Tonight while we were at Wal-Mart for that black Friday shopping you just have to do, Lilla started playing with an etch a sketch. She thought it was the neatest thing she’d ever seen and was insisting that she needed it, and seriously right now is the best time to get it.

I told her, “Well, Christmas is coming up, maybe you could ask Santa.”

She first said, “He’s pretty far away. I don’t think he’s going to come here.” (And by here, she meant she didn’t think he would shop at Wal-Mart, which I found funny in itself.)

She then started saying something about being powerful and so I asked her, “What do you mean? Do you think Santa is powerful?” I had been trying to figure out what she meant as I thought she’d been saying he was powerful to get all the gifts to all the kids.

She looked at me, gave a knowing giggle and said, “Noooooo, God is powerful.”

And she humbles me once again.



For Thanksgiving every year I like to write out some things that I am thankful for. I try to do 365, but I am sick right now with a spinning head so I’ll so 100 for now!

1. Salvation

2. The cross

3. Jesus

4. My husband

5. Lilla

6. Anna

7. My sister, Erika

8. My sister, Melanie

9. My brother, David

10. My brother, Chris

11. My brother-in-law, Russ

12. My sister in law, Jody

13. My niece, Madison

14. My niece, Sydney

15. My mom

16. My dad

17. My stepdad, Richard

18. My former stepmom, Sandy. Although she is no longer married to my dad, she still has a place in our hearts!

19. My new stepmom, Nel.

20. My bestie, Carrie

21. Her children, Jenna

22. Buddy

23. My other bestie, Shelley

24. Her hubbie, Tom

25. Her children, Taylor

26. Makie

27. Gracie

28. My dog, Ellie

29. My mother in law, Mary Lynn

30. My father in law, Norbert

31. My BIL, Alan

32. His Wife, Steph

33. Their children, Justin

34. Sean

35. Olivia

36. Emily

37. My BIL, Mark

38. His wife, Melissa

39. Their daughter, Tiffany

40. My SIL, Terri

41. Her husband, Brent

42. Nephew, Alex

43. BIL, Dan

44. His wife, Amy

45. Children, Danny

46. Jeff

47. Matthew

48. Amanda

49. Jackie

50. Billy

51. My BIL, Jim

52. SIL, Tammy

53. Nephew, Grayson

54. Niece, Jasmine

55. My house

56. My car

57. My bed, which I’m laying in now since I’m sick

58. My husband’s job

59. Being able to stay home with the girls

60. The library

61. Wal-Mart, the evil empire, but when you live here, it’s all you got!

62. MOPS

63. MOPS Steering Team

64. My fridge is full of food

65. Our family has clothes

66. We are able to pay our bills

67. My church

68. Worship Music

69. Clean, hot running water

70. Hope

71. Peace

72. Joy

73. Faith

74. My Bible

75. Living in the USA

76. My camera, I’m such a photo taker!

77. Photoshop, it’s amazing what that thing does for pictures!

78. My laptop, all my friends live inside it. J

79. Facebook for all that it’s connected me with this last year.

80. Prayer

81. Real, honest to goodness love

82. Pizza, my very favorite food

83. The special family who helped us financially this last year. Just incredible!

84. God blessing us financially when we really needed it

85. Lilla accepting Christ this year

86. Lilla choosing to be baptized when we never even talked to her about it.

87. Awana

88. Kid’s church

89. My pastor

90. My pastor’s wife

91. Heat, I don’t respond well to cold

92. The Children’s Museum

93. The Zoo

94. The trail near our house

95. The park

96. The change of season, so I can appreciate what I have!

97. Anna becoming well after a very rough start in life last Christmas

98. So many meals and prayers provided to us last year after Anna was born

99. Sleep

100. Life

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Wordless Wednesday

For other entries or to join in, go to http://www.5minutesformom.com/12378/wordless-wednesday-sweet-sophia/

Let Rest

This weekend my sister and I met up with a childhood friend of ours. We went shopping, laughed, and of course, told stories of when we were kids. Isn’t that a requirement for when you are with old friends?

My memories are much more vague, as I’ve realized more and more lately. Very little from childhood is concrete in my mind. The reason for that is not quite clear, although it is possible that it has been a defense mechanism to block out a particularly difficult time in my life.

As my sister and friend reminisced, and I listened with intrigue at the narratives that had occurred over the those years, the stories surrounding me, I barely knew. Like it was a different person they were speaking of. Somewhat like watching a movie you saw once many, many years ago and were not that familiar with.

My sister was particularly troubled over a childhood prank that my friend and I had pulled on her. Again, a very vague memory, if one at all. As I sit and listen to her get progressively more upset as the story went on, my hope was something I had read from CS Lewis many years ago, “Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.”

I love my sister and don’t want to see her distressed, so, I sincerely hope she can.

And, if you dear friend, are equally troubled over something that may have happened a decade ago, or maybe an hour ago, my hope for you is rest in Jesus too.

Thankful Thursday

As the days whip by in a rapid pace closer and closer to the Thanksgiving holiday next weekend, my thoughts are drawn on all that I have to truly be thankful for. We found out today that a fellow we know from church lost his job, we are thankful for income. When I bought some canned vegetables this week I couldn’t help but think of the local food pantry that needs to be stocked, and we are thankful for food on our table. Then I hear about a blogger who is struggling to survive, and I am thankful for my health. When I hear of all the desperate ways people I know are grasping at happiness, which just seems to be out of their reach, I am thankful for the cross.

