Wednesday, June 6, 2018

She's Got Legs

I hate my legs.

Not like oh, I wish my legs were 3% thinner.  I am truly embarrassed to claim my legs as part of my body.

I used to wear jeans year-round.  Even in the heat of summer.  I eventually got bold and moved up to capris.  Look out!

Last summer my friend Michele pumped up my confidence enough and convinced me to wear shorts.  I went to Walmart and bought about four pairs of shorts in different colors.  I wore them daily, even though it felt as wrong as if I was walking around shirtless.

You see, my legs aren't exactly like the other legs I know.  My legs have pockets of fat that don't even exist on other legs.  I'm fairly certain my legs have different genetic code than all the other legs walking around on this earth.  Even when I was at my verrrrrry thinnest, my legs were still made up of lumpy, bumpy, squishy matter.

I have tried diet and exercise.  I have toned and squeezed.  I've tried self-tanner to cover these jiggle sticks, but nothing seems to change what I'm working with.

Perhaps it would be prudent for me to share the fact that my older sister has great legs.  Not just great.  Killer legs.  She and my brother could have a calf-off and they literally have.  They are toned and muscular and shapely.  My sister tans very well and my brother is hairy, so I'm the only one walking around with ghost legs.  These people were drawn out of the same gene pool as I was, and yet my legs just don't match theirs.

I realized the other day, while trying to decide if I'd rather roast in pants or expose my deformed limbs in shorts, that I just haven't seen other legs like mine.  Celebrities don't have these bad boys.  The other moms at my kids' schools aren't shaped like me.  Even my plus size friends have super toned legs.

So I guess it boils down to feeling like the oddball.  I'm different than everyone else in a way that I already don't like.  I mean, why couldn't I be different in a way that's super awesome?

I've accepted that I'll never wear a two-piece swimsuit ever again.  I've accepted that I have more wrinkles than all my older friends and that I have to fill in my eyebrows with a pencil.  But I just can't seem to accept these darn things that have the audacity to call themselves legs.

I've worried about how my views of my legs will affect my daughter, but I've seen her legs and they're fantastic.  Thank heavens.  I'll have to teach her to love her long and lean perfect body in a "do as I say, not as I do" sort of way.

We will soon be going on a family vacation.  To Florida.  Where people wear shorts all the time.  We will be vacationing with my stick-thin sister-in-law, my cousin who has been a life long dancer (read: fantastic body), and my aforementioned sister.  There will be swimsuits involved.  I couldn't seem to find a swimsuit with pants, so I had to settle for a skirt.  It's not even a maxi skirt.

I so badly want to enjoy this vacation with my family, and I will.  I just know it.  I don't want to be distracted by body image issues.  This will be a mental battle for sure.  But it's one I intend to win.  My kids are worth it, and they deserve a mom who is having fun with them and not one who is wearing a robe on the daily.

It would be so cool if this next paragraph contained my mind-blowing wisdom about how to love your body for all it can do and because it is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Actually I do thank God quite often for what my body can do.  I can walk without any pain.  I could run if my children's lives were in peril.  I'm tall enough to reach all sorts of things.  I can drive myself and park wherever there's a spot, and these cottage cheese gams make it all possible.  I'm thankful for what I can do, but I'm still not a fan of how I look doing it.

Maybe you have something about your body that genuinely bothers you.  Not just the little insecurities of wondering if your hair looks frizzy or if your shirt shows that weird back fat indent that women get from their bras.  I mean maybe you base your whole wardrobe around part of you that you deem strictly unacceptable.  We can get through this together.

Maybe our deformities keep us humble.  Maybe they keep us grounded and help us look past physical appearance.  Or maybe I'm just still learning how to grow out of body issues.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to wear shorts, and another woman will see that I'm letting my imperfections show and so can she.

