I am thankful:
~ for creative get-out-of-bed excuses. “Ma-a-a-ma, I need to ask you something? Do chickens fly?”
~for Giddyup & Whoa orders that come right on time. Every single order is a blessing of provision.
~for decadent French toast with orange zest and a crispy crust of cinnamon sugar. I had a new recipe, and it was a resounding hit with the Tribe.
~for the tender hearts of my children. We did not tell them about the senseless tragedies of last weekend. But they are incredibly observant and quickly noticed all the flags lowered to half-staff. When I briefly told them what had happened, they were aghast and IMMEDIATELY asked if we could pray aloud together in the car. First they prayed for the grieving families of the victims, and then began to pray that God would touch the hearts of the shooters, “that they would come to know You Lord, and that they would be sorry for what they have done.”
~for such a special surprise: my sweet friend Meredith blessed Sawyer with one of her impeccably hand-sewn minky puppies! Check out the gold childhood cancer ribbon! If you haven’t checked out My Minky Co, you need to! Thank you Meredith!
~for back-to-school shopping. It’s hard for me to say I’m thankful for this. Not gonna lie. School supplies, shoes, and clothes for six in school is no joke. Just the magnitude this year’s number is intimidating, but sometimes brave is what you are when you don’t have a choice. We tackled the stores as a wild and boisterous unit. My kids opened every shoebox in every store. They showed me every pencil that was ever made. They were pretty good about not “asking” (they had been severely warned) but instead they just exclaimed over and over, “look at this one Mama! Isn’t this one cute? Isn’t this one sweet? This one is awesome! I love this!” I had warned them, don’t ask for everything you see. However, I had forgotten to specify, “don’t show me and describe every detail of everything you see.” School starts Wednesday…I’d estimate that I am 68% done with the supply shopping. And that I am 143% READY to be done. It’s not that I want my kiddos out of the house, it’s just the progression of the season. They are all ready to be done at home and back to their friends. Instinctively they crave the structure and margin of the school setting, even if the appreciation won’t stay with them long.
~for grace for new seasons. I don’t think I can express to you how different my life is going to be with Carson Grace gone to college. She’s my babysitter. My ONLY babysitter. And I have become accustomed to running my errands by myself. I just don’t take my people into stores. I just don’t. A couple of my children have literally been in a store, ANY store, like three times in their lives. It’s just one of those things, that if I didn’t have to go with an entourage, I didn’t. Well now, that luxury is over for the most part. Six little people at the grocery store. Six little people shopping for shoes. Six little people in the return line at Walmart. It’s just a different season. But you know what… WE SURVIVED! I’m not trying to say it was relaxing and poetic and my favorite way to spend my time. But nobody backflipped off the shelves, and I didn’t lose any of them. So I’m going to call it a win. I think I’m going to be getting a lot of use out of my “big girl panties” this year.
~thankful to have my girl back, even if it’s only briefly. Carson Grace finished up her mini-mester class at ETBU, and I drove with the Tribe to pick her up on Friday. Everyone was thrilled to see her, and excited to get to check out her new room at the dorm. She goes back for real on Wednesday. I’m thankful for the Lord’s kindness to allow us to have a more gradual “letting go.”
~for a fun night at Meet the Cougars. At this yearly fall school event, each high school athletic team is highlighted to get people hyped for the school year. Very excited to see Cooper’s #19 jersey come out of the football tunnel. He’s so excited about his freshman year. Can’t wait to watch him play!
~for Sawyer’s fun time at his Kindergarten picnic. He got to see old friends and meet some new ones, and went on a scavenger hunt on the school playground. So proud of my brave boy and how excited he is for kindergarten. Here come the tears again. I don’t know what I’m gonna do without him every day. He just makes life so bright. I hope I never outgrow the utter awe I feel when I look at him, knowing all he has overcome.
~for God’s Word spoken straight to the heart. Sometimes it just pierces in such a powerful way. The message this morning was on sanctification. Being redeemed, made holy, and set apart. Brother Alvin, our dear friend and visiting missionary from Honduras, referenced offering someone a cup of water in a filthy glass. I long to be set apart for God. Sanctified by His blood so that He can use me for His purposes. But how often I come as a dirty vessel. With unforgiveness. With my own agenda. With short-sighted expectations of my Father’s ability. I long to set an example for my children of being set apart. Called higher. Called to be in the world but not of it. To love with the sacrificial supernatural love of Christ. How much more useful we are when we do it God‘s way. And what a stumbling block we are when we insist on our own way. The message hit me right between the eyes today. Lord, cleanse me and sanctify me as a vessel of honor.
Friends, sweet Lucas went to be with Jesus yesterday. Now he is whole and healed and forever free from cancer. And now his family is broken-hearted to have to live without him. His suffering is over, and theirs has intensified. Please, please pray. Our lives will go on…theirs will never EVER be the same again. And while they do have the blessed assurance that they will see their boy again one day, today…today there is unspeakable pain.
Love one another well. Hold tight to your people and don’t skip the extra story and the 14th snuggle. Forgive when you don’t think you should have to, and give more than you think is necessary. Life is a vapor. You won’t regret it.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 20:7
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” John 17:15-19