December 22, 2010

God Turned Into a Baby

I'm not sure why, but I don't feel like Christmas. We've done most of the usual Christmas things. The tree is up and decorated with ornaments that all tell stories. There are lights on evergreens outside and on the deck. I've baked a little and decorated Christmas cookies. We cut out snowflakes and made homemade wrapping paper. I've sent and received Christmas cards. I've read countless Christmas stories to the kids and sang almost every Christmas carol I can think of. We've had Christmas music playing so much I can hardly stand to listen to it anymore.

But where is that "feeling?"

In my effort to live intentionally, where did I loose that Christmas "feeling?"

I know the cliches...I've heard them since I was born. And I believe them.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

Let's keep Christ in Christmas.

And I'm the President of the "Merry Christmas" club who refuses to use the term "holidays." (My *favorite* Christmas card that I've seen so far says "Merry Everything!" Gag me. Being politically correct is like trying to.......never mind, I digress.)

And it hurts me to think that maybe I've known and firmly believed these things for so long that they no longer hold me in awe or inspire me.

My mind drifts back to a conversation I had with the little girl last night while making popcorn chains for the birds. We were talking about Jesus coming to earth on Christmas, and Ava says,

"God turned into a baby."

I'm struck by what she says and wonder if it's irreverent. But without getting into a theological discourse on the Trinity, I just nod...and ponder.

And then only today I read these words at one of my favorite blogs:

"I think of the Word made flesh and the God who created the universe contained in a body like this, a scrap of seven-something pounds who struggles to hold up his head and needs every need cared for, who relies entirely on others for every want."

(I strongly encourage you to read the entire post at These Three Remain by clicking HERE.)

And I really think about it. God, who knows all, sees all, is everywhere, and is all-powerful, became one of the most needy things on earth, a newborn baby, in order to save us.

He's a King, yet He humbled himself to a helpless infant with poor parents sleeping in a barn.

He's the Creator of Universe, yet He came to earth to wash feet and walk dusty roads and make friends with undesirable people.

How could this really be His plan to redeem us? Why this way? It seems so backwards.....but maybe it's just us that are backwards.

I think about those words again, words spoken only just this past Sunday.

"In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." John 1:1, 14a

And on top of coming to earth as tiny newborn, He die....the most humiliating way....on a take away my sin.

That's the wonder of Christmas. Once again, my feelings don't reflect the truth. This is all the awe I need in my Christmas.

December 16, 2010

Histograms are not like Mammograms

So even though I sorta knew what they were for, I now have a better understanding of histograms thanks to a couple of posts over at life with my 3 boybarians.

(And for those of you who aren't sure, histograms have nothing to do with your ovaries or having a hysterectomy. They are a graphical representation of the light in the pixels of a photograph....uh...I think.)

I've always stuggled with knowing if the lighting in my photos was good...or at least adequate. I knew that the histogram could tell me. After all, like Darcy said over at her blog, "Pixels don't lie." I also knew that histograms were pretty simple and that one side meant dark and one side meant light.

But.....what she didn't say was that pixels aren't very direct either.

I was really hoping that my histograms would tell me one of two things:


GOOD PHOTO: You are really good at this. This is a great shot. You should post this.


BAD PHOTO: You do not know what you are doing. Throw your camera in the garbage. Do not go past go. Do not collect $200.

But...*sigh*... this is not the case. Even though I do feel more comfortable translating a histogram, there are still so many aspects of a photograph that make it "good" or "bad", my head just spins.

And why do I even care?

I just want pics of my kids.....right?

But taking pictures makes me happy....

...except for when the pictures are truly horrible and I don't know how to make them better. Which is often. So very often.


It's okay...I'm learning....slowly.

I so wanted to join the Holiday Bokeh Party at "life with my 3 boybarians" but I just couldn't get a good bokeh shot with any of our Christmas lights around here. But if you like good photography and if you like Christmas, I encourage you to go take a look at all the pretty shots by clicking HERE.

December 13, 2010


It's cold. Highs are in the single digits. The snow in our yard is slowly growing deeper, and everything appears barren.

It almost seems impossible that just a few short months ago there was green grass beneath bare feet and lush leaves overhead providing shade.  Only a few months ago, gardening consumed much of time and I was eager for a winter break, but now I already miss my garden.

It also seems impossible to me that in a week the days will start slowly growing longer. Was the sun really up 'til past 9:00 at night in the summer? Impossible.

