Lost & Found

Never A Dull Moment – Week 3, Day 2


NADM Lost & Found

Luke 15 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible.  I guess because I know so well what it is to be lost.  I know how good it feels to be found and to find that which is treasured.  I love how Jesus tells story after story of something valuable lost and the rejoicing that occurs when it’s found.  Even if it’s only one of His little flock, Jesus goes searching.

Wouldn’t any Good Shepherd?

Won’t He light a lamp, make a sweep, and search carefully for us like the woman who lost her silver coin? He will.

Doesn’t He watch for and receive those who have planned out their repentant speeches?  Doesn’t He even go out and find those who are too proud to come in on their own?  The Bible says He does.

I just love it.  I have been the Prodigal.  And, heaven knows, I have been the prideful older brother, pouting outside the party, refusing to go in because, in my estimation, God’s goodness was somehow “better” toward someone else than it was to me.  Gracious.  I love how the father looks everyday to see if his lost son is coming down the road.  He must have been watching for him, right?  Verse 20 says “while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him.”  You don’t see something far off unless you are looking for it.  Before the practiced speech was given, the father was running to grab his boy up… he was lost and is found.  Before the elder brother even had the chance to come to his senses, the father “came out and pleaded with him (v. 28)”… he was lost and the father went to find him.  Thank you, Father.

We don’t know how the other brother responded and, I think, it’s by design.  I think just like so many in Jesus’ audience, we tend to be more like the older brother than the prodigal.  I am.  I haven’t demanded my inheritance and run off to do God knows what in a foreign country, but I sure have looked around and decided that something wasn’t fair.  I think we get to decide how the other brother responds and what we decide makes all the difference in the world.  One thing is certain, no matter how long it takes, when he decides to join the party – when WE decide to join the party… to come back and go in – all will be forgiven, full restoration will be granted, and there WILL be rejoicing.

Oh how He loves you.  Oh how He loves me.  Oh how He loves you and me.

God Does NOT Make Mistakes

Never A Dull Moment – Week 2, Day 6

I could go on and on about my kiddos and how much they have taught me and how much I love them and don’t even get me flipping through all the pictures that I could find and post to go along with this particular devotion.  Instead of all that, though, I have to highlight the most important thing:

God does NOT make mistakes.

When I brought my first-born home from the hospital my life changed in a million ways that I never even thought of.  (For the record, Mom tried to tell me about 700 thousand of them, but I wouldn’t listen… KIDS!)  The biggest issue I faced was wanting to be the “perfect” mother to this precious little squirm worm while simultaneously having no idea what I was doing.  As they say, “Babies don’t come with manuals!”  Or maybe that’s just my mom again? Anyway… a sweet friend gave me the one piece of parenting advice that actually matters. It is the only one that I purposely pass along to other mommas who are just trying to navigate the rapids of parenthood.  She said, “God gave you Caleb because YOU are the perfect mother for him. Period.” Wow. Whew.

Aside from the sweet story of my perfect babies – I’m a little biased! – THAT is the whole point of today’s reading.  No matter what it is in your life that has you questioning God’s wisdom in giving you the assignment, GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES.  Every single person, situation, issue, occurrence, moment, relationship, etc. etc. etc. is intended for your good and His glory.

He has you where you are by design.  Trust Him.  He hand-picked you for the life you are living because there’s good work for only you to do.  Remember that he makes wise choices and He always picks perfectly.

And, now, without further ado, the pictures!  You knew they were coming!!  LOL!

NADM My Perfect Babies4

All In The Family

Never A Dull Moment: Week 1, Days 4 & 5

Two facing pages: both sweet recollections on being adopted into the family of God and my own earthly family; relating to God as Father and allowing Him to teach me how to mother.

