Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throw Back Thursday?!?

So, to be truthful the whole "Throw Back Thursday" phenomenon that has crept its way into social media kind of baffles me.  However, I decided to give it a shot and it was worth it!  Look at this gem I found!
October 2009

I look at this picture and I praise God for his faithfulness.  Lydia had just been released from Pittsburgh Children's Hospital when we had this picture taken.  Now, she's all healthy, and both kids have grown so much.

I praise God even more because, while I loved my hair cut, I'm guessing I weighed about 350 pounds in this picture.  How faithful is God!  He's carried me this far!  I need to remember His faithfulness no matter what! 

The kids are so much bigger now.  And I'm so much smaller!  And, David---well I'm pretty sure he's gotten even dreamier! 

Just for good measure I thought I would throw in a couple more "back in the day" pictures.  I hope they make you smile.  They sure made me smile!!!

This is Finney's Pumpkin Farm. I LOVED hanging out with Fred and Barney every year!

A precious family portrait.  Oh, how I miss my sweet sissy.  I think I look a lot like both of my parents.  What do you think?

An old Polaroid picture.  I LOVED this scooter.  I still remember riding it around.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Our task for writing group this week was to rewrite a fairy tale in a modern setting.  While not following the assignment exactly, this is what I came up with.  P.S.  It's a few days later and I'm actually still pretty upset with Cinderella...

I know you are a scapegoat here, but I’m blaming you anyways.  Why did you teach us all that with one bippity boppity boo a pumpkin could be turned into a viable means of transportation and that mice and birds would make us beautiful ball gowns?  Why have you become our example of midnight kisses and princes that search high and low for us?  Men who love us no matter what we are wearing the day after, no matter our social class or our awful family.  Why do you put a magic seed in our girly hearts promising us that all dreams come true?  And don’t get me started on that darn set of shoes you wore!
      Cindy, let’s take a look at reality here.  I have 4 pumpkins setting on my porch right now.  And no matter how many times I shake a stick at them, all they do is sit there and rot.  The car I do have, I paid too much money for, and I pray incessantly that it will not break down and make me look like an even bigger fool for buying it. 
And, let’s talk about the birds and rodents, shall we?  I remember that the mice at my old house did not make me a new ball gown, instead they chewed on my beautiful wedding dress, you know, the one I spent five hundred dollars on---and destroyed it, not to mention ruining some of my son’s cutest baby clothes.  And the last time a bird got into my house was when I was on vacation.  It was trapped in my house for several days and it pooped everywhere, making me feel like you in your early years of scrubbing and washing every square inch of the house down. 
Now, let’s discuss the prince.  Yes, I know I married one.  But, let’s be honest here.  Cinderella, why must you share your story in a way that portrays love happening in an instant?  It took David and I two years to even decide to date.  As blessed as I am with the man, marriage is hard.  Very rarely can we even hold our eyes open until midnight, let alone steal a moment for a tender kiss.    Girl, I don’t know how you found a powerful man who would run all over the countryside for you, when most women feel it is a bonafide miracle if their husband helps clean up after dinner.  It’s just not fair for you to rub all that perfectness in our face.
      Nor is it fair that you promise for dreams to come true.  I look around and I see widows and widowers, with tears falling as their heart aches for their true love, mourning for the one who they argued with about leaving the toilet seat up or spending too much money.  I see couples who have a mortgage on a little house that is falling down around them, and not a royal couple living in a pristine castle, debt free.  I see fights over laundry, tears over hurtful comments, and besetting sins that seek to steal the joy right out of a marriage.  Sometimes, if you look hard enough, you’ll even seen loveless marriages.  
   Tell me, Cinderella, why did your fairy tale have to come along and make us all feel like our own little love stories are inadequate?
   I know tomorrow I’ll probably wake up feeling bad for all the things I said to you, Cinderella.  Even now I regret the bitter tone I’m using with you.  But, girl, you have to realize that life isn’t a fairy tale.  It’s not fair to keep pretending it is. And by the way, we all know you are pretending.  Because no woman I know could ever run in glass heels.

            I’m sorry for ruining your reality, but you keep ruining ours. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Too much...

I don't mean to be too much.
I know I'm too loud, and I get too excited, and I love too many people.
But, I never mean to be too much.