But most of all, it seems impossible to me that in every seemingly dead branch and in my frozen mulched blueberry cages and beneath the snow.......there is life. In fact, there are already tiny little buds on the trees. How can anything endure such cold temperatures and harsh winds and still produce life?

The Creator of all things always preserves life.  When His first 2 created humans sinned against Him, He could have destroyed them and started over, but He didn't. He preserved life.

When demons began to infiltrate the world in horrible ways, and when He wiped the world clean with the flood, He could have given up on us all, but He didn't. Through Noah, He preserved life.

No season, no sin, no harsh reality.....not even death....can stop life.

Through Jesus we have forgiveness from all sins. Despite harsh reality, we have the hope of a heavenly eternity. Through cold and barren seasons, God preserves life.....our life, our soul, our hope. Even if our life, our hope, is encapsulated in a tiny, hard bud comparatively so small against the winds and blizzards, one day God will breathe the warm breath that causes the little bud to open.

It's cold, but inside our home it's warm and there's life.....and nothing is impossible.

Staying inside today and listing my thanks with the group over at A Holy Experience.

Thank you God for:

#71. feeling better today

#72. the worst of the illness over the weekend when the husband was home

#73. a husband joyfully helping and cooking and cleaning when I felt stuck to the couch

#74. bright sun streaming through the windows

#75. a little girl already adapted to her cast - 5 weeks to go!

#76. cheery Christmas lights

#77. that there's always enough

#78. and that there's usually an abundance

#79. books to read while seemingly pinned to the couch

#80. finding joy and cooking and baking

December 11, 2010

Those November Days

{Once again finishing a post I started over a week ago...}

Sigh....another month gone. I'm really not sad; November was a bit busy for my taste. I tried to hold back all the craziness from my family...freezing meals to save for days when I knew I wouldn't be able to cook, cutting out extra activities, being intentional about planning family fun and quiet, and working hard at becoming better at what I've long known to be one of the keys to a less stressful mommy-hood - using my time purposefully instead of just reacting to life.

I'm still learning how to embrace a purposeful existence and how to develop more consistency in my life and in my children's life. Having intentional plans for laundry and cooking has definitely helped to anchor my homemaking skills and the pattern that has ensued gives our home a rhythm and leaves me less frazzled.

As I strive to develop routines that become the heartbeat of our home and the skeleton of our children's growing years, I'm seeing the variety of ways routine can be expressed. With the business leading to inconsistent (although increasingly more reliable) works hours for the husband, I struggle to balance the need, for my both my children and myself, to have daily routine and structure with the need to have family meals and togetherness. Adam is not home at the same time every day, and supper times vary so widely some days I feel I'm in a perpetual state of planning, cooking, and keeping warm the meal. But I'm seeing that the routine that brings cohesion to us as a family unit is not just daily patterns, but weekly, seasonally, and annual occurences.

I longed for more consistent traditions growing up, and as I work to chissel out and develop meaningful traditions for this little family, I'm learning more and more that even the little things we do together on a consistent basis become the pulse that steadies us and holds us together.

Now, of course I realize there is a place for flexibility, but the term flexibile implies that there is at least some structure, some core element that isn't changed despite the bending and twisting.

And maybe my head cold is just too severe for this blogging stuff because I can see that the thoughts of this past month have sort of spewed out into repetitive paragraphs that do nothing to delineate or solidify the multiple micro-topics I have just touched on.

So I will look back for a moment to see how the past month evolved into memories.

We welcomed the first snow of the year, (and captured it with a crooked, under-exposed photo)

and dug out the boxes of Christmas Ornaments to hang on the tree, telling the story that goes with each one.

The geese honked their good-byes as the days turned much colder.

And we wondered how to pass the days indoors.

Although the calender did not yet declare winter's arrival, we felt it settle upon us. Our weekend family times together grew lengthier and less harried and although my week days were busy, the quiet of the winter weekend was a comforting balm after the business of packing in summer and autumn work and fun for 6 months.

We began to dig into the produce stored up in the basement and freezer, and all those weeks of planting, weeding, and gathering in the sun were appreciated. The harvest was over, the dust had settled, and the snow lingered.

The days have grown so short, but the evenings seem so long.

The cold wind howls through all the trees around us, but our hearts embrace contentment.

The snow drifts over the road to our house, but home is where we want to be anyway.

The land rests and we rest.