When “I Love You” is Enough

I love seeing God parenting Jesus in scripture!  I don’t even know if that is a legitimate thing – theologically – to say, but it sure resonates with me!  As a “quick to speak” girl, I do an AWFUL lot of talking, reminding, and guiding where my kiddos are concerned.  I am by NO means a parenting expert.  Heaven knows a truer sentence has never been written! But, the older Caleb and Keppley get, the more I am learning to measure my words.  They don’t NEED constant reminders of what to do… that might be construed as nagging in some “tweenage” circles.  LOL!  It also might ultimately drive their Momma insane and undermine my goal of turning out two independent, Jesus-loving, contributing members of society!

What they DO need is consistency and boundaries and the assurance that my love is not dependent on their performance.  They do need me to follow through when I levy consequences or put conditions on their behavior.  As my good buddy “Joe-Lee” would say, “I know I am their momma and I have got a job to do!”  But I can’t allow myself to get so caught up in trying to make them do or be whatever I think the moment demands that I forget to simply ENJOY and love them.  God made them who they are.  I need to let them grow into it even if it looks different than I at first imagine it.  It’s a hard balance to strike some days.  I’m exceedingly thankful that God gave such a precious example of it in His own parenting.  With His children, His love is a settled condition that He sometimes demonstrates by His discipline (see Hebrews 12: 5-7). To His One and Only Perfect Jesus, He said, “you are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”  Even on the Mulligans’ toughest days, THAT is the truth.

Running To Daddy

My monologue, “A Daughter’s Prayer” is all about how my earthly father reminds me of my Heavenly Father.  He may not be my “Daddy” – and I so hope what I mean by that comes across properly – but he is a GREAT DAD!  He loves me.  He taught, supported, encouraged and provided for me as I grew up and still does all of those things in many ways now.  He is the one God chose for me… there is obviously none better to accomplish what my Heavenly Father intended.

When I am tempted to see the little girl twirled and the adult daughter who still sweetly calls her father, “daddy” as something to wish for, I always remember that my dad had a different way of lifting me up and IT. WAS. AWESOME!  My dad was a diver and a pole vaulter in high school.  So, when it came time for him to interact with his little girl, he taught me to stand on his hands, focus on a point far away and balance while he lifted me slowly all the way up!  We started with him laying on the floor and worked our way up to me balancing on his hands, lifted high above the top of his 6’2″ head.  Ultimately, we almost gave my mother a heart-attack by WALKING across our front yard with me proudly balancing way up high on my dad’s strong, unfailing, “always ready to catch me” hands.  Don’t those hands sound familiar?  See Isaiah 41:10.  Fear not and be upheld, my friends!  God’s got you.  He never fails and when He lifts you up, IT. IS. AWESOME!


A Little Unexpected Gift

This week something very rare happened in our town.  We had a SNOW DAY!  Tuesday found me all distracted, watching the weather channel and peeking out the window to see if the big predicted snow had arrived yet.  I picked up the Kiddos early from school and we all spent the day wondering when the precipitation would start.  My Girl was adamantly optimistic, full of hope and faith that the snow was indeed coming.  My Boy was gloomy and pessimistic, wondering why “everyone is acting like it’s really going to snow.”  His sister challenged his faith: “maybe the sun is out right now because God wants you to trust Him.  I will never give up hope!”  Isn’t that a twist on the norm?  According to my Sweet Girl, the sun – the good stuff –  is how God was testing her Brother’s faith. 

The snow came – finally – and it was beautiful.  I enjoyed a full five minutes of the tranquil beauty, coffee in hand, before my Kiddos tumbled down the stairs and out the door… in their jammies! 

We had obligatory hot cocoa and cinnamon buns that took WAAAAAY too long to bake.  And then we had the gift: an unplanned day of laughing and playing and joy and togetherness.  We went sledding!  We jumped on the snow-filled trampoline.  We took a walk.  We talked to neighbors and played with friends.  I took a million bemoaned pictures.  We built a snowman and had a snowball fight!  (Kevin and I TOTALLY smoked the Kiddos!)  We rushed to play and prioritized the time together because we knew the snow could melt away at any moment.  It was precious and beautiful and fun and tiring and messy and… perfect.