That's what I'll be telling myself in Florida.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Jenga Straws

I couldn't hold my emotions in anymore.  I got up from my work chair, leaving it spinning as I stood too quickly, and went into the tiny bathroom adjacent to the patient therapy room.

As soon as I closed the door behind me, I cried.  I gave in and let the tears flow.  My face did that squished up unattractive thing.  I pressed a tissue just below my eyes to soak up any dripping mascara.  I didn't need to have my makeup cried off so everyone could see what a hard time I was having AND how my undereye regions look like someone with a terminal illness.

It wasn't that something awful had just happened.  It had been building all week.  I kept thinking about the phrase "the straw that broke the camel's back."  I had been carrying a load of straws, and the final one had just been placed on top.

I actually felt like I had been playing a game of Jenga with my straws all week.  My pile of straws included things like my 8-year-old daughter with a broken leg, my boys surviving middle school, my stomach refusing to just freaking digest food, my messy house, our family calendar, increasing migraines, my body image, and all the normal things that a part-time working mother of three balances.

These straws were constantly shifting, and new ones were thrown on the stack. 

I cleaned my messy house in an attempt to clear my mind, and within that very day, my lovely children turned my house into a national disaster.  I have been faithfully working out to a specific 90-day fitness system, making sure to get in at least 4 one-hour workouts per week.  This week I hit the 30-day mark and weighed in.  I weighed exactly the same as I did at the start.  Exactly.  I lost 0.0 lbs.

I eat gluten-free and take specific supplements in an effort to help my ridiculous stomach digest normally, but this week my stomach has been especially painful and nauseated.  I haven't been sleeping well, and I have no idea why.

I just felt like none of my efforts were making any difference in any area of my life.

On the plus side, I had been doing well taking care of Nora.  Her broken leg required help in all sorts of ways that I couldn't have anticipated ahead of time.  We had hit our groove with school.  I had a good handle on how to get myself ready for work as well as getting her ready for school each morning.  On the day I ended up crying in the bathroom at work, everything had started fine.  We got the boys to their school and got to Nora's school a little early.  I walked her in (she's on crutches) and carried her back pack.  I helped her to her desk and propped her foot on the extra chair and pillow I had made her.  I put her lunch in the basket and her folder in the bin.  I handed her the activity book I had remembered to bring for her to entertain herself while she waited for her classmates to arrive.  I checked my watch and felt good that I had exactly enough time to get to work on time.  As I bent down to kiss her goodbye, the principal walked into the room.

I had met with Nora's principal, teacher, and school nurse earlier in the week when she first returned to school.  We discussed any accommodations she might need, what the schedule would look like, how I would help her in and out of school each day.  I felt so blessed that my daughter attends an amazing school with such caring staff.  These three women were so kind and so willing to do whatever was necessary to help my girl.

But on this day, the principal was coming in to let me know that I needed to start walking Nora just inside the school and leaving her on a bench there to wait for someone else to help her to her room.  She said we couldn't be in the classroom "unsupervised" in the mornings.  I was confused.  And flustered.  She was so sweet and delivered her message like she was telling me my outfit was cute.  Nonetheless, I started to stress sweat immediately.  All I heard her say was, "You're doing it wrong."  I had to get out of there.

I felt the sensation of the last straw landing on the pile.

I arrived at work 5 minutes late.  I am never late.  And I walked in at the exact same time as my boss, so he definitely saw me arrive late.  There were already two patients in the waiting room and the phone was ringing.  I tried to switch from Mom Mode to Work Mode, but my emotions were already spilling over.  Thus I ended up crying in the bathroom at work.

As I reprocess all of this now, I realize that I had let a lot of things beat me up during the week.  People's words, my thoughts, numbers on scales and tags, circumstances.  Not only did I have bruises and fractures from receiving the blows, but I also had bloody knuckles from taking my own shots.

