I am thankful:
~ for the 102 times a day that Tatum K cracks me up. Whenever she tastes something new, she will be so excited, “I try! I try!” But then she almost inevitably will reply, “No, I can’t like it.” And then sometimes, “I DO like it.” She is a bossy little jabberbox, and keeps us all on our toes. We are TRYING to make the transition into her crib in the room she’s always been planned to occupy (instead of my closet). But the closet is pitch black and pretty much soundproof, so sharing a room is a big change, and has led to great sleep deprivation on Mama’s part.
~ for a fun visit from Aunt Dinah. We chowed down on Mexican food and enjoyed the back patio. The kids and dog showed off their swimming, and we enjoyed our afternoon coffee with her delicious home-baked lemon pound cake.
~for an awesome surprise: Sawyer received a milestone gift from the Sadie Keller Foundation. Sadie Keller is an amazing 11-year-old girl who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015, shortly after Sawyer. She has completed her treatment and is doing incredibly well. But she rose from the ashes of her fight with a burning desire to help other kids around the world. Sadie has traveled multiple times to visit senators and even the White House to increase awareness and advocacy for childhood cancer. She is a name you are going to know one day. Created by Sadie and her family, the Sadie Keller Foundation gives gifts to childhood cancer warriors when they reach milestones. And Sawyer received a gift for the miraculous accomplishment reaching the ACE (aftercare) unit. Imagine his excitement when he walked out the front door to see his very own police car! He was so excited, jumped right in, and drove right out the driveway! After he got over his initial excitement, he said, “I need to write Sadie a thank you card!” which he promptly did. He’s been patrolling the neighborhood ever since! Thank you Lord for the miracle of Sawyer’s life!
~for God‘s mercy when people do something not very smart. Or something actually very dumb. There may or may not have been an incident with the neighbor kid’s hoverboard. It may or may not have involved a certain mom (who shall remain anonymous) bragging about being good at it. And maybe, someone may or may not have may not have ended up flat on their back on the concrete driveway. Just a hypothetical of course. This would not be a good place to reference “though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:24). Perhaps instead “the Lord preserves the simple.“ (Psalm 116:6a)
~for Dad’s night to cook. Josh is a great cook, and everything he makes is delicious. We laughed at this particular menu, because it was a throwback to our early married years. Back then we were making Hamburger Helper with the 70/30 “chub” of ground beef, and we didn’t know we were supposed to drain the meat after browning. We’ve come a long way, baby! #mamahadsaladinstead
~for the fun I’ve been having with my camera. The children have been reading a lot about birds and nature, and their enthusiasm has been contagious. I’ve really been awestruck by the beauty of God‘s creation in my backyard, so I dug out my big lens on my DSLR camera. After a couple of days of photographing raindrops on elephant ears and our family of cardinals…basically I’m pretty much ready to send my work to National Geographic. I’m basically a wildlife photographer now. Josh can’t quit laughing at me. But it’s so fun! We haven’t captured a shot of Sawyer’s hummingbird yet, but it’s been to the feeder several times. We have witnessed courting lizards and newly hatched baby cardinals, and the stunningly intricate macrame of a spider’s web. (NO edits needed.)
~ for MIRACLES!!!!! Our precious friend Georgia had a followup appointment this week, and the news was not what we were hoping for. But the next day after sharing discouraging news, Georgia’s mom shared an astounding update. I’ll share her words in the picture of her Facebook post below. And you can follow Georgia’s brave journey here. GOD IS AT WORK!!!!
We’ve gained some ground since last week by “turning autopilot off” and adding structure to our days at home. Morning devotional. 2 miles of running/walking/biking/strollering every morning. We’ve pulled out some flashcards and math pages and spelling websites for some “school,” and for now, all the Littles are eager to participate. I’m trying to have the older ones help the younger ones by quizzing and checking answers, and they sit with Sawyer and help him sound out the words in his books. I need to hold on to these days when my children are actually BEGGING me to LET THEM do school! I remember we had a great routine that worked really well for us last summer, but of course I don’t remember what we did! We will keep plugging along and figure out a rhythm.
Unfortunately, it’s been an ugly week of anxiety for me personally. Anxiety doesn’t care that I don’t have anything to be anxious about. Anxiety doesn’t care that I’m focusing on gratitude. It just stretches out it’s icy fingers around my heart and squeezes, out of nowhere, just for kicks. It almost invariably comes in waves, breaking over me again and again with relentless fury. When it hits me, I catch my breath and try to slow my breathing down. I turn on praise music and speak aloud the Name above all names, the Lover of my soul. “JESUS!” Sometimes I’m able to shout, and sometimes it’s all I can do to whisper. But as I write this I am reminded, I have survived 100% of these attacks! It wasn’t always pretty, but I have come out on the other side each time. I just mention this because I know many others wrestle with fear, depression, or anxiety; and I know there’s comfort in knowing you are not alone. Don’t lose heart. And I think it bears mentioning, because often we forget….
You have an enemy.
He is actively pursuing you.
He is good at what he does.
He’s a liar.
And he’s good at lying.
He tells you lies that you would believe.
He doesn’t usually waste time with the obvious, fraudulent lies that you can smell from a mile away. “God hates you.” “Nobody loves you.” But he is an expert at, “She doesn’t want a relationship with you.” “Nobody notices you.” “You don’t matter.” Or the opposite type of lie: “You’re better than them.” “You deserve to have everything you want.”
But let me also remind you of something that I hope you already know.
You also have a SAVIOR.
HE IS GOOD AT WHAT HE DOES.
HE IS ACTIVELY PURSUING YOU.
HE NEVER LIES. ALL HIS WORDS AND HIS WAYS AND HIS LOVES ARE TRUE.
BECAUSE HE’S GOOD AT THAT.
I am no evangelist or Bible scholar. But I know a miracle when I see one. I see one every time I look in the mirror. Because I know who I am and I know who I once was. I was dead and now I’m alive. And if that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.
Be encouraged friends. Let’s love one another well this week.
Thank you for giving thanks with me.
“I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!” Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living.” Psalms 116:1-9