Wednesday, March 30

Life's Classroom

Read I Peter 1:3-8

I feel I have failed the test I was given. For the past three/four months I lay in bed with sickness. I didn't soar through with grace or contentment. I fought it. I don't think I've ever told God "I can't do this!" so many times in such a short period.

This morning I've been tempted to feel shame and guilt over my lack of trust and love of God during my suffering. Why couldn't I have been more content? Why did the constant, intense physical stress break me? Wasn't I stronger? Have I only grown weaker the older I get, instead of more mature in Him?

I sit here and I wonder what it is that God wants to show me through all this. I know it's not shame and guilt. . . or self-pity.

Tuesday, March 29

From Scratch

Read Ephesians 2

I had a post written. Two of them actually. I wrote one at 0 dark thirty in the morning then the computer crashed and I lost the whole thing. The second one was about the incident that led to the demise of the first one. I was pondering clean slates and fresh starts. I was being thankful that God doesn't mind restarting on us one little bit. He doesn't seem to find it nearly as exasperating to start over as I do. I remembered this skit I saw a while back and intended to include it as part of my post.

Well, it's 10 minutes long. In an effort to not take up your entire day, and since the drama says everything I was trying to say much better than I was saying it, I've decided to keep my comments short so you can enjoy the show.

There is so much good stuff to think about in the next ten minutes. Would you be willing to share which part impacted you? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Be a masterpiece.

Monday, March 28

Crawling Out of the Funk

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength."
Proverbs 17:22

Funk. It is defined on as "a dejected mood." Funk's synonyms are: gloom, misery, and despondency. I'm feeling better already [insert sarcasm here].  Defining the mood "funk" is one thing. Getting rid of it is another.

This despondent, dejected mood doesn't need a reason to come settle over me like a rain cloud. Everything is going along fine. Okay, fine-ish. I can't name "one thing" that is just horrible. It's a bunch of little things. I feel sorry for myself. Blame it on the hormones. Maybe my feelings were a little hurt. My kids are just pushing my buttons. I'm discontent. There is a hole in my sock. The weight of the world creeps in and makes ugly faces at me.

Irony is alive and well as I wrestled with God about this topic. "This really isn't a good time God. I'm kinda in a funk. I'm feelin' a little despondent. I don't feel like writing. At. All. Let alone writing about getting out of a bad mood."

I'm pretty sure God could have found someone feeling cheerful to write about this. But then again, it wouldn't ring true if you didn't know the advice-giver struggled with the medicine first.

So, I told God I wasn't in the mood to get out of my bad mood. And he said too bad. Why is hanging on to gloom satisfying? A bad mood feels like my right sometimes.

Friday, March 25

Casual Friday

It's casual Friday around here. 

I heard this song earlier in the week and was deeply moved by the thoughtful and beautiful lyrics.

I hope you are encouraged today!


The Drops Crew :)

Thursday, March 24

Cheer on

Read Hebrews 12

Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us and 
let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

Don’t you just crave encouragement sometimes? Advice is good. So is a challenge. A call to improvement has it’s place, as does the slice of conviction. But life is hard here in the trenches. We read our Bibles then stand up and the words we just read leave our consciousness and we feel just as baffled and annoyed as when we started.

Learning to praise from our knees while scrubbing the bathroom toilet because of the 7th daily potty training mishap takes so much energy. And we have no energy to spare. It’s spread across peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mountains of laundry and the grocery list and bills past due.

Sometimes just knowing that I’m not in this alone is all I need to know. And it’s difficult to get that sometimes. Everywhere I look, someone who claims to be having the same struggles I am is working through them better than me.

Sure she says her house is a mess, but I have certainly never seen it so.

She insists her children don’t sleep at night, but the profile picture of her looking like a super model does not back up the tales of sleep deprivation.

Diet? Eating disorder is more like it.

Those people offering encouragement don’t actually know what they are talking about.

The other day, someone told me my hair was so cute! My immediate reaction was, are you kidding? I haven’t bathed in three days. How is that even possible?! (I said thank you and kept the rest to myself).

We reject encouragement—and nice people—because their observations simply could not be based in reality.

In reality, we ARE all in this together. None of us has it all figured out. I came across the following in a book by Ruth Bell Graham the other day, and it made me smile. If anyone should have had it all together it was the wife of a famous evangelist. Surely she lived on a higher plane where encouragement was not necessary to buoy or sustain. And yet she writes,

"These verses have just been preceded by the great roll call of faith in Hebrews 11. And the picture I get is of a great stadium in which are seated all the saints who have preceded us, watching our progress as well as those listed in chapter 11. And I know that there are times in my own life when I have thought, if only I could hear one cheer!"