I think a lot of the thoughts that swirl around in my mind are coated in my own misconceptions and insecurities.  It's time for them to take a little bath in truth.  My house is messy, but it doesn't mean I'm a bad wife.  It means my family members suck at picking up after themselves.  It means we could all do a better job picking up after ourselves, and it's not all my responsibility.  I haven't lost any weight, but maybe my heart is healthier from my exercise.  My stomach is a constant source of pain and frustration.  I am doing the best I can to make good food choices, and some days are good.  I'm a super rule follower, and I never intentionally went against any of the arrangements we had made with Nora's school.  The principal has a responsibility to manage the school just like I have a responsibility to manage my kids.

Nora's leg will heal.  Some days my house will be clean and I'll feel good.  Some days I'll take my chubby hindquarters into the work bathroom to cry while my stomach hurts and I remember someone's critical words.  The beauty is that I get to start fresh each morning.  Sometimes I don't even have to wait for the next morning.

After I finished my ugly cry and wiped my face, I came back out to my workstation.  I took a few breaths in and out.  I turned to my coworker and said, "Morning:  take two.  How are you today?"


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Where I Am

I need a safe outlet to say this:  I'm terrified of the anniversary of Griffin's accident.

St. Patrick's Day will be exactly one year since the worst day of my life.

A few months after the accident, as I started to heal, I imagined the one year anniversary.  I envisioned a celebration of Griffin's life and a tribute to what God did for us.  Maybe we would have a party to commemorate being survivors.  No longer would I feel nauseated at the sight of the color green.  Green would be our banner of proclamation that God gave us a miracle.

As we turned over a new year, January brought me the realization that I'm not where I thought I'd be.


Pinterest and Instagram are flooded with Valentine's Day images, but St. Patrick's Day ideas are sprinkled into my feeds.  Every time I see any reference to the green holiday, it's like a silent punch to my gut.

Rather than hosting a big celebration, I literally don't want to leave my house on March 17.  I don't want to see green or shamrocks or people living ordinary lives as if the day is like any other.

This isn't how I want to feel; it's just where I am.

This new year has brought me a fresh batch of flashbacks and fears that the worst things imaginable can actually happen.  I pray through each situation and fight my urge to keep my children in my view at all times.

I look forward to a time when I don't notice casual references to death.  I want to forgive the color green.  And jumpropes.  And swingsets.  And St. Patrick.

I'm relearning spiritual lessons I thought I already learned.  I need to tend to wounds I thought were healed.  I need to write a blog post that isn't well thought out or witty or wisdom-packed.

I need to say some of the things that have been weighing me down.  So much for where I thought I'd be.  I need to start where I really am.


Saturday, November 18, 2017


Apparently my boss has been talking about me.  To his wife.  I know because she told me when we ran into each other in Hobby Lobby and I helped her with a craft project.

He's not sure why I'm so happy all the time.

This made me chuckle because I'm not sure if other people in my life would describe me as happy all the time or not.

I knew this conversation was the perfect opportunity for me to tell my boss' wife all about what God has done for me and how I can have joy even if it doesn't match my circumstances.

Instead of delivering an eloquent speech salted with the Holy Spirit, I clumsily said, "It's God.  God is the reason I'm so happy."  Insert awkward silence.  Then I changed the subject back to what we were originally talking about.  I felt like a kid in Sunday school who didn't understand the question but shouted "Jesus!" as if it was surely the answer.

But I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

There's so much I could've said!

Plus I started evaluating myself.  How happy am I?  How much of my joy do I let leak out to other people?  Why is it so easy for me to compartmentalize my life stress so I can always be cheerful at work?  Don't other people in my life deserve the same cheerfulness?

Here's what I've come up with.

I think I really am happy.  I haven't always been, and I won't always be, but I'm happy in this season of my life.

I treasure my kids.  I love them like mothers love their children.  But I also savor my babies.  Because we've been through the fire and we are mostly on the other side.  Still standing.  All together.

Imagine someone you loved deeply who has passed away.  Now imagine that you got that person back.  That is basically the life I am living.

