Each day presents us with opportunities to be grateful. As more storms passed very near our home this weekend, we are grateful to emerge unscathed. We are grateful to have power when so many do not. Storms are scary. They give me heartburn and kind of put me in a bad mood. It’s true. I’m working on it.

Grateful has kind of been the theme of the week. This Forbes article caught my eye with the headline, “Astonishing Numbers: America’s Poor Still Live Better Than Most Of The Rest Of Humanity.” I have so much. How could I ever focus on my have nots?

I have a husband who works crazy hard to support our family. He values our family. He values me! He values what I do each day. And he does the dishes. And helps me weed my garden. He gives horseback rides around the living room before his keys have stilled on the hook. He rolls over just before our eyes close for the night and says, “Let me pray for you.”

I have this crazy, imaginative, lovingly sweet daughter who fills my days with deep, belly-aching laughter. She greets me [crazy early] each morning with the sweetest smile; one that reaches so deep in her eyes I have to close mine to try to capture its love. She holds her brother’s hand and tells him he’s her best friend. She is quick to apologize and quick to forgive. And I get to be her mom!

Even with all of Landon’s health stuff that we’ve dealt with lately, I’m still struck with gratefulness. He is healthy. The impact to his life is minimal. We have health insurance. And even the good news of this week: we now qualify for speech therapy [he stopped using words after he started having seizures]. Good. Perspective. He is the sweetest, most snuggly little guy I’ve ever met. He has the best facial expressions, making you forget he’s not using words. He’s the first to help clean, the first to eat all his veggies, and the last to let go during his sweet hugs.

And it’s impossible to forget the blessing of being pregnant. The opportunity to add another member to our family. It’s truly been a great pregnancy so far. It started out pretty rocky and I was diagnosed with a threatened miscarriage after a lot of bleeding. Looking back I think it was just the stress of finding out I was pregnant not long after my son was hospitalized with seizures, but one day there was a lot of blood. A lot. [God bless my mom the day I called her, bawling, saying, “I think I just peed my baby into the toilet.”] And after three [yeah!] ultrasounds I’ve had the opportunity to see that tiny, beautiful little babe jumping [seriously] around in my belly. I’m struck by how precious life is. How full life is. And how much there is to be grateful for.

We have all of these things here. All of the fullness of our lives on Earth. Gifts. And yet it’s not even our greatest Gift! [Totally inspired by this devo.]

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” [1 Peter 1:3-9]

So feeling grateful. And wanting to spend time with these great people. Appreciating our gifts and His glory: we set out for an adventure this weekend.

strawberry picking

Our adventure starts when we head to the orchard after dance class to find the pick your own strawberry fields do not open for over an hour. What do you do to entertain a 22-month-old and a 3-year-old for an hour?

strawberry picking

Toys and candy. Say it with me…

strawberry picking

Enough joking, lady. Gimme all your berries.

strawberry picking

Also, I need to know who taught my children how to make a funny face. Who did it?

berry picking

[Just to be clear, these are not their funny faces.]

We had so much fun. The ground was so wet but we managed to miss the rain. And the orchard was having a p-y-o sale [since it was so gross out] and we snagged six pounds of berries for 99 cents a pound!


strawberry picking

This was my favorite part: she grabs his hand and says, “C’mon Buddy, I’m gonna show you how to run in the river!” Hehe. It wasn’t that wet.

We had so much fun, I don’t think we’ll need a sale to give us incentive next year. It was definitely the perfect excuse to spend a day focusing on gratefulness.


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