This morning, during my prayer time, while I'm trying to focus on God, all I can hear are voices from my past telling me I'm too much.  My passion for life has always been a loud passion.  I've always desired to be quieter, but the harder I try to fight against my natural inclination, the louder I get.  The more "too much" I get.  I've heard this message from many people in my life, from people who I love, who I trust, whose message to me has sunk in deeper than I realized.

Feeling like I'm too much, really makes me wonder if I'm enough.

I'm three days out from embarking on this journey of writing my book.  (Well, I've already started, but the month of November is devoted to this book).  Maybe my dreams are too big, and I will fail?

I'm nearly three years into a devoted weight loss effort.  I've lost fifty pounds, but I'm still too much when it comes to what I weigh.  Maybe my dreams are too big, and I will fail?

I'm thirty years in to a life that I hope reflects Christ, and my dream of serving him wholeheartedly my entire life.  However, I still sin daily, and some sins have too much of a hold on my heart for me to move forward it seems.  Maybe my dreams are too big, and I will fail?

But, what if the reason some people see me as too much is because my dreams are not too big?  What if God's words is true in Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  What if God has called me to be brave and do these great things I keep hoping for?  And what if, only through the power of Christ, I can accomplish the dreams God has set in my heart?  What if my dreams are exactly what God has planted in my heart and He can lead them to fruition.

I'm making a very specific effort to focus in on what God has to say about me today.  Because those other voices telling me I'm not enough or I'm too much are very loud right now.  Instead, I need to listen to the Holy Spirit's whisper and trust that God made me just right, just enough, just perfect for the plan He has set before me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What I think...

Poetry isn't my best thing---but tonight, I just felt led to write this.
I find myself going back and forth between two thought patterns in my mommy moments.  One side of me is soaking in every little thing that they say and do, and how they look, just in this moment.  The other side of me is screaming inside as another glass of (expensive Lactaid!) milk gets spilled.  I think this is a struggle most moms face.  And I'm realizing I have complete control over my reactions.  I'm teaching my mind to tune into my thoughts before they become words...and this poem is sort of about that.

But, before I share the poem, I couldn't help but share some of my favorite memories from my kiddos!  I love being their mom, and I love watching them grow in to the people God has created them to be!

WHAT I THINK--to Micah and Lydia

I need to put away the thoughts I think
When my kiddos are full of messes they create
When chaos is prevalent, the house is a wreck
And I can’t even think a thought straight

Tears, fights, discipline and strife
Chores, sighing and yet another time out
Spilling, wiping, the never ending list
I’m not sure if I can handle another bout

I need to focus on the way I think
When my kiddos are tucked in fast asleep
When messes don’t matter, the house is quiet
And I don’t even hear a single peep

Snuggles, devotions, hugs and kisses
Prayers, giggles, and bedtime wishes
Painting, baking, making messes galore
Little one, there’s no way, I could love you more.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seeking HELP!

Suddenly, my life is vastly different that I ever imagined it could be.
I belong to a writer's group.  I'm doing writing assignments.  I've committed myself to writing a book in the month of November.
It's *almost* like I'm a writer.


The reality of that fact is blowing me away.

Especially when I tie that into the fact that I feel this ability to write is a gift from the Lord.  He cleared my schedule and gave me a passion and crafted inside of me an idea for a book that I really think could make a difference in peoples lives.

That's big.

I'm humbled.

Truthfully, it's a little bit scary.

Which leads me to this---I'm looking for prayer warriors.  Infact, I'm looking for a team of prayer warriors that would adopt a day in the month of November to pray for me.  To ask God that I will write the words He wants me to write.  I desire to use  this book as a form of worship for the Lord.  Will you help me stay committed to that?  Will you pray me through writers block and frustration and time constraints and a messy house?  Maybe even you could give me a phone call on that day and pray with me?  Or better yet, stop by and we'll have tea and maybe we can even pray together!

Big steps of faith can only be effective if backed with big motions of prayer.  

So, if you are interested, please leave a comment below or email me with what day you would like to take to be the prayer day.  I'm hoping to have all 30 days covered, and I'm thrilled if there is more than one person praying on a specific day! :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013



My Bible almost automatically opens to these pages.  Psalm 51.  When i'm in need of joy, I come here.

One of the first verses I ever remember hearing, long before I asked the Lord to cleanse my soul, was from verse seven...wash me and I'll be whiter than snow.

Is it any reason I love the symbolic first snow fall?  The beauty.  The magic.  The cleansing.  And, for all of us sinus suffers, sometimes even a big of relief from the fall allergens.

