when you only see the imperfections.

I look around my house and all I see is this awful color on the wall.  I notice every mark on the wall.  Every spot on the carpet.  I notice every scratch on each baseboard and those few spots where the crown molding doesn’t meet perfectly.  I notice the scratch on the sink.  The worn floor in the kitchen.  I notice how Jack’s room needs something else but I’m not sure what.  I notice how my bathroom is missing something fun, something special. 

When I look in the mirror I see that my glasses make my left eye bigger than my right.  I see the scar on my lip from where I got hit with a softball and my lip got stuck to my braces.  I notice how my hips are quite wide these days, forgetting that it’s because I’ve birthed 2 children. 

 

It’s easy to see the imperfections.  It’s easy to get caught up in the negativities of life, missing the beauty.  And I have certainly been stuck there.  Believing lies of all that is wrong, things we don’t have, and how this is not enough – how I am not enough. 

 

And those are just that – lies.  We are so blessed.  God has been faithful to us.  We are still here.  I have an amazing, loving husband and two precious boys!  One who I get to raise here and one in Heaven with our Father.  We live in this amazing city.  We have a beautiful home.  My husband has a good job.  I get to spend my days with my sweet JT.  All of these blessings and so many more.  But I tend to quickly forget those things.  These important things that I should always be thankful for, I tend to overlook.  And instead I look at things that don’t matter, things I can’t control, or things that have no eternal significance.  I don’t want my focus to be there.  I want a thankful heart.  One that is overflowing with thankfulness for this life.  And the beauty of it is that I can control what I focus on.  I can shift my thinking and re-focus on what matters. 

As I stood washing dishes in my sink thinking about all of the things I would change, I realized all of this.  There will always be imperfections in life, but I’m choosing to see past those and just see the beauty. 

Family Pictures Fall 2013 006

happy thanksgiving.

To all of you who love and support me by coming here and reading this little blog, thank you.  I am so thankful for you.  Without you I would just be a crazy person writing to myself.  This time last year I could have never imagined what the next year would be like for this blog.  I never thought it would reach as many people as it has.  Thank you all for passing my blog along to others, especially those who are hurting, grieving, and losing loved ones.  So very thankful for you, dear friends. 

 

Today is my hardest Thanksgiving.  I miss our Gabriel.  I wish he was here to celebrate his first Thanksgiving.  I wish I wasn’t able to help cook as much because I had my hands full with a special needs baby.  Tommy and I talked about it and today, we wish our story was different.  But even as I say that, deep in my heart I know I love our story and I wouldn’t want to lose all I’ve learned this year and how I’ve grown.  But mostly I wouldn’t change a thing if it meant changing anything about our G. 

 

I know I have much to be thankful for.  And I am thankful for many things.  I am thankful for my family and friends.  I am especially thankful for Jack.  What a blessing it is to have this little guy in our lives – he brings so much joy.  And I’m so very thankful for Gabriel – he changed our lives and changed us forever. 

 

But the truth is that today is a hard day.  And my heart isn’t overflowing with thankfulness.  I know I have much to be thankful for, but my lips aren’t quick to speak of it.  I am more just “doing it” today – going through the day like a usual Thanksgiving, except that it isn’t usual at all.  I miss Gabriel, and all throughout this day I wish he was here.  I also see my Granny everywhere around me.  It’s hard to have Thanksgiving without her.  This year is just different.  And I know so many of you know that feeling, of experiencing Thanksgiving without someone so special to you. 

 

give thanks

 

Today I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!  My prayer for you is that you find a way to be thankful – whether it’s out of an overflowing and thankful heart or whether it’s an act of faith.  I spent some time this morning praying for those having a hard day – for so many different reasons.  And please know that I am saying prayers of thanksgiving for all of you. 

happy november.

It is November!  This year has gone by so quickly.  It is unbelievable.  Just wanted to pop in today to say happy November!

 

It’s been a pretty good fall so far, and I’m looking forward to this season of thanksgiving that lies ahead of us.

 

November

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Hope you have a great weekend!

25. a thankful heart is a hopeful heart.

Thanks for the sweet words about my Granny after my tribute post yesterday.  She was such an amazing woman – it’s weird how life just moves on at a normal speed after we lose a loved one, isn’t it? 

 

Something that I have talked about before is thankfulness.  Last November Jack and I made a thankful tree.  We will be doing that again this year.  This summer and early fall I spent a lot of time thinking about thankfulness.  Maybe that will be my 31 Days topic next year. 

 

Something I have gathered from reading Ann Voskamp’s work is that a thankful heart doesn’t have room for the ugly stuff.  A heart that is in the practice of thankfulness, doesn’t have the time or desire to worry, stress, be fearful, or preoccupied with things that are not good.  A thankful heart is a heart of hope.  Hope in things beyond our own worries and matters at hand.  Hope in the blessings of this life.  Hope in the future. 