I didn't know if my son was alive or dead.  He did not look alive.  First responders didn't know if he would be revived.  Four hours later, when I finally got to see him, he was on life support with no sign of life within him.  Minutes passed like weeks for I-don't-know-how-long.  I lost my baby, and then I got him back.

There's has not been one day since that hasn't been affected by that accident.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I am aware that Griffin's mere presence is a gift.  And I can't help but feel the same way about my other two children.  And my husband, for that matter.  My husband, who is the winner of the title Best Husband Ever.  For realz.  It took months to heal from the trauma of what we went through, but we are finally healed enough to bask in the awesomeness of being a whole family.

So every morning my alarm goes off and I grumpily hit snooze until panic tells me that we're all going to be late unless I get up NOW.  I sleepily uncrumple myself and head directly to the kitchen for coffee.  But I come around the corner and see precious, soft Griffin at the table.  He's alone, eating breakfast, reading his book.  He's in just underwear and he is the softest thing ever created.  His hair is crazy and his cheeks are begging to be kissed.  And I am eerily aware of this alternate life path where Griffin didn't receive miraculous healing, and my morning walk to the coffee pot would not include the detour to kiss his sweet face.  So I kiss him a few extra times.  And maybe just once (twice) more.

Then I have the task of waking Nora, which is roughly like slaying a dragon with my hands tied behind my back and shackles on my feet.  But her long, lean body is tucked snugly under her blankets, and only her mass of wild, living hair is visible.  When I kiss her warm, smooth cheeks, she wakes just enough to tell me what she wants for breakfast.  She often croaks out, "Please and thank you."

As I make Nora's breakfast, Nolan groggily saunters into the kitchen.  He makes his own eggs for his breakfast and then he makes and packs his own lunch.  He cares if his outfit matches and if his hair looks good.  I notice that today he looks 0.1% less like a boy and more like a man than yesterday.

And I know that I get to enjoy them exactly like this for this morning only because tomorrow morning they will be a whole day older and closer to being teens and then adults.  I have no idea what it will be like when I can't just kiss their faces whenever I want to.  I know how each of their skin smells.  I won't always be able to hold them and savor their physical closeness like I do now.  So morning time with my kids is one of my favorite things about my life right now.

Things get a little crazy when I am trying to get ice packs in lunches and lunches in back packs and kids in their shoes and coats and oh wait the water bottles and oh we have one minute to get in the car and why am I not wearing any socks?

But then there's this part of my day that fills my heart to overflowing.  Once we back out of the driveway and head toward the boys' school, we enter an adventure that we have created together.  We mentally catalog the color of every leaf right now.  We note the fact that there will be fewer leaves tomorrow.  We are searching everywhere for the rare sighting of "Mario."  He is an older gentlemen who walks in our neighborhood wearing a red track suit and a red cap with an M on it.  We only see him once every few weeks.  But when we spot him, it's the most exciting thing that has happened in weeks.

Then we drive by Lonely Lake.  We have named it this because of how often it is void of animal life, which prompts me to do this low-toned sing-songy thing where I say "Lonely Lake" in a way that sounds like a foghorn.  But then there are days when we see a couple of ducks or a gaggle of geese.  That makes us happy, and we cheer because Lonely Lake isn't lonely!

Next is the spot where we can see Wilson School between the trees and we shout, "Oh Mr. Wilson!"  We drive by Duck Bottom Pond, where we used to always see ducks diving for something (we make up what they are actually diving for).  If we spot a duck on the pond, we yell "Duck bottoms!!" as loudly as possible.

This school year we have the added bonus of watching two houses being built just past Duck Bottom Pond.  Each day we look to see what's new as we track the progress.  But then we get to the stop sign where we can see the factory stacks pumping out smoke.  I ask, "What are they making at the factory today?"  Each child takes a turn answering, which usually fills our drive until we reach the school.

