Begin Again

My life is so incredibly busy right now, but one thing is painfully obvious.

I need to be grateful.

I need to count my blessings, and I need to remember why I’m thankful.  So…  I’m starting again.

  1. A new job
  2. Computers
  3. Good friends
  4. Family

I’ll try to write more later this week, but that’s my starting point.


I’m still thankful

My poor blog. It’s been so neglected. But I’m still here and still thankful. Tonight, it’s for good friends, and geeky times. image


I should be asleep right now

It’s 2 am.  2:15 actually.  I usually go to sleep around midnight, if Princess has come home from work.

But I’m worried tonight, and that has meant that I distract myself with other things.  Like Facebook.  And Neverwinter.

Dale and I like to play Neverwinter together.  It’s an online game.  I play more for him than for me, but it’s fun.

So why am I worried?  Well, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been sick a good portion of December.  But it’s viral.  And we’re passing it around the whole family.  Little Bit and Boo are both coughing.  Dale went to give Little Bit some medicine tonight, and ended up giving her an adult cough syrup.  I’ve stayed up to keep an eye on her.

And, well, Skye got into some chocolate today.  At least we think she did.  I’m keeping my eye on her.

And Nana has a skin/fur issue that I’m watching.

And then Princess.

Small background on Princess.  She turned 17 in February, and her biological mom kicked her out of the house in March.  She went to go live with her boyfriend’s family who she calls her parents.  Boyfriend broke up with her in October, so I asked her to come live with us.  She and boyfriend are currently “together” but not “dating” because they are working on “their problems.”

Clear as mud, right?

Princess went to a New Year’s Eve Party with boyfriend and then spent the night with boyfriend’s family.  She came running through this afternoon because she was late for work.  She sent me a text asking if she could stay at her parents’ house tonight.  Because she normally means boyfriend’s family, I said yes.

Turns out she meant biological family.  She came into the house with an attitude problem.  She talked with attitude.

And now, I’m sitting here worried for this child of my heart, and praying that she can make it through the night without being wounded even more deeply.  That when she returns, that hopefully, she will return, that we can sit down and have a civil discussion without the attitude problems.

I am fully aware of how much she isn’t mine.  Not legally.  Not biologically.  She’s a whirlwind most of the time.  She has an electric smile and a bubbly personality, but she’s a good kid.  She’s smart.  She’s both logical and emotional.  And she’s been hurt so very deeply.

So, I’m awake.  And worried.  And I should be praying for her.

But instead, I’m distracting myself.

I’m going to start the Joy Dare again.  I’m not going to count this time, and I’m not going to stress about it.  I’m going back to the goal of this blog.  To be grateful everyday.  The Joy Dare is simply a tool I used last year to help me achieve that goal.

Jan: 1: 3 gifts heard

  1. Little Bit singing
  2. “We all love you.”
  3. “Yes ma’am.”

Dear God,

Please keep Princess in your arms tonight.  Protect her and guide her.  Please be with her mother to help her understand what she has done to her child.  Please be with me and Dale, and all the adults involved in her life that are trying to show her a better way.  This isn’t easy dear Lord.  This isn’t your plan for family.  But we know that in all things, your glory.  Help us to always live for your glory.

In His Name,  Amen


The end of the year

This is the last day of 2015.  I have worked hard to be grateful everyday.  I have had good days and bad days.  I have been a princess, but I lost my daddy.  Today, I complete the Joy Dare, and I will have well over 1000 gifts.

Thank you Lord, for this year.  Please help me to be thankful for each and every gift you have given me.

Dec 16: 3 gifts Bethlehem-unlikely

  1. Being able to come home. 1149
  2. Musical Shakespeare. 1150
  3. Forgiving others.  1151

Dec 17: 3 gifts frosted

  1. Birthday cake. 1152
  2. Lemon cookies. 1153
  3. Frosted windows. 1154

Dec 18: 3 gifts miraculous

  1. Kidney transplants. 1155
  2. Babies. 1156
  3. The body that God designed and gave us.  They are miraculous in the way they work.  1157

Dec 19: 3 gifts manger-small

  1. Personal heaters. 1158
  2. Slow cookers. 1159
  3. Computers. 1160

Dec 20: 3 gifts angelic song

  1. Singing with church family. 1161
  2. Listening to my girls sing. 1162
  3. Singing for God. 1163

Dec 21: 3 gifts lit

  1. The pilot light.  1164
  2. The stove.  1165
  3. Campfires.  1166

Dec 22: A gift with rejoicing, wonder, praising

  1. Every new believer.  1167
  2. Watching the little birds fly back and forth. 1168
  3. Little Bit singing with her whole heart the songs she learns at church. 1169

