Monday, August 6, 2012


After three days of incredible pain from sores in her mouth, diagnosis of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease by her Mom, there was no way I could say "No" to Brooklyn last night when she asked "Couldsh you please come watsh me play soccer, Mom?" Her words were still slurred together from those nasty sores on her tongue.

The rest of the family was at church, hearing a missionary presentation on their work in China. Brooke and I went for a long walk, and when we got back she really perked up. Watching her little legs run around the yard, seeing her big smile, watching the sun shine on her head, it was all such a Gift. I know, she was only sick for 3 days, refusing to eat anything or drink anything, even ice cream. The only way to get any nourishment in her was when Daddy forced it in, making her cry in the process.

When I was rocking her at night, I couldn't help but think of all the momma's who have sick children, not just a 3 day yucky virus, but a sick that goes on forever. I began counting my blessings that my little girl was actually quite healthy and would recover from this.

But then I thought, why does it take this to make me grateful? Yes, I often thank God for our children's health, but I also often totally take it for granted. How can gratitude be more a part of my life, instead of just after a calamity arises?

I am an avid follower of, Ann Voskamp's blog. I have her book "One Thousand Gifts" here on my shelf, waiting to be read. I absolutely love how she challenges me to think. But I still feel like a pretty ungrateful person.

I don't think we have to go through hard times to make us more grateful. I think for me it's more of an AWARENESS that everything I have is not really mine; it's a GIFT from God.

Today I am thankful for
  • beautiful weather
  • healthy children
  • a hard working husband
  • my garden
  • sweet tea
  • friends that challenge me
  • my time with God this morning
  • money to buy groceries
  • the 1 1/2 inches of rain we had last Saturday!!!
  • clean laundry

I got to thinking that for each of these I just mentioned, I could make another list that looks something like this.....

  • the weather has been terribly hot and dry here
  • Brooke has been sick for 3 DAYS!
  • Leon has entirely too much to do right now and we don't get to see him nearly enough
  • my garden needs tilling so I can plant fall stuff, but who knows when my husband will have time
  • sweet tea rots my teeth and puts fat on my belly
  • where are my good friends?
  • I'm too busy to have a regular time with God
  • the money barely reaches right now
  • we could sure use more rain to end this drought
  • I only did 18 loads of laundry last week!!!!!!!!!!
Sometimes, even when I'm counting my blessings, I add these clauses to my gratitude that almost erases it completely.

God, help me to be truly grateful for what You have given me. And if You choose to take it away, help me still be grateful. I know that you desire a heart of gratitude in me. I choose to be graeful in whatever situation I find myself in.


  1. Your link didn't work but I found you anyway. :)

    ohhh. disease!! We had a really bad case here last winter and a few weeks later I realized that my little girls were growing new toenails. Nasty stuff must have killed the ones they had. For Liesl it was fingernails too. It is so, so dreadful. And yes. When it is over the gratitude just flows easily.

    Your point here is challenging, though. I agree SO much. I am quick to realize my blessings after I've been thru something "hard", but I long to LIVE in that attitude. <3, Luci

  2. She's a cute little girl. And she likes to play soccer! A great combination! Glad you're enjoying your sweet tea and being grateful....good reminder for me. :)
    I need to talk to you....but I lost your phone number AGAIN. We are going to be in your area sometime this month....that's what I want to talk to you about! :) so

  3. yay! it worked. :)

    poor little sweet girl. that sounds so awful! and i know exactly what you mean about wondering why it takes those kinds of things to remind us what we have.. but i think we get so caught up in the "blessings" as it were, that we don't really take the time to notice them anymore. to see "all as grace" as ann says. :) i love her book. i don't read her blog as much.. i just kinda forget. but her book was life altering for me when we first moved to canada!! the middle gets really thick and you have to read some things twice - but stick with it - so much truth and healing in her words.

    sweet pictures of brooklyn and her playing soccer. the sun flare in that first one is really pretty! hope she's feeling much, much better now.

    happy tuesday!

  4. I snickered about your clauses to the gratitude list because I think them sometimes, too. I used to be somewhat put off by grateful lists, but Ann has changed my thinking on them, too. I don't make them regularly, but I am still learning that to be grateful requires a mental discipline! It's choosing to focus on the good.

    So sorry about the hand, foot and mouth disease! That stuff is AWFUL!

    I didn't realize you were blogging here, but I added you to my Google reader now. :)

    Oh...another ?. Just remembered you are homeschooling, do you have any suggestions for teaching art or music for a first grader? Zachary does not enjoy art much at all. In fact, at first I'll be teaching him how to get better with a scissors. He doesn't like coloring...I'd kind of prefer something that is a little more art oriented than craft. And music--just wanting to teach the basics. I can prob. come up with my own curriculum, but it would be great if there would be something to rely on.

    1. I'm finally getting back to you. I read a great recommendation on "Mike's Inspiration Station" DVD's. It's an Art program that sounds great. As for Music, we lack. I tried CLE's Music books and it would be okay, IF we'd do it.;) The children love to sing and they take piano, the boys were in a children's choir last year, but that's as far as we got.