As I was watching the snow fall from my kitchen window this morning, I had instrumental music playing in the other room.  The song, "Open the Eyes of My Heart" came on.  I realized how many of us "grown ups" automatically shut down the eyes of our heart when that snow falls.  The moods become grumpy, full of complaints.  Our childlike wonder goes away, just because God is doing something new.

In NW PA, I know the excuses are most likely validated.  Yes, we usually endure anywhere from 5 to 7 months of snow, cold, miserable weather.  Yes, traveling will be slow.  There will be water main breaks from here on out.  Pipes will freeze.  People will fall.  Propane and natural gas prices will rise, and it will take twenty extra minutes to even get out the door with the children.

I'll be the first to admit that by March, sometimes even February, I'm ready for the snow to be gone.  But, I'm committing myself this year to finding wonder in this season, hope in the newly fallen snow, and an excuse to stay inside, clean, read, relax, and of course write.  Embrace this season.  Let God open the eyes of your heart to the beauty and truth in what is happening all around you.

So, if you have found yourself grumbling in your heart about the snow, or even outloud, open your Bible to Psalm 51.  (If you don't have a Bible, let me know, and I'll get you one!).  Let God sink some joy into that heart of yours.  Then, put on a pot of soup, and invite a friend over for dinner.  God is good.  Even when it's snowing.  Let me rephrase that.  God is good...ESPECIALLY when it's snowing. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Here's to Sam! (A tribute to my FB Share Winner!)

A few days ago, I asked my Facebook Friends to share my blog address and to make sure they let me do it so they could be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a prize.
My friend and neighbor Sam was the lucky winner, if you count winning a plate of my cookies and a mini spot light on my blog lucky. :)
I really appreciated each and every share.  It helped me gain 3 more faithful follows on my blog (Thank you all who subscribe!) and I hit my 9,000 mark on blog views.  Those are pretty big milestones for a girl just starting out in the writing world.

Anyways, let me get back to my winner...Sam.

Sam is an incredible woman.  She's a wife and a mom, a mom of four to be exact.  We met, like many of my current friends, outside of our school entrance.  Many of us drop our kids off and pick our children up everyday.  As the years have continued, the faces become more and more familiar.  Eventually, we find ourselves talking about random things, and then suddenly, you realize you've made a new friend!

I love this phenomenon. I think everyone should try it.

Sam's friendship snuck up on me, just like that.  One day we were Facebook friends, then another day after Dad had his stroke, she delivered the most amazing meal.  Then, somehow I would end up at her house for a visit here and there over the summer.  Or she'd invite my kids and I over for dinner after school.  Before you know it, she rescuing me from the worst migraine I've ever had...but I'll write more about that later!  As time has gone on, I crave time with Sam.   I want all my other friends to meet her! She encourages people naturally.  It's even more fun, because chances are, if I'm with Sam, so is Jackie (p.s.  You can read Jackie's blog here!).  I enjoy the way our friendship triad works.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have so many people encouraging me on this writing journey.  And I'm even more thankful that so many of those people are true, amazing friends.  A girl can not get more blessed than I am when it comes to incredible people and wonderful support.  So, here's to Sam!  And here's to all the rest of you.  Each one of  you is so important to me in my writing journey! :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Moody Monday