On the way to school the next day, we were still looking at the remnants of our gorgeous snow and it hit me: we never would have paid attention to the sprawling fields and little trees we pass everyday if they hadn’t been covered with snow.  The intricate curves of the signs we always see – and always miss – were noticed because they were covered with something special.  That’s the thing about snow around here: it makes everything seem special.  I kissed my Kiddos, took a few more pictures and said to my friend: “You know what makes a snow day so awesome?  It’s like a little gift you weren’t expecting.”

As I rushed back to the car, it hit me: EVERY DAY IS A GIFT.

Every day has been “snow covered” and washed white.  Every breath has been bought and paid for.  Every moment has been redeemed.  We just have to open our eyes and see it.  We just have to make sure the “good stuff” God has given us doesn’t distract us from always hoping in our good, giving God.

O Lord, teach us to prioritize what is most important.  Remind us that it can change at any moment.  Help us to slow down and really see the people and the things we rush past everyday.  Let us never forget that the “ordinary” IS special.  Open our eyes to the beauty and the wonder and the fun even when it is tiring and messy.  Let our hearts be overwhelmed by the gift of everyday… the good and perfect gift of every. single. day. 

Snow-Covered Ordinary

Snow-Covered Ordinary

Me & 3 of My Favorite Gifts

Me & 3 of My Favorite Gifts

Snow Day Mulligans & "Martin"

Snow Day Mulligans & “Martin”

Christmas Tears

Some times when I am overwhelmed or too tired, the only thing that really makes me FEEL better is a good cry. (Bless my Husband’s heart!) This season, as joyful as it is, comes with its share of tears too… because I am always a little more overwhelmed than usual, things rarely go exactly as “Norman Rockwell” as I envisioned them going and in my valiant effort to make everything just right, sleep is usually the first thing I let slide right off my list of top priorities. Not smart, but tis the season!

A few days ago, I read Psalm 56:8: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” My heart did a little leap to think that God sees every tear and knows all my sorrows – the real ones and the ones I create for myself by thinking my crazy family is ever going to look like a still depiction of the “perfect” Christmas-y group. I flipped to Revelation 21:4… “He will wipe every tear from their eyes” and then my finger wandered up to verse 3 which reads, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

Isn’t that what Christmas is, really? God loving us so much that He came to wipe our tears with His own hands, to wash our feet and take our sins and teach us to pray and know what it is to be the creation rather than the Creator? Isn’t Christmas about God understanding us and saving us? He has always cared so much about our tears that He bottles and records every one. In Jesus, He came to experience and know our sorrows – to cry His own tears. And, even though we missed His first coming, one day, He will take our faces in His loving hands and gently wipe all of our tears away. THAT is love. THAT is hope. And THAT is joy – even when things aren’t going exactly the way we would like them to go.

Be A Christmas Mood Maker This Year!

For those of you that really want to celebrate Advent with your Kiddos, but are about to throw in the towel because, once again, it’s December 2 and you haven’t even started yet, here’s a list of simple ideas to spread some cheer that don’t take much time or preparation. OK, “Host A Neighborhood Drop-In” IS number 12, but that’s only because it was already on my calendar for December 12! I intentionally made the first 2 days super easy and the 3rd with store-bought Hershey’s Kisses in mind so you could “catch up” – or more accurately, JOIN ME in a late start! That’s right, I compiled the list and I still didn’t start on December 1!

Keep in mind also, that you get to choose what you do: make a “Top 10” List and do one thing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus Christmas Eve. Combine your favorites and have some awesome “Christmasy” family nights this month – whatever! The main thing is to celebrate with your families, keep your focus on Jesus and make the mood of your home festive. Last night, my son told the MC of our town’s Christmas Tree Lighting that his favorite thing about Christmas is “the mood that hangs in the air”. Such a proud “Mommy Moment”! I realized later that I am the “Mood Maker” in my house – and so are you! It’s not about the plan or the execution. It’s about the “mood”. Merry Christmas, Friends! May your mood be merry and bright! May you know peace on your little corner of the earth and joy that somehow spreads to the whole world!