 

I have thought about that a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’ve done it a lot.  I had intentions of starting a new thanks journal many times this year but have yet to do it.  I know that being thankful helps keep my mind on track.  It is something I need to do.  It is far too easy for me to overlook the blessings in my life every day if I’m not recounting them.  So here are the things I’m thankful for today. 

 

1.  Getting to spend time with family today. 

2.  A clean house. 

3.  Feeling so much better physically. 

4.  Cold weather! 

5.  Soup on a cold day. 

6.  A little boy feeling better after a hard asthma week. 

7.  I know it’s petty, but my DVR.  Love getting to watch my favorite shows. 

8.  Heat in our house when it is cold outside. 

9.  Pumpkins, mums, and fall decorations everywhere. 

10.  New boots! 

 

Slatted-Thankfulness-Sign

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Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

10. in every season.

“I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” 
Psalm 34:1

By the time this posts I will be at the hospital getting ready to have surgery to have my gall bladder removed.  Would you please pray for me this morning as I have this surgery?  I am very hopeful that it will help me to feel better!  Thank you for reading, thank you for loving us.

 

31daysofhopebutton

Joining the Nester for 31 days of writing in October.  To see all of my 31 days of hope posts click here.

post-thanksgiving goodness.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love ones, food, and counting of blessings.

Our Thanksgiving was so sweet.  We had 1 pm dinner with my family at my parents’ house, and then drove to Tommy’s parents’ for a 6 pm dinner.  We were stuffed full of food, but what a blessing to have too much food and 2 families to celebrate the holiday with.
We spent some time playing outside.  It was a beautiful day!  Perfectly warm and sunny and perfect for family fun outdoors.  The only time I had my camera out was while we were playing outside for a few minutes, so  I didn’t get many pictures of the day.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday weekend!

tree of thanks.

I’m taking this season to be intentional about being thankful.

You’ve probably picked up on that by now with posts like this and this.  I want a thankful heart to be at the center of my family.  I want Jack to grow up being thankful.  To look at the day, look at the situation, and see not the troubles of this world, but see what he is truly thankful for– to see the blessings and gifts showered upon us.  To be thankful, no matter how we are feeling, because this thankfulness- it’s not about us.

I saw this post over at Jones Design Company [one of my favorite blogs] about her thankful tree, and I knew it’d be the perfect addition to the Morgan home.  A place where we could see– every day– just what we’re thankful for.  A place to make us stop and think.  A place for others to see our hearts of thanksgiving.  An offering of thanks in our living room.

My little assistant and I headed out to collect the branches we would need for this project.  Good thing I have such a good assistant.

And now, we give thanks.

I found this sweet little one on the tree…

Jack loves getting eskimo kisses– especially from his Daddy.


So that each day we may think of all we are thankful for…

[These great tags are available for download for free from Jones Design Company.]

a day of struggle and finding thankfulness

Today was a hard day.  I had a hard time finding a spirit of thankfulness today.  Even had the thought today of  “all of these things going wrong, what am I going to be thankful for today?”  Then I realized how wrong that was.  Instead I realized that there is ALWAYS something, no LOTS OF SOMETHINGS, to be thankful for.  Always.

Last night I watched a report on Hurricane Sandy.  I totally forgot about all of those people affected.  It’s easy to forget about others hurting, others in need, especially when I’m focused on my self.  There is so much hurt, so much ache, so much struggle going on in those areas hit by the hurricane.  How could I not be anything but thankful?  How could my problems compare?

Last night I went to bed upset after a rough night.  Shortly after getting in bed, I was woken up by Jack screaming.  Went up to his room, tried to calm him down, but he was inconsolable.  It took awhile– and both Mommy and Daddy to calm the little guy down.  Tommy went to bed after awhile but not before he cheered me up some– he’s so good at that.

I stayed up with Jack until 3, and I had the thought during that time that this was just like our ear infection days.  Turns out that’s exactly what this is.  We had a check-up with our pediatrician this morning to follow up on Jack’s lungs.  His lungs sounded great [ya!] but both of his ears are infected.  Bad news– the tubes have fallen out of his ears.  The good news– they did their job while they were in.  We’re disappointed that they fell out so soon [after only 5 months] but it is what it is.  So we start back on the antibiotic train.  Again.

