had wanted to move away from The Winter for a long time.)

I am thankful for the Word of God.

I am thankful we finally built The Treehouse (photos and a post is coming soon...stay tuned).

I am thankful for my children. (All five of them. Several years ago, I miscarried one when I was twelve weeks along. I wouldn't trade the lessons I learned through the sorrow of that time.)

I am thankful for a church of no pretenses.

I am thankful for books and fresh paper and ink.

I am thankful that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

I am thankful for new bedroom furniture and a beautiful hand-made quilt.

I am thankful for the Body of Christ.

I am thankful for blessings in disguise.

I am thankful that this does not have to be a complete list of everything that I have ever been thankful for before I post it because this surely is not a comprehensive list.

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. . ..remember the wonders He has done, His miracles. . . " Psalm 105: 1,2 & 5

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It was only $4.35

It was only four dollars and thirty-five cents. And yet tears sprang to my eyes.

It was a quick and unexpected action. She reached over my water glass and said... something. But, it was loud in the restaurant so I couldn't hear her. We'd both had hash browns for breakfast so I thought she was checking to see if our tickets had been switched on accident.

But she said, "I'm getting this today. You need a break." She was paying for my small breakfast.

I had enough in my purse to pay the ticket. But, truth be told: every penny helps. Because it has been four months since my husband last worked.

It was more than just the money. I had enough for today. My friend has been going through difficulties herself. Her son was ill and they're still determining all of the side effects. But she saw past her own troubles and saw into a small thing that she could do for me -- a thoughtful, caring gesture: to pay for the weekly breakfast cost at an early morning Bible study.

It was only $4.35. And tears came to my eyes because it meant so much.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Mark on the Door

I have tucked all my children into their beds. There are no cribs here anymore. I threw away the diaper bag more than a year ago. The step-stool by the bathroom sink has been set aside because they can all reach the faucet "flat-footed."

And, now, for the first time I can say, "My youngest is five."

I have had other five-year-olds in my house (three to be exact) but they were never the youngest. There was always a younger sibling. Up until now motherhood for me has been defined by nursing & naps, sippy cups & child's silverware, playgrounds & interrupted conversations.

It didn't really happen in one moment this change from babies to children. They grow gradually. And that is precisely why it is hard to see the growth. So, every once in awhile I back them against the door: heels on the floor, head straight & a pencil line. They step aside. We measure and date the mark and see how much they grew this year.

This turning of five for my last-born is like a mark on the door of my motherhood. One day he was four, and now he is five. Though it didn't happen suddenly, it seems that one minute ago I had babies and now I don't.

I'm not sure how I got here. But I do know that this is the first time in twelve years that I have ever said, "My youngest is five."

Things have changed. And I'm stopping to notice this mark on the door of my heart.
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