We all crave a cheering section. The good news is, we all have one. What seems insignificant to an outsider can be a tremendous victory to us. I triumphed over the cookie. Where are my cheer leaders? Likely wondering why not eating the 5th Oreo was such a big deal.

But that great cloud of witnesses up there in the heavenly stadium knows exactly how significant that seemingly small victory was.

“If only I could hear one cheer,” Ruth Bell Graham says. This yawning quiet, this hollow praise, this condescending encouragement we hear from our vantage point isn’t enough. We crave the cheering section of the ones that really matter: the ones who really get our situations, the ones who have a vested interest in our success or failure.

Let us run with perseverance. Sometimes God gives us a glimmer, but we have His words and His words and the knowledge that He and the saints are cheering us on need to be enough sometimes.

God is for us. Let us run.

Wednesday, March 23

Small Problem, Big Effect

Read Matthew 5:1-20

The light illuminated the page. I sat in my cozy living room with a book and its story was intriguing. I read with interest, consumed by the story...  until something distracted me.

In the stillness of the house, a shadow kept disrupting the light on my page. I looked repeatedly at the ceiling's bright fixture and saw nothing that would cause the ripple in the light.

Then I saw it. A tiny lady bug was crawling around the outside of the light's shade. The light was still somewhat effective, but there was that small distraction. I got up and took care of the interference and went back to my book.

If only it was that easy to get rid of the interferances (sin) that distract from our light (lives) as Christ-followers.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. 

Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 

In the same way, let your light shine before men

that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5:13-16

Tuesday, March 22

Why Limit Yourself?

Every product has a tag line. The one I heard the other day made me stop and think. Why limit yourself? Asks the CEO of a ginormous wireless company. Why indeed, limit yourself?

Why limit your television, internet viewing, or exposure to media?

Why limit yourself to only one potato chip, candy bar or slice of pizza?

Why limit yourself to buying only what you can afford?

Why limit yourself to only on sexual partner? And why limit yourself to marriage?

Why limit your ambition, dreams and potential income?

Why limit your free time by spending it on tedious disciplines like Bible reading, prayer and fasting? Seriously, fasting? Who even does that any more?

If you’ve watched television, listened to the radio, read a magazine, or been to the grocery store recently, you might have heard a similar message. Indulgence in whatever our hearts desire is the message we see everywhere we go. From beautiful things to food to newer, bigger, faster and stronger things, we are encouraged to pursue fulfillment through MORE.

Monday, March 21

Blessings in Disguise

Read I Thessalonians 5:12-28

Mismatched socks in with the pots and pans.

One pair of training pants in the around-the-world puzzle game.

Cheerios that crunch under my feet after I just swept.

Laundry that never ends.

"I'm hungry," heard all day long.

These are things that show that my children are healthy, active, creative, and silly. Can I be thankful for the messes because I am thankful for the children?

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 

I Thessalonians 5:18

I was listening to a relationship talk-show host on the radio a few years ago. A woman called in complaining about her husband. Apparently he never put away his dirty clothes. And he always left cupboard doors and drawers open. If he made a sandwhich, he left everything out, knowing his wife would come along and pick-up after him. "He's worse than the kids!" she said. The wife was tired of his behavior and wanted him to change. The host listened and then told the woman that her husband probably wasn't going to change his messy ways, so she might as well get used to it. 

A bit later in the show, the relationship expert host said that she just received an email related to the "my husband never picks up his stuff" call. The letter went something like this:

I was listening to the call moments ago about the husband who absently leaves his things out and never closes cupboards or drawers. I would give anything to pick up after my husband again. After 5 years battling cancer, my husband died last year. I miss him terribly. I miss picking up his socks that he tossed right next to the hamper. I miss the wet towels he left on the floor. I miss him leaving his paper beside the chair. I even miss the messes he left in the kitchen. Now I never find something out that I didn't get out myself. I am alone. Please pass on to your listeners to remember that picking up after someone is not a chore, but a blessing in disguise. Those messes mean there is life.

I remember that woman's words and think of her sentiment almost daily. Stooping to pick up mess, after mess, after mess. Mostly my children, but sometimes my husband. Will their clutter never end? It feels like I take one step forward and fourteen steps backward in trying to keep my house "presentable."