Once the boys are dropped off, Nora and I have a tiny bit of girl time.  We get one bonus driving adventure.  We drive by a ditch that has been filling with water for quite some time.  A month or so ago, we noticed one male duck and one female duck floating on the water.  We have decided that they are teenage ducks secretly in love and they meet at this oversized puddle each morning.  But all last week there was no sign of the duck couple.  We assumed the parents discovered their forbidden romance and grounded the teenage ducks.  We are holding out hope that they will one day be together again.

By the time I drop off Nora at her school at 8:25, I am bursting at the seams with joy from my children.  I can hardly believe that I get to do this Mom thing.

Three days a week, I head immediately to work from Nora's school.  My work is about 15 seconds away from the school.  I enjoy chatting with patients and love getting to know my coworker.  I've been there since September, so I'm finally feeling confident in what I'm doing (about 80% of the time...).  I earn just enough money to help pay off the medical bills from Griffin's accident (yuck).  I get out of the house and feel useful.  I have a reason to do my hair and makeup, and yet I get to wear scrubs to work.  And then I leave at lunch time and still have two hours to run errands, do home tasks, etc.

Basically, what I'm saying is...I get to live my dream.  I am disgustingly in love with my husband.  I have three children who are alive and thriving.  I get to work and be home.

All of this ridiculous happiness is juxtaposed against the last two years of hell.  I love every 3.5 hour shift of work because I spent a year homebound with Nolan.  Instead of driving my son to endless pointless doctor appointments, I am earning money to pay off medical bills.  Instead of trying to sit Nolan upright to do school work at our kitchen table, I'm making up adventures on our drive to school.  Instead of aching for the son we lost in unexpected tragic accident in our back yard, I'm listening to him learn Chinese and practice piano while his hair is crazy and his clothes don't match.

This season makes me happy because of the season we just came out of.  And I know there will be tough seasons ahead.  Which is all the more reason to be annoyingly happy about life right now.

And let's not pretend that things are perfect.  My kids fight with each other and leave the lights on and toothpaste on the counter and whine about going to each other's events and never go to bed when I want them to.  I'm at least 20 pounds overweight, my hair color is wrong, and I have digestive issues every darn day.  Our van needs new tires and decides if it wants to start when I tell it to.  The dishes are never done and our house is never clean for more than four minutes.  And precious Nolan still has his headache 24 hours per day.

But I have the choice of which things to focus on, and right now I can't help but be grateful for the good.  You know why?  Because of God.

God brought us through all of that insanely hard stuff.  God gave me strength when I was all out.  He helped Nolan find a way to do life again even though he is still in pain.  He literally brought Griffin back to life.  He gave Nora the gifts of humor and creativity.  He gave me the desire to have children and then fulfilled that desire.  He created Jared to be this exceptional man, and then He brought Jared and me together.  He blessed us with a home and two cars and food and clothes and the ability to walk and run and play basketball and tumble.  My kids are doing great in school, I'm learning a new job, and Jared is still employed after his company has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs.

So every morning I thank God for a full night of sleep (because I didn't always get this).  I read a quick devotion and truly aim to put into practice what it says.  Today.  I want to know God more today and live more for Him today.  And I thank Him for my kids as we do our morning routine, and I pray for Him to help my friends and people who are going through difficult stuff.  I know that every good thing in my day is a gift from God.  Every hard thing in my day is something God chose to include and He has a plan to use it.

So these are the things I wish I could have said when asked why I'm so happy.  It's probably a bit much to explain in the aisles of Hobby Lobby, but I had to get it out or I would burst!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Halloween Costume Sleeve Fix

My friend Michele found the perfect Halloween costume for her daughter Abby.  Abby is a petite 7-year-old girl, and Michele ordered her costume in size 8-10.  They were so excited when it arrived.  Until Abby tried it on and discovered that the sleeves were too tight.  Really?!  Why is this the story with basically all Halloween costumes?  The sizing is terrible.

