1000 Gifts (7)

Psalm 34:1-3

I will bless the LORD at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul will make its boast in the LORD;

The humble will hear it and rejoice.

O magnify the LORD with me,

And let us exalt His name together

121. family traditions

122. teapots

123. chex mix (Mary's chex mix is the best!)

124. Psalm 1

125. that Judah can sleep through drumming and Roman pounding on the piano

126. first snow

127. feeding the squirrels with Roman

128. calloused hands of a hard working man

129. dancing

130. unique names

131. friends gathered round the kitchen counter...sharing, laughing, inspiring

132. miracles

133. second chances

134. that God has a plan bigger than my own

135. pizzookie

136. Christmas decorations

137. authentic people

138. people who are always trying to improve themselves and their relationship with God

139. when someone else does the dishes

140. freedom



Roman loves to build block towers.

Like every other little boy on the planet, he likes to build towers so that, in a moment of utter aggression, he can knock over his masterpiece and watch all the pieces go flying to kingdom come.

The construction/demolition process usually looks something like this:

  • "You want to build a tower, Mommy?"

  • I agree and we start piecing blocks together...up up up.

  • I watch him put together this blue print in his head (or lack there of), selecting just the "right" piece to place in each specific location.

  • At some point he usually reminds me that he is an "arch-ta-tec"

  • We have some moments where wobbling requires me to anchor the whole thing with my hands so that we can use every.single.block. in the most lop-sided creation in all of history

  • He puts the last block on and smiles with great pride

  • He runs into the other room giggling and shouting my "line" before I can get it out, "Just don't knock it over!!!"

  • A moment passes and he comes dashing back in, so excited and ready to destroy.

  • Blocks fall to the floor.

Although, lately, there has been one added step. If, for whatever reason, I am not there to anchor the tower as he builds, it usually ends up toppling a couple of times before he finishes. For example, today I was feeding Judah as he was building and I watched about a third of the tower collapse. He saw it coming. Very frustrated, he shouts "That's MY tower!!"

I have heard him say several times while building in the last week.

"That's MY tower!!"

I am always intrigued wtih the the way that he expresses frustration. Sometimes it creates frustration in me as well. Sometimes it evokes deep compassion. Sometimes it's just plain hilarious.

This time I laughed a little, and I felt bad for him, but mostly...I couldn't help but relate.

Don't we all have this feeling of self-entitlement? I know I do.

It's mine.

We want to be able to place the blame somewhere when things don't go the way that we had planned.

Often, there is no one to blame. It's just that life is frustrating sometimes. The car needs another repair...I don't want to spend waste my money on it. A friend asks for a favor that seems oh-so-inconvenient. I don't want to spend my time on that.

Sometimes it's that we, ourselves, have royally screwed things up. We have arranged our lives in such a way that suddenly, all the "blocks" are about to come crashing down around us. Unwise choices, burned bridges, words we can't take back.

And yet, when things don't play out the way we had planned, we too can be heard crying out in a moment of exasperation:

"It's MY life!"

Except that it's not.

As I recall, we were bought at a price.

In reality, there is no such thing as my job, my family, my possessions. Because it wasn't my work that got me there, my fertility that created life, or my talent that earned me anything.

Now, obviously, people work hard to get good jobs, and partner with God to conceive children, and save wisely to obtain things they need or want.

But none of those things are truly ours to keep. Need an example? Just look at unempolyment rates, a family who has lost a child, and the man begging on the corner.

Plans fail.

We grieve for one who was dearly loved.

Moth and rust destroy.

Sometimes life is ugly. Brutal. Unbearable.

The frustration, the sorrow, the anger build until we scream

"This is not what I had in mind for MY life!"

I have come to see that anything that we are blessed enough to have is on loan to us from God.

And I find rest in knowing the One who paid for evey moment...and has a plan for each event...good or bad.

I have some things I need to surrender - because they aren't mine at all.

They are yours, Lord. And it is all for your glory.