December 7, 2010


Do you ever feel empty?

Like the last drop has been squeezed from you?

Like you don't have any more to give?

I know that feeling.

But I also know my feelings don't reflect the truth, and that sometimes, I simply cannot trust my feelings.

I have a Source that continually fills my cup, to overflowing in fact. The only problem is that when I fill my cup with myself, I'm gonna run out...some days more quickly than others. Then, before I know it, I'm empty.

In fact, when I fill my cup with myself, I'm not giving the best I can give. I'm only giving with my feeble, selfish, prideful maybe it's okay that I run out.

Because then I need a different Source, something other than myself. Something that lasts, something that refills, something that overflows.

When I'm filled with God, with what He gives - His grace, His Son-the only source of eternal life, His Spirit, His love - I never run out. In fact, everything I do is done out of an overflowing.........not an emptying but an overflowing.

But, here's what gets me, I've gotta choose this. So I'm forced to Face Myself and remember this:

My feelings will lead me astray.
My emotions will betray me.

Even when I feel empty, I'm not.

God has given me His grace. The same grace that allows us to breath each day is for me.
God has given me His love. The same love that sent Jesus to the cross is for me.
God has given me His power. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead is for me.

I am a branch that has been grafted into the Vine of His being (John 15:5). Everything that flows through Him, flows through me.

He has given me everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

So, I'm not empty. I'm full, and I've got an eternal source.


And before I actually link up, I read this at A Holy Experience,

"...we can get through today because we’ve been given every gift in Christ and today we can do the work of Christ because we’ve been given the abundance of Christ."

and this,

"In every way, every child of God has every gift from God and salvation isn’t only a free gift — it is every gift ever needed.

In Christ I need nothing – but to whisper thanks."

and I smile because God is just so good and I thank Him for:

#61. Jesus, who gave up everything to come to earth and do nothing wrong and die for me

#62. His resurrection and my new life

#63. the marvel of frosty winter trees combined with a bright sunny skies

#64. a quiet week to re-group and re-cover after yesterday's incident

#65. the husband greeting my tired self this morning, whispering, "Go back to bed. I made my own lunch."

#66. so many prayers from so many caring people for one toddler's broken arm

#67. the meal my mom put together for us last night despite her busy schedule

#68. the quiet hum of a furnace now working

#69. the friend who spent 3 evenings in our nearly 100 year old basement helping fix our furnace

#70. that Jesus is right here, right now, even when I don't feel Him

This is me, and I'm overflowing.

Facing Myself

November 30, 2010

Today's Toddler-isms

I was busy doing something, sorta tuning out the never ending toddler noise around me, when my ears caught the little girl voice chirping out, "I will jump on your back, Jack! That will feel better, okay?"

Huh? Feel better than what? What's going on!?!


Jack and Ava LOVE the song "Farmer in the Dell," and we were fortunate to acquire Uncle Isaac's old "Farmer in the Dell" book. They both like to page through it and sing. This is what I usually hear,

"Da farmer in da dell. Da farmer in da dell. Hi Ho da derry-o, da farmer in da dell."

"Da farmer takes a life. Da farmer takes a life. Hi Ho da derry-o, da farmer takes a life."

For those unfamiliar with the tune, it's supposed to be "wife" not "life."

Jack: I have a poopy in my diaper!

Ava: I will change your diaper, Jack!

Jack: No, Ava, you're too wittle (little).


I was reading the morning Bible story to Jack and Ava, and this particular morning the story was about Joshua and the Israelites marching around Jericho.

Jack was making spitting sounds throughout the whole story, but since he wasn't actually spitting, I just went with it.

At the end of the story, I asked the kids what they thought Joshua did.

The only reply was Jack's who said, "I spit Jonah out of my mouth!"

*sigh* Close enough.

November 29, 2010

Our Aspiration

"That you aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we have commanded you,

that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing."

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Thinking of how God provides today, how He gives us hands to work, how He gives us work...

And linking up once again to A Holy Experience (wondering why the button won't work again this week) with all the counting others.

Thank you God for:

#51. the tool business You gave us

#52. the tool truck

#53. every single tool on that truck

#54. every single tool that has been sold

#55. every single customer...I pray for them often

#56. the UPS lady, sometimes man, who brings us most of our freight...every single day

#57. nimble fingers

#58. and able bodies

#59. that it's okay to aspire to a quiet life, and even more than okay... it's Biblical

#60. my very own tool man


November 28, 2010

You Know You're Crazy...