1. Read the Christmas Story in Luke 2. Pray that God will show your family how to celebrate Jesus every day this month.

2. Make a paper “Countdown Chain” – as you remove links, write one way you celebrated Jesus that day on it. Save them all to review on Christmas Eve.

3. Take treats to the staff at school/church/work.

4. Adopt a family in need. Matthew 25:40

5. Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru – be sure to leave a Christmas card for them with the cashier!

6. Drive through a live Nativity – if you’re local, “The Living Christmas Story” at Union United Methodist Church is one you might like!

7. Have a “snowball” fight… rolled up socks work GREAT in SC!

8. Family game night – complete with hot cocoa and candy canes.

9. Donate everything in your family change jar to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. Remember, the widow in Luke 21 gave all she had.

10. Go grocery shopping for the sole purpose of donating the food you buy.

11. Pay someone’s past due library fines! See Romans 13:8 and thanks to our Children’s Minister, Mr. Chris, for this idea!

12. Host a drop-in for your neighbors!

13. Two Words: Christmas Lights! Think popular local venues – like Saluda Shoals or the Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks if you’re here in Columbia – or a pajama-clad ride around your own neighborhood!

14. Watch your favorite Christmas movie – don’t forget the popcorn!

15. Fill out Christmas cards! Pray for the recipients.

16. Bake Christmas Cookies.

17. Make a gingerbread house. They even have foam ones at the craft store!

18. Tape quarters to note cards expressing the love of Jesus. Tape the cards to vending machines around town!

19. Wrap presents together!

20. Go on a search for Baby Jesus – see how many Nativity scenes you can find & leave a note thanking your neighbors for remembering the reason for the season.

21. Super Secret Sibling Shopping Spree – take your Kiddos to buy their siblings’ presents… make sure the present remains a surprise!

22. Go Christmas Caroling!

23. Make reindeer food for Christmas Eve – equal parts oatmeal & glitter. Don’t forget to sprinkle it in the front yard when you leave cookies for Santa!

24. Snuggle up and take a look back at all the celebrating you did this month. Thank Jesus for coming, living and dying for YOU. Merry Christmas!

The iPod Incident: An Unexpected Lesson in Answered Prayers

So, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a TINY bit obsessive compulsive… about SOME things.  [Let me pause here for certain members of my family and close friends to stop laughing and wipe the tears away from their eyes…]  My latest obsession has been my daughter’s 3DS and my son’s iPod that mysteriously went missing at exactly the same time.  And I do mean exactly the same time.  See, we don’t allow “screen time” in our house during the week.  So, iPods and 3DSs don’t really have any chance to get lost except on the weekend.  Thank God!  That, right there, is reason enough for any of my fellow OCD Mommas out there to implement the “No Screen Time During the Week” policy as far as I’m concerned!  

Anyway, both of these fairly expensive, much loved electronic devices went missing on the same weekend.  The weekend in question was February 23-24, better known in the Mulligan House as the “Mom was out of town and then totally wiped out because she spoke at a big conference with Laura Story” weekend.  That, simply to say, I wasn’t paying much attention to where anything was on Sunday afternoon.  Monday was spent “redeeming” the weekend: doing laundry, putting things away, organizing etc. etc.  And, frankly I did a fabulous job: no baskets of stuff hanging around or piles waiting to be sorting!  I even dusted, for heaven’s sake!  So, on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I finally realized that said electronics were amongst the missing, I didn’t even know where to look! 

Well, when Momma can’t find something – even if it’s not hers – ain’t nobody happy in the Mulligan House!  So, we searched and lamented and stressed and cried and fussed and every time the missing electronics crossed my mind, we did it again.  I literally began asking God for 3 things: 1. Keep the DS and the iPod safe.  2. Show us where they were!  3. Keep the fact that I didn’t know from driving me completely insane.  In order to appreciate the fact that I am really not exaggerating my distress here, you need to know that I still have flashes of anxiety regarding a Walkman I lost my junior year of college… 20 years ago!  Really.  Blessedly, God began to answer number three really quickly!  Had He not, I may have been hospitalized before number two could ever happen!