Dec 23: 3 gifts starry

  1. Meteor showers. 1170
  2. Eclipses. 1171
  3. The constellation Orion.  1172

Dec 24: 3 gifts humble

  1. Daffodils.  1173
  2. Little flower bouquets from little hands.  1174
  3. Filling communion trays.  1175

Dec 25: 3 gifts in Luke 2

  1. Joseph’s commitment  1176
  2. The shepherds, the first missionaries.  1177
  3. Simeon’s acceptance  1178

Dec 26: 3 gifts in Christ

  1. Joy  1179
  2. Peace  1180
  3. A future.  1181

Dec 27: a gift found, shared, saved

  1. Momma’s dishes.  1182
  2. Momma’s Christmas chapel  1183
  3. A handkerchief for Little Bit  1184

Dec 28: 3 gifts lingering

  1. The smell of garlic.  1185
  2. Pet fur.  1186
  3. Memories   1187

Dec 29: 3 gifts of hope

  1. Flower bulbs  1188
  2. Eggs  1189
  3. Mornings  1190

Dec 30: 3 gifts remembered

  1. Mommy  1191
  2. Daddy  1192
  3. Grandma  1193
  4. Grandpa  1194

Dec 31: 3 gifts anticipated

  1. Monday night dinners with friends  1195
  2. Renaissance Festival 2016.  (1196)
  3. Heaven  1197

I have to tell you, I’ve taken to asking my family for their ideas when I get stuck.  At dinner last night, I was telling them about how I came up with “Musical Shakespeare” for Bethlehem-unlikely.  Little Bit came in and said, “I know another gift that Jesus probably wouldn’t have gotten.  A Penguin.”

She cracks me up.  1198

I also want to include something I wrote on Facebook today.

I’ve been doing some thinking lately. Some pretty heavy thinking. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the year. Maybe it’s because I was looking at some photos earlier this week.

The pictures I was looking at were pictures of a slide show that Amber and I were doing with Daddy last November. We couldn’t figure out how to take a picture of the slides effectively, so most of them are tilted quite a bit.

There’s a lot of pictures of his mission trips to Nigeria. There’s a lot of pictures of me as a kid. There’s a lot of pictures of family.

The thing that went through my head looking at these pictures of pictures is what would I have done differently if I had known that was the last time we would sit and talk about his slides, his memories.

The answer: Nothing. Well, maybe asked more questions and pushed him a little to look at more slides. Asked for more memories, more stories.

But here’s what has been playing over and over in my head. Even though he was very sick, even though my momma was very sick, even though they were in pain, I would not have asked for one day less. Seeing their pain hurt, yes.

But I wouldn’t trade singing to my momma in her last day (1199), I wouldn’t trade tying my daddy’s shoelaces  (1200), I wouldn’t trade one minute of that struggle. That struggle has helped me see what my mom and dad were made of (1201), what I am made of (1202). Seeing how they put their faith in God, how they handled the struggle, has given me hope for any struggles I may go through in the future (1203).

Do I wish that Momma hadn’t had cancer? Every day. Do I wish that Daddy had taken better care of himself so that heart disease didn’t take him? Every day. But the only thing I can change is myself, and how I handle my own health, and my own struggles.

And even though I miss them both horribly, I praise God that I have been made stronger because I had to walk beside them through that journey. (1204)

So that’s a very long way of saying, if you are struggling, if you need someone to walk with you, please let me know. I will walk beside you and hold your hand. I will pray for you and with you if you want. But you never have to walk alone through the dark parts of your life. The bright parts are just around the corner.

To each and every one of you, whoever you may be, may you have a very happy and grateful 2016.


2 more days

I’ve got 2 more days for my epic #1000Gifts catch up.  Hopefully I can do it.  This is part 2.

Dec 1: 3 gifts white

  1. Marshmallows  1104
  2. Fresh fallen snow. 1105
  3. A fresh piece of paper.  1106

Dec 2: 3 gifts bright

  1. A new candle. 1107
  2. Hugs from my youngest. 1108
  3. Bubble lights. 1109

Dec 3: 3 gifts shining

  1. New flashlights. 1110
  2. Sunsets. 1111
  3. Dale’s eyes.  1112

Dec 4: a gift circling, crowning, crafted

  1. Christmas tree skirt from Mom. 1113
  2. My princess tiara.  1114
  3. My table.  1115

Dec 5: 3 gifts silver

  1. Grandma’s silverware.  1116
  2. My pickle castor.  1117
  3. My silver butter dish.  1118

Dec 6: 3 gifts sweet

  1. Homemade Christmas cookies.  1119
  2. “Free Hugs” from Little Bit.  1120
  3. Christmas chocolates.  1121

Dec 7: 3 gifts from your savior

  1. Redemption. 1122
  2. Forgiveness. 1123
  3. Mercy. 1124

Dec 8: a gift hung, held, heard

  1. The picture of the deer that Grandma painted.  1125
  2. Stuffed animals.  1126
  3. “I heard the voices of angels.”. 1127

Dec 9: 3 gifts ugly-beautiful

  1. The release of tears.  1128
  2. Messy kitchens.  1129
  3. Laundry. 1130

Dec 10: 3 gifts unframed art

  1. The singing sisters “portrait”  (It’s in the header.). 1131
  2. All the little pictures that Little Bit makes me that I can hang on my fridge.  1132
  3. Caricatures of the girls.  1133

Dec 11: 3 gifts ice cold

  1. Popsicles for sore throats.  1134
  2. Sparkling icicles.  1135
  3. Sweet iced tea.  1136

Dec 12: 3 gifts berry red

  1. Strawberries. 1137
  2. Red scarves.  1138
  3. Red Velvet Cake.  1139

Dec 13: 3 gifts striped

  1. Peppermint sticks. 1140
  2. Scarves. 1141
  3. New socks.  1142

Dec 14: 3 gifts stamped

  1. Holiday cards. 1143
  2. Letters. 1144
  3. Dates in library books. 1145

Dec 15: a gift gold, scented, bent low

  1. My wedding band. 1146
  2. The Scentsy warmer the my mother in law gave me last year.  1147
  3. The gift of prayer. 1148

Okay, day 2 of my wrap up is finished.  On to day 3 tomorrow!