Give thanks in all circumstances.

My sister-in-law has 4 energetic young boys and often gets stares and remarks when she is out in public. People say to her, "Wow, your hands are full!" To that she replies, "Better than empty." After almost losing her youngest son at birth, she knows too well that energetic and healthy, plus the chaos that goes with it, is a blessing.

I need this reminder today as I look around my messy well-lived-in home and am distracted my naughty rambunctious children. I don't know where to start. Laundry or dishes? Sweep or knock down cobwebs? Then I'll have to dust and who is unfolding all the laundry!!? Again.

The frustrations mount, I feel overwhelmed and grumpy. I saw the mess and forgot about the people who are healthy, active, creative, and silly. Without them, I would sit around in a clean house and be lonely, missing them.... and their messes.

Those messes and frustrations will still be there. (Believe me, there isn't a maid who will miraculously swoop in and save the day). So instead, I'll call my husband and say, "I love you and miss you." I'll cuddle my children on a cluttered carpet and read stories. I'll rock them and kiss their hair that needs a bath. I'll say "I love you, precious child." My family and everything that goes along with them are blessings. Sometimes in disguise.

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 

I Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, March 17


Read Psalm 25

Once upon a time, I had a job I drove to instead of waking up in the middle of. Back in those days, when I thought I understood what it was like to be tired, my automobile would at times operate under it’s own power. I would climb in, turn it on, and somehow, I magically got to work. In fact, more than once, I got in, turned the key and magically ended up at work when I intended to be at the grocery store or a friend’s house.

Ignoring the obvious safety hazard an oblivious driver behind the wheel poses, let us consider the life application principals at work.

The prophet Jeremiah says “Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highways, the road you take” (31:21).

So often, we put our spiritual walk on auto pilot. We got to church, listen to sermons and take notes. We teach our kids to memorize their AWANA verses (Wednesday at 4pm). We speak church lingo, and we support mission work. But we have put the relationship on auto pilot.

God warns us to pay attention as we go with Him, otherwise we might veer off in a dangerous direction.

Wednesday, March 16

The Best Parenting Advice

Read Proverbs 27:1-12

As a hardworking mom, I am completely flattered when someone asks me for advice. It feels like the culmination of all my efforts might mean something to the outside world. I might actually know something. Maybe.

A friend asked me for some advice and I was delighted to share everything I knew with her. Her child was acting out in a similar way that my daughter did a few months ago. My husband and I finally resolved the issue with much trial and error and my friend wanted to know, "WHAT WORKED!??!!"

I told her what we tried. Some things failed miserably. Other things exasperated the problem. Finally we found the solution. What a relief! I was very happy to share this epiphany with my desperate friend.

About a week later I heard back from her. "It didn't work! We tried everything and it is just getting worse." I was stumped. It should have worked. Same problem, same solution. Right?

Tuesday, March 15

Do the Wise Thing

Read 2 Chronicles 1

I started reading the biography of one of my favorite people this morning. He’s a likeable character—flawed, but well intentioned, always moving, always seeking, often stumbling. I love the stuff he has written and his life story completely fascinates me.

He grew up in a terrifically dysfunctional family. The love-child (basically) of a beloved king and a beautiful widow, he assumed the throne upon his father’s death by default. His older brothers pretty much killed each other off or fled the country for their lives. He led his people with heart, passion and wisdom.

Monday, March 14

Letting Go and Learning

Read Psalm 119,

"I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. 

I hold fast to your statutes, LORD; do not let me be put to shame. 

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding." 

(Verse. 30-32).

I didn't want to be there. I was at a conference for Christian women and well, I am a Christian woman. It is where I was supposed to be and needed to be. The entire event was designed to teach, enrich, and encourage. A world-class worship leader led the huge group of women in a song designed to woo us to a place of surrender before our Lord.

And I resisted.

My chest felt tight and I crossed my arms. The sights and sounds were penetrating and my mind started listening to the words. I knew once I opened my mouth to the melody of these praises that I would start down a difficult path.

Friday, March 11

Read Hebrews 11—The Hall of Super Heroes Faith

By Angela Nazworth as published on (in)

As soon as the blue mask slides down his forehead and covers three-quarters of his face, my son disappears and before me stands Batman. Batman eats my son’s food, cuddles my son’s favorite blanket and plays with my son’s sister. But he will not answer when my son’s name is called. Or if he does respond, it is only to remind me that he is Batman.