Nine.  I made nine stops on my errand run today.  That's a lot of errands for a Monday.  
Since I'm really starting to take this writing gig seriously nowadays, I have honed in even more on on of my favorite pass-times...people watching.  If there is one thing that is evident during my Monday morning errands it's this---joy is missing everywhere.  Nearly everyone looks miserable.
The Lord has made it clear to me that when I'm out and about, my face needs to be radiating the joy that He's given me.  People everywhere need to see it, and be refreshed with something different.
Well, the true story is that this morning, as I started out with my to do list, I really didn't feel like radiating a whole bunch of joy.  See, our already tight grocery budget was trimmed down even more this paycheck, our gas tank needed filling, and I had to pay a ridiculous fee at the pediatricians office to pick up a form for Lydia's school.  I had already paid for the doctors appointment, yet I had to shell over MORE money just for them to take 3 minutes to check a couple boxes.  Yeah, I was in a mood.  Sometimes I hate sharing these bad attitudes with those of your who read my blog, but really, most of the time, my bad attitude is where God gets ahold of me...then He teaches me.
So, at my first appointment this morning, the office was running behind.  I used that time to hone down my grocery list.  I took the list of meals David had made as a wish list and figured out what ones would be the most affordable.  When I finished that task, I realized that I really had a decent list that could actually be purchased with our very meager grocery budget this week.  It made me smile.  I thanked God for the ability I had to meal plan and how because of that gift our family would be just fine over the next several meals.  As I was smiling, praising God, my gaze caught a woman who looked just miserable.  Sad.  Maybe even desperate.  She looked into my eyes, and though she didn't smile back, I think I saw her face soften just a bit.
My day continued and I did each of my check list items.  I found myself more joyful as the day went on.  I could see how God was showing His care for me.  I saw three different friends throughout my errands today.  One of them gave me the biggest smile and a huge hug. How encouraging!  My grocery budget provided everything we needed for the next two weeks, and even a special little treat of a cappuchino mix for when I'm writing.  And, did I mention that I had found two left over gas cards in a wallet of mine.  Yes, I had to make two stops to two different gas stations, but they were right next to one another, and it was just another reminder of God's provision.  They didn't cover all of my gas, but they shaved $15.00 off my gas bill!
Even now, as I look ahead, I automatically switch to worry about the next paycheck.  How the next tank of gas will be filled.  How the cupboards will look in two weeks.  I remind myself that we are faithfully climbing out of a debt pit that we dug ourselves.  We are determined to learn to live better and enjoy what we have.  My smile that was beaming by the end of the trip, was only from the Lord, His Spirit and His blessings. I'm thankful for humbling lessons that God shares, and how he proves time and time again, that if we just get over ourselves and submit to Him, he can use you, even if it's just for your smile. 
I hate that my past decisions keep me from giving financially as much I would like to others.  I would think of nothing I would rather do than walk up to a woman who looks forlorn and worried and hand her a hundred dollar bill.  Sadly, because of the mistakes I made in my past, I can't right now.  I look forward to doing that someday. But, for now, I don't have much of little of anything to financially to offer, but I can offer little glimpses of hope.  The smile God stirs up in me.  The one that comes straight from His joy.  And I just pray as I made my nine stops today that the smile was enough.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cleaning House

The cleaner my house is, the cleaner my eating tends to be.
And let's just say that the past four days my house has been a mess.  
But enough about that.

My house is getting cleaner.

Infact, I just surprised myself by spontaneously cleaning a small closet that has been bothering me.  It is opened once or twice a day to get napkins for the table or dusting rags for the furniture, and usually I'm the only one who goes in there, the sole person to see the mess.  To say it annoys me would be an understatement.  I have been wanting to clean this closet since August.  Every day, each week, other things would be deemed more important and it would stay sloppy, unorganized, and even behind the closed door the cloth napkins and table cloths and flower vases would mock me.

But today, I conquered it.  In 15 minutes or less.  David and I brain stormed.   We selected a few items to sell online, we discovered a few new storage solutions, and now I can open that door and smile.

I tell anyone who is on a wellness journey that the small victories are the biggest.  This little closet proves my point.  Your house is only as clean as your messiest closet.  Your diet is only as clean as your most processed, sugar and calorie laden meal.  I'm making a conscientious effort to improve both.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Power Box

Weigh in day.  I suck a bunch of air in, in an effort to relax my racing heart.  Then, I blow that air and more out of my body, praying that any extra ounce will leave my body with it.  I step on the scale, clenching my jaw, shutting my eyes, saying a final prayer that I will see benefits of the hard work I put in all week show up on the scale.  Or, depending on the week, begging for a miracle, and that punishment will somehow pass over me.  I peek at the number display, only to see the scale is still calculating.  I shut my eyes tight again, another quick prayer, one  more hope, and I look down again...never knowing truly if the scale will reward me, punish me, or make me want to quit.

This week, much to my relief, I see my body let go of weight brought on from a series of mistakes the week before.  Down 4.2, a total of 48.2 all together.  I have not lost that much in a long time.  Relief fills me, knowing that the little choices I'm making matter.  The success of the scale is motivation.  The hope of seeing a smaller number can motivate me more than it should.

I step off the scale, thankful for a fresh number in my mind.  More hope filling me.  I feel the bounce in my step knowing that my body is lighter.  And I praise God for loving me despite all my short comings in this area, because there are days when stepping off the scaled is not so bouncy.