And…here are two more beautiful little things I am thankful for this week…

Black and white.

Lilla is black and white. That is how she sees the world. It makes her a rule follower, sometimes to a fault, but it’s also very positive. For instance, when she was very little I told her the fireplace is dangerous. She’s never, not once, touched it. She’s almost four. Her 11 month old sister won’t stop touching it.

Tonight I was putting her to bed and she was discussing with me why we need to help poor children. “They sleep on the street,” she said. I said, “Yes, some do.” She then asked who was going to help them get a home. I told her that maybe the government or churches or strangers, like us. She replied, “Well, you can’t talk to a stranger.”

She’s black and white.

So months ago when I told her that we shouldn’t be watching Spongebob because he says some not nice things (i.e. idiot, stupid…) she has really taken it to heart. To a point of, if she sees it come on tv she puts her head down in the couch and tells me I need to change the channel. Yeah, she might be a little extreme, but it’s part of her black and white nature.

I started thinking about this though and how I told her he says unkind things and also how she is trying to protect herself from that. Even to the extent of burying her head into a couch so she can’t see it. That, my friends, is dedication to the cause.

Of course I had to then think of myself and how I should be doing that too. I should be turning my head at the slightest hint of unrighteousness. Even to the extent of what Lilla does to turn and run from what I know is wrong. How often do I watch a program even though I know it has a history of using God’s name in vain, making sexual references like it’s just one big joke or just altogether being unGodly? How often do I listen to gossip, although I know I shouldn’t? How often do I read articles that often should make my face turn 4 shades of red? ALL. THE. TIME.

I couldn’t help but think of the childhood song, “O Be Careful little eyes what you see, o be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down with love, O be careful little eyes what you see.”

I think I’m going to practice a little more of that caution today.

10 Smile Tuesday

I’m just about to head out to the library with a friend, but, I wanted to squeeze in a few smiles to open the window to our past week and some of the fun we’ve had.

1. Celebrating my good friend’s son’s first birthday. I actually don’t have any pictures from the party, as I was rushing and forgot my camera, but this was taken later in the day. Such a handsome birthday boy he made!

2. Going to Zoo Boo. Our zoo’s annual Halloween event. We’ve gone every year since getting the annual pass and had so much fun. Pumpkin bowling, bounce house, trick or treating…what’s not to love?!?!

3. Pumpkin Gospel. Our friend’s invited us over to carve pumpkins while we related it all to the way sin has gunked up our insides, how Jesus carves it out and how His light shines from within. If you’ve never heard of it before, you should google it, pretty great way to talk about the gospel at this time of year. Lilla was so cute, when we were talking about the sins inside us she belted out, “I got baptized!” How wonderful to know she really understands why she was baptized!

4. I love you! Lilla has never been an I love you kind of girl. She just doesn’t say it a lot, she is more of a huggy than verbally telling us. Well, the last month or so this has changed. I’m pretty sure she is making up for lost time! The I love you’s are flying and this mama loves it!

5. Friends. A long time friend of mine came over the other day to get a few things and it was so fun to hang out with her again. We go so long without seeing each other and it’s just like it was yesterday. Don’t you just love friends like that?
6. Trick or treating. We went with some friends (same pumpkin gospel friends) and had such a great time going around with the kids, laughing and although it was chilly, it was just a great time!

7. I made this pumpkin cake for one of Mikey’s co-workers birthdays. How cute is that? I’m just smiling because the way it looks. It was super yummy too, which is a whole other smile!

8. Sunshine. The last couple of days the sun has been brightly letting us know we are not completely into winter yet. It’s really chilly out, but the sun just seems to make everything better!

9. Sisters. Lately Anna and Lilla have been playing more and more together. It gives me such a joy to see them getting along and to see Anna’s personality coming more and more to life. She loves Lilla so much, you should just see her face light up when Lilla comes in the room!
10. Confession. Lately at night when Lilla and I do our songs and prayers she has been confessing her sins to me. I am so blown away at this three year old and how she really gets “it” when it comes to Christianity. I am learning more from her than she is from me, that is for sure!

Couple extra:
God blessed us in a way that we certainly would not have guessed, and we are thankful!

Seriously silly, but we found minature Reese pumpkins and holy cow, those things are addictive. I can’t help but put a smile on that!

Oh, and lastly, I hope this doesn’t sound vain, but I am finally able to put my size 8’s on again!! I honestly did not think they were ever going back on me. But this last week the size 10’s were actually falling off…which was not pretty, let me tell you. So, I tried them on and …who knew? I do have a saying though that just because you can get them on does not mean you should wear them. This is true for me right now, still got some toning to do, but yahoo, for it being within reach!!

Oh…just one more…Oprah had a 50% off your entire order at Payless last week, so you know I had to go! We got over $100 worth of shoes (including cold weather boots for Lilla and I so we can play in the snow!) for $50!! I’m not an Oprah fan, but I’ll definitely say thank you on this one!!

What are you smiling about today?

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