This is Abby's costume.  It's a Nom Nom.

One of my favorite things about being able to sew is that I can fix things.  So Abby's costume came to stay with me for a bit.

I had to give it some thought but here's what I came up with for the fix.

I carefully used my seam ripper to remove the stitching from the seam under the sleeve (running from the armpit to the sleeve band).

I cut strips from some scraps of interfacing, and ironed them onto the sleeve fabric on either side of the seam I just opened up.  This step may not have been necessary, but I could see that the costume fabric was very cheap and would rip easily.  So I just wanted to reinforce it.

I pressed each edge under (toward the inside of the sleeve).

I cut a piece of elastic from scraps I had on hand.  I didn't measure.  I just eyeballed it on one sleeve and cut the other piece of elastic to match.

I sewed along each side of the sleeve opening, attaching the elastic as I sewed.  I tried to line up the elastic with the sleeve band.

I did the same thing with her other sleeve.  Her costume has one blue sleeve and one pink sleeve.

I was going to call it done, but then I remembered that I am the proud owner of a wheel of Sharpies.

I colored the elastic on each sleeve.  It's not amazing but will hopefully blend better with the costume.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

In All Things

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.            Romans 8:28

I have always loved Romans 8:28 because it was my grandpa's favorite verse.  He wrote my grandma letters when they were dating and he would always sign his name at the end and write "Romans 8:28" under his name.

As I grew into adulthood, I started to dig into the verse to find out what it looks like in real life.  Sometimes I can see exactly how God is working things together in my life, and sometimes it seems as though He dropped a few stitches while knitting events together in my day-to-day.

The week before this past one was comically bad.  It became the week of stuff breaking.  Our garage door wouldn't stay down.  Our four-year-old fridge stopped working.  I injured my back while doing my hair.  DOING MY HAIR, people.  And finally, my car tried to break down and leave me stranded a half hour from home. 

I had to just start working on each problem.  I tried solutions to get the garage door down.  Eventually it started working again.  We got a small fridge and saved the food we could.  Jared started making calls to see if we could get a refrigerator repair man out and if it could be covered under warranty.  I called the chiropractor Nolan had seen and made an appointment for my first ever adjustment.  In the meantime I took shallow breaths and tried not to move.  My brother came over to look at our van and see if he could help us fix it.  We also made an appointment to take it into the dealership to be looked at.

Life went on.  We continued to work through life with a sore back, small fridge, questionable van, and general life fatigue. 

This past week I had the privilege of seeing some of the broken pieces being put back together for my good.  Not all of them, mind you.  But enough to remind me that God knows what He is doing.

I went to see the chiropractor.  He pointed out how tense my back was.  Um, duh.  That's where I keep my stress.  And there's been a bit of stress lately.  He began to untangle whatever mess had happened when I was doing my hair.  He also suggested that I come up with a better story for how I hurt my back.  I was too tired to think creatively.

When I went back for my follow-up appointment for my back, the chiropractor told me that two of the girls who work for him were quitting due to one having a baby and the other having surgery.  He asked if I'd be interested in working for him part-time.  I haven't had an official job in 11 years, but this opportunity started taking shape as the perfect next job for me.  I prayed about it and talked to Jared, and my excitement grew to a level I haven't experienced in a while.

Yesterday we had an appointment for our van to get worked on as well as an expectation that a refrigerator repair man would be coming to our house some time between 3:00am and 11:30pm.  You know how that goes.  So Jared made arrangements to work from home.

We were able to cancel the van appointment thanks to my brother's help.  But Jared still worked from home so he could meet the fridge guy while I took kids to school.

After I dropped off my kids at their various schools, I went to a friend's house to meet her precious new baby.  Mere minutes after I got my hands on that soft tiny baby, one of the other ladies there saw a truck crash into my van as it sat parked on the street.