I play along. But he doesn’t fool me.

He’s my boy.

It takes just one clock’s hand tick for me to pick him out in a crowd. I know every single cowlick perched in his tousled blond head. I know when his aqua-marine eyes hold mischief, delight or a mixture of each. I know his laugh, his gait, and his voice (even when it is disguised).

He can call himself Batman. He can fight bad guys and save damsels like Batman. He can stand erect with his hands on his hips and his cape floating around him, but still, he doesn't fool me. I know him.

Thursday, March 10

She Had a Great Fall

Look up the word FRIENDS in Proverbs for your reading today.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Once upon a time, life was normal. Until everything toppled. She fell. Or she was pushed. In either case, she was shattered in tiny, jagged pieces. Her friends came along side her.

“How terrible!” They exclaimed.
“Poor thing!” They lamented.
“Just look at all those pieces!” They observed.
“So small and sharp!”
“He did this to you. He is an idiot. A fiend. An antagonist.”
“Time heals all wounds. Just give it time, dear friend.” They advised.
And they stood by her, broken.

Wednesday, March 9

Encouraging Words

Sometimes good advice takes awhile to sink in. I can hear something valuable and nod my head in agreement, "Yes, yes, that's right." Good advice means nothing unless practiced. And that's where life found me when I heard the same good advice again:

Speak kindly about your children to their father and he will be encouraged. Speak harshly in frustration and their father will be frustrated with them.

I first read that nugget of wisdom about 5 years ago in a book on being a good wife (Created To Be His Help Meet, Pearl). Sure, it made sense. I usually unloaded my frustrations on my husband and he in turn would be irritated, especially at our challenging toddler (at the time we had one child who caused me lots of angst all day long). I thought the advice was good, but I didn't change my behavior.

For years, I've followed the same pattern. My kids were behaving terribly (now 3 of them causing me angst), I got frustrated and I called my husband to tell him all about it. Or he wasn't available and I fed my frustrations until he got home and then I really piled the heavy load of my day on to his capable shoulders. It kinda made me feel better to throw all that nasty irritation at him.

I called it "sharing." Shouldn't a father hear about every terrible thing his children did that day? I justified my frustrated venting by thinking I was enlightening him to his offspring's behavior. And I was. He was enlightened... and frustrated.

Tuesday, March 8

Running on Empty

Read Revelation 3

There was a time in my life that I ran on empty. Invisible fumes of sheer will kept me going. My firstborn put all other colicky babies to shame. He screamed for the first six months of his life. He spit up constantly, and that’s a polite way of putting it. And he didn’t sleep at night for more than three hours at a time until he was almost a year old.

I bounced, walked, swung and drove. I sang, sleep trained, fed, medicated, and begged his pediatrician for answers. All I got was a shrug and a prescription that sort of helped a little with the vomit. I got to stay in bed two nights a week. The nights before my husband’s day off he would take the bouncing/swinging/mopping up spit shift, and I would lay in bed and listen to the baby cry.

I barely had the energy to put together a cohesive sentence, so while my friends blogged about their little darlings rolling over and sitting up, I wondered what was wrong with us that we couldn’t pull it together.
I didn’t feel connected to the baby who demanded so much from me. So much more than I had to give. I begged God to help me. At times, my crying for help almost drowned out my baby’s. But I stayed empty.
Why? Why didn’t God answer such earnest pleas for help? Why didn’t he fill me up?

As much as I begged for help, I stubbornly held on to the belief that I needed to figure out mothering. That I should be doing this better. That I could do it if I had enough sleep, enough support from my husband, enough time in the day…

It turns out, I didn’t need any of those things to function. But it never occurred to me then. I needed to step aside and let God fill me up. But instead, while he stood at the door and knocked, I stood in the doorway, blocking his entrance, and ranted at him that He wasn’t helping. Talk about counter productive!
If anyone had a right to block the doorway and shout at God, it was a guy named Job. You remember him. Satan came whining to God one day, and God, knowing his servant Job well decided to let Satan have his way with him. Not because he didn’t love Job, but because he knew the man’s heart.

(Did you ever notice Satan killed off Job’s children, livestock and servants. He covered the him in sores and removed his home and income. But he left him his wife. The wife who told him at one point, “Curse God and die.” What a joy she must have been to live with, right?)

