~ for the most astounding surprise I could never have imagined. My DAD showed up on my doorstep!!!! I was born and raised on a farm in Minnesota, and all my family still lives up in that region. Life never ceases to be busy on both sides, we have constantly been adding more children, and then there was STUPID CANCER. So although we regularly keep in touch, somehow it has been more than 12 years since I’ve seen my dad!!!! That means he hadn’t even MET SIX OF HIS GRANDCHILDREN! What a treasure to get to introduce my dad and stepmom, and to show them around our home and our city. I’m so proud of my kids, they are so full of love and share it without hesitation. They showed out and entertained, drew pictures and crawled in laps. We had a wonderful concentrated visit, and then Dad and Jennifer were right back in their car for the 14 hour drive north. I tried to talk them into staying, but it was just a whirlwind spur of the moment trip, and they had spring chores to get back to. However surprising, however brief, I am so utterly amazed and thankful for the wonderful visit, and for such a special memory for my kids.
~ for God’s mighty hand of protection, and those moments of gravity when we get a glimpse of how much worse things could have been without Him. Thank You Lord for Your Mercy. Carson Grace sang a wonderful song today for offering, “Remember,” by Lauren Daigle. Hard times will inevitably come, but we have to take the time to remember all the ways He has shown himself faithful. You can enjoy her song here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LHJ4AQgROY
~ for our first trip to the library of the summer. I’m so thankful that my kids still enjoy it. They love fun books and they LOVE the experience of so many choices at the library. This time we came home with lots of superheroes, Barbie, American Girl, and backyard bird books. Now, to keep track of them all and return them on time….
~ for the toilet in our guest bathroom. It has experienced multiple degrees of brokenness over the last several months, and it has been a real hassle. This week, Josh fixed it – like FOR REAL fixed it. You can now go in that bathroom and do what you need to do in there, with FULL CONFIDENCE that the commode will perform its intended purpose. And I’m just absolutely thrilled about it!
~ for steady work for Giddy Up & Whoa. We’ve done several signs for graduation and Mother’s Day, and even for a mortgage company as closing gifts. I’ve been thankful to paint at least a little almost every day.
~ for the brilliantly colored cardinal families that dwell in our backyard. They flit back and forth all day, and chatter to us every morning. And for Sawyer’s enthusiasm for our new hummingbird feeder. He read about hummingbirds in his new book, and helped mix up the nectar and hang the feeder. Looking forward to birdwatching this summer!
~for a fun outing at the shooting range for Cooper.
~ for a beautiful weekend spent in and by the pool. It’s getting hot…and the kids (and Bear) are LOVING the cool water. We’ve worked so hard back there over the last year and a half….ripping out shrubs, hauling rocks, staining and repairing the fence, resurfacing the aged decking….it is such an amazing transformation. It was nice before, but now it is truly an oasis. Tatum K has gotten her first taste of the water, and she loves to (swim) “WEEM! I weem, Mama!” I can tell she will be a little water bug like the others. Josh and I still cannot believe how blessed we are to live in this home, and look forward to sharing it with our kids and their friends for years to come.
It’s nice to have some lazy days. Our schedule has been pretty open, few appointments or plans. Especially after the breakneck pace at the end of school, it’s refreshing to have a reprieve. Josh and I were reminded today how we don’t take “nothing days” for granted any more. When you’ve spent any significant length of time in a hospital, or separated from the ones you love by trauma, there’s nothing more refreshing than a “normal” day at home. But I can already tell it’s time to get into a routine. Embracing our “normal” days doesn’t necessarily have to mean mindless coasting. I remember when it dawned on me one time, you can’t coast anywhere but down. You’ll never get better, stronger, or wiser on autopilot. Growth takes effort. And even if continued growth wasn’t the goal…you can’t even MAINTAIN status quo without effort! Skillfully sculpted muscles atrophy, the sparkling blue pool turns murky green, the meticulously manicured lawn becomes a wilderness. And I need to remind myself of the truth I want my kids to learn: WORK IS GOOD! Of course, rest is good too, critically important in fact, but like anything else, it’s all about balance. Body, mind, and spirit need training and exercise to stay sharp. Our family just needs a little structure to our day, some punctuation. And as much as I hate to admit it, that extra hour of sleep in the morning doesn’t yield a more rested, more patient mama. Getting up and investing that hour in the Word does. And then in turn, investing that return into reading to my kids, swimming with my kids, LISTENING TO MY KIDS. I can already tell a negative impact in our home from one week of unstructured cruise control. Time to turn off auto pilot, set an alarm, dig into God’s Word, and launch into our days with purpose, instead of just letting the day run us over. Of course we will have spontaneous days, days with unexpected detours. Some days will be wildly successful and others will be a dismal failure. But I know we will enjoy the journey more if we stay the course with a balance of consistency and flexibility. So we will give it a go this week.
Let’s love on purpose this week! Thanks for giving thanks with me!
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:11-14
“Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”” Joshua 4:4-7