...when you can't.stop.taking. pictures of a weed.

A dead weed.

In front of compost.

Because when you've spent weeks trying to achieve that seemingly illusive shallow depth of field, and all you want is a blurry background with focus in the foreground...

and when your camera will only do f/2.8 at wide angle so you're stuck with f/3.5...

and when it hits you that, DUH, just make the "field" deeper because that's how I've done it by accident before with this

and this...

and even when there's nothing really shallow about either one of those...

you'll take what you can get.

Because it was just me, my wheel barrow with the very last of the year for the compost (or at least one can only hope), the sound of the wind in the pines, the distant voices of tots playing in the fence while daddy hung Christmas lights, and it was so quiet that I could hear my camera making the changes I nervously made to aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance while I cupped it in my hands and held my breath.

And that's when one learns what's in a photo...even if you're still unsure about how to take a really good photo. You begin to learn what it means to take meaningful photos of your family and the world around you. You learn to see things differently, to recognize the beauty in things that you've never noticed before. You learn to isolate from the chaos the serene. You learn that your children's fingers are just as photo-worthy as their faces and that it's really not all that important if they're looking at the camera, even if it's great if they do. You learn that even the smallest changes to camera settings affect the overall look and feel of the photos. You learn that it's more than holding the camera and pressing a button.

For me, it starts by spotting something that strikes you...and why it strikes you, you're not sure. But you swing your camera around, raise it to your face, point, and click.

And then you cringe and wonder why the photo looks less then stunning when you know there was something there that caught your eye. I mean, yes, it's just a pile of stuff added to the compost. But there was some beauty admist the frozen pumpkins and half dead allysum (those are some tough flowers) that made me stop. What was it? And more importantly, how can I capture it?

What if I move? What if I change my angle?

No. That's not it either. Hmmmm. But what about that weed...that thistle thing? It's out of focus. And my flexible spot focus is not helping me pick it up.

Ugh. Guess I'll have to use Manual focus. I do everything else manually. Why can't ONE thing be auto?

But there it is...sorta. Except I don't like the angle.

I like that better. And oh glory! My depth of field is about as shallow as I can get it!

And that one's about the same, but I might like the minute change in composition better.

And then I go in for the money shot:

And look! There's ice inside one of the....weed things. This is them in front of half-dead allysum. And then I move, only slightly, and capture them in front of frozen pumpkins.

And I sorta look at the box thing that's called a histogram in the lower right hand corner of my screen for all these photos because even though I don't fully know what it's telling me, I know it means something. And on that thought I remember a friend told me that I tend to underexpose, so I bump down the shutter speed by two little notches and get this:

And I really have no idea if it's better or worse, but at least I know that the histogram could tell me if I knew what it meant.

Now I'm really into this, so I snap some more.

And honestly, I have no clue if these are good or not. I mean, I'm happy with them, but I'm not sure if I thought about everything the way I could have or should have. Lighting? Balancing shutter speed and aperture and ISO? Composition? Rule of Thirds?

I dunno.

I may be crazy, but at least I know it.

November 23, 2010

The Latest Toddler-isms

While I was rocking Ava after naptime, Jack read through almost all of the 26 miniture alphabet books we have - one for each letter. Some of his interpretations were pretty funny to me, so I'm taking a moment to record them:

In the "R" book:
-a sunny picture of a river with trees and a blue sky. Jack's interpretation: "nice out"

-a picture of a radio. Jack's interpretation: "pewter" (computer)

In the "X" book:
-a picture of an x-ray of a hand. Jack's interpretation: "a naughty hand"


During our *somtimes* ( morning Bible story reading along with Streams in the Dessert for kids and My Utmost for His Highest for kids, I was promted by the story to ask Jack and Ava what they thought God wanted.

"A crown," Ava stated with near certainty.

"Yes, a crown," said almost always agreeable Jack.

"God is a King," I reply. "But God really wants something else."

"Oh," says Ava. She's got this figured out now. "Flowers!"

"Yeah," chimes in Jack, "flowers."

"Flowers are nice," I say. "But God really!"

"Oh," was the lack luster reply.

November 22, 2010

Worth the Thanks

What are the things worth being thankful for?

Is it just the big and lofty things? The things that sound more important?

When toddlers teach adults, we big and lofty people learn that the things worth being thankful for are the everthings...