Job spends chapter after chapter defending God’s right to do this to him, reminding himself of how big God is, and defending his own character to really inconsiderate people, wishing he had never been born and begging to die.

Job stands at the doorway and rants. Who wouldn’t in his shoes? And God takes it. He waits, knowing the whole story--including the ending, while Job laments and argues with his friends. Then he gets Job’s attention.

          "Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my council with                 words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”

God knocked loud enough for Job to hear. God spends the next three chapters going over his own resume. The really impressive parts about the laying of the earth’s foundations, giving orders to the morning, and knowing the directions to the abode of light. Finally, God gets around to his question for Job:

          “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”

I’m glad Job’s reply was more appropriate to put in print than mine would have been.

          “I am unworthy--how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.”

So God keeps going. But there is a difference this time. Not so much in what God is saying, but in what Job is doing. He’s shrinking. He is stepping out of the doorway and allowing God all access.

          “I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted…Surely I spoke of things I did   not understand, things to wonderful for me to know… My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job has removed himself. The door is open, and Job is outside. And God fills him up.

          “After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

Maybe if I wasn’t so sleep deprived, I would have seen the truth sooner, but I didn’t. I cried, begged, and as time passed, by baby grew out of the sickness that made my life so dark for about six months. He’s a gentle little boy now, easy to laugh, eager to love and hug and talk and sleep. We moved past that phase, and I didn’t need God to sustain me so much on a day to day basis. Once things calmed down, I stepped back inside, closed the door, and just did life knowing that Jesus was right out there within shouting distance.

Let me tell you, that is no way to live! I can’t help but wish I’d just let him come on in when my heart was so empty. He would have had a blank slate. Now, we must purge and remodel. Everything takes longer and hurts more when there’s so much of me to move out.

If you’re running on empty, I challenge you to step aside and invite Jesus in. Things work so much better when He is in charge. And if you’re not running on empty, I challenge you to, along with me, do whatever you have to do to make room for Him.

Monday, March 7

Choose My Own Adventure.

The reader is in control of the plot in a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. I loved reading those when I was a kid.  What's not to love? Bobby is stuck on the edge of a cliff. Turn to page 39 if you want him to use a rope to repel down. Turn to page 56 if you want him to pole vault across the ravine. Or turn to page 92 if you want him to construct a zip-line out of dental floss and a tube sock. 

If I get to choose, I want life at its best.  It is easy to wave a "thankful" flag when everything is going right. Children are giggling, the sun is shining, my man's loving arms are wrapped around me tight, I'm wearing skinny jeans, my home is beautiful, I'm getting plenty of sleep, my fridge is full, my friends are close, my family is healthy. Blessings. Blessings. Blessings. I'm so thankful for my blessings.

Many of life's choices are in my grasp. What college should I go to? What man should I marry? What should I name my baby? I made those choices with a little prayer, but I was in charge. I chose my own adventure.

Then there are plenty of things I don't have any control over. When a curve, twist or a difficult change comes I think, "this is NOT how I would have the story go!" A miscarriage or a friend who died too young. Those are the big things. A rainy day or kids who cry in the car. Those are the little ones. But all of them, through my whole life, I've said "No!" Give me the good stuff, NOT the bad.

Friday, March 4

Give and Take

Written by Jen Koop. Borrowed from

One Sunday not too long ago, a friend of ours approached me and gave me a hug. She said she had been thinking of us often and wondered how we were doing. This dear Sister has been privy to some of the heavy things on our proverbial “plate” of life. So in response, I immediately set about telling her all that was going on, never once really coming up for air. You know what I mean, monologue style, rehashing every last uncomfortable detail.

My husband, likely noticing my friend’s eyes glazing over, stepped into the conversation and asked her how things were going for her at school (she has gone back to take some college courses). I was immediately embarrassed, realizing how focused I was on my own problems. I had chosen to forget that those around me have their own lives and things to work through. She gratefully smiled in response to his concern and said that she loved her classes and so the long commute was worth it. However, the day before, as she was driving to school, she had been in a pretty bad car accident. UGH! She had suffered a significant scare and set back. If my husband hadn’t asked, I would have continued on about myself, never knowing what she had been through. Even more convicting was her faith. There was no complaint of, “Why me?” or fear of, “What shall I do?” She was trusting God in the details and sincerely grateful that she was not injured or worse.

