"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘thankful’

Evidence

If you are like me—and I suspect you are—you can look around your home at any given time and see the “evidence” of the people who share that home with you.

Sometimes the clues are kind of cute.

Oh, did you need to use the stairs? Sorry, those are taken.

You didn’t want your laptop, did you? I’m kind of using it.

Pie? What pie? What makes you think I touched the pie?

Other times, those “clues” are not really that cute at all. Like the other day when our four year old went to the bathroom (and I mean REALLY went to the bathroom) and then decided to do us a big favor and clean the toilet…only she forgot to flush it first. (That was not on the list of why Amy smiles. And don’t worry, I didn’t take a picture.) She was just trying to be helpful, but…  AGGGHHHH!!!!!

Finding sticky spots on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, shoes all over the living room, and crumbs on the couch are all evidence of the people who live in this house. And while I don’t exactly consider those things fun to find, I do try to remind myself often that these are simply signs that I am surrounded daily by the people I love the most.

I will always remember sitting in a Bible class one Wednesday night and listening to an older lady who had lost her husband. Her advice to those who were married was this: “Be thankful every time you have to bend down and pick up your husband’s dirty socks from the floor. He may not have thrown them in the hamper the way you’d have liked, but be glad he’s still around to get them dirty.” I think I was in junior high that year, so of course it didn’t apply to me then. But to this day I still think about her wise words when I catch myself gritting my teeth as I clean up a mess I didn’t make. Because she’s right: I would rather have them AND their messes than to not have either!

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

(Proverbs 14:4)

I hope you are smiling as you look around at the “evidence” of your loved ones …even if it’s on your floor. Aren’t they worth it?

Thanks for stopping by!

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I wasn’t looking for these

Those of you who visit here regularly see a lot of our youngest daughter, Remington. At age three, it seems everything that rolls off her lips is funny, and she’s definitely the most willing of all our kiddos to pose for the camera.

But don’t misunderstand.

Our other three children may not be as likely to get in front of the camera, or to allow me to post the absolutely hilarious things THEY say…but they definitely make me smile. Every. Single. Day. I am so thankful for all three of them, too!

Take Addison, for example.

This morning I came downstairs to find this on the dining room table:

It was a surprise from Addy…a little gift for no reason at all…and it has been making me smile all day long.

Then, there’s Chandler.

With the smile still on my face from finding Addy’s bouquet, I ran upstairs to put something in Chandler’s bedroom, and I found this on his whiteboard:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

I’m not sure what prompted it, but he wrote it right by his desk where he’ll see it continuously…and it’s making me smile.

And, let’s not forget Connor.

If you enter his room the first thing you’ll see is this:

He assures me it’s “just a silly drawing.” And clearly, it’s not something he spent a great deal of time on. But even though it wasn’t created for artistic purposes, the fact that a “silly” picture of his family is something he wanted to frame and hang in a prominent position in his room just makes me—you guessed it—SMILE! (And how could I not be happy about the title?)

My favorite smiles are the ones that I wasn’t even looking for. I hope you are noticing all the many things that have the potential to make you smile today. They are everywhere! As usual, I’d love to hear about them in the comments. (Hint, hint…)

Thanks for stopping by!

My imperfect life

It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking I have “the perfect life.” (I giggled just typing that phrase!) But just in case I’ve given anyone that impression, I want to set the record straight. Right here. Right now.

This is a blog about why I smile. I share with you the happy parts, hoping they’ll make you happy, too.

But trust me: Things aren’t always all “sunshine and rainbows” around here!

I have bad hair days.

I  oversleep.

I  lose my temper.

I  let the laundry pile up.

Less than HALF of what is waiting in my laundry room at this very moment…..

I  miss deadlines.

I  lose things.

I  let the house get way too messy.

I eat junk.

I  run late.

I  spend foolishly.

I  get my feelings hurt.

I  make bad decisions.

I  waste time.

I have, on more than one occasion, found things growing in our fridge that I could not identify. I have been afraid to look under my child’s bed. I have lost things that weren’t even mine.

I get discouraged. I get overwhelmed. I get frustrated.

Many days I am surrounded by dirty dishes and sticky floors and overdue library books and at least one cranky kid.

But I am fully convinced that, even on those days, there is always something to smile about. ALWAYS. And that’s why I continue to post to this blog.

I love these words from Melissa Wiley, which perfectly explain the way I think and write:

“Every day is complicated, messy, and full of friction. And every day has glorious or cozy moments worth celebrating. I seldom bother to chronicle the friction and the mess because writing time is fleeting and precious—and childhood even more so. I’d rather capture the small joys that I might forget—or take for granted—if I don’t take time to set them down in words. I don’t want anyone to be under the impression that things are always perfect around here! Heaven knows we are anything but. Perfect, frictionless, orderly? Nope. Happy? Most of the time!”