1000 Gifts (6)

101. That my brother is HOME safely and that he found a great job!

102. tucking little boys in bed - tonight I laid Judah down in Roman's bed with him while we sang and they LOVED it! They laughed so hard and rubbed each others' heads. Cutest ever. I am so thankful that they love each other so much.

103. twigs snapping underfoot

104. leaves crinkling and blowing

105. going on a walk with the boys with no coat on in NOVEMBER!

106. Christmas in South Carolina (can't wait!)

107. soft, sweet smelling, kissable baby head

108. when Joe has a day off and wants to spend it at the zoo with his family

109. sweet neighbors that mow our lawn

110. Mom's apple dumplings :)

111. learning something new and astounding during God time (do some research on Mount Moriah!)

112. surprises

113. cooking for people

114. all the placrs I have traveled

115. sweatpants

116. well-loved Bibles with worn covers and wrinkled, marked-up pages

117. Christmas music

118. women who are scared and alone, yet still make the difficult choice to keep their baby or to seek adoptive parents

119. priests, nuns, monks: obedient to a radical vocation; a life lived in total abandon to the Lord

120. pomegranates


1000 Gifts (5)

81. Mass

82. That I get to stay home with my kids. I could never thank my husband enough. I love every minute and I'm so thankful that he works so hard and has always made it a priority.

83. friends that are so incredibly generous with their time and resources.

84. a mom who will drop everything to come help me with a sick child. Love you!

85. parents-in-law that have always treated me like their own daughter

86. those times when you swear that you can audibly hear the voice of the Lord speaking directly to you.

87. that I don't have to have all the answers

88. Veterans...whether they sacrificed a few years of their time or their very life

89. the refreshed feeling I get after talking with a good friend

90. mommy kisses that make everything all better

91. warm gingerbread

92. our church family

93. wide open spaces

94. the ocean...the smell of salt, the sound of crashing waves, the feel of the sand in your toes

95. words. the perfect combination paints such a vivid picture and evokes such an emotional reaction

96. that Roman and Judah love each other so much

97. Dayton Oaks Camp. The beginning of the greatest Love of my life.

98. movies that so vividly portray the battle between good and evil

99. friends who aren't afraid to go "into the trenches" with you. the people who are willing to walk alongside you in the darkness and help you get back to the light.

100. strong men of faith who are willing to fight for Truth.

Laugh of the Day

So, after dinner I was telling Joe and Tony that The Lion King was going to be at the Civic Center. I told them how my mom took my brother and me to see the show when we were in New York my freshman (?) year of high school. I loved it. I was telling them that it's not so much acting as it is amazing music and, as my mom would say, "eye candy". They both kind of stared at me blankly.

"You know", I said, "it's people with these incredible voices singing and there are big colorful costumes and amazing choreography".


"It's cool music with lots of stuff to look at. Ya know?"

Then Joe says "Mmm hmmm. See, Tony doesn't know what you're talking about because he's never been to a Broadway show."

Tony: "You take that back! I saw Peter Pan!!"


1000 Gifts (4)

61. the sound of gravel crunching underneath my shoes
62. a little hand on my shoulder...waiting for attention
63. chai lattes
64. the glow and warmth of a fireplace
65. Roman dancing with no abandon
66. babywearing. LOVE my moby wrap!
67. cozy cuddle under the sheets after a long day
68. answered prayer
69. boys writing new songs in the basement
70. pausing for prayer - time stands still as we speak with the Lord
71. foot massages
72. Carter James. cutest nephew ever! I need to post more pictures of that little buddy soon!
73. trampoline...oh how I miss it!
74. the Pirate (Roman) and the Elephant (Judah) I had for Halloween. :)
75. a cuddly, rolly poly baby boy (17lb 10 oz at his 4 month appointment!!!)
76. the way Roman LOVES Murphy (his stuffed dog)
77. my education
78. people who love my kids
79. Clorox Anywhere. It's one of my essential household items. Can hardly go a day without it.
80. storms