The combination of going to bed upset last night, Jack’s double ear infection, and sleep deprivation, proved to make me a grump and a half today.  Thank goodness, I had a moment where I remembered all of this greater-than-me stuff and snapped out of it.  So I guess my point with all of this is that I was grumpy, I thought it was hard to be thankful through struggles, realized my struggles are so small, but more importantly there is so much to be thankful for especially during struggles.  1q

So today I am thankful for:

24.  Electricity.  Our power is on, we have every luxury available to us.  We are blessed.

25.  Medicine to help this little boy feel better and a pediatrician who knows us and treats us well.

26.  The ability to run on little sleep.  Some days I get 8 hours of sleep an am exhausted.  Today, after a restless night and little sleep, I am doing ok.

27.  My family.  Thankful for my husband, our Jack, my parents, sister, brother, and grandparents.  They’re my favorites.

28.  Leaves everywhere in the fall.  Crunching with each step.

29.  Being able to play outside after being stuck inside sick for almost a week!  Oh the fresh air was more than refreshing and necessary.

See #1-23 on my list of thankfulness here.

thankfulness.

For the last year and a half, God has really been cultivating a spirit of thankfulness in me.  He has taught me and opened my eyes so much during that time to see how important it is to be THANKFUL.

I, like many others, am taking on this season of Thanksgiving to be thankful and to recount our blessings.  Big blessings, little blessings, daily blessings.  November is a month full of promise, expectation, and as a start to the Holiday Season it is a time that I want to focus my heart on the right things.

Today I recount just some of the blessings, some of the things to be thankful for over the last 18 months.

1.  Jack Thomas Morgan.  A precious child entrusted to us 17 months ago.

2.  The promise of God providing even before Jack’s arrival.

3.  The healing of our Jack when he was critically sick.

4.  Months of learning new roles and a new person.  Months of growth.

5.  The gift of a new job for me.

6.  The gift of a new job for Tommy– back HOME!

7.  The blessing of realizing true friendships that had been formed in a land away from home as we said goodbye to Maryland and DC friends.

8.  Moving back home!  Nothing sweeter than being close to family and the beauty that is East Tennessee.

9.  Thanksgiving in the beautiful land of Colorado.

10.  Celebrating Christmas with a little one for the first time, being back home with family, and truly celebrating with joy and thanksgiving.

11.  The sale of a home, even if it ripped us to pieces in the process.  Thankful for the sale.

12.  The providing and purchase of a new home.  A place to set our roots.

13.  A garage.  We have a garage and it’s a much appreciated step up from the sheds we used to have.

14.  Getting moved here by the company.  Pure blessing.

15.  Surviving 7 ear infections in year 1 of Jack’s life.  So thankful for this!

16.  Really thankful for doctors, surgeons, and tubes being put in our one year old’s ears.  A glorious aspect of medicine that has blessed our family.

17.  A one year old!  How that year went by so fast, I’ll never know, but each day just gets sweeter and sweeter.

18.  Walking, running, and playing all the time.  Thankful for a full-of-life toddler in our lives.

19.  A new job for me full of kind co-workers.

20.  Lessons in money, budgeting, and God providing.

21.  Little blessings each day, that we remember to be thankful for.

22.  Family supporting us always.  Always taking care of us.

23.  Special days to celebrate as a family and just have a good time.  Thankful for the fun we had on Halloween.  I love seeing the joy on kids faces, the neighborhood bustling with excitement, and that sugar rush high that leaves you going to bed so happy.

thankful.

I read this blog every chance I get.  It’s beautiful and encouraging and full of truth.

 

I gave Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, to my mom, Granny, and mother-in-law for mother’s day.  One day I will steal borrow one of their copies so I can read it.

 

I love that she makes a point of counting our blessings, of what we’re thankful for.  Today I am so thankful.  Here are 10 things:

 

1.  A sweet neighbor who watched my precious boy when I was in a bind and had to go to work.  So thankful for her giving heart and how it blessed us.

 

2.  Chocolate chip cookies.  I made a winning batch the other day and they are delicious.

 

3.  Fall.  I have written about my fall excitement and readiness and it just keeps getting better and better.  It’s been chilly outside in the mornings and evenings.  Chilly.  I’ve been waking up cold during the night.  It is awesome.  So thankful.

 

4.  Thankful for our jobs.  Tommy’s that supports us and mine that is enjoyable and also a blessing.

 

5.  Thankful that God always provides.

 

6.  Playing outside in this glorious weather.  Tommy’s been working late this week and we have been running around on the street or at the playground having fun, enjoying the weather, and getting energy out.

 

7.  A husband who brings home IceDream for me at the end of a long, stressful day.

 

 

8.  A little boy who looks up at me and smiles when I catch him by surprise.

 

 

 

9.  A baby boy who is no longer a baby but rather a little boy who’s favorite game is to be chased.

 

10.  The sweetest giggle I’ve ever heard and it’s increasing frequency.