And each morning as we scribble our thanks on silly cut-out turkey feathers, the toddlers always say the same.

"Jack and Ava, what are you thankful for? What would you like to thank God for?"

"Tankful for Mommy! Daddy!"

"I'm tankful for Ava!"

"For Jack!"

"For Nanna........for Uncle Isaac......for Gramma Cinny......for Poppa......for Grandma Jeff."

And every morning I learn that the things to first be thankful for are not the things that can be bought but instead the people around us.

"Jack and Ava, all those people are already on the turkey. What else are you thankful for?"

And what comes next? What comes after people? Our large house? Our vehicles? All our stuff?

No. It's the little things. The everythings. The things that don't seem worthy of a silly cut-out turkey feather. What do those tots do when I ask them again? They look around them. They look to their right and their left and say their thanks for what is right here, right now.





They haven't learned yet that the world is looking for a loftier response. After all, daddy earned money to buy those things, right? Why would we waste morning thanks on little things that can be bought with a few dollars?

In their unknowing, they teach. All these little things are gifts too....things we don't deserve. Because where did Daddy get the money to buy these things? From his job. And where did Daddy get the job that fits him like a glove? Was it just coincidence that made the friend call from Baghdad, which made Daddy look online, which made him stumble across the opening for a tool we already live? No, not coincidence, but providence.

And when the job itself comes from God's hand, don't all the things that result from the job come from God's hand, too?

And I learn. While the lofty things are still worth my thanks - of course they are - I loose sight of the gift in the everything when I go looking only for the lofty.

So I look to my right and my left and impress upon my heart thankfulness for all that is here. And while I know to not only be thankful for the "things," the tangible, I learn that these simple things around me are evidence of grace and blessing.

Today, on my journey to 1000 , I'm thanking God for the little things around me, the things that I could easily take for granted. And I'm linking up to A Holy Experience with all the others.

#41. my Chef's knife, it only adds to the joy of cooking

#42. my camera...even though it took really noisy pictures for today's post (only because I pushed the ISO limits)

#43. this computer

#44. on the counter waiting to be washed

#45. the coffee maker, we're good friends

#46. our dining room table

#47. those dish towels, loving hand decorated by thoughtful elderly family members

#48. the living room furniture

#49.'s the bright spot in every winter

#50. lotion for these dry hands


November 16, 2010

Those October Days

I started this post a few weeks ago, in the early days of November, as a part of my blogging goal to record the happenings of the previous month - even if only vaguely. I need to have goals for everything, it seems! I"m struck by the need to take hold of the legacy passed on to me, to shape the legacy with my own stories, and slowly, piece by piece, pass it on to my children. There is something about writing my stories here that makes me feel as if I am slowly accomplishing that. Now, if only I can actually write these things in a more timely matter! And as you can see from this post and the last, intentionality has been on my heart lately......if not my whole life.


I'm always struck by how time flies and how it it all seems so fleeting without intentionality. Without intentionally planning, intentionally enjoying, intentionally thanking, intentionally celebrating, working, playing, loving...intentionally remembering, our days slip through our fingers and are forgotten.

A friend of mine intentionally sets aside one evening a week, carves out a few hours, for just her family. With life and laundry and kids and school and a husband's insane work schedule, memories would simply pass them by without stopping to wait. A few intentional hours can make the difference and prevent the days from just blending one into the next. To check out a snippet of her life, click HERE.

And here at this household, the hinges on the door of October 2010 have closed completely, never to be re-opened. But I peer through a window to look back and remember........

...the first hike of the fall at the Glacial Lake State Park with Grandma "Cinny" and Uncle "Icass." We hiked around the lake and enjoyed a snack of honeycrisp apples and crackers.

...the first taste of watermelon from our October! Fall food takes on a new meaning.

...another autumn hike with Nanna at Carlos State Park

...standing on the kitchen floor chopping, steaming, cooking while smiling at the sight of Ing and Ping playing barefoot in the fence

...and giving hugs.

...the husband, who - thanks to the Marine Corps - despises hiking, suggesting a fall hike at Barsness Park one beautiful Sunday afternoon. And even when Ava asked to ride on his shoulders and gleefully yelled, "Run Daddy!" only smiles were to be seen on his face.

...the one last trip to the beach, the warm air and the chilly water mingling into fall delight.