Those days I step off, tears in my eyes, my heart downcast.  Whether it's from shame of my bad choices or disbelief that my hard work didn't pay off, sometimes the scale can be a reminder of all my short comings, not just my weight.  It reminds me of my lack of discipline, my desire for immediate results, how I feel like every one else in the world is prettier, smarter, more worthy of love than me.

One metal box. A few little digits.  A lot of power.  Too much power.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Little Life Updates and One Big Annoucement

Lots of little life updates today...and one big announcement.

LLU #1---I'm 1.8 pounds away from hitting 50 pounds.  Still.  My body will not give up pound #50....
LLU#2---I'm struggling with goal setting for my weight loss without getting overwhelmed again.  Sometimes I fear that I had a groove and it's lost now.  I remind myself that I can't really lose a groove, and I recommit myself, sometimes seventeen times daily to finding it.
LLU#3---I've been participating in a writing group that I love.  It challenges me.  It gets me out of my box and I love that.
LLU#4---Because of that writing group, I just finished reading a book called Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg.  I do not have adequate praise for the writing style of the book.  It was simply incredible.  I have a new book by Elizabeth Berg that I signed out of the Library entitled The Day I Ate Anything I Wanted---and other small acts of liberation.  If you frequent my blog, I think you will understand why I signed that one out.
LLU#5---I've spent the weekend refreshing.  David took a 4 day weekend from work, I went away overnight on Friday night, we've had a lot of fun as a family, and I feel rekindled in my love for my husband, family and home.
LLU#6---Our upstairs bathroom is finished...except for trim. But, who cares?!  My toilet flushes and I can shower, not to mention I now have a door on that bathroom again.  That was a long three weeks!
LLU#7---My new favorite activity is taking a bubble bath while watching Netflix on my Kindle.
LLU #8---I wrote a poem about a tomato.  I don't know much about poetic rhythm, but I had fun.
LLU #9---I finally saw Despicable Me 2.  I enjoyed it.  However, I do wonder what it is like to go to the movies and not hold a 42 pound child the entire time.
LLU #10---I'm super excited about November.  I love Thanksgiving.  I have a great head start on Christmas shopping...but the biggest reason I'm excited for November is wrapped up in my ONE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.....

Thanks to my writing group and the encouragement of the ladies there, I've decided I will use the NaNoWriMo website to write a book in November! I've never anticipated writing fiction, but I'm so excited about creating characters, plots, problems, solutions, conflicts, resolutions, and maybe even a lesson or two in there!  Even if my book is awful (which it will be, it's only a first draft) it will be a growing experience.  And I'm all about growing.  Well, except when I'm about shrinking.  But, you know what I mean.

The real challenge is how will I find time to exercise and write a book?  I'll let you know in November.  Since that thought kind of freak me out, I'm going to do something fun.  I'll share my tomato poem!

Dicing me up
Then cooking me down
Putting me on fries
That makes me frown.

Making me into soup
Canning me into sauce
When will people learn
To do this is a loss

All the kids dislike me
In my natural state
They only eat me as ketchup
Or as sauce with pasta on their plate

So few accept me
In my round, red form
They want me processed, seasoned, unnatural
Sadly, that's the norm

I want to be loved
To be accepted for what I am
I am a tomato
I do not belong in a jar, bottle or can

So walk to your garden
Pick me off the green vine
Let my sun warmed juice run down your chin