The next weekend came and went.  I did an EXHAUSTIVE search of the Suburban, the Jeep and the church… because when your Daddy’s the Minister of Music and your Momma’s the Sunday School Director, SOMETIMES you get to take electronics to church on Sunday afternoon…  to no avail.  They were gone.  Totally lost!  I had texted Papa, Joey’s Mom, Hannah Beth’s Mom and Mrs. Dianne – the lady who cleans the church.   There was nothing left to do except learn a lesson in responsibility and keep on truckin’.  But, of course, even with God’s undertaking, Momma’s mind kept calmly turning to “Where the heck could those things be?!”  Several times, I had flashes of brilliance and as I was going to check a coat pocket or my bag of props from the conference, I giddily thought: we’re about to find them!!  But we didn’t. 

Until last night!  I went into my daughter’s room to do something, when all of a sudden I had an overwhelming urge to see if she had been cramming things under her bookshelf when she “cleaned her room” daily.  And there, crammed way over to the left – to her credit, the side her DS is supposed to be plugged in on! – was her DS, case and all!  Momma lost it a little, but was generally thrilled that we had found the DS and overjoyed that we now had a REALLY good reason to go ahead and clean up the rest of the stuff I found under her bookshelf.  And clean out her nightmare of a closet.  And her hideous “junk drawer”.  I told you: I’m a little obsessive compulsive… about some things!  Kep whispered to me as we finished up her room, “You know what, Mommy? God answered my prayers.  I was really praying that He would help me find my DS.”  Bless her heart!  She’s got a little of her Momma in her!  There was celebrating at the dinner table!  Praise was offered to the Lord!  And Caleb wanted to know if I had found his iPod too.  Bless his heart.  We asked God, as a family, to keep his iPod safe and to help us find it.

I decided that even though God had answered MY prayers also and I was not obsessing about the iPod any longer, I couldn’t, in good Mommy Conscience, just let it go completely until I had done a big “search and rescue” in Caleb’s room too.  So, this morning, that’s what I did.  I organized, dusted and vacuumed – even under the bed.  I cleaned out his junk drawer and checked every pocket of every coat and bag in his closet.  But I didn’t find his iPod.  I left his room, praying, “God, please keep the Pod safe until we find it and use this to teach Caleb a lesson in being responsible that he won’t forget.”

Then, I decided since I was on such a “roll”, I would continue my super-cleaning!  I was dusting the rocking chair from Caleb’s nursery that now sits in our upstairs landing because his sister had asked that we put it in her room.  Heaven knows it needed a good dusting before I put it in that freshly cleaned room!   I had wiped every nook and cranny of the base then lifted up the cushion to clean under there too, when what to my wondering eyes appeared – stuck WAY down under the side cushion – but my boy’s iPod!!  WooHoo!  Go God!  Go Momma!

I still hope Caleb, and Keppley, both learn a lesson in responsibility from these last 10 days of distress over their missing electronics, but I have to say, that I am truly praising the Lord this afternoon that the lesson we ALL got to learn today is that God answers prayers.  He knows every hair on our head and where all our stuff is!  He knows what stresses us out, when it’s best to leave things lost and when it’s best to reveal them to us.  He knows what we need and how long we need to struggle until the lesson is learned.  He will take our anxiety from us if we ask Him to and yield control to Him.  And just when we think that’s the lesson we’re supposed to learn, He’ll make it more about His goodness than our need to learn our lesson.  I am so glad God keeps searching for and rescuing me when I’m “lost”.  And I am SO glad I get to tell Caleb that God answered his prayers today too!

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Hello All!  I am sure you have heard of taking the entire month of November to ponder on, journal and share all that you are thankful for.  Because I love lists and have SO much to be thankful for, I am jumping on the Thankful Train myself this year and will be adding to this post each day throughout the month of November.  I hope my list inspires you to write one of your own.  Life is crazy, but there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for!