...raking leaves one productive fall day, using the leaves to cage and mulch my blueberry plants

And harvest continued around us. The dust hung heavy in our yard and everything felt gritty but without a complaint from us as the farmers seemed so happy to be doing what they love in such perfect weather.

We mowed for the last time and bode farwell to our dear garden for the winter. The husband and I had a date during naptime one afternoon to scrape all the dried grass of the 72 inch mower deck before exchanging the mower for the snow blower - in one afternoon the tractor went from mower of grass to blower of snow.

And harvest soon ended and machinery was tucked away. With freezer and canning shelves and bins in neighbors' yards full to the brim, our hearts filled with thankfulness as the hinges closed on October and we welcomed November.

November 15, 2010

On Holidays and Intentionality

As much as I am a summer girl, I am also a holiday girl. The holidays give me another reason and more motivation to be intentional. In fact, holidays themselves are an exercise of intentionality.

Every day, I feel the need and the call to be intentional - for every word and every movement to count for something - to leave mediocrity behind - to never say, "That's good enough," but to always give it my all. In my heart and in my mind, this is what it means to do it all as unto the Lord.

And if I feel this way every day, I feel it even more so during a holiday. Without being intentional (is there a synonym for this word? Because, I can't think of one, and it's gonna get overused....) about creating meaningful traditions, sticking to those traditions, gathering together, remembering, and capturing the essence of the holiday, the special day becomes nothing more than another day....except with the added stress of food preparation, traveling, many people shuffling around one house, overtired know the scene. But when family, remembering, thanking, celebrating are the cornerstones of the day, when you choose to see it all as a blessing, when you realize you don't deserve any of it, suddenly there is grace galore for every moment of it.

Last Thursday on Veteran's Day I was exceptionally exhausted. I had worked a bit more than usual that week and the week before, I was behind on every household task, and outside of a few minutes in a quick shower, I hadn't had time to myself to read, write, or pray. I was done.

When I had planned meals a week and half prior to this, I had forgotten to take into account Veteran's Day, and when I looked at the weekly menu scribbled on scratch paper, I was dismayed to see that leftover bean soup was all I had planned for the night. It was already 3:00, and any other night leftover homemade soup would have been a treat and I could have curled up on the couch with my kids and some books. My husband expected nothing fancy tonight and had assured me that morning that leftover soup was just fine.

But my heart was not settled with "just fine" for tonight. I want to honor my husband every day, but even more so on Veteran's Day. Few people are willing to sacrifice as much as he did to fight for a cause few believe in anymore. And is it really honoring if I only honor when it's convenient for me? So before I knew it, I found my fingers dialing a number to invite over for supper the brother-in-law and his wife home on leave.

I knew what I had to make for supper that night. It is true that my husband's favorite dish is simply a casserole, but what it so deceiving about it is the length of time that recipe requires. My mind calculated the cooking of nearly 4 pounds of chicken, the de-boning, the mixing of soups and salsa, the cutting of tortillas - all during pirhana hour when everyone wants a piece of mom (the term "pirhana hour" is lovingly borrowed from a Bible study by Linda Anderson)- and deemed the task almost possible. On top of that, I had none of the ingredients in the house, which meant a trip to the grocery store with the kids during the "after work hours" rush. After taking a deep breath and saying a quick prayer, I dove in and soon the hotdish was bubbling away in the oven while I scrubbed the kids down in the bath tub, because yes, it was also bath night.

I would be lying if I said it wasn't exhausting. But is avoiding exhaustion really worth giving up intentional honoring, celebrating, and gathering together? Is my personal comfort more important than teaching my kids by example how to honor someone in authority, more important than showing love and servitude in one of the most universal ways, preparing a meal?

Today I face the repercussions of a busy two weeks and multiple family gatherings with a very untidy house. But as I wash and scrub and fold and cook, I will choose to be intentionally grateful.

Joining in with the Gratitude Community over at A Holy Experience to thank God for:

#31. early family Thanksgiving gatherings

#32. more delicious food than we could all eat

#33. meeting more of Adam's relatives

#34. someone else understanding why I take pictures of tables and table settings from as many different angles as I can.....even though none of them really turn out how I want them to

#35. wandering around the woods with this new friend and distant relative through marriage taking pictures

#36. learning to see the beauty in the small things

#37. so many adoring uncles

#38. a Christmas Ornament tradition started over 35 years ago

#39. that I am now included in this tradition and can watch my children become a part of it as well

#40. generations of family celebrating, thanking, loving, living under one roof

holy experience