I’ll taste divine

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Missing Micah

          I hopped out of bed quickly that morning, and hurried myself downstairs to use the bathroom.  I wiggled down the stairs, trying to get to there in time, rushed because I woke up late, and my bladder was keenly aware of that fact.  Mental and physical relief flooded my body as I finished the task at hand with no mishaps.  I scrubbed my hands at the sink, and then I returned upstairs to wake my beautiful children.  Lydia, had already got up and she met me in the hallway.  I hugged her and then I ducked into Micah’s room to awaken him.  I glanced into the top bunk where he normally sleeps and noticed the flat appearance of the bed.  I rubbed my eyes, knowing my sleepy eyes must be playing tricks on me.  Stealing a second look, I confirmed that Micah's pillow remained empty.
          Realizing that I must have dashed right past Micah on my potty run, I limped my tired body back down the stairs, calling his name.  I threw large pillows off the couch, expecting him to be hiding underneath with an impish grin.  I moved the throw blanket off the loveseat.  My heart began pounding in my chest as I realized he was not in the living room as I expected.  Frantically, I threw open the closet door and scanned the small space as quickly as I could. Out of good measure, I ran to the bathroom where I just had been, only to find it empty.
          Sweat began dripping down my brow.  My hands were trembling.  My voice cracked as I screamed in pure terror up the stairs, “David, David, Micah’s missing.  He’s gone!”  The thump of my husband’s feet hitting the floor both comforted me and added panic to my racing mind.
          As David began searching the upstairs in the same haphazard manner, I repeated my downstairs scan, this time threatening Micah out loud as I pulled furniture from walls and peeked behind chairs.  “Micah, if you think this is funny, you are mistaken!  If you are hiding, please come out,” I begged in a loud voice that was demanding, but somehow still filled with motherly love.  Hearing no answer to my demands, I ran to the front door.  Scanning both locks I confirmed that the knob and chain locks were still intact.  Fearful of the idea that someone may have come into our home, or worse, may have left our home, I shuffled to the back door and checked both locks there too.  I heard David’s muffled voice as I yanked on the door to confirm the dead bolt remained secure.

          Desperate to hear David’s message, I dashed to the staircase and heard David’s announcement that Micah was found.  Relief replaced panic as I climbed the stairs, quicker than my round body usually allows.  I pushed past David and Lydia in the narrow hallway, only to find Micah, confused about the yelling, but safe none the less, in his bed.  David confirmed that Micah had been there the whole time. As I nod, I see the obvious point that I had overlooked just moments earlier---Micah had simply slept upside down in his bed.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Devotion Gone Bad---Almost

The clock reads 8:03p.m.  Combining the drizzling rain with the rare high humidity of this October day and my children's intense physical play has created an aroma of salty, moistness.  As a mom, I debate whether I enjoy that scent or loathe it.  Tonight, I decide I was grateful for it, even if I was a little nauseated.  I snuggle up with my two children on the couch to read our Bible.  We've been reading through the gospel of Mark for the last month.   Tonight, we are are nearing the end of the book, reading a somber account of Jesus' arrest and betrayal.
As we settle in, we hear my husband's truck finally back into its parking spot.  We've been apart since 4:00a.m. this morning.  Sixteen hours of working, serving, living life---connected, yet apart.  Relieved to hear the sound of another grown up is now present in our home, I look down at the Children's Adventure Bible that's on my lap.  
I read the words.  The way Jesus was betrayed grieves me.  It made me anxious.  Despite my best "patient mommy efforts" the kids are quite restless. I snip a quick reprimand at Lydia who is pulling my hair out of it's pony tail holder.  As I turn to address her, Micah who was sitting snuggled on my opposite side, felt compelled to do the same thing. As he pulled on the holder, one of the tiny little hairs at the base of my neck was pulled.   
Frustration bubbled up, hot and ready.  No snipping about it.  This time I yelled.  Micah and I stared right into each others' eyes for thirty solid seconds.  As the stare-down continued, snippets of frustrating words are flying through my mind.  "Why can't they just listen to me?  We are reading the Bible.  This time is sacred."  I find myself wishing they understood how sad the words were---how heart wrenching the betrayal of Jesus by one from his inner circle is.  
Just as soon as the thought passed, I realized that for this time in their lives, I'm so glad they do not realize the gravity of the words I read.  I'm glad they do not know how people lie, cheat, steal, and sin against other people for a few extra coins in their pocket or a few moments of fame or just simply because it feels good to them.  I'm so thankful that my kids are growing up in a safe home where we protect them, love them, pray for them, and read them the Word---whether they actively listen every night or not.  Yes, sometimes their silly mommy gets annoyed and yells---but then their mommy apologizes and we pray together.
My heart aches for the children who do not get apologies.  I cry for the babies going to bed with hollow tummies and empty hearts.  I can't help but wonder if there is a child sitting next to one of my kids in school who would love to hear someone encourage them or pray for them...or simply have someone not scream at them.  What about those precious little ones caught in slavery or the sex trades around the world?
And so in keeping with the goal of my Wednesday Attitude of Gratitude, I am making a decision here and now to let go of the last sixteen hours and the frustrations that I've held on to through the day.  I choose thankfulness for what we have here in our home.  I choose hopefulness that someday maybe God will still allow us the chance of adoption where we can share the safety of our home with another child.  And I choose faithfulness to keep doing the things with my children that I'm supposed to be doing, no matter how long and tiresome my days may be.