Day 1 – On this First Day of November, I am most thankful for the incomparable love of Christ and for “the way” that He has made for me – both in this daily life and on into eternity. Far too often, I don’t “Consider Jesus” as I should, but I when I do, I am overwhelmed by who He is and what He has done. When I do, I am overwhelmingly thankful!
“One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank Him enough…” – Luke 17:15-16 (The Message)

Day 2 – I am thankful for Kevin Mulligan, my awesome husband! I come from a bit of a “Family Bush” and spent a lot of time before we got married watching families and marriages trying to figure out what made the good ones work. We’re not perfect, but what we have is so much more than I thought was possible! Kevin loves me even when I am very unlovable and he does what the Word says to do: “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything He does and says is designed to bring out the best in her… (Eph. 5:25-27a from The Message)

Day 3 – I am SO THANKFUL for my Kiddos!  No one makes me love more or desire to be better like Caleb & Keppley do!  I believe what I always tell them: God picked the PERFECT babies for me!  “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3 – CEV)

Day 4 – Crazy thankful for our church family: a pastor that preaches and lives the Word, mentors that pour time and LIFE into our family, great teachers, wonderful friends and brothers & sisters in Christ who laugh and cry with us, pray for us and make this walk tons better than it would be without them! LOVE those Cedar Creek Peeps! SO thankful that God called us a “far piece” out to the country… the drive is a pleasure!  “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

Day 5 – Today I am thankful for the ways God takes care of me.  Words are so inadequate.  He provides all the “basics”, a ridiculous number of “wants”, universal and personal things, things everyone knows I want and things only He and I have discussed, big and little, important and trivial… He’s my Father and He never fails to give good gifts.  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

Day 6 – On this Election Day, I am especially thankful that God saw fit to make me a citizen of the United States of America. It is a blessing and I am proud of my country – no matter who the President is or how many problems we have left to solve!  “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:26-28)
Day 7 – Today, I am thankful for Brian P. McLendon and who he will always be to my 17 year-old self. I’m thankful for the wonderful memories that have been floating through my head these last several days. I am thankful for his precious family and for how they allowed me to be a part of their lives and loved on me and set a good example for me of what “family” is all about. I’m thankful for the life he lived and the things he taught me way back when and in retrospect. I’m just thankful that I knew him and will be praying for his family today as they remember him and mourn for him. Rest in peace, Friend.
Day 8 – I am thankful for the great school my kids attend and that I get to work there sometimes! I love substitute teaching… and HONESTLY, the other kids don’t seem to think I am NEARLY as nerdy or embarrassing as my own kids do! HaHa! I am also thankful – again – for my precious husband, who understands my tears for a friend I haven’t really talked to in 20 years. He’s quite the catch, that one.
On this 9th day of November, I am thankful for gorgeous blue skies, splashes of fall color on the trees and crisp, cool mornings! And how could I not be?  This is the view from my front porch:

Day 10 – Today, I am thankful for my nieces and nephew! Gracious! I love those PUNKIN HEADS! And… I now know that “aunthood” is just one small step below “grandmotherhood”: sugar ’em up, spoil ’em rotten and send ’em back to Mommy! JoJo loves you bunches and bunches Berkeley, Avery, Annabelle and Liam! XO

