(Written on Thursday late afternoon for Friday morning’s blog post.)

If you want to be challenged A LOT with practicing gratitude and praise, just spout off about “counting it all joy” at your blog or in a manuscript you are writing for (hopefully) publication. Yesterday I really felt like hypocrite extraordinaire as I melted down over life….


What do you do when you can’t seem to get along with the people you are with most and a beautiful spring day calls your names?

In three words:


Ok, so that is the short version.

This is the long, pictorial version! 🙂

Today, I knew the kids and I needed…NEEDED..to have some serious restoration time. So, today, instead of counting it all joy and about throttling one another, went in search of joy..I felt like today was a day I needed to be intentional about making it happen. You know, I think it is great when you can praise God IN the circumstances–that is the goal. As we see God as he is, we can do this more and more. I believe that. I know that. I have seen it transform my life.

But since most of my circumstances are shared with two other people (my teenagers) who don’t really *get* that just yet, it is true that there are times when you have to go with the facts. And the facts were…we were hating one another (in the way we acted) and life…NOT ok. I think it made it worse for them for me to keep saying “Tell yourself the truth! God is worth praising even in this situation.” They were NOT buying it. I don’t know that I was either by 4pm yesterday afternoon. 🙁 Just being honest.

Our facts were we were war-wounded and weary from our struggle yesterday. Nothing extreme. Just typical-run-of-the-mill yes-can-you-believe-I-am-complaining-about-this-piddly-thing sort of stuff! I am amazed we hadn’t strangled one another or literally cried our eyes out (it wasn’t for a lack of trying).  Since we homeschool, we spend a LOT of time together. Basically 24/7 except in rare instances. The homeschooling thing has become very strained for us (prayers appreciated!). Add the wonderful weather and we are even more of a mess about it than we otherwise would be as we have SPRING FEVER!

Today, we chose to delight in the many things God has given us to delight in–away from home and schoolbooks. He gave us a LOT to delight in today! I sooooo needed that! THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS, Lord!!!

First, we headed off to the club. The three of us played a game of racquetball together and then the two kidlings played without having an argument! MIRACLE!

We followed that by running some errands and then having lunch at Mickey D’s. Still smiling!

Before heading for home, we decided to go scout out Folsom Lake’s Peninsula Campground to evaluate if it might be a place we could take the kayaks this weekend. This was the best part of the day in many ways. Check this out! They actually look like they love one another!

Maybe they do??? I am so thankful that even though life has been stormier for us lately than usual, we can have a great day like we did today

The lake at the Peninsula Campground is a GORGEOUS place to be…there were wild violets everywhere, the wind was a bit chilly, but the lake is almost full and it was BEAUTIFUL and my son has his arm AROUND his sister AND is holding her hand! A mom like me lives for a moment like that…and I didn’t have to put him up to it. Thank you, Lord, for giving me something to praise you for when I felt like I was really having to stretch lately…especially where my family getting along was concerned…

Snapped some photos on the way home. The cows probably don’t have many people get out and take their picture. Lord, thank you for how serene and beautiful this scene was and the way the trees framed the cows. Lord, it was another way you blessed us today.

Cool old buildings are along that road. I wonder about the men and women who walked under the roof of this barn…how old is the barn? What stories might it tell. I am thankful that I have an imagination! LOL!

The kids were thrilled when I told them we would be watching a movie together once we got home. WHAT? No schoolwork!?!?!? Not today. We took about three hours to watch Narnia for the 1000th time, stopping the movie and yacking with one another through it, talking (amongst many other things) about the various ways CS Lewis intended various scenes to be metaphors for the Christian life, etc. It was a GREAT time and I cuddled the insane golden retriever dog..Lord, I am thankful that Daisy has one wonderful redeeming trait. More than any other dog I have ever had, she lets me cuddle her and snuggle with her. Thank you!

I guess she and her cohort, Jordy, have their weaknesses.like begging! But thank you, Lord, that we have two sweet dogs and ice cream in the freezer! (Or we did until M. got to it…LOL!)

We had a delightful day playing hooky…God, thank you for giving us a wonderful day…we needed joy and you provided it. I am so thankful that I can homeschool so we can juggle and manipulate our schedule freely to have days like this. We are planning on schooling during the summer quite a bit…given what we have dealt with lately, this was the most precious gift in the world.

Lord, may this day serve as a reminder that we do love one another and that you love us. You gave us so many obvious blessings today. I felt so loved by you. That the kids would leave any resentment or bitterness about yesterday (and the days before) behind and be able to have a day like this…it was soooo restorative and healing. I am sooooo blessed. May I take this sense of your concern, love, and intimacy into the rest of this evening and into tomorrow, even as we take out our books and continue our courses. May we finish this school year well, Lord.

Don’t forget, if you want to be entered into the PRAISE CHANGES THINGS contest drawing for one of three free copies for Ethel Herr’s book, Lord, Show Me Your Glory, just comment here at the blog. I will be drawing names Tuesday morning. Ethel will be autographing the book personally!