Thursday, March 3


Read Psalm 95:1-7, 98, 100

I feel like a giant sometimes, dominating my world. I am bigger, smarter, stronger and faster than the little people I live with. While running the business of this household and handling everything from budgets to decorating to menus to shuttle services to vehicle maintenance to primary educator to personal secretary to escort services (one client only), it’s easy to feel large in my world.

Even on those days when I don’t do any of my various jobs well, I still consume my world. There’s a reason they say, “if mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I like to think I rule my kingdom benevolently, but more often than not, my subjects approach me with fear and trembling. On my insecure days I suck in space like a black hole and while I feel insignificant, I act like a raging monster.

I am even a giant in my own home. There is not enough space here. It’s tiny. Clutter seems bound and determined to take over what I have left, but I beat it back with a garbage pail and Rubbermaid totes and I dream of weapons to acquire like a label maker. (Where would I store it when not in use)?

Every now and then, I get a dose of perspective. My grandma recently told me about when Grandad’s family first moved to Oregon from Kansas. Ten of them lived in a one bedroom house. Three teenage girls shared the only bedroom; two boys slept on a mattress in room the size of the mattress. Two more boys shared a couch. Mom and dad slept on a mattress on the floor and shared it with a baby. And the bathroom? It was out back. Running water? Nope. And I feel smaller for a little while.

I think Alysun and I have both mentioned the book One Thousand Gifts: Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann VosKamp. The whole premise of the book is how gratitude shifts your perspective in a lasting way. In a way that makes you appropriately small in your world. Gratitude requires humility before God and encourages a right relationship with him. A relationship where we acknowledge every blessing and he just turns around and lavishes us with more.

Last night, I thanked God for a partially inflated red heart shaped balloon. It was a leftover from Valentine’s day, stringless and hovering uncertainly. My three boys (husband included) played with that thing, chased with that thing, wrestled over that thing, and laughed over that thing. My husband would collapse next to me saying he couldn’t take any more, and two seconds later, he was back in the fray, instigating, teasing and running circles in the living room being chased by his hysterical children.

I sat and watched and felt my space growing. Or rather, felt myself shrinking. The thousand or so square feet we have felt massive as I watched them taking up every bit of the space with their play. And I felt dainty, petite and lavished upon as I thanked my God for the red balloon, the sound of laughter, a gleeful husband and a super comfy couch to sit on and enjoy it from.

This large feeling I’m talking about is not necessarily having head swelled with pride over the things I do for this family. It’s more like that feeling you get in your stomach after you ate too much Thanksgiving dinner. It was good stuff, but in the wrong proportion, it leaves you feeling bloated. Feeling large is a byproduct of discontent. It is a filling up of things—necessary, even good things—without an emptying out of Thanks.

Instead of just doing this job of motherhood, I need to be thankful in each and every moment for the opportunity to have it. In everything give thanks, Paul says. Not just the big things or the good things, or at breakfast, lunch and dinner, but in everything.

  • Red balloons
  • Typing with my head resting on the head of the boy squirming in my lap
  • The first hugs of the morning
  • The heater blowing the curtains around in a crazy dance (Usually this drives me crazy; today, I see it and feel warm)
  • And this yucky, cold rain—that I don’t have to be out in it, that it cleans and washes away, that it so tangibly shows God’s creativity: sun evaporates water turning it to vapor, vapor forming clouds, clouds becoming so full that they must empty their collected water on the earth. They empty their over-fullness like an outpouring of thanks watering the ground with praise that will certainly be returned in another form in an endless, ageless cycle.
  • Unexpected analogies.
By Andrea

Wednesday, March 2

Emptying the Sink

By Angie Smith from Bring the Rain (Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born). Borrowed from (in)

A few nights ago I enlisted my daughter Ellie’s help with the dishes. As usual, the dishwasher was jammed full and there was still a sink-full left. I asked her to be my dryer and she grabbed a rag, rolling her eyes the way any eight-year old would when asked to help. I don’t take it personally. I think she does it more because she thinks she’s supposed to be annoyed, and missing playtime to help with chores is decidedly uncool.

It’s quiet when we start, and my fingers are red before I realize the water is too hot. Ellie stands still, rag in hand, waiting for me to pass.

“Ellie, did you know that when I was a little girl…” I start.

“You and mamanaun (my grandma) used to do dishes together.” She forced a monotone “been there, done that” voice, saying, “ and she would wash them and you would dry them.”

I looked at her.

“You’ve told me that like a million times, mommy.”