Monday, May 9, 2016

Recognizing and appreciating what I do have...

Family life is messy.  Sometimes we can forget that and have unrealistic expectations of family get togethers and celebrations.  On Mother's Day this year, instead of going out to eat we decided to invite the family over to our house.  There are a whole lot of things that went right.  On Saturday, my husband did the grocery shopping and made my recipe for shredded pork in verde sauce with a bit of coaching from moi. He had the whole meal organized, and both of us agreed that we would use paper plates and napkins and disposable cups and utensils so no one had to do dishes. I even had some cute flowery plates and napkins fitting for a Mother's Day get together. 

Sunday morning, I gave the morning message at church,  and everything seemed to go well.  Our oldest granddaughter came home with us after church and helped Papa make the guacamole and set out the fixings for the shredded pork burritos. The weather report for Mother's Day was a bit iffy, but the day turned out to be quite nice, so the grandkids could play outside.  I love having all five of our grandkids together!  The chips and salsa and guacamole were spot on and the shredded pork burritos were delicious. The make your own ice cream sundae bar for dessert, with a choice of vanilla bean or rocky road ice cream, and fresh strawberries, bananas, peanuts, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream to top the ice cream with was a big hit, especially with the grandkids.  I received gifts and flowers and sweet cards from my husband, daughters and grandkids.  It was a good day.

But, not everything was perfect.  A text and phone call from our youngest daughter, who had to work, wasn't quite the same as having her and her husband with us.  Youngest grandson had a bit of a melt down because he really needed a nap.  One unnamed grandchild had a bit of a potty accident, necessitating wiping down the bathroom and washing the bathroom rug.  The oldest grands were irritated that they had to stay outside and watch their little brother who was determined to escape out of our yard that isn't fully fenced in.  My daughters were weary, like most young mamas, and just wanted to be able to take a Mother's Day Sunday afternoon nap.  Yes, it was a good day, but it wasn't Hallmark movie perfect.  That's when you have to look past the messy imperfections to see the blessings.  You have to recognize and appreciate what you do have, even in the midst of temper tantrums, messes, weariness and all the other things that make up normal family life.  Life is not perfect.  Specifically, my life is not perfect, but I know beyond a doubt that I am a greatly blessed woman.  I'm so very grateful.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-two more gals joining our exercise group
-the book of Proverbs for devotions with She Reads Truth
-our girls renting a house on an island for our family vacation this August 
-the hubs getting a lot of yard work done after work today
-him encouraging me to rest while he worked since I wasn't feeling well

-a sweet worship and prayer time in my little home office
-reading to my granddaughter from the same children's Bible I used with her mama
-painting for art time
-how much she loves our little neighborhood park
-finding some good deals on birthday gifts for our youngest grandson

-writing about Mama that flows with memories and some tears
-my friend coming over and walking with me
-feeling better today 

-my great niece's 10th birthday
-having my friend over for brunch
-our Thursday prayer and worship night at church

-my daughter and youngest grandson coming over for breakfast
-going for a drive on Friday date day
-laughing at ourselves about the quirks we have that annoy one other

-my husband doing the grocery shopping and making the pork for Mother's Day dinner
-such beautiful weather
-our oldest grandson helping Papa with more yard work
-God's presence at home as I listen to worship music and go over notes for Sunday
-God's help with my message
-a wonderful evening walk
-listening to my favorite podcasts

-God with me as I gave the message at church
-people lingering long after church, 
many gathering round and visiting with a new couple and making them feel welcome
-our oldest granddaughter helping Papa make guacamole
-texts and a phone call from my girl who couldn't join us on Mother's Day
-all my grandkids together
-resting and watching Fixer Upper after everyone left

still following,


  1. Sweet post, Elizabeth. And so true that life is all about perspective. There is just so much to be thankful for! I did a post today on a really big family mess! God is at work, and is good all the time, isn't He? And I am so thankful!!

    1. Your post was so encouraging, the way God led you through that long, hard trial!

  2. It is hard sometimes to focus on what we do have in spite of our messy lives. But when we do, that is where the gratitude flows from. What beautiful blessings you've shared.

    1. Looking for the ways God blesses us in the midst of the mess is key!

  3. It's good to hear that you had a wonderful time. If all the work goes as we expect there is chances to forget god. So there will be ups an downs in life.

    1. That's a good point! We wouldn't need God if others could meet all of our needs.

  4. Encouraging post, Elizabeth! For me, keeping my expectations in check is key. There is very little in my life that has turned out as expected or planned. Yet I have been blessed beyond measure! Have a blessed week!

    1. June, yes, we set ourselves up for disappointment too often don't we? Noticing and counting our blessings is much better for us!

  5. Loved your words of encouragement.It's easy to miss the blessings in the mess - but God can always teach a lesson through the mess. If we let Him! Loved reading about your Mother's Day even though it had a hiccup or two!


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