My other reason for sharing “the good parts” with you? In Mark 5:19, Jesus said to a man He’d just healed, “…Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”

My God has shown me great mercy, which I do not deserve, and He has done many great things for me. I want to share some of them here. He’s done much for you, too, and I want to remind you of that.

I want to daily look around me for blessings to acknowledge, for reasons to give thanks, and for excuses to smile. And I want to motivate you to do the same.

I am just like you, living with struggles, with sadness, and with sin. But together we can be on the lookout for the joy in everyday life…..the small victories…..the smiles and successes we might not notice if we aren’t actively looking.

So let’s keep looking!

“I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me…”   (Neh. 2:18)

Thanks for stopping by!

That’s what I call a fortune

In dressing for a funeral this morning, I donned a strand of pearls. My ten-year-old daughter looked at me, surprised, and asked, “Are those real?”

I laughed. “Umm…no.”

“Oh, right,” she said. “If those were real they’d cost a fortune.”

I laughed again and replied, “And I don’t have a fortune.”

It took each of us just a fraction of a second to realize the fallacy in that statement. Because the truth is, I do have a fortune.

I have a faithful, Christian husband whom I love and respect.

He is an amazing daddy to these four precious kiddos:

I adore each of them, and feel incredibly blessed to be able to spend my days learning right alongside them.

I have parents who love me and taught me to love God.

I have friends I enjoy and friends I miss.

I lived in a country so great that men have been willing to give their lives for her.

I have plenty to eat, plenty to wear, and plenty to keep me busy.

I have more books than I can read and more happy memories than anyone deserves to have.

I have opportunities to serve and teach, and the ability and desire to learn.

I have role models whom I look up to.

I have a healthy body and a healthy family.

More important than any of these, I have the hope and expectation of eternal salvation because Jesus loved me enough to give His life for me.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.  (II Corinthians 8:9)

So yes, I have a fortune!

My life isn’t perfect, but I’ve been given so much to treasure.

How about you? Have you thought today about all you have to be thankful for? Your list may be different from mine, but I’m betting you can list off plenty of your own treasures.

While you’re at it, why not share a few of them here? I’d like to know: What makes you rich?

Thanks for stopping by!

Clay and gratitude

I like this piece. I like being reminded to be grateful every single time I walk through the living room.

Now, I am also reminded each time I pass it that I have a very creative and imaginative son, who can turn a piece of clay into just about anything. Because this is the little guy who’s taken up residence on top of the frame…

Yep, Chandler can do anything with clay.

Are you thankful today?

Thanks for stopping by!

One year of smiles

It’s been a year now.

One year exactly since I started this blog.

One year of sharing my thoughts, my ideas, my goals, and even my insecurities with you here.

One year of showing off my favorite people: my precious family.

One year of challenges, quotes, funny stories, and lessons learned.

One year of hoping I’ve made you smile.

In that year I’ve published 134 posts. (That’s roughly equivalent to a post every two and a half days. Each one contains at least one photograph. This one had ONLY a photo—nothing else.)

My goal with each post has been to remind you—and myself—that there is so much to be thankful for, to laugh at, to smile about.  My desire has been to challenge you—and myself—to look for those reasons to smile, to appreciate the little things, to be thankful both for simple pleasures and huge blessings.

Thank you for coming along with me on this year-long ride. If it’s God’s will, I’ll keep writing. I’ll  wonder some days who’s reading. I’ll question what I’ve written. But I’ll keep writing, nonetheless. I’ll watch for your comments, and they will make me smile.

I hope you’ll keep smiling, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

This boy

Just yesterday I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful, bouncing baby boy. Well, OK, maybe it wasn’t yesterday…but it sure doesn’t seem like it was fifteen years ago! The calendar tells me it was, though, and the fact that I can no longer “bounce” him seems to verify that fact.

{age 6}

I guess there’s other evidence of his age, too. He doesn’t play with toy cars anymore; he’s much more interested in real ones. We no longer own Lincoln Logs or Bionicles for him to put together; he’d rather be listening to music. He no longer catches frogs; he’d rather be catching fish.

I learn something from him just about every day. He is taller than me, but sweet and gentle. He’s a hard worker with a quick wit and a unique sense of humor that keeps me laughing. He’s a great cook and a fantastic big brother. Most importantly, he loves the Lord, and he’s trying to live for Him.

I am so thankful for Connor!

Thanks for stopping by!

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