Day 11 – I am thankful for this phrase in scripture: “But He gives us more grace. (James 4:6a)” Greater than our sin. More times than we fall. More often than we ask. More than we will ever need. Thank you, God, for grace upon grace upon grace.
Day 12 – Super thankful for the “catastro-tunity” Kep and I had getting her new glasses. It was an unexpected detour that turned into a great little “Girl’s Day”! Love that Chick!
Day 13 – Thankful that we get to CHOOSE! We get to choose to do right, respond rather than react, and extend grace rather than anger. We get to choose to believe the truth rather than our sometimes erroneous emotions – and we get to choose when we go with our hearts over our minds. I don’t always make the right choices, but I am thankful that I GET TO CHOOSE. AND that I get to choose differently next time if I get it wrong THIS time!
Day 14 – Thankful that I have a fun sister who loves me and understands certain aspects of my “CRAZY” like no one else really can! She is brilliant, beautiful, talented and a super-fabulous Aunt to my Kiddos! Even though we are years and miles apart, we somehow manage to have fun and stay connected via phone, text messages and Facebook! Looking forward to “in person” fun over Thanksgiving break! Love you , Baby Sister!


Day 15 – Thankful for long-standing family traditions, great memories and the thought that my “Babies” have a pretty neat little heritage. Our family is not perfect, but we do all right and it is clear to me that God is working and blessing!

Day 16 – Thankful for full days and all the friends that I have made along the way! From high school and college friends that turned into “life-long” friends, to my extended family, in-laws and their in-laws, to my brothers & sisters in Christ, Bible study Peeps and Playground Moms! You know who you are and I am VERY Thankful for you!
Day 17 – Thankful for a WONDERFUL day at Williams-Brice with lots of family and friends! And almost just as thankful that I am now in my jammies hitting the hay!
Day 18 – Thankful for great church friends that let us camp out at their house and share in their family time when we’re “workin’ for The Lord” in Blythewood. Thank you so much! We had a great time!
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” ― Jean Baptiste Massieu
My heart is so full of wonderful memories. So many good things, innumerable blessings and cherished memories to be grateful for on this 19th day of November.
 Day 20 – Thankful for my Maddy Girl and Horace. I sometimes fussed about Maddy and get frustrated with Horace, but I wouldn’t trade those 4-legged “babies” for anything. I love having a Pupper underfoot!

Day 21 – Thankful that the Pre-Christmas decorating is done, my family is on the way, Grandma Corn is prepped, collards are cooking and we are in the home stretch!!

Day 22 – A heart overflowing with gratitude on this official day of Thanksgiving… for all the things I’ve pondered this month and a million little moments of grace, love, and fun that I know I take for granted all the time. I am a blessed Girl. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Day 23 – Thankful for my whole CRAZY family!  (And the picture below isn’t even ALL on them!  And I’m not even counting the Mulligan side!)

Day 24 – Thankful for more family time, my college alma mater and a win over Clemson!  I know… I know… maybe I shouldn’t bring up the Clemson/Carolina Game, but we Gamecocks still have all long way to go until we surpass Clemson in total rivalry wins.  So, I gotta cock-a-doodle-doo when I can!

Day 25 – Thankful that my brother and his family did not have to head straight back home after Thanksgiving this year!  I use the term loosely, but it will be nice to have some “normal” time with them now that the holiday craziness has subsided a bit!

Day 26 – Thankful for both of my wonderful, talented, FABULOUS sisters-in-law and the friendships I have with both of them.  Jason and Michael, you made good choices!

Day 27 – Thankful for the warm home, reliable vehicles, clothing on my back and food in the refrigerator that I am blessed to have.  I so take the little things for granted, but today I am looking at the ordinary with a truly grateful heart.

Day 28 – So thankful for the opportunity I am having this week to build relationships with my Munford nieces.  I don’t see them often, but we are forming a sweet little bond this week that I love… singing, playing, snuggling, laughing and doing all the daily things that carve out spots in each others’ hearts.  It is going to be hard to say goodbye on Saturday.

Day 29 – Thankful that changes in the plan can still yield great times!

Day 30 – On my last official day of Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I took the time to ponder all the people, memories, circumstances and things God has used to bless me.  In every case, being with my friends and family, making the memories, finding joy in the circumstances and appreciating the things has been heart-warming.  The practice of noticing each of them everyday this month has increased my gratitude and makes me cherish more all the parts that make up the whole.

Happy Thanksgiving, Readers.  I pray that a grateful heart will be yours through Advent, Christmas and into 2013.