We were watching A Christmas Carol last night and Scrooge was saying once again, “I hadn’t noticed….” to which the spirit said, “You hadn’t noticed.  One would think you had gone through life with your eyes closed.” and I thought to myself, oh let my eyes be open…….

…open to see messy beauty all around

….open to love my community, my family, my people, not only to give it, but to see it happening

….open to see the hand of God and His works in the land of the living

…open to see what is true

…open to see what is lovely

Let me not miss a thing.

But see, I WILL miss seeing some things!  And even that fact is a wondrous revelation!  God is doing so much good, more “behind the scenes” good than we will ever count or notice!  Things so hidden that they will not be revealed until life truly begins (in Heaven).

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.  With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.  Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you……


Seth read a little book in school about how places around the world celebrate the holidays. The page about Italy was the only one that mentioned baby Jesus and he noticed.  He had the eyes to see and the mind to understand that Italy was the place for him to visit.  Because he is a Christian.


Because Sarah is so little, I have to walk her to the bus every morning, right up to the bus door on the other side of the road.  It’s so very cold, I often have a secret dislike in going outside with her to do this mothering job.  But when I hold her hand and get ready to let go of her for the morning, I say, “Have a nice day, Sarah, I love you!” and she says, “You too, I love you, too!” to me and my heart melts into a big puddle and I feel that love that she has for me and I remember to be thankful.


Last night I was tired and Ethan was hungry.  He had just arrived home from visiting his girlfriend and he was wandering around opening cupboards looking for food.  Even though I didn’t want to, I took pity on him, got off the couch and made him a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel.  Yes, he could have done it himself, but he has been away at college for weeks and weeks and was hungering for not only food, but an act of love from his Mom.  I ended up serving him his food on a small fiesta plate, happy to cook for my boy, my heart changed from one of grumpiness because I wanted to just lay on the couch, into one of gratitude that I could serve my family in this small way.  It only took 5 minutes, for goodness sakes.


Grace had committed herself to making 25 corn bags for music kids at school.  Oh how I was inwardly groaning because I had packed all my sewing stuff away about a year ago, I could not even recall where I had put the sewing machine.  To make a long story short, she did find it, it did still work, it was still threaded, we did not run out of bobbin thread, and I did all the sewing of the bags because she did run out of free time.  Once again, what began in groaning ended in yet another lesson on selflessness and doing what I am meant to do right now–be a mom.


I wasn’t thinking.  I wasn’t thoughtful.  I made a big pot of baked beans because Sarah was craving them, but the boys ate them, too.  The next day I made chili for dinner.  Then the boys had wrestling practice.  You see where this is going.  David said to me on the way home last night, “Mom, you gave me chili and I far*ed 13 times at practice tonight and I just did again while I was saying this to you.”  I had to roll the window all the way down as I drove….laughing….later I told my mom the story and she said, “That is a tactical move” and Rich said, “Offensive, too.”  There is no point to this story.


Ethan and I just spent a most comfortable day together doing nothing.  I wasn’t feeling well and no one else is here for Ethan to hang out with so we just lounged around.  I made him pancakes for breakfast and toasted cheese for lunch.  He put wood pellets in the stove and carried in boxes for me.  We took naps and I read a book.  We hardly spoke but we enjoyed each others company.  He said a quiet day like today would be awful if he was alone at college, but to be home makes all the difference.


Seth snuggling with me on the couch

washing Sarah’s hair for her, blowing it dry and braiding it for bedtime

loving texts from my husband

having Jacob wake up David because he overslept and almost missed the bus

cats and a dog that cannot talk yet we sense and know their love and loyalty

christmas cookies


The other night David took a bowl of burning hot soup to bed with him and dumped it down his pants.  That same night Caleb went to bed with an ice pack for a groin injury.  He fell asleep with it, only to wake up hours later with wet shorts and a perplexing problem…until his mind woke up enough to realize what he had done.


Truly, having children is a guarantee that there is always something to laugh about.

“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”


**christmas dishes**


**wrapping all the gifts**


**christmas past**


**I see boys having fun, little bits of them left behind everywhere**

I just know I’ll always stumble across nerf bullets and legos far after they’ve grown and gone.

I am determined to go through this Christmas season with my eyes and heart wide open.  (I may have to take a break now and then.  LOL)

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” … the Little Prince


PS, the corn bags

4 thoughts on “noticing

  1. Merry Christmas to one of my favorite families! This was a good read…eyes open. And some laughter…I happen to have “wicked white chili” in the crock pot.

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