this guy

I am so very grateful for this man.

He loves me.  He appreciates all I do and all I am.  At the same time, he loves me when I have nothing left to give and I don’t know who I am anymore.

He loves our girls.  He knows each girl and loves them deeply.  He purposely takes time to spend with each girl individually.   My girls know they are loved by their daddy.

He loves people.  I love watching Andy when we are exploring cities.  He sees people that so many others overlook.  He stops, he asks questions, he makes friends.  I remember once we were in downtown Los Angeles and Andy heard the voice of a homeless man he had met last year.  He walked up to him, called him by name, and chatted with him for a while.  This man lives on skid row.  He is poor in his pockets and in his soul.  I stood there and watched Andy let this man know that he is seen and known.

He loves God.  He isn’t a man that will go around quoting the bible, but he loves the Lord with all his heart and loves His word.  He doesn’t just read what the Bible says, but lives it.  He cares for the poor. He loves his neighbors. He forgives those who hurt him.

Today he let me sleep in.  When I woke up, he had made me one of my favorite breakfasts.  And when I woke up from a three hour nap today, he didn’t act like I was a lazy good for nothing, he was glad for me.  I think he might have even missed me a little.

I thankful for the twenty some years we have spent together and fifty some we have left.

zoo day

We had friends gift us a year long LA Zoo membership. We are so grateful. We have been wanting one for sometime but it hasn’t been in the budget. 
We went today and it was glorious! They have done some renovation since we last came. The grounds are beautiful.
Today I am thankful for generous friends, the zoo, and being able to blog from my phone.  

lessons learned

Well, I have missed the last three days.  I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to pick up my camera or sit at the computer to blog.  Finding gratitude has still been my heart’s goal each day. I think I have started to notice a link between gratitude and grace.  The more I find what to be thankful for, the more I find grace for myself and my family.

So to catch up, and show off this adorable boy, here are some lessons in gratitude that I have learned this week.

Lesson 1: Sometimes it is the little things, so hold the small peaceful moments.

Lesson 2: Life is messy.  Sit in it with curiosity and find the beauty among the worms. 

Lesson 3: Taking a walk and getting away from it all isn’t a sign of weakness.  Sometimes a new perspective helps you calm down and find the truth.

Lesson 4: Look for the wonderful and amazing and you find the wonderful and amazing. 

*This blog post is sponsored by baby Spartacus.

my little sickie

My little one is still sick.  
I am thankful I can stay home with her and take care of her.
I am thankful that we have access to doctors and medication.  
I am thankful that we homeschool and that she isn’t missing a ton of school.  
Yep, I am the mean mom that makes her kids do school while they are sick.  They get the big red chair and I bring them all their work.  

making me new

All day I have had this song in my head.   
As I started cleaning up from the day I saw my new tomato plants growing in my windowsill.  They seemed to hold what my heart is daring to hold today.  
So thankful for beautiful things made out of us.  So thankful I am being made new.  

Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving. ~Benjamin B. Warfield

While on my run this morning, my phone fell out of my pocket.  I didn’t notice that it was gone until we got home.  We retraced our steps… twice.  We tried calling the phone and texting the phone… but someone had found it and turned it off.  They also turned off the location services, so my handy Find My Phone app was useless.  I spent my morning turning off my services and swiping my phone clean.
Andy’s camera stopped working yesterday.  When he took it into Canon we got the estimate of a cool $500 to fix it.  Oh, joy.
I would love to tell you that I have handled this whole thing with grace and perspective.  Not only would that be a lie, but it would be one of the biggest lies I have ever told.  I have yelled, cried, and cussed.  I have lost my temper at everyone living in my house for horrible reasons.  I yelled at my very sweet and kind 19 year old for leaving a butter knife in the sink.  Yes, you just read that right.  A butter knife.
After some time acting like a spoiled child, I decided I should practice some self talk.  Really, it is just a lost phone.  It sucks, but it isn’t life altering.  And the camera?  Well, that sucks too.  But, it is something he needs to get fixed.  We have some money in the business account, we can use that.
These are just things.  Everything that is important to me is OK and everything will be OK.
Did self talk help? No.  I continued to act like a spoiled child.
I got into the car and heard a heartbreaking story on NPR.  There are woman in the Philippians giving birth to babies in the aftermath of the hurricane.  They have lost everything… their homes, their families, their friends… and now, alone, they are having to face the fear of raising a child alone.  I cried. I prayed for these women.  I prayed for the Philippians.
This is when you would think my horrible attitude changed. Nope. I continued to act like a spoiled child.  I know, it is embarrassing, but it is the truth.
It wasn’t until I got a message from a friend.  She said she and her husband were coming over.  She was bringing beer and dinner.  She wanted to just sit with me.  At first, I said no.  I warned her of my anger and prickly attitude that my family had to endure.   She said she didn’t care about those things.  In fact, she wasn’t coming to fix me. She is coming to just sit with me.  As is, prickly and all.
This is when my heart finally started to soften.  I was offered grace right where I was.  I slowly went around the house apologizing to my family for my attitude.  I again received grace.
Today I am thankful for love that comes when I deserve it the least.

letting it all go

Sammy coughed all night long.  I don’t care how old my kids are, I can’t sleep when they aren’t feeling well.
When morning came, I knew I had to cancel two meetings I had today. There was no way I could have left her to herself.
As our slow and quiet morning went on, this little guy’s dad called asking if I could take him last minute.  I told him Sam was sick, but it would be alright with me.
After lunch, I took the little guy into the kitchen for a bath. He loves to splash in the sink.  As I sat there and watched him play, I remembered how my day was supposed to look.
Sometimes I need to let it all go… and let the day run itself.  Today I am thankful for this joyful lesson.
Back to my sickie and toddler.  They are keeping me on my toes!