May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I am back.

Or I want to try to be anyway.

I do not have any deep insight or wisdom to share.

I am in a broken place.

I am not really sure how to start.  I was looking at some old posts a couple nights ago and some
drafts that I never finished.  And I saw my sweet boys looking oh so little.  And I saw my Dad.

So I am doing this again.  For me.  So I don't forget.

I have read some of Ann Voskamp's book and follow her blog.  Nearly every time I read something of hers, I am in tears.  She writes a lot about gratitude.  So, I wanted to find things I am grateful for in 2013.  This past year was a hard year, a year with a lot of loss.  I may have even called it a sucky year but don't tell my Mom.  But I am learning and believing that there is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  Always.

1.  My Dad is forever at peace now.  Lasting, true, unchangable peace. 

2.  For now, medicine is controlling Eli's absence seizures.  And he is still so completely Eli.

3.  Ashley and I still have laughter.  This past year was ugly for us.  Very ugly.  We have a lot
     of healing and work to do.  But we are finding laughter again. 

4.  Jonathan still holds my hand.  He is tall now and wants and needs his own space at times.  We too
      frequently bang our heads together.  He is always hungry.  And very definately has his own  
      opinions.  But he will still grab my hand sometimes when I pick him up from school and we walk
      to the car.  And at night, when it is my turn to read with him, he still asks me to sing to him and
      he will often squeeze my hand for awhile.  I wish that would last forever.

5.  Jonathan has developed an enjoyment in reading.  He has always loved being read to, but this
     school year he has truly started to read for enjoyment not just for assignments or practice.  He
     will actually chose to read and will often bring a book in the car. 

6.  Safety while traveling.  We drove a lot of miles between TN and KS this year.  I am so pathetic
     about getting sleepy while driving.  I dread the drive and get really anxious about each trip.  But
     the Lord kept us safe.  The trips involved caffeine and books on tape and naps along the way at all
     sorts of places and one sweet boy getting car sick too many times and one big brother being an
     incredible helper (most of the time kindly!) but we arrived safely each time.  Thank You Lord!

7.  Ear buds and an arm band for my phone.  Ashley kindly bought some for me and they are so
     great!!!  I tried to be better about exercising this year and was doing better and being able to listen
     to a podcast or music was so helpful.  I have not been as consistent the last couple months but am
     determined to get back at it.  It helps my outlook so much to have that time alone, to breathe and

8.  Burning candles with abandon.  I so enjoy having a candle burning, but I usually am stingy with
     lighting candles and want to save them for company or I am not sure what.  But I have been
     burning a candle most days now and most of the day.  And I love it.  And need more candles!

9.  Starting a story hour program at the local library.  I am the very last person to be leading crafts or
     singing but I have enjoyed it so far.  I get nervous most Tuesdays and often debrief afterwards
     on the phone with Polly or Nikki about how things went and what should have gone better but
     it has been neat to try to start something. 

10. Watching an ever deepening bond between brothers.  No one can make Eli laugh like Jonathan.
       No one can frustrate Jonathan like Eli.  But Jonathan really does not like when Eli has to be
       disciplined.  They will wrestle and hurt each other and also be each other's source of comfort.
       My heart smiles when Jonathan sits and reads a book to Eli.  I am so deeply grateful for those
       two and so thankful they have each other. 

I have much to be thankful for.  I am very blessed. And I am thankful that I feel hopeful for 2014.