Thankful for the shattered start


Thanksgiving week started out like this in our house. A shattered back window thanks to a wayward baseball sent us crashing (pun intended) into the holiday season with a tiny bit of shock, and a good amount of laughter.

If you ever need a chance to work on not sweating the small stuff, have your five year old throw a baseball through the car. Works like a charm.

My first thought upon walking outside and seeing the damage was horror. I couldn’t help wonder how much this was going to cost, and as we head into Christmas, unexpected broken windows were not high on my list of “things to throw money at.” As I stood in the driveway, mouth agape, Landon walked up to me, his eyes wide and horrified.

I looked down at him and he broke. “I DID IT!” he wailed. “IT’S ALL MY FAULT!!”

And just like that I realized the window didn’t matter – his fragile five year old heart did. I scooped him up and set him on the back of Lee’s car and hugged hard and tight letting him know that car windows are meaningless and easily repaired. I communicated as much love and forgiveness as I could in that one tight hug, because he needed to feel it. He needed to know that a silly accident would never affect my love for him.

As Lee swept up the broken glass, I comforted my distraught child who felt a world of guilt on his tiny little shoulders, and I was reminded, once again, that my reaction as a mom to these types of accidents has the potential to make or break my children. This is the place where they need to know that they can mess up – they can break windows, kick holes in the wall, knock plates off the table, and stain the carpet, and never be far removed from a hug and the assurance of love.

As we swept up the glass, we showered him with grace. It was an accident. It’s no big deal. We have insurance. All is well. And slowly, we pieced him back together and made him a little more whole.

By the end of the day, the insurance company had come out and replaced the glass at no charge, and the only thing lost was my favorite STL Cardinals sticker. And this one incident sent us into Thanksgiving with grateful, thankful hearts. Thankful for grace, and love and forgiveness. Thankful for a God who lavishes grace on us when we make mistakes, when we accidentally make a mess. Thankful for family and life and children who are healthy enough to throw a ball through a window.

I am so thankful for grace, when it is shown to me, and when I have the wherewithal to slow down and show it. Oddly enough, that broken window set us up for a weekend full of gratitude. Had Landon not shattered that glass, I’m not sure my eyes would have been quite as open to the beauty of a Thanksgiving weekend filled with laughter, with visitors, and with enough grace to cover a lifetime.

I will forever be grateful for that broken window, and for the boy who continually teaches me to love graciously, wholly and fiercely.  

More scenes from Thanksgiving:




Girl cousins

Girl cousins

My aunt and uncle have done missionary work in Jamaica for years. Red is their Jamaican "son," and he fit right in with our crazy crowd.

My aunt and uncle have done missionary work in Jamaica for years. Red is their Jamaican “son,” and he fit right in with our crazy crowd.


Our 2nd Annual Family Kickball Game

Our 2nd Annual Family Kickball Game


The men of the group

The men of the group

The whole crew. 31 family members, plus 5 of our dear friends from St. Louis who recently moved to Boca Raton. How can I not be thankful for this?!

The whole crew. 32 family members, plus 5 of our dear friends from St. Louis who recently moved to Boca Raton. How can I not be thankful for this?!


Day after Thanksgiving. Beach. Perfection.

Day after Thanksgiving. Beach. Perfection.

Pure magic, this boy.

Pure magic, this boy.


Yes, there are.

Yes, there are.

So tell me, friends – How was your Thanksgiving?!


Thankful in November

IMGP5673My sister-in-law (who is all kinds of awesome) is doing a month long series in which she details that which she is thankful for.  Imagine that!  Giving thanks in the month of Novemeber…who ever heard of such a thing?

I, personally, love the idea of focusing on that for which I am thankful.  It’s so easy to get bogged down in the negative, in the business and craziness and OMGI’MNOTGONNASURVIVETHIS moments of life that sometimes I have to stop myself and remember the happy.

In general I’m not much of an Eyeore type person.  I’m thankful for that because with some of the heartaches that I have faced in the past, it would be very easy to be an Eyeore.  But then again, it’s that way for all of us, isn’t it?  We’ve all faced pain, heartache, trial, hurt.  We all have the choice to dwell in the pain, live in the past and simmer in the hurt.


We can move on, step forward and let the past fade in the distance.  For some, that’s easy to do.  For others, it’s much harder due to deeper wounds, harsher trials or simply because they are hardwired from conception to stew, analyze and think.

So today I’m focusing on the thankful.  I have been so bogged down lately that I really haven’t had time to stop and think and…thank.

Outside of the obvious (my husband and kids…what kind of wife and mom would I be if I didn’t mention them, right?) I’m thankful for where we are in our lives right now.  We’ve walked a bit of a tightrope in the last few months and it had every potential end in a stomach dropping plunge.  But, instead, the tightrope has slwoly widened and we are once again feeling a bit more secure.  Not comfortable, of course, as we are ever on our guard, but we have definately seen blessing in the last month.

I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for the memories I made travelling Europe with my husband where he snapped the above picture on our last day in Italy as I lounged in a park in Bellagio.  I was looking at the mountains across Lake Como and marvelling at God’s majesty, totally in awe of creation.  I’m thankful for that day, for that moment and for the many pictures that are seared into my brain from across the seas.

I’m thankful for the career I’m slowly but surely beginning to develop in writing, editing and social media.  I wasn’t looking for this and it kind of fell in my lap and I just have to say – I’m having the time of my life.  I’m still navigating the waters of what is feasible for me to pursue and what needs to be sacrificed as I also tend to my young brood.  But I’m thankful for opportunity, whatever it might be, that comes my way and I’m totally enjoying the ride.

I’m thankful for Nutella.  It’s just so very, very good.  On everything.  Including pizza crust, on which we slathered an entire can a couple of weeks ago and presented it to the kids as dinner.  Which leads me to the next thing:

I’m thankful that I can still please my kids with a Boboli Pizza crust and a can of Nutella.  I’m thankful that my seven year old still thinks it’s cool when I accompany him on field trips.  I’m thankful that my four year old still wants to hold my hand and sit in my lap.  I’m thankful that my two year old tells me I’m beautiful almost every day and then squints his eyes in a mischevious grin because he knows it melts my heart.

I’m thankful for my soft bed and thick pillows even though I don’t get to enjoy those as much as I would like to.

I’m thankful.

I’m also now craving Nutella.

I’m thankful that Target is only a couple of minutes away and they faithfully stock Nutella on their shelves.

What are you thankful for?