I didn't even get upset.  I continued to hold the baby while someone else went out to assess the damage.  I was quickly summoned out to see my crunched van.  The man who hit my car was sincerely apologetic and took full responsibility.  He actually works for a local insurance company.  My van was not driveable so he said he would start the claim and get me a rental car.  He kept apologizing, and much to my own dismay, I just wasn't upset at all.  Accidents happen.  After all the crud we have been through, this just didn't seem like a big deal.

Now you may or may not know this about me, but I hate making phone calls.  It's a part of adulting that I just haven't settled into.  Thankfully, Jared was just a few blocks away from our crunched van thanks to everything else breaking down and his arrangement to work from home for the day.  So he came over to talk to the guy who hit the van and get all the necessary info and call our insurance company.  He took care of the van incident while I went for my last chiropractor appointment, where I also made final arrangements to start working next week.

It was a crazy morning, but I just kept thinking how thankful I was that Jared was home to help me.  I truly could not have survived the day without him.  I had friends who also helped with the morning by taking pictures of the damage, offering help with my kids, and even lending me a vehicle so I could make my chiropractor appointment.

God had set up a series of dominoes the week before, knowing where they needed to fall this week.  The back injury led to my new job.  The broken van led to very enjoyable time with my brother.  The broken fridge led to Jared being there when I needed him.

It's tempting to think things like:
  • Why did my van even have to get hit?
  • What does the broken garage door have to do with anything?
  • Wasn't there an easier way to accomplish what God wanted to do?
I have to consciously steer my mind away from these questions.  I tell myself that God was doing things I don't have to fully understand.  Sometimes I fill in my own explanation, like He let enough stuff break that I would get to the point of simply laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

I'm just thankful He let me see enough connections to reinforce my trust in Him.  I understand enough to go along with what I don't understand.

I discovered something new about Romans 8:28 as I typed it in this blog post.  It doesn't say that God works all things for our good.  It says that God works IN all things for our good.  There is a huge difference.  He doesn't have to tie every single thread together.  His promise is that He is working in all things.  He's doing something in all circumstances.  I don't always see how one cause is linked to an effect, but I can always trust that God is working.  

In relationships.  In broken things.  In chaos and stress.  In schedule changes and next big opportunities.  In excitement and exhaustion.

God is working.  In all things.  For our good.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017


I recently pulled some treasures out of storage.

I inherited most of my grandmother's sewing supplies when she passed away because I myself spend a fair amount of time sewing.  But I put Grandma's sewing supplies into our storage unit when we moved, and I haven't really touched them since.

Part of me didn't really want to use Grandma's things because they were too special.  But I've healed enough from losing her to realize that using her sewing supplies is like spreading her love around.

So I went to the storage unit and grabbed a few things I can use.

Some of these antique buttons are exquisite.  They are beautiful.  Some have a neat story because of what they were originally used for (a wedding dress, a handmade coat, etc.). 

Some of the items are more useful than beautiful.  Zippers and snaps that can finish off projects and make things functional.

Each and every item is breathtaking to me.  Not because of how they look or what they can do.  They're priceless because of who they belonged to.

This afternoon I made my sister two pillow covers, and I used Grandma's zippers to close the covers.  I could have chosen the exact same zippers brand new from the store, but just knowing the zippers were Grandma's will make them instantly special to my sister, too.

They are special because of their owner.

The same is true for us.  You and I may look beautiful or work well, but the real reason why we are so valuable is because of who we belong to.

I belong to God.  You belong to God.  We are His. 

I've seen a lot of parents with their kids' names tatooed on their bodies.  Isaiah 49:16 says that God has engraved us on the palms of His hands.  If you believe in God, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that Jesus died for your sins to give you eternal life, then you belong to God.  Your name is engraved on the palm of His hand. 

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I gave them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand."  John 10:27-28

There's a lot you can do well in this life.  But the true reason you are so valuable is not what you do or how you appear but to whom you